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Portal:Psychology

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Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of conscious and unconscious phenomena, as well as feeling and thought. It is an academic discipline of immense scope. Psychologists seek an understanding of the emergent properties of brains, and all the variety of phenomena linked to those emergent properties, joining this way the broader neuro-scientific group of researchers. As a social science, it aims to understand individuals and groups by establishing general principles and researching specific cases.

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 behavior and mental processes, including perception, cognition, attention, emotion, intelligence, subjective experiences, motivation, brain functioning, and personality. This extends to interaction between people, such as interpersonal relationships, including psychological resilience, family resilience, and other areas (see social psychology). Psychologists of diverse orientations also consider the unconscious mind. 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" in that medicine tends to draw psychological research via neurology and psychiatry, whereas social sciences most commonly draw directly from sub-disciplines within psychology.

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. 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 such as human development and aging, sports, health, and the media, as well as in forensic investigation and other aspects of law. ( Full article...)

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Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one's prior beliefs or values. People display this bias when they select information that supports their views, ignoring contrary information, or when they interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing attitudes. The effect is strongest for desired outcomes, for emotionally charged issues, and for deeply entrenched beliefs. Confirmation bias cannot be eliminated entirely, but it can be managed, for example, by education and training in critical thinking skills.

Confirmation bias is a broad construct covering a number of explanations. Biased search for information, biased interpretation of this information, and biased memory recall, have been invoked to explain four specific effects: 1) attitude polarization (when a disagreement becomes more extreme even though the different parties are exposed to the same evidence); 2) belief perseverance (when beliefs persist after the evidence for them is shown to be false); 3) the irrational primacy effect (a greater reliance on information encountered early in a series); and 4) illusory correlation (when people falsely perceive an association between two events or situations). ( Full article...)
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Sigmund Freud (1926), Austrian neurologist and founder of the psychoanalytic school of psychology
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  • "Everywhere I go, I find a poet has been there before me." — Sigmund Freud

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Unfinished sketch of Kierkegaard by his cousin Niels Christian Kierkegaard, c. 1840

Søren Aabye Kierkegaard ( /ˈsɒrən ˈkɪərkəɡɑːrd/ SORR-ən KEER-kə-gard, also US: /-ɡɔːr/ -⁠gor; Danish:  [ˈsœːɐn ˈkʰiɐ̯kəˌkɒˀ] ( About this sound listen); 5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855) was a Danish philosopher, theologian, poet, social critic, and religious author who is widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher. He wrote critical texts on organized religion, Christendom, morality, ethics, psychology, and the philosophy of religion, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony, and parables. Much of his philosophical work deals with the issues of how one lives as a "single individual", giving priority to concrete human reality over abstract thinking and highlighting the importance of personal choice and commitment. He was against literary critics who defined idealist intellectuals and philosophers of his time, and thought that Swedenborg, Hegel, Fichte, Schelling, Schlegel, and Hans Christian Andersen were all "understood" far too quickly by "scholars".

Kierkegaard's theological work focuses on Christian ethics, the institution of the Church, the differences between purely objective proofs of Christianity, the infinite qualitative distinction between man and God, and the individual's subjective relationship to the God-Man Jesus the Christ, which came through faith. Much of his work deals with Christian love. He was extremely critical of the practice of Christianity as a state religion, primarily that of the Church of Denmark. His psychological work explored the emotions and feelings of individuals when faced with life choices. ( Full article...)
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