How do evolutionary psychologists explain hermitism

Psychology in a nutshell. The psychology of man

psychology (Greek - soul; Greek - knowledge) is a science that studies the behavior and mental processes of humans and animals. psyche - This is the highest form of the relationship of living beings to the objective world, expressed in their ability to realize their motives and to act on the basis of information about them . Through the psyche a person reflects the laws of the world around him.

Thinking, memory, perception, imagination, sensation, emotions, feelings, tendencies, temperamentAll of these points are examined by psychology. The main question, however, remains: What drives a person, his behavior in a certain situation, what are the processes of his inner world? The range of problems solved by psychology is quite broad. So, in modern psychology, a large number of sections are distinguished:

  • General Psychology,
  • age-related psychology,
  • social psychology,
  • psychology of religion,
  • pathopsychology,
  • neuropsychology,
  • family psychology,
  • sports psychology
  • etc.

Other sciences and branches of scientific knowledge also invade psychology ( genetics, speech therapy, law, anthropology, psychiatryetc.). It happens integration of classical psychology in oriental practices... In order to live in harmony with himself and the surrounding world, a modern person must master the basics of psychology.

"Psychology is the expression in words of what cannot be expressed by them"- wrote John Galsworthy.

Psychology works with the following methods:

  • Introspection - Observation of one's own mental processes, knowledge of one's own mental life without the use of tools.
  • monitoring - Investigation of certain characteristics of a process without active participation in the process itself.
  • experiment - empirical study of a particular process. The experiment can be based on simulating activities under specified conditions, or it can be conducted under conditions that approximate normal activities.
  • Development research - the study of certain characteristics of the same children who have been observed for several years.

The origins of modern psychology were Aristotle, Ibn Sina, Rudolph Gokleniuswhoever uses the concept of "psychology" first, Sigmund Freud, which a person who has nothing to do with psychology must have heard of. As a science, psychology was born in the second half of the 19th century, separated from philosophy and physiology. Explores psychology the mechanisms of the psyche are unconscious and conscious Human.

A person turns to psychology in order to know himself and better understand his loved ones... This knowledge helps to recognize and realize the true motives of your actions. Psychology is also called the science of the soulwho begins to ask questions at certain moments in life - " who am I? "," Where am I? "," Why I'm here? " Why does a person need this knowledge and awareness? Staying on the path of life and not falling into one ditch, but another. And when you've fallen, you'll find the strength to stand up and move on.

Interest in this area of ​​knowledge is growing. By training the body, athletes necessarily acquire and expand psychological knowledge. To get closer to our goals, to build relationships with people, to overcome difficult situations, we also turn to psychology. Psychology actively combines education and upbringing, business and art.

A person is not only a storehouse for certain knowledge, skills and abilities, but also a person with their emotions, feelings and ideas about this world.

Knowledge of psychology is now essential either at work or at home. In order to sell yourself or a manufactured product, certain knowledge is required. In order to be comfortable in the family and to be able to resolve conflicts, psychological knowledge is also required. To understand the motives of people's behavior, learn to deal with their emotions, build relationships, convey their thoughts to the interlocutor - and this is where psychological knowledge will come to the rescue. Psychology begins where a person appears and knowing the basics of psychology can help you avoid many mistakes in life. "Psychology is the ability to live."

1. Definition of psychology as a science.

2. The main branches of psychology.

3. Research methods in psychology.

1. psychology Is a science that occupies an ambiguous position among other scientific disciplines. As a system of scientific knowledge, it is known only to a narrow circle of specialists, but at the same time almost everyone who has sensations, language, emotions, images of memory, thinking and imagination, etc. knows about it.

The origins of psychological theories lie in proverbs, sayings, fairy tales of the world, and even in ditties. For example, they say of personality, "There are still devils in a silent hot tub" (a warning to those who tend to judge character by looks). Similar everyday psychological descriptions and observations are found in all races. The same French adage sounds like this: "Do not immerse your hands or even your fingers in a calm stream."

psychology - a kind of science. The mastery of knowledge by humans has existed since ancient times. However, psychology developed for a long time within the framework of philosophy and reached a high level in the writings of Aristotle (treatise "On the Soul"). So many consider him the founder of psychology. Despite such an ancient history, psychology was established as an independent experimental science only relatively recently, starting in the mid-19th century.

The term "psychology" first appeared in the scientific world in the 16th century. The word "psychology" comes from the Greek words: "Syhe" - "soul" and "Logos" - "science". Literally psychology Is the science of the soul.

Already later, in the 17th and 19th centuries, psychology expanded the scope of its research considerably and began to study human activities and unconscious processes while retaining the previous name. Let's consider in more detail what is the subject of the study of modern psychology.

R. S.. Nemovsuggests the following scheme.

Scheme 1The main phenomena of modern psychology

As can be seen from the diagram, the psyche contains many phenomena. With the help of some, there is recognition of the surrounding reality - this cognitive processeswhich consist of sensation and perception, attention and memory, thinking, imagination and language. Other mental phenomena are necessary to control a person's actions and actions, to regulate the process of communication mental states(a special characteristic of mental activity for a period of time) and mental qualities(the most stable and significant mental characteristics of a person, its characteristics).

The division above is rather arbitrary as it is possible to switch from one category to another. For example, if a process takes a long time, it already goes into the state of the organism. These process states can be attention, perception, imagination, activity, passivity, etc.

For a better understanding of the subject of psychology, we present a table with examples of mental phenomena and concepts presented in the work of R. S. Nemov (1995).

Table 1Examples of mental phenomena and conceptsContinuation of the table. 1

In order to, psychology Is a science that studies mental phenomena.

2. Modern psychology - This is a fairly extensive science complex that is evolving very quickly (a new direction appears every 4 to 5 years).

Nevertheless, one can single out the basic and special branches of psychology.

FundamentalThe (basic) branches of psychology are equally important for the analysis of psychology and the behavior of all people.

This versatility allows them to sometimes combine them under the name of "General Psychology".

Special(Applied) branches of psychological knowledge study all narrow groups of phenomena, that is, the psychology and behavior of people engaged in a narrow branch of activity.

We refer to the classification of R. S. Nemov (1995).

General Psychology

1. Psychology of cognitive processes and states.

2. Psychology of Personality.

3. Psychology of individual differences.

4. Developmental Psychology.

5. Social psychology.

6. Zoo psychology.

7. Psychophysiology.

Some special branches of psychological research

1. Educational psychology.

2. Medical psychology.

3. Military Psychology.

4. Legal psychology.

5. Space Psychology.

6. Technical psychology.

7. Business Psychology.

8. Psychology of Management.

Psychology is thus a branched network of sciences that is actively developing.

3. Research methods - These are techniques and means for scientists to obtain reliable information which is then used to build scientific theories and develop recommendations for practical activities.

In order for the information received to be reliable, the requirements for validity and reliability must be met.

validity - This is a quality of the method that confirms that it is consistent with what was originally developed for the study.

reliability - Evidence that repeated application of the method leads to comparable results.

There are different classifications of methods in psychology. Let's consider one of them, according to which the methods are divided into main and auxiliary methods.

