Psychology is the science of behavior and mind. Psychology includes the study of consciousness and Unconscious mind 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 Neuroscience group of researchers. As a social science it aims to understand individuals and groups by establishing general principles and researching specific cases.Fernald LD (2008). Psychology: Six perspectives (pp.12–15). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Hockenbury & Hockenbury. Psychology. Worth Publishers, 2010.
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 Physiology and neurobiology 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.Although psychoanalysis and other forms of depth psychology are most typically associated with the unconscious mind, consider such phenomena as classical conditioning and operant conditioning, while cognitivists explore implicit memory, automaticity, and subliminal messages, all of which are understood either to bypass or to occur outside of conscious effort or attention. Indeed, cognitive-behavioral therapists counsel their clients to become aware of maladaptive thought patterns, the nature of which the clients previously had not been conscious. Psychologists employ to infer causal and correlational relationships between psychosocial variables. In eclecticism, or in antipositivism, 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. Association for Psychological Science Observer (September 2007)
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.O'Neil, H.F.; cited in Coon, D.; Mitterer, J.O. (2008). Introduction to psychology: Gateways to mind and behavior (12th ed., pp. 15–16). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning."The mission of the APA American is to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives"; APA (2010). About APA. Retrieved 20 October 2010. 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 areasBureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010–11 Edition, Psychologists, on the Internet at bls.gov (visited 8 July 2010). such as human development and aging, sports, health, and the media, as well as in forensic investigation and other aspects of law.
In 1890, William James defined psychology as "the science of mental life, both of its phenomena and their conditions". This definition enjoyed widespread currency for decades. However, this meaning was contested, notably by radical behaviorists such as John B. Watson, who in his 1913 manifesto defined the discipline of psychology as the acquisition of information useful to the control of behavior. Also since James defined it, the term more strongly connotes techniques of scientific experimentation.Derek Russell Davis (DRD), "psychology", in Richard L. Gregory (ed.), The Oxford Companion to the Mind, second edition; Oxford University Press, 1987/2004; (pp. 763–764). Folk psychology refers to the understanding of Layman, as contrasted with that of psychology professionals.The term "folk psychology" is itself contentious: see Daniel D. Hutto & Matthew Ratcliffe (eds.), Folk Psychology Re-Assessed; Dorndrecht, the Netherlands: Springer, 2007;
In China, psychological understanding grew from the philosophical works of Laozi and Confucius, and later from the doctrines of Buddhism. This body of knowledge involves insights drawn from introspection and observation, as well as techniques for focused thinking and acting. It frames the universe as a division of, and interaction between, physical reality and mental reality, with an emphasis on purifying the mind in order to increase virtue and power. An ancient text known as Huangdi Neijing identifies the brain as the nexus of wisdom and sensation, includes theories of personality based on yin–yang balance, and analyzes mental disorder in terms of physiological and social disequilibria. Chinese scholarship focused on the brain advanced in the Qing Dynasty with the work of Western-educated Fang Yizhi (1611–1671), Liu Zhi (1660–1730), and Wang Qingren (1768–1831). Wang Qingren emphasized the importance of the brain as the center of the nervous system, linked mental disorder with brain diseases, investigated the causes of dreams and insomnia, and advanced a theory of hemispheric lateralization in brain function.Yeh Hsueh and Benyu Guo, "China", in Baker (ed.), Oxford Handbook of the History of Psychology (2012).
Distinctions in types of awareness appear in the ancient thought of India, influenced by Hinduism. A central idea of the Upanishads is the distinction between a person's transient mundane self and their eternal unchanging soul. Divergent Hindu doctrines, and Buddhism, have challenged this hierarchy of selves, but have all emphasized the importance of reaching higher awareness. Yoga is a range of techniques used in pursuit of this goal. Much of the Sanskrit corpus was suppressed under the British East India Company followed by the British Raj in the 1800s. However, Indian doctrines influenced Western thinking via the Theosophical Society, a New Age group which became popular among Euro-American intellectuals.Anand C. Paranjpe, "From Tradition through Colonialism to Globalization: Reflections on the History of Psychology in India", in Brock (ed.), Internationalizing the History of Psychology (2006).
Psychology was a popular topic in Enlightenment Europe. In Germany, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716) applied his principles of calculus to the mind, arguing that mental activity took place on an indivisible continuum—most notably, that among an infinity of human perceptions and desires, the difference between conscious and unconscious awareness is only a matter of degree. Christian Wolff identified psychology as its own science, writing Psychologia empirica in 1732 and Psychologia rationalis in 1734. This notion advanced further under Immanuel Kant, who established the idea of anthropology, with psychology as an important subdivision. However, Kant explicitly and notoriously rejected the idea of experimental psychology, writing that "the empirical doctrine of the soul can also never approach chemistry even as a systematic art of analysis or experimental doctrine, for in it the manifold of inner observation can be separated only by mere division in thought, and cannot then be held separate and recombined at will (but still less does another thinking subject suffer himself to be experimented upon to suit our purpose), and even observation by itself already changes and displaces the state of the observed object." In 1783, Ferdinand Ueberwasser (1752-1812) designated himself Professor of Empirical Psychology and Logic and gave lectures on scientific psychology, though these developments were soon overshadowed by the Napoleonic Wars, after which the Old University of Münster was discontinued by Prussian authorities.Schwarz, K. A., & Pfister, R.: Scientific psychology in the 18th century: a historical rediscovery. In: Perspectives on Psychological Science, Nr. 11, p. 399-407. Having consulted philosophers Hegel and Herbart, however, in 1825 the state established psychology as a mandatory discipline in its rapidly expanding and highly influential educational system. However, this discipline did not yet embrace experimentation.Horst U.K. Gundlach, "Germany", in Baker (ed.), Oxford Handbook of the History of Psychology (2012). In England, early psychology involved phrenology and the response to social problems including alcoholism, violence, and the country's well-populated mental asylums.Alan Collins, "England", in Baker (ed.), Oxford Handbook of the History of Psychology (2012).
Psychologists in Germany, Denmark, Austria, England, and the United States soon followed Wundt in setting up laboratories. G. Stanley Hall who studied with Wundt, formed a psychology lab at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, which became internationally influential. Hall, in turn, trained Yujiro Motora, who brought experimental psychology, emphasizing psychophysics, to the Imperial University of Tokyo.Miki Takasuna, "Japan", in Baker (ed.), Oxford Handbook of the History of Psychology (2012). Wundt's assistant, Hugo Münsterberg, taught psychology at Harvard to students such as Narendra Nath Sen Gupta—who, in 1905, founded a psychology department and laboratory at the University of Calcutta. Wundt students Walter Dill Scott, Lightner Witmer, and James McKeen Cattell worked on developing tests for mental ability. Catell, who also studied with Eugenics Francis Galton, went on to found the Psychological Corporation. Wittmer focused on mental testing of children; Scott, on selection of employees.Leahey, History of Modern Psychology (2001), p. 60.
Another student of Wundt, Edward Titchener, created the psychology program at Cornell University and advanced a doctrine of "structuralist" psychology. Structuralism sought to analyze and classify different aspects of the mind, primarily through the method of introspection. William James, John Dewey and Harvey Carr advanced a more expansive doctrine called functionalism, attuned more to human–environment actions. In 1890, James wrote an influential book, The Principles of Psychology, which expanded on the realm of structuralism, memorably described the human "stream of consciousness", and interested many American students in the emerging discipline. The Principles of Psychology (1890), with introduction by George A. Miller, Harvard University Press, 1983 paperback, (combined edition, 1328 pages)Leahey, History of Modern Psychology (2001), pp. 178–182. Dewey integrated psychology with social issues, most notably by promoting the cause progressive education to assimilate immigrants and inculcate moral values in children.Leahey, History of Modern Psychology (2001), pp. 196–200.
