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What is psychology?

What is psychology? How can an understanding of psychology impact your professional or personal lives?

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1. What is psychology?

The word psychology has 3 Greek roots; 'Psyche' meaning 'mind or soul' and 'Logos' meaning the study of. Literally speaking psychology is the study of the mind, however a more precise definition has been offered by, Atkinson et al (1991) who suggested; 'Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and mental processes' (http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=00CNG2).

Psychology is an area of study. Until the 20th century, psychologists were studying only the mental process of humans and animals, since the beginning of 20th century they started to study behaviour mainly, as it is observable and measurable (e.g. behavioralism). Later psychologists started to study mental process and behavior together (e.g. cognitive psychology, etc.). Psychology is a science, mainly because psychology relies on scientific method. The scientific method consists of assumptions and has to go through certain steps (http://www.freudianslip.co.uk/psychology.php).

All different approaches to psychology have one thing in common - a desire to explain the behavior of individuals (and groups in social psychology) based on the workings of the mind and the environment. Different approaches focus on different aspects, however, such as social psychology focuses more on the social environment and group behavior than does ...

Solution Summary

This explains the meaning of psychology, and how an understanding of psychology can impact peoples professional or personal lives. Supplemented with an article that expands on the meaning and role of psychology.