Psychology And Its Relations To Common Sense

Essay, Research Paper

Psychology and common sense are codependent, and we, as people, depend on them as well. For example, if a psychologist was interviewing a patient to try to find the cause of a certain condition, and the psychologist asked the patient about his/her drug history and found it to be quite extensive, then common sense would lead the psychologist to believe that the patient’s condition was caused by drugs, the use of which is an example of bad ethics. Ethics, which are defined as rules or principles of behavior, are practically a breeding ground for the similarities between common sense and psychology. One of these similarities is that psychology is the study of common sense. Another is the role of behavior plays in the existence of common sense and psychology. Lastly is the way that both dictate the “norms” of society. An example of an ethics case involving common sense and psychology is a situation in which a doctor asks a patient for sexual favors. In this example, the doctor is showing a lack of common sense with his/her unethical actions. A psychological profile of this doctor would most likely show that he or she is most likely lacking self-esteem, has a need for control, and one or many more personality disorders.

Ethics are the basis of common sense. In fact, if we boil ethics down, we will find common sense, and common sense is nothing but ethics which we are born with and we have for the rest of our lives. Without the innate ethics that we keep for all of our lives, what would come of us? Would we walk around senseless and stumble into things because we didn’t know better? Or would we kill, rape, and pillage just because we felt like it? We might never be able to answer these questions because we condition ourselves. When we bump into something, it hurts. Therefore, we condition ourselves into having enough common sense not to bump into things. For the most part, people don’t kill, rape and steal everyone and everything because of the negative reinforcement that comes with it (i.e., if one kills, rapes or steals, they go to jail.) These “built-in” qualities are, in reality, not “built-in”at all. The only quality that we are truly born with is the ability to learn and be conditioned without this ability, I believe that we would walk around stupefied and stumble into things; that we would not have the common sense to tell us that we shouldn’t rape, kill and steal.

Common sense is, by far, studied by psychologists more than any other aspect of psychology. I determined this by reading most of the books About Behaviorism by B.F. Skinner and How The Mind Works by Steven Pinker. By reading both of these books, and looking in my textbook, Psychology In Action by Karen Huffman, Mark Vernoy, and Judith Vernoy, I found that common sense played a larger role in psychology than anything else. Although none of these books came right out and said so, the context of them stated much more than the text. Whether consciously or not, psychologists are, in effect, “common sensologists”, and if one looks at the definition of psychology, they will see that the definition is the basic scientific study of behavior. Behavior is, to most, at least, synonymous with common sense. If we look at psychology, and drop the technical jargon, we are looking at the study of common sense, in that common sense is synonymous with behavior and that psychology is the basic scientific study of behavior.

Behavior plays a major role in the existence of both common sense and psychology. Psychology, as previously stated, is the basic scientific study of behavior. Common sense, being, essentially, behavior, is the basis of psychology. Hence, if one has little or no common sense, that person would have a behavioral problem, possibly due to other emotional, mental, physical, or organic condition. For example,

Psychology and common sense both dictate the rules of culture and society. They both tell us how we should act, how things are supposed to be, how we should react to the world around us, and many other “how’s”. We are controlled by both, whether we know it or not, and whether we make a conscious effort to do so or not to do so.

Psychology and common sense both relate strongly to cognition, or the mental activities involved in acquiring, storing, retrieving, and using knowledge; including such mental processes as perceiving, learning, remembering, using language, and thinking. Common sense relates to cognition in that common sense constitutes the learning, remembering, and using aspects of cognition. Cognition plays a big part in psychology as well.

In conclusion, psychology shares many attributes with common sense. It is the study of common sense, both involve behavior, ethics play a major role in their existence and the way that they both dictate how we are supposed to act and how things are supposed to be.



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