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BLOCK 1 INTRODUCTION

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Unit 1 Nature and Scope of Psychology
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Contents

1.0 Objectives

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Definition of Psychology

1.2.1 What is Science?

1.2.2 What is Behaviour?

1.3 Scope of Psychology

1.4 Aims of Psychology

1.5 Relationship with other Sciences

1.6 Basic and Applied Fields of Psychology

1.6 1 Basic fields of Psychology

1.6.2 Applied fields of Psychology

1.6.3 Emerging fields of Psychology

1.7 Summary

1.8 Check your progress (Model Answers)

1.9 Model Examination Questions

1.10 Glossary

1.11 Further Readings


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1.0 Objectives
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The main objectives of this unit are to:
Provide you with information of the subject Psychology.
By going through this unit you will understand:
The nature of Psychology
The scope of Psychology
The relationship of Psychology with other subjects
The applied fields of Psychology
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1.1 Introduction
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What comes to your mind when you hear the word Psychology?

Psychology is the scientific study of mental functions and behaviours. It’s an approach to
understand people and their thoughts and their behaviours. Having its roots in philosophy since
its founding, it has emerged as an academic and scientific discipline which offers various
benefits to the humankind.

The introductory part of psychology emphasises on two aspects:

1. Psychology as a science. A Science is defined not by what it studies but by how it studies.
Psychologists like any other scientists systematically observe facts about human beings and
organise these facts to arrive at generalisations. Psychology shares with other sciences certain
aims, assumptions, ways of carrying out research and ways of building and modifying theories.

2. Psychology is a body of knowledge that can be applied to help solve a variety of human
problems. In addition to the contribution in the area of research (developmental, social,
experimental, physiological psychology), there are many other areas of professional applications.
Clinical psychologists work with psychiatrists in a hospital context or with other health
professionals in the community. Educational psychologists work with children and adolescents in
schools, colleges, and nurseries and in the home. They collaborate with parents and teachers to
assess a child’s progress at school and provide help and advice. Counseling psychologists work
with individuals, families, couples or groups to improve people’s well being, alleviate distress
and help them solve their own problems and take their own decisions.

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1.2 Definition of Psychology
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The word psychology is derived from two Greek words “psyche” and “logos.” Psyche means
soul and logos mean the study. Thus, originally psychology was defined as the study of “soul” or
“spirit.” But later on philosophers defined psyche as mind. Because of this, psychology began to
be regarded as the study of an individual’s mind or mental process. As the mind does not exist as
an object: and cannot be observed and measured objectively this definition was also given up.
Hence the most widely and accepted definition of psychology is: the science of behaviour and
mental processes of both humans and animals. Since psychology was defined as the study of
behaviour it is referred to as Behaviourial sciences. There are two concepts in this definition
which need further explanations: They are “science” and “behaviour.”

1.2.1 What is science?

Science is a group of related facts and principles of a particular subject. In science we collect
related facts by the use of objective methods to develop a theory which explain those facts. From
a given set of conditions, science helps us to predict future happenings. Example-Biology
explains how living things grow and develop. Anatomy describes the structure of human body.
Physiology deals with the function of various parts and systems of the body. Similarly,
Psychology as a science deals systematically with human behaviour which includes motives,
feelings, emotions, thoughts and actions of people. Like other sciences, Psychology discovers
and explains the underlying laws and principles of behaviour. Its goals are describing,
explaining, predicting and finally modifying (controlling) human behaviour.

1.2.2 What is behaviour?

Behaviour in its broader sense includes all types of human activities that can be directly
observed. Behaviour is both mental and bodily. Mental behaviours are thinking, reasoning,
imagination and other mental experiences or processes. Bodily behaviour refers to the
movements and actions of the body in response to a situation. Behaviour is the reaction of an
individual to a particular environment which exerts influence which is called stimulus. The
stimulus in turn arouses an activity from the individual and this is called the response.

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Behaviour shows growth and development from the early years of infancy to maturity and old
age. Psychology as a science studies how behaviour grows and develops from infancy to old age
and also studies behavioural differences between people.

Psychologists collect facts of behaviour by means of objective methods such as observation and
experiment and predict human behaviour.

Check your progress Exercise 1

Note: a) space is given below for writing your answer

b) Compare your answer with the one given at the end of this unit

1. Define the term Psychology

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2. What is the nature of Behaviour? Explain

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1.3 Scope of Psychology
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Psychology studies different forms of behaviour and its scope is diverse. Wherever people come
together for the sake of fulfilling any tasks, psychology comes into play. Psychology is defined
as the study of human behaviour. Behaviour is not just a response to a stimulus coming from the
environment. There is a mediating process which takes place in the mind of the person before the
response comes forth. The behaviour of an individual is influenced by various dynamics, right
from the geographical location of the individual to the social- cultural status he/she is operating
in. Besides these, the individual’s family, the educational level, the nieghbourhood, the
community in which the person grows, the nature of the job, his/her colleagues, the present
psychological and physical conditions, etc influences the behaviour immensely. Thus behaviour

