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Portal:Psychology

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Human brain, lateral view, with brainstem

Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of conscious and unconscious phenomena, including feelings and thought. It is an academic discipline of immense scope, crossing the boundaries between the natural and social sciences. Psychologists seek an understanding of the emergent properties of brains, linking the discipline to neuroscience. As a social science, psychologists aim to understand the behavior of individuals and groups. Ψ (or psi) is a Greek letter which is commonly associated with the science of psychology.

A professional practitioner or researcher involved in the discipline is called a psychologist. Some psychologists can also be classified as social, behavioral, or cognitive scientists. Some psychologists attempt to understand the role of mental functions in individual and social behavior. Others explore the physiological and biological processes that underlie cognitive functions and behaviors.

Psychologists are involved in research on perception, cognition, attention, emotion, intelligence, subjective experiences, motivation, brain functioning, and personality. Psychologists' interests extend to interpersonal relationships, psychological resilience, family resilience, and other areas within social psychology. They also consider the unconscious mind. Research psychologists employ empirical methods to infer causal and correlational relationships between psychosocial variables. Some, but not all, clinical and counseling psychologists rely on symbolic interpretation.

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. Many psychologists are involved in some kind of therapeutic role, practicing in clinical, counseling, or school settings. Other psychologists conduct scientific research on a wide range of topics related to mental processes and behavior. Typically the latter group of psychologists work in academic settings (e.g., universities, medical schools, hospitals). Another group of psychologists is employed in industrial and organizational settings. Yet others are involved in work on human development, aging, sports, health, forensics, and the media. ( Full article...)

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Lawrence Kohlberg's stages of moral development constitute an adaptation of a psychological theory originally conceived by the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget. Kohlberg began work on this topic while being a psychology graduate student at the University of Chicago in 1958 and expanded upon the theory throughout his life.

The theory holds that moral reasoning, a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for ethical behavior, has six developmental stages, each more adequate at responding to moral dilemmas than its predecessor. Kohlberg followed the development of moral judgment far beyond the ages studied earlier by Piaget, who also claimed that logic and morality develop through constructive stages. Expanding on Piaget's work, Kohlberg determined that the process of moral development was principally concerned with justice and that it continued throughout the individual's life, a notion that led to dialogue on the philosophical implications of such research. ( Full article...)
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PhrenologyPix.jpg
A human skull mapped according to phrenology (1883), early precursor to modern psychology and neuroscience, now considered a pseudoscience
image credit: public domain

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  • "Knowing reality means constructing systems of transformations that correspond, more or less adequately, to reality." — Jean Piaget

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Philip George Zimbardo ( /zɪmˈbɑːrd/; born March 23, 1933) is an American psychologist and a professor emeritus at Stanford University. He became known for his 1971 Stanford prison experiment, which was later severely criticised for both ethical and scientific reasons. He has authored various introductory psychology textbooks for college students, and other notable works, including The Lucifer Effect, The Time Paradox, and The Time Cure. He is also the founder and president of the Heroic Imagination Project. ( Full article...)
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Meredith Eaton-Gilden

  • ...that there appears to be no localized consciousness in the human brain?

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