Basic methods: observation and experiment; Auxiliary - surveys, analysis of the process and products of the activity, tests, twin method.

monitoring - This is a method by which the individual characteristics of the psyche are identified through the study of human behavior. It can be external and internal (introspection).

External observational features

1. Planned and systematic behavior.

2. Expediency.

3. Duration of observation.

4. Fixing of data by technical means, coding, etc.

External monitoring

1. Structured (there is a detailed step-by-step observation program) - unstructured (there is only a simple listing of the data to be observed).

2. Continuous (all observed responses are recorded) - selective (only individual responses are recorded).

3. Included (the researcher acts as a member of the group making the observation) - not included (the researcher acts as an external observer).

experiment - a method of scientific research in which an artificial situation is created in which the property under study is best manifested and valued.

Test types

1. laboratory - is carried out in specially equipped rooms, often with special equipment.

Differs in the accuracy and accuracy of data recording, which will give you interesting scientific material.

Difficulties of a laboratory experiment:

1) the unusual situation due to which the reactions of the subjects may be skewed;

2) The figure of the experimenter can either evoke a desire to please or, conversely, do something, although: both falsify the results;

3) So far, not all mental phenomena can be modeled under experimental conditions.

2. Natural experiment - An artificial situation arises under natural conditions. Was suggested first A. F. Lazursky... For example, you can study the memory characteristics of preschoolers by playing with the children in the store, where they have to "go shopping" and reproduce a set of words in the process.

Survey - Auxiliary research methods with questions. Questions must meet the following requirements.

Before the survey, it is necessary to conduct a brief briefing with the subjects in order to create a friendly atmosphere; If you can get information from other sources, don't ask for it.

The following survey methods are available: conversation, questionnaire, interview, sociometry.

conversation - a survey method in which both the researcher and the subject have equal rights.

Can be used in different research phases.

questionnaire - a method by which you can quickly obtain a large amount of written data.

Types of profiles:

1) individual - collective;

2) full-time (there is personal contact between the researcher and the respondent) - correspondence;

3) open (respondents formulate their own answers) - closed (a list of ready-made answers is displayed, from which the most suitable one for the respondent must be selected).

interview - A method that is carried out in the context of direct communication. The answers are given orally.

Types of interviews:

1) standardized - all questions are formulated in advance;

2) not standardized - questions are formulated during the interview;

3) semi-standardized - some of the questions are formulated in advance, others arise during the interview.

When working out questions, it should be noted that the first questions should be supplemented by the following.

In addition to direct questions, indirect questions must be used.

Sociometry - a method of studying social relationships in groups. Allows to determine the position of a person in a group, assumes the choice of a partner for joint activities.

Process and product analysis - The products of human activity are studied, on the basis of which conclusions are drawn about a person's mental characteristics.

Drawings, handicrafts, essays, poems, etc. can be studied.

Twin methodused in developmental genetic psychology.

The essence of the method is to compare the mental development of identical twins based on the circumstances that arise in different living conditions.

Testing - a standardized psychological technique, the purpose of which is to provide a quantitative assessment of the psychological quality studied.

Test classification

1. Test questionnaire - test task.

2. Analytical (they examine a mental phenomenon, for example the arbitrariness of attention) - synthetic (they examine the totality of mental phenomena, for example the Cattell test allows one to draw a conclusion about 16 personality traits).

3. Depending on the content, the tests are divided into:

1) intellectual (they study the characteristics of intelligence called IQ);

2) professional aptitude test (tests the degree of professional compliance);

3) Personality tests (verbal; projective, when the qualities of a person are judged according to how they perceive and evaluate the situation offered to them).

The methods of psychology are therefore diverse and their choice is determined by the tasks of the study, the characteristics of the subject and the situation.

2. Education of psychology as a science

1. Development of psychology from antiquity to the middle of the 19th century.

2. Formation of psychology as an independent science.

3. Modern psychological concepts.

1. Interest in problems belonging to the category of psychology appeared in humans in ancient times.

The philosophers of ancient Greece tried in their treatises to penetrate into the secrets of being and the inner world of man.

The ancient philosophers explained the psyche in terms of the four elements on which they believed the world was based: earth, water, fire and air.

The soul, like everything else in this world, was made up of these principles.

The ancients believed that the soul is where there is warmth and movement, that is, all nature is endowed with a soul.

Subsequently, the teaching that inspired the whole world was called "animism" (from the Latin "anima" - "spirit", "soul").

Animism has been replaced by a new philosophical doctrine - atomistic.

A prominent representative of this trend was Aristotle... he believed that world -it is a collection of the smallest indivisible particles - atoms that differ from one another in terms of mobility and size, and the material carriers of the soul are the smallest and most mobile.

On the basis of this mobility of the atoms, Aristotle explained the mechanisms, the functional laws of many mental phenomena: thinking, memory, perception, dreams, etc.

Aristotle's treatise "On the Soul" is considered by many scientists to be the first great scientific research in psychology.

According to Aristotle, a person has three souls: vegetable, animal and rational.

The mind depends on the size of the brain and the emotions - the heart.

The representative of materialistic views was Democritus... He believed that everything in the world is made up of atoms.

Atoms exist in time and space in which everything moves along a certain trajectory. In infinite space, indivisible and impenetrable particles move according to certain laws; The soul consists of light, spherical fire particles.

The soul is a fiery principle in the body, while death occurs as a result of the disintegration of the atoms of the soul and body. Body and soul are mortal.

The merit of Democritus is that he laid the foundation for the development of epistemology, especially visual sensations. He developed recommendations for memorization and divided the methods of material conservation into material and mental.

It is impossible not to mention the views plato.

In his view, a person is a prisoner in a cave and reality is his shadow.

A person has two souls: mortal and immortal.

The mortal solves specific problems, and the immortal, whose life goes on after death, is the core of the psychic, the highest form endowed with reason.

Only an immortal soul gives true knowledge obtained through enlightenment.

There are eternal ideas and the world is a weak reflection of ideas. In the course of life, the soul remembers the immortal ideas it encountered before entering the body.

Interesting views from Plato on how human memory works.

memory Is a wax tablet. People have different memories and it depends on the quality of the wax.

We keep memories as long as they are kept on a wax tablet.

The doctrine of the soul in the early Middle Ages became part of the theological worldview and turned entirely to religion, which lasted into the 17th century. in the era.

Renaissance, all sciences and arts began to actively develop again.

Science, medicine, life sciences, and various types of arts influenced the teaching of the soul in one way or another.

French, English and other European philosophers of that time, based on the mechanistic picture of the world, began to interpret many manifestations of the psyche from the standpoint of biomechanics, the reflex, while appealing to the inner manifestations of the psyche, to the soul, outside their scope remained.

However, internal phenomena actually existed and required an explanation of their role in human life. As a result, a new philosophical trend began to emerge - dualism, which claimed that there are two independent principles in man: matter and spirit.

The science of the time was never able to explain the relationship and interdependence of these two principles. She abandoned the study of behavior and focused on the subjective experience of a person (XVII - XVIIIth centuries).

Such positions were held by R. Descartesand J. Locke.

The psyche was seen only as a manifestation of consciousness, the world of matter was excluded from the subject of psychology.

The method of introspection (introspection) was recognized as the main method of research, and scientific methods were considered unacceptable for studying the phenomena of the soul.

