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Portal:Psychology

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Human brain, lateral view, with brainstem

Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of conscious and unconscious 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 neuro-scientific group of researchers. As a social science, it aims to understand individuals and groups by establishing general principles and researching specific cases.

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 physiological and biological 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. Psychologists employ empirical methods to infer causal and correlational relationships between psychosocial variables. In addition, or in opposition, 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.

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. 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 areas such as human development and aging, sports, health, and the media, as well as in forensic investigation and other aspects of