Yoga is a range of techniques used in pursuit of this goal. However, Indian doctrines influenced Western thinking via the Theosophical Society , a New Age group which became popular among Euro-American intellectuals. Psychology was a popular topic in Enlightenment Europe. In Germany, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz — applied his principles of calculus to the mind, arguing that mental activity took place on an indivisible continuum—most notably, that among an infinity of human perceptions and desires, the difference between conscious and unconscious awareness is only a matter of degree.
Christian Wolff identified psychology as its own science, writing Psychologia empirica in and Psychologia rationalis in This notion advanced further under Immanuel Kant , who established the idea of anthropology , with psychology as an important subdivision. However, Kant explicitly and notoriously rejected the idea of experimental psychology , writing that "the empirical doctrine of the soul can also never approach chemistry even as a systematic art of analysis or experimental doctrine, for in it the manifold of inner observation can be separated only by mere division in thought, and cannot then be held separate and recombined at will but still less does another thinking subject suffer himself to be experimented upon to suit our purpose , and even observation by itself already changes and displaces the state of the observed object.
However, this discipline did not yet embrace experimentation. Gustav Fechner began conducting psychophysics research in Leipzig in the s, articulating the principle Weber—Fechner law that human perception of a stimulus varies logarithmically according to its intensity. Wundt, in turn, came to Leipzig University, establishing the psychological laboratory which brought experimental psychology to the world.
Wundt focused on breaking down mental processes into the most basic components, motivated in part by an analogy to recent advances in chemistry, and its successful investigation of the elements and structure of material. Stanley Hall who studied with Wundt, formed a psychology lab at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, which became internationally influential. Hall, in turn, trained Yujiro Motora , who brought experimental psychology, emphasizing psychophysics, to the Imperial University of Tokyo. Catell, who also studied with eugenicist Francis Galton , went on to found the Psychological Corporation.
Wittmer focused on mental testing of children; Scott, on selection of employees. Another student of Wundt, Edward Titchener , created the psychology program at Cornell University and advanced a doctrine of " structuralist " psychology. Structuralism sought to analyze and classify different aspects of the mind, primarily through the method of introspection. In , James wrote an influential book, The Principles of Psychology , which expanded on the realm of structuralism, memorably described the human " stream of consciousness ", and interested many American students in the emerging discipline.
A different strain of experimentalism, with more connection to physiology, emerged in South America, under the leadership of Horacio G. This approach is based upon the idea that individuals experience things as unified wholes. Rather than breaking down thoughts and behavior into smaller elements, as in structuralism, the Gestaltists maintained that whole of experience is important, and differs from the sum of its parts. Other 19th-century contributors to the field include the German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus , a pioneer in the experimental study of memory, who developed quantitative models of learning and forgetting at the University of Berlin ,  and the Russian-Soviet physiologist Ivan Pavlov , who discovered in dogs a learning process that was later termed " classical conditioning " and applied to human beings.
The first meeting of the International Congress of Psychology sponsored by the International Union of Psychological Science took place in Paris, in August , amidst the World's Fair celebrating the centennial of the French Revolution. William James was one of three Americans among the four hundred attendees. The International Congress continued to be held, at different locations in Europe, with wider international participation. American psychology gained status during World War I, during which a standing committee headed by Robert Yerkes administered mental tests " Army Alpha " and " Army Beta " to almost 1.
University of Michigan psychologist Dorwin Cartwright reported that university researchers began large-scale propaganda research in —, and "the last few months of the war saw a social psychologist become chiefly responsible for determining the week-by-week-propaganda policy for the United States Government. In Germany after World War I, psychology held institutional power through the military, and subsequently expanded along with the rest of the military under the Third Reich. Freudian psychoanalysts were expelled and persecuted under the anti-Jewish policies of the Nazi Party , and all psychologists had to distance themselves from Freud and Adler.
This psychotherapy aimed to align suitable Germans with the overall goals of the Reich; as described by one physician: "Despite the importance of analysis, spiritual guidance and the active cooperation of the patient represent the best way to overcome individual mental problems and to subordinate them to the requirements of the Volk and the Gemeinschaft. Alexander Mitscherlich founded a prominent applied psychoanalysis journal called Psyche and with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation established the first clinical psychosomatic medicine division at Heidelberg University. In , psychology was integrated into the required studies of medical students.