Simultaneously with such views, the atomistic understanding of the structure of the world developed. Simple manifestations of the psyche were considered atoms.

This atomistic psychology developed over two centuries until the end of the 19th century.

So from antiquity to the middle of the 19th century. Psychology developed within the framework of other sciences, more often philosophy, medicine, biology.

2. In the middle of the 19th century there were profound changes in the scientific worldview.

This also applied to the relationship between soul and body, material and mental manifestations.

The successes of medicine, especially psychiatry, have undoubtedly proven that there is a close connection between disorders of the brain and mental disorders, which refutes the dualism postulate about their separate existence.

It was necessary to reconsider the role of mental phenomena in human life and behavior.

A mechanistic understanding explained monotonous motion well, but it became inconsistent in understanding intelligent behavior.

The provisions of atomistic psychology also did not fit into the new scientific facts and had to be revised.

So in the second half of the nineteenth century. Psychology was on the verge of a crisis for the following reasons:

1) understanding mental phenomena has become impossible from the point of view of exact natural knowledge;

2) the relationship between the spiritual and the physical did not lend itself to a rational explanation;

3) Scientist-psychologists have been unable to explain complex forms of human behavior that go beyond reflexes.

The resulting crisis led to the breakdown of dualism and introspection as the only reliable source of psychological knowledge. In the search for overcoming the crisis, three areas of psychological education emerged: behaviorism, gestalt psychology and psychoanalysis (Freudianism).

Let's take a closer look at them.

Behaviorism.Its founder is an American scientist D. Watsonwho suggested looking at behavior (from English behavior) as an object of psychology and looking at mental phenomena that are not discernible with scientific methods.

To recognize behavior it is enough to describe the behavior itself, external and to find out and describe internal forces Examine the laws according to which the interaction of stimuli and behavior takes place.

Behaviorists believed that the difference between animal and human behavior lies only in the complexity and variety of responses.

Even so, Watson could only admit the existence of purely human mental phenomena.

He interpreted mental states as functions that play an active role in the organism's adaptation to the world, while admitting that he cannot understand the meaning of this role.

Scientists in this direction denied the possibility of studying consciousness.

As Watson wrote, "the behaviorist does not observe anything that he might call consciousness, feeling, sensation, imagination, will unless he no longer believes that these terms indicate the true phenomena of psychology."

However, as early as the 30s. In the 20th century, D. Watson tempered such extreme views, especially by non-behaviorists E. Tolmanand K. Hull... So E. Tolman initiated the concept of rationality and expediency of behavior.

goal - This is the end result obtained by performing behavioral acts.

The main psychological phenomena, according to Tolman, are purpose, expectation, hypothesis, cognitive image of the world, signs and their meaning.

K. Hull developed a behavioral model based on responses to a variety of stimuli.

The body responds to stimuli through innate and acquired pathways associated with a system of "intermediate variables" that mediate this interaction.

Hence, behaviorism does not study human consciousness and believes that psychology must explain behavior by studying the stimuli entering the body and the behavioral responses that are going out.

From this thesis emerges the theory of learning, which is based on the application of all kinds of punishments and reinforcements when it is necessary to form appropriate responses, thanks to which the theory is still popular, especially among American psychologists (B.F. Skinner).

Gestalt psychology originated in Germany and spread practically all over Europe, including Russia, especially in the pre-war years.

This direction was influenced by sciences such as physics and mathematics.

Excellent representatives are K. Levin, M. Wertheimer, V. Kehleretc.

The essence of this direction was formulated by M. Wertheimer, who wrote: “... there are contexts in which what happens as a whole is not derived from the elements that supposedly exist in the form of separate pieces that are then tied together on the contrary, what appears in a separate part of this whole is determined by the internal structural law of this whole. "

That is, Gestalt psychology does not study phenomena, but the structure of connections, so it is sometimes called structural psychology (translated into Russian, the word “shape” means “structure”).

K. Levin is known for his work in the field of personality and interpersonal relationships.

He believed that a person's behavior can only be understood on the basis of the integral situation that person is in.

The environment is determined by the subjective perception of the people acting in it.

The merit of Gestalt psychology lies in the fact that it has found modern approaches to the study of the problems of psychology, but the problems that caused the crisis have not been fully resolved.

Psychoanalysiswas developed by an Austrian psychologist and psychiatrist S. Freud, therefore it is sometimes called "Freudianism".

Freud founded the scientific-theoretical direction in psychology and proceeded from the analysis of his rich psychotherapeutic practice in order to return psychology, so to speak, to its original theme: the penetration into the essence of the human soul.

The basic concepts of psychoanalysis are awarenessand unconscious.

It is the unconscious (the main cause of which is sexual desire - the libido) that plays an important role in regulating human activities and behavior.

Censorship from the side of consciousness suppresses unconscious drives, but they "break through" in the form of reservations, mistakes, uncomfortable forgetting, dreams and neurotic manifestations.

Psychoanalysis has spread not only in Europe, but also in the USA, where it is still popular to this day.

In the first years of Soviet power, this direction was also in demand in our country, but in the 1930s. Against the general background of the limitations of psychological research (the decree "On Pedological Perversions in the System of the People's Commissariat for Education") Freud's doctrine was also suppressed.

Until the 1960s. Psychoanalysis has only been examined from a critical point of view.

It was only in the second half of the 20th century that interest in psychoanalysis increased again, not only in Russia but all over the world.

So none of the emerging psychological trends completely resolved the contradictions that led to the crisis in psychology as a science.

Let us consider some modern psychological concepts that began to actively develop from the second half of the 20th century.

Cognitive psychology emerged from the development of computer science and cybernetics.

Representatives of the cognitive school - J. Piaget, W. Niser, J. Bruner, R. Atkinsonetc.

For the cognitive scientist, human cognitive processes are analogous to a computer.

The main thing is to understand how a person learns the world around him, and for this it is necessary to study how knowledge is formed, how cognitive processes arise and develop, what role knowledge plays in human behavior, how this knowledge is in memory organized is how the intellect works, how words and images relate to memory and thinking about a person.

As the basic concept of cognitive psychology, the concept of "schema" is used, which is a plan for collecting and processing information that is perceived by the senses and stored in the human head.

The main conclusion of the representatives of this direction is that in many situations in life a person makes decisions that are mediated by the specifics of thinking.

Neofreudianism grew out of Freud's psychoanalysis.

His representatives - A. Adler, K. Jung, K. Horney, E. Frommetc.

All these views have in common that they recognize the importance of the unconscious in people's lives and have the desire to explain many human complexes through it.

A. Adler believed that a person is ruled by an inferiority complex that he receives as a helpless being from the moment he is born.

To overcome this complex, a person acts rationally, actively, and purposefully.

The goals are set by the person himself, and already on this basis cognitive processes, personality traits and worldview are formed.

K. Jung's concept is also known as analytical psychology.

He viewed the human psyche through the prism of the macro-processes of culture, through the spiritual history of humanity.

There are two types of the unconscious: personally and collective.

personally the unconscious is acquired in the course of accumulating life experience, collective - is inherited and contains the experiences gathered by mankind.

