Compare and Contrast How Knowing Something Has a Different Meaning for a Pyschologist Compared to a Member of the Lay Public
Philosophy and Psychology
Submitted By leahdavies22
Essay title: Compare and contrast, using examples, how ‘knowing’ something has a different meaning for a psychologist compared to a member of the lay public.
According to the Heinemann English Dictionary, ‘knowing’ something simply means ‘to understand’. However, before actually looking at the difference between knowing something as a lay person and as a psychologist, it is paramount to establish what psychology actually is. The definitions of psychology have changed over its lifetime; nonetheless, it is considered a science which looks at part of human behaviour.
There are many facts in life that all people will lay claim to ‘knowing’. But in broad and uneasily defined areas, who can say what they ‘know’ and what they simply believe to be true. This essay will look at how ‘knowing’ something can have a different meaning for a psychologist compared to a member of the lay public. To ‘know’ something is ‘to feel certain’ or ‘to have in the mind or memory as the result of experience, learning, or information’ (Webster’s Handy Dictionary, 1992). This essay will evaluate how a psychologist and a member of the public might each reach conclusions or form matters of opinion of which they ‘feel certain’ and how the meanings attached to what they ‘know’ might be different.
This essay will aim to draw comparisons between the way in which Psychologists gain knowledge and the methods which are used to gain knowledge by the general, or lay, public. The essay will begin by detailing the methods used by psychologists for knowledge acquisition, known as the scientific method, followed by the various methods of belief fixation used by the lay public, such as tenacity, authority and pure reason. It will then go on to make detailed comparisons between each using specific...