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I Am Me

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By lcnilsen
Words 544
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Psychology, the scientific study of behavior and the mind. This definition contains three elements. The first is that psychology is a scientific enterprise that obtains knowledge through systematic and objective methods of observation and experimentation. Second is that psychologists study behavior, which refers to any action or reaction that can be measured or observed—such as the blink of an eye, an increase in heart rate, or the unruly violence that often erupts in a mob. Third is that psychologists study the mind, which refers to both conscious and unconscious mental states. These states cannot actually be seen, only inferred from observable behavior.

Many people think of psychologists as individuals who dispense advice, analyze personality, and help those who are troubled or mentally ill. But psychology is far more than the treatment of personal problems. Psychologists strive to understand the mysteries of human nature—why people think, feel, and act as they do. Some psychologists also study animal behavior, using their findings to determine laws of behavior that apply to all organisms and to formulate theories about how humans behave and think.

With its broad scope, psychology investigates an enormous range of phenomena: learning and memory, sensation and perception, motivation and emotion, thinking and language, personality and social behavior, intelligence, infancy and child development, mental illness, and much more. Furthermore, psychologists examine these topics from a variety of complementary perspectives. Some conduct detailed biological studies of the brain, others explore how we process information; others analyze the role of evolution, and still others study the influence of culture and society.

Psychologists seek to answer a wide range of important questions about human nature: Are individuals genetically predisposed at birth to develop…...

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