What Psychology is to Me

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What Psychology is to Me
After taking Psychology 1000, psychology means much more to me than it
did prior to taking the class. At the beginning of the semester, I was asked to
define the word psychology, and the best definition I could muster was simply
the study of the mind and how it works. After examining the large realm of the
science of psychology I now realize that this definition was quite incomplete.

My initial definition simply covered the branch of psychology known as
cognitive psychology, and this is only one of many areas that are actually
included under the title psychology. Many psychologists focus on more
quantitative aspects than the function of the human mind. There are several
different areas that are more easily researched than that of the brain’s
functionality. An example would be behavioral psychology in which the focus is
put on observing behavior rather than on the processes going on inside the
brain that invoke the subject’s behavior. This is just one of the many examples
that illustrate this point, and that makes developing a working definition of
the term psychology extremely difficult to attain.

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The range of topics that are considered psychology is very surprising to
a newcomer in the field. Everything from determining which parts of the brain
are responsible for controlling certain senses to analyzing the influence of
society on behavior and development is considered psychology. So it is
obvious that my original definition was extremely limited, but it has now been
vastly broadened.

In addition to recognizing the broad range of topics that psychology
covers, I also realized that there is large number of different occupations a
person trained in psychology can hold. My original idea was that a psychologist
was a person who dealt only with psychoanalysis, and I would imagine that this
is a common misconception. The possible career fields for a psychologist is
much greater than I had imagined it to be, it includes everything from school
counselors to psychiatrists to sensation and perception researchers.

Each different area of psychology has many differences from all of the
other areas, but the origins of these areas enables them all to fall under the
incredibly large topic of psychology. Although psychology is a very large topic
this immense field is still relatively young and has many unopened doors. So
not only is the science much larger than I originally thought, but it is still
growing and the possibility of making new discoveries is still very open to
future psychologists. After taking this class, I have realized that through out
the years much has been learned about psychology, and much more is yet to be
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