What is Psychology?

Psychology is a field that involves the study of how the brain works and the causes of human behavior (Eysenck, 2000). The main goal of psychology is to understand the behaviors of individuals at different levels. A professional who practices in this field is known as a psychologist (Eysenck, 2000). There are several classes of psychology that deal with different aspects of human behavior and activity.

These include social psychology, cognitive psychology, and behavioral psychology. Therefore, psychologists study the physiological and biological functions that control cognitive as well as human behavioral functions.

Psychology studies concepts such as attention, cognition, functions of the brain, interpersonal relationships, emotions, and cognition. The knowledge acquired through the study of psychology is often used to assess and treat mental health problems that are common in today’s society (Price, 2011). Also, it is also used to solve several problems that affect the wellbeing of individuals in society.

Psychology has several subfields that include clinical, biological, developmental, cognitive, comparative, evolutionary, social, personality, and positive psychology. Each of these subfields deals with a different aspect of human behavior and mental functioning. Cognitive psychology is a field of psychology that deals with the mental processes of human beings (Fieldman, 2012).

Disciplines studied under cognitivism include perception, memory, learning, and processes of solving problems. This discipline is related to other disciplines that include philosophy, linguistics, and neuroscience (Price, 2011). Clinical psychology is the study of understanding, preventing, and treating psychological disturbances and disorders to alleviate human suffering (Eysenck, 2000).

It involves practices such as psychotherapy and psychological assessments. In certain cases, clinical psychologists engage in research activities and education. Clinical neuropsychology is also another branch of clinical psychology that involves management of brain injury among patients.

Cognitive psychology involves the study of brain functions and processes that comprise mental activity (Leichsenring, & Leibing, 2003). These processes include perception, learning, language, memory, attention, and learning. Comparative psychology is a branch of psychology that studies the mental and behavioral patterns of animals such as insects and primates.

Research studies conducted under this branch sheds light on the development of human behavior, even though some psychologists and medical experts have refuted the accuracy of such comparisons. Developmental psychology studies the development of the human brain from birth to old age (Price, 2011).

It studies the development of certain brain functions such as memory and cognition, and their evolution that enables them to perform their functions better (Fieldman, 2012).

This branch of psychology also studies the process of aging and other processes that human beings undergo as the development from childhood to adulthood. For example, developmental psychologists study adolescence and old age to determine the various changes that human beings undergo.

Educational psychology is the study of the learning patterns of human beings, the psychology of learning, and the effect of different environments on the learning capabilities of individuals (Fieldman, 2012). Personality psychology deals with the study of human behavior, thought, and emotions (Leichsenring, & Leibing, 2003). These three aspects comprise human personality.

Personality psychologists study its development and importance to people in different stages of human development. Social psychology is a branch that studies relationships between human beings based on their thinking about each other.

Social psychologists study concepts that change or influence the behavior of individuals, such as peer pressure in young people. Also, they study the processes of forming attitudes and stereotypes, as well as their effects on human relationships.


Eysenck, M.W. (2000). Psychology: A Student’s Handbook. New York: Taylor & Francis.

Fieldman, R.S. (2012). Essentials of Understanding Psychology, 10th edition. New York: McGraw Hill.

Leichsenring, F., & Leibing, E. (2003). The Effectiveness of Psychodynamic Therapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy in the Treatment of Personality Disorders: A meta-analysis. The American Journal of Psychiatry 160 (7): 1223–33.

Price, M. (2011). Promoting Psychology as a STEM Discipline. American Psychological Association, 4292), 32. Web.