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An Introduction to Psychology


Psychology is the science of mind and behaviour.

It includes the study of conscious and unconscious phenomena, as well as feeling and thought.

The word “psychology” comes from the Greek word “psyche”, meaning life, and “logos”, meaning explanation.


  1. Research psychologists: perform experiments to learn more about the mind and behaviour

Such as:

  • Cognitive psychology: the study of mental processes such as attention, language use, perception, memory, problem solving, thinking, creativity, etc.

  • Social psychology: the study of how thoughts, feelings, and behaviours of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined and implied presence of others; “imagined” and “implied presences” referring to the internalized social norms that humans are influenced by even when alone

  • Developmental psychology: the study of how and why human beings change over the course of their life. Originally concerned with infants and children, the field has expanded to include adolescence, adult development, aging, and the entire lifespan

  • Comparative psychology: the study of the behaviour and mental processes of non-human animals, especially as these relate to the phylogenetic history, adaptive significance, and development of behaviour

  1. Applied psychologists: work on applying psychological knowledge to solving real-life problems

Such as:

  • Clinical psychology: an integration of science, theory, and clinical knowledge to understand, prevent, and relieve psychological distress or dysfunction and to promote subjective well-being and personal development

  • Medical psychology: the application of psychological principles to medical practice, primarily drug-oriented, for both physical and mental disorders

  • Forensic psychology: the application of psychological theory to criminal investigation, understanding of psychological problems associated with criminal behaviour, and the treatment of those who have committed offenses

  • Educational psychology: the application of psychological theory, research and techniques to support children, young people, their families and schools and promote the emotional and social wellbeing of young people


  • Lack of mental health professionals

Suicidal rates and people with poor mental health have only been increasing, especially with the pandemic. It’s hard to maintain good mental health because of the increasingly rapid pace of our lives. As the mental health stigma slowly fades out, more and more people can be less ashamed of seeking help during a mental health crisis.

  • Learn about what your brain can do

It’s fascinating to learn about what your brain can do, especially what it does unconsciously such as memory or intelligence. It’s engrossing to learn about the different theories about what intelligence really is and how memory retrieval works. Once you understand how human brains function, it’s easier to help people who are going through a rough time since you understand what’s going on in their brain. Diving deeper into the realms of psychology (and neuroscience), you gain a deeper understanding of yourself as well, helping your personal development in the long run.

  • Walk different paths

As mentioned in the previous slides, psychology isn’t limited to a certain branch only. The path you can choose from is almost limitless. You could walk towards being a sports psychologist but also towards being a forensic psychologist, which are two very different paths. Being a psychologist gives you different perspectives of your life, and you’ll touch upon all branches of psychology before you dive even further into the one that interests you the most.

According to Paul Valery, a French poet and philosopher, the purpose of psychology is to give us a completely different perspective of the things we know best.

Career options:

  • Clinical psychologist

  • Caretaker

  • Social worker

  • Counsellor

  • Educational consultant

  • Life coach

  • Operator for a crisis hotline

  • Marriage and family consultant

  • Experimental psychologist


Other sources: Psychology and Neuroscience course

Researcher: Hailey


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