Informal Psychology and Psychology as a Formal Science

Psychology is a part of a social science that tries to explain why humans behave and do what they do. While normal people judge others unfairly, social scientists have been approaching the same matter by conducting experiments and research (Lahey, 2008).

This paper will briefly explore the informal psychology, which is as old as man, and the scientific approach of psychology. In the end, this paper will recommend the best approach to psychology. It is normal for us to judge others depending on how they appear to us. This informal type of psychology happens all the time without our concept.

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For example, when the year begun, a new student named Andrew joined our school. He does not talk much, therefore not so many people know about him. He walks extremely slowly, and he stammers. Last week, the basket ball coach (my coach) announced that Andrew will be joining the team for trial. My team mates could only laugh, it was impossible to imagine Andrew making a basket let alone dribbling.

Never before had we seen a man walking at that pace, desire to play basketball. To our surprise, it turned out that Andrew is a pretty good player. We later realized that we had formed an opinion about him without giving him a chance. The scientific method of study in psychology can be divided into 5 steps.

In the first step, the researcher observes a certain occurrence and comes up with a theory as to why it has happened. For example, a researcher may observe that 20 minutes afternoon naps are allowed in some offices. There is a probability that afternoon naps increase productivity of workers. The researcher maybe interested in finding out whether the claim is true.

The next step in the study is to come up with a hypothesis. In this case the researcher may come up with a hypothesis that says that; workers who take a nap after lunch, are more productive in the afternoon than the ones who do not. After a hypothesis has been formulated, the researcher should design a study that will measure the two parameters to be compared; productivity and presence of 20 minutes nap.

Since the productivity of people varies, the researcher will simply compare the level of productivity per subject, and then compare that trend with other subjects. Only when the trend is consistence, a conclusive remark can be made. Productivity can be measured by the number of words the subjects type for 120 minutes. When the subject has taken a nap, he will be required to type for 100 minutes.

If he has not taken a nap, he will be required to type for 120 minutes. In short, the test will compare productivity for a period of 120 minutes in 5 days. The researcher will then collect data; in this case, data is the number of words typed. Afterwards, the researcher will deduce whether there was an increase in the number of words typed in the presence of a nap for each subject. If it is found that the majority had more typed words when they took a nap, then he can conclude that his hypothesis was right (Plotnik & Kouyoumdjian, 2010). In conclusion, the informal way of jumping into conclusion is wrong.

No one would have ever appreciated the potential in Andrew unless he was given a chance. Giving a chance is what scientific methods do. The scientific approach ensures that researchers come up with a credible conclusion. The psychological findings are important to almost every firm. When companies are hiring, they sometimes conduct scientific research on the potential candidates to find a suitable one. The records of research kept are of immense value for today and tomorrow.


Lahey, B. (2008). Psychology: An Introduction . New York: McGraw-Hill Humanities. Plotnik, R.

, & Kouyoumdjian, H. (2010). Introduction to Psychology. New York: Wadsworth Publishing.


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