Рефераты Special fields of psychology

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Special fields of psychology


1. Introduction
2. Physiological psychology
3. Psychoanalysis
4. Behaviourism
5. Gestalt psychology
6 .Cognition
7. Tests and Measurements
8. Development psychology
9. Social psychology
10. Psychiatry and mental health
11. Forensic psychology and criminology
12. Psychology, religion and phenomenology
13. Parapsychology
14. Industrial Psychology

1. Introduction
Psychology, scientific study of behavior and experience—that is, the
study of how human beings and animals sense, think, learn, and know.
Modern psychology is devoted to collecting facts about behavior and
experience and systematically organizing such facts into psychological
theories. These theories aid in understanding and explaining people’s
behavior and sometimes in predicting and influencing their future

Psychology, historically, has been divided into many subfields of
study; these fields, however, are interrelated and frequently overlap.
Physiological psychologists, for instance, study the functioning of the
brain and the nervous system, and experimental psychologists devise
tests and conduct research to discover how people learn and remember.
Subfields of psychology may also be described in terms of areas of
application. Social psychologists, for example, are interested in the
ways in which people influence one another and the way they act in
groups. Industrial psychologists study the behavior of people at work
and the effects of the work environment. School psychologists help
students make educational and career decisions. Clinical psychologists
assist those who have problems in daily life or who are mentally ill.

History. The science of psychology developed from many diverse sources,
but its origins as a science may be traced to ancient Greece.

Philosophical Beginnings. Plato and Aristotle, as well as other Greek
philosophers, took up some of the basic questions of psychology that
are still under study: Are people born with certain skills, abilities,
and personality, or do all these develop as a result of experience? How
do people come to know the world? Are certain ideas and feelings
innate, or are they all learned?

Such questions were debated for many centuries, but the roots of modern
psychological theory are found in the 17th century in the works of the
French philosopher Ren Descartes and the British philosophers Thomas
Hobbes and John Locke. Descartes argued that the bodies of people are
like clockwork machines, but that their minds (or souls) are separate
and unique. He maintained that minds have certain inborn, or innate,
ideas and that these ideas are crucial in organizing people’s
experiencing of the world. Hobbes and Locke, on the other hand,
stressed the role of experience as the source of human knowledge. Locke
believed that all information about the physical world comes through
the senses and that all correct ideas can be traced to the sensory
information on which they are based.

Most modern psychology developed along the lines of Locke’s view. Some
European psychologists who studied perception, however, held onto
Descartes’s idea that some mental organization is innate, and the
concept still plays a role in theories of perception and cognition.

Against this philosophical background, the field that contributed most
to the development of scientific psychology was physiology—the study of
the functions of the various organ systems of the body. The German
physiologist Johannes Miller tried to relate sensory experience both to
events in the nervous system and to events in the organism’s physical
environment. The first true experimental psychologists were the German
physicist Gustav Theodor Fechner and the German physiologist Wilhelm
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