After the Russian Revolution , psychology was heavily promoted by the Bolsheviks as a way to engineer the "New Man" of socialism. Thus, university psychology departments trained large numbers of students, for whom positions were made available at schools, workplaces, cultural institutions, and in the military. An especial focus was pedology , the study of child development, regarding which Lev Vygotsky became a prominent writer. Luria , and Aron Zalkind were denounced; Ivan Pavlov posthumously and Stalin himself were aggrandized as heroes of Soviet psychology.
There emerged a new field called " engineering psychology " which studied mental aspects of complex jobs such as pilot and cosmonaut. Interdisciplinary studies became popular and scholars such as Georgy Shchedrovitsky developed systems theory approaches to human behavior. Twentieth-century Chinese psychology originally modeled the U.
Chinese psychologists were encouraged to focus on education and language learning, with the aspiration that education would enable modernization and nationalization. John Dewey, who lectured to Chinese audiences in —, had a significant influence on this doctrine. Chinese psychologists elaborated on Lenin's model of a "reflective" consciousness, envisioning an "active consciousness" pinyin : tzu-chueh neng-tung-li able to transcend material conditions through hard work and ideological struggle.
They developed a concept of "recognition" pinyin : jen-shih which referred the interface between individual perceptions and the socially accepted worldview failure to correspond with party doctrine was "incorrect recognition". Most leading psychologists were educated in the United States, and the first concern of the Academy was re-education of these psychologists in the Soviet doctrines.
Child psychology and pedagogy for nationally cohesive education remained a central goal of the discipline. Several associations including the Association of Black Psychologists and the Asian American Psychological Association have arisen to promote non-European racial groups in the profession. The International Union recognizes 66 national psychology associations and at least 15 others exist. The Interamerican Society of Psychology, founded in , aspires to promote psychology and coordinate psychologists across the Western Hemisphere.
It holds the Interamerican Congress of Psychology and had 1, members in year The European Federation of Professional Psychology Associations, founded in , represents 30 national associations with a total of , individual members. At least 30 other international groups organize psychologists in different regions.
Examples of “psychology”
In some places, governments legally regulate who can provide psychological services or represent themselves as a "psychologist". Early practitioners of experimental psychology distinguished themselves from parapsychology , which in the late nineteenth century enjoyed great popularity including the interest of scholars such as William James , and indeed constituted the bulk of what people called "psychology". Parapsychology, hypnotism, and psychism were major topics of the early International Congresses.
But students of these fields were eventually ostractized, and more or less banished from the Congress in — As a discipline, psychology has long sought to fend off accusations that it is a "soft" science. Philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn 's critique implied psychology overall was in a pre-paradigm state, lacking the agreement on overarching theory found in mature sciences such as chemistry and physics. Skeptics have suggested that personality, thinking, and emotion, cannot be directly measured and are often inferred from subjective self-reports, which may be problematic.
Experimental psychologists have devised a variety of ways to indirectly measure these elusive phenomenological entities. Divisions still exist within the field, with some psychologists more oriented towards the unique experiences of individual humans, which cannot be understood only as data points within a larger population. Critics inside and outside the field have argued that mainstream psychology has become increasingly dominated by a "cult of empiricism" which limits the scope of its study by using only methods derived from the physical sciences. Jean Grimshaw, for example, argues that mainstream psychological research has advanced a patriarchal agenda through its efforts to control behavior.
Psychologists generally consider the organism the basis of the mind, and therefore a vitally related area of study. Psychiatrists and neuropsychologists work at the interface of mind and body. Key research topics in this field include comparative psychology , which studies humans in relation to other animals, and perception which involves the physical mechanics of sensation as well as neural and mental processing.
From Phineas Gage to H. Soon after, Carl Wernicke identified a related area necessary for the understanding of speech. The contemporary field of behavioral neuroscience focuses on physical causes underpinning behavior. For example, physiological psychologists use animal models, typically rats, to study the neural, genetic, and cellular mechanisms that underlie specific behaviors such as learning and memory and fear responses.