A different strain of experimentalism, with more connection to physiology, emerged in South America, under the leadership of Horacio G. Piñero at the University of Buenos Aires.Cecilia Taiana, "Transatlantic Migration of the Disciplines of Mind: Examination of the Reception of Wundt's and Freud's Theories in Argentina", in Brock (ed.), Internationalizing the History of Psychology (2006). Russia, too, placed greater emphasis on the biological basis for psychology, beginning with Ivan Sechenov's 1873 essay, "Who Is to Develop Psychology and How?" Sechenov advanced the idea of brain reflexes and aggressively promoted a determinism viewpoint on human behavior.Irina Sirotkina and Roger Smith, "Russian Federation", in Baker (ed.), Oxford Handbook of the History of Psychology (2012).
Wolfgang Kohler, Max Wertheimer and Kurt Koffka co-founded the school of Gestalt psychology (not to be confused with the Gestalt therapy of Fritz Perls). This approach is based upon the idea that individuals experience things as unified wholes. Rather than Reductionism thoughts and behavior into smaller elements, as in structuralism, the Gestaltists maintained that whole of experience is important, and differs from the sum of its parts. Other 19th-century contributors to the field include the German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus, a pioneer in the experimental study of memory, who developed quantitative models of learning and forgetting at the University of Berlin,Wozniak, R.H. (1999). Introduction to memory: Hermann Ebbinghaus (1885/1913). Classics in the history of psychology and the Russian-Soviet physiologist Ivan Pavlov, who discovered in dogs a learning process that was later termed "classical conditioning" and applied to human beings.
American psychology gained status during World War I, during which a standing committee headed by Robert Yerkes administered mental tests ("Army Alpha" and "Army Beta") to almost 1.8 million soldiers. Subsequent funding for behavioral research came in large part from the Rockefeller family, via the Social Science Research Council.Franz Samuelson, "Organizing for the Kingdom of Behavior: Academic Battles and the Organizational Policies in the Twenties"; Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 21, January 1985.Hans Pols, "The World as Laboratory: Strategies of Field Research Developed by Mental Hygiene Psychologists in Toronto, 1920–1940" in Theresa Richardson & Donald Fisher (eds.), The Development of the Social Sciences in the United States and Canada: The Role of Philanthropy; Stamford, CT: Ablex Publishing, 1999; Rockefeller charities funded the National Committee on Mental Hygiene, which promoted the concept of mental illness and lobbied for psychological supervision of child development.Sol Cohen, "The Mental Hygiene Movement, the Development of Personality and the School: The Medicalization of American Education"; History of Education Quarterly 23.2, Summer 1983. Through the Bureau of Social Hygiene and later funding of Alfred Kinsey, Rockefeller foundations established sex research as a viable discipline in the U.S.Vern L. Bullough, "The Rockefellers and Sex Research"; Journal of Sex Research 21.2, May 1985. "Their importance is hard to overestimate. In fact, in the period between 1914 and 1954, the Rockefellers were almost the sole support of sex research in the United States. The decisions made by their scientific advisers about the nature of the research to be supported and how it was conducted, as well as the topics eligible for research support, shaped the whole field of sex research and, in many ways, still continue to support it." Under the influence of the Carnegie-funded Eugenics Record Office, the Draper-funded Pioneer Fund, and other institutions, the eugenics movement also had a significant impact on American psychology; in the 1910s and 1920s, eugenics became a standard topic in psychology classes.Guthrie, Even the Rat was White (1998), Chapter 4: "Psychology and Race" (pp. 88–110). "Psychology courses often became the vehicles for eugenics propaganda. One graduate of the Record Office training program wrote, 'I hope to serve the cause by infiltrating eugenics into the minds of teachers. It may interest you to know that each student who takes psychology here works up his family history and plots his family tree.' Harvard, Columbia, Brown, Cornell, Wisconsin, and Northwestern were among the leading academic institutions teaching eugenics in psychology courses."
During World War II and the Cold War, the U.S. military and intelligence agencies established themselves as leading funders of psychology—through the armed forces and in the new Office of Strategic Services intelligence agency. University of Michigan psychologist Dorwin Cartwright reported that university researchers began large-scale propaganda research in 1939–1941, and "the last few months of the war saw a social psychologist become chiefly responsible for determining the week-by-week-propaganda policy for the United States Government." Cartwright also wrote that psychologists had significant roles in managing the domestic economy.Dorwin Cartwright, "Social Psychology in the United States During the Second World War", Human Relations 1.3, June 1948, p. 340; quoted in Cina, "Social Science For Whom?" (1981), p. 269. The Army rolled out its new General Classification Test and engaged in massive studies of troop morale. In the 1950s, the Rockefeller Foundation and Ford Foundation collaborated with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to fund research on psychological warfare.Catherine Lutz, " Epistemology of the Bunker: The Brainwashed and Other New Subjects of Permanent War", in Joel Pfister & Nancy Schnog (eds.), Inventing the Psychological: Toward a Cultural History of Emotional Life in America; Yale University Press, 1997; In 1965, public controversy called attention to the Army's Project Camelot—the "Manhattan Project" of social science—an effort which enlisted psychologists and anthropologists to analyze foreign countries for strategic purposes.Cina, "Social Science For Whom?" (1981), pp. 315–325.Herman, "Psychology as Politics" (1993), p. 288. "Had it come to fruition, CAMELOT would have been the largest, and certainly the most generously funded, behavioral research project in U.S. history. With a $4–6 million contract over a period of 3 years, it was considered, and often called, a veritable Manhattan Project for the behavioral sciences, at least by many of the intellectuals whose services were in heavy demand."
In Germany after World War I, psychology held institutional power through the military, and subsequently expanded along with the rest of the military under the Third Reich. Under the direction of Hermann Göring's cousin Matthias Göring, the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute was renamed the Göring Institute. Freudian psychoanalysts were expelled and persecuted under the anti-Jewish policies of the Nazi Party, and all psychologists had to distance themselves from Freud and Adler.Cocks, Psychotherapy in the Third Reich (1997), pp. 75–77. The Göring Institute was well-financed throughout the war with a mandate to create a "New German Psychotherapy". This psychotherapy aimed to align suitable Germans with the overall goals of the Reich; as described by one physician: "Despite the importance of analysis, spiritual guidance and the active cooperation of the patient represent the best way to overcome individual mental problems and to subordinate them to the requirements of the Volk and the Gemeinschaft." Psychologists were to provide Seelenführung, leadership of the mind, to integrate people into the new vision of a German community.Cocks, Psychotherapy in the Third Reich (1997), p. 93. Harald Schultz-Hencke melded psychology with the Nazi theory of biology and racial origins, criticizing psychoanalysis as a study of the weak and deformed.Cocks, Psychotherapy in the Third Reich (1997), pp. 86–87. "For Schultz-Hencke in this 1934 essay, life goals were determined by ideology, not by science. In the case of psychotherapy, he defined health in terms of blood, strong will, proficiency, discipline, ( Zucht und Ordnung), community, heroic bearing, and physical fitness. Schultz-Hencke also took the opportunity in 1934 to criticize psychoanalysis for providing an unfortunate tendency toward the exculpation of the criminal." Johannes Heinrich Schultz, a German psychologist recognized for developing the technique of autogenic training, prominently advocated sterilization and euthanasia of men considered genetically undesirable, and devised techniques for facilitating this process.Jürgen Brunner, Matthias Schrempf, & Florian Steger, " Johannes Heinrich Schultz and National Socialism", Israel Journal of Psychiatry & Related Sciences 45.4, 2008. "Bringing these people to a right and deep understanding of every German's duty in the New Germany, such as preparatory mental aid and psychotherapy in general and in particular for persons to be sterilized, and for people having been sterilized, is a great, important and rewarding medical duty." After the war, some new institutions were created and some psychologists were discredited due to Nazi affiliation. Alexander Mitscherlich founded a prominent applied psychoanalysis journal called Psyche and with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation established the first clinical psychosomatic medicine division at Heidelberg University. In 1970, psychology was integrated into the required studies of medical students.Cocks, Psychotherapy in the Third Reich (1997), Chapter 14: "Reconstruction and Repression", pp. 351–375.
