How has your increased knowledge of psychology contributed to your greater understanding of human behavior?
The study of psychology gives a more sophisticated view of why people do what they do. The layman simply dismisses motive in judging human behavior, but the person trained in psychology has insights into subtleties of the various influences – for example, nature vs. nurture, and physical or organic factors, such as neurological damage, learned behavior from an abusive childhood, etc. We are complex mechanisms, not easily understood without a vocabulary to categorize, taxonomize, and generally “make sense” out of human behavior. A study of psychology should give us a more forgiving, empathetic attitude toward social misbehavior and eccentricities, as well as communication tools – vocabulary, clinical precision, etc. – so that our own observations (and our own behavior) have more depth and therefore more validity. It is not merely a laboratory case study, but also a social gauge by which we can function in normative environments. Knowledge of the makeup of human behavior – the “psyche” – is never wasted on an educated person.