It is a scientific discipline that studies mental states and processes and behaviour in humans and other animals. the discipline of psychology is broadly divisible into 2 parts; a large profession of practisioners and a smaller but growing science of mind , brain and social behaviour. the two have distinctive goals, training and practices but some psychologists integrate the two.
In western culture contributors to the development of psychology came from many areas, beginning with philosophers such as plato and aristole. hippocrates philosophized about basic human temperaments and their associated traits. informed by the biology of his time, he speculated that physical qualities such as yellow bile or too much blood, might underlie differences in temparament. aristole postulated the brain to be the seat of the rational human mind and in the 17th century one of the scientist argued that the mind gives people the capacities for thought and consciousness the mind decides and the body carries out the decision a dualistic mind body split that modern psychological science is still working to overcome. therefore the principles of psychology defined psychology as the science of mental life and provided insightful discussions of topics and challenges that anticipated much of the fields of research agenda a century later. during the 1st half of the 20th century however behaviourism dominated most of american academic psychology. one of the scientist argued that psychology as a science must deal execlusively with directly observable behaviour in lower animals as well as humans emphasized the importance of rewarding only desired behaviours in child rearing, and drew on principles of learning through classical conditioning.
Leading the way of demonstrating the power of operant conditioning through reinforcement. behaviourists in university settings conducted experiments on the conditions controlling learning and shaping behaviour through reinforcement usually working with laboratory animals such as rats and pigeons. their work showed that social behaviour is readily influenced by manupulating specific contingencies and by changing the consequences or reinforcement to which behaviour leads in different situations. changes in those consequences can modify behaviour in predictable stimulus response patterns. likewise a wide range of emotions both positive and negative may be acquired through process of conditioning and can be modified by applying the same principles.
EVOLVING SCOPE AND STRUCTURE OF PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE
The discoveries and advances of psychological science keep expanding its scope and tools and changing its structure and organization. psychological science consisted of a variety of specialized subfields with little interconnection. they ranged from clinical psychology to study of individual difference and personality to social psychology to industrial organizational psychology to community psychology to experimental study of such basic process as memory, thinking, perception and sensation to animal behaviour and to physiological psychology. the various subfields each with its own distinct history and specialized mission usually were bundled together within academic departments essentially a loose federation of unrelated disciplines, each with its own training program and research agenda. in early years psychology became an increasingly integrative science at the intersection or hub of diverse other disciplines, from biology, neurology, economics, to sociology and antropology.