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History of psychology

Psychology


It is an academic and applied field involving the study of behavior, mind and thought and the neurological bases of behavior. Psychology also refers to the application of such knowledge to various spheres of human activity, including problems of individuals' daily lives and the treatment of mental illness. It is largely concerned with humans, although the behavior and processes of animals can also be part of psychology research, either as a subject in its own right , or somewhat more controversially, as a way of gaining an insight into human psychology by means of comparison (including comparative psychology Psychology is commonly defined as the science of behaviour and mental processes. Although its name derives from Greek "psyche", psychology does not scientifically study the soul, since no evidence exists to show such a thing exists.

Psychology is conducted both scientifically and non-scientifically, but is to a large extent wholly rigorous. Mainstream psychology is based largely on positivism, using quantitative studies and the scientific method to test and disprove hypotheses, often in an experimental context. Psychology tends to be eclectic, drawing on scientific knowledge from other fields to help explain and understand behaviour. However, not allmethods strictly follow the empirical positivism philosophy. techniques and is descriptive in nature, enabling the gathering of rich clinical information unattainable by classical experimentation. Some psychologists, particularly adherents to humanistic psychology, may go as far as completely rejecting a scientific approach, viewing psychology more as an art rather than e. However,psychology has a bias towards the scientific method, which is reflected in the dominance of cognitivism as the guiding theoretical framework used by most psychologists to understand thought and behaviour.Psychology does not necessarily refer to the brain or nervous system and can be framed purely in terms of phenomenological or information processing theories of mind. Increasingly, though, an understanding of brain function is being included in psychological theory and practice, particularly in areas such as artificial intelligence, neuropsychology, and cognitive neuroscience. Psychology is distinct from, though related to, psychiatry, the branch of medicine which treats mental illness.Psychology differs from sociology, anthropology, economics, and political science, in part, by studying the behaviour of individualsor in groups rather than the behaviour of the groups or aggregates themselves. Although psychological questions were asked in antiquity see Aristotle's De Memoria et Reminiscentia or "On Memory and Recollection, psychology emerged as a separate discipline only recently. The first person to call himself a "psychologist", Wilhelm Wundt, opened the first psychological laboratory in 1879.

The late 19th century marks the start of psychology as a scientific enterprise. The year 1879 is commonly seen as the start of psychology as an independent field of study, because in that year German scientist Wilhelm Wundt founded the first laboratory dedicated exclusively to psychological research in Leipzig, Germany. Other important early contributors to the field include Hermann Ebbinghaus (a pioneer in studies on memory), the Russian Ivan Pavlov (who discovered the learning process of classical conditioning), and the Austrian Sigmund Freud. Freud's influence has been enormous, though more as cultural icon than a force in psychology. Freud's basic theories postulated the existence in humans of various unconscious and instinctive "drives", and that the "self" existed as a perpetual battle between the desires and demands of the internal id, ego, and superego.The mid-20th century saw a rejection of Freud's theories among many psychologists as being too unscientific, as well as a reaction against Edward Titchener's abstract approach to the mind. This le to the formulation of behaviorism by John B. Watson, which was popularized by B.F. Skinner. Behaviorism proposed epistemologically limiting psychological study to overt behavior, since that could be quantified and easily measured. Scientific knowledge of the "mind" was considered too metaphysical, hence impossible to achieve. The final decades of the 20th century have seen the rise of a new interdisciplinary approach to studying human psychology, known collectively as cognitive science. Cognitive science again considers the "mind" as a subject for investigation, using the tools of evolutionary psychology, linguistics, computer science, philosophy, and neurobiology. This new form of investigation has proposed that a wide understanding of the human mind is possible, may be applied to other research domains, such as artificial intelligence.