After the Russian Revolution, psychology was heavily promoted by the Bolsheviks as a way to engineer the "New Man" of socialism. Thus, university psychology departments trained large numbers of students, for whom positions were made available at schools, workplaces, cultural institutions, and in the military. An especial focus was pedology, the study of child development, regarding which Lev Vygotsky became a prominent writer. The Bolsheviks also promoted free love and embraced the doctrine of psychoanalysis as an antidote to sexual repression.Kozulin, Psychology in Utopia (1984), pp. 84–86. "Against such a background it is not at all surprising that psychoanalysis, as a theory that ventured to approach the forbidden but topical theme of sexual relations, was embraced by the newborn Soviet psychology. Psychoanalysis also attracted the interest of Soviet psychology as a materialist trend that had challenged the credentials of classical introspective psychology. The reluctance of the pre-Revolutionary establishment to propagate psychoanalysis also played a positive role in the post-Revolutionary years; it was a field uncompromised by ties to old-regime science." Though c.f. Hannah Proctor, " Reason Displaces All Love", The New Inquiry, 14 February 2014. Although pedology and intelligence testing fell out of favor in 1936, psychology maintained its privileged position as an instrument of the Soviet Union. Stalinist purges took a heavy toll and instilled a climate of fear in the profession, as elsewhere in Soviet society.Kozulin, Psychology in Utopia (1984), p. 22. "Stalin's purges of the 1930s did not spare Soviet psychologists. Leading Marxist philosophers earlier associated with psychology—including Yuri Frankfurt, Nikolai Karev, and Ivan Luppol—were executed in prison camps. The same fate awaited Alexei Gastev and Isaak Shipilrein. Those who survived lived in an atmosphere of total suspicion. ... People who dominated their fields yesterday might be denounced today as traitors and enemies of the people, and by tomorrow their names might disappear from all public records. Books and newspapers were constantly being recalled from libraries to rid them of 'obsolete' names and references." Following World War II, Jewish psychologists past and present (including Lev Vygotsky, Alexander Luria, and Aron Zalkind) were denounced; Ivan Pavlov (posthumously) and Stalin himself were aggrandized as heroes of Soviet psychology.Kozulin, Psychology in Utopia (1984), pp. 25–26, 48–49. Soviet academics was speedily liberalized during the Khrushchev Thaw, and cybernetics, linguistics, genetics, and other topics became acceptable again. There emerged a new field called "engineering psychology" which studied mental aspects of complex jobs (such as pilot and cosmonaut). Interdisciplinary studies became popular and scholars such as Georgy Shchedrovitsky developed systems theory approaches to human behavior.Kozulin, Psychology in Utopia (1984), pp. 27–33. "Georgy Schedrovitsky, who is currently at the Moscow Institute of Psychology, can be singled out as the most prominent theorist working in the context of systems research. ... This is Schedrovitsky's second major thesis: Activity should not be regarded as an attribute of the individual but rather as an all-embracing system that 'captures' individuals and 'forces' them to behave a certain way. This approach may be traced back to the assertion of Wilhelm Humboldt that it is not man who has language as an attribute, but rather language that 'possesses' man. ... Schedrovitsky's activity approach has been applied successfully to the design of man-machine systems and to the evaluation of human factors in urban planning."
Twentieth-century Chinese psychology originally modeled the U.S., with translations from American authors like William James, the establishment of university psychology departments and journals, and the establishment of groups including the Chinese Association of Psychological Testing (1930) and the Chinese Psychological Society (1937). Chinese psychologists were encouraged to focus on education and language learning, with the aspiration that education would enable modernization and nationalization. John Dewey, who lectured to Chinese audiences in 1918–1920, had a significant influence on this doctrine. Chancellor Cai Yuanpei introduced him at Peking University as a greater thinker than Confucius. Zing-Yang Kuo who received a PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, became President of Zhejiang University and popularized behaviorism.Chin & Chin, Psychological Research in Communist China (1969), pp. 5–9. After the Chinese Communist Party gained control of the country, the Stalinist Soviet Union became the leading influence, with Marxism–Leninism the leading social doctrine and Pavlovian conditioning the approved concept of behavior change. Chinese psychologists elaborated on Lenin's model of a "reflective" consciousness, envisioning an "active consciousness" (p=tzu-chueh neng-tung-li) able to transcend material conditions through hard work and ideological struggle. They developed a concept of "recognition" (p=jen-shih) which referred the interface between individual perceptions and the socially accepted worldview (failure to correspond with party doctrine was "incorrect recognition").Chin & Chin, Psychological Research in Communist China (1969), pp. 9–17. "The Soviet psychology that Peking modeled itself upon was a Marxist-Leninist psychology with a philosophical base in dialectical materialism and a newly added label, Pavlovianism. This new Soviet psychology leaned heavily on Lenin's theory of reflection, which was unearthed in his two volumes posthumously published in 1924. Toward the late twenties, a group of Soviet research psychologists headed by Vygotskii, along with Luria and Leont'ev, laid the groundwork for a Marxist-Leninist approach to psychic development." Psychology education was centralized under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, supervised by the State Council. In 1951, the Academy created a Psychology Research Office, which in 1956 became the Institute of Psychology. Most leading psychologists were educated in the United States, and the first concern of the Academy was re-education of these psychologists in the Soviet doctrines. Child psychology and pedagogy for nationally cohesive education remained a central goal of the discipline.Chin & Chin, Psychological Research in Communist China (1969), pp. 18–24.
The world federation of national psychological societies is the International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS), founded in 1951 under the auspices of UNESCO, the United Nations cultural and scientific authority.Irmingard Staeuble, "Psychology in the Eurocentric Order of the Social Sciences: Colonial Constitution, Cultural Imperialist Expansion, Postcolonial Critique" in Brock (ed.), Internationalizing the History of Psychology (2006). Psychology departments have since proliferated around the world, based primarily on the Euro-American model. Since 1966, the Union has published the International Journal of Psychology. IAAP and IUPsyS agreed in 1976 each to hold a congress every four years, on a staggered basis.
The International Union recognizes 66 national psychology associations and at least 15 others exist. The American Psychological Association is the oldest and largest. Its membership has increased from 5,000 in 1945 to 100,000 in the present day.C. James Goodwin, "United States", in Baker (ed.), Oxford Handbook of the History of Psychology (2012). The APA includes 54 divisions, which since 1960 have steadily proliferated to include more specialties. Some of these divisions, such as the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues and the American Psychology–Law Society, began as autonomous groups.
The Interamerican Society of Psychology, founded in 1951, aspires to promote psychology and coordinate psychologists across the Western Hemisphere. It holds the Interamerican Congress of Psychology and had 1,000 members in year 2000. The European Federation of Professional Psychology Associations, founded in 1981, represents 30 national associations with a total of 100,000 individual members. At least 30 other international groups organize psychologists in different regions.
In some places, governments legally regulate who can provide psychological services or represent themselves as a "psychologist".For example, see target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> Oregon State Law, Chapter 675 (2013 edition) at Statutes & Rules Relating to the Practice of Psychology. The APA defines a psychologist as someone with a doctoral degree in psychology.Judy E. Hall and George Hurley, "North American Perspectives on Education, Training, Licensing, and Credentialing", in Weiner (ed.), Handbook of Psychology (2003), Volume 8: Clinical Psychology.
