Author: William R. Uttal
Publisher: Psychology Press (April 1, 2003)
Psychology, like any other natural science, is dedicated to the goal of analyzing, describing, and understanding the nature of a particular subject matter. Although it can legitimately be debated whether the subject matter of this science is externally observable behavior or inferred internal cognitive processes, we usually are able to identify a psychologist by what is being done in the lab or what is being written. That is, psychologists by experimenting, hypothesizing, theorizing, professing in oral or written form, and to be completely candid, often wildly speculating, seek to define, and to the extent possible, “explain” cognition.1 There are many ways to explain something. One is to describe it thoroughly. Another is to hypothesize, infer, or speculate about what kind of internal, unobserved mechanism could account for an observed behavior. Another is to determine what are its primary causes.
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