What is Psychology: Definition and 97 Discussions

Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of conscious and unconscious phenomena, as well as feelings and thought. It is an academic discipline of immense scope. Psychologists also seek an understanding of the emergent properties of brains, linking the discipline to neuroscience. As a social science, psychologists aim to understand the behavior of individuals and groups.A professional practitioner or researcher involved in the discipline is called a psychologist. Some psychologists can be classified as a social, behavioral, or cognitive scientists. Some psychologists attempt to understand the role of mental functions in individual and social behavior. Others explore the physiological and biological processes that underlie cognitive functions and behaviors.
Psychologists explore behavior and mental processes, including perception, cognition, attention, emotion, intelligence, subjective experiences, motivation, brain functioning, and personality. Psychologists' interests extend to interpersonal relationships, psychological resilience, family resilience, and other areas within social psychology. Psychologists also consider the unconscious mind. Research psychologists employ empirical methods to infer causal and correlational relationships between psychosocial variables. Some, but not all, clinical and counseling psychologists rely on symbolic interpretation.
While psychological knowledge is often applied to the assessment and treatment of mental health problems, it is also directed towards understanding and solving problems in several spheres of human activity. By many accounts, psychology ultimately aims to benefit society. Many psychologists are involved in some kind of therapeutic role, practicing in clinical, counseling, or school settings. Other psychologists conduct scientific research on a wide range of topics related to mental processes and behavior. Typically the latter group of psychologists work in academic settings (e.g., universities, medical schools, hospitals). Another group of psychologists is employed in industrial and organizational settings. Yet others are involved in work on human development, aging, sports, health, forensics, and the media.

View More On Wikipedia.org
  1. BadgerBadger92

    News Why do so many people not believe in the Big Bang?

    I see these people everywhere and I wonder why people don’t believe it. Does anyone know why some people think this way?
  2. bhobba

    Is Our Everyday Thinking Flawed? Discover the Science Behind Our Daily Mistakes

    Hi Everyone As part of the Masters in Philosophy program I am doing, I am also taking some free courses offered by other universities. I found one I initially thought was about critical thinking. I was wrong. It's about the psychology of the mistakes we make every day and why we make...
  3. T

    Can Falling in Love Increase Longevity? Psychology & Science Explained

    Hi again all, hope you are all doing great and enjoying the spring as well as nice weather. This is sort of a continuation thread of my falling in love thread here that I posted a while back but with a new question witch is: Can I get the same effect to live longer by falling in love, having sex...
  4. Algr

    Writing: Input Wanted Are Clone Ships a Better Alternative for Space Colonization?

    We've just had an interesting thread about generation ships, but I don't think that that is the most reasonable way to colonize another planet. Fatal problems: - Crew may become chaotic and self destructive. - Crew may become so adapted to space as to be unwilling to return to a planet. -...
  5. J

    Are There Other Confirmed Geniuses in this Forum?

    Am a mathematical genius and computer science and other by most metrics that are available today. Are there any other here who are confirmed to be such? Trying to find a forum of smart people.
  6. ShayanJ

    Exploring the Reality of Kids with Violent Temptations

    Summary:: Curious whether this story about this kid could be real, and if yes, is there any explanations? I just came across this reddit thread. I know, it could be fake. But I've seen a similar story before about a little girl who openly talked about wanting to kill her adoptive parents and...
  7. DennisN

    What we can learn from conspiracy theories

    I just read an article I found very interesting, about the psychology of and possible reasons for conspiracy theories: What we can learn from conspiracy theories (BBC, 25th May 2020) http://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200522-what-we-can-learn-from-conspiracy-theories "From political upheavals...
  8. B

    Question about neuroscience and psychology

    <Mentor: moved to Biology>> Summary:: Hi, this is just a random neurological/psychology question that I had. Does anyone know if the hypothalamus plays a role in evaluating emotional stimuli? Or does the cerebral cortex play this role? I am not sure which one is correct, but only one of these...
  9. psean1991

    Is the Link Between Genetics and Addiction a Flawed Belief?

