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What Is Psychology?

Apr 25, 2008
Having some kind of idea of psychology is essential for anybody with a keen interest in the subject topic wishing to explore it in greater depth. Now, this may sound fairly obvious, but psychology itself, is a term generally misunderstood as most individuals band the term around without any real idea of its actual meaning.

The classic example is the usual response that someone who teaches psychology would get if they told an individual, namely, "I better be careful what I say" or "so do you know what I'm thinking then?" Acknowledging how damn right silly these comments are, the only plausible response would be "Absolutely" or "Not at all, but then I would say that, wouldn't I".

It is most certainly a serious point, because it seems as though there is a great deal of confusion surrounding psychology. Indeed, you can even meet psychology students that are coming towards the end of their degree programme confess that they still aren't completely sure what psychology is.

There are numerous branches of psychology, notably are:

1. Clinical & Counseling Psychology

A psychologist in this field deals with the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of individuals with psychological problems.

2. Forensic Psychology

A psychologist specialized in forensic uses the knowledge of psychology in various form such as consulting with attorneys, treating mentally ill offenders and analyzing a criminal's intent mindset.

3. Sport Psychology

The analysis of how the mental factors influence the an individuals performance in sport, exercise and physical activity.

Psychology Definitions

To help create clarity around the meaning of psychology, let's take a look at a couple of definitions.

Psychology is essentially the scientific study of people, the behavior and mind. It is both a professional practice and a thriving academic discipline. (The British Psychological Society) The scientific study of an individual's behavior and mental processes. (American Psychological Association)

The common theme around the definition of psychology is fundamentally concerned with the understanding of behavior.

So what is the Problem?

Basically, lack of oneness, within psychology there are numerous and often competing levels of explanations, when it comes to the understanding of human behaviour. When you begin to study psychology you'll soon realize what a disparate subject area it is and at many times how overwhelming it can be.

Keeping It Simple

Especially when you first start out, just keep hold of the idea that psychology is basically about human behavior. You can not expect to know all the different methods of explaining behavior right away, but as you get more and more into it, you will find that you will soon be able to place a real behavioral explanation within a psychological framework.

If you would like to find more information and resource links on all the major branches and sub-divisions within psychology, you can do so by visiting http://www.insightempire.com/Psychologylessonplans/

Not to be confused with Psychiatry

A very common mistake about psychology, is that it is similar, if not, virtually synonymous with psychiatry. It most certainly is not. Psychiatry is a medical specialization (all psychiatrists are degree educated) that is concerned solely with mental disorders. Psychology is much broader in question and is not linked solely to the study of mental illnesses.
About the Author
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is an internet marketing advisor and co founder of Free Affiliate Programs For more information and resource links on psychology visit: Psychology Lesson Plans
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