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is not a reflex action but a much thought of process. However all this process is not visible and
therefore it is called as covert process as it takes place in the person’s mind. Further what is not
visible cannot be assessed or measured. Hence the overt behaviour which is visible is assessed
or measured. Therefore when a group of people come together and interact there are a great
many issues which influences the individual’s behaviour and because of this the subject
Psychology has a vast scope. The scope of psychology has changed through time. It has been
expanded to many fields and the subject matter and methodology has also undergone a vast
change. Among the most important issues and questions that are addressed by psychology at
different historical periods are: Nature (heredity) versus Nurture (environment); Conscious
versus unconscious determination of behaviour; Observable behaviour versus internal mental
processes; Freedom of choice versus determination; Individual difference versus universal
principles. In today’s world Psychology is referred to as Psychotic octopus as this particular
subject alone has the capability of applying itself to any subject matter that it comes across. From
the fields which are very scientific in nature like astronomy, astrology, medical and engineering
to the very subtle fields such as customised designing of homes and colour preferences of the
walls, etc, psychological principles are applied. Alternatives medicines such as Homeopathy and
Ayurveda, etc dispenses medicine on the basis of the person’s temperament. Turning to the
designing of the different tools, equipment and gadgets we use on daily basis, we see that
preference is given first to the convenience and satisfaction of the consumer. Over and above all
these, Psychology has found its place in the defence field, law and order, management,
education, sports, etc.

Check your progress Exercise 2

Note: a) space is given below for writing your answer

b) Compare your answer with the one given at the end of this unit

1. Name the various dynamics that influence behaviour.

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2. What are the different issues addressed by psychology?

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1.4 Aims of Psychology
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The four main aims/ goals of psychology are to describe, explain, predict and control the
behaviour and mental processes.
Describe
Psychology aims to understand the behaviour and gather information about why the behaviour
has happened. It also aims at understanding the behaviour in a better way. Once the behaviour is
understood it aims at describing it. It should observe and investigate the various factors that
influence behaviour. Based on these investigations psychology would arrive at generalizations in
the forms of Laws, theories etc.
In a classic experiment Pavlov noticed that his dogs were salivating as the result of stimuli – the
lab assistant approaching – before food was even presented to them. This observation acted as a
description of what was happening. Once psychologists have described a behaviour or
phenomenon, they use that as a basis for learning more about that behaviour.
Explain
Why does this behaviour occur? Under what circumstances will it occur again? In order to
explain behaviour, psychologists must investigate the nature and kinds of behaviour and as the
behaviour is dynamic the psychologist should explain the nature of behaviour observed. The
psychologist should also try to explain stability and consistency of behaviour. If there’s only one
person (or animal) exhibiting this behaviour, it is not a cultural norm. In the case of Pavlov, he
was able to conduct an experiment using multiple dogs that all seemed to behave in the same
way. Through this experiment he was able to notice a handful of important things about the
behaviour of others. And thus, classical conditioning came to be.
When presented with an unconditioned stimulus (the food), the dogs began to salivate – which is
the unconditioned response. When presented with delicious food, you must have noticed that
humans tend to salivate. After the dogs were fed for a period of time, Pavlov began to notice that

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even the presence of his lab assistant, who fed the dogs, caused them to salivate. Once he noticed
what was happening, he realised that he had come across a wonderful psychological discovery.
The lab assistant, who was once a neutral stimulus, had become a conditioned stimulus. To
further his experiment, Pavlov introduced a bell as a neutral stimulus.
Predict
Based on past observed behaviour, a psychologist aims to predict how that behaviour will appear
again in the future and whether other people will also exhibit the same behaviour. Pavlov
predicted that the new neutral stimulus – the bell – would become a conditioned stimulus if he
presented it with food for some time. As he expected after presenting the dog with food and by
sounding the bell at the same time, he was able to condition the dog to salivate when the bell
rang even when it is not presented with food. This discovery held a lot of importance in the
world of psychology and allowed many people to influence the behaviour of others.
Control
In psychology Control refers to the altering conditions that affect behaviour. Pavlov’s discovery
helped the teachers to take control of their classroom easier, parents could teach their children to
exhibit good behaviour, and manipulative older siblings could control the behaviours of their
younger siblings. In other areas of psychology, experiments are used to train new employees
faster, increase the success of students and reduce drug addiction.
Check your progress Exercise 3

Note: a) space is given below for writing your answer

b) Compare your answer with the one given at the end of this unit

1. Discuss “describe” as one of the aims of psychology.


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2. Discuss “Explain” as one of the aims of psychology.
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1.5 Relationship of Psychology with other Sciences
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Psychology and Physical Sciences:

Psychology is a science of experience of an individual. But experience always has the duality of
subject and object, both of which are real. Psychology deals with mental processes such as
knowing, feeling and willing, and in order to account for them adequately it must study the
nature of physical stimuli in relation to knowing and willing. But there is a difference between
psychology and physical sciences in the treatment of physical objects. Physical sciences
investigate the nature of physical stimuli and are not concerned about their relation to an
individual. But psychology studies the nature of the interaction between an individual and the
physical stimuli. E.g. Temperature in the room, if it is very hot in a room it hinders the
performance of the individual. It is primarily concerned with behaviour of an individual, and
indirectly concerned with external stimuli.

