About Psychology and Why It Is Important

Direct Knowlege Contributor Taylor Bauer
  • By Taylor Bauer, Technical Writer & Digital Marketing Expert
  • Taylor is a writer and SEO manager with a B.S. in Political Communication from Illinois State University. He also received his M.S. in Communications from Illinois State. His background comes from journalism, working at an NPR member station for three years before transitioning to blogging and search engine marketing. He lives in Illinois with his wife and two Toy Australian Sheppards.

About Psychology

The human brain is a vast organ of curiosity and discovery. Throughout scientific research about the brain, researchers learned a lot about our minds. Jobs across the different branches and studies of psychology help us determine what our brain is capable of and the types of limits we still have yet to discover.

Psychology is a formal study of the human brain. Individual branches of the subject look into the education of consciousness and comprehension, while others explore outliers to standard functionality. Across all jobs in psychology, professionals work to determine new paths of research to pursue to continue developing human knowledge of this complex and vital organ.

A lot of people who work jobs in psychology might have the same degree but practice very different studies. The entire subject covers so many aspects of the human brain that various branches help keep variations organized. Here are the different types of articles and reviews within psychology and its many subsidiaries.

Psychology Articles

The brain is a complex yet magnificent organ at the core of our biological existence. It is responsible for the distinct behaviors we take part in as humans, as well as the behaviors of other animals. Because the brain is so complex and not well-understood, the way it affects our behavior can be somewhat of a mystery. That’s where psychology comes in; the science of expression and the mind. Unlike neuroscience, it doesn’t study the brain itself. Instead, it examines what the brain produces in terms of thoughts and behavior. In this category, you’ll find psychology articles exploring different facets of the field, including theory, feeling, consciousness, and other areas of study, research, and application.

Psychology Articles Covering History and Background

Psychological studies have been around since ancient times. Ancient civilizations such as Egypt and Greece recognized disorders and diseases still being studied today, including depression and thought disorders. People started to realize that odd behavior weren’t the work of demons, but rather manifestations of problems occurring within the brain.

Psychology started to be recognized as a science in the 1700s, although the recognition of the importance and applicability of experimental psychology lagged. The notion of a soul, along with other beliefs, led many to believe that the brain is more than just a psychical organ and cannot undergo regular, systematic analysis. Some still maintain these ideas, but psychologists and scientists eventually turned to experiments to help them understand psychology from a scientific perspective.

Today, psychology branches help us understand and improve aspects of our lives that depend on behavior. We can better understand different personality types, the unconscious mind, how to motivate people, how our brains develop, the effects of genes vs. environmental factors, and more. The psychology articles here will continue keeping you up to date on current events and developments.

Common Schools of Thought within Psychology

Psychologists, as practitioners or researchers, are generally classified into one of three groups: social, behavioral, or cognitive scientists. Explanations of the ideas behind these three leading schools of thought are below and will be covered in greater detail by psychology articles within this category.

Behavioral Psychology

Behavioral psychology focuses on the tendencies we have with regards to responding to stimuli, learning, and making decisions. We can observe how people react to certain situations, try to find patterns, predict behavior, and even change it based on predictions. Due to similarities in brains between mammals, we can also use other animals to help us understand ourselves. This balance means psychology isn’t limited to just humans, and psychological studies of different species aren’t mutually exclusive.

Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive psychology looks more into the processes behind the mental activity that leads to behavioral tendencies. These include reasoning, thinking, problem-solving, memory, attention, and even emotion. It’s about understanding the why behind our behaviors. Lisa Feldman Barret is an excellent example of a professional with a focus on the psychology of emotion. You can read more about here and other successful researchers in the psychology articles here.

Social Psychology

Social psychology brings the group into consideration. Branching away from individual psychology, it looks at how we interact with and think about each other. This relationship involves studying topics such as influence and persuasion, and the formation of culture and stereotypes formed by group dynamics.

Other Schools of Thought Explored in Psychology Articles

Several different perspectives exist in the many psychology branches, including the following:

Biological

The line between body and mind, between physical and psychological, is ever-thinning. These days, psychologists consider the physical brain and body to be the foundation of the mind itself, making it the holy grail of information. What prevents us from just studying the technical aspects of the physical processes of the brain is its complexity. We tend to infer how parts of the brain work or why it does certain things. Although, optimally, we will one day be able to understand the underlying biological causes behind those processes.

The line between body and mind, between physical and psychological, is ever-thinning. These days, psychologists consider the physical brain and body to be the foundation of the mind itself, making it the holy grail of information. What prevents us from just studying the technical aspects of the physical processes of the brain is its complexity. We tend to infer how parts of the brain work or why it does certain things. Although, optimally, we will one day be able to understand the underlying biological causes behind those processes.

Psychoanalysis

This field investigates the mind in terms of interpreting experience. A set of theories about human behavior leads to psychotherapy for treating psychological distress. The unconscious mind is of particular interest in psychoanalysis.

Existential-Humanistic Theories

More recently, in the late 20th century, a movement started to consider the whole person rather than separating personality and other isolated parts of the human psyche. This approach looks at what is considered uniquely social issues with an emphasis on meaning and growth. Free will, purpose, and death are some of the broader topics it explores. Psychology articles in this topic can be a bit abstract or even dark, but worth taking a look.

