Psychology as a discipline: definition and objectives (2023)

Psychology as a discipline: definition and goals

Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior.It includes biological influences, social pressures, and environmental factors that affect the way people think, act, and feel.Psychology is defined as a science that studies mental processes, experiences and experiencesbehavior in different contexts.

It uses methods from the life and social sciences to systematically collect data.

It makes data meaningful so it can be organized with insight.

Thought process:

(i) Mental processes are activities of the mind and brain related to cognition.

(ii) We use mental processes when we think or remember something or solve a problem.

(iii) However, these mental activities are distinct from neural activities, although they are mutually overlapping processes.

(iv) Mind arises and develops when our interactions and experiences in this world are dynamically organized into a system responsible for the occurrence of various mental processes.

(v) Mental processes include reasoning, learning, thinking, problem solving, perception, etc.


Experience can be defined as learning acquired through everyday situations.

(1) Experiences are subjective and different for each person.

(ii) We cannot directly observe or know someone's experiences.

(iii) Only the experiencing person can be aware of their experiences. Therefore, experiences are embedded in our awareness or consciousness.

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(iv) Experiences are influenced by the internal and external conditions of the experiences.

(v) The nature of experience can only be understood through the analysis of a complex set of internal and external conditions.

(vi) Experience is important because most of our learning is based on experience.


(i) Behaviors are responses or reactions we make or activities we engage in. You can feel the heartbeat before taking a test.

(ii) Some behaviors, such as thinking, can be simple or complex, short-lived or long-lived.

(iii) On the other hand, some behaviors can be seen or felt externally and are overtly stated, e.g. B. Laughter.

(iv) All behaviors can be explained on the basis of S-R (stimulus-response ratios). All behavior, whether overt or covert, is associated with or triggered by a stimulus.

(v) Both the stimulus and the response can be internal or external.

(vi) The same stimulus can elicit different responses due to the variables of the organism. It emphasizes the uniqueness and variation of an individual that sets them apart from others.

psychology as a discipline.

(i) It examines behavior, experience and mental processes.

(ii) Attempts to understand and explain how the mind works and how different mental processes lead to different behaviors.

(iii) When we observe others, our own point of view or way of understanding the world influences our interpretations of their behaviors and experiences.

(iv) Psychologists attempt to minimize such biases in their explanations of behavior and experiences in various ways.

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(v) Some do this by making their analysis scientific and objective.

(vi) Others attempt to explain behavior from the perspective of the experimenter, thinking that selectivity is a necessary aspect of human experience.

- Neuroscience and computer science repeatedly borrow principles from psychology.

There are rapidly developing brain imaging tests like MRI, EKG etc. that they are doing

It is possible to study brain processes in real time, when they are actually taking place.

Psychology as a hybrid science:

Psychology is a hybrid science that draws influence from both the natural and social sciences.

As science:

(1) Modern psychology has developed due to the application of the scientific method to the study of psychological phenomena.

(ii) As a physical science, it emphasizes data that are systematic and can be studied under controlled conditions.

(iii) It is quantitative and requires analysis.

(iv) He takes influences from physics and biology and believes in the Hypothetical Deductive Model (HDM).

(v) All or any of the assumptions may be accepted or rejected based on the available factors.

The model suggests that scientific progress can occur when you have a theory to explain a phenomenon.

(vi) A hypothesis is a tentative solution to a problem that helps guide an investigation or theory.

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(vii) The hypothesis has been used successfully to determine many theories regarding learning and memory. For example, the way a child grew up in their family shapes their personality.

Psychology Definitions

Etymologically, psychology means the science of the soul, namely "psyche" means "soul" and "logos" means "science".The early psychologists believed that the function of psychology was to study the nature, origin and destiny of the human soul.However, modern psychologists doubt the existence of the soul as there is no empirical evidence of its existence.

However, many of the early psychologists believed in the existence of the mind.Some contemporary psychologists also believe in the existence of the mind.

(I)Psychology is the science of the mind

In 1892 William James defined psychology as the "science of mental processes".In his view, psychology can be defined by states of consciousness.

(ii)Psychology is the science of consciousness:

In 1884, James Sully defined psychology as the science of the "inner world," as distinct from physical science, which studies physical phenomena.

In 1892, Wilhelm Wundt defined psychology as the science that studies "inner experiences."

(iii)Psychology is the science of behavior:

In 1905, William McDougall defined psychology as the "science of behavior".In 1911, W. B. Pillsbury also defined psychology as the "science of behavior".

J. B. Watson, however, discarded the terms "mind," "consciousness," "purpose," and the like from psychological usage and defined psychology as "the science of behavior."

(iv)Psychology is the science of the experience and behavior of the individual in relation to their environment:

K. Koffka argues that although the concept of "consciousness" cannot be completely eliminated from psychological vocabulary, the main goal of psychology is the study of behavior.

RS Woodworth defines psychology as the "science of the activities of the individual".

The four goals of psychology

The study of psychology has four goals:


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• Describing things is something we do every day, without effort or conscious thought. But describing in psychology has a slightly different meaning than what we do in our daily lives.

• Describing a problem, issue, or behavior is the first goal of psychology.

• Descriptions help psychologists distinguish between normal and abnormal behavior and gain a more accurate understanding and perspective of human and animal behavior, actions and thinking.


Psychologists are very interested in being able to explain behavior rather than just describing it.

This helps provide answers to questions about why people react a certain way, why they do the things they do, and the factors that influence their behavior.personally, his mental health, his actions, etc.


