Psychology is a science and art of explaining the nature of mental structure and behavior of an individual. It is also known as a behavioral science. Psychology dates back to the early days of ancient Greek and Egyptians. Wilhelm Wundt, also known as the “ father of experimental psychology”, founded the first psychology laboratory at Leipzig University in 1879. Psychology tries to comprehend how the mind works, or how the mind engages in mental activities. A psychology practitioner is known psychologist. Psychologists try to understand the mental processes and social behavior of an individual or group. Psychology is a diversified field; the areas mainly include Social Psychology, Development Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Biological Psychology, Individual Psychology and Research Method. The study of Psychology is not only applied in human mental health, but also in other fields such as organizational recruitment, counseling (such as school and career advisers), media and law. Hence, psychology offers many career options like Clinical, Forensic, Health, Occupation, Commerce and Education. Psychology is applied to every part of our day to day life. Our response to daily issues at home or at work place reflect the health of the ‘ mind’.
Behaviourism refers to the belief that behaviours can be calculated, constructed and modified. Behaviourism in simple terms is all the activities that an individual perform in their day to day life such as thinking, acting, and feeling. The theory of Behaviourism is based on the concept that all the actions are attained by learning and observing different actions of human behaviour. Behaviourism ignores introspection and only focuses on behaviour. The humans reflect their behaviour in regard to the environment they stay in and therefore behaviourists study this in an observable manner. A Behaviourist looks at psychology as a purely experimental field of science.
The two important concepts of behaviourism are:
Classical conditioning is a method used by behavioural psychologists. It only focuses on the theory that, for every natural influence or impact there always will be a response.
Operant conditioning is also known as Instrumental Conditioning and is associated between behaviour and consequence. Consequences always need to be connected to the behaviour.
What is applied psychology?
Applied psychology refers to the use of psychological principle and theories on other fields such as law, media, education and business management. The main classification of applied psychology are; Clinical Psychology, it includes studying and application of psychology in the personal development and relieving psychological stress. It may also can be used in clinical management; Educational Psychology, consists of two main domains which are, one educational setting such as how the learning environment should be constructed and the other psychology of teaching and learning; Forensic and Legal Psychology, application in this field refer to the legal questions and issues. Mainly Forensic psychology deals with clinical analysis for a individual or assessment on an particular legal psychological arguments; Industrial and Organizational Psychology, is a vast concept which consist of fields such as consumer, workforce, recruitment and counseling. It also may involve employee stress and help in management; Health psychology, this mainly focuses on the patients well-being and personal development and also understands behavioral, biological, social conflicts influenced by health or illness. It is difficult and complex when it comes to traumatized victims as it might take years to overcome their problem of dealing with it.
What is Social Psychology?
Social psychology is the study of how people are easily influenced by others presence around them. It uses the scientific method of investigation for various studies on human behaviour, thoughts and feelings. These methods involve experiments which may give rise to complex ethical issues, for example “ The Stanford Prison Experiment”. Social psychologists study and explain how a human behaves when put in different social situations. They also study interpersonal interaction, and how people interact with others, whether with one person or a group. Social psychology also includes cultural influences such as media and books on people. The study of social psychology can justify why people form mobs, how a group decision is made and how social arguments can lead to violent behaviour. Social psychologists are constantly researching and studying more about human behaviour and the science behind human interaction such as how people conflict with others and why people fail to help others in need.
What is cognitive psychology?
Cognitive psychology is a sub-domain of psychology which studies the internal mental processes. The mental processes mainly include how an individual thinks, perceive, speaks, solve problems, remember and learn. It uses the scientific method of investigation, it leaves no room for introspection. Unlike behavioural psychology, cognitive psychology accepts the existence of internal mental states such as belief and motivation. Major topics of cognitive psychology include Memory, memory is on the most developed subdivision of cognitive psychology. Here psychologists study how the brain acquires, stores and retrieves any particular memory; Perception, the cognitive psychology of perception is the study of how an individual makes subjective interpretation from the information in the environment; Learning, this sub-domain psychologists examine how an organism acquire information and uses it to improve its response; Problem Solving, this subdivision mainly emphasis on how an individual confronts a problem and how they deal with it. Its procedure may involve other concepts such as attention and learning. Today, cognitive psychology is vast, and hence it offers various career opportunities.