Psychology is the science of the mind and behavior. The word "psychology" comes from the Greek word psyche meaning "breath, spirit, soul", and the Greek word logia meaning the study of something. According to Medilexicon's medical dictionary, psychology is "The profession (clinical psychology), scholarly discipline (academic psychology), and science (research psychology) concerned with the behavior of humans and animals, and related mental and physiologic processes." Although psychology may also include the study of the mind and behavior of animals, in this article psychology refers mainly to humans. How do psychologists study the mind?
The mind is highly complex and enigmatic. Many wonder how psychologists can study such an intricate, seemingly abstract and extremely sophisticated thing. Even if scientists look inside the brain, as in an autopsy or during a surgical operation, all they see is gray matter (the brain). Thoughts, cognition, emotions, memories, dreams, perceptions, etc. cannot be seen physically, like a skin rash or heart defect.
Experts say that the approach to psychology is not that different to other sciences. As in other sciences, experiments are devised to confirm or disprove theories or expectations. For a physicist, the raw data during the experiments may be atoms, electrons, the application or withdrawal of heat, while for the psychologist human behavior is the raw data.
How many branches of psychology are there?
There are many branches of psychology; how you split them up will usually depend on which part of the world you are, even which university or institution you were trained at. The following are seen as the main branches of psychology:
* Clinical psychology - integrates science, theory, and practice in order to understand, predict and relieve maladjustment, disability, and discomfort. Clinical psychology also promotes adaption, adjustment and personal...