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The Nature Of Psychology Essay

1477 words - 6 pages

The Nature of Psychology
     Psychology is the scientific study and practical application of observable behavior and mental processes of organisms. Psychology differs from other social sciences such as: Sociology, History, or Economics, because psychology specifically deals with the study of an individual. The other social sciences will study groups, or history. Psychology is less a science of reported findings, it attempts asks and answers questions using observable behavior and what can be determined as mental processes of the subject. The symbol for psychology is the Greek letter “psi” (Ø). The subject matter of psychology is, affect, behavior, and cognition. The affect for psychology is the actual mental processes that make up: moods, feeling, and emotional state. An example for affect would be feeling sad about something happening. Behavior includes the actually actions and responses of organisms. Behavior can include the way we act in any given situation, for example when we get up in the morning. The order in the way we prepare ourselves for going out into public can be categorized as our behavior. Cognition is the actual mental events and the processes that result from them. Memories of an event are a great example of an organism’s cognition. The components and corresponding faces of psychology include the body of knowledge which is considered the teaching face, set of investigative methods or research face, and array of techniques the therapy face. The goals of psychology are: to explain behaviors, to describe behaviors, to predict behavior, and to modify inappropriate behaviors. Explaining behaviors would be a question similar to “Why does this happen?”, and example of how describing behavior could be accomplished would be asking “What causes this behavior, where does it come from?”. Predictions can be elaborated on by asking “When will the behavior occur?”. An example of a behavioral modification question is “What can be changed in the environment to alter this behavior?”. A specialized subfield of psychology that most interests me is, Forensic Psychology, because it would be appealing to me to understand a potential criminal mind and to make the determination if the criminal was sane at the time the crime was committed or if he/she was operating with full judgment. In studying the 9/11 attack on America, a Forensic Psychologist would be used to determine if the terrorist operating the plane that hit the twin towers was mentally sane, and if they would be able to stand trial for there crimes. The Psychoanalytic/psychodynamic perspective deals with the unconscious, a possible explanation for obesity would be that the individual has an unconscious notion to eat when they are upset. Behavioral perspective or “learning perspective” focuses on how people learn to behave a certain way, a behavioral psychologist would explain obesity by suggesting that consuming too much food was learned and that’s why the...

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