Introduction to psychology, Psychology as a science and practice...

Introduction to Psychology

Psychology as a science and practice. The subject and tasks of psychology

After studying this chapter, the student must:


• how and why objects and subject matter of psychology changed;

• stages of development and schools of psychology in history;

• branches of psychology;

be able to

• Analyze the concepts of "soul", "psyche", the subject and objects of science;


• the ability to characterize science, determine the place of psychology in a number of other sciences.

The form of development of natural science, as it thinks, is a hypothesis.

F. Engels

Science confirms our misconceptions.

With. E. Leah,

If the idea is correct, then it is capable of development, and if it is capable of development, then one must inevitably give way to another idea, from which it is published, supplementing it.

F. M. Dostoevsky

What characterizes science?

We begin studying the basic psychological discipline - general psychology. In higher psychological education, the study of this subject is central. For the professional training of a psychologist, general psychology is the framework on which are attached all other professional knowledge and skills.

The study of this subject has its own characteristics: it is a joint study with the teacher of what has been done in the history of psychology, so that without self-study in the teaching laboratories, without an analysis of the texts of primary sources recommended by the teacher, comprehension of the main content of the subject is impossible. >

Usually, the study of any science begins with its definition. Let's start with this and we. In the textbooks on psychology you will find many definitions of psychology, but the basic idea is usually that psychology is the science of the soul (from the Greek ψυχή - the soul, λόγος - knowledge) or the psyche, its origin, development, laws of functioning, pathology, etc.

The most interesting thing is that when students hear and write this definition, usually the lecturer does not ask about anything. From this I conclude that they know what the soul or psyche is, or at least understand what I said. And really, if I ask students if they have a psyche, everyone always answers in the affirmative. Sometimes even the place of the psyche is indicated in the person's head. Awesome thing! Science does not know the answer to the question about the criteria of the psyche and its nature, and people without a shadow of a doubt say that they have it, they seem to know what it is.

Why this happens, we will discuss, and now we will try to formulate questions, the answers to which will enable us to understand what any science is, what it does and what answers it gives us.

The first question is the question of objects and phenomena , which science is interested in and which it explores. But one and the same object can be interesting for different sciences. Therefore, to characterize science, a simple indication of the object is small.

For example, take an object such as iron. This is an object of studying physics, but this is also the object of chemistry. Iron is interested in both biology and medicine. But these sciences study iron differently, study its different qualities. Chemistry is interested in the atomic weight of iron, its valence, the ability to enter into reactions and other qualities, and, for example, biology and medicine are studying the role of iron in providing the body with oxygen. Technical science is interested in ductility of iron, resistance to stress, etc.

For the characterization of science, it is necessary to ask the second question - about subject of the spider, about what is studied in this object each science.


Since different qualities of an object can be investigated only by their methods, the third question, characterizing science, is the question of its methods . And although the methods of different sciences may overlap, the specific qualities of objects can be investigated only by appropriate methods.

The fourth question, which we must answer, is the question of the language of science, which must correspond to the reality being studied, adequately represent the studied qualities of objects. A person's life can be described through his movements and physiological reactions, and this description will be true. But this description will not tell us anything about the life goals of a person, the content of his activities, his personal qualities. This requires a different language. Therefore, each science has its own conceptual set, adequate to the reality that it explores, creating in the minds of possible variants of the studied reality. It is clear that you can only study the world by creating conscious conscious hypotheses about how the world is arranged and testing them, that is, through the creation of images of the world.

Each science in its own language describes facts and laws and explains their action. Therefore, knowledge of the facts of science is necessary to understand what it does. This will be the fifth question, to which we must receive an answer for the characterization of science.

The sixth question is the question of the place of a particular science in the science system . With a variety of different qualities, the object always remains an integral thing, knowledge about which must also be one. The integrity of the world implies the unity of knowledge about it, i.e. a single science. But such knowledge can only have God or all mankind. Since individual people, although united in scientific collectives, are engaged in science, the general knowledge of the world is formed only through the development of individual sciences. Therefore, one must know the place of his science in the system of sciences, which spontaneously cooperate in the border areas (physical chemistry, biophysics, psychophysiology, geophysics, zoopsychology, mathematical logic, psycholinguistics, etc.).

And the last, the seventh question - is a question about the history of science . In order to understand the science of today, one must know its history, because very often it is because of its ignorance that scientists unsuccessfully and for a long time continue to solve problems that have long been known that they have no solution.

Only having received answers to all the above questions, we can say that there is a specific science. Some of the answers you get in the course of general psychology, a number of answers will be found in other disciplines (history of psychology, experimental psychology, personality psychology, etc.), and the rest will have to be searched for.

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