What is Psychology?


Is it a talk-therapist on TV? Is it the newspaper columnist?

It is the science of understanding individuals – animals as well as people. It is simply the scientific study of thought and behavior. The foundation of psychology lies in observation and experimentation; but there is still a lot of debate about psychology.

Is it only outward, observable behavior?

Can you really study thinking scientifically?

What is intelligence?

How much of our behavior is due to heredity (nature) and how much to environment (nurture)?

How much of our behavior is produced by forces of which we are fully aware (conscious) and how much is unconscious conflicts from the past?

How much of behavior is a matter of choices made by the person and how much is really beyond that person's control? Can you really change a person's abnormal behavior?

Studying psychology is not merely putting on labels - it is observing, explaining, predicting, modifying, and ultimately improving the lives of people. It is a social science, but increasingly it is also a biological science. As the science of behavior and mental processes, psychology is an extremely broad discipline. It seeks to both describe and explain every aspect of human thought, feelings, perceptions, and actions. One unique aspect of psychology is that the subject and the object of the work are the same. Psychology consists of humans studying how humans think and behave. Core sciences are those that have many other disciplines organized around them. Psychology is a core science, along with medicine, physics, and math.

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