What is Psychology?


Defining Psychology

the definition of Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. to make the definition easier to understand lets break it down to 3 key terms: science, behavior and mental processes. Psychology is in fact a science. Psychology uses systematic methods to explore the mind and help us understand what causes humans to have thought and behaviors and emotions. Psychology takes a deep look into the how but also why do humans have thoughts, such as thinking about pouring cereal into a bowl in the morning. Psychologists are also interested in understanding how to control and change behavior, and use scientific methods to observe occurences that might help, for example encouraging happiness or reducing violent impulses. psychology looks at the mind in two different aspects: behavior and mental processes. Behavior is everything we do that can be directly observed for example two people kissing, a child laughing, a college students vacation during springbreak. Mental Processes are the thoughts, feelings and motives that us as individuals experience but cannot be obsereved directly. just like the wind, although we cannot observe mental proccesses does not mean they are not real. They include thinking about kissing someone, a childs feelings when it laughs, and the students memories of his spring break vacation.

The Psychological frame of mind

When Psychologists begin a study or experiment, they conduct it in a scientific manner. they examine evidence about they're experiment, they evaluate how strongly the data supports their hypothesis, they analyze any data evidence that would disconfirm they're theories, all using the scientific method so that they are sure that the research and the data recieved from they're experiment is 100% accurate. at the core of the scientific method are four attitudes: critical thinking, skepticism, objectivity, and curiosity. Critical Thinking is the process of reflecting deeply and actively, asking quiestions and evaluating the evidence. Critical thinking is asking ourselves how we know something. Critical thinkers question and test wht some people say are facts, and reduce thelikelihood that conclusionswill be based on unreliable personal beliefs and opinions.


CONTEMPORARY APPROACHES TO PSYCHOLOGY
Biological Approach
A way to examine behavior and mental processes, this approach focuses pn the body, especially on the brain and nervous system.
Behavioral Approach
This approach emphasizes the scientific study of observable behavioral responces and their enviormental determunants. it focuses on the behaviors in interaction on the enviorment, not thought or feeling.
Psychodynamic Approach
Emphasizes unconscious thought, the conflict between biological drives and society's demands. and early childhood experiences. people the practice this approach believe sexual and agressive impulse that are deep in the unconscious mind influance the way people think, feel, and behave.
Humanistic Approach
Emphasizes a person’s positive qualities, the capacity for positive growth, and the freedom to choose one’s destiny. Humanistic Psychologists stress that people have the ability to control their lives and are not simply controlled by the environment.
Cognitive Approach
Emphasizes the mental process involved in knowing. How we direct our attention, perceive, remember, think, and solve problems. Cognitive Psychologists believe the human brain houses a “mind” whose mental processes allow is to remember, make decisions, plan, set goals, and be creative.
Evolutionary Approach
Uses evolutionary ideas such as adaptation, reproduction, and natural selection as the basis for explaining specific human behaviors. These Psychologists believe their approach provides an umbrella that unifies the diverse fields of psychology.
Sociocultural Approach
Examines the way in which social and cultural environment influence behavior. Socioculturalists argue that understanding a persons behavior requires knowing about the cultural context in which the behavior occurs. This view not only focuses not only on comparisons of behavior across countries but also on the behaviors of individuals from different ethic and cultural groups within a country.
WHAT PSYCHOLOGISTS DO
Careers in psychology
Individuals with undergraduate training in psychology can use their expertise in fields ranging from human resources and business counseling to casework for individuals struggling with psychological disorders.
Areas of Specialization
Physiological Psychology are interested in the physical processes that underlie mental operations such as vision and memory.
Behavioral neuroscience also focuses on biological processes, especially the brain’s role in behavior.
Sensation and Perception focuses on the physical system and Psychological processes that allow us to experience the world.
Learning is the intricate process by which behavior changes to adapt to changing circumstances.
Cognitive psychology is the broad name given to the field of psychology that examines attention, consciousness, information processing, and memory.
Developmental Psychology is concerned with how people become who they are from conception to death. In particular, concentrate on the biological and environmental factors that contribute to human development.
Motivation researchers address questions including how individuals persist to attain a difficult goal and hoe rewards affect the experience of motivation.
Emotion researchers jump into topics such as physiological and brain processes that underlie emotional experiences.
Psychology of women studies Psychological, social, and cultural influences on women’ s development and behavior.
Topic of gender is the ways in which our biological sex influences ideas about ourselves as men and women .
Personality Psychology studies personality, consisting of the relatively enduring characteristics of individuality. Studies such topics such as traits, goals, motives, genetics, personality development, and well-being.
Social Psychology deals with people’s interactions with one another, relationships, social perceptions, social cognition, and attitudes
Industrial Psychology concerns personnel matters and human resource management.
Organizational psychology examines the social influences in organizations, as well as organizational leadership.
Counseling Psychology is used when working with people to help them solve practical problems.
Clinical Psychology works with Psychopathology- the scientific study of Psychological disorders and the development of diagnostic categories and treatments for the disorders.
Health Psychology is a multidimensional approach to human health that emphasizes Psychological factors, lifestyles, and the nature of the healthcare delivery system. Many Health psychologists study the roles of stress and coping in people’s lives.
Community Psychology concentrates on improving the quality of relationships among individuals, their community, and society at large. Community psychologists are practitioner scientists who provide accessible care for people with psychological problems.
School Psychology centrally concerns children’s learning and adjustment to school. They often test children, make recommendations about educational placement, and collaborate on educational planning teams.
Educational Psychology works with colleges and universities, teach classes, and do research on teaching and learning.
Environmental Psychology is the study of the interaction between people and their physical environment. They explore the effects of physical settings on most major areas of psychology, including perception, cognition, learning, development, abnormal behavior, and social relations.
Forensic Psychology is the field of psychology that applies psychological concepts to the legal system.
Sport Psychology applies psychology’s principles to improving sports performance and enjoying sport participation. This is a relatively new field, but it is rapidly gaining acceptance.
Cross-Cultural Psychology is the study of culture’s role in understanding behavior, thought, and emotion.