What is psychology?
The term "psychology" is derived from two Greek words – psyche (soul) and logos (science or study). Thus, literally it means study or science of soul. But now it is no more considered as science of soul. It has moved away from this focus and established itself as a scientific discipline which deals with the various processes and behaviour of organism. Most of the contemporary psychologists agree on a definition of psychology as the scientific study of behaviour and mental processes of organism. For more definitions of psychology, see Box#1. There are three key terms in the above definition of psychology which have been clarified below: Definitions of Psychology
• Psychology is the science of the activities of individual in relation to the environment (Woodworth). • Psychology is the positive science of behaviour (Watson). • Psychology is the science of human behaviour and experience (Cruze). • Psychology is the science of mental activity of an organism (Guilford). • According to Charles E. Skinner, psychology deals with the responses to any and every kind of situation that life presents. By responses or behaviour is meant all forms of processes, adjustments, activities, and experiences of the organism. Scientific study means using techniques such as observation, description, and experimental investigation to collect information and then organising this information. Mental processes refer to private and cognitive process such as attention, perception, remembering (memory), problem-solving, reasoning, decision-making, feelings, thinking, motives etc. Behaviour refers to all the actions or reactions of an organism (person or animal) in response to external or internal stimuli. The behaviour of an individual, in a broad sense, refers to anything theindividual does. According to Leagans (1961), behaviour refers to what an individual knows (Knowledge), what s/he can do (skill – mental or physical), what s/he thinks (attitude), and what s/he actually does. Behaviour may be simple or complex, short or enduring. Human behaviour may be overt (expressed outside) or covert (expressed inside). While symbolic adoption is an example of covert behaviour, use adoption is an example of overt behaviour. Both overt and covert behaviour can be measured. People who study psychological phenomena are not necessarily limited to the study of human beings only; they also study the behaviour of animals. They study the behaviour and mental processes of individual not of group/community. Thus, when they are studying groups, the focus is generally on how individuals perform within the group rather than the study of the group as a whole. List of Branches of Psychology
There are 10 main branches of psychology. While I cannot really please my heart by explaining each of these in complete detail, I will explain the concept of each branch with a short example of usage (psst... don't tell anyone. The example is especially for you!).
Abnormal psychology is the study of certain behavioral abnormalities in a person's psyche. Like, neuroses, psychoses and mental retardation. Hypnosis and mesmerism are often used for treatment in this branch of psychology. Abnormal psychology is one of the most basic forms of psychology study, and is taught in Law and Human Resource Management studies as well.
Example - "Jenna was a normal girl. She had a twin brother, and the two of them were the best of friends. At the age of 13 Jenna's brother, Albert, died due to a car crash. Post the accident, Jenna, who was once a vivacious and popular girl, became very shy. She barely had any friends, and gave up hope in life. Her grades started to fall and she started avoiding people and clung to her family all the time. Further psychoanalysis showed that Jenna was showing early signs of fear of abandonment".
Behavioral psychology is the more popular term used for behavioral neuroscience, or...
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