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What is psychology?

· What is psychology?

· Branches of psychology:

Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior, according to the American Psychological Association. It is the study of the mind, how it works, and how it affects behavior.

Psychologists work together to help people with mental health conditions, but they are not quite the same.

A psychologist treats the patient through psychotherapy, helping to relieve symptoms through behavioral change. The role of the psychiatrist focuses more on prescribing medication and other interventions to manage mental health conditions.

Fast facts about psychology:

ü Psychology is the study of behavior and mind.

ü There are different types of psychology, such as forensic, social and developmental psychology.

ü Person with condition that affects their mental health may benefit from assessment and treatment with psychologist.

ü Psychologist may offer treatment that focuses on behavioral adaptations.

ü A psychiatrist is the medical doctor who is more likely to focus on medical management of mental health issues.

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The mind is highly complex and conditions that relate to it can be hard to treat.

Thought processes, memories, dreams, perceptions etc cannot be seen physically like skin rash or heart defect.

While physical signs of some mental health issues can be observed like the plaques that develop with Alzheimer’s disease, many theories of psychology are based on observation of human behavior.

A practicing psychologist will meet with patients and carry out assessments to find out what their concerns are and what is causing them any difficulties and provide treatment for example, through counselling and psychotherapy.

Psychologists also carry out studies to advise health authorities and other bodies on social and other strategies, assess children who find it difficult to learn in school and give workshops on how to prevent bullying work with recruitment teams in companies and much more.

Branches of psychology

There are different types of branches of psychology:

· Clinical psychology:

Clinical psychology integrates science and practice in order to understand and relieve problems with adjustment and discomfort. It promotes adaption and personal development.

A clinical psychologist concentrates on the intellectual, emotional, psychological and behavioral aspects of human performance throughout the person’s life across varying cultures and socioeconomic levels.

Psychotherapy are central to practice of clinical psychology but clinical psychologists are often involved in research, forensic testimony, and further areas.

· Cognitive psychology:

Cognitive psychology investigates internal mental processes such as problem solving, learning, and language. It looks at how people think, communicate, remember, and learn. It is closely related to linguistics.

Cognitive psychologists look at how people acquire and store information.

Practical applications include how to improve memory, increase the accuracy of decision-making.

· Developmental psychology:

This is the scientific study of systematic psychological changes that the person experiences over the life span, referred to as human development.

It focuses not only on young children but also teenagers and older people.

Factors include problem solving, moral understanding, emotions, personality, self-concept, and identity formation.

It also looks at internal structures against learning through experience, or how person’s characteristics interact with environmental factors.

· Evolutionary psychology:

Evolutionary psychology looks at how human behavior is affected by psychological adjustments during evolution.

An evolutionary psychologist believes that many human psychological characters are adaptive and they have enabled us to survive over thousands of years.

· Forensic psychology:

Forensic psychology involves applying psychology to criminal investigation and law.

A Psychologist practices psychology as science within criminal justice system and civil courts.

· Health psychology:

It is called also called medical psychology.

It observes how behavior and social context influence illness and health.

A psychologist often looks first at the biological causes of a disease but health psychologist will focus on the whole person and what influences their health status. This may include their education and behaviors that may have an impact on disease, such as compliance with instructions and medication.

· Neuropsychology:

Neuropsychologist study structure and function of brain and psychological processes. A neuropsychology is involved if condition involves lesions in the brain and assessments that involve recording electrical activity in brain.

This branch is used to determine whether a person is likely to experience behavioral problems diagnosed brain injury, such as a stroke.

· Occupational psychology:

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Occupational psychologists are involved in making recommendations about performance of people at work.

They help companies to find more effective ways to understand how people and groups behave at work.

This information can help improve effectiveness, job satisfaction and employee retention.

· Social psychology:

It uses scientific methods to understand how social influences impacts human behavior. It seeks to explain how feelings and thoughts are influenced by implied presence of other people.

A social psychologist looks at group behavior, non-verbal behavior, conformity, aggression and leadership. Social perception and social interaction are seen as key to understanding social behavior.


Behavior is not the result of internal mental processes but result of how we respond to the environment.

Behaviorism focuses on how people learn new behavior from the environment and how it affects their mid.


Inspite of being victims of the environment or unconscious, they proposed that humans are good and that our own mental processes plays main role in our behavior.

The humanist movement puts high value on the emotions and subjective view of experience.

Cognitive theory:

Cognitive theorists believe that a person take in information from our environment through our senses and then process data mentally by organizing it, remembering it and relating it to information we have already stored.

Cognitive theory is applied to language learning disorders, and dreams.


Nowadays a psychologist study all these perspectives and choose what appears to be good from each approach for particular situation.

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