Psychology “to knows” as a first timer

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If you are an open-minded curious enthusiast of knowledge in a broad perspective like me then these Psychology basics precisely delivered will excite you. Hopefully, I can connect with more like-minded people out there as I continue to learn and understand more about Psychology.

Psychology, a discipline that emerged from biology and philosophy studies all or most questions, claims and assumptions relating to the mind and human behaviour to derive scientifically proven answers and solutions.

Perhaps the most fascinating and mysterious universe of all is the one within us.” – Carl Sagan.

Psychology is loosely defined as the science of understanding the human mind and behaviour, where Behaviour refers to actions and responses that can directly be seen/observed, whereas Mind refers to internal states and processes such as thoughts and feelings that cannot be seen directly thus must be inferred from observable, measurable responses.

The word Psychology comes from the Greek words, Psyche (breathe, spirit, soul) and logia (study of) and is closely linked to other fields of study like sociology, medicine, linguistics, and anthropology.

Behaviour is so complex; its scientific study often poses special challenges. Other than understanding its concepts and being better informed at debunking many claims made in the name of Psychology, you also learn and comprehend the habits of thought, which habits involve what many refer to as critical thinking.

Critical thinking involves taking an active role in understanding the world around us and asking valid, relevant important questions rather than merely receiving information. It’s important to reflect on the meaning of information as we receive it. How this information aligns with our experiences, thoughts as well as implications on one’s life and the society at large.

Critical thinking means evaluating the validity of something present to one as a fact.

As a science, Psychology has five central goals;

  1. Describe how people and other species behave.
  2. Understand the causes of the behaviour.
  3. Predict how people and animals will behave under certain conditions.
  4. Influence behaviour through the control of its causes.
  5. Apply psychological knowledge in ways that enhance human welfare.

Psychology opens your perception to the world of verified theories regarding the mind and behaviour while dismissing wildly held false beliefs and myths. Psychology’s scope became so broad because it has historical roots in varied disciplines as philosophy, medicine, as well as the biological and physical sciences.

The scope of modern psychology; from brain to culture stretches the borders of medicine and biological sciences to philosophy and social sciences as by now we already know, it is the scientific study of behaviour and mental processes. This is why psychology often draws from overlaps with many other scientific disciplines like;

  • Biology, the scientific study of life processes and biological structure.
  • Medicine, the scientific study of health, diseases, their causes and treatments.
  • Sociology, the scientific study of human social relations and systems.
  • Anthropology, the scientific study of cultural origins, evolution and variations.
  • Computer science, the scientific study and application of information processing and manipulation of data with the help of computational power, algorithms and programs (computer instructions).

To understand behaviour we must consider our biological makeup, cultural influences, and all points in between. In between biology and culture lie many factors that influence the aspects of our day-to-day actions. These being cultural upbringing, learning experience, our moods and thoughts, environmental stimuli and body signal responses.

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