What Is Psychology

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I. What is psychology?
It comes from the two Greek words: Psyche-mind,
Logos-study.
It suggests that psychology is simply 'study of the mind'.
Psychology is:
• a scientific discipline that seeks to understand human behavior
• the science of behavior and mental activity
• also a profession aimed at improving the quality of life

Its goals include to Describe, to Explain, to Predict, and to Control the occurrences that are its subject matters. It is usually grouped with; Natural sciences (biology), Sociology, Philosophy, Linguistics, Economics, and with Political science.
Psychology can be both basic and applied science. The basic research seeks to understand the rules of behavior. The applied research tries to solve concrete problems; therefore it is more practical than the basic. It seeks to develop appropriate applications of the result of the basic research.
Within psychology there is a concern in connection to the problem of the extent to which particular aspects of behavior are a product of either inherited (i.e. genetic) or acquired (i.e. learned) characteristics.
Nature is that which is inherited / genetic. This is the attributes that we are born with. Nurture refers to all environmental influences after conception, i.e. experience.
Questions of psychology:
1) Free will or determinism? -are you free to choose your own behavior or is it somehow determined by natural laws?
2) Are humans merely animals?-if so, how do they differ? If not, what are they?
3) The nature/nurture problem
4) The mind/body problem- is your mind separate from your body?
5) Developmental or situational causes?- does a particular behavior reflect past influences that shaped you or present ones that tell you what to do?

There are several major approaches;

Biological approach is in which the muscles are…...

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