Of psychology, common sense and misconceptions 



By Niyati Bali

“Common sense is not so common”

–      Voltaire (A French author)

We often come across people who say, ‘what you call  psychology  is just a sophisticated term for common sense.’ This is a major misunderstanding in the minds of people. These terms are used alike but contrarily, it can be said that common sense is just a small part of psychology.

The word ‘psychology’ comes from Greek – PSYCHE and LOGOS meaning soul and study, respectively. According to modern studies, psychology is a study of mind, behaviour and mental experiences. There is another misconception amongst people that psychologists are like fortune tellers, and at a glance, they can tell what is going on in your mind. To the people who believe this, let me break you the truth, it has been scientifically proven that no one can read your mind. The reason behind this is quite logical: the mind does not have a structure. Without a physical structure, it is difficult to navigate or study it.

A very unusual notion is prevalent in society that all psychologists are ‘psychos.’ This is very offensive and stems from people’s lack of knowledge and awareness about mental health. In psychology, each and every fact has been proven along with adequate proofs and theories. It takes psychologists years of training and studies to become certified.

People also tend to think that they just get paid to listen to people’s agony. What they don’t realise – a large number of mental disorders can be cured by the mere exercise of listening and talking. If a person is given an environment in which he/she can easily confide, tough times can become easy. We have realised the importance of counselling by psychiatrists and psychologists, especially during Covid-19 because the pandemic resulted in several Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) cases arising from severely ill patients. My suggestion is that it will be better if we start finding logic behind every sentence and hear ourselves before we speak. In doing so, we can make our society healthy.