Psychology and Biology:

Psychology is a science of the experience and behaviour. However experience cannot be


adequately explained without the concomitant physiological processes. The environment acts on
the mind through the sense-organs; and the mind reacts to the environment through the muscles.
The sense-organs and muscles are organs of the body. So, mental processes are closely related to
bodily processes.

In fact, mental processes are regarded by many psychologists as functions of life. They are
devices for better adaptation of the psycho-physical organism to the environment. Many modern
psychologists hold that consciousness emerges when the innate reactions fail to adapt the
organism to the environment, and that higher mental processes are evolved in order to adjust the
organism more and more effectively to the complex environment. The subjective experience of
an individual is closely related to the cerebral structure and the properties of its structural
elements. There is a close correlation between the organisation of the brain and arrangements of
the contents of consciousness. Therefore the relation between psychological and biological
sciences is of great importance.

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Psychology and Physiology:

. Experiences of an individual are intimately connected with physiological processes, especially


of the nervous system. Therefore, psychology studies these physiological processes in order to
adequately account for mental processes.

Psychology is not to be confounded with physiology as Psychology deals only with the
experiences, viz., knowing, feeling and willing and these experiences are connected with
physiological processes which are, therefore, studied by psychology. Behaviour is bodily
reaction of an individual to the physical and social environment and psychology studies the
nature of the different kinds of behaviour. The Behaviourists seek to reduce psychology to
physiology which is a biological science. The relation between psychological science and
physiology is so connected that a very important discipline has developed during the last quarter
of a century known as ‘physiological psychology’.

Physiological psychology has developed with great strides by adopting the concepts and
techniques from other allied disciplines like neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, endocrinology,
pharmacology, cellular physiology, and biochemistry. Researches in the field of physiological
psychology have thrown valuable light on the nature of human personality and the related end
and purposeful behaviour.

Psychology and Logic:

Psychology is wider in scope than Logic, because it deals with all kinds of mental processes,
viz., knowing, feeling and willing. But Logic deals with thinking only, which is a kind of
knowing. It does not deal with feeling and willing. Psychology tells us how we actually think
while Logic- tells us how we are supposed to think in order to arrive at truth. Thus psychology is
positive science and logic is a normative science.

There are some differences between Psychology and Logic. Psychology is concerned with the
study of mental processes, e.g., conception, judgment, and reasoning, while Logic is concerned
with mental products, e.g., concepts, judgments and inferences.

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Psychology deals with the process of reasoning or mental exploration of data whereas Logic
deals with the result of mental exploration or finding a new relationship among the data.

In order to know how we should reason, we should know how we do reason. We should know
the nature of reasoning before we can investigate the conditions of its validity. Psychology deals
with the actual process of reasoning. Logic deals with the validity of reasoning and the
conditions of its validity.

During recent years the relation between psychological science and logic is very close. Many
contemporary psychologists make extensive use of some of the concepts of symbolic logic or
mathematical logic. During the empirical phase of the development of psychological science it
has been more concerned with experiments.

However, recently it has been making use of the concepts and techniques of symbolic logic for
theoretical systematisation of psychological science. It is further expected with the systematisa-
tion of the theory of psychological science it would make more extensive use of symbolic logic.

Psychology and Philosophy:

Philosophy has two parts epistemology and ontology. Psychology is related to epistemology.
Psychology enquires into the nature of knowing, feeling, and willing. It deals with knowing as a
fact, and the nature and development of knowledge of an individual mind.

It is concerned with the validity of knowledge. Psychology assumes the possibility of knowledge
and merely traces its growth and development in an individual mind. But Epistemology enquires
into the conditions under which knowledge is possible, and deals with the validity of knowledge.

Psychology is also related to Ontology or Metaphysics. Psychology deals with knowing as a fact.
Metaphysics or Ontology enquires into the ultimate nature of the reality that is known. Thus
metaphysics or Ontology deals with the ultimate nature of the self, the external world, and God.
Psychology is not concerned with God at all. It assumes the reality of the mind and the external
world, and the mind’s capacity to know the world. Metaphysics proves the reality of the self, the

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world, and the knowledge of the world by the self. Metaphysics tests the validity of the
fundamental assumptions of psychology.

Recently it has discovered that there are certain theoretical problems in psychological science
which are of speculative nature. These speculative problems of psychological science fall within
the range of philosophy.

Psychology and Sociology:

Psychology deals with the behaviour pattern of an individual in relation to the environment
which is physical as well as social. The external world or light, sound, taste, smell, heat, cold,
etc., constitute the physical environment. Parents, relatives, friends, enemies, playmates,
companions and all the people with whom an individual comes into contact and interacts
constitute his social environment.