The biopsychosocial model is an integrated perspective toward understanding consciousness, behavior, and social interaction. It assumes that any given behavior or mental process affects and is affected by dynamically interrelated biological, psychological, and social factors. Evolutionary psychology examines cognition and personality traits from an evolutionary perspective. This perspective suggests that psychological adaptations evolved to solve recurrent problems in human ancestral environments.
Evolutionary psychology offers complementary explanations for the mostly proximate or developmental explanations developed by other areas of psychology: that is, it focuses mostly on ultimate or "why? The search for biological origins of psychological phenomena has long involved debates about the importance of race, and especially the relationship between race and intelligence. The idea of white supremacy and indeed the modern concept of race itself arose during the process of world conquest by Europeans.
Race was also used to justify the construction of socially specific mental disorders such as drapetomania and dysaesthesia aethiopica —the behavior of uncooperative African slaves. Psychologists take human behavior as a main area of study. Much of the research in this area began with tests on mammals, based on the idea that humans exhibit similar fundamental tendencies. Behavioral research ever aspires to improve the effectiveness of techniques for behavior modification. Early behavioral researchers studied stimulus—response pairings, now known as classical conditioning.
They demonstrated that behaviors could be linked through repeated association with stimuli eliciting pain or pleasure. Ivan Pavlov—known best for inducing dogs to salivate in the presence of a stimulus previously linked with food—became a leading figure in the Soviet Union and inspired followers to use his methods on humans. Thorndike wrote in "There can be no moral warrant for studying man's nature unless the study will enable us to control his acts.
Watson coined the term behaviorism for this school of thought. Embraced and extended by Clark L. Hull , Edwin Guthrie , and others, behaviorism became a widely used research paradigm. Radical behaviorists avoided discussing the inner workings of the mind, especially the unconscious mind, which they considered impossible to assess scientifically.
Skinner , who emerged as a leading intellectual of the behaviorist movement. Noam Chomsky delivered an influential critique of radical behaviorism on the grounds that it could not adequately explain the complex mental process of language acquisition. Tolman advanced a hybrid "cognitive behaviorial" model, most notably with his publication discussing the cognitive maps used by rats to guess at the location of food at the end of a modified maze.
The Association for Behavior Analysis International was founded in and by had members from 42 countries. The Stroop effect refers to the fact that naming the color of the first set of words is easier and quicker than the second. Cognitive psychology studies cognition, the mental processes underlying mental activity. Perception, attention, reasoning, thinking, problem solving, memory, learning, language, and emotion are areas of research.
Classical cognitive psychology is associated with a school of thought known as cognitivism , whose adherents argue for an information processing model of mental function, informed by functionalism and experimental psychology. Starting in the s, the experimental techniques developed by Wundt, James, Ebbinghaus, and others re-emerged as experimental psychology became increasingly cognitivist—concerned with information and its processing—and, eventually, constituted a part of the wider cognitive science. Social learning theorists , such as Albert Bandura , argued that the child's environment could make contributions of its own to the behaviors of an observant subject.
Technological advances also renewed interest in mental states and representations. Hebb used experimental methods to link psychological phenomena with the structure and function of the brain. The rise of computer science, cybernetics and artificial intelligence suggested the value of comparatively studying information processing in humans and machines. Research in cognition had proven practical since World War II, when it aided in the understanding of weapons operation. A popular and representative topic in this area is cognitive bias , or irrational thought.
Psychologists and economists have classified and described a sizeable catalogue of biases which recur frequently in human thought. The availability heuristic , for example, is the tendency to overestimate the importance of something which happens to come readily to mind. Elements of behaviorism and cognitive psychology were synthesized to form cognitive behavioral therapy , a form of psychotherapy modified from techniques developed by American psychologist Albert Ellis and American psychiatrist Aaron T.
On a broader level, cognitive science is an interdisciplinary enterprise of cognitive psychologists, cognitive neuroscientists, researchers in artificial intelligence, linguists, human—computer interaction, computational neuroscience, logicians and social scientists. The discipline of cognitive science covers cognitive psychology as well as philosophy of mind, computer science, and neuroscience. Social psychology is the study of how humans think about each other and how they relate to each other.
