While a lot of people might think that psychology is a very simple, clear-cut thing that everyone should know. However, is psychology really equals to common sense? In my humble opinion, psychology is definitely not equal to common sense as psychology is the scientific way to determine humans mind and behaviour while common sense is just knowing certain things happens. The first use of the term “psychology” is often attributed to the German scholastic philosopher Rudolf Göckel. However, the term seems to have been used more than six decades earlier by the Croatian humanist Marko Maruli? in the title of his Latin treatise. The term did not come into popular usage until the German idealist philosopher Christian Wolff used it in his Psychologia empirica and Psychologia rationalis (1732–1734) Psychology emerges in the 1879 when the father of psychology, Wilhelm Wundt, set up a laboratory to study conscious experience. Wundt believed that the study of conscious thoughts would be the key to understanding the mind. His approach to the study of the mind was ground-breaking in that it was based on systematic and rigorous observation, laying the foundation for modern psychological experimentation. He systematically studied topics such as attention span, reaction time, vision, emotion, and time perception. Wundt’s primary method of research was” introspection,” which involves training people to concentrate and report on their conscious experiences as they react to stimuli. This approach is still used today in modern neuroscience research; however, many scientists criticize the use of introspection for its lack of objectivity. One example that we can look at is on the topic on “what we see is what we do”. (240)
Firstly, it’s a common sense that children do what they see. They learn from their parents and treat them as their role model. However, psychologist have been studying and researching on the reasons that cause young children to mimic their parents and the effects of it. One reason that young children are mimicking their parents is because from young, they learn to role play and are very sensitive to their surrounding and can take in things really fast. Thus, they learn from their parents and start mimicking them. One experiment that psychologist had done to prove that young children are sensitive to the environment and learn to role play is through the bobo doll experiment. The adult used a tinker toy set, mallet and a 5-foot inflated Bobo doll in front of the child and start by assembling the tinker toys. In the aggressive condition, after a minute with the tinker toys, the model turned to the Bobo doll and spent the remainder of the period acting physically and verbally aggressively toward it. At the end of 10 minutes, the child went to another room where there were different toys and after two minutes of playing with the toys, the child was stopped and moved to the next room, which had a 3-foot Bobo doll and other toys too. (Bandura et al., 1961).Children that were exposed to aggressive models reproduced aggressive acts resembling those of their adult models. (Bandura et al., 1961). Thus, this prove that children do imitate adults’ behaviour regardless of what’s right and what’s wrong.
Secondly, adults copy each other to assimilate into the society. They constantly learn from others behaviour and update themselves with the norms that society can accept, so that they can assimilate themselves into the society. According to a study, people tends to copy others people behaviour unintentionally and unconsciously. Based on psychological research, for such observation-action phenomena, dominant accounts suggested a direct mapping of observed and executed actions as both actions activate the same motor representation. Further support for such an account comes from neurological research demonstrating that the observation and the execution of movements elicit similar motor-related activity and share similar brain areas. Thus, adults often mimic each other’s unintentionally and unconsciously. One example will be talking to a person. According to an experiment, adults tends to shake their legs if the person that they are talking to is doing it and most of them are unaware of that shaking leg behaviour.
Hence, what you see is what you do is definitely not just common sense as there are more things to it and requires time and effort to explore it and study the human behaviour deeper. It also helps to explains why human copied each other. According to psychological research, there are many indications that mimicry makes interpersonal interactions more effective because of its power to communicate even the most complex internal states, such as affiliative intent and empathic feelings. What is perhaps even more impressive than the complexity of messages that can be conveyed through mimicry is the efficiency with which it operates. To the extent that mimicry is well coordinated between interacting individuals, it preserves much-needed self-regulatory resources. We attribute mimicry’s social coordination feats to the existence of schemas that operate outside of awareness, without intention, and with efficiency. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that such schemas exist given the complexities of social life, the diverse meanings of behaviours as a function of context, and the diversity of nonverbal acts that we display in different social contexts. If each aspect of our complex and nuanced social interactions required effort, then even the most basic of our social interactions would be exhausting.Thus, It may seem to be a very common statement that everyone should know as from young we heard people around us saying “monkey see monkey do”. But it definitely goes beyond just common sense because through learning psychology, we can understand the why and how. Not only that, it’s also much deeper in depth and requires the study of the human minds and behaviours. Psychology is also more about the why and not what. Studying psychology requires the ability to think critically and keep asking why. Thus, psychology is not common sense as it requires a lot of effort and time to understand certain behaviour. It requires research and collecting of data from observations. And because psychology is not equal to common sense, there’s a need to study psychology to have a better understanding of humans’ mind and behaviour.