DEFINITIONS OF PSYCHOLOGY


How has psychology been defined? Why do people have different opinions about what psychology is and what it should be?

***Psychology has been defined in different ways. Some people have defined psychology as an art. Other people have defined psychology as a science. Many text books define psychology as the science of mind and behavior. Psychology involves the study of human nature and/or behavior. Different opinions come from different perspectives.***

Eric Pettifor at GIGANTOPITHECUS defines psychology as "an art which presents itself as science". Eric is most interested in the area of personality psychology. His web page provides various psych links to sites that cover areas of humanistic psychology, teaching clinical psychology, consciousness, and the Canadian Psychological Association.
H. D. Hamm Ph.D., who authored and maintains a site for Northern Michigan University, defines psychology as the "scientific study of the behavior of humans and animals". Dr. Hamm states that "there are many areas of psychology, each attempting to explain behavior from a slightly different perspective". He gives a brief discussion of what psychologists in different areas are concerned with.
Tom Bolling at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington defines psychology as a science of description and application used for the "interpretation, prediction, development, and improvement of human behavior" and that psychology was originally a branch of philosophy.
The general psychology students at Valencia Community College in Orlando, Florida provide a number of psychology definitions in their unique presentation of "Definitions of Psychology" which they've gathered from several sources.
Burrton Woodruff at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana developed an HTML Teaching Resource (WH3) called "Definition of Psychology" where he gives many definitions of psychology.
Castleton State College in Castleton, Vermont provides a broad definition of psychology, lists the skills that a student can gain by studying psychology, and gives examples of possible careers for psychology graduates.

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cxp220@email.psu.edu

12-10-96