understand the nature and role of psychology in understanding mind and behaviour, state the growth of the discipline, know the different fields of psychology, its relationship with other disciplines, and professions, and appreciate the value of psychology in daily life to help you understand yourself and others better.
Introduction What is Psychology? Psychology as a Discipline Psychology as a Natural Science Psychology as a Social Science Understanding Mind and Behaviour Popular Notions about the Discipline of Psychology Evolution of Psychology Some Interesting Landmarks in the Evolution of Modern Psychology (Box 1.1) Development of…show more content… The range of phenomena it studies, some of which we mentioned above, are spread over several levels, viz. individual, dyadic (two person) group, and organisational. They also have biological as well as social bases. Naturally, therefore, the methods required to
study them also vary greatly depending on the phenomenon one wants to study. A discipline is defined both in terms of what it studies and how it studies. In fact, more in terms of how or method/s it uses. Keeping this in view, psychology is defined formally as a science which studies mental processes, experiences and behaviour in different contexts. In doing so, it uses methods of biological and social sciences to obtain data systematically. It makes sense of these data so that they can be organised as knowledge. Let us try to understand the three terms used in the definition, namely, mental processes, experience, and behaviour. When we say experiences are internal to the experiencing person, we refer to states of consciousness or awareness or mental processes. We use our mental processes when we think or try to solve a problem, to know or remember something. One level at which these mental processes are reflected is the brain activity. As we think or solve a mathematical problem, our brain activities can be observed using different techniques of brain imaging. However, we cannot say that brain activities and mental processes are the same, although they are interdependent. Mental