Definitions of Psychology (by different psychologists)
Definitions of Psychology (by different organizations)
Meaning of Psychology (in different terms)
Fields of Psychology
Methods of Psychological Research
3. The word psychology has its origin from two Greek word. One of them is
Psyche and second is Logos.
Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour and mental processes.
Behaviour includes all types outward and overt actions and reactions such as
verbal and facial expressions and movements whereas mental process include
all the internal and convert activity of mind such as thinking, feeling and
4. Wlilliam Mc Dougall- In his book “An Outline of Psychology”,
Psychology is a science which aims to give better understanding and
control of the behaviour of the organism as a whole.
J.B. Watson- ‘Psychology’ is science of behaviour (taking into account
the human as well as animal behaviour).
NL Munn – ‘Psychology’ is the science and the properly trained
psychologist is a scientist, or at least a practitioner who uses
scientific methods and give information resulting from scientific
DEFINITIONS OF PSYCHOLOGY
(By Different Psychologists)
5. American Psychological Associaton - ‘Psychology’ is the study of mind
and behaviour. The discipline embraces all aspects of the human
experience- from the functions of the brain to the actions of nation,
from child development to care for the aged.
Merriam Webster- ‘Psychology’ is
• The science of mind and behaviour.
• The mental or behavioural characteristics of an individual or group.
• The study of mind and behaviour in relation to a particular field of
knowledge or activity.
DEFINITIONS OF PSYCHOLOGY
(By Different Organizations)
6. In terms of study of soul- Psychology owe its origin to the most mysterious and
philosophical concept, namely that of soul. What is soul? How can it be studied?
The inability to find clear answers to such questions led some Greek0 philosophers
to define Psychology as the study of mind.
In terms of study of mind- Although the word mind was less mysterious and
vague than soul, yet it also faced the same questions. What is mind? How it can be
studied? etc. This definition was also rejected.
In terms of study of consciousness- The description and explanation of the study
of the state of consciousness is the task of psychology which is usually done by
instrument introspection – the process of looking within.
MEANING OF PSYCHOLOGY
(In Different Terms)
8. Physiological Psychology- In most fundamental sense, human beings re biological
organisms. Psychological functions and the structure of our body work together to
influence behaviour. Biopsychology is the branch that specializes in the area.
Development Psychology- Here are the studies respect to how people grow and
change throughout their life from prenatal stage, through childhood, adulthood
and old age.
Personality Psychology- This branch helps to explain both the consistence and
change in a person’s behaviour over time, from birth till the end of life through
the influence of parents, siblings, playmates, society and culture. It also studies
the individual traits that differentiate the behaviour of one person from that of
FIELDS OF PSYCHOLOGY
9. Counselling Psychology- This focuses on educational, social and career
adjustments problems. It provide help concerned with mold problems of social
nature and strengthen healthy lifestyle, economical and emotional adjustments.
Educational Psychology- Educational Psychology is concerned with all the
concepts of education. It includes use of rewards and punishments, expectations,
relationship, the attitude, etc. It is also concerned with designing test to
evaluate student’s performance.
Experimental Psychology- It is the branch that studies the process of sensing
perceiving, learning, thinking, etc. by using scientific methods. It focuses on
studying higher mental processes including thinking, knowing, learning, judging
and decision making.
Medical Psychology- It is a field of psychology that applies psychology to
manage medical problems.
10. Environmental Psychology- It focus on the relationship between people and their
physical and social surroundings.
Sports and Exercise Psychology- It studies the sport and psychological issues
like importance of training on muscle development, the coordination between eye
and hand, swimming and gymnastics.
Cognitive Psychology- It studies thinking, memory, language, development,
perception and other mental processes in order to peep into the higher human
mental functions like insight, creativity and problem solving.
Community Psychology- Community psychology is a growing field that focuses on
promoting community-wide mental health through research, prevention, education
Engineering Psychology- It focuses on the ways to improve the relationship
between people and machines.
11. Comparative Psychology- It is yet another field of psychology that has a fairly
long history. It primarily focused on studying and comparing the behaviour of
different species, especially that of animals.
Sensation and Perception Psychology- It deals with the studies on the sense
organs and the process of perception. It is also involved in investigating the
mechanism of sensation and developing theories about how perception occurs.
Learning Psychology- It is related to studying about how and why learning occurs.
They invest large part of their work in attempts to develop theories of learning.
Cross – cultural Psychology- It is a branch of psychology that deals with
investigating the similarities and differences in psychological functioning among
various cultural and ethnic groups.
Health Psychology- This explores the relationship between the psychological
factors and physical ailments (disorder) and disease.
12. Clinical Psychology- It deals with the assessment and intervention of abnormal
behaviour. As some believe that psychological disorders arise from a person’s
unresolved conflicts and unconscious motives.
Consumer Psychology- It is a branch related to Industrial- Organizational
psychology. It deals with issues like people’s buying behaviour, effects of
advertisements on buying behaviour and better marketing strategies.
Industrial and Organizational Psychology- The private and public organizations
apply this psychology in management and employee training, supervision of
personnel, improve communication within the organization, counselling employees
and reduce industrial disputes.
Social Psychology- This studied the effect of society on the thoughts, feelings
and actions of people. Social and environmental factors affect the way of any
individual that what he think, say and do.
14. Introspection Method- It may be considered as old method but it is something,
individual is doing almost constantly in his everyday life. It is a method of
studying the consciousness in which the subject reports on their subjective
Observation Method- It is a systematically planned and is subjected to check
and control its validity and reliability. It is most commonly used method specially
in relation to behavioural science. This method is divided into three categories-
Structured / Unstructured Observation
Participant / Non- participant Observation
Controlled / Uncontrolled Observation
METHODS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL
15. Experimental Method- The experimental method is used in laboratory. This is
the method of observation of the behaviour or the ability of the individual
under controlled conditions or fixed circumstances.
Case Study Method- It is detailed description of a particular individual. It
also include information about the person’s childhood dreams, experiences,
relationships and hopes that throw light into person’s behaviour.
Interview Method- This involves collection of data by having a direct verbal
communication between two people. In personal interviews, an interviewer asks
questions generally in a face to face contact with the person being interviewed.
METHODS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL
16. Survey Method- This method involves asking large numbers of individuals to
complete the given questionnaire or through interviews by interviewing people
directly about their experiences attitude or opinions.
Testing Method- This method makes use of carefully devised and standardized
test or measuring attitudes, interest, achievements, etc. So, by adopting this
method psychologists collect information about behaviour, which helps us to study
the behaviour systematically.
Questionnaire Method- Questionnaire is an instrument of data collection. It is a
method of data collection through which qualitative as well as quantative data can
be collected by formulating a set of questions.
METHODS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL
17. Psychology is a modern discipline aimed at understanding the complexities of
mental processes, experiences and behaviour of individuals in different
It is treated as a natural as well as social science.
The major schools of psychological thought are structuralism, functionalism,
behaviouralism, Gestalt school, psycho analysis, humanistic psychology and
Today psychologists work in many specialized fields which have their own
theories and methods. They make efforts to develop theories and solve
problems in specific domains.
18. Some of the major fields of psychology are: cognitive psychology, biological
psychology, health psychology, developmental psychology, social psychology,
educational psychology, clinical and counselling psychology, environmental
psychology, industrial/ organizational psychology and sports psychology.
Psychologists are employed to help in diverse activities in a variety of settings
including schools, hospitals, industries, training institutes, military and
government establishments. Many of them are doing private practice and are