From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Welcome to the psychology portal

Human brain, lateral view, with brainstem

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. 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 draws 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.

Selected article - show another

School children in Nigeria

The most commonly used definition of school belonging comes from a 1993 academic article by researchers Carol Goodenow and Kathleen Grady, who describe school belonging as "the extent to which students feel personally accepted, respected, included, and supported by others in the school social environment." The construct of school belonging involves feeling connected with and attached to one's school. It also encompasses involvement and affiliation with one's school community. Conversely, students who do not feel a strong sense of belonging within their school environment are frequently described as being alienated or disaffected. There are a number of terms within educational research that are used interchangeably with school belonging, including school connectedness, school attachment, and school engagement.

School belonging is determined by a myriad of factors, including academic achievement and motivation, personal characteristics, social relationships, demographic characteristics, school climate, and participation in extracurricular activities. Research indicates that school belonging has significant implications for students, as it has been consistently linked with academic outcomes, psychological adjustment, well-being, identity formation, mental health, and physical health—it is considered a fundamental aspect of students' development. A sense of belonging to one's school is considered particularly important for adolescents because they are within a period of transition and identity formation, and research has found that school belonging significantly declines during this period. Read more...
List of selected articles

Selected image - show another

Schizophrenia/Internal Symmetry, by Craig Finn, artwork by a person experiencing schizophrenia
image credit: Craig Finn/PLOS

Quotes - show another

  • "A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be." — Abraham Maslow


The following WikiProjects work to improve the quality and scope of articles related to psychology. Please join us at any of them.
Psi2.svg PsychologyCover of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.jpg PsychiatryNeuro logo.png Neuroscience

Selected biography - show another

Arthur Jensen, 2002 at ISIR

Arthur Robert Jensen (August 24, 1923 – October 22, 2012) was an American psychologist and writer. He was a professor of educational psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. Jensen was known for his work in psychometrics and differential psychology, the study of how and why individuals differ behaviorally from one another.

He was a major proponent of the hereditarian position in the nature and nurture debate, the position that genetics play a significant role in behavioral traits, such as intelligence and personality. He was the author of over 400 scientific papers published in refereed journals and sat on the editorial boards of the scientific journals Intelligence and Personality and Individual Differences. Read more...
List of selected biographies

Did you know - show different entries

Walter Bowart
  • ...that race car journalist and former race car driver Dr. Dick Berggren decided to stop teaching college psychology after he was called into the college president's office because he parked his racecar in the faculty parking lot?


Related portals

Psychology topics

Recognized content

Featured articles
Former featured articles
Featured lists
Good articles
Former good articles
Did you know? articles
In the News articles
Picture of the day pictures
Featured pictures

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:






Learning resources