What Is Psychology and How Is It Important in Our Everyday Life

Topics: Psychology, Emotion, Thought Pages: 6 (2120 words) Published: April 28, 2012
What is Psychology?
People became to be curious from the day of their existence. They were wondering about the things that surrounded them but mostly about their selves. Questions like: “Who are we? From where do our thoughts, feeling and actions come? How are we to understand, master and manage those around us?” (Myers, 2008, p.2) were really common in the early times. Therefore, a new science was born called Psychology. Psychology is based on two other sciences. Philosophy and biology. Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. The word “psychology” comes from the Greek word “ψυχολογία” which means study of the soul. “Its aim is to observe, describe, and explain how we think, feel, and act.” (Myers, 2008, p.2). The aim of this essay is:

To provide a brief overview of the development of Psychology throughout the years. As well as, to provide sufficient reasoning as to why Psychology is vital nowadays, focusing on its impact on daily life. History of Psychology

The history of Psychology dates back to the ancient Greece. People like Aristotle, Thales, and Plato tried to give explanations about learning, memory, emotions, perception and personality. Although their believes weren’t necessarily right they gave the green light to everybody else to start and wonder. After all, psychology is all about wondering and doubting. In 1879, Wilhelm Wundt–a German physician- founded the first psychological laboratory ever made. He was then called “father of experimental psychology”. After a few years, a student of Wundt, following the steps of his teacher, created the first psychology laboratory in America. Therefore, we can say that from that day on, psychology was more a science, than a simple terminology, of how and why things work, the way they do. Moving on to the next century, a very famous author, William James believed that psychology must surely have a practical value and he wanted to learn about the functionalities of the brain. He was so curious of how the human mind can be used for a person’s benefit, that he wrote a whole book about it. It is not an exaggeration to say that he laid the foundations for subjects that would later on, spark the interest of some of the world’s most prominent psychologists. “Wundt focused on inner sensations, images, and feelings. James, too, engaged in introspective examination of the stream of consciousness and of emotion” (Myers, 2008, p.4). During the 19th century, psychology became really important to people due to facing a rapid development. Hermann Ebbinghaus was really interested in everything that had to do with human memory. He conducted many sets of memory experiments and was the first one to describe the so called “learning curve”. Another scientist of the 19th century was the Russian-Soviet physiologist Ivan Pavlov. He was doing experiments on animals-mainly dogs- to see how the brain works. He resulted, into discovering a learning process that was later termed as "classical conditioning". Not, many years had passed and Sigmund Freud developed the so called “psychoanalysis”. This term comes from the Greek word “ψυχανάλυση” which means investigation and examination of the human soul. It focuses on examining how the mind works. “Freud emphasized the ways emotional responses to childhood experiences and our unconscious through processes affect our behavior.”(Myers, 2008, p.4). He was a passionate person who examined and observed closely whatever had to do with the human behavior. He had many theories and believed that psychological and emotional distress could be merely cured with psychotherapy. Freud's psychoanalytic theory was largely based on interpretive methods, introspection and clinical observations. Freud deeply believed that people sometimes acted the way they did because of their unconsciousness. This is because, he believed, that there was where, instinctual desires, needs and psychic actions were stored. Although back then, people doubted his...
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