Published on 27 October 2021

What Is Psychology?: Meanning, Types, & Fact

General Psychology what-is-psychology
Table of Contents

According to the American Psychological Association, the study of mind and behavior is termed Psychology. It involves the biological influences, social pressures, & environmental factors affecting an individualís way of thinking, responding & how they feel at specific moments.

Gaining an affluent and better understanding of psychology can help the individual achieve insights into their own actions and a better understanding of other individuals. Psychology and psychiatrists work together to help individuals improve their mental health conditions, though both are not the same.

Psychology is considered a ďHub ScienceĒ with strong connections to the medical sciences, education, and social sciences. (Hilgard, E. R.1953)

Types of Psychology

Psychology is a vast and distinct field that includes the study of human behavior, thought, personality, development, emotion, motivation, and many more.† Consequently, many different subfields and domain areas have emerged. Here is the list of some of the significant areas of research & application of psychology-

Abnormal Psychology- The study of abnormal behavior & psychopathology is termed abnormal psychology. This area of specialty is focused on research & treatment of various mental disorders.

Biological Psychology- It studies how biological processes influence the behavior and mind of an individual. This area is closely linked to neuroscience.

Clinical Psychology- This specialty area focuses on the diagnosis, assessment, & treatment of mental disorders.

Cognitive Psychology- Cognitive psychology is the study of the human thought process, which includes attention, perception, memory, decision making, problem-solving, and language acquisition.

Comparative Psychology- This area of specialty deals with the study of animal behavior.

Developmental Psychology- This area of specialty deals with human growth and development over the life span, which includes morality, social functioning, identity & other life areas.

Personality Psychology- This area of specialty focuses on an individualís personality development and the pattern of thought, characteristics, and behaviors that make each individual unique.

Social Psychology- It focuses on group behavior, social influences on individual behavior and mind, attitude, prejudices, conformity, and aggression.

Application of Psychology

The most common application of psychology is in the field of mental health. Psychologists use principal, research & clinical findings to help clients overcome and manage symptoms of mental illness. Some of the application of psychology includes-Developing educational programs


Informing public policy

Mental health treatment

Performance enhancement

Personal health and well-being

Psychological research


Social program design

Understanding child development

It is not possible to capture everything that psychology includes in a brief definition, as topic like personality and development, emotions, thoughts, feelings, motivations, & social behaviors represent a part of psychology.†

Impact of Psychology

Psychology is an applied and academic field benefitting both individuals & society as a whole. A significant part of psychology is dedicated to diagnosing and treating mental health issues, but that's just the tip of the iceberg regarding the impact of psychology.

Some of the ways that psychology contributes to society and individual includes the following-Improving our understanding of the behavior of individual

Understanding various factors impacting human behavior & mind

Improving ergonomics to enhance the product design

Motivating people to achieve their goals

Improving productivity

Creating safer and more efficient workspaces

Understanding issues that are affecting individuals' health, daily life & wellbeing.(.)

A Point To Think

As you can observe, psychology may be a relatively young science, and it has a tremendous amount of both depth & breadth. The main interest of psychology consists of the assessment, diagnosis, & treatment of mental illness. However, psychology includes much more than mental health. Psychology works to help people improve their well-being & flourish in a highly complex world.