The individual mind grows and develops through interaction with the society. He develops his
personality through social interaction. There is constant interaction between the individual and
the society.

Sociology deals with the nature, origin, and development of society. It investigates into manners,
customs and institutions of a society in all its stages of development from the savage to the
civilised state. Hence, psychology is intimately related to sociology.

Sociology is primarily concerned with the study of the bonds which inter-relate individuals in
society. The nature of inter-personal relationships has become quite intelligible through
investigations in the field of psychology.

Social psychology deals with the collective behaviour. It investigates the peculiar characteristics
of the individuals which they acquire as members of groups. It studies the behaviour of the
crowd and the mob. It studies the psychological principles of social organisation. It is the
meeting ground of psychology and sociology. Psychology, sociology and social psychology are
the various branches of social science..

Psychology and Anthropology

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Anthropology studies the evolution of mankind and the development of the civilisation. By
detailed observation it studies the characteristics and the processes followed by different cultural
groups. The practices of a particular cultural group are closely observed through participative
observation and these are recorded for further use. In the recent years the relationship between
culture and psychology has become very important. The psychological research shows that there
are certain similarities and differences in the nature of expression of emotions, self concept,
motives, personality, norms, morality and child rearing practices across different cultures. Thus
psychology is closely related to anthropology.

Psychology and Education:

Education is the science of unfolding the powers of the pupil and moulding his character and
behaviour in such a manner that he becomes a useful and well-adjusted member of the
community and the social environment by modifying his behaviour. Therefore, educational
psychology applies the general principles of psychology to the practical needs of education. It
gives a psychological foundation to education and makes it sound.

Education implies two agents—viz., the teacher and the pupil. The teacher should know the mind
of the pupil as there are special characteristics of the child’s mind which differ according to
different stages of its development. A teacher should utilise the principles of psychology to
develop the child’s powers of observation, attention, memory, imagination, thinking, emotion,
volition, and character. It helps an educationist by telling him how knowledge systems are built
up, and how new knowledge is received and assimilated into the system of knowledge already
formed.

During recent years psychological techniques are employed for evoking creative behaviour as it
is believed that human invention results from the interaction between the creative person, his
product of creativity, and the responses of the environment to it. Psychological principles have
been very successfully applied to educational designs thus there is a close relation between
psychology and education.

Check your progress Exercise 4

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Note: a) space is given below for writing your answer

b) Compare your answer with the one given at the end of this unit

1. Bring out the relationship between Psychology and Education.


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2. How is Sociology related to Psychology? Explain
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1.6 Basic and Applied fields of Psychology
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Psychology broke away from philosophy and physiology and emerged as a separate discipline
over 100 years ago. In the last century, this young and fertile discipline went through a series of
changes and expansions in both subject matter and research methods. Firstly this discipline
attempted to build the body of knowledge by studying the basic processes and later on applied
the findings to various other fields. Thus understanding of the basic fields of psychology is
important for a beginner. The basic fields of Psychology are as follows:

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1.6 .1 Basic Fields of Psychology:
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General Psychology

General psychology is concerned with the introduction and overview to the field of psychology.
Under this field the history of psychology, the basic research methods, development, emotions,
motivation, personality, perception and the basic cognitive and dynamic processes of psychology
are studied. The diverse specialties of psychology are incorporated into the research, theory and
practice for bringing about coherence among the various disciplines that are associated with the
subject of psychology.

Experimental psychology

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Generally they use controlled laboratory experiments to pursue their study. Basic topics studied
include: Sensation, Perception, Learning, Memory and Problem solving, Communication,
Emotion and Motivation. Experimental psychologists attempt to answer the following questions.
What is the basis for love between a mother and her baby? Can animals think? What is the role
of the brain in memory? Experiments are made not only on human beings; but also on animals.
This is because animal research leads to human research that can give us insight into the
behaviour of our own species.

Physiological psychology:

This branch of psychology looks for explanations of behaviour in the physiological structures of
humans and animals. Some of the questions raised by physiological psychologists include: What
are the physiological changes that occur in people during sleep and dreaming? What is the
relationship between the incidence of motorway accidents and changes in the physiological
functions of the body at different times of the day?

Physiological psychology is presently one of psychology's hottest areas because of the recent
dramatic increase in interest in the physiological correlates of behaviour. These psychologists
study both very basic processes (e.g., how brain cells function) and more observable phenomena
(e.g., behaviour change as a function of drug use or the biological/genetic roots of psychiatric
disorders). Some physiological psychologists also work with people who have neurological
problems.

Comparative Psychology:

This field of psychology is centered on the study of animal behaviour. This area has its roots in
the work of researchers such as Charles Darwin and Georges Romanes and has grown into a
highly multidisciplinary subject. Psychologists often contribute to this field, as do biologists,
anthropologists, ecologists, geneticists and many others.