Jung described the collective unconscious as archetypes that appear most frequently in myths and fairy tales, primitive forms of thought, images passed down from generation to generation.

The personal unconscious is close to a person, it is a part of oneself; The collective is often perceived as something hostile and therefore causes negative experiences and sometimes neuroses.

Jung is credited with identifying personality types such as introverts and extroverts.

Introverts tend to find all the sources of vital energy and the reasons for what happened in themselves, and extroverts - in the external environment. In further studies, the isolation of these two types has been experimentally confirmed and widely used for diagnostic purposes.

According to the personality typology developed by Jung, a distinction is made between the following types:

1) mental (intellectual) - creates formulas, schemes, tends to power, authoritarianism; mostly inherent in men;

2) sensitive (sentimental, emotional) - responsiveness, empathy, a more feminine type prevails;

3) sensory - satisfied with sensations, there are no deep experiences, adapts well to the outside world;

4) Intuitive - In a creative search, new ideas come from insight, but they are not always productive and need improvement.

Each of the listed types can be both introverted and extroverted. K. Jung also introduced the concept of individualization, that is, the development of a person as an individual who differs from a community. This is the ultimate goal of the educational process. However, at the initial stage, a person must learn the minimum of collective norms necessary for his or her existence.

Another prominent exponent of Neofreudianism is E. Frommwho was the founder of humanistic psychoanalysis. E. Fromm believed that the psyche and human behavior are socially determined.

Pathology occurs where personal freedom is suppressed. These pathologies include: masochism, sadism, recluse, conformism, tendency to destruction.

Fromm divides all social structures into those that promote human freedom and those in which human freedom is lost.

Genetic psychology. Its founder is a Swiss psychologist J. Piaget, whoever studied the mental development of the child, mainly its intellect, can therefore in part be regarded as representatives of cognitive psychology.

There are three periods in the process of cognitive development:

1) sensorimotor (from birth to approx. 1.5 years);

2) the stage of specific operations (from 1.5-2 to 11-13 years old);

3) the stage of formal operations (after 11-13 years).

The beginning of these phases can be accelerated or slowed down depending on the type of training and the influence of the environment.

The training will only be effective if it is started on time and the existing level is taken into account.

J. Piaget wrote: “When we prematurely teach a child something that it has been able to discover for itself over time, we are depriving them of a complete understanding of the subject.

Of course, this does not mean that teachers should not design experimental situations that stimulate students' creativity. "

The main factors that determine cognitive development are maturation, experience, and social learning.

The modern structure of psychological knowledge is characterized by the following trends:

1) blurring the boundaries between pre-existing independent directions in psychology, for example, many modern scientists use in their theories the knowledge accumulated in different directions;

2) Modern psychology is increasingly becoming a popular practice, and this leads to a differentiation not according to theoretical schools, but according to the areas of application of knowledge in practical areas of activity.

3) Psychological knowledge is enriched at the expense of the sciences with which psychology actively collaborates to solve common problems.

So the field of theoretical and practical application of modern psychology is very broad, and psychology is an actively and dynamically developing science.

psychology - the science of man, his spiritual being and his psyche in their development and in all forms.

General Psychology - a fundamental discipline that studies the general laws of cognitive processes and states and the general mental properties of an individual.

The path of development of psychology was more difficult than that of the development of other sciences such as physics or chemistry. It's not difficult to understand the reasons for this difference. After all, objects from physics, chemistry and other natural sciences are known to be somehow visible, tangible and material. Psychology, on the other hand, deals with a substance that, although it is constantly revealed, nevertheless appears as a special reality at the highest level and differs from material reality in its invisibility, untouchability and inessentiality.

It is this difference that leads to difficulties in resolving psychological phenomena and, from the beginning, hindered the development of psychological knowledge, its transformation into an independent science, since its object itself seemed elusive and mysterious for a long time.

The history of psychological knowledge has more than 2000 years, during which it developed mainly within the framework of philosophy and the natural sciences.

The beginning of the transformation of psychology into an independent science is associated with the name of the German scientist Christian Wolff (1679-1754) who published Rational Psychology (1732) and Experimental Psychology (1734), in which he used the term psychology.

However, only from the beginning of the 20th century. Psychology eventually evolved into an independent science. Around the turn of the XX-XXI century. The importance of psychology has increased significantly due to its increasing involvement in various types of practical activities. Such branches as pedagogy, law, military, management, sports psychology, etc. At the same time, the originality of the subject of psychology in its composition has spawned a large number of scientific schools and theories that complement and often contradict each other.

The meaning of the word "psychology" itself becomes clear when we consider that it is made up of two Greek terms: « psyche» - Soul derived from the name of the Greek goddess psycheand « logos» - Word, concept, teaching, science.

Since its inception, psychology stood out among other sciences as it was the only one among them named after the goddess.

Psychology owes its name to Greek mythology. According to a myth, the god of love Eros fell in love with a simple peasant woman psyche... but is characterized by divine beauty. But the mother of Eros, the goddess Aphrodite, was very unhappy that it was her son. Heavenly, he wanted to associate his destiny with a mere mortal. Aphrodite began to strive to separate the lovers. It made Psyche pass many exams. But the desire of Psyche to unite her destiny with Eros was so great that it made a strong impression on the gods of Olympus and they decided to help Psyche to overcome all the trials that fell on her lot and their demands to meet Aphrodite. In the meantime, Eros managed to convince the supreme god - Zeus - to turn Psyche into a goddess in order to make her as immortal as the gods. This is how the lovers manage to unite forever.

In fact, it is this deep thought about the integrity of the universe that contains two main principles - material and spiritual. Contained in the ancient myth, became the basis for the concepts of modern materialistic philosophy and psychology about the nature of the human psyche as such a property of highly organized matter which embodies the highest level of the universal evolution of nature.

It is this idea that is expressed in the most common definition of psychology today:

Psychology is a science whose subject matter is the laws of the psyche as a special, highest form of human and animal life.

The same psyche Today it is understood not as something mysterious and inexplicable, but as the highest form of the relationship of living beings to the objective world, which has arisen as a result of a long process of self-organization of nature, expressed in their ability to realize their motives on the basis of Information about this world.

At the level of a person, which expresses the highest level of the organizational process, the order of being, the psyche acquires a qualitatively new character, since the biological nature of a person is changed by socio-cultural factors, on the basis of which a comprehensive inner life plan appears - Consciousness and a person becomes a person.

However, even today it should be borne in mind that for many centuries the psyche was referred to by the term "soul", which was depicted as an ethereal entity whose history and fate, according to various religious beliefs that have survived to this day, not so much of it depends Processes of self-organization of natural life,not so much of a living body, how much of extraterrestrial, supernatural principles, of otherworldly forces that are inaccessible to our understanding. It is this idea of ​​the essence of spirit that underlies all modern world religions, including Christianity, and is also supported by some branches of philosophy and modern psychological science.

From the point of view of other psychological teachings, however, the psyche is the supreme product of the processes of self-organization of nature and acts as an intermediary between the subjective, human and objective external world, greatly increasing the effectiveness of human activities in transforming the surrounding natural and social environment.

But in one way or another the basis of modern psychology is formed by historically formed ideas about the correspondence of the mental and material world, the coexistence of internal and external, spiritual and physical, subjective and objective being.

