Science Showdown Psychology and Geology Entries

The entries for psychology and geology.

Why is psychology superior?

By Rachel Mowbray

Why is Psychology Superior? Far from striving for superiority, psychology as a discipline integrates with numerous other disciplines to achieve its goals. Welcoming input from and collaboration with biology and chemistry, psychology develops interventions for disorders, which without behavioural and cognitive study would remain untreatable. Psychology contributes not only to the treatment of mental health issues, but to society’s health at large. Without considering the ways in which people make decisions, develop habits and interact with others, it would be near impossible to develop successful health guidelines and campaigns. The same applies in the domain of education. Without psychological study of learning, we would still be living in a society where “innate intelligence” would determine whether or not you deserved an education.

Similarly, understanding decision-making and social interactions plays a key role in advising and enhancing the running and structure of organisations. In an increasingly technology-dominated world it can be easy to forget that we have not yet, and are not likely in the near future, to eliminate human presence all together. Forgetting to consider a human-centric view in the domains of industry and technology spells inefficiency.

Furthermore, the scientific community is striving towards the creation of autonomous technology/robots. Artificial intelligence (AI) cannot be created until “intelligence” and “autonomy” are understood in their own right. Developing a robot which learns, interacts and behaves like a human is unachievable without input from those who study human behaviour. Advances in AI will merely make it increasingly important to understand what makes us human.

Additionally, we need to understand what makes certain humans behave in the way they do. Is it possible to identify criminals and intervene before they offend? Is it possible to rehabilitate a psychopath? Is killing an unavoidable predisposition? Far from being philosophical thinking points, each of these questions is on the way to being answered by psychologists.

Another pressing question which psychology can begin to answer is why women are under-represented in science disciplines. What are the social and cognitive barriers that hold women back in this domain? More importantly than answering this question is psychology’s power to propose ways of eliminating these barriers and encouraging equality; not only gender equality in science but equality for all in society. Until we fully understand stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination from a psychological perspective, we stand little chance of effectively diminishing them.

Why geology is the superior science degree.

By Dheyna Scholtz

Earth science degrees are, I feel, underrated. We do not just stare at rocks, day in day out. I won’t lie, there is an element of that, after all the Earth happens to consist of the stuff, but there is an awful lot more to it. Earth science consists of learning a number of different disciplines, drawing on a large knowledge base and there are a number of scales in which we work in, so let us start with the small scale – starting with you.

In everyday life the majority of things you use are made from plastics and metals. Just look around. Plastics come from the raw material oil (vital to life alone as I’m sure you’re aware) and metals are extracted from ores. Both these things originate in rocks beneath your feet. Now, someone has to find those raw materials, involving an understanding of the ages of rocks and their positions, regionally or globally. This leads on from understanding the three rock types – how they are created and how they interact with one another. To maximise the amount of raw material we can extract from the Earth we need to know how they got there in the first place, so that we can find more resources.

Locating the rocks to start with requires an awful lot of measurements, research and interpretation by Earth scientists. Mathematical measurements taken and physical principles then go on to help engineers and computer scientists create equipment, make models, and aid Earth scientists in their research.

To find the required resources, we need to have an understanding of the chemistry of the rocks – the minerals that form, the necessary conditions and which rocks they appear in. Following that, we need to understand where the rocks themselves originate, which means looking into the core of the Earth itself – looking at the mantle and the way it behaves.

Bringing it back down to a smaller scale once again, we all need water to survive. To understand where you are likely to find water when you cannot see it conveniently flowing past you, you need to know about things like the water table, possible aquifers, pressure, and flow systems – relating to rock composition and positioning.

Overall, geology influences everyone’s life daily and it marries together many areas of knowledge. So, surely it is fair to consider it the ‘superior’ degree?

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