Psychology - scientific study of behavior and mental processes.
The 7 Subfields of Psychology
Developmental Psychology - The study of how people grow and change physically cognitively, emotionally, and socially from the prenatal period through death. Subfields include: child, adolescent, and life-span psychology.
Physiological Psychology - Investigates the biological basis of behavior. Subfield include: neuroscience, biological psychology, and behavior genetics.
Experimental Psychology - Investigates basic psychological processes such as sensation and perception, memory, intelligence, learning, and motivation.
Personality Psychology - Studies the differences between individuals on such traits as sociability, emotional stability, conscientiousness, and self-esteem.
Clinical and Counseling - Applies the principles of psychology to mental health and adjustment. Clinical psychology focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders while counseling psychology is more concerned with “normal” adjustment issues such as making difficult choices or coping with a troubled relationship.
Social Psychology - Explores how society influences thoughts, feelings, and behavior.
Industrial and Organizational (I/O) Psychology - Applies the principles of psychology to the workplace.
Psychologists cannot prescribe medications where a Psychiatrist can (PHD)
Person-Situation - To what extent is behavior caused by such internal processes as thoughts, emotions, motives, attitudes, values, personality, and genes? In contrast, to what extent is behavior caused by such external factors as incentives, environmental cues, and the presence of other people? We will encounter these questions most directly in our consideration of behavior genetics, learning, emotion and motivation, personality, and social psychology.
Nature-Nurture - To what extent are we a product of innate, inborn tendencies, and to what extent are we a reflection of experiences and upbringing? This is the famous “nature versus nurture” debate. For decades, psychologists have argued about the relative influence of heredity (genes) versus environment (experience) on thought and behavior. More recently, psychologists have begun studying the extent to which genetic differences only appear in specific environments, and predispositions (Champagne, 2009). This complex issue surfaces most clearly in our discussions of behavior genetics, intelligence, development, personality, and abnormal psychology.
Stability-Change - Are the characteristics we develop in childhood more or less permanent and fixed, or do we change significantly over the course of our lives? Developmental psychologists are especially interested in these and other questions, as are psychologists who specialize in personality, adjustment, abnormal psychology, and therapy.
Diversity-Universality - Because we are all human, each person is like every other person. But in some respects, each person is only like certain other people. And in other respects, each of us is like no other person. Thus, anywhere humans exist there will be both similarity and diversity. Throughout this book, we will encounter these questions: Does our understanding of human behavior apply equally well to every human being? Does it apply only to men or just to women, or only to particular racial or ethnic groups or particular societies (especially our own)? Do we perhaps need “different psychologies” to account for the wide diversity of human behaviors (Arnett, 2008)?
Mind-Body - finally, how are mind and body connected? Many psychologists are fascinated by the relationship between what we experience (such as thoughts and feelings) and what our biological processes are (such as activity in the nervous system). This mind-body issue well arise most clearly in our discussions of the biological basis of behavior, sensation, and perception, altered states of consciousness, emotion and...
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