The Science of Psychology
Psychology is derived from the Greek words psyche and logos, meaning soul and study. To the Greek, Psychology is simply a study of the soul. Psychology is defined as the scientific study of the behavior of living organisms, with special attention to human behavior. It is chiefly concerned with what makes people behave as they do. Psychologists are interested in topics such as learning, emotion, intelligence, heredity and environment, differences between individuals, the nature and development of personality, group behavior, etc. Psychology is a science because it is systematic and empirical, and it is dependent on measurement. Behavior means activities that can be observed objectively, such as the reactions of the muscles and the glands, as well as the organized patterns of responses as a whole. It also includes internal processes such as thinking, feeling and other reactions which cannot be directly observed but can be inferred from external behavior. Behavior may be classified as overt or covert and intrinsic or extrinsic behavior.
Significance of the Study of Psychology
1. it enables the individual to learn more quickly and choose a vocation more intelligently; 2. it makes a person achieve emotional equilibrium, and makes better social adjustments; 3. it enables one to resolve problems and to develop great personal efficiency.
What Psychology is Not
1. Psychology and the mysterious. Many people think that psychology is something magical or mysterious and that somehow, psychologists have a superior or almost superhuman way of looking into the thoughts and feelings of a person. Whatever psychologists have learned, they have learned through observation, careful reflection of what they have observed and thorough checking of their conclusions with other persons in this and other fields. 2. Psychology and “common sense.” For some people, psychology is nothing more than