As a discipline, psychology has long sought to fend off accusations that it is a "soft" science. Philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn's 1962 critique implied psychology overall was in a pre-paradigm state, lacking the agreement on overarching theory found in mature sciences such as chemistry and physics.T.S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 1st. ed., Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Pr., 1962. Because some areas of psychology rely on research methods such as surveys and questionnaires, critics asserted that psychology is not an objective science. Skeptics have suggested that personality, thinking, and emotion, cannot be directly measured and are often inferred from subjective self-reports, which may be problematic. Experimental psychologists have devised a variety of ways to indirectly measure these elusive phenomenological entities.Peterson, C. (2009, 23 May). "Subjective and objective research in positive psychology: A biological characteristic is linked to well-being". Psychology Today. Retrieved 20 April 2010.Jaak Panksepp (1998). Affective neuroscience: The foundations of human and animal emotions. New York: Oxford University Press, p. 9.
Divisions still exist within the field, with some psychologists more oriented towards the unique experiences of individual humans, which cannot be understood only as data points within a larger population. Critics inside and outside the field have argued that mainstream psychology has become increasingly dominated by a "cult of empiricism" which limits the scope of its study by using only methods derived from the physical sciences.Teo, The Critique of Psychology (2005), pp. 36–37. "Methodologism means that the method dominates the problem, problems are chosen in subordination to the respected method, and psychology has to adopt without question, the methods of the natural sciences. ... From an epistemological and ontological-critical as well as from a human-scientific perspective the experiment in psychology has limited value (for example, only for basic psychological processes), given the nature of the psychological subject matter, and the reality of persons and their capabilities." Feminist critiques along these lines have argued that claims to scientific objectivity obscure the values and agenda of (historically mostly male) researchers. Jean Grimshaw, for example, argues that mainstream psychological research has advanced a patriarchal agenda through its efforts to control behavior.Teo, The Critique of Psychology (2005), p. 120. "Pervasive in feminist critiques of science, with the exception of feminist empiricism, is the rejection of positivist assumptions, including the assumption of value-neutrality or that research can only be objective if subjectivity and emotional dimensions are excluded, when in fact culture, personality, and institutions play significant roles (see Longino, 1990; Longino & Doell, 1983). For psychology, Grimshaw (1986) discussed behaviorism's goals of modification, and suggested that behaviorist principles reinforced a hierarchical position between controller and controlled and that behaviorism was in principle an antidemocratic program."
The contemporary field of behavioral neuroscience focuses on physical causes underpinning behavior. For example, physiological psychologists use animal models, typically rats, to study the neural, genetic, and cellular mechanisms that underlie specific behaviors such as learning and memory and fear responses.
Evolutionary psychology examines cognition and personality traits from an evolutionary perspective. This perspective suggests that psychological adaptations evolved to solve recurrent problems in human ancestral environments. Evolutionary psychology offers complementary explanations for the mostly proximate or developmental explanations developed by other areas of psychology: that is, it focuses mostly on ultimate or "why?" questions, rather than proximate or "how?" questions. "How?" questions are more directly tackled by behavioral genetics research, which aims to understand how genes and environment impact behavior.
The search for biological origins of psychological phenomena has long involved debates about the importance of race, and especially the relationship between race and intelligence. The idea of white supremacy and indeed the modern concept of race itself arose during the process of world conquest by Europeans.Guthrie, Even the Rat was White (1998), Chapter 1: "'The Noble Savage' and Science" (pp. 3–33) Carl von Linnaeus's four-fold classification of humans classifies Europeans as intelligent and severe, Americans as contented and free, Asians as ritualistic, and Africans as lazy and capricious. Race was also used to justify the construction of socially specific mental disorders such as drapetomania and dysaesthesia aethiopica—the behavior of uncooperative African slaves.Guthrie, Even the Rat was White (1998), Chapter 5: "The Psychology of Survival and Education" (pp. 113–134) After the creation of experimental psychology, "ethnical psychology" emerged as a subdiscipline, based on the assumption that studying primitive races would provide an important link between animal behavior and the psychology of more evolved humans.Guthrie, Even the Rat was White (1998), Chapter 2: "Brass Instruments and Dark Skins" (pp. 34–54)
behavioral researchers studied stimulus–response pairings, now known as classical conditioning. They demonstrated that behaviors could be linked through repeated association with stimuli eliciting pain or pleasure. Ivan Pavlov—known best for inducing dogs to salivate in the presence of a stimulus previously linked with food—became a leading figure in the Soviet Union and inspired followers to use his methods on humans. In the United States, Edward Lee Thorndike initiated "connectionism" studies by trapping animals in "puzzle boxes" and rewarding them for escaping. Thorndike wrote in 1911: "There can be no moral warrant for studying man's nature unless the study will enable us to control his acts."Leahey, History of Modern Psychology (2001), pp. 212–215. From 1910–1913 the American Psychological Association went through a sea change of opinion, away from mentalism and towards "behavioralism", and in 1913 John B. Watson coined the term behaviorism for this school of thought.Leahey, History of Modern Psychology (2001), pp. 218–227. Watson's famous Little Albert experiment in 1920 demonstrated that repeated use of upsetting loud noises could instill (aversions to other stimuli) in an infant human.J.B. Watson & R. Rayner, "Conditioned emotional responses", Journal of Experimental Psychology 3, 1920; in Hock, Forty Studies (2002), pp. 70–76. Karl Lashley, a close collaborator with Watson, examined biological manifestations of learning in the brain.
Embraced and extended by Clark L. Hull, Edwin Guthrie, and others, behaviorism became a widely used research paradigm. A new method of "instrumental" or "operant" conditioning added the concepts of reinforcement and punishment to the model of behavior change. Radical behaviorists avoided discussing the inner workings of the mind, especially the unconscious mind, which they considered impossible to assess scientifically. Operant conditioning was first described by Miller and Kanorski and popularized in the U.S. by B.F. Skinner, who emerged as a leading intellectual of the behaviorist movement.Skinner, B.F. (1932) The Behavior of Organisms
Noam Chomsky delivered an influential critique of radical behaviorism on the grounds that it could not adequately explain the complex mental process of language acquisition.Leahey, History of Modern Psychology (2001), pp. 282–285.Chomsky, N.A. (1959) A Review of Skinner's Verbal Behavior Martin Seligman and colleagues discovered that the conditioning of dogs led to outcomes ("learned helplessness") that opposed the predictions of behaviorism. Skinner's behaviorism did not die, perhaps in part because it generated successful practical applications. Edward C. Tolman advanced a hybrid "cognitive behaviorial" model, most notably with his 1948 publication discussing the used by rats to guess at the location of food at the end of a modified maze.
The Association for Behavior Analysis International was founded in 1974 and by 2003 had members from 42 countries. The field has been especially influential in Latin America, where it has a regional organization known as ALAMOC: La Asociación Latinoamericana de Análisis y Modificación del Comportamiento. Behaviorism also gained a strong foothold in Japan, where it gave rise to the Japanese Society of Animal Psychology (1933), the Japanese Association of Special Education (1963), the Japanese Society of Biofeedback Research (1973), the Japanese Association for Behavior Therapy (1976), the Japanese Association for Behavior Analysis (1979), and the Japanese Association for Behavioral Science Research (1994). Today the field of behaviorism is also commonly referred to as behavior modification or behavior analysis.Ruben Ardila, "Behavior Analysis in an International Context", in Brock (ed.), Internationalizing the History of Psychology (2006).
