Published on 27 October 2021

Understanding Psychology: Theories, Goals

General Psychology psychology-an-understanding
Table of Contents

Psychology is modern science, with the most advanced happening over the past 150 years. Its origin can be traced back to ancient Greece, 400-500 years BC. According to the American Association, the study of the mind and behavior is termed Psychology.

Psychology is a complicated discipline & it includes various sub-fields of study like human development, health, sports, clinical, social behavior, and cognitive processes. Initially, philosophers used to discuss many topics which are now being studied by modern psychologists, such as memory, determinism vs. free will, nature vs. nurture, attraction, and many more. 

In the earlier days, the definition of Psychology was for reading or studying the soul. There was too much understanding and belief in the soul at that time, and because of that, there were several questions regarding that, like what is the soul? How to study the soul?

Later the study of psychology proved that it was not about the study of the soul but it was about the state of mind of a person.

An Understanding

In the initial days of psychology. There were two dominant theoretical perspectives regarding the brain's functioning, i.e.,  functionalism and structuralism. It was called Structuralism by Wilhelm Wundt for the approach established, which was dedicated to breaking down mental processes into essential factors.

Structuralism depends on trained introspection, a research method to examine what was going on in their minds while performing a particular task. However, contemplation turned out to be an unreliable method because of variation among individuals.

An American psychologist, William James, developed an approach known as functionalism which disagreed with the focus of functionalism. He focused on how and why a human being does something. James suggested that psychologists should observe the underlying cause of behavior & mental processes. 

Frequently asked questions

Mr. Sigmund Freud, also known as the father of psychoanalysis, first explored the attitude and personalities of people.
A german scientist named Wilhelm Wundt was the first to write the first-ever psychology book. He was also known to be the first Psychologist.
Every aspect of logic consists of formed concepts, judgment, and reasoning. On the other hand, psychology works by targeting and dealing with those Concepts, judgment, and reasoning. It works as a mental process that our feelings and emotions support.

Theories Of Psychology In Modern Times

In today’s modern world, there are so many different things a person needs to keep up with. This becomes the blind spot for mental conditions and indirectly affects us. So some of the theories of psychology are based on these world's main things, such as social influence, Attachment, memory, and Psychopathology research. 

Social Influence

People are getting influenced by other people, and indirectly, they try to be in good books of their surroundings where some people do not even bother to meet new people. This is where psychology works by checking the behavior and the individual's thinking process. 


If your mind knows that there is someone who loves you, then it reacts to it. There are specific changes in our thing and behavior. Emotional bonds, love, and care can change our behaviors and vision to see the world around us positively.


Some memories are with you for a long time, and some memory is for short periods of time, whereas some memory is with the rest of your life. A memory can affect your brain forever or partially. It can be a negative or positive memory, and your behavior may affect or be based on it.


It is a  process of studying mental processes such as behavior, causes of behavior, illness, development, strategies, and treatment. 

A Different View

Functionalism and structuralism have been replaced by many dominant & influential approaches to psychology. Each theory shares a set of assumptions about an individual's behavior and manner, why it is crucial to study, & how to study it. 

In the early 20th century, Psychoanalysis, founded by Sigmund Freud, was the dominant paradigm in psychology. Freud believed that individuals could be treated by making their unconscious thought conscious & by motivating them. 

The classic modern perspective in psychology is to adopt behavioral strategies. Late humanistic force became the "third force" in psychology & anticipated the importance of personal growth and subjective experience. 

During the period of 1960s -1970s, psychology began a cognitive revolution with an approach related to memory, perception, cognitive development, mental ailment, and much more. 

A Theoretical View

Some of the most famous psychologists, including Sigmund Freud, Piaget, and Erikson, have proposed theories to explain aspects of development and behavior. As some of the theories are no longer popular, it is still vital to learn the effects that these ideas have on psychology - 
Some of the basic theories are - The Big 5 Theory of Personality

  • Erikson's Theory of Psychosocial Development
  • Freud's Theory of Psychosexual Development
  • Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development
  • Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
  • Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development

4 Goals Of Psychology 

There are known to be 4 major goals that psychology focuses on. 

Describe - Try describing yourself, not for anyone but yourself. If you are thinking about something but can't figure out the conclusion, you better write it on something, as it will help you create something more creative. Even when writing something, people tend to write and express themselves more. Your mental condition would be better. 

Explain - Explaining yourself may sound weird, but it works. Just think about the problem you are facing. But for that, your mind must be clear and peaceful. Slowly but steadily, you yourself will see the changes you are going through, and then you may get used to it.

Predict - If you successfully describe and explain the process, you will be able to predict your future moves more accurately and conveniently. You will also be able to know to tackle Anxiety problems and all.

Change and Control - follow these previous steps, and you will automatically be able to predict change and control your future outcomes as well as your current situation.

Study Of Mind And Behavior

Any psychology student must have a basic understanding of research methods used by psychologists to understand how and why people behave strangely.

Even if you don't want to become a research psychologist, learning more about the scientific approach to studying human behavior can give you a more extraordinary idea of the findings you have encountered during the studies. 

The scientific method and processes of managing a psychology experiment are essential for understanding how researchers study the mind and behavior. 

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

Psychology is gradually evolving as new fields and branches continue to emerge. It is crucial to know that branches of psychology are of equal importance & no single branch is of more significance or better than others. 

Each area of psychology contributes to our understanding of psychological factors like who you are, your behavior, & the way how you think. 

By conducting research and developing innovative ideas and applications for psychological knowledge, professionals working in every psychology branch may help people better understand themselves. They may also help them confront the problem they are facing, & live better, healthy & happy life.