Social psychologists study such topics as the influence of others on an individual's behavior e. Social cognition fuses elements of social and cognitive psychology in order to understand how people process, remember, or distort social information. The study of group dynamics reveals information about the nature and potential optimization of leadership, communication, and other phenomena that emerge at least at the microsocial level.
In recent years, many social psychologists have become increasingly interested in implicit measures, mediational models, and the interaction of both person and social variables in accounting for behavior. The study of human society is therefore a potentially valuable source of information about the causes of psychiatric disorder. Some sociological concepts applied to psychiatric disorders are the social role, sick role, social class, life event, culture, migration, social, and total institution.
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Psychoanalysis comprises a method of investigating the mind and interpreting experience; a systematized set of theories about human behavior; and a form of psychotherapy to treat psychological or emotional distress, especially conflict originating in the unconscious mind. Freud's psychoanalytic theory was largely based on interpretive methods, introspection and clinical observations. It became very well known, largely because it tackled subjects such as sexuality , repression , and the unconscious.
These subjects were largely taboo at the time, and Freud provided a catalyst for their open discussion in polite society. Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, influenced by Freud, elaborated a theory of the collective unconscious —a primordial force present in all humans, featuring archetypes which exerted a profound influence on the mind. Jung's competing vision formed the basis for analytical psychology , which later led to the archetypal and process-oriented schools.
Other well-known psychoanalytic scholars of the midth century include Erik Erikson , Melanie Klein , D. Throughout the 20th century, psychoanalysis evolved into diverse schools of thought which could be called Neo-Freudian. Among these schools are ego psychology , object relations , and interpersonal , Lacanian , and relational psychoanalysis. Psychologists such as Hans Eysenck and philosophers including Karl Popper criticized psychoanalysis. Popper argued that psychoanalysis had been misrepresented as a scientific discipline,  whereas Eysenck said that psychoanalytic tenets had been contradicted by experimental data.
By the end of 20th century, psychology departments in American universities mostly marginalized Freudian theory, dismissing it as a "desiccated and dead" historical artifact. Humanistic psychology developed in the s as a movement within academic psychology, in reaction to both behaviorism and psychoanalysis.
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It emphasized subjective meaning, rejection of determinism, and concern for positive growth rather than pathology. Later, positive psychology opened up humanistic themes to scientific modes of exploration. Humanistic psychology is primarily an orientation toward the whole of psychology rather than a distinct area or school.
It stands for respect for the worth of persons, respect for differences of approach, open-mindedness as to acceptable methods, and interest in exploration of new aspects of human behavior. As a "third force" in contemporary psychology, it is concerned with topics having little place in existing theories and systems: e. Swiss psychoanalyst Ludwig Binswanger and American psychologist George Kelly may also be said to belong to the existential school.
Austrian existential psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl drew evidence of meaning's therapeutic power from reflections garnered from his own internment. Personality psychology is concerned with enduring patterns of behavior, thought, and emotion—commonly referred to as personality—in individuals.
Theories of personality vary across different psychological schools and orientations. They carry different assumptions about such issues as the role of the unconscious and the importance of childhood experience. According to Freud, personality is based on the dynamic interactions of the id, ego, and super-ego. Although the number of proposed traits has varied widely, an early biologically-based model proposed by Hans Eysenck, the 3rd mostly highly cited psychologist of the 20th Century after Freud, and Piaget respectively , suggested that at least three major trait constructs are necessary to describe human personality structure: extraversion—introversion , neuroticism -stability, and psychoticism -normality.
Raymond Cattell , the 7th most highly cited psychologist of the 20th Century based on the scientific peer-reviewed journal literature  empirically derived a theory of 16 personality factors at the primary-factor level, and up to 8 broader second-stratum factors at the Eysenckian level of analysis , rather than the "Big Five" dimensions.
However, despite a plethora of research into the various versions of the "Big Five" personality dimensions, it appears necessary to move on from static conceptualizations of personality structure to a more dynamic orientation, whereby it is acknowledged that personality constructs are subject to learning and change across the lifespan. The popular, although psychometrically inadequate Myers—Briggs Type Indicator  sought to assess individuals' "personality types" according to the personality theories of Carl Jung.