Developmental Psychology:

Its concern is about behavioural development over the entire life span. It is also concerned with
psychological concepts, such as: learning, memory, motivation and thinking. The following are

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questions raised by developmental psychologists: How soon can babies perceive depth? How do
children develop the concept of the self? Is language acquisition only a question of biological
maturation and learning or it has any relation to social interaction?

Personality Psychology

Some people are highly competitive and hostile. Some people tend to be relaxed and don't feel
the pressure of time.

The study of the relation between personality and behaviour is an example of research in
personality psychology. It studies individual differences in behaviour and why people do not
react in a similar way to the same situation.

Social Psychology

Social psychology is a wide-ranging field of study. Among the topics that can be studied are:
Friendship formation, Conflict, Perception of other people, Aggressiveness, etc. Research
findings in social psychology showed that delinquent boys who watched aggressive or violent
movies are engaged in more acts of physical aggression after seeing these movies than
delinquent boys who watched neutral movies. The particular interest of social psychologists is on
the relevance of their research to human society i.e. human problems in the group, the
community, the nation and the world.

Cognitive psychology
Cognitive psychology studies thought processes and focus on such topics as perception,
language, attention, problem solving, memory, judgment and decision making, forgetting, and
intelligence. Recent areas of research interest include designing computer-based models of
thought processes and identifying biological correlates of cognition. As a cognitive psychologist,
one plans for enhancing environmental settings to promote psychological health.

Abnormal Psychology

It is the field where psychologists study, diagnosise and treats people with abnormal behaviour.
People working in this field, look for possible biological, educational and environmental causes

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of disorders. The aim is to change the environment that leads to disorder. Clinical psychologists
give advice to community workers on how to handle psychological problems.

Check your progress Exercise 5

Note: a) space is given below for writing your answer

b) Compare your answer with the one given at the end of this unit

1. State the subject matter studied by Developmental Psychology.

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2. What do abnormal psychologists do?

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1.6. 2 Applied Fields of Psychology:
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The finding of the research conducted through the basic psychological principles has been found
to be of such immense use that they have started using these principles in various other areas
where people operate. Thus it is very important for a student of psychology to study the applied
fields of psychology.

Educational Psychology
Educational psychologists are concerned with the study of human learning. They attempt to
understand the basic aspects of learning and then develop materials and strategies for enhancing
the learning process. For example, an educational psychologist might study reading and develop
a new technique for teaching reading from the results of the research.

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School Psychology
School psychologists are involved in the development of children in educational settings. They
are typically involved in the assessment of children and the recommendation of actions to
facilitate students' learning. They often act as consultants to parents and administrators to
optimise the learning environments of specific students.

Family Psychology
Family psychologists are concerned with the prevention of family conflict, the treatment of
marital and family problems, and the maintenance of normal family functioning. They design
and conduct programmes for marital enrichment, pre-marital preparation, and improved parent-
child relations. They also conduct research on topics such as child abuse, family communications
patterns, and the effects of divorce and remarriage. Family psychologists are often employed in
medical schools, hospitals, community agencies, and in private practice.

Community Psychology

This field focuses on the prevention, promotion of positive mental health and crisis intervention
with special attention to the problems of underserved groups and ethnic minorities. They work
along with professionals of other areas such as public health etc. As community psychologist the
work settings would include state and local departments of mental health, corrections and
welfare systems.

Clinical Psychology
Clinical psychologists assess and treat people with psychological problems. They may act as
therapists for people experiencing normal psychological crises (e.g., grief) or for individuals
suffering from chronic psychiatric disorders. Some clinical psychologists are generalists who
work with a wide variety of populations, while others work with specific groups like children,
the elderly, or those with specific disorders (e.g., schizophrenia). They may be found in
hospitals, community health centers, or private practice.

Counseling Psychology

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Counseling psychologists do many of the same things that clinical psychologists do. However,
counseling psychologists tend to focus more on persons with adjustment problems, rather than on
persons suffering from severe psychological disorders. Counseling psychologists are employed
in academic settings, community mental health centers, and private practice.

Industrial Organizational Psychology

Industrial/Organisational Psychology is a field in which scientific principles are developed and


applied in the workplace. Industrial Psychology is focused on the management perspective of
organisational effectiveness through the proper use of human resources and people. Common
issues in Industrial Psychology include performance appraisals, efficient job design, and
employee selection and training. Organisational Psychology, on the other hand, is focused more
on the individual employee. It is concerned with understanding and enhancing the well-being and
development of the individual employee. Common issues in Organisational Psychology include
job stress, employee attitudes and behaviour, and supervisory practices

Consumer Psychology
Consumer Psychology is the study of human responses to product and service related
information and experiences. Many responses are important, including beliefs and judgments,
emotions, purchase decisions, and consumption practices. A broad range of product and service
related information is also important, such as advertisements, package labels, coupons, consumer
magazines, and word-of-mouth communications from friends and relatives. The goals of
consumer psychologists are to describe, predict, influence, and/or explain consumer responses.

