What is psychology?
Psychology: The scientific study of the causes of behaviour; also, the application of the findings of
psychological research to the solution of problems.
Causal event: An event that causes another event to occur.
Physiological psychology: The branch of psychology that studies the physiological basis of behaviour.
Comparative psychology: The branch of psychology that studies the behaviours of a variety of organisms in an
attempt to understand the adaptive and functional significance of the behaviours and their relation to
Behaviour analysis: The branch of psychology that studies the effect of the environment on behaviour
primarily, the effects of the consequences of behaviours on the behaviours themselves.
Behaviour genetics: The branch of psychology that studies the role of genetics in behaviour.
Cognitive psychology: The branch of psychology that studies complex behaviours and mental processes such
as perception, attention, learning and memory, verbal behaviour, concept formation, and problem solving.
Cognitive neuroscience: The branch of psychology that attempts to understand cognitive psychological
functions by studying the brain mechanisms that is responsible for them.
Developmental psychology: The branch of psychology that studies the changes in behavioural, perceptual,
and cognitive capacities of organisms as a function of age and experience.
Social psychology: The branch of psychology devoted to the study of the effects people have on each other s
Personality psychology: The branch of psychology that attempts to categorize and understand the causes of
individual differences in patterns of behaviour.
Evolutionary psychology: The branch of psychology that explains behaviour in terms of adaptive advantages
that specific behaviours provided during the evolution of a species. Evolutionary psychologists use natural
selection as a guiding principle.
Cross-cultural psychology: The branch of psychology that studies the effects of culture on behaviour.
Clinical psychology: The branch of psychology devoted to the investigation and treatment of abnormal
behaviour and psychological disorders. The Growth of Psychology as a science
Animism: The belief that all animals and all moving objects possess spirits providing their motive force.
Reflex: An automatic response to a stimulus, such as the blink reflex to the sudden unexpected approach of an
object toward the eyes.
Dualism: The philosophical belief that reality consists of mind and matter.
Model: A relatively simple system that works on known principles and is able to do at least some of the things
that a more complex system can do.
Empiricism: The philosophical view that all knowledge is obtained through the senses. – John Locke
Materialism: A philosophical belief that reality can be known only through an understanding of the physical
world, of which the mind is a part. – J