Behaviorist resistance to introspection led to the development of the Strong Vocational Interest Blank and Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory MMPI , in an attempt to ask empirical questions that focused less on the psychodynamics of the respondent. Study of the unconscious mind, a part of the psyche outside the awareness of the individual which nevertheless influenced thoughts and behavior was a hallmark of early psychology. In one of the first psychology experiments conducted in the United States, C.
Peirce and Joseph Jastrow found in that subjects could choose the minutely heavier of two weights even if consciously uncertain of the difference. His text The Psychopathology of Everyday Life catalogues hundreds of everyday events which Freud explains in terms of unconscious influence. Pierre Janet advanced the idea of a subconscious mind, which could contain autonomous mental elements unavailable to the scrutiny of the subject. Behaviorism notwithstanding, the unconscious mind has maintained its importance in psychology.
Cognitive psychologists have used a "filter" model of attention, according to which much information processing takes place below the threshold of consciousness, and only certain processes, limited by nature and by simultaneous quantity, make their way through the filter. Copious research has shown that subconscious priming of certain ideas can covertly influence thoughts and behavior.
For this reason, some psychologists prefer to distinguish between implicit and explicit memory. In another approach, one can also describe a subliminal stimulus as meeting an objective but not a subjective threshold. The automaticity model, which became widespread following exposition by John Bargh and others in the s, describes sophisticated processes for executing goals which can be selected and performed over an extended duration without conscious awareness.
John Bargh, Daniel Wegner , and Ellen Langer are some prominent contemporary psychologists who describe free will as an illusion. Psychologists such as William James initially used the term motivation to refer to intention, in a sense similar to the concept of will in European philosophy. With the steady rise of Darwinian and Freudian thinking, instinct also came to be seen as a primary source of motivation. Psychoanalysis, like biology, regarded these forces as physical demands made by the organism on the nervous system. However, they believed that these forces, especially the sexual instincts, could become entangled and transmuted within the psyche.
Classical psychoanalysis conceives of a struggle between the pleasure principle and the reality principle , roughly corresponding to id and ego. Later, in Beyond the Pleasure Principle , Freud introduced the concept of the death drive , a compulsion towards aggression, destruction, and psychic repetition of traumatic events. Hunger, thirst, fear, sexual desire, and thermoregulation all seem to constitute fundamental motivations for animals.
Motivation can be modulated or manipulated in many different ways. Researchers have found that eating , for example, depends not only on the organism's fundamental need for homeostasis —an important factor causing the experience of hunger—but also on circadian rhythms, food availability, food palatability, and cost. They suggest that this principle can even apply to food, drink, sex, and sleep.
Mainly focusing on the development of the human mind through the life span, developmental psychology seeks to understand how people come to perceive, understand, and act within the world and how these processes change as they age. This may focus on cognitive, affective, moral, social, or neural development. Researchers who study children use a number of unique research methods to make observations in natural settings or to engage them in experimental tasks. Such tasks often resemble specially designed games and activities that are both enjoyable for the child and scientifically useful, and researchers have even devised clever methods to study the mental processes of infants.
In addition to studying children, developmental psychologists also study aging and processes throughout the life span, especially at other times of rapid change such as adolescence and old age. Developmental psychologists draw on the full range of psychological theories to inform their research. All researched psychological traits are influenced by both genes and environment, to varying degrees. An example is the transmission of depression from a depressed mother to her offspring. Theory may hold that the offspring, by virtue of having a depressed mother in his or her the offspring's environment, is at risk for developing depression.
However, risk for depression is also influenced to some extent by genes. The mother may both carry genes that contribute to her depression but will also have passed those genes on to her offspring thus increasing the offspring's risk for depression.
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Genes and environment in this simple transmission model are completely confounded. Experimental and quasi-experimental behavioral genetic research uses genetic methodologies to disentangle this confound and understand the nature and origins of individual differences in behavior. More recently, the availability of microarray molecular genetic or genome sequencing technologies allows researchers to measure participant DNA variation directly, and test whether individual genetic variants within genes are associated with psychological traits and psychopathology through methods including genome-wide association studies.
