Psychology is derived from the Greek words Psyche and logos, meaning soul and study. To Greeks, Psychology is simply a study of the soul. Different authors define Psychology in different ways but in 1990, Feldman defines Psychology as the scientific study of human behavior and mental processes. Scientific because it uses the steps in a scientific method in its quest to understand why a person behaves in a certain manner. It is systematic and empirical and it is dependent upon measurements.
Originally, and for thousands of years, the subject of psychology involved the study of the human spirit, soul or mind. This involves things and functions not obviously visible to the physical senses. You can't see a mind with one's eyes. You can't "feel" a thought with one's hands. You can't place an emotion on a scale and weigh it. You can't detect imagination, even with sophisticated electronic detection devices. Just because some scientist's electronic device measures various electronic pulses or signals when you are asked to imagine something does not at all mean that they are "measuring imagination". What they are measuring is some brain reaction that occurs when you initiate an act of imagination. There is a relationship between the mind and the brain, but this relationship is almost completely unknown and not understood. The same is true for any chemical reactions or events that occur concurrent with imagination, thoughts or feelings. There is some relationship, but it is poorly understood. In fact, the entire framework of the relationship is poorly conceived. Modern "scientific" fields, since they haven't been able to study or detect these things with the physical senses or laboratory measuring devices have taken a drastic leap and declared that these things therefore don't exist. They have therefore asserted that these things don't deserve recognition, and should be ignored in any "legitimate" study of man, the mind, and human behavior. John Watson, a typical behavioral psychologist had this to say:
Scientific discipline that studies mental processes and behavior in humans and other animals. Literally meaning "the study of the mind," psychology focuses on both individual and group behavior. Clinical psychology is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. Other specialized fields of psychology include child psychology, educational psychology, sports psychology, social psychology, and comparative psychology. The issues studied by psychologists cover a wide spectrum, including learning, cognition, intelligence, motivation, emotion, perception, personality, and the extent to which individual differences are shaped by genetics or environment. The methods used in psychological research include observation, interviews, psychological testing, laboratory experimentation, and statistical analysis.
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