Consumer psychologists are educators, researchers, and administrators. They get direct feedback
from their work and they see how it changes things. It is not easy to understand why some people
buy and others do not. Nor is it a simple matter to discover the trends and predict where things
are going in the next few years. The majority of business executives and managers are well
educated and trained in their field, but few are also not all that familiar with the behavioural
sciences. This is where consumer psychologists step in.

Sport Psychology

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Sport psychology is (a) the study of the psychological and mental factors that influence and are
influenced by participation and performance in sport, exercise, and physical activity, and (b) the
application of the knowledge gained through this study to everyday settings.

Sport psychology professionals are interested in how participation in sport, exercise, and
physical activity may enhance personal development and well-being throughout the life span.
Sport psychologists are also involved in assisting coaches in working with athletes as well as
helping improve athletes' motivation.

Environmental Psychology
Environmental psychologists are concerned with the relations between psychological processes
and physical environments ranging from homes and offices to urban areas and regions.
Environmental psychologists may do research on attitudes toward different environments,
personal space, or the effects on productivity of different office designs.

Health Psychology
Health psychologists are concerned with psychology's contributions to the promotion and
maintenance of good health and the prevention and treatment of illness. They design and conduct
programmes to help individuals stop smoking, lose weight, manage stress, prevent cavities, or
stay physically fit. They are employed in hospitals, medical schools, rehabilitation centers, public
health agencies, and in private practice.

Rehabilitation Psychology
Rehabilitation psychologists work with people who have suffered physical deprivation or loss at
birth or during later development as a result of damage or deterioration of function (e.g., a child
not meeting the critical periods or a disability occurring at a later age due to a stroke). They help
people overcome both the psychological and situational barriers to effective functioning in the
world. Rehabilitation psychologists work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, medical schools,
and in government rehabilitation agencies.

Check your progress Exercise 6

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Note: a) space is given below for writing your answer

b) Compare your answer with the one given at the end of this unit

1. What do you understand by Clinical Psychology?


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2. State how psychology be applied to sports?
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1.6. 3 Emerging Fields of Psychology:
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There are certain new fields coming into focus where psychological principles can be applied.

Aviation Psychology

Psychology applied to aviation is an integrative field involving knowledge of all areas in


psychology, including perception and attention, cognition, physiological, experimental,
industrial/organisational, clinical, and educational. In addition to having knowledge in the field
of psychology, one who is interested in studying psychology applied to aviation must know
about the aviation field including the pilot's tasks, memory and decision making skills, pilot
selection, cockpit designs, human-computer interaction, human factors design, training systems
development, program management and human performance research.

An aviation psychologist is concerned with pilot’s performance and reducing flight crew error.
One who is interested in this field will be challenged with the goal of inventing the most efficient
way of allowing information to reach the pilot. The Aviation Psychologist works to prioritize
information coming in to the pilot, so that the more crucial information is salient. Because the
field of aviation psychology is integrative, one may hold different titles depending on their area
of emphasis. For example, those with an experimental emphasis would be Aerospace

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Experimental Psychologists (AEP), with an engineering emphasis would be Aerospace
Engineering Psychologist, with a human factors emphasis would be Human Factor Specialists in
aviation and so on.

Experimental and Human Factors Psychology (Ergonomics)

This area of specialisation includes a diverse group of psychologists who do research in the most
basic areas of psychology (e.g., learning, memory, attention, cognition, sensation, perception,
motivation, and language). This field deals with operation of machinery by ordinary people in a
most efficient and safe way. The term Ergonomics is a Greek word meaning “Laws of work”. It
was first used in military settings when the new technologies in warfare made it difficult for the
soldiers to understand their operations. The military turned to Psychologists for help to determine
what skills their personnel should master and also to redesign the armaments so that the
personnel can easily use them. Ergonomics then became a very important field as this experience
helped the psychologist to design industries and other business, keeping the workers in mind.
Thus Ergonomics is a combination of the principles of psychology, engineering and computer
science.

Forensic Psychology and Psychology with the Law

Psychology is used in the field of Law as it studies legal issues from a psychological perspective
(e.g., how juries decide cases) and psychological questions in a legal context (e.g., how jurors
assign blame or responsibility for a crime). Forensic psychologists are concerned with the
applied and clinical facets of the law such as determining a defendant's competence to stand trial
or if an accident victim has suffered physical or neurological damage.

Geropsychology/Psychology of Aging

Researchers in the psychology of aging (geropsychology) draw on Sociology, biology, and other
disciplines as well as psychology to study the factors associated with adult development and
aging. For example, they may investigate how the brain and the nervous system change as
humans age and what effects those changes have on behaviour or how a person's style of coping

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with problems varies with age. Clinicians in geropsychology apply their knowledge about the
aging process to improve the psychological welfare of the elderly.

Many people interested in the psychology of aging are trained in a more traditional graduate
program in psychology, such as experimental, clinical, developmental, or social. While they are
enrolled in such a program, they become geropsychologists by focusing their research,
coursework, and practical experiences on adult development and aging.