One goal of such research is similar to that in positional cloning and its success in Huntington's : once a causal gene is discovered biological research can be conducted to understand how that gene influences the phenotype. One major result of genetic association studies is the general finding that psychological traits and psychopathology, as well as complex medical diseases, are highly polygenic ,      where a large number on the order of hundreds to thousands of genetic variants, each of small effect, contribute to individual differences in the behavioral trait or propensity to the disorder.
Active research continues to understand the genetic and environmental bases of behavior and their interaction. Psychology encompasses many subfields and includes different approaches to the study of mental processes and behavior:. Psychological testing has ancient origins, such as examinations for the Chinese civil service dating back to BC. By , the Chinese system required a stratified series of tests, involving essay writing and knowledge of diverse topics. The system was ended in Physiognomy remained current through the Enlightenment, and added the doctrine of phrenology: a study of mind and intelligence based on simple assessment of neuroanatomy.
When experimental psychology came to Britain, Francis Galton was a leading practitioner, and, with his procedures for measuring reaction time and sensation, is considered an inventor of modern mental testing also known as psychometrics. Binet and Simon introduced the concept of mental age and referred to the lowest scorers on their test as idiots. Henry H. Goddard put the Binet-Simon scale to work and introduced classifications of mental level such as imbecile and feebleminded.
In after Binet's death , Stanford professor Lewis M. Terman modified the Binet-Simon scale renamed the Stanford—Binet scale and introduced the intelligence quotient as a score report.
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Their dullness seems to be racial. The federally created National Intelligence Test was administered to 7 million children in the s, and in the College Entrance Examination Board created the Scholastic Aptitude Test to standardize college admissions. Setting a precedent which has never been overturned, the U.
Psychology dictionary definition | psychology defined
Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of this practice in the case Buck v. Today mental testing is a routine phenomenon for people of all ages in Western societies. The provision of psychological health services is generally called clinical psychology in the U. The definitions of this term are various and may include school psychology and counseling psychology.
Practitioners typically includes people who have graduated from doctoral programs in clinical psychology but may also include others. In Canada, the above groups usually fall within the larger category of professional psychology. In Canada and the US, practitioners get bachelor's degrees and doctorates, then spend one year in an internship and one year in postdoctoral education. In Mexico and most other Latin American and European countries, psychologists do not get bachelor's and doctorate degrees; instead, they take a three-year professional course following high school.
Central to its practice are psychological assessment and psychotherapy although clinical psychologists may also engage in research, teaching, consultation, forensic testimony, and program development and administration. Credit for the first psychology clinic in the United States typically goes to Lightner Witmer, who established his practice in Philadelphia in Another modern psychotherapist was Morton Prince. Various shapes are often found in user interfaces of digital products. They can be used as buttons or icons as well as applied to organize the content on the layout.
For instance, text blocks are often gathered in a rectangular or square shape which allows users to quickly scan copy. Using different shapes designers can create effective information architecture for a product. The Big Landscape. Psychology of shapes plays a big role in typography. There is a great number of typefaces and all of them have their individual impact on visual perception. Some kinds apply round shapes as a dominant and they seem more feminine and mild unlike those with straight lines and sharp angles which are more formal and sometimes aggressive. However, the science of psychology helps designers be prepared and comprehend how our brain works, at least at some basic level.
Knowing psychology of shapes designers are able to create proficient logos along with problem-solving user interfaces for web and mobile products. Psychology in Design. Principles Helping to Understand Users. Get weekly updates on the newest design stories, case studies and tips right in your mailbox. Loading - Please wait.
The UX design case study on the mobile application Perfect Recipes that combines the functionality for cooking and buying what's needed for users' meals. Check user experience design solutions and animated interactions. No matter the company size and type, being online is a necessity for almost any business nowadays.
Check tips on supporting online marketing with design. Tubik graphic designer unveils a step-by-step creative process for a complex digital illustration devoted to Winter Olympic Games: check the workflow and useful tips. Based on experience of Tubik Studio designers. Knock Design into Shape. Psychology of Shapes. Psychology of shapes is helpful for creating user-friendly interfaces. Common meanings: the duality of meaning uniqueness elaborate. It looks at how people think, perceive, communicate, remember, and learn. It is closely related to neuroscience , philosophy, and linguistics.
