Q:

What is psychology?

A:

The field of psychology can be defined as the science of the mind. Psychology encompasses the methods and processes through which psychologists study the mind. Psychology is also defined as the scientific study of the way people behave, think and feel.

Since psychology is classified as a social science and is defined as the science of the mind, the data that is collected and analyzed is data on human behavior. Psychologists then interpret this data to form theories, methods and techniques for altering those behaviors. Since the mind is such a complex organic machine, the field of psychology has many branches, including clinical, cognitive, developmental, evolutionary, forensic, health, neuropsychology, occupational and social psychology. The goal of each of these branches is to determine how the mind works and how it directs behavior. Each of these branches relies on scientific methods, experiments, and quantitative and qualitative data.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some of the major schools of thought in psychology?

    A:

    Some of the major schools of thought in the field of psychology are structuralism, functionalism, behaviorism and cognitivism. The history of modern psychology can be said to have begun around 1879, when one of the first laboratories devoted exclusively to psychological study was set up by Wilhelm Wundt in Leipzig, Germany. Wundt's interest was in studying the basic components of mental processes and he is viewed as having laid the foundation for the first major school of psychology, which is structuralism.

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  • Q:

    What methods are used to gather data in psychology?

    A:

    Pyschology experiments are used to gather data in the field of psychology. These experiments use the scientific method to collect data and base conclusion on empirical evidence derived from the data.

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  • Q:

    What is the scope of psychology?

    A:

    Psychology is a broad discipline that covers matters of the mind and human behavior. Psychologists investigate an individual's thoughts, emotions, decisions, perceptions and sensations in an effort to explain these matters by determining a cause.

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  • Q:

    What is the historical background of psychology?

    A:

    From approximately 1550 BCE to the 18th century, numerous people speculated on the intricacies of the mind and its working, including Pythagoras, Socrates, Hippocrates, Aristotle, Aulus Cornelius Celsus, Rene Descartes and John Locke. The contemporary foundations of psychology began in 1879 when the first psychology laboratory was created by Wilhelm Wundt in Leipzig, Germany. Important figures include Jean Piaget, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Carl Rogers and Paul Broca.

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