Starting in the 1950s, the experimental techniques developed by Wundt, James, Ebbinghaus, and others re-emerged as experimental psychology became increasingly cognitivist—concerned with information and its processing—and, eventually, constituted a part of the wider cognitive science. Some called this development the cognitive revolution because it rejected the anti-mentalist dogma of behaviorism as well as the strictures of psychoanalysis.Mandler, G. (2007). A history of modern experimental psychology: From James and Wundt to cognitive science. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Social learning theorists, such as Albert Bandura, argued that the child's environment could make contributions of its own to the behaviors of an observant subject.Bandura, A. (1973). Aggression: A social learning analysis. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Technological advances also renewed interest in mental states and representations. English neuroscientist Charles Sherrington and Canadian psychologist Donald O. Hebb used experimental methods to link psychological phenomena with the structure and function of the brain. The rise of computer science, cybernetics and artificial intelligence suggested the value of comparatively studying information processing in humans and machines. Research in cognition had proven practical since World War II, when it aided in the understanding of weapons operation.
A popular and representative topic in this area is cognitive bias, or irrational thought. Psychologists (and economists) have classified and described a sizeable catalogue of biases which recur frequently in human thought. The availability heuristic, for example, is the tendency to overestimate the importance of something which happens to come readily to mind.
Elements of behaviorism and cognitive psychology were synthesized to form cognitive behavioral therapy, a form of psychotherapy modified from techniques developed by American psychologist Albert Ellis and American psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck.
On a broader level, cognitive science is an interdisciplinary enterprise of cognitive psychologists, cognitive neuroscientists, researchers in artificial intelligence, linguists, human–computer interaction, computational neuroscience, logicians and social scientists. The discipline of cognitive science covers cognitive psychology as well as philosophy of mind, computer science, and neuroscience. Computer simulations are sometimes used to model phenomena of interest.
Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, influenced by Freud, elaborated a theory of the collective unconscious—a primordial force present in all humans, featuring archetypes which exerted a profound influence on the mind. Jung's competing vision formed the basis for analytical psychology, which later led to the archetypal and process-oriented schools. Other well-known psychoanalytic scholars of the mid-20th century include Erik Erikson, Melanie Klein, Donald Winnicott, Karen Horney, Erich Fromm, John Bowlby, and Sigmund Freud's daughter, Anna Freud. Throughout the 20th century, psychoanalysis evolved into diverse schools of thought which could be called Neo-Freudian. Among these schools are ego psychology, object relations, and interpersonal, Jacques Lacan, and relational psychoanalysis.
Psychologists such as Hans Eysenck and philosophers including Karl Popper criticized psychoanalysis. Popper argued that psychoanalysis had been misrepresented as a scientific discipline,Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations, London: Routledge and Keagan Paul, 1963, pp. 33–39; from Theodore Schick, ed., Readings in the Philosophy of Science, Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing Company, 2000, pp. 9–13. Faculty.washington.edu whereas Eysenck said that psychoanalytic tenets had been contradicted by data. By the end of 20th century, psychology departments in American universities mostly marginalized Freudian theory, dismissing it as a "desiccated and dead" historical artifact. June 2008 study by the American Psychoanalytic Association, as reported in The New York Times, "Freud Is Widely Taught at Universities, Except in the Psychology Department" by Patricia Cohen, 25 November 2007. However, researchers in the emerging field of neuro-psychoanalysis today defend some of Freud's ideas on scientific grounds,For example, scientists have related brain structures to Freudian concepts such as libido, motivation, the unconscious mind, and repression. The contributors to neuro-psychoanalysis include António Damásio (Damásio, A. (1994). ; Damásio, A. (1996). The somatic marker hypothesis and the possible functions of the prefrontal cortex; Damásio, A. (1999). The feeling of what happens: Body and emotion in the making of consciousness; Damásio, A. (2003). Looking for Spinoza: Joy, sorrow, and the feeling brain); Eric Kandel; Joseph E. LeDoux (LeDoux, J.E. (1998). The emotional brain: The mysterious underpinnings of emotional life (Touchstone ed.). Simon & Schuster. Original work published 1996. ); Jaak Panksepp (Panksepp, J. (1998). Affective neuroscience: The foundations of human and animal emotions. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press); Oliver Sacks (Sacks, O. (1984). A leg to stand on. New York: Summit Books/Simon and Schuster); Mark Solms (Kaplan-Solms, K., & Solms, M. (2000). Clinical studies in neuro-psychoanalysis: Introduction to a depth neuropsychology. London: Karnac Books; Solms, M., & Turnbull, O. (2002). The brain and the inner world: An introduction to the neuroscience of subjective experience. New York: Other Press); and Douglas Watt. while scholars of the humanities maintain that Freud was not a "scientist at all, but ... an hermeneutics".
The American Association for Humanistic Psychology, formed in 1963, declared:
Humanistic psychology is primarily an orientation toward the whole of psychology rather than a distinct area or school. It stands for respect for the worth of persons, respect for differences of approach, open-mindedness as to acceptable methods, and interest in exploration of new aspects of human behavior. As a "third force" in contemporary psychology, it is concerned with topics having little place in existing theories and systems: e.g., love, creativity, self, growth, organism, basic need-gratification, self-actualization, higher values, being, becoming, spontaneity, play, humor, affection, naturalness, warmth, ego-transcendence, objectivity, autonomy, responsibility, meaning, fair-play, transcendental experience, peak experience, courage, and related concepts.A.J. Sutich, American association for humanistic psychology, Articles of association. Palo Alto, CA (mimeographed): August 28, 1963; in Severin (ed.), Humanistic Viewpoints in Psychology (1965), pp. xv–xvi.
In the 1950s and 1960s, influenced by philosophers Søren Kierkegaard and Martin Heidegger and, psychoanalytically trained American psychologist Rollo May pioneered an existential branch of psychology, which included existential psychotherapy: a method based on the belief that inner conflict within a person is due to that individual's confrontation with the givens of existence. Swiss psychoanalyst Ludwig Binswanger and American psychologist George Kelly may also be said to belong to the existential school. Existential psychologists differed from more "humanistic" psychologists in their relatively neutral view of human nature and their relatively positive assessment of anxiety. Existential psychologists emphasized the humanistic themes of death, free will, and meaning, suggesting that meaning can be shaped by myths, or narrative patterns, and that it can be encouraged by an acceptance of the free will requisite to an authentic, albeit often anxious, regard for death and other future prospects.
Austrian existential psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl drew evidence of meaning's therapeutic power from reflections garnered from his own internment. He created a variation of existential psychotherapy called logotherapy, a type of existentialism analysis that focuses on a will to meaning (in one's life), as opposed to Adler's doctrine of will to power or Freud's will to pleasure.Seidner, Stanley S. (10 June 2009) "A Trojan Horse: Logotherapeutic Transcendence and its Secular Implications for Theology". Mater Dei Institute. p 2.
An early example of personality assessment was the Woodworth Personal Data Sheet, constructed during World War I. The popular, although psychometrically inadequate Myers–Briggs Type Indicator sought to assess individuals' "personality types" according to the personality theories of Carl Jung. Behaviorist resistance to introspection led to the development of the Strong Vocational Interest Blank and Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), in an attempt to ask empirical questions that focused less on the psychodynamics of the respondent.Leslie C. Morey, "Measuring Personality and Psychopathology" in Weiner (ed.), Handbook of Psychology (2003), Volume 2: Research Methods in Psychology. However, the MMPI has been subjected to critical scrutiny, given that it adhered to archaic psychiatric nosology, and since it required individuals to provide subjective, introspective responses to the hundreds of items pertaining to psychopathology.
