Fundamentals of Psychology
Homeopathic Journal :: Volume: 4, Issue: 3, Jan, 2011 (General Theme) - from Homeorizon.com
|Article Updated: Jan 17, 2011|
The term 'Psychology', literally means "The Science of Soul" [Psyche = Soul; Logos = Science]. It deals with mental process, apart from the soul or mental soul. It is the science of experience & behaviour - which tells us how the mind works & behaves. It can predict the behaviour of an individual, and control it to a certain extent by putting him under proper conditions. It seeks to discover the Laws of Mind. Psychology is concerned with the experience and behaviour of the individual.
In Greek mythology, PSYCHE was a mortal woman who fell in love with CUPID. But VENUS (Cupid's mother) did not want her son to marry a mortal woman. So, she harassed PSYCHE some impossible tasks. But PSYCHE won in those experiments with her intelligence. Thus, the word becomes a synonym for MIND or INTELLECT.
Etymologically [Science of origin of Word], Psychology means the Science of Soul. The earlier psychologists maintained that the function of psychology was to study the nature, origin & the destiny of the human soul. Modern psychologists, however, doubt the existence of the soul - since there is no empirical evidence for its existence.
PSYCHOLOGY --- as a Science: -
Psychology is a natural or positive science. It deals with a definite subject matter viz. mental process. It studies mental processes and their expressions in the organism by observations & experiments, and seeks to explain mental processes in the context of concomitant physiological processes and physical stimuli. It believes that all mental processes are determined by their causes and tries to explain them by the laws of mind & some hypotheses. It aims at a systematic and self-consistent body of knowledge relating to mental processes. So, it is a natural science.
Anger - Testosterone, Adrenalin & Nor-adrenalin equilibrium disbalance.
Fear - Adrenalin.
Emotion - Nor-adrenalin.
Mildness, Weeping - Progesterone.
Vindictiveness, Vulgarism - Testosterone.
Destructiveness - Testosterone.
The psychologist explains complex mental processes by analyzing them into simplex ones, traces the growth & development of each mental process and shows the connection between mental processes & physiological processes and physical objects & social events - constituting the environment. Complex mental modes are explained by analyzing them into their simple constituents. The growth & development of mental processes are traced through different stages to their origin. Mental processes are explained by their concomitant mental processes.
A science is a systemic body of knowledge relating to certain subject. It deals with a particular department of phenomenon. Physical Sciences study the nature of physical system. Biological Sciences study the nature of living systems. Psychological Sciences study the nature of mental processes and telic behaviour.
A science adopts observation, experiment, comparison and classification - as methods of investigation of its date. In descriptive sciences --- there is observation with classification. In experimental sciences --- observation is supplemented by experiments. Psychology observes mental processes, compares them with one another and groups them under different classes. Psychology, as a science, adopts scientific methods.
A science seeks to explain the phenomenon within its scope. Explanation is the ultimate aim of science. A phenomenon is explained by a Law of Nature; and a law is explained by a higher law of nature. The fall of bodies is explained by the Law of Gravitation of Earth. The LAW OF ATTRACTION explains the laws of planetary motions. Psychology also tries to explain mental processes by the Laws of Mind.
There are sciences of matter, life & mind. Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy etc. are Physical sciences - since they deal with the phenomenon of matter. Physics deals with heat, light, electricity & other physical phenomenon. Chemistry deals with chemical combinations of elements. Astronomy deals with the heavenly bodies. These are physical sciences. Botany deals with the phenomenon of plant life. Zoology deals with the phenomenon of animal life. Physiology deals with the functions of animal & human bodies. These deal with phenomenon of life. These are biological sciences. Psychology deals with mental processes and purposive behaviour. It deals with physiological processes - also which accompany them. Psychology is the science of experience and telic behaviour.
A science starts with certain assumptions about its subject-matter. Chemistry, Physics etc. assume the reality of matter & energy. Similarly, the psychologists assume the reality of mind, the reality of the environment and the capacity of the mind to interact with the environment. These are the fundamental assumptions of psychology.
The science demands self-consistency within its own sphere; its facts and laws must be consistent with one another. If there are apparent contradictions among them, they must be removed. Psychology also aims at a self-consistent body of knowledge relating to mental processes. Thus psychology is a natural science of mental processes and behaviour.