We explain what Psychology is, the branches into which it is divided and its applications. Also, what are its characteristics and schools
What is psychology?
Psychology is defined as a science of studies that is dedicated to the analysis of mental processes , including sensation, perception and behavior, always in relation to their physical and social environment, and under adequate parameters according to conventional development. It is the study of the soul and mind at the cognitive, affective and behavioral levels.
Characteristics of Psychology :
It is established ‘in situation’
Contrary to being a rigid science in its concepts, psychology analyzes the behavior, feeling and perception of the subjects considering social, individual and cultural factors.
It takes into account the training, social customs, standardized levels of development , environmental and social conditions and the entire environment of a subject to configure their psychological pattern and seek solutions adjusted to these conditions.
There are many current theories
Psychology has multiple current and equally accepted theories. The most recognized are cognitive, psychoanalysis, systemic , Gestalt, phenomenological, positive, neuroscience and, currently notorious: bioneuroemotion.
It has different branches or angles of attention
In general rules, the methodology of application of psychology can be divided into three main branches:
- The experimental. It is science in its basic application that uses quantitative scientific methodologies.
- The clinic. It is based on qualitative methodologies to understand the behavioral and cognitive processes of the subject of analysis.
- The one with questionnaires. It is based on direct or indirect observation , analyzing environments, behaviors and other factors.
Study and application streams
The study branches are identified by their application methodologies and analysis approaches:
- Cognitive. Behavior in situation and sensory interaction, attending to memory , language , perception and attention processes , among others.
- Physiological. The functioning of the brain and the nervous system as the root of behavior and thought .
- Experimental. Perception and memory, with rehearsed techniques and analysis.
- Social. Influences of the social environment, in an analysis “from the outside in”.
- Clinic. Disorders and diseases that affect behavior, cognition, and emotion
Psychology does not use microscopes or laboratory analysis to determine pathologies, disorders and phenomena.
Instead, it uses observation, inquiry, and then correlation of results to reach conclusions , encompassing all the (complex) parameters involved in each mental and emotional process.
Separated approaches in certain pathologies
Prior to the formulation of psychology and psychoanalysis, medical pathologies were considered what later became clear as mental and emotional disorders, including attention disorders, behavior, repressions, phobias, obsessions and others.
It uses observation
Psychology uses various methods of observation, including naturalistic (often the researcher as a witness in the natural environment of the subject), artificial (in controlled, fictitious situations) , and documentary analysis of archives and literature .
The most prominent milestones in psychology are:
- Experimental. 1879, Wundt.
- Psychoanalysis. 1896, Freud , Jung, Piaget, Adler.
- Behaviorism 1913, Watson.
- Rational emotive behavioral therapy. 1954, Ellis.
- Cognitive therapy. 1960, Beck.
- Cognitive psychology. 1967, Neisser.
- Humanist. 1962, HPAA.
- Gestalt. 1940, Perls
It differs from psychiatry
Psychology for animals
Veterinary psychology analyzes the processes and conditions of the animal environment in search of pathologies or behaviors that explain, for example, aggressions, and it is a highly respected field of study in this community .
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