The goals of human research conducted by psychologists in an academic setting might seem at first glance as divergent as the varied interests of the individual researchers. While one concentrates on the relationships between motivational variables and "simple" learning, another investigates the conditions under which complex motor skills are acquired, another studies the effect of stress upon Rorschach performance, and still another attempts to devise some objective measure which can discriminate between individuals characterized by low and high achievement needs. There is, or at' least should be, a goal common to all psychological research, however, that being the establishment of a well-defined body of relationships sufficient in scope to allow for prediction of human behavior in the same fashion as the behavior of masses is predictable for the physicist given information regarding certain well-defined variables. It is my position then that all psychological research, if it is worth doing, has implications for mental health insofar as it contributes to the establishment of this body of relationships. It seems logical to assume that we will be able to understand, predict, and control aberrant behavior only after we can accomplish these ends in the realm of normal behavior. The science of astronomy came to understand and predict the aberrant of the solar bodies such as the eclipse of the sun or the appearance of a comet only after it had formulated the laws governing the normal or expected behavior of bodies in our solar system.
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science
©1957 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Heilbrun, Alfred B. Jr.
"Mental Health Research in an Academic Setting,"
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, 64(1), 564-570.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/pias/vol64/iss1/70