What is Psychology?
Psychology is the study of the human mind and its processes.
When speaking in specific terms, psychology is the study of the human mind and its processes. This definition alone provides for a broad spectrum of possibilities for its interpretation.
As an overall professional choice, psychology provides a diverse and multi-faceted platform for those seeking to help others.
It is difficult to define psychology with such a small phrase. The depth of this field is comparable to biological and scientific fields. It is constantly changing and building upon itself, making for a more reliable yet complex science with each passing day. When referring to its application, psychology touches on many different aspects of human life and human behavior.
Whether it is attitudes or social reactions, psychology has a presence. Concerning disciplines, psychology includes many different societal aspects from sports to neuroscience. The human mind is something that has been pondered and discussed for centuries, but psychology is a new-age science on its own.
The Beginnings of Psychology: Socrates
Beginning in early philosophy, Socrates set the stage for what would one day become psychology. As a thinker, Socrates investigated himself with the intentions of interpreting his thoughts and behaviors while exposing his weaknesses.
His theories pertaining to human effort and mindfulness have been carried on throughout time, contributing to innovations in psychology. Plato, followed by Aristotle, passed on the teachings of Socrates, all while providing their own theories – evolving what was known about the relationship between the human body and mind.
Psychology today is more than just theory. In applied fields of psychology, professionals will develop, test, and apply different techniques in treatment and research.
Psychology Emerges: Functionalism, Structuralism, and William Wundt
As psychology emerged as a respectable science, it consisted of only two schools of thought. The first school was founded by William James. Functionalism concerned itself solely with the causes and consequences of behavior.
The second school, structuralism, was founded by William Wundt and relied on what the mind was processing during tasks. Wundt’s introspection allowed patients to transcribe their thoughts during certain behaviors, providing a sense of understanding for what went on in the thought process during different actions. This school began with vigor, but lost its luster soon after.
The Evolution of Modern Psychology
Even though these schools failed to please those seeking a well-defined and provable subject, they set the foundation for what would soon be modern psychology. The relationship between the body and mind is something that theorists have studied and provided detailed analysis for over a hundred years.
Psychology has evolved from thoughtfulness to a reliable science over recent years.
Different Types of Psychology
Different contributors to psychology have come about in behaviorism, psychoanalysis, cognitive, and even humanistic psychology. Behaviorism focused on observable behaviors and brought about the prominence of laboratory use.
Psychoanalysis was developed by Sigmund Freud, and included subconscious influences on behavior. Freud’s id, ego, and superego are each a large part of the evolution of psychology, looking into childhood as a reference for psychological anomalies. These different contributions have compacted to make a dense field that is filled with lots of relevant psychological material.
Psychology today is more than just theories. In applied fields of psychology, professionals will develop, test, and apply different techniques in treatment and research. These procedures are put into place to observe the behaviors that are being exhibited, understand why they are occurring, explain the behavior’s relevance, and predict future behaviors. Psychological research is conducted to determine valid measurements and results that can be replicated each time they are administered. Research in this field relies heavily on the scientific method.
Professionals in applied psychology are found in the field. Clinical psychologist is the most preferred career path for those seeking a career in applied psychology. However, career opportunities include Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Forensic Psychology, School Psychology and more. Since psychology deals with human behavior, it can find a place in nearly every aspect of human life. Psychologists work with all age groups, ranging from toddlers to geriatric patients, providing continual support throughout a lifetime for those needing assistance with psychological issues.
The educational field of psychology relates current psychology professionals with the historical contributors of psychology. These professionals spend time researching new and innovative techniques that can be used in the field. Building on the existing thoughts in psychology, educational psychology professionals help create and test new therapies for those working one on one with patients. Those involved in educational psychology will study and test different theories in order to provide educational references in the future.
Psychology as a Career
Professionals in educational psychology typically find their home in research positions or universities. These professionals study the findings of past educational psychologists in order to develop more effective or evolutional treatments. These professionals are highly needed in the field of psychology in order to keep the science up to date and fresh with recent findings and technologies.
It has become a popular degree choice for those seeking college degrees and provides well financially. Psychologists have become respected in different career fields from hospitals to businesses. Professionals educated in the methods and functions of human behavior are an asset to any business.
Psychology has evolved from thoughtfulness to a reliable science over recent years. It inspects the human mind in order to truly understand human thoughts and behaviors. It touches on human thought, memory, concentration, and even impulses. Psychology has proved to be an integral part of society, providing a service that proves to work wonders for people in all walks of life. It provides a support system, guidance, and treatment. As the theories continue to grow, the field of psychology will only expand in the future.
Our Psychology Career Guide can help you figure out which different professional psychology setting or career choice might be right for you.