Practical applications include how to improve memory, increase the accuracy of decision-making, or how to set up educational programs to boost learning. This is the scientific study of systematic psychological changes that a person experiences over the life span, often referred to as human development. Factors include motor skills, problem solving, moral understanding, acquiring language, emotions, personality, self-concept, and identity formation. It also looks at innate mental structures against learning through experience, or how a person's characteristics interact with environmental factors and how this impacts development.
Evolutionary psychology looks at how human behavior, for example language, has been affected by psychological adjustments during evolution. An evolutionary psychologist believes that many human psychological traits are adaptive in that they have enabled us to survive over thousands of years. A forensic psychologist practices psychology as a science within the criminal justice system and civil courts. It involves assessing the psychological factors that might influence a case or behavior and presenting the findings in court.
A physician often looks first at the biological causes of a disease, but a health psychologist will focus on the whole person and what influences their health status. This may include their socioeconomic status, education, and background, and behaviors that may have an impact on the disease, such as compliance with instructions and medication.
Neuropsychology looks at the structure and function of the brain in relation to behaviors and psychological processes. A neuropsychology may be involved if a condition involves lesions in the brain, and assessments that involve recording electrical activity in the brain. A neuropsychological evaluation is used to determine whether a person is likely to experience behavioral problems following suspected or diagnosed brain injury, such as a stroke. The results can enable a doctor to provide treatment that may help the individual achieve possible improvements in cognitive damage that has occurred.
Occupational or organizational psychologists are involved in assessing and making recommendations about the performance of people at work and in training. They help companies to find more effective ways to function, and to understand how people and groups behave at work. This information can help improve effectiveness, efficiency, job satisfaction, and employee retention.
Social psychology uses scientific methods to understand how social influences impact human behavior. It seeks to explain how feelings, behavior, and thoughts are influenced by the actual, imagined or implied presence of other people. A social psychologist looks at group behavior, social perception, non-verbal behavior, conformity, aggression, prejudice, and leadership. Social perception and social interaction are seen as key to understanding social behavior.
Other branches include military, consumer, educational, cross-cultural, and environmental psychology. The number of branches continues to grow. In a philosophical context, psychology was around thousands of years ago in ancient Greece, Egypt, India, Persia, and China. Avicenna, the famous Muslim doctor, born in AD, studied and treated epilepsy , nightmares, and poor memory. The first hospitals treating psychiatric conditions were said to have been set up by Islamic doctors in medieval times.
In , Franz Mesmer proposed that hypnosis, or "mesmerism," might help cure some types of mental illness. In , Philippe Pinel released the first patients with mental health problems from confinement in a move that signalled a move toward more humane treatment. In , Wilhelm Wundt, Germany, founded psychology as an independent experimental field of study.
He set up the first laboratory that carried out psychological research exclusively at Leipzig University. Wundt is known today as the father of psychology. It was discussed by psychologists worldwide for many decades. In the same year, New York State passed the State Care Act, in which people with mental health problems were to leave poor houses and enter the hospital for treatment.
Stanley Hall. Hermann Abbingaus, who lived from , and worked at the University of Berlin, was the first psychologist to study memory extensively.
Ivan Pavlov, who lived from to , carried out the famous experiment which showed that dogs salivated when they expected food, introducing the concept of "conditioning. The Austrian Sigmund Freud, who lived from to , introduced the field of psychoanalysis, a type of psychotherapy. He used interpretive methods, introspection, and clinical observations to gain understanding of the mind. He focused on resolving unconscious conflict, mental distress, and psychopathology. Freud argued that the unconscious was responsible for most of people's thoughts and behavior, and for mental health problems.
B Titchener, an American, strongly believed in structuralism, which focuses on the question: "What is consciousness? William James and John Dewey were strong believers in functionalism, which addressed the "What is consciousness for? The debate between the functionalists and structuralists led to a rapid growth in interest in psychology in the United States and elsewhere, and the establishment of the first psychology laboratory in the U.
In an American psychologist, John B. Watson, founded a new movement that changed the focus of psychology. Behavior, he argued, is not the result of internal mental processes, but the result of how we respond to the environment. Rather than being victims of the environment or the unconscious, they proposed that humans are innately good and that our own mental processes played an active role in our behavior. The humanist movement puts high value on the emotions, free will, and a subjective view of experience.