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Psychological Sciences

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Psychology, a term meaning “The study of the soul in Latin, has become the science of human behavior and the processes of the mind. This valuable practice is used to study why humans think and act the way that they do, but also to help diagnose and treat the vast array of poor mental health conditions. Though theories and methods in psychology often contradict each other, the goal is the same, which is to study and improve our thought processes.


The Origins of Psychology

Early historical records revealed that Aristotle investigated the human memory and cognition development, which he believed took place in the heart and not the brain. Around the same time period, Chinese rulers began the first psychological exams to study each individual’s personality and intelligence through a series of tests, which were usually used for high ranking Chinese officials. A breakthrough in the emergence of psychology as science began when Wilhelm Wundt, which of whom started a laboratory that was dedicated to studying psychological sciences and mental processes.


How Psychologist Use Science to Study the Mind

Starting as a mere philosophy, psychology began to be recognized as a science and not just an idea. Using empirical methods for studying this area of science, researchers begin a hypothesis that is then tested to confirm whether or not the theory has a scientific basis. Case studies, surveys, and observation of the individual form the basis of various methods used, as this is where scientists gather the data of the individuals to then decipher the meaning of various aspects of psychopathology and theory of mind.


The Neural Basis Of Behavior And Emotions

Emotions and behavior are simply the results of interference from both the inside and outside of the mind. Certain neural pathways are activated through internal or external stimuli. Different neural pathways being activated will send chemicals into the body that will affect the individual’s actions. A great example of this is cortisol being released when a person is afraid. Any given emotion simply has a set of neuro-pathways that create an emotional state.


Current Directions In Psychological Science

With the early pioneers’ approach to psychology usually being divided into different schools of thought, such as humanism or functionalism, modern psychologists usually are not part of any one school of thought. The various different methods of psychology are usually used in some sort of combination. The goal in modern times is not to be biased towards one school of thought, but rather use whatever is useful for the data and treatment of individuals. New bodies of research such as by Robert Sternberg frequently offer new perspectives on psychological science.


Perhaps one of the most important types of science, psychology plays an important part in the mind of every individual on planet Earth. With the goal being to mentally strengthen the minds of everyone, the practice plays a crucial part in making the world the best place that it can be. Psychologists work every day to find new methods or use a combination of methods to better understand the humans behavioral patterns and mind for all of us.

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