There are numerous disciplines out there that contribute to the well being of human beings one way or another. Some involve physical aspects while others take more interest into the mental side. Psychology is one such discipline that covers mental aspects. Psychology is a field that involves the scientific study of mental behaviors and structures. The term "psychology" comes from the Greek word psyche meaning "breathe, spirit, soul", and the Greek word logia meaning the study of something. Psychology was introduced years ago in ancient China, Greece, India, Persia, and Egypt. Medieval Muslim psychologists were the first to have psychiatric hospitals as they had a more clinical and experimental approach to psychology. Psychologists are people who excel in this area and can be referred to as behavioral, cognitive, or social scientists. They are often involved in treating and assessing mental health problems faced by individuals. In fact, a good number of psychologists out there are actually involved in counseling, clinical, or school atmospheres in therapeutic roles. They use human behavior as a clue to how the human mind works. We cant scrutinize the mind directly, but everything we do, think, feel and say is determined by the functioning of the mind. Therefore, psychologists use the behavior of human beings as raw data for testing their numerous theories on how the mind works. Notable German psychologist Wilhelm Wundt opened the first experimental psychology lab in 1879 in a place by the name of Leipzig. We have learned an ample amount of information about the relationship between the brain, mind and its behavior ever since.
Branches of psychology
There are many different branches in psychology. These are:
- Biological psychology: Also known as behavioral neuroscience, biological psychology is the study of the biological substrates of mental as well as behavior processes
- Clinical psychology: Clinical psychologydeals with the study/application of psychology for understanding, avoiding, and relieving psychologically based dysfunction and also to encourage personal development and subjective well-being.
- Cognitive psychology:The branch, cognitive psychology includes areas such as perception, language, attention, thinking, memory, emotion, reasoning, learning, and problem solving.
- Comparative psychology: The category, comparative psychology is a type of psychology that refers to the scientific study of mental and behavior processes of non-human animals.
- Developmental psychology: Developmental psychology is an interesting kind of psychology which seeks to understand how people come to perceive, comprehend, and act within the world and how these processes change as they age. The main focus of developmental psychology is on the development of the human mind through the life span.
- Educational and school psychology: The division, Educational and school psychology is a psychology that studies how humans learn in educational settings, the effectiveness of educational interventions, as well as the psychology of teaching, and the social psychology of education institutions as organizations.
- Evolutionary psychology: The aspect of Evolutionary psychology examines psychological characteristics such as memory, language, and perception from a more modern evolutionary point of view.
- Industrial-organizational psychology: Industrial-organizational psychology is psychology that uses psychological concepts and techniques to optimize human capabilities in the workplace.
- Personality psychology: This is a type of psychology involves enduring patterns of thought, behavior, and emotion (also known as personality) in individuals.
- Social psychology: Unlike Personality psychology, social psychology is the study of how humans think about each other and how they relate to one another.
- Positive psychology: This branch uses evidence-based scientific methods to learn about factors that add to human happiness and strength.
Theories of psychology
Most psychologists use eclectic sources, however, the psychological schools contain some fantastic classical theories of psychology. The more popular ones include:
- Psychoanalytic school of Freud
- Systems psychology
Numerous research methods are used in psychology. They usually vary depending on the sources of information, how that information is sampled, and the forms of instruments involved in data collection. The means also varies depending on if qualitative data, quantitative data or both is collected. The three main types of research include:
- Descriptive research : It is used to describe characteristics of a population/phenomenon being studied. It addresses what the characteristics of the population or situation being studied are.
- Experimental research : It refers to work that involves applying experimental methods to the study of behavior and the processes that underlie it.
- Correlational research: Correlation refers to any of a broad class of statistical relationships involving dependence. Therefore research using this is known as correlation research.
Role of Psychologist
Psychologists do a plethora of tasks. They are:
- They assist in creating more awareness and acceptance of ourselves, others and situations. This plays an important role in adjusting with the surroundings and self.
- Psychologists help people conquer emotional hurdles caused by difficulties in our day to day life.
- It is their duty to resolve different conflicts. These conflicts could be parent-child, marital, etc.
- Issues such as substance abuse, terminal illness, etc. are dealt with through the assistance of a psychologist.
- Psychologists also help people deal with personal issues like divorce, infertility, etc.
Where to study psychology
Some colleges to consider when applying for a psychology major are:
- Harvard University
- University of Oxford
- University of Cambridge
- Stanford University
- University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
- UCL( University College London)
- The University of Melbourne
- Yale University
- The University of Queensland
- The University of New South Wales