The Origins of Psychology – Psyche and Logos

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From two Greek words: psyche, which means the mind or the soul and logos, which means study, the science of Psychology has been studied and defined by many people throughout the ages. Hilgard, Morgan, Silverman, and Schlesinger are just a few. A careful analysis of their foregoing definitions of psychology reveals common points: Psychology is the scientific study of the behaviors of living organisms; the term behavior must not be solely attributed to man’s physical reactions and observable behavior; and thoughts, feelings, and attitudes are also connected to the term behavior.

The primary goals of Psychology are mainly to describe, identify, understand and explain behavior, to know its factors, and to control or change behavior. Psychologists often apply their knowledge and understanding of human behavior to solve issues and help in our society. Different areas of specialization in Psychology are studied to provide better understandings of this science.

Among these are the traditional fields consisting mainly of: Clinical Psychology which deals with the diagnosis, treatment, and evaluation of psychological problems. It also relates to Psychiatry which pertains to more serious problems; Counseling Psychology which deals with administering, storing, and interpreting psychological exams; Educational or School Psychology which deals with students’ learning and adjustment; Community Psychology which deals with problems of the aged, prisoners, and other problems in the community.

It also focuses on providing accessible care for these people; Social Psychology which deals with the behavior of man individually and in groups; Industrial or Organizational Psychology which deals with issues of people in the workplace; Personality Psychology which is concerned with the uniqueness of a person; Developmental Psychology which deals with factors affecting human groups; Experimental Psychology which focuses with the basis of scientific research; Physiological Psychology which is concerned with the functions of the brain; and Comparative Psychology which targets the differences of the species.

Aside from these, several branches of Psychology were discovered during the 70’s. Forensic Psychology deals with legal, judicial, and correctional systems. Environmental Psychology is primarily concerned about issues relating to the environment. Computer Science, on the other hand, uses computer programming for behavioral analysis. There is also Engineering Psychology which seeks to make the relationship between man and machines; and Psychopharmacology which deals with the relationship of behavior and drugs.

Furthermore, the latest fields of Psychology that were recently developed consist of: Health Psychology which focuses on multidimensional approaches that emphasize lifestyle and health care systems; Sports Psychology which applies psychological principles to improve performance and enjoy participation; Cross-culture Psychology which examines the role of culture in understanding behavior, thoughts, and emotions; and Women Psychology which emphasizes the importance of promoting research and study of women.

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