Behaviorism notwithstanding, the unconscious mind has maintained its importance in psychology. Cognitive psychologists have used a "filter" model of attention, according to which much information processing takes place below the threshold of consciousness, and only certain processes, limited by nature and by simultaneous quantity, make their way through the filter. Copious research has shown that subconscious priming of certain ideas can covertly influence thoughts and behavior. A significant hurdle in this research is proving that a subject's conscious mind has not grasped a certain stimulus, due to the unreliability of self-reporting. For this reason, some psychologists prefer to distinguish between implicit memory and explicit memory memory. In another approach, one can also describe a subliminal stimulus as meeting an objective but not a subjective threshold.William P. Banks & Ilya Farber, "Consciousness", in Weiner (ed.), Handbook of Psychology (2003), Volume 4: Experimental Psychology.
The automaticity model, which became widespread following exposition by John Bargh and others in the 1980s, describes sophisticated processes for executing goals which can be selected and performed over an extended duration without conscious awareness. Also see: John A. Bargh, "The Automaticity of Everyday Life", in Robert S. Wyer Jr. (ed.), The Automaticity of Everyday Life, Advances in Social Cognition, Volume X; Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1997; John F. Kihlstrom, " The Automaticity Juggernaut—or, Are We Automatons After All?", in John Baer, James C. Kaufmna, & Roy F. Baumeister (eds.), Are We Free? Psychology and Free Will; Oxford University Press, 2008. Some experimental data suggests that the brain begins to consider taking actions before the mind becomes aware of them. This influence of unconscious forces on people's choices naturally bears on philosophical questions free will. John Bargh, Daniel Wegner, and Ellen Langer are some prominent contemporary psychologists who describe free will as an illusion.
Hunger, thirst, fear, sexual desire, and thermoregulation all seem to constitute fundamental motivations for animals. Humans also seem to exhibit a more complex set of motivations—though theoretically these could be explained as resulting from primordial instincts—including desires for belonging, self-image, self-consistency, truth, love, and control.E. Tory Higgins, Beyond Pleasure and Pain: How Motivation Works; Oxford University Press, 2012; Shah & Gardner, Handbook of Motivation Science (2008), entire volume.
Motivation can be modulated or manipulated in many different ways. Researchers have found that eating, for example, depends not only on the organism's fundamental need for homeostasis—an important factor causing the experience of hunger—but also on circadian rhythms, food availability, food palatability, and cost. Abstract motivations are also malleable, as evidenced by such phenomena as goal contagion: the adoption of goals, sometimes unconsciously, based on inferences about the goals of others.Hank Aarts, Ap Dijksterhuis, & Giel Dik, "Goal Contagion: Inferring goals from others' actions—and what it leads to", in Shah & Gardner, Handbook of Motivation Science (2008). "In short, then, the studies presented above indicate that humans are keen to act on the goals of other social beings that are implied in behavioral scenarios or scripts." Also see: Vohs and Roy Baumeister suggest that contrary to the need-desire-fulfilment cycle of animal instincts, human motivations sometimes obey a "getting begets wanting" rule: the more you get a reward such as self-esteem, love, drugs, or money, the more you want it. They suggest that this principle can even apply to food, drink, sex, and sleep.Kathleen D. Vohs & Roy F. Baumeister, "Can Satisfaction Reinforce Wanting? A new theory about long-term changes in strength of motivation", in Shah & Gardner, Handbook of Motivation Science (2008).
When experimental psychology came to Britain, Francis Galton was a leading practitioner, and, with his procedures for measuring reaction time and sensation, is considered an inventor of modern mental testing (also known as psychometrics).Gregory, Psychological Testing (2011), pp. 44–45. James McKeen Cattell, a student of Wundt and Galton, brought the concept to the United States, and in fact coined the term "mental test".Gregory, Psychological Testing (2011), pp. 45–46. In 1901, Cattell's student Clark Wissler published discouraging results, suggesting that mental testing of Columbia and Barnard students failed to predict their academic performance. In response to 1904 orders from the Minister of Public Instruction, French psychologists Alfred Binet and Théodore Simon elaborated a new test of intelligence in 1905–1911, using a range of questions diverse in their nature and difficulty. Binet and Simon introduced the concept of mental age and referred to the lowest scorers on their test as . Henry H. Goddard put the Binet-Simon scale to work and introduced classifications of mental level such as imbecile and feebleminded. In 1916 (after Binet's death), Stanford professor Lewis M. Terman modified the Binet-Simon scale (renamed the Stanford–Binet scale) and introduced the intelligence quotient as a score report.Gregory, Psychological Testing (2011), p. 50–56. From this test, Terman concluded that mental retardation "represents the level of intelligence which is very, very common among Spanish-Indians and Mexican families of the Southwest and also among negroes. Their dullness seems to be racial."Guthrie, Even the Rat was White (1998), Chapter 3: "Psychometric Scientism" (pp. 55–87)
Following the Army Alpha and Army Beta tests for soldiers in World War I, mental testing became popular in the US, where it was soon applied to school children. The federally created National Intelligence Test was administered to 7 million children in the 1920s, and in 1926 the College Entrance Examination Board created the Scholastic Aptitude Test to standardize college admissions.Gregory, Psychological Testing (2011), p. 61. The results of intelligence tests were used to argue for segregated schools and economic functions—i.e. the preferential training of Black Americans for manual labor. These practices were criticized by black intellectuals such a Horace Mann Bond and Allison Davis. Eugenicists used mental testing to justify and organize compulsory sterilization of individuals classified as mentally retarded. In the United States, tens of thousands of men and women were sterilized. Setting a precedent which has never been overturned, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of this practice in the 1907 case Buck v. Bell.
Today mental testing is a routine phenomenon for people of all ages in Western societies.Gregory, Psychological Testing (2011), p. 2. "From birth to old age, we encounter tests at almost every turning point in life. … Tests are used in almost every nation on earth for counseling, selection, and placement. Testing occurs in settings as diverse as schools, civil service, industry, medical clinics, and counseling centers. Most persons have taken dozens of tests and thought nothing of it. Yet, by the time the typical individual reaches retirement age, it is likely that psychological test results will have helped to shape his or her destiny." Modern testing aspires to criteria including standardization of procedure, consistency of results, output of an interpretable score, statistical norms describing population outcomes, and, ideally, test validity of behavior and life outcomes outside of testing situations.Gregory, Psychological Testing (2011), pp. 4–6.
Credit for the first psychology clinic in the United States typically goes to Lightner Witmer, who established his practice in Philadelphia in 1896. Another modern psychotherapist was Morton Prince.George Stricker & Thomas A. Widiger, "Volume Preface", in Weiner (ed.), Handbook of Psychology (2003), Volume 8: Clinical Psychology. For the most part, in the first part of the twentieth century, most mental health care in the United States was performed by specialized medical doctors called psychiatrists. Psychology entered the field with its refinements of mental testing, which promised to improve diagnosis of mental problems. For their part, some psychiatrists became interested in using psychoanalysis and other forms of psychodynamic psychotherapy to understand and treat the mentally ill. In this type of treatment, a specially trained therapist develops a close relationship with the patient, who discusses wishes, dreams, social relationships, and other aspects of mental life. The therapist seeks to uncover repressed material and to understand why the patient creates defenses against certain thoughts and feelings. An important aspect of the therapeutic relationship is transference, in which deep unconscious feelings in a patient reorient themselves and become manifest in relation to the therapist.Nancy McWilliams and Joel Weinberger, "Psychodynamic Psychotherapy", in Weiner (ed.), Handbook of Psychology (2003), Volume 8: Clinical Psychology.