    My brother has been in and out of rehabs for years, and lately I've been researching addiction and trying to understand the science behind it. A lot of sites that I've found say that addiction is genetic, but the info is extremely generalized and surface level. I haven't found any specific...
  10. P

    How do you gain your confidence back?

    Hello! I'm currently in my Junior year of college (2nd semester) and I feel like I've lost a lot of confidence that I had prior to this semester. Before this semester, I spent a lot of time studying and doing research and while I still maintain a 4.0 cumulative GPA as a Physics and Math major...
  11. Q

    Would it be possible to implement a "psychology" sub-forum?

    Many of my interests align with psychology and understanding human behaviour and nature. I spend considerable time on the internet devoting my studies on self-actualization enhancement and improvement by trying to understand myself better. I am deeply enamoured by the objectivity of this forum...
  12. Q

    Is Market Behavior Driven by Human Psychology?

    I have a question that's bothering me. Namely, externalities aside (et ceteris paribus) humans are still the main component of rational actors in the marketplace, then if we perfectly understood human psychology, then would the market be perfectly predictable and understandable?
  13. jedishrfu

    Psychology: The Stanford Prison Experiment was a Fraud

    In this VOX article, the author discusses several influential psychology experiments that were later found to be manipulated or outright fraudulent with some data purposely discarded and disclosures of prior experiments never mentioned in the conclusions. In the Standford case, some of the...
  14. Poison Ivy

    Engineering Have B.S. in Engineering, can I get M.S. in Psychology?

    I was always interested in Psychology but I went into Engineering to satisfy my mother and since she's still not satisfied (who was I kidding?), I'm thinking about getting into Psychology. Can I get an M.S. in Psychology even if I already have a B.S. in Engineering? I'm sure it's not usual...
  15. jim mcnamara

    Psychology: How will we react to discovery of alien life

    Jung Yul Kwon et al, How Will We React to the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life?, Frontiers in Psychology (2018). DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02308 https://phys.org/news/2018-02-humans-react-pretty-news-alien.html#jCp Answer: probably well (this is a limited pilot study) The pilot study analyzed...
  16. Posty McPostface

    What are cognitive distortions?

    I've been practicing CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) as an amateur in my spare time for a while now. I do have one question about the centerpiece of what defines a healthy individual according to CBT. Meaning, in simple terms, that the less cognitive distortions you have the better off you...
  17. H

    Human Implications of Space Travel: A Psychological Exploration

    Instead of derailing an existing thread I started this one. A lot of attention has gone into the tech side of space travel. What are the human implications if we use existing terrestrial society as a case study. How would violence be controlled. what if someone goes insane and needs to be...
  18. P

    Medical Can a person choose to not feel emotions or empathy?

    With training can you shut down your emotions and empathy?
  19. N

    Does studying psychology make you crazy?

    I don't know if this a biology topic so forgive me for any mistakes. I am currently studying medical science at university and whenever we come across topic concerning the brain I lose myself in research. I understand that the brain intricate and million things happen at once so there is a lot...
  20. Katejk

    Can Technology Enhance Psychological Monitoring in Therapy Sessions?

    Hi everyone, I am an undergrad student of psychology and I was curious is anyone from you would be interested to cooperate with me to discuss possibility about device which would help psychologists monitor data about patients. From what I know we can measure breath, pulse and even temperature...
  21. S

    What are the Topical Interests of a Mexican Psychology Student?

    Hello, my name is sergio , I'm from mexico and am a student of psychology . My studies are based on behavior modification , evidence-based treatments , CBT and third wave therapies . I'm interested in physics, chemistry , biology, genetics . Greetings from mexico , I hope to share with you, and...
  22. ZahraKad

    Physics or Data Science? Background in physics & psychology

    Hello Everybody! At this point of my life, I'm facing a dilemma which might seem a bit unconventional, or even strange: Should I apply to Data Science Master's programs or Physics Master's programs? I'm in a state of constant confusion and can't make my mind to pick one of these paths. Any...
  23. D

    Is a Psychology degree really considered useless?