Before one came to such an idea of ​​the essence of the psychic, knowledge of it naturally had to go through a long path of development, which includes a number of stages. Knowing the content of these levels helps to understand psychological reality more deeply and, on this basis, to make a conscious choice between the various SS interpretations that exist today.

The process of developing psychological knowledge has been long and difficult. These difficulties were not accidental. They are associated with the peculiarities of the mind that arose in the past and today raise many problems in the development of psychology, in particular explains the preservation to the present polytheoretical this area of ​​knowledge.

Difficulties in developing psychology are associated with the following Features of the mental sphere:

Special location, Localization Subject of psychology. The physical medium of this object is located not outside, but inside us. In addition, the physical carriers of the mental functions are particularly reliably "hidden" in us: in the skull, in other most permanent bone structures in our skeleton.

This particularly reliable protection was created by nature to protect the psyche. At the same time, it greatly complicates the study of the secrets of this sphere.

The peculiarity of the mental world also lies in the fact that it is closely connected with the material, physical world with a single process of self-organization for the entire universe. At the same time, it is opposed to it in a number of its properties. As already mentioned, the psyche is characterized by properties such as disembodiment, immateriality and invisibility. Of course, sometimes spiritual properties come to the fore, they manifest themselves in the words, gestures and actions of people and thus partially materialize.

However, between these visible, material manifestations and the psychic phenomena themselves, there is always a distance, sometimes of enormous size. It is not for nothing that some experts on the human psyche argue that language is given to us to hide our thoughts.

From these qualities follows the sphere of the mind and another which researchers have constantly encountered - Impossibility of precise fixation, physical or chemical registration of mental processes in the nervous system, especially in the brain, the impossibility of objectively determining the thoughts and feelings that arise in us. Therefore, the repeated attempts to make what is known as a "lie detector" or chronograph have proven unsuccessful as they were invariably discovered. that, in the course of their experimental use, these devices only record physiological processes (changes in pulse, body temperature, pressure, etc.) associated with mental phenomena, but not these mental phenomena themselves.

And finally, in connection with, there is another difficulty in recognizing psychological reality the impossibility of using the entire complex of our cognitive abilities to study it, since mental phenomena cannot be seen, smelled or touched: they can only be perceived indirectly, speculatively, with the help of our ability to think abstractly, because only this unique ability of ours makes it possible see the invisible.

All these features of psychological reality made the task of their studies particularly difficult and led to the fact that the path of development of psychology turned out to be very long and contradictory. This path involved a series of stages, each of which produced its own particular form of psychological knowledge.

The study of the history of psychology cannot, of course, be reduced to a simple enumeration of certain psychological problems, ideas, and ideas. To understand them. it is necessary to understand their inner connection, the common logic of the formation of psychology as a science.

It is especially important to understand that psychology as a teaching about the human soul is always conditional anthropology, the doctrine of man in its entirety. Research, hypotheses, conclusions of psychology, no matter how abstract and private they may seem, imply some understanding human essence, let yourself be guided by this or that image.

In turn, Doctrine of Man fits in general picture of the world, formed on the basis of the synthesis of knowledge, ideological attitudes of a particular historical era. Therefore, the history of the formation and development of psychological knowledge is, albeit a complex, contradicting, but quite logical process associated with a change in the understanding of the essence of a person and education on this basis of new explanations of his psyche.

A distinction is usually made between three main historical stages, which correspond to three forms of psychological knowledge:

  • or everyday psychology;

The structure of psychology

The historical process of development of any science is associated with its increasingly significant differentiation based on the process of expanding the object of that science. As a result, modern sciences, especially basic ones, including psychology. represent a complex diversified system. As the structure of science becomes more complex, it becomes necessary to classify its constituent branches. The classification of branch sciences is their systematic subdivision, the arrangement of scientific knowledge by breaking down a particular science as a generic concept into the generic concepts that make it up.

Psychology at the present stage of development is a very complex system of scientific disciplines.

They develop general problems and study the general laws of the psyche that manifest themselves in people, regardless of the activity in which they are involved. Due to the universality of knowledge about the basic branches of psychology, they are united by the term "General Psychology".

Studies mental processes such as sensation, perception, attention, memory, imagination, thinking, speaking. IN THE Personality psychology examines the mental structure of personality and the mental characteristics of personality that determine a person's affairs and actions.

In addition to general psychology, psychology includes a number of special psychological disciplines, associated with various areas of human life and action.

The special branches of psychology that deal with the psychological problems of certain types of activities include: industrial psychology, educational psychology, medical psychology, forensic psychology, military psychology, commercial psychology and psychology of scientific creativity, sports psychology, etc.

Social psychology.

The theory and practice of teaching and educating the younger generation is closely related to general psychology and specific branches of psychology.

Gene, differential and developmental psychology.

For a mentally competent organization of education it is necessary to know the psychological interaction patterns between people in groups such as family, pupils and groups of pupils. Relationships in groups are the subject of the study of social psychology.

Abnormal Development Psychology deals with deviations from the norm in human behavior and psyche and is extremely necessary for educational work with children who are lagging behind in intellectual development or children who are educationally neglected.

Combines all information on education and upbringing. The subject of educational psychology is the psychological laws of education and training of a person. Sections of educational psychology are: the psychology of learning (psychological foundations of didactics, private methods. Formation of mental actions); Educational psychology (psychological basics of education, psychological basics of corrective work pedagogy); Educational psychology and pedagogical work with difficult children: the psychology of the teacher).

Modern psychology is characterized both by the differentiation process, from which numerous special areas of psychology emerge, and by the integration process through which psychology is docked with other sciences, for example through pedagogical psychology with pedagogy.

Psychological subject

The name psychology means that psychology is the science of the soul. The study, the explanation of the soul was the first stage of its creation. For the first time, psychology was defined as the science of the soul. However, it turned out to be quite difficult to study the soul using scientific methods. In the course of historical development, which focused on scientific research methods and the general scientific ideal of objectivity, psychologists abandoned the concept of the soul and began to develop programs for building psychology as a single scientific discipline based on a materialistic worldview was based. In this way, psychology has made significant advances in the study of the phenomena of the human psyche: the main components of the psyche have been identified, the patterns of formation of sensation and perception have been studied, the types of memory, types and characteristics of thinking have been identified, psychological Problems with certain types of human activity, etc.

However, as many psychologists find, the path to abandoning the concept of soul and replacing it with the concept of psyche ultimately turned out to be a dead end for psychology.

Throughout the 20th century. Both Western and Soviet psychology started from the world of existence, and spiritual life was viewed as the product of "specially organized matter" - the brain and social interactions. The result of such a half-march was, as B.S. Brother, not just a dead, soulless, soul-giving person as an object of research, but also a dead, soulless psychology.

Regardless of how psychology claims to be scientific objectivity, the original image is at the center of a major 20th century psychological concept, be it behaviorism or Marxist psychology, psychoanalysis or humanistic psychology, the image of a person robbing an immortal soul is subject to instincts and wanders in search of pleasure, pleasure, activities, self-actualization, self-enlargement, etc.

