What you’ll learn in psychology classes
Psychology is a collection of academic, clinical and industrial disciplines devoted to studying, explaining and predicting behavior, thoughts, feelings (emotions), motivation, human relationships and their potential. Also, it is, according to other authors, one of the disciplines of philosophy, from which it emerged in the second half of the 19th century.
We can find a multitude of related disciplines under the single name of psychology. These are:
- Psychometrics – dealing with various forms of measuring psychological traits, characteristics of individuals and groups, using various psychological techniques (tests)
- Clinical psychology – studies (and seeking a cure for) the pathological behavior
- Forensic Psychology
- Experimental psychology – studies human reactions deliberately induced stimuli, whether physical, or social.
- Social psychology – studies people and their behavior in interdependence with their (human) environment, all forms of interpersonal relationships, and behavior of the group as a whole.
- Ergonomics – examines the relationship of man to work, and trying to find ways to better accommodate the man to his work.
- Psychology of animals – examines animal behavior in laboratory and natural conditions of life.
- Psychology of sport
- Organizational Psychology
- Psychology of communication
- Military Psychology
- Psychodynamic psychology – seeing the human being as a creature that does not have control over its behavior
- Cognitive psychology – the study of cognitive and intellectual functions and their impact on human behavior.
- Neuropsychology – border between the disciplines of psychology and neurology, and is studying biological substrates of various mental functions (attention, memory, etc.).
- Psychohistory – the science about the psychological motives of historical events
Methods of Psychology
Every science is determined by the methods used in the study. As an empirical science psychology studies only what can be observed and checked, and comes to the realization with systematic research. The main methods of psychiatric research are self-observation, observation in the natural conditions, survey research, case studies and experiments.
Psychotherapy and techniques of psychological analysis
Psychoanalysis – Theory and methods of depth psychology, founded at the beginning of the 20th century by Sigmund Freud, to clarify mental processes as well as the formation and treatment of psychological disorders. It presents a comprehensive theoretical set that is based on the following two methods: 1 Psychoanalytic theory of personality: human psyche according to Freud is divided into three areas (instances): Id, Ego and Superego.
Id represents biological animalistic primal urges of a man which disappear after their satisfaction.
Superego represents the moral and ethical values and norms of society.
The ego is the mediator between the Id and the superego. It is the central instance of deciding, which attempts to balance the needs of Id with preconditions superego.
Developmental psycho-analytical psychology – in its basis is the development of libido (sex drive). Depending on the age level libido marks different regions of the body of the child: oral phase (the first year of life), anal phase (second to third year of life), phallic stage (fourth to sixth year), latent stage (seven to ten years), genital stage ( eleven years). As possible crisis or problems within the psychosexual education (fixation) Oedipus complex, electrically complex or envy of the penis may occur.
Appraisal theory of treatment – According to Sigmund Freud, the unconscious mental processes (especially those originating from of childhood) can greatly affect the occurrence of psychiatric disorders such as neurosis. Processes originating from childhood mechanisms of repression should provoke and relive again during the psychoanalytic therapy because they may prevail in the mature age. Patient during the session should tell anything that comes to his mind (free association). Important elements of psychoanalysis are transmitting and interpreting dreams. Classical psychoanalytic treatment takes several years. Psychoanalytic schools that still exist today differ significantly from one another. So there are many forms of treatment, such as short psychoanalytic therapy or focal therapy. Especially for children and youngsters the principles of child analysis of Anna Freud and Melanie Klein are adapted. Child psychoanalysis is applied for example in depression and obsessive neurosis.