Psychology is a science which helps people understand themselves and each other. The name of this science comes from the ancient Greek roots “psyche” and “logos,” which means “soul” and “study.” Therefore, psychology is a study about the soul.” It was decided to define psycho as “mind” later. That is why psychology was given a new interpretation. The understanding of the study gained the meaning of “the study of mental processes or the mind of an individual. Though scientists refused to use this definition for the term psychology since the mind does not exist as a certain object and it cannot be objectively measured and observed.
Psychology is a science which studies behavior and various mental processes. This science makes an attempt to describe feelings, actions, and perceptions; to give them an explanation. General psychology tries to find the answers to the principal questions which psychology faces in the whole. It makes an attempt to develop theoretical principles and to ground methods of psychological cognition. It also tries to formulate main patterns of both the existence and the development of psychological reality.
There are different approaches to psychology. There is psychoanalysis (an attempt to find the cause and cure of personality disorder led by Freud), behaviorism (founded by Watson who examined objective observable actions of the organism), and humanistic (leaded by Maslow and Rogers who made an emphasis on the humans’ unique qualities).
Psychoanalysis led by Freud is quite interesting. He states that one is often unaware of factors determining one’s behavior and emotions. In such a way, these factors may be the reason for different fears, depressions, sorrows, etc. They may create problematic situations at work or in private life. Freud considers that most of such reasons are connected with an individual’s childhood. This method made me understand why I do not trust people a lot and why I have only a few friends. Since people often betrayed me earlier, I cannot fully rely on them. Moreover, when I meet new people I need a lot of time to start trusting them. Recollecting my childhood, I must say that my parents were really strict with me. That is why sometimes I did things I probably should not do. I am a shy person, and I am often afraid to express my thoughts. When I was a child, a dog bit me. I am still afraid of dogs. Psychoanalysis makes people understand a lot of things that seemed to be incomprehensible; therefore, it is definitely worth studying. However, one cannot be guided by psychoanalysis only. Other theories must be considered as well.
Behaviorism is the approach I like the most. Psychology studies the behavior of an organism. Behavior is a set of certain activities or actions of the individual. Psychology gives an explanation of an organism’s behavior, predicts and controls its further behavior. The behavior of an organism can be overt and covert. Overt behavior is undisguised. Covert behavior is hidden or is not evident or obvious. Behavior can also be conscious (actions within a certain level of one’s awareness) and unconscious (unaware actions). Moreover, it can be rational (implemented with reason and sanity) or irrational (with no visible explanation).
The behavior of people is worth studying. Knowing why people act in certain ways simplifies private, career, and social aspects of life. Studying psychology helped me understand why people behave the way they do. Moreover, it helped me to understand myself better. Having read a few books by Allan Pease, an Australian expert, I began to realize different involuntary gestures and face expressions which we can observe while talking with people in everyday life. Having realized this, I began to watch my own gestures and mimics carefully. Now, while observing the behavior of other people I can tell what they really want to say or what their current mood is. For example, if a person is holding arms crossed, it means that he/she is either not in the mood for speaking with anyone or is shy. My behavior has changed after reading the literature on psychology. I became more observable towards other people. I like observing the behavior of strangers. This kind of practice gives me a preconceived notion about their psychological state, mood, open and hidden intentions, their characters and attitudes. It is exciting for me to make presumptions and conclusions about all these things.
Knowing different psychological methods helps feel more confident. This may assist in applying for a work or during public speaking. For example, when one is nervous, then this person does not know what to do with hands. They are shaking and not listening to the employer. In this situation, it is helpful to grasp something, for example, a pen.
The behavior of people can tell if a person is sincere. For example, if one is not looking straight in eyes and draws sight aside, it means that this person has something to hide or is telling lies. Observing is the best way to determine people’s real attitude towards others. Listening to what people say is not obvious since mouths lie, but one who has certain knowledge in general psychology will be able to distinguish lies from the truth. Unfortunately, sometimes this knowledge causes a lot of pain. When one is able to determine that someone from people that are important to this person, for example, a friend, a boyfriend or a girlfriend lie about something, this definitely is not a pleasant thing. In such a way, one may determine if these people are worth communicating with, nevertheless how painful it can be.
The humanistic approach is interested in how an individual perceives, understands, and explains real events. This approach specifies the real-life experience and not on the past or the future. Unlike Freud, humanists supposed that it is impossible to understand a psychical disease if there is no notion of psychical health. Under the condition of conducting circumstances, people can realize their inborn potential. I agree with this theory because if one perceives events positively, one will succeed. Positive mood helped me in resolving problems. Thinking negatively has never helped anyone. Doing things in a positive mood hastens and improves the process of working.
Understanding humans’ psychology helps not only resolve but even avoid numerous unnecessary conflicts. Moreover, it makes possible to turn a person to your advantage. Examining people’s behavior it is possible to predict one’s reaction to certain things and learn one’s character. It is also possible to choose the right moment or time for a conversation with a certain person. For example, if a person is in a bad mood or is angry and someone needs something from this person, it is better either to wait or to elate this person before the request. This is a good method to ask parents and friends about something. Though, I do not mean that one should use this technique in the advantage all the time. There are quarrels in every family. Knowledge in social psychology helps avoid these quarrels or to resolve them effectively. It is not appropriate to shout, call names, and blame another person. It is better to calm down and point out reasonable arguments. Power notices hat psychology helps people to live their lives. I agree with this statement completely. I am going to learn more and more in the field of psychology in order to understand myself and other people better.