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What is Psychology? Details of current psychology

Psychology- A Modular Approach First Canadian Edition

Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology is a multifaceted discipline and encompasses many sub-areas of study such as human development, sports, health, clinical, social behavior, and cognitive processes. To learn more about what Psychology is and what is characteristic of Psychology, read the following article.


Psychology is really very new science, with most advances have occurred over the past 150 years. However, its origin can be traced back to the ancient Greek period, 400-500 BC. The emphasis is on philosophy, with great thinkers such as:
  • Socrates (470 BC – 399 BC)
  • Plato (428/427 BC – 348/347 BC)
  • Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC)
Philosophers have discussed many topics studied by modern psychology, such as memory, free will with fatalism, essence versus nurture, attraction, …

The beginning of psychology is discipline

In the early days of psychology, there were two dominant theoretical views regarding how the brain worked, structural theory and function theory. Structuralism is the name given to the approach pioneered by Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920), which focuses on breaking mental processes into the most basic components.

This term is derived from Edward Titchener, an American psychologist trained by Wundt. Wundt is important because he separates psychology from philosophy by analyzing the workings of the mind in a more structured way, with an emphasis on objective measurement and control.

Structuralism is based on trained introspection, a method of study in which subjects relate what is going on in their mind when performing a certain task. However, introspection proved to be an unreliable method because there are too many discrepancies between study subjects’ experiences and reports.

Despite the failure of introspection, Wundt remained an important figure in the history of psychology when he opened the first laboratory dedicated to psychology in 1879, and its opening. is often regarded as the beginning of modern experimental psychology.

An American psychologist named William James (1842-1910) developed an approach known as functional theory, which disagrees with the focus of Structure Theory. James argues that the mind is ever-changing and that it is pointless to find the structure of conscious experience. Instead, he suggested that the focus should be on how and why an organism does something, i.e. the functions or purposes of the brain. James suggests that psychologists should look for the underlying cause of the behavior and associated mental processes. This emphasis on the causes and effects of behavior has influenced contemporary psychology.

Psychological personal point

Structuralism and functionalism have since been replaced by a number of dominant and influential approaches to psychology, each underpinned by a common set of human assumptions. how, what is important to study and how to study it.

Psychoanalysis founded by Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) is the dominant model in psychology in the early twentieth century. Freud believes people can be cured by making their unconscious thoughts and motives conscious, thus gaining insight.

Freud’s psychoanalysis was the original psychology theory, but the general psychology approach includes all theories based on his ideas, for example, Jung (1964), Adler (1927), and Erikson (1950).

Contemporary classical views in psychology to apply scientific strategies are behaviorists, who are famous for their reliance on controlled laboratory experiments and reject any invisible or unconscious force is the cause of the behavior.

Then the humanistic approach became the ‘third force’ in psychology and proposes the importance of subjective experience and personal development. In the 1960s and 1970s, psychology began a cognitive revolution, adopting a rigorous, laboratory-based, scientific approach to memory, cognition, cognitive development, mental illness and more.

The goal of psychology

The four main goals of psychology are to describe, interpret, predict, and change the behavior and mental processes of others. These are also the common goals of people working in psychology

1. Description

Describing a behavior or perception is the primary goal of psychology. This can allow researchers to develop general laws of human behavior. For example, through describing a dog’s response to various stimuli, Ivan Pavlov helped develop the laws of learning known as classical conditioning theory.

2. Explanation

Once researchers have described the behavior of the general laws, the next step is to explain how or why this trend occurs. Psychologists will propose theories that can explain behavior.

3. Prediction

Psychology aims to be able to predict future behavior from the findings of experimental research. If a prediction is not confirmed, the interpretation based on it may need to be revised. For example, the classical condition predicts that if a person associates a negative outcome with a stimulus, they may develop an obsession or aversion to stimuli.

4. Change

Once psychology has described, explained, and predicted behavior, it is possible to attempt to change or control behavior. For example, classical condition-based interventions, such as systemic desensitization, have been used to treat people with anxiety disorders including phobias.

Above is a detailed article about psychology as well as a detailed explanation of what Psychology terminology is. We all can be seen that the article has somewhat provided you with knowledge of psychology. However, you can consult this book Psychology: A Modular Approach First Canadian Edition By Coon, Dennis; Martini, Tanya; Mitterer, John O to learn more about psychology.

Hope you enjoy it!

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