What is Psychology ?

Key Topics covered-

  • Defining Psychology
  • Nature and Scope                                     
  • Brief History
  • Branches of Psychology

Let’s begin by understanding psychology in its simplest form as follows-

  1. Affect – It refers to one’s emotions like being happy or sad.
  • Behaviour – It refers to the different ways in which we act how we feel which can be overt ( observable ) or covert ( not observable ) to others. For example – Smiling while meeting one’s friends or arguing with a friend.
  • Cognition –  It refers to our thought process . For example learning something like riding a cycle , while doing so our brain makes neural connections in order to remember and store what we have learned.


(derived from Greek words)

  Psyche                                                            Logos

   ( mind)                                           (study or science)

Hence psychology is the science of behaviour and cognitive processes. It is the field that seeks to obtain information on everything we think , feel or do. For doing so it examines overt behaviour , cognitive processes , physiological events , social and cultural influences , hidden and largely unconscious processes , and also the interaction among the mentioned factors.

It helps us to understand why species behave the way they do .

Definition given by psychologists-

  • Psychology is the scientific investigation of mental processes and behaviour. (Burton, Westen, & Kowalski, 2009)
  • Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior, according to the American Psychological Association.


The subject matter studied in it is –

  • The development of behaviour including the role of heredity and maturation.
  • The structure and function of nervous system .
  • Sensation and perception
  • Motivation
  • Consciousness
  • Emotions
  • Personality
  • Mental disorders
  • Humanistic psychology


Others are – Abnormal Psychology

                       Comparative Psychology

                       Cognitive Psychology



Useful resources for further learning:


A Phd scholar , Art Therapist, Counsellor who loves to teach psychology in a simple manner . My key areas of interest are positive psychology , art therapy and mindfulness .

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