Various schools of thought have argued for a particular model to be used as a guiding theory by which all, or the majority, of human behaviour can be explained. The popularity of these has waxed and waned over time. Some psychologists may think of themselves as adherents to a particular school of thought and reject the others, although most consider each as an approach to unerstanding the mind, and not necessarilyheories.Analytical
The majority of mainstream psychology is based on a framework derived from cognitive psychology, although the popularity of this paradigm does not exclude others, which are often applied as necessary. specialising in certain areas, however, may use the dominant cognitive psychology only rarely if at all.The testing of different aspec-known standardised tests as well as those creted ad hoc as the situation or experiment requires.Academic psychologists may focus purely on research and psychological theory, aiming to further psychological understanding in a particular area, while other psychologists may work in applied psychology to deploy such knowledge for immediate and practical benefit. However, these approaches are not mutually exclusive and most psychologists will be involved in both . Clinical psychology, among many of the various discipline of psychology, aims at developing in practicing psychologists knowledge of and experience with research and experimental methods which they will continue to build up as well as employ as they treat individual with psychological issues or use psychology to help others.

Contemporary psychology is broad-based and consists of a diverse set of approaches, subject areas, and applications. A comprehensive list is given in the Topics and Divisions sections below. Where an area of interest is considered to need specific training and specialist knowledge (especially in applied areas, psychological associations will typically body to manage training requirements. Similarly, requirements may be laid down for university degrees in psychology, so that students acquire an adequate knowledge in a number of areas. Additionally, areas of practical psychology, where psychologists offer treatment to others, may require that psychologists be licensed by overnment regulatory bodies as well.While the exact divisions may vary between different countries or institutions, the following areas are usually considered as core subjects or approaches by psychology societies and universities.

Cognitive psychology
Cognitive psychology is a framework in which to understand the mind more than a subject area, although it has traditionally focused on certain aspects of psychology. Perception, learning, problem solving, memory, attention, language and emotion are all well researched areas. Cognitive psychology is based on a school of thought known as cognitivism, whose adherents argue information processing model of mental function, informed by positivism and experimental psychology. Techniques and models from cognitive psychology are widly applied and form the mainstay of psychological theories in many areas of both researh and applied psychology.Clinical and is the application of psychology to the understanding, treatment, and assessment of psychopathology, behavioural or mental health issues. It has traditionally been associated with counselling e ent of patients with brain injury. This is known as clinical neuropsychology and typically involves additional training in brain function.In recent years and particularly in the United States, a major split has been developing between academic research psychologists in universities and some branches of clinical academic psychologists believe that these clinicians use therapies based on discredited theories and unsupported by empirical evidence of their effectiveness. From the other side, these clinicians believe that the academics are ignoring their experience in dealing with actual patients. The disagreement has resulted in the formation of the American Psychological Society by the research psychologists as a new body distinct from the American Psychological Associatio

Developmental and educational psychology
Largely focusing on the development of the human mind through the life span, developmental psychology seeks to understand how people come to perceive, understand, and act within the world and how these perceptions change as we age. This may focus on intellectual, cognitive, neural, social, or moral development. Researchers who studctivities that re both enjoyable for the child and useful. In addition to studying children, developmental psychologists also study other times of rapid change . Educational psychology largely seeks to apply much of this knowledge and understand how learning can best take placnfluential in creating teaching methods and educational practice orensic psychology
Forensic psychology is concerned with the application of psychological methods and principles to legal questions and issues. Most typically, this involves a clinical analysis of a particular individual and an assessment of some specific psycho-legal question.In the civil law arena, forensic psychologists often provide assessmeny someone who hasbeen injured in an accident or who witnessed a traumtic event. Psycholoists are often called upon in sexual harassment suits to describe the impact of the harassment on the purported victim. In this arena, the forensic psychologist might be required to provide treatment recommendations or to analyze the specific treatment needs of an individual, and might be asked to determine the potential cost of such treatment.In the arena of workers' compensation law, a forconditions of parole. Forensic psychologists are routinely called upon in death penalty cases provide analysis of the intentions, motivations and personality characteristics of the accused. In the Juvenile Courts, they often are asked to help determine whether or not a youthful offender can be rehabilitated. They assist prosecutors, defenders, and law enforcement investigators in understanding a range of noriminal behaviors, sometimes serving as "criminal profilers."Forensic psychology refers to any application of psychological principles, methods or understanding to legal questions or issues.In addition to the applied practices, it also includes academic or empircal research on topics involving law and human behavior.

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