Articles on Relevance and Application

Psychology isn’t just about the pursuit of knowledge for knowledge’s sake. It has real applications that help society progress and improve the quality of life for people in many ways. Psychological testing lets us pick people ideal for specific jobs and situations or identify those having trouble. Mental health services recognize, treat, and prevent psychological distress. Psychology applied to education can help optimize learning, and the same goes for work. Overall, using psychology to various areas of society can keep people healthier and more productive.

Careers in Branches of Psychology and Helpful Articles

In terms of jobs, the number of available positions for psychologists is growing in the US by about 14%. That’s faster than the average growth of other roles at over 160,000 new jobs per year. The median pay is relatively high at about 80,000 dollars due to the higher levels of education necessary for academia and medical professions. These factors make it a promising field to consider for a career.

Academia and research are standard fields of work for psychologists. Here they work on making further advancements in the scope of knowledge surrounding the subject and figure out what applications it could have in other areas. Psychologists can also be medical professionals and counselors that apply psychology to patients. They can help patients improve their mental health and make the best possible decisions in life.

Outside of the individual, psychologists can also help all of society make better decisions based on scientific principles of the human mind. Ethics is a big part of international relations and government, making psychologists essential resources for helping to establish laws, policies, and other relationships throughout society. Check-in periodically with the psychology articles here to keep up with the market and find your place in it.

Psychology Books

Psychology helps us get closer to understanding how the brain works, but, perhaps more importantly, how our minds work. It takes the social science of understanding individuals and their roles in groups and integrates it with the science of the biological processes and cognitive functions behind them. Emotion, intelligence, perception, personality, and counseling are all prevalent psychology branches in the field that this category of books can help you explore in more depth.

Psychology Books Energy and Science of the Mind

How It Started

Psychology is the study of how the mind works and why we behave the way we do. It looks at the conscious and unconscious, feeling and thought biology and culture, and various other topics. Although the field as a whole has been around since ancient times, the scientific aspects of it are relatively new. At the start, it was more of a philosophical study. Names we all know, like Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates, would discuss and study themes that are still present today. But, they did so without using the scientific method and experimentation. Instead, observation and critical analysis were their main tools.

Through the books on Direct Knowledge, you can explore these traditional views and origins of the field, learn what it has become today, and keep up with new developments happening every day.

Psychology Branches Today and Relevant Books

In this category, you’ll also find books that show how much the jobs of psychology has changed. Most of the change it has gone through happened in the last century and a half or so. In this time, there have been many advances, and the field is much more complicated. This progress allows it to provide results that are useful in many areas.

To get started, books like Introduction to Psychology provide useful resources for learning the basics. The book covers topics such as information absorbancy, psychological disorders, and real-life examples for each concept. This resource helps students relate more to what they’re learning. The three teaching tools in the book include chapter openers, everyday psychology, and research jobs. These tools help students understand concepts with ease, and professors set up lesson plans with useful methods.

The Brain vs. the Mind – Branches of Psychology

The increased use of scientific methods in the field has made psychology get closer to neuroscience. Both look at the brain and how it works. What currently differentiates them is that psychology studies behavior and how the brain and the mind determine it. Neuroscience, on the other hand, looks at the nervous system itself without much considering the mind or behavior.

Advancements in neuroscience may one day allow it to describe the mind and thus behavior ultimately. But, for now, it can’t grasp the complexities of practice. It’s best if both work together to get the fullest picture possible. This partnership is why some psychological experiments and material in this section will include helpful info from neuroscience. It might also be a good idea to read up on the field itself.

Books for Teaching the Complexities of Psychology Studies

The various methods and jobs in psychology can make it challenging to teach. But books in this category, such as Principles of Social Psychology, can help teachers in this endeavor. In this book, you’ll learn how to make a clear path for students so that they don’t get lost in the multidisciplinary nature of the field. It narrows the playing field a bit so that each topic discussed can receive more individual attention. This approach leads to a more meaningful discussion while still introducing students to relevant issues.

As far as methods go, although psychology jobs use science more and more, it is not purely scientific. People working in the field do use empirical methods, but also be prepared to use (and teach) deductive methods, and even some inductive techniques like symbolic interpretation. In these techniques, only some evidence points towards a conclusion. But sometimes that’s all you can get when it comes to human behavior. Take a look at the books here to get a better idea of how the jobs in psychology work and evolve.

Psychology FAQ

Finding psychology to be an exciting subject? Explore the study further with these popular questions.

What are the branches of psychology?

The main branches of psychology are behavioral, cognitive, and social. Each form of study helps to contribute to an overall understanding of the brain and how it impacts human life and decision-making. Through the behavior, activity, and utility of the mind, researchers increase the knowledge of the brain’s capabilities and nuances.

Is Psychology a good career?

Psychology is an excellent career because the field offers many exciting and essential jobs. Every aspect of the subject requires many different roles to be filled by experts and college graduates. The human brain still presents many mysteries, so there should be no shortage of jobs in the future. The field continues to grow and employ more people every year.

Why do we study psychology?

Researchers study psychology to answer questions about the human brain and its capabilities. Experts solve any irregularities and problems with the mind by researching patients and subjects. Findings help to contribute to a better overall knowledge of what the brain can do, as well as approaches to issues some humans experience.

What job can I get with a psychology degree?

A psychology degree opens up several job opportunities for students finishing up a program in college. Some graduates go on to research the brain, as well as assist on major initiatives as leading institutions of psychological experimentation. Likewise, others go on to become professionals that help people who suffer from mental disorders and problems.