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A Definition towards Psychology Psychology is the exploration into and the scientific study of behaviour and mental processes

of all concerned species from developmental stage to end of life cycle. Nishan Wimalachandra MABE UK This definition contains three elements. The first is that psychology is a scientific enterprise that obtains knowledge through systematic and objective methods of observation and experimentation. Second is that psychologists study behavior, which refers to any action or reaction that can be measured or observedsuch as the blink of an eye, an increase in heart rate, or the unruly violence that often erupts in a mob. Third is that psychologists study the mind, which refers to both conscious and unconscious mental states. These states cannot actually be seen, only inferred from observable behavior. Many people think of psychologists as individuals who dispense advice, analyze personality, and help those who are troubled or mentally ill. But psychology is far more than the treatment of personal problems. Psychologists strive to understand the mysteries of human naturewhy people think, feel, and act as they do. Some psychologists also study animal behavior, using their findings to determine laws of behavior that apply to all organisms and to formulate theories about how humans behave and think.
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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, infancy and child development, mental illness, and much more. Furthermore, psychologists studies of examine brain, these others topics from how a variety we of complementary perspectives. Some conduct detailed biological the explore process information; others analyze the role of evolution, and still others study the influence of culture and society. Psychologists seek to answer a wide range of important questions about human nature: Are individuals genetically predisposed at birth to develop certain traits or abilities? How accurate are people at remembering faces, places, or conversations from the past? What motivates us to seek out friends and sexual partners? Why do so many people become depressed and behave in ways that seem self-destructive? Do intelligence test scores predict success in school, or later in a career? What causes prejudice, and why is it so widespread? Can the mind be used to heal the body? Discoveries from psychology can help people understand themselves, relate better to others, and solve the problems that confront them. The term psychology comes from two Greek words: psyche, which means soul, and logos, "the study of." These root
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words were first combined in the 16th century, at a time when the human soul, spirit, or mind was seen as distinct from the body. Psychology and Other Behavioural sciences Psychology overlaps with other sciences that investigate behavior and mental processes. Certain parts of the field share much with the biological sciences, especially physiology, the biological study of the functions of living organisms and their parts. Like physiologists, many psychologists study the inner workings of the body from a biological perspective. However, psychologists usually focus on the activity of the brain and nervous system. The social sciences of sociology and anthropology, which study human societies and cultures, also intersect with psychology. For example, both psychology and sociology explore how people behave when they are in groups. However, psychologists try to understand behavior from the vantage point of the individual, whereas sociologists focus on how behavior is shaped by social forces and social institutions. Anthropologists investigate behavior as well, paying particular attention to the similarities and differences between human cultures around the world. Psychology is closely connected with psychiatry, which is the branch of medicine specializing in mental illnesses. The study
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of mental illness is one of the largest areas of research in psychology. Psychiatrists and psychologists differ in their training. A person seeking to become a psychiatrist first obtains a medical degree and then engages in further formal medical education in psychiatry. Most psychologists have a doctoral graduate degree in psychology. A focus on the mind will also help psychologists to negotiate their relations with larger interdisciplinary efforts in which they participate. Given the hegemony of behaviorism in the 1950s and 1960s, establishing a separate field of cognitive science was probably a necessary tactical step on the way to the revival of cognitive psychology. But so far as understanding the workings of the human mind is concerned, there is little or nothing that cognitive scientists do that psychologists could not; and there is a great deal that psychol-ogists can do that cognitive scientists cannot do without overreachingsuch as under-standing the nature of emotion and motivation. Insofar as they do empirical research on human mental life, cognitive scientists are psychologists. But there are some cognitive scientists who are not interested in human minds at allsuch as those who promote a pure view of artificial intelligence, devoted to understanding how machines might acquire, store, and use knowledge, without regard to how humans perform these same activities. Similarly, there is nothing that cognitive (or affective) neuroscientists do that phys-iological psychologists did not do
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before them. Psychologists are free, as psychologists, to explore the relations between mind and body. But there are some neuroscientists who are interested in how the nervous system works, without necessarily being concerned with the relations between these mechanisms and mental life. This is neuroscienceit used it to is be not called neuroanatomy The and neurophysiologybut psychology. current

penchant for brain imaging sets out clearly the relation between psychology and neuroscience, for without a clear theoretical understanding of what the subject is doing, worked out at the psychological level of analysis on the basis of performance data, PET or f MRI images are nothing more than illuminated pixels. As someone once said, phys-iology is a tool for psychology, but it is not an obligation. Perhaps the same person said that psychology is not just something to do until the neurologist comes. In any event, psychology without neuroscience is still psychology, but neuroscience without psychol-ogyis just neuroscience. Unity Between Science and Practice If unity within the science of psychology is achieved by a disciplinary focus on the mind, unity between the science of psychology and the practice of psychology will be achieved by a professional focus on science. At its creation, during and after World War II, clinical psychology as a profession was dominated by the scientistpractitioner model (Routh, 1994; Routh, 2000), but in recent yearsespecially since the late 1970swe have
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wit-nessed a steady pulling away of professional psychology from its scientific roots, as indexed both by the development of alternative models for training and practice, and the proliferation of freestanding graduate schools of professional psychology. The result is that professional psychology has been largely set loose from its scientific moorings. This is unfortunate, because the status of clinical psychology as a profession, its autonomy from psychiatry, and its claim on third-party payments for services depends critically on the assumption that its practices rest on a firm scientific base. Although I was trained under the scientistpractitioner model, I now doubt that it is the best way to train either clinical scientists or clinical practitioners (Kihlstrom, 2004). And there is nothing inherently wrong with freestanding graduate schools of professional psychology, either. To take an example, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is for all intents and purposes a freestanding medical school, but it is not inferior to Stanford or Yale because it lacks departments of classics or comparative literature (it doesnt even have an independent psychology department). But UCSF is a world-class medical school precisely because it supports, as an integral part of its mission, a world-class cadre of basic and applied scientists including psychologists and other social scientists. If clinical psychology is to compete with psychiatry, and psychotherapy is to compete with pharmacotherapy, clinical practices have to be supported by the best evi-dence we can producenot the
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weakest. By working to produce that evidence, and train-ing practitioners to conform their practices to those that have been scientifically validated, the sciencepractice wars will cease, and professional psychology will enjoy the same unity with its basic science that exists between medicine and biology.

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Major Areas of Research The study of psychology draws on two kinds of research: basic and applied. Basic researchers seek to test general theories and build a foundation of knowledge, while applied psychologists study people in real-world settings and use the results to solve practical human problems. There are five major areas of research: biopsychology, clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, and social psychology. Both basic and applied research is conducted in each of these fields of psychology.

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References Gallagher, R., & Appenzeller, T. (1999). Beyond reductionism. Science, 284, 79. Gould, S.J. (2003). The hedgehog, the fox, and the magisters pox: Mending the gap between science and the humanities. New York: Harmony Books. Henriques, G. (2003). The tree of knowledge system and the theoretical unification of psychology. Review of General Psychology, 7, 150182. Henriques, G. (2004). Psychology defined. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 60, 12071221.

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