What Is A Psychologist? | Melbourne CBD


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The question “what is a psychologist” is one of the most commonly asked questions by philosophers, students, and anyone who wants to know how to capture all that this discipline entails in a few short words. Well, defining ‘psychology’ is not an easy task by any stretch of imagination and rightly so considering the myriad of applications the science of psychology covers. Visit a school, a hospital, a university, a police station, a factory, or a coffee shop and you will surely find a psychologist skulking somewhere in the corridors. Let us try to define the term ‘psychology’ and try to understand “what is psychology” in the easiest way possible.

Definition of Psychology


The term “psychology” is a combination of two Greek words; ‘psyche’ meaning ‘soul/mind’ and ‘logos’ meaning ‘science/study’; therefore the term ‘psychology’ literally means ‘the science/study of the soul/mind’. Since it was difficult to clearly define the term ‘mind/soul’, the early researchers/scholars/philosophers found it more suitable to use the word ‘mental processes’ instead of the term ‘mind/soul’. The modern definition of psychology therefore treats it as a ‘scientific study of the mental processes and the human behaviour”. Today, psychology is used effectively to study both human as well as animal behaviors.

It provides tools to help us gain insight into our own behavior, as well as our relationships with others. In short we can say, psychology is the study of human personality, thought, development, behavior, emotion, motivation, and more. In today’s world, psychology is treated both as an applied and academic field. Some psychologists use it to solve practical problems in a physical environment (applied) while others use psychological principles/concepts/theories to better explain, understand, and predict the human behaviour.

What Is Psychology

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While psychology existed as a branch of philosophy since the ancient civilisations of Greece, China, Persia, and Egypt, it was regarded as a formal science subject only recently. Today, psychology is defined as a science of behaviour of humans as well as animal beings. The term “behaviour” in the modern definition of psychology refers to the cognitive activities like imagining, thinking, memory, reasoning, intelligence, etc; co-native activities like dancing, walking, attacking, fighting, etc; and effective activities like happiness, anger, joy, jealousy, etc in a person. It is very challenging to define what psychology is in just a few sentences, but topics such as motivation, personality, social behaviour, development, thoughts, and emotions represent just a tiny portion of what this field of science seeks to understand, predicts, and explain.

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