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CHAPTER 4

The Contribution of Knowledge to the Field of Psychology


A discipline advances because people like you have a better idea than the existing body of knowledge. Adding understanding to the field of psychology is both exciting and gratifying. The process of generating knowledge can be seen as asking why or having a perplexity, and then doing something to answer it.

One of the most exciting things about science is its infinite supply of questions. There are as many research questions left as there are songs or novels left - and for the same reason, it all depends on your ingenuity. There are more than enough great discoveries for everybody. On top of that, all of humanity may be better off because you chose to answer your question. The next time you confront a problem and have an idea which may solve it, do it!


I. Why Perform Experiments

It is so much fun, many researchers talk about doing research as a socially beneficial addition. A frequently quoted, humorous aphorism says it all, "don't discover if you wanna recover."

It's intrinsically fun to explore or discover. It's what drove Columbus west. It's what compels children to take apart toys to see how they work. It's what compels scientists to take apart the universe to see how it works.

Rising to a challenge is what makes us have pride in ourselves and it's what makes us grow.
When we discover something, we gain knowledge that other people do not have. We then have the opportunity to give them something that they want. This is the motivation which underlies the joy of Christmas.


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Date Last Reviewed: November 17, 2002