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What Does Psychology Study?
-Study the basic workings of the human brain, the human experience and its interactions, as well as our consciousness, memory, reasoning, language, personality, and mental health.
- Both science and a profession, psychology and psychologists study the biological, cognitive, and social bases of humans, and the application of this knowledge
-Psychology focuses on studying human behavior and our actions and reactions in certain situations.
- Psychology sometimes solely focuses on unobservable mental processes, and advanced in ability to understand such behaviors
- Psychologists are interested in studying both unobservable, scientific processes of the mind, but also observable actions in our daily lives
First, psychologists aim for the goals of understanding/describing, explaining, predicting, controlling, and influencing the actions and reactions of their patients and subjects
They also aim to generate psychological theories, predictions, and hypotheses
- These hypotheses aim to predict human responses under different conditions to situations, which assists crime fighting and other people that are put in stressful situations every day
- To describe behavior of individuals studied, and to use this description to understand more about their actions. Describing is the first step because to be able to explain, predict, or control behaviors, you first need to know what these behaviors are going to lead to.
- After observing and understanding the actions of certain patients, psychologists then aim to explain their actions under different situations. To explain the observed actions, psychologists use their scientific knowledge and previous knowledge to explain their reactions.
- After understanding and explaining actions of people, psychologists then use that knowledge to predict their actions under different conditions. Predicting requires the most mental fortitude. This step comes after understand and explain because for a psychologist to predict somebody’s actions they need to know them very well
- The most controversial part of psychology’s goals, many psychologists use their predictions of people’s actions to influence them or control them. This step often has real-world applications, for example if a psychologist is trying to introduce a prisoner back into society they can study them and influence their actions when they are re-introduced.
From Agora to Academia Psychology's History and Origins:
- Originally only a topic great philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, and Locke, became an actual science when Willhelm Wundt (pictured to the right) became the first to call himself a psychologist in 1879.
- In Leipzig, Germany, he made new discoveries about the conscious adult mind and eventually founded Structuralism.
- William James, an american psychologist, would end up publishing his book Principles of Psychology in 1890.
Sigmund Freud was the founder of Psychoanalysis, named after a procedure used to interview patients with neurotic symptoms. He gave birth to Catharsis, curing patients psychologically through talking and hypnotism
Even closer to our time we have Abraham Maslow, founder of Humanistic Psychology. He focused on free will and a human's ability to make rational and conscious decisions to reach their potential, or self actualization. His work ending when he died in 1970.
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As a psychologist you could specialize in things such as:
- Studying Pain and Stress
- Drug Addiction Neurobiology
- Learning and Memory
- Eating Disorders
- Mental Health
- Meta Cognition
- Infant Speech Perception
Jobs anyone with a Psych major could pursue include:
Classic Clinical Work
- Youth Counselor
- Social Worker
- Teaching or General Academics
- Lab assistant
- Advertisement Firms