Psychiatric psychotherapy blurred the distinction between psychiatry and psychology, and this trend continued with the rise of community mental health facilities and behavioral therapy, a thoroughly non-psychodynamic model which used behaviorist learning theory to change the actions of patients. A key aspect of behavior therapy is empirical evaluation of the treatment's effectiveness. In the 1970s, cognitive-behavior therapy arose, using similar methods and now including the cognitive constructs which had gained popularity in theoretical psychology. A key practice in behavioral and cognitive-behavioral therapy is exposing patients to things they fear, based on the premise that their responses (fear, panic, anxiety) can be deconditioned.W. Edward Craighead & Linda Wilcoxon Craighead, "Behavioral and Cognitive-Behavioral Psychotherapy" in Weiner (ed.), Handbook of Psychology (2003), Volume 8: Clinical Psychology.
Mental health care today involves psychologists and in increasing numbers. In 1977, National Institute of Mental Health director Bertram Brown described this shift as a source of "intense competition and role confusion".Nancy Tomes, "The Development of Clinical Psychology, Social Work, and Psychiatric Nursing: 1900–1980s", in Wallace & Gach (eds.), History of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology (2008). Graduate programs issuing doctorates in psychology (PsyD) emerged in the 1950s and underwent rapid increase through the 1980s. This degree is intended to train practitioners who might conduct scientific research.
Some clinical psychologists may focus on the clinical management of patients with brain injury—this area is known as clinical neuropsychology. In many countries, clinical psychology is a regulated mental health profession. The emerging field of disaster psychology (see crisis intervention) involves professionals who respond to large-scale traumatic events.Teri L. Elliott, "Disaster Psychology: Keep Clients out of Your Office—Get into the Field!" in Morgan et al. (ed.), Life After Graduate School in Psychology (2005). "...it is the disaster psychologist's role to utilize crisis intervention processes with the goal of preventing natural distress due to the critical event from developing into a more harmful, long-term psychological condition."
The work performed by clinical psychologists tends to be influenced by various therapeutic approaches, all of which involve a formal relationship between professional and client (usually an individual, couple, family, or small group). Typically, these approaches encourage new ways of thinking, feeling, or behaving. Four major theoretical perspectives are psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, existential–humanistic, and systems or family therapy. There has been a growing movement to integrate the various therapeutic approaches, especially with an increased understanding of issues regarding culture, gender, spirituality, and sexual orientation. With the advent of more robust research findings regarding psychotherapy, there is evidence that most of the major therapies have equal effectiveness, with the key common element being a strong therapeutic alliance. Because of this, more training programs and psychologists are now adopting an eclectic therapeutic orientation.Palmer, S.; Woolfe, R. (eds.) (1999). Integrative and eclectic counselling and psychotherapy. London: Sage.Clarkson, P. (1996). The eclectic and integrative paradigm: Between the Scylla of confluence and the Charybdis of confusion. In Handbook of Counselling Psychology (R. Woolfe & W.L. Dryden, eds.). London: Sage, pp. 258–283.
Diagnosis in clinical psychology usually follows the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), a handbook first published by the American Psychiatric Association in 1952. New editions over time have increased in size and focused more on medical language.Peter E. Nathan & James Langenbucher, "Diagnosis and Classification", in Weiner (ed.), Handbook of Psychology (2003), Volume 8: Clinical Psychology. The study of mental illnesses is called abnormal psychology.
School psychology combines principles from educational psychology and clinical psychology to understand and treat students with learning disabilities; to foster the intellectual growth of gifted students; to facilitate prosocial behaviors in adolescents; and otherwise to promote safe, supportive, and effective learning environments. School psychologists are trained in educational and behavioral assessment, intervention, prevention, and consultation, and many have extensive training in research.
The name industrial and organizational psychology (I–O) arose in the 1960s and became enshrined as the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Division 14 of the American Psychological Association, in 1973. The goal is to optimize human potential in the workplace. Personnel psychology, a subfield of I–O psychology, applies the methods and principles of psychology in selecting and evaluating workers. I–O psychology's other subfield, organizational psychology, examines the effects of work environments and management styles on worker motivation, job satisfaction, and productivity.Myers (2004). Motivation and work. Psychology. New York, NY: Worth Publishers The majority of I–O psychologists work outside of academia, for private and public organizations and as consultants. A psychology consultant working in business today might expect to provide executives with information and ideas about their industry, their target markets, and the organization of their company.Steven Williams, "Executive Management: Helping Executives Manage Their Organizations through Organizational and Market Research" in Morgan et al. (ed.), Life After Graduate School in Psychology (2005).
Psychologists may also work on a diverse set of campaigns known broadly as psychological warfare. Psychological warfare chiefly involves the use of propaganda to influence enemy soldiers and civilians. In the case of so-called black propaganda the propaganda is designed to seem like it originates from a different source.Cordwainer Smith, Psychological Warfare; Washington: Combat Forces Press, 1954. The CIA's MKULTRA program involved more individualized efforts at mind control, involving techniques such as hypnosis, torture, and covert involuntary administration of LSD.See " Project MKULTRA, the CIA's Program of Research in Behavioral Modification"; Joint Hearing before the Senate Committee on Intelligence and the Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research of the Committee on Human Resources, United States Senate, Ninety Fifth Congress, First Session, 3 August 1997; and John D. Marks, The Search for the Manchurian Candidate, New York: Times Books, 1979. The U.S. military used the name Psychological Operations (PSYOP) until 2010, when these were reclassified as Military Information Support Operations (MISO), part of Information Operations (IO).Alfred Paddock, Jr., " PSYOP: On a Complete Change in Organization, Practice, and Doctrine", Small Wars Journal 2010. Psychologists are sometimes involved in assisting the interrogation and torture of suspects, though this has sometimes been denied by those involved and sometimes opposed by others. US torture report: psychologists should no longer aid military, group says The Guardian, 2015-07-11
Psychologists in the field of public health use a wide variety of interventions to influence human behavior. These range from public relations campaigns and outreach to governmental laws and policies. Psychologists study the composite influence of all these different tools in an effort to influence whole of people.Monica L. Baskin, "Public Health: Career Opportunities for Psychologists in Public Health", in Morgan et al. (ed.), Life After Graduate School in Psychology (2005). "Prevention strategies of late have largely concentrated on community-based interventions, which have been shown to be effective in changing the health of large populations. Behavioral and social scientists, such as psychologists, are helpful in this arena as we are trained to view individuals as belonging to complex and dynamic social systems, including immediate and extended family systems, acquaintance and friendship networks, neighborhood and community systems, and cultural groups (Schneiderman & Spee4, 2001)."
Black American psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark studied the psychological impact of segregation and testified with their findings in the desegregation case Brown v. Board of Education (1954).Guthrie, Even the Rat was White (1998), Chapter 7: "Production of Black Psychologists in America" (pp. 155–213).
Positive psychology is the study of factors which contribute to human happiness and well-being, focusing more on people who are currently healthy. In 2010, Clinical Psychological Review published a special issue devoted to positive psychological interventions, such as gratitude journaling and the physical expression of gratitude. Positive psychological interventions have been limited in scope, but their effects are thought to be superior to that of , especially with regard to helping people with body image problems.
Repeated-measures experiments are those which take place through intervention on multiple occasions. In research on the effectiveness of psychotherapy, experimenters often compare a given treatment with placebo treatments, or compare different treatments against each other. Treatment type is the independent variable. The dependent variables are outcomes, ideally assessed in several ways by different professionals.Evelyn S. Behar & Thomas D. Borkovec, "Psychotherapy Outcome Research", in Weiner (ed.), Handbook of Psychology (2003), Volume 2: Research Methods in Psychology. Using crossover study, researchers can further increase the strength of their results by testing both of two treatments on two groups of subjects.