In the course of attempts to build psychology as an independent scientific discipline on the basis of a materialistic worldview, Loss of unity Psychology itself. Psychology in the 20th century. is a conglomerate of facts, schools, trends and research that mostly have almost nothing to do with each other. At one time, hopes were directed towards general psychology which was to play a leading role in relation to specific psychological research, but those hopes were not justified.

Currently there is in the context of psychology general psychological theories, guided by various scientific ideals, and psychological practice, based on certain psychological theories or a number of theories and the development of special psychotechnics for influencing and controlling consciousness.

The existence of different psychological theories has led to this on the problem of the subject psychology. For the behaviorist, the subject of study is behavior, for the proponent of the theory of activity - mentally controlled activity, for the Christian psychologist - living knowledge of the genesis of sinful passions and the pastoral art of healing them, for the psychoanalyst - the unconscious, etc. .

The question naturally arises: can one speak of psychology as a unified science with a common research object, or should we recognize the existence of many psychologies?

Some scholars believe that psychology is a single science that, like any other science, has its own subject. Psychology as a science is concerned with the study of the factors of mental life as well as with the disclosure of the laws that regulate mental phenomena. And no matter how difficult the ways of psychological thinking over the centuries are to master its subject, no matter how knowledge about it changes and is enriched, no matter what terms it denotes, it is possible to distinguish features that make up the actual subject Characterize psychology and distinguish it from other sciences ...

Psychology is a science that studies the facts, laws, and mechanisms of the psyche.

Other scholars tend to believe that psychology is science and practice in unity, and science and practice in psychology are understood in different ways. However, this means that there are many psychologies: nothing less than real experiments in building a psychological science practice.

The restoration of a single subject of psychology and the synthesis of psychological knowledge is only possible if psychology is brought back Recognition of reality and the dominant role of the soul. And although the soul will remain largely outside the framework of psychological research, its postulation, reverent appreciation, constant need to correlate with the fact itself and the purposes of its existence will inevitably change the forms and essence of psychological research change.

Many open-minded psychologists in both the West and Russia have recognized a deep divide that separates modern scientific psychology from the major religious systems. The wealth of deep knowledge of the human soul and consciousness that has accumulated in these systems over the centuries and even millennia has not been adequately recognized and has not been explored until recently.

In recent years there has been a convergence of the spiritually experienced and scientific-theoretical ways of knowing the world.

The desire to go beyond understanding psychology as a science of the psyche, a property of the brain, is increasingly seen. Many modern psychologists view human psychology as a psychological anthropology and speak of spirituality as the deepest essence of man. The concepts of soul and spirituality from the standpoint today are no longer interpreted as purely figurative expressions. Spirituality encompasses the meaning of life, conscience, higher moral values ​​and feelings, higher interests, ideas, beliefs. And although spirituality has no direct physical correlates other than energy, psychologists believe that spirituality can be studied in the context of psychology.

By the end of the 20th century. The need to create a unified picture of the world is realized in which both the results of scientific knowledge about nature and man and the fruits of a thousand years of spiritual experience are summarized. As always in the history of scientific knowledge, physicists lead the way in this process. After physics, scientific psychology also recognized the need to restructure the worldview and achieve a multi-dimensional understanding of people.

With all this in mind, psychologists come to an understanding of psychology as the science of man, his spiritual essence and psyche in its development and in all forms.

The structure of psychology as a science

Psychology at the modern stage of development is a very ramified system of scientific disciplines, divided into basic and applied.

Basic branches of psychology Develop general problems and study the general laws of the psyche that manifest themselves in people, regardless of the activity in which they are involved. Due to the universality of knowledge about the basic branches of psychology, they are united by the term "General Psychology".

General psychology explores the individual and highlights mental cognitive processes and the personality within them. Psychology of cognitive processes studies mental processes such as sensation, perception, attention, memory, imagination, thinking, speaking. IN THE Personality psychology examines the mental structure of personality and the mental characteristics of personality that determine a person's deeds and actions.

In addition to general psychology, psychology comprises a number of special psychological disciplines in various stages of education that are connected to different areas of human life and action.

The special branches of psychology that study the psychological problems of certain types of activities include: industrial psychology, educational psychology, medical psychology, forensic psychology, military psychology, commercial psychology, psychology of scientific creativity, psychology of sport, etc.

The psychological aspects of development are studied by developmental psychology and abnormal development psychology.

The psychological aspects of the relationship between the individual and society are examined Social psychology.

The theory and practice of teaching and educating the younger generation is closely related to general psychology and specific branches of psychology.

The scientific bases for understanding the laws of mental development in a child are genetic, differential and age-related psychology. Genetic psychology studies the hereditary mechanisms of a child's psyche and behavior. Differential psychology identifies individual differences between people and explains the development process. In developmental psychology, the stages of the mental development of the individual are examined.

For a spiritually competent organization of education, you need to know the psychological patterns of interaction between people in groups such as family, students and student groups. Relationships in groups are the subject of the study of the social psyche.

Abnormal development psychology deals with deviations from the norm in a person's behavior and psyche and is extremely necessary in educational work with children who are lagging behind in mental development.

Educational psychology combines all information on education and upbringing. The subject of educational psychology is the psychological laws of education and training of a person. The sections of educational psychology are:

  • psychology of learning (psychological foundations of didactics, private methods, formation of mental actions);
  • educational psychology (psychological foundations of education, psychological foundations of corrective work pedagogy);
  • psychology of teaching and educational work with difficult children;
  • psychology of the teacher.

Modern psychology is characterized both by the process of differentiation, which gives rise to numerous special branches of psychology, and by the process of integration, which connects psychology with other sciences, for example educational psychology with pedagogy.


Transpersonal Psychology - a trend in 20th century psychology, founded by the American psychologist S. Grof, which regards a person as a cosmic and spiritual being, inseparable from all of humanity and the universe, and his consciousness as part of the world information network .

Soviet psychology - a period in the development of Russian psychology when Marxist-Leninist philosophy served as the ideological basis of psychological research.

Spiritually Oriented Psychology - a trend in modern domestic psychology based on traditional spiritual values ​​and recognizing the reality of spiritual being.

PSYCHOLOGY, the science of psycho, personality processes and their specifically human forms: perception and thinking, consciousness and character, language and behavior. Soviet P. builds a common understanding of the subject P. based on the elaboration of Marx's ideological legacy ... ... Great Medical Encyclopedia

- (from the Greek. soul and word, doctrine), the science of the laws, mechanisms and facts of the psyche. Human and animal life. The relationship of living beings to the world is realized through the senses. and mind. Images, motivations, communication processes, ... ... Philosophical encyclopedia

psychology - (from the Greek psyche-soul and logos doctrine, science) the science of the laws of development and functioning of the psyche as a special form of life. The interaction of living beings with the surrounding world is qualitatively different ... ... Great Psychological Encyclopedia

- (from psychic ... and ... logic) the science of the laws, mechanisms and facts of the spiritual life of humans and animals. The main theme of psychological thinking in ancient times and in the Middle Ages is the problem of the soul (Aristotle, On the soul, etc.). In the 17-18 centuries. due to ... ... Large encyclopedic dictionary

