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  • Psychology portal

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Psychology is the study of mind and behavior.<ref name=APA>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref name=APA2>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> It is an academic discipline and an applied science which seeks to understand individuals and groups by establishing general principles and researching specific cases.<ref name="Fernald">Fernald LD (2008). Psychology: Six perspectives (pp. 12–15). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.</ref><ref name="Psychology">Hockenbury & Hockenbury. Psychology. Worth Publishers, 2010.</ref> In this field, a professional practitioner or researcher is called a psychologist and can be classified as a social, behavioral, or cognitive scientist. Psychologists attempt to understand the role of mental functions in individual and social behavior, while also exploring the physiological and biological processes that underlie cognitive functions and behaviors.

Psychologists explore concepts such as perception, cognition, attention, emotion, intelligence, phenomenology, motivation, brain functioning, personality, behavior, and interpersonal relationships, including psychological resilience, family resilience, and other areas. Psychologists of diverse orientations also consider the unconscious mind.<ref name ="reference_name_A">Although psychoanalysis and other forms of depth psychology are most typically associated with the unconscious mind, behaviorists consider such phenomena as classical conditioning and operant conditioning, while cognitivists explore implicit memory, automaticity, and subliminal messages, all of which are understood either to bypass or to occur outside of conscious effort or attention. Indeed, cognitive-behavioral therapists counsel their clients to become aware of maladaptive thought patterns, the nature of which the clients previously had not been conscious.</ref> Psychologists employ empirical methods to infer causal and correlational relationships between psychosocial variables. In addition, or in opposition, to employing empirical and deductive methods, some—especially clinical and counseling psychologists—at times rely upon symbolic interpretation and other inductive techniques. Psychology has been described as a "hub science",<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }} Association for Psychological Science Observer (September 2007)</ref> with psychological findings linking to research and perspectives from the social sciences, natural sciences, medicine, humanities, and philosophy.

While psychological knowledge is often applied to the assessment and treatment of mental health problems, it is also directed towards understanding and solving problems in several spheres of human activity. By many accounts psychology ultimately aims to benefit society.<ref name="O'Neil">O'Neil, H.F.; cited in Coon, D.; Mitterer, J.O. (2008). Introduction to psychology: Gateways to mind and behavior (12th ed., pp. 15–16). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.</ref><ref name="APA_mission">"The mission of the APA [American Psychological Association] is to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives"; APA (2010). About APA. Retrieved 20 October 2010.</ref> The majority of psychologists are involved in some kind of therapeutic role, practicing in clinical, counseling, or school settings. Many do scientific research on a wide range of topics related to mental processes and behavior, and typically work in university psychology departments or teach in other academic settings (e.g., medical schools, hospitals). Some are employed in industrial and organizational settings, or in other areas<ref>Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010–11 Edition, Psychologists, on the Internet at bls.gov (visited 8 July 2010).</ref> such as human development and aging, sports, health, and the media, as well as in forensic investigation and other aspects of law.


Psychology sections
Intro  Etymology and definitions  History  Disciplinary organization  Major schools of thought  Themes  Applications  Research methods  [[Psychology?section={{safesubst:#invoke:anchor|main}}Contemporary_issues_in_methodology_and_practice|{{safesubst:#invoke:anchor|main}}Contemporary issues in methodology and practice]]  Ethics  See also  References  Further reading  External links  

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