Quasi-experimental design refers especially to situations precluding random assignment to different conditions. Researchers can use common sense to consider how much the nonrandom assignment threatens the study's validity.Melvin M. Mark, "Program Evaluation" in Weiner (ed.), Handbook of Psychology (2003), Volume 2: Research Methods in Psychology. For example, in research on the best way to affect reading achievement in the first three grades of school, school administrators may not permit educational psychologists to randomly assign children to phonics and whole language classrooms, in which case the psychologists must work with preexisting classroom assignments. Psychologists will compare the achievement of children attending phonics and whole language classes.
Experimental researchers typically use a statistical hypothesis testing model which involves making predictions before conducting the experiment, then assessing how well the data supports the predictions. (These predictions may originate from a more abstract scientific hypothesis about how the phenomenon under study actually works.) Analysis of variance (ANOVA) statistical techniques are used to distinguish unique results of the experiment from the null hypothesis that variations result from random fluctuations in data. In psychology, the widely used standard ascribes statistical significance to results which have less than 5% p-value.Roger E. Kirk, "Experimental Design" in Weiner (ed.), Handbook of Psychology (2003), Volume 2: Research Methods in Psychology.
Neuropsychological tests, such as the David Wechsler and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, are mostly questionnaires or simple tasks used which assess a specific type of mental function in the respondent. These can be used in experiments, as in the case of lesion experiments evaluating the results of damage to a specific part of the brain.Russell M. Bauer, Elizabeth C. Leritz, & Dawn Bowers, "Neuropsychology", in Weiner (ed.), Handbook of Psychology (2003), Volume 2: Research Methods in Psychology.
Observational studies analyze uncontrolled data in search of correlations; multivariate statistics are typically used to interpret the more complex situation. Cross-sectional observational studies use data from a single point in time, whereas longitudinal studies are used to study trends across the life span. Longitudinal studies track the same people, and therefore detect more individual, rather than cultural, differences. However, they suffer from lack of controls and from confounding factors such as selective attrition (the bias introduced when a certain type of subject disproportionately leaves a study).
Exploratory data analysis refers to a variety of practices which researchers can use to visualize and analyze existing sets of data. In Peirce's three modes of inference, exploratory data analysis corresponds to abduction, or hypothesis formation.John T. Behrens and Chong-Ho Yu, "Exploratory Data Analysis" in Weiner (ed.), Handbook of Psychology (2003), Volume 2: Research Methods in Psychology. Meta-analysis is the technique of integrating the results from multiple studies and interpreting the statistical properties of the pooled dataset.Frank L. Schmidt and John E. Hunter, "Meta-Analysis", Handbook of Psychology (2003), Volume 2: Research Methods in Psychology.
Newer functional neuroimaging techniques include functional magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography, both of which track the flow of blood through the brain. These technologies provide more localized information about activity in the brain and create representations of the brain with widespread appeal. They also provide insight which avoids the classic problems of subjective self-reporting. It remains challenging to draw hard conclusions about where in the brain specific thoughts originate—or even how usefully such localization corresponds with reality. However, neuroimaging has delivered unmistakable results showing the existence of correlations between mind and brain. Some of these draw on a systemic neural network model rather than a localized function model.
Psychiatric interventions such as transcranial magnetic stimulation and drugs also provide information about brain–mind interactions. Psychopharmacology is the study of drug-induced mental effects.
Comparative psychology refers to the scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of non-human animals, especially as these relate to the phylogenetic history, adaptive significance, and development of behavior. Research in this area explores the behavior of many species, from insects to primates. It is closely related to other disciplines that study animal behavior such as ethology.Shettleworth, S.J. (2010) Cognition, Evolution and Behavior (2nd Ed), New York: Oxford. Research in comparative psychology sometimes appears to shed light on human behavior, but some attempts to connect the two have been quite controversial, for example the Sociobiology of E.O. Wilson.Wilson, E.O. (1978) On Human Nature p. x, Cambridge, Ma: Harvard Animal models are often used to study neural processes related to human behavior, e.g. in cognitive neuroscience.
Qualitative psychological research methods include interviews, first-hand observation, and participant observation. Creswell (2003) identifies five main possibilities for qualitative research, including narrative, phenomenology, ethnography, case study, and grounded theory. Qualitative researchersGlaser, B. & Strauss, A. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Chicago: Aldine. sometimes aim to enrich interpretations or critical theory of symbols, subjective experiences, or social structures. Sometimes hermeneutic and critical aims can give rise to quantitative research, as in Erich Fromm's study of Nazi voting or Stanley Milgram's studies of obedience to authority.
Just as Jane Goodall studied chimpanzee social and family life by careful observation of chimpanzee behavior in the field, psychologists conduct naturalistic observation of ongoing human social, professional, and family life. Sometimes the participants are aware they are being observed, and other times the participants do not know they are being observed. Strict ethical guidelines must be followed when covert observation is being carried out.
Focus on the replication crisis has led to other renewed efforts in the discipline to re-test important findings, and in response to concerns about publication bias and Data dredging, more than 140 psychology journals have adopted result-blind peer review where studies are accepted not on the basis of their findings and after the studies are completed, but before the studies are conducted and upon the basis of the methodological rigor of their experimental designs and the theoretical justifications for their statistical analysis techniques before data collection or analysis is done. In addition, large-scale collaborations between researchers working in multiple labs in different countries and that regularly make their data openly available for different researchers to assess have become much more common in the field. Early analysis of such reforms has estimated that 61 percent of result-blind studies have led to , in contrast to an estimated 5 to 20 percent in earlier research.
Kurtis, Adams, Grabe, Else-Quest, Collins, Machizawa, and Rice describe a transnational feminist psychology (also called transnational psychology) that applies transnational feminist lenses to the field of psychology to study, understand, and address the impact of colonization, imperialism, and globalization. In order to counter the Western bias in the field of psychology, Kurtis and Adams suggested that people in the non-Western, "Majority World" (areas where the majority of the world's population lives), be viewed as resources for revising traditional psychological science. They proposed applying the principles of transnational feminism, developed through interdisciplinary work in postcolonial and feminist studies, and using a context-sensitive cultural psychology lens to reconsider, de-naturalize, and de-universalize psychological science. In 2015 a Summit was organized by Machizawa, Collins, and Rice to further develop "transnational psychology." It led to presentations and publications that applied transnational psychological perspectives to various topics in psychology.
The most important contemporary standards are informed and voluntary consent. After World War II, the Nuremberg Code was established because of Nazi abuses of experimental subjects. Later, most countries (and scientific journals) adopted the Declaration of Helsinki. In the U.S., the National Institutes of Health established the Institutional Review Board in 1966, and in 1974 adopted the National Research Act (HR 7724). All of these measures encouraged researchers to obtain informed consent from human participants in experimental studies. A number of influential studies led to the establishment of this rule; such studies included the MIT and Fernald School radioisotope studies, the Thalidomide tragedy, the Willowbrook hepatitis study, and Stanley Milgram's studies of obedience to authority.
The ethics code of the American Psychological Association originated in 1951 as "Ethical Standards of Psychologists". This code has guided the formation of licensing laws in most American states. It has changed multiple times over the decades since its adoption. In 1989, the APA revised its policies on advertising and referral fees to negotiate the end of an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. The 1992 incarnation was the first to distinguish between "aspirational" ethical standards and "enforceable" ones. Members of the public have a five-year window to file ethics complaints about APA members with the APA ethics committee; members of the APA have a three-year window.Stanley E. Jones, "Ethical Issues in Clinical Psychology", in Weiner (ed.), Handbook of Psychology (2003), Volume 8: Clinical Psychology.
Some of the ethical issues considered most important are the requirement to practice only within the area of competence, to maintain confidentiality with the patients, and to avoid sexual relations with them. Another important principle is informed consent, the idea that a patient or research subject must understand and freely choose a procedure they are undergoing. Some of the most common complaints against clinical psychologists include sexual misconduct, and involvement in child custody evaluations.