What is Psychology?
One of the most common questions asked by students new to the
study of psychology is "What is psychology?"
Misconceptions created by popular media as well as the diverse
careers paths of those holding psychology degrees have contributed this
Psychology is both an applied and academic field that studies the
human mind and behavior.
Research in psychology seeks to understand and explain thought,
emotion and behavior.
App... mental health treatment, performance enhancement, self-help,
ergonomics and many other areas affecting health and daily life.
What is Psychology?
Is it a science? Yes, “science of the mind” It is also a practice.
We try to apply the science of Psychology to helping individuals with
What is Clinical Psychology?
Providing social care umbrella
Biological treatments (drugs)
Earliest history can be traced back to the time of the early Greeks.
During the 17th-century, the French philosopher Rene Descartes
introduced the idea of dualism, which asserted that the mind and body
were two separate entities that interact to form the human experience.
Philosophers relied on observation and logic, today’s psychologists
utilize scientific methodologies to study and draw conclusions about
human thought and behavior.
Physiology also contributed.
The field and study of psychology was truly born when Wihelm Wundt
established the 1st Psych Lab in Germany.
Wundt's research utilized a school of thought known as structuralism
describing the structures that compose the mind the analysis of
sensations and feelings through the
use of introspection, a highly subjective process.
The experimental methods used to study the structuralism
(introspection) led to a lack of reliability in results. Functionalism formed as a reaction to the structuralism and
was heavily influenced by the work of William James and Charles Darwin.
Sought to explain mental processes in a more accurate manner.
Focus was on purpose of consciousness and behaviour, emphasizing
individual differences, which had large effect on education.
Sigmund Freud's theories of psychosexual stages, the unconscious, and
dream symbols remain popular today
Founder of psychoanalysis and the psychodynamic approach to
psychology. This school of thought emphasized the influence of the
unconscious mind on behaviour.
ID, EGO, Superego
Many of Freud's observations and theories were based on clinical
cases and case studies, difficult to