Psychology

Psychology is an academic and applied discipline that involves the scientific study of mental functions and behaviors. Psychology has the immediate goal of understanding individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases, and by many accounts it ultimately aims to benefit society. In this field, a professional practitioner or researcher is called a psychologist, and can be classified as a social, behavioral, or cognitive scientist. Psychologists attempt to understand the role of mental functions in individual and social behavior, while also exploring the physiological and neurobiological processes that underlie certain cognitive functions and behaviors.

Psychologists explore concepts such as perception, cognition, attention, emotion, phenomenology, motivation, brain functioning, personality, behavior, and interpersonal relationships. Psychologists of diverse stripes also consider the unconscious mind. Psychologists employ empirical methods to infer causal and correlational relationships between psychosocial variables. In addition, or in opposition, to employing empirical and deductive methods, some—especially clinical and counseling psychologists—at times rely upon symbolic interpretation and other inductive techniques. Psychology has been described as a "hub science", with psychological findings linking to research and perspectives from the social sciences, natural sciences, medicine, and the humanities, such as philosophy.

While psychological knowledge is often applied to the assessment and treatment of mental health problems, it is also directed towards understanding and solving problems in many different spheres of human activity. The majority of psychologists are involved in some kind of therapeutic role, practicing in clinical, counseling, or school settings. Many do scientific research on a wide range of topics related to mental processes and behavior, and typically work in university psychology departments or teach in other academic settings (e.g., medical schools, hospitals). Some are employed in industrial and organizational settings, or in other areas such as human development and aging, sports, health, and the media, as well as in forensic investigation and other aspects of law.

Read more about PsychologyEtymology, History, Subfields, Research Methods

Other articles related to "psychology":

Criticism - Critical Psychology
... Main article Critical psychology Critical psychology is a sub-discipline aimed at evaluating mainstream psychology and attempts to apply psychology in ... One of critical psychology's main objections to conventional psychology is that it ignores the way power differences between social classes and groups can affect the mental and physical well-being of individuals ... Key elements within critical psychology include the study of power relations, situated knowledge, and the dualisms of the self and the agency, and the individual and the social ...
Perception Management - Psychology
... A newly emerging section of psychology known as positive psychology has to do with controlling one's perception of the world ... Positive psychology says that in order to be most successful a person must perceive the world in a positive light ... This field of psychology is causing a lot of controversy as it is not accepted by traditional psychologists ...
Psychology Of Religion - History - Modern Thinkers - James Hillman
... Hillman, at the end of his book Re-Visioning Psychology, reverses James' position of viewing religion through psychology, urging instead that we view psychology as a variety of religious experience ... He concludes "Psychology as religion implies imagining all psychological events as effects of Gods in the soul." ...
Gordon Allport
... often referred to as one of the founding figures of personality psychology ... Allport had a profound and lasting influence on the field of psychology, even though his work is cited much less often than that of other well-known figures ... Floyd Henry Allport, was professor of social psychology and political psychology at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public ...

Famous quotes containing the word psychology:

    Whatever else American thinkers do, they psychologize, often brilliantly. The trouble is that psychology only takes us so far. The new interest in families has its merits, but it will have done us all a disservice if it turns us away from public issues to private matters. A vision of things that has no room for the inner life is bankrupt, but a psychology without social analysis or politics is both powerless and very lonely.
    Joseph Featherstone (20th century)

    A writer must always try to have a philosophy and he should also have a psychology and a philology and many other things. Without a philosophy and a psychology and all these various other things he is not really worthy of being called a writer. I agree with Kant and Schopenhauer and Plato and Spinoza and that is quite enough to be called a philosophy. But then of course a philosophy is not the same thing as a style.
    Gertrude Stein (1874–1946)

    Idleness is the beginning of all psychology. What? Could it be that psychology is—a vice?
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900)