    I am so fed up of majoring in IT. I have a decent GPA but I must say that I am miserable in the process. I was initially a Psychology major and that was something I was passionate about. I enrolled in Physics more than once and still do not have a firm grasp of the concept! Whether I utilize...
  24. DiracPool

    The biological psychology of peripheral vision

    This happened to me a few years ago, probably starting in 2008. I'd be sitting at me computer or watching TV and suddenly something would shift my attention to a clock somewhere, either on the TV, on my computer, on my phone, or maybe even on some sort of clock related monitor in some public...
  25. D

    Engineering Should I even bother going into engineering?

    So I'm a senior in high school and so far I've had pretty average grades. Taken Algebra 1, Geometry, Honors Algebra 2/Trigonometry, Precalculus, AP Calculus AB and gotten mostly B's with some A's and some C's. I'm not proud of my grades, but I just wasn't able to grasp the concept too well. I've...
  26. E

    Programs Double major in psychology and physics?

    In the school I go to you have three options for a BsC degree: -1 specialist program -2 majors -1 major and 2 minors Physics and Psychology are the subjects I enjoy the most, but I often hear they are unrelated to each other (like putting a physical science and a life science together I...
  27. C

    Programs Should I Major or Minor in Physics if I'm Already a Junior Psychology Major?

    I am about to be a junior Psychology major but I'm realizing my calling is more in quantum/astrophysics, though truly I would want to study consciousness' effect on quantum mechanics. My question is since I'm already half way though a Psych BA, should I continue this and minor in Physics as...
  28. A

    Which sub-field of psychology deals with deception?

    As the title says, I want to know which field of psychology deals with how and why people deceive. After some searching, I could only come up with "interpersonal deception theory" which is related to deception. I want to know of similar theories and studies done on deception. Is social...
  29. O

    Engineering Is there a way to combine Psychology and Engineering?

    I was looking around for some solid answers online regarding a career change from Psychology to Engineering and came across this: https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/becoming-an-engineer-at-age-50.687543/ I was quite impressed with the smart answers, especially from folks like tygerdawg, so...
  30. V

    Engineering Can i pursue pg in psychology after ug in engineering?

    I am in my 2nd year into engineering, and lately i have realized this is not my interest. I want to do forensic psychology or criminal psychology. I have searched the net enough and have not found a convincing answer as to whether i can do those courses after engineering, or do i need to do...
  31. P

    Medical What's the difference between mental and physical stress?

    I had a discussion with someone who studies psychology recently and she was referring to mental stress as of what I thought being called physical stress. Namely while she was talking about mental stress she mentioned stressors and hormones. So my problem: Stress = tension Physical =...
  32. M

    Advice for an Undergraduate Physics major looking for focus

    I am a sophmore physics major, and I'm trying to decide on a concentration. I'm very interested in psychology, and am trying to find a way to combine the two, but I doubt that with the time remaining that I could even minor in bio or psychology in the time remaining to me. If I wish to pursue...
  33. RabbitWho

    Difference between a marker and a secondary reinforcer?

    A marker is something that makes up for the delay of reinforcement by signalling to the subject "reinforcement is coming" For example saying "good dog" before giving your dog a treat. Secondary reinforcement is when something becomes reinforcing / causes pleasure through it's association with a...
  34. jedishrfu

    How Effective Is Challenging Our Own Beliefs in Debunking Myths?

    BBC article on the difficulty of debunking myths and Misinformation http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20141113-the-best-way-to-debunk-myths
  35. RabbitWho

    What is the meaning of Λ in the contingency equation?

