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What Is Psychology

Psychology is the scientific study of mental processes and behaviour. Psychologists observe and record how people and other animals relate to one another and to the environment. They look for patterns that will help them understand and predict behaviour, and they use scientific methods to test their ideas. Through such studies, psychologists have learned much that can help people fulfill their potential as human beings and increase understanding between individuals, groups, nations, and cultures.


Psychology is a broad field that explores a variety of questions about thoughts, feelings, and actions. Psychologists ask such questions as: "How do we see, hear, smell, taste, and feel? What enables us to learn, think, and remember, and why do we forget? What activities distinguish human beings from other animals? What abilities are we born with, and which must we learn? How much does the mind affect the body, and how does the body affect the mind? For example, can we change our heart rate or temperature just by thinking about doing so? What can our dreams tell us about our needs, wishes, and desires? Why do we like the people we like? What is mental illness?"


The research findings of psychologists have greatly increased our understanding of why people behave as they do. For example, psychologists have discovered much about how personality develops and how to promote healthy development. They have some knowledge of how to help people change bad habits and how to help students learn. They understand some of the conditions that can make workers more productive. A great deal remains to be discovered. Nevertheless, insights provided by psychology can help people function better as individuals, friends, family members, and workers.


Date: 2015-01-29; view: 542

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