Neuropsychology/Psychobiology

"Psychobiologists and neuropsychologists investigate the relation between physical systems and
behaviour. Topics they study include the relation of specific biochemical mechanisms in the
brain to behaviour, the relation of brain structure to function, and the chemical and physical
changes that occur in the body when we experience different emotions. Neuropsychologists also
diagnose and treat disorders related to the central nervous system. They may diagnose
behavioural disturbances related to suspected dysfunctions of the central nervous system and
treat patients by teaching them new ways to acquire and process information technique known as
cognitive retraining.
Clinical neuropsychologists work in the neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatric, and pediatric units
of hospitals, and in clinics. They also work in academic settings where they conduct research and
train other neuropsychologists, clinical psychologists, and medical doctors.

Psychometrics and Quantitative Psychology

Psychometric and quantitative psychologists are concerned with the methods and techniques
used to acquire and apply psychological knowledge. A psychometrist revises old intelligence,
personality, and aptitude tests and devises new ones. Quantitative psychologists assist
researchers in psychology or other fields to design experiments or interpret their results.
Psychometrists and quantitative psychologists are often employed in colleges and universities,
testing companies, private research firms, and government agencies.

Psychology for Women

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Women psychology explores all the principles that are in practice for either of the genders and in
addition the concomitant issues pertaining to women in particular. The challenges faced by
women today are more severe than they have been earlier. It is not that women have not been in
employment before. Thought they have been employed for more than half a century now the
discrimination shown towards them has not changed much. Women have become more aspiring
and more ambitious in spite of having the huge responsibility of the home on their shoulders.
Thought the new age men have become more accommodating and sharing the duties of the home
and children the mindsets have not undergone a vast change. There are invariable ego clashes.
These are some of the issues coming into focus for research on women psychology. Attempts to
search for Personality correlates and the motivation levels aiding women to take up jobs which
are not only challenging but also require high levels of energies and commitments are being
made. However, their aspiration to excel is taking its toll on their physiological and
psychological health. Research on women is concentrating on issues such as stress, (personal as
well as job) attitudes, infertility, marital discord, among others which are major issues of women
today.

Political Psychology

Political psychology is an interdisciplinary academic field that is dedicated to understanding


politics, politicians and political behaviour from a psychological perspective. It emphasises the
psychological dimension of political life. It is the study of mental processes that underlie
political judgments and decision making. Psychology is an important tool to explain politics. Its
practitioners use psychological constructs, such as personality, attitudes, beliefs, values, needs,
goals, and expectations, to explain political behaviour and to examine the complex and
reciprocal relationship between politics and psychology. Political psychologists presume that
political actions, like all other forms of human behaviour, are the result of interplay between the
individual and the environment. Because the scientific study of politics investigates relations and
interactions among individuals behaving as political actors, it is inevitably linked with
psychology, which is concerned with human thinking and behaviour. Political analysts
throughout the ages and across civilizations have been interested in the interrelation between
personality traits and political contexts. They have employed many concepts and theories to
explain why rulers and subjects think and act as they do, and how their thoughts and actions

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shape the course of politics. Hence, political psychology focuses on the important role of
psychological factors in determining the individual’s responses to various
contextual/environmental stimuli.
Political psychology is thus a dynamic field of research that offers a unique blend of approaches
and methods in the social and cognitive sciences. Political psychologists explore the interactions
between macro level political structures and micro level factors such as decision-making
processes, motivations, and perceptions.

Check your progress Exercise 7

Note: a) space is given below for writing your answer

b) Compare your answer with the one given at the end of this unit

1. Discuss the use of studying the field of Experimental and Human Factors Psychology
(Ergonomics).
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. What is Psychometrics and Quantitative Psychology? Explain

______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________
1.7 Summary
___________________________________________________________________________
The word Psychology has been derived from two Greek words Psyche and logos which mean
study of the mind. The definition underwent a change when it was found that mind cannot be
studied as it cannot be observed, measured and verified. Then psychology was concerned about
the inner working of the mind which is depicted through behaviour. The behaviour displayed by
the individual is overt and therefore visible became easy to measure or assess. With this it could
be described, explained, predicted and controlled. When the otherwise difficult process became

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easy to observe this field became a vast subject matter for study and therefore many new findings
and principles evolved which could be applied in different fields. So much so today there is no
area or field where psychology and its principles cannot be applied. Where science and
technology fails to understand and explain problems, psychology will easily find solutions and
deal with them once for all.

__________________________________________________________________________
1.8 Check your progress (Model Answers)
___________________________________________________________________________

Exercise 1

Answer 1

Originally psychology was defined as the study of “soul” or “spirit.” However the most widely
and accepted definition of psychology is: the science of behaviour and mental processes of both
humans and animals.

Answer 2

Behaviour in its broader sense includes all types of human activities that can be directly
observed. Behaviour is both mental and bodily. Mental behaviours are thinking, reasoning,
imagination and other mental experiences or processes. Bodily behaviour refers to the
movements and actions of the body in response to a situation.

