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    What is Psychology (820 words)

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    The human body consists of an abundance of major organs that are crucial to survival and consciousness. The heart; an important organ composed mainly of muscle, circulates blood and provides oxygen to various parts of the body, including the brain. When oxygen is received by the brain, the mind and vital functions (ex: simply walking or moving one’s hands), can be carried out accordingly. When the mind is active, nerve cells known as neurons, are firing and transmitting information to the body.

    The brain is the control center and one of the most important organs in the body; giving individual personalities, creating behaviors, awareness, processes visual perception and assists in producing a response to environmental stimuli. The mind is closely studied in psychology because it allows an individual to learn, think, feel, perceive, understand, and interact with the surrounding environment.

    What is Psychology?

    Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, understanding behavior and the factors that motivate behavior. Psychology is science-based which means the scientific method is used to create theories centered on ideas or questions a psychologist might have. In the scientific method behavior is first observed, then a question is formed which will later be supported by research. The next step would be the hypothesis (a prediction) that can be tested to draw conclusions and ultimately create a new theory.

    This method is commonly used by psychologists to answer questions about certain behaviors conducted by an individual. With its broad scope, psychology investigates an enormous range of phenomena: learning and memory, sensation and perception, motivation and emotion, thinking and language, personality and social behavior, intelligence and child development, mental illness, and much more. (McLeod, 2011)

    Different Types of Psychology

    When it comes to the study of psychology, there are many different types to specialize in. The mind works in many ways and it’s important to know how it affects behavior and thinking. Some psychologies include neuropsychology, educational, legal or forensic, evolutionary, developmental, behavioral, social, occupational, and many more. In neuropsychology, the main focus is the brain and how it functions in relation to behavior and cognition.

    Educational psychology entails the study of how the human brain learns and retains new knowledge. In forensic psychology, the main focuses are criminal and civil activity with knowledge of the law. This allows the psychologist to get into the mind of a criminal and further understand such behavior. Evolutionary psychology targets human nature, genetics, and how humans have evolved over the years by adapting to certain circumstances.

    Evolutionary psychology ties closely with developmental psychology (child psychology), the study of infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and eventually death. Behavioral psychology or behaviorism is the study of behavior in humans and animals, as well as social psychology which focuses on the thoughts and behaviors influenced by others through social interaction. The difference between these psychologies are the groups or individuals being studied and evaluated. Neuropsychology is strictly the brain and how it chemically transmits signals to cause certain behaviors, but in educational psychology the main focus is school and the student.

    The individual student and their capacity to attain all that information learned in the educational environment and store it in the brain. While developmental psychology focuses on a human growing up and going through different stages, evolutionary psychology will focus on overall development from the beginning of time to how society is now; how the human species has adapted to the surrounding environment.

    The similarities that are shared by each specialty is the ability to analyze and observe said behavior. The environment that the psychologist works in is fundamental for the appropriate results. The working conditions of a psychologist depend on what type of field they specialize in. For example, a clinical psychologist will spend most of their time in a hospital or mental health institution and a forensic psychologist might spend time in a courthouse or police station. (Cherry, 2018) A counseling psychologist will work from an office space to sit and counsel the patient on any issues.

    Social psychology is widely studied and explored by many psychologists. It is the study of how humans interact with others and how the presence of others affects one’s behavior. Social psychology is intriguing to some because of its diversity, everyone has their own responses to social interaction. Whether it be the influence of teenagers, the act of following someone who seems more desirable or copying another’s actions because it is what “everyone” is doing.

    There are many real life situations in which social interaction can affect a certain situation compared to behavior when no one is around. An example would be the behavior of a person around friends, more laid back and relaxed; versus someone in a meeting at work, more professional and polite. When exploring social psychology it is observed that when interacting with other people it helps shape our thoughts, feelings, moods, attitudes and perceptions. (Cherry, 2018)

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