    I last studied maths in school 10 years ago and we never used any Greek letters. 1. Homework Statement Talking about contingency in classical conditioning in psychology. The sum is a calculation that people and animals seem to do in their heads to work out the probability that two stimuli...
  36. RabbitWho

    Supression ratio in classical conditioning

    I think that if you're good at maths you'll be able to help me without having heard of this before, assuming you know about classical conditioning it's explained here; http://brembs.net/classical/suppress.html The measure of the extent to which the CS suppresses responding is called the...
  37. S

    Programs To go from a Psychology degree to Physics? (In UK)

    Physics, and more specifically Astrophysics, has always been my passion. However I have just finished my BSc (Hons) Psychology in the UK and have achieved a 2.1. I do not want to carry on with psychology. I want to carry on in academia and study physics. I'm just wondering what on Earth my...
  38. B

    What field of psychology should I read?

    Hi! I was curious about what the various fields of psychology are and which field would be most appropriate for learning about how emotions, anxieties, complexes, thought patterns, etc. are developed and processed. I'm an engineering student, but have a strong hobby in learning about the social...
  39. L

    What are the Psychological Factors Influencing Movie Preferences?

    I have realized patterns throughout talking to people about: movie genres, movie quotes and actors. From my school, people with high academic achievements, broad general knowledge and good thinking skills tends to like more 'artistic', highly rated and 'award winning' movies. I will call these...
  40. L

    About fundamental social psychology

    I have always interested in psychology and never properly studied psychology in my life. But over the years I have learned about many things by learning about famous psychology experiments. However I cannot seem to get sufficient enough information to ‘understand’ human’s fundamental social...
  41. RabbitWho

    Types of experimental manipulation in Social Psychology

    The only information my textbook gives me is this: We classify experimental manipulations into three broad types, depending on whether they involve variations in the physical, social, or instructional features of the experimental context. Social manipulations are usually dependent on...
  42. RabbitWho

    Medical Above average effect in psychology

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illusory_superiority My book has a survey in it that is supposed to show you if you have these biases or not, but it seems so silly to me. I can see how it applies to intelligence, assuming that we are right all the time is a pretty adaptive bias in a lot of...
  43. nukeman

    Double slit and psychology? General question.

    Hi guys, Please excuse me, I do not know a great deal about Quantum physics. First, tell me if I am correct. If we shoot electrons at a double slit plate, and we do not watch or "observe" it, it will show a pattern similar to a wave pattern. But, if we record it, or observe it, it will...
  44. C

    Psychology of QM Interpretations Studied?

    Does anyone know of a psychological study done of the various people who take different positions in the debates about interpretation of quantum mechanics? I mean something that would analyze the philosophical reasons for the arguments, and the emotional drives that might lead physicists to...
  45. M

    Your thoughts on this article about psychology.

    http://www.arachnoid.com/psychology/index.html I was just wondering what people here thought about this article.
  46. P

    Studying for Psychology Compared to Biology, Kinesiology and Sociology

    I haven't taken any Biology, Kinesiology, or Sociology courses in university, but from what I've heard from my friends and other sources the studying methods for Psychology courses are very similar to Biology, Kinesiology, or Sociology. That's not because Psychology is an interdisciplinary field...
  47. B

    Psychology: Rosenthal and Hawthorne Effect

    I keep confusing the Rosenthal Effect and Hawthorne Effect with one another. Does anyone know a good way to remember the two? Thanks. BiP
  48. D

    Psychology Degree: Realist Perception in 2020

    is that psychology consider as an "funny joke degree"?? in overwhelmingly majority of the realist on now instant of decade.
  49. A

    Physics Career path in combining physics and psychology

    Hello, I am a 2nd year undergraduate student BSc (Hons) Physics at QMUL and simultaneously I am undertaking a BSc (Hons) in psychology with the Open University. I intend to proceed with an MSc and a PhD before I head out for a career. It's been a few months that I have started researching...
  50. Monique

    Biggest Fraud in Modern Science: Social Psychology Fraud

    I suggest people start following the following discussion, I predict it will be the biggest detected case of fraud in modern science (that's what the committee has reported who researched the case)...