Exercise 2

Answer 1

The behaviour of an individual is influenced by various dynamics, right from the geographical
location of the individual to the social- cultural status he/she is operating in. Besides these, the
individual’s family, the educational level, the nieghbourhood, the community in which the
person grows, the nature of the job, his/her colleagues, the present psychological and physical
conditions, etc influences the behaviour immensely

Answer 2

Among the most important issues and questions that are addressed by psychology are: Nature
(heredity) versus Nurture (environment); Conscious versus unconscious determination of
behaviour; Observable behaviour versus internal mental processes; Freedom of choice versus
determination; Individual difference versus universal principles.

Exercise 3

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Answer 1

When the behaviour is understood the main aim of psychology is to at describe it. It should
observe and investigate the various factors that influence behaviour. Based on these
investigations psychology would arrive at generalizations in the forms of Laws, theories etc.
Answer 2

The aim of psychology is to explain why a particular behaviour occurs? Under what
circumstances will it occur again? In order to explain behaviour, psychologists must investigate
the nature and kinds of behaviour and as the behaviour is dynamic the psychologist should
explain the nature of behaviour observed. The psychologist should also try to explain stability
and consistency of behaviour.

Exercise 4

Answer 1

Education is the process of developing the powers of the individual harmoniously, and adjusting
him to the social environment by modifying his behaviour. Therefore, educational psychology
applies the general principles of psychology to the practical needs of education. It gives a
psychological foundation to education and makes it sound. Psychological principles have been
very successfully applied to educational designs thus there is a close relation between
psychology and education.

Answer 2

Sociology is primarily concerned with the study of the interrelationships between human
personalities in social groups. It is concerned with the study of the bonds which inter-relate
individuals in society. The nature of inter-personal relationships has become quite intelligible
through investigations in the field of psychology.

Exercise 5

Answer 1

Developmental psychology is concerned about behavioural development over the entire life
span. It is also concerned with psychological concepts, such as: learning, memory, motivation
and thinking. The following are questions raised by developmental psychologists: How soon can
babies perceive depth? How do children develop the concept of the self? Is language acquisition
only a question of biological maturation and learning or it has any relation to social interaction?

Answer 2

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Abnormal psychology is the field where psychologists study, diagnosise and treats people with
abnormal behaviour. People working in this field, look for possible biological, educational and
environmental causes of disorders. The aim is to change the environment that leads to disorder.
Clinical psychologists give advice to community workers on how to handle psychological
problems.

Exercise 6

Answer 1

Clinical psychologists assess and treat people with psychological problems. They may act as
therapists for people experiencing normal psychological crises or for individuals suffering from
chronic psychiatric disorders.
Answer 2

Sport psychology professionals are interested in how participation in sport, exercise, and
physical activity may enhance personal development and well-being throughout the life span.
Sport psychologists are also involved in assisting coaches in working with athletes as well as
helping improve athletes' motivation.

Exercise 7

Answer 1

This area of specialisation includes a diverse group of psychologists who do research in the most
basic areas of psychology (e.g., learning, memory, attention, cognition, sensation, perception,
motivation, and language). This field deals with operation of machinery by ordinary people in a
most efficient and safe way.

Answer 2

Psychometric and quantitative psychologists are concerned with the methods and techniques
used to acquire and apply psychological knowledge. A psychometrist revises old intelligence,
personality, and aptitude tests and devises new ones. Quantitative psychologists assist
researchers in psychology or other fields to design experiments or interpret their results.

__________________________________________________________________________
1.9 Model Examination Questions
___________________________________________________________________________

Answer the following in about 30 lines.

Write about the scope of psychology.

Name any five basic fields of psychology.

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Answer the following in 15 lines.

Define the term psychology.

State how psychology can be applied to industries and organizations?

Write any one emerging field of psychology.

__________________________________________________________________________
1.10 Glossary
___________________________________________________________________________

Behaviour- behaviour means that which is displayed by the organism, which is observable and
measurable.

Mental process - the activities of the brain when engaged in thinking or using language etc.

Applied psychology- Any branch of psychology that applies psychological priniciples to the
solution of practical problems.

Engineering psychology- A branch of psychology which deals with the relationship between the
man and machine.

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1.11 Further Readings
___________________________________________________________________________

Gerrig. R and Zimbardo. P (2002) Psychology and Life, Sixteenth Edition, 75 Arlington Street
A, Pearson Education Company. ISBN 0-205-34454-2
Morgan.C.T. King. R. A.; Weisz. J. R and Schopler. J. (2007) Introduction to Psychology, 7th
edition, New Delhi, Tata McGraw- Hill.
Myers. D. G. (2010) Psychology, Ninth edition, New York, Worth Publishers. ISBN-10: 1-4292-
1597-6
https://www.google.co.in/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-
8#q=http:%2F%2Fwww.saylor.org%2Fbooks&*
Wood, Samuel E.; Wood, Ellen Green; Boyd, Denise, Mastering the World of Psychology plus
NEW MyPsychLab with eText (5th Edition) Published by Pearson ISBN
10: 0205969569 / ISBN 13: 9780205969562

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