• Making predictions about how we think and act is the third goal of psychology. By looking at behavior observed in the past (describing and explaining it), psychologists aim to predict how that behavior will occur again in the future and whether other people might exhibit the same behavior.

• Through the process of describing an explanation, psychologists can better understand what thoughts, feelings, and behaviors contribute to it.

• You can then use this knowledge to predict why, when, and how those things might happen in the future.

4.control change:

Psychology aims to change, influence or control behavior in order to bring about positive, constructive, meaningful and lasting changes in people's lives and to influence their behavior for the better. This is the ultimate and most important goal of

How can you use the four goals in your life?

If you're trying to make a change in your life or develop a healthier habit, consider all four goals. First, visualize your goal. What do you want? Once you have that goal in mind, start writing down your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and everything that is going on in your life. This will help break down and clarify your thoughts when they are chaotic or confusing. You can also make a list, create a mind map, or choose other ways to record your thoughts. Try to be as detailed as possible.

Explaining is the process of finding out what is going on, and this can be accomplished by thinking about a personal experience that might have some sort of explanation for your habit or behavior. Asking “why” questions can be helpful in achieving the goal of explaining.

Taking notes to describe and explain can help you predict future thoughts and behaviors. For example, you may have described feeling anxious about a social event. By asking yourself why you feel anxious, you can conclude that you are feeling anxious because you are afraid that people will not like you. From this you can deduce that the next time you attend an event you will probably be anxious again. With this prediction you can work on the acting or velho in specific ways that will help you control or curb anxiety which brings us to that

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What is the definition of psychology as a discipline? ›

psychology, scientific discipline that studies mental states and processes and behaviour in humans and other animals.

What is the importance of psychology as a discipline? ›

Essentially, psychology helps people in large part because it can explain why people act the way they do. With this kind of professional insight, a psychologist can help people improve their decision making, stress management and behavior based on understanding past behavior to better predict future behavior.

Which of these is the most accurate definition of the discipline of psychology *? ›

Answer and Explanation: The correct answer is a) the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. Psychology includes the study of the mind and the behaviors of an individual.

What is the simplest definition of psychology? ›

: the science of mind and behavior. : the mental or behavioral characteristics of an individual or group. : the study of mind and behavior in relation to a particular field of knowledge or activity.

How did psychology become a discipline? ›

Psychology came into being as a scientific discipline by the establishment of first Institute of Psychology in 1879 at Leipzig in Germany by Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920). It is here the first professional psychologists acquired the skills of experimental work to study the mind.

What are the two disciplines of psychology? ›

C. Psychology has emerged from two disciplines: philosophy and physiology.

What are the major discipline of psychology? ›

Psychology involves various sub-fields of scientific research and study like Clinical, Experimental, Social, Educational, Neuro-psychological, Sports, Developmental, Organizational, etc also called branches of Psychology.

What is the relationship between psychology and discipline? ›

One may therefore, say that the science of psychology as a very intimate relationship with almost every other discipline. This is naturally so because psychology is the basic science which is directly concerned with the study of human behaviour and evolving of techniques and strategies to improve human behaviour.

Is psychology a real discipline? ›

Psychology is commonly recognized as a social science, and is included on the National Science Foundation's roster of recognized STEM disciplines.

Which definition of psychology is best and why? ›

Answer and Explanation: The best answer is C. the scientific study of the behavior of individuals and of their mental processes.

What is the purpose of psychology? ›

To sum up, psychology is centered on four major goals: to describe, explain, predict, and change or control behaviors. These goals are the foundation of most theories and studies in an attempt to understand the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral processes that people face in their daily lives.

What is psychology definition and examples? ›

Psychology is the study of behavior and the mind. There are different types of psychology, such as cognitive, forensic, social, and developmental psychology. A person with a condition that affects their mental health may benefit from assessment and treatment with a psychologist.

What kind of discipline is psychology? ›

Just like physics, biology, or chemistry, psychology is a scientific discipline. Nearly every college and university supports a department of psychology, students are trained in psychology, and research is classified as psychology. The concept of a scientific discipline is an important and enduring one.

When was the discipline of psychology? ›

Psychology became accepted as an academic discipline around 1875 when Wilhelm Wundt created his psychological laboratory. Wundt created the lab with help from the University of Leipzig, whose assistance helped make psychology into an academic discipline.

What is the best discipline according to psychology? ›

As one of the largest, and often the most recognized, subdisciplines of psychology, clinical psychology covers a broad spectrum of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders.

What is the main concern and focus as a discipline of psychology? ›

Psychology is the study of mental processes, cognition, and behavior. Psychologist are concerned with how the brain and nervous system function, how perception evolves from sensation, how we learn and know, and what it is that motivates us.

Who made psychology a discipline? ›

Two men, working in the 19th century, are generally credited as being the founders of psychology as a science and academic discipline that was distinct from philosophy. Their names were Wilhelm Wundt and William James.

What are the three main disciplines? ›

The Three Disciplines
  • The first discipline is the discipline of perception. ...
  • The second discipline, action, deals with our relationships with others. ...
  • The third discipline, the discipline of will, encompasses our attitude to things that are not within our control.

What is the main idea of discipline? ›

Discipline refers to rule following behavior, to regulation, order, control and authority. It may also refer to punishment. Discipline is used to create habits, routines, and automatic mechanisms such as blind obedience. It may be inflicted on others or on oneself.


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