- (from psycho ... and ... logic), the science of laws, mechanisms and facts of the spiritual life of humans and animals. The main theme of psychological thinking in ancient times and in the Middle Ages is the problem of the soul (About the soul of Aristotle, etc.). In the 17-18 centuries. due to ... ... modern encyclopedia

psychology - and. G. Psychology f. 1. Science about the psyche, mental activity of a person. General Psychology. ALS 1. Experimental Psychology. Animal Psychology. Ush. 1939. || An academic subject that describes the content of that science. AS 1. || A book about ... ... Historical Dictionary of Russian Gallicisms

psychology - (from psycho ... and ... logic), the science of laws, mechanisms and facts of the spiritual life of humans and animals. The main theme of psychological thinking in ancient times and in the Middle Ages is the problem of the soul ("On the Soul" by Aristotle and others). In the 17-18 centuries. based on ... ... Illustrated encyclopedic dictionary

- (Greek, from Psyche, soul, and Logos doctrine, science). The science of mental activity. Dictionary of foreign words contained in the Russian language. Chudinov AN, 1910. PSYCHOLOGY, Greek, from psyche, soul and Lego, I say. The science of the soul. Declaration 25000 ... ... Dictionary of foreign words of the Russian language

PSYCHOLOGY, psychology, many others. No women. (Greek psyche soul and logos doctrine) (book). 1. Science that studies mental processes that result from the constant effects of the objective world and social environment on humans (and animals). ... ... Ushakov's explanatory dictionary

psychology i - PSYCHOLOGY I (ego psychology) is one of the directions in psychoanalytic psychology that emerged in the middle of the 20th century. It was reflected in the work of A. Freud, H. Hartmann and focused on the study of the defense mechanisms of the I, as well as their connections and ... encyclopedia of epistemology and philosophy of science


  • Psychology, Abraham P. Sperling. Without limiting itself to a strict encyclopedic definition, which says that psychology is a multi-branch science about the laws, mechanisms and facts of the mental life of humans and animals ...

Psychology is the science of the psyche and human behavior. The word "psychology" comes from the Greek words "psyche" and means breath, mind, soul and "logia" which means the study of something.

According to the Medilexicon Medical Dictionary, psychology is "a profession (clinical psychology), a scientific discipline (academic psychology), and a science (research psychology) that relates to human and animal behavior and the mental and psychological processes associated with that behavior."

While psychology may include the study of the brain and behavior of animals, this article will focus solely on human psychology.

At the end of a few paragraphs you will find an introduction to the new directions of development described in the MNT news. You can also use our links for information on related mental illnesses.

Psychology is the expression in words of what cannot be expressed by them.

John Galsworthy

Psychological facts

The following are important facts related to psychology.

For more information, see the main part of the article:

  • Psychology is the study of behavior and psyche
  • We are unable to physically see mental processes such as thoughts, memories, dreams and sensations.
  • Clinical psychology combines science, theory and practice.
  • Cognitive psychology studies internal mental processes, the way people think, perceive, and communicate.
  • Developmental psychology studies how people develop psychologically over the course of their lives.
  • Evolutionary psychology studies how psychological changes in the evolutionary process have influenced human behavior.
  • Forensic psychology is the application of psychology to the criminal investigation process and to legislation.
  • Health psychology studies the effects of health on behavior, biology and socialization.
  • Neuropsychology studies the function of the brain in relation to various behaviors and psychological processes.
  • Industrial psychology studies how people work to develop and understand how organizations work.
  • Social psychology studies the influence of the actual or perceived presence of others on people's behavior and thoughts.

Psychology is the science that studies brain activity

The brain is inherently very complex and mysterious. Many are surprised how psychologists can even examine such a complex, abstract-looking and very sophisticated object. Even when scientists look into the brain during an autopsy or surgery, for example, they only see gray matter (the brain itself). Unlike, for example, skin peeling or heart disease, it is simply impossible to physically see thoughts, realizations, emotions, memories, dreams, sensations, etc.

Experts say that the approach in psychology is not very different from other sciences. As in other sciences, psychology develops experiments that support or refute theories and expectations. For a physicist, the data to be processed during an experiment may come from atoms, electrons, the application or termination of heating, while for a psychologist such data sources are human behavior.

For the psychologist, human behavior is used as evidence, or at least an indication of how the brain works. We cannot directly observe the work of the brain; However, it actually affects all of our actions, feelings, and thoughts. For this reason, human behavior is used as a source of information to test psychological theories about how the brain works.

How does psychology compare to other sciences?

Many people say that psychology is at the intersection of other disciplines such as medicine, linguistics, sociology, biology, artificial intelligence, anthropology, and even history. For example, neuropsychology - a branch of psychology that studies how different areas of the brain are used in memory processes, language, emotions, etc. - is the interface between biology and medicine.

Different directions in psychology

There are many areas of psychology. How you classify them depends on what part of the world you are in and what university or institute you attended.

But the largest areas of psychology can be identified, such as:

Clinical Psychology

Clinical psychology combines science, theory, and practice to understand, predict, and alleviate the patient's inability to adapt, disability, and discomfort. Clinical psychology also promotes adjustment, mood, and personal development. Clinical psychologists focus on the intellectual, emotional, biological, social, and behavioral aspects of a person's behavior throughout their life with changes at the cultural, social, and economic levels.

In other words, clinical psychology is the scientific research and application of psychology to understand, prevent and eliminate stress or disorders (disabilities) caused by psychological reasons, with the aim of improving the patient's health and personal development .

The practice of clinical psychology is based on psychological assessment and psychotherapy (“What is psychotherapy”). However, clinical psychologists are often also active in research, teaching, forensics, and other areas.

Cognitive psychology

Cognitive psychology studies internal mental processes such as problem solving, memorization, learning, and language (the way people think, perceive, communicate, remember, and learn). This branch of psychology is closely related to other disciplines such as neurobiology, philosophy, and linguistics.

Cognitive psychology focuses on how people receive, process, and store information. It is often said that cognitive psychology is the study of intelligence. Practical applications of cognitive research can include improving memory, improving decision-making accuracy, or modifying learning programs to accelerate learning.

Developmental psychology

Developmental psychology is the scientific study of the systematic psychological changes a person experiences throughout their life. This branch of psychology is often referred to as the psychology of human development. It used to focus only on babies and toddlers, now it also includes the study of adolescents and adults - the entire lifespan of a person.

Developmental psychology encompasses all of the psychological factors at work during a person's life, including motor skills, problem solving, moral understanding, language acquisition, formation of emotions, personality, self-esteem, and identity.

Developmental psychology also examines and compares innate mental structures with those acquired through experience. For example, it is believed that babies are born with LAD (innate language acquisition).

The developmental psychologist will be interested in how LAD works in relation to the child's development and experience, and how the two are related. He will also be interested in the interaction of human characteristics with environmental factors and how this interaction influences development.

Developmental psychology overlaps with a number of other areas of psychology as well as with other disciplines such as linguistics.

Evolutionary psychology

Evolutionary psychology examines the influence of psychological changes in the evolutionary process on human behavior. While biologists talk about natural or sexual selection in evolution, this branch of psychology takes a psychological approach to such selection. For example, an evolutionary psychologist believes that language perception or memory is a functional product of natural selection.

Some evolutionary psychologists have suggested that language acquisition is an innate skill that makes language learning an automatic process, but not linked to reading and writing. In other words, they believe that our ability to learn a language is innate as our ability to read and write is acquired (language learning is automatic, but we need to learn to read and write). A person born in a French-speaking city speaks French at the age of 20. However, unless he is specifically taught to read, he will remain illiterate - the language is automatically acquired when it exists around you, but reading and writing are not.

An evolutionary psychologist is certain that a person's psychological traits are the result of our ancestors adapting to survive in an everyday setting.

Forensic psychology

Forensic psychology applies the principles of psychology to criminal investigations and legal proceedings. This direction practices psychology as a science within the framework of the criminal conviction system.

Forensic psychology involves understanding criminal law in the specific jurisdiction in order to interact with judges, attorneys, and other professionals in the legal system.

Forensic psychology also examines the ability to testify in court, present psychological findings in legal language in court, and provide data to legal professionals in a way they can understand.

A forensic psychologist needs to understand the rules, standards, and philosophy of the legal system used.

Health psychology

Health psychology is also known as behavioral medicine or medical psychology. This branch of psychology studies how behavior, biology, and the social environment affect disease and health. While the doctor treats the disease, the health psychologist focuses more on the sick person, identifying their social and economic status, the conditions and behaviors that may affect the disease (such as strict adherence to medical regulations), and the biological basis illness. The goal of such a psychologist is to improve the general health of the patient by analyzing the disease in the context of bio-psychological factors. "Biopsychological" as used herein refers to the biological, psychological and social aspects as opposed to the strictly biomedical aspects of the disease.

Health psychologists typically work with other health professionals in a clinical setting.


This branch of psychology studies the structure and function of the brain in relation to behavioral and psychological processes. Neuropsychology is also used to study brain damage and record the electrical activity of cells and groups of cells in great apes.

The neuropsychologist uses neuropsychological assessment - a systematic assessment procedure - to determine the extent of possible behavioral problems after suspicion or diagnosis of a patient's brain injury. Once a diagnosis is made, some patients are treated with an individualized cognitive correction protocol that helps the patient overcome their cognitive impairments.

Work psychology

Work psychology - referred to in various publications as work organization psychology, I-O psychology, work psychology, organizational psychology, work and organizational psychology, personnel psychology or talent assessment - examines the performance of people during work and learning. It develops an understanding of how organizations work and the behavior of individuals and groups of people at work. The industrial psychologist wants to increase efficiency, effectiveness and job satisfaction.

According to the British Psychological Society, industrial psychology relates to people's performance at work and during training, the way organizations work, and the behavior of individuals and small groups at work. and improving individual job satisfaction. "

Social psychology

Social psychology uses scientific methods to understand and explain how people's feelings, behaviors, and thoughts are affected by the actual, imaginary, or perceived presence of others. A social psychologist examines group behavior, social perception, non-verbal behavior, obedience, aggression, prejudice, and leadership. Social perception and social interactions are seen as key aspects in understanding social behavior.

Put simply, a social psychologist studies the influence of those around him on human behavior.

Psychology in the traditional sense is an extremely simple science.
People who are unable to drive a nail in or to rhyme a few lines do not doubt their ability to understand and judge others.
In extreme cases, it becomes the meaning of life and the source of self-affirmation.
Sergey Lukyanenko. The maze of reflections

History of psychology

In a philosophical context, psychology existed thousands of years ago in Greece, Egypt, India, Persia, and China. Medieval Muslim psychologists and doctors practiced a clinical and experimental approach to psychology - they were the first to have psychiatric clinics.

Biological psychology was created by Pierre Cabanis (France) in 1802. The psychologist Cabanis wrote a famous essay titled "Rapports du physique et du moral de l" homme "(Rapports du physique et du moral de l" homme ") He interpreted and believed the psyche in accordance with his earlier studies in biology that sensitivity and soul are part of this nervous system.

The year 1879 can be seen as the birth of modern psychology. In that year the German doctor Wilhelm Wundt founded psychology as a completely independent experimental research area. He opened the first laboratory at the University of Leipzig, in which he exclusively carried out psychological research. Today, Wundt is considered the father of psychology.

In 1980 the American psychologist William James published Principles of Psychology, which psychologists around the world have been discussing for decades.

The first psychologist to study memory exclusively was Hermann Ebbinghaus (1850-1909) from the University of Berlin. The psychologist Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) is now known even among ordinary people thanks to the term "Pavlov's dog". He studied learning processes called "classical conditioning".


At present, psychologists have developed directions such as behaviorism, psychoanalytic theory, and cognitive perception theory. Psychology has become more complex.

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) (Austria) developed psychoanalysis - a method of psychotherapy ("What is psychotherapy?"). His understanding of the psyche was largely based on interpretation, introspection, and clinical observation. Freud focused on solving unconscious conflicts, mental illness, and psychopathology.

Freud's theories about sexuality and the unconscious psyche became famous, probably because sexuality was a taboo subject at the time. The basic principle of Freud's theory is that the subconscious is responsible for most of the thoughts and behaviors of any person, as well as for mental disorders or illnesses. Freud had a significant influence on the psychiatrist Carl Young (Switzerland).

Structuralism versus functionalism

E. B. Titchner (USA), a student of Wundt, was an ardent proponent of structuralism. William James and John Deevee were strong supporters of functionalism. Structuralism deals with the question "What is consciousness?", While Functionalism deals with the questions "What is consciousness for? Which goals or functions of creation form the basis of the mental process?" Interested.

Structuralists and functionalists are passionately at odds with each other. Most agree that there will never be a clear winner in their debate - but their debate has resulted in the rapid spread of psychology in the United States and other parts of the world. The first psychological laboratory in the US was opened by Stanley Hall at Johns Hopkins University.


In 1913, the American psychologist John Watson founded a new movement that changed the focus of psychology. Watson believed that both structuralists and functionalists deviated too far from objective science. Put simply, Watson said that psychology should focus on the study of behavior because he believed that behavior is not the result of internal mental processes, but rather the result of our response to environmental stimuli.

Behaviorism focuses on how people learn new behaviors in their environment. This trend became very popular in the United States, where among the followers of Watson, psychologists B.F. Skimmer.


Some psychologists find behaviorism and psychoanalytic theory to be overly mechanistic. Instead of being a victim of the environment or the subconscious, humanists say, a person is internally correct and only our own mental processes play an active role in our behavior.

The humanistic movement values ​​our emotions, our free will, and our subjective perception of sensations.

Cognitive theory

This branch of psychology emerged in the 1970s and is considered the most modern philosophical movement in psychology. The cognitive perspective is much more objective and predictable than the humanistic perspective. However, it differs from that in that it mainly focuses on mental processes.

Cognitive theorists believe that we receive information from our environment through our senses and then mentally process, organize, manipulate and link this data with the information that we have previously collected. Cognitive theory is applicable to language, memory, learning, systems of perception, mental disorder, and dreams.

Present day

Today there are no dominant trends like there used to be in psychology. Behaviorism, psychoanalytic theory, humanism, and cognitive perception are currently being actively developed by psychologists. Psychology has become much more diverse (by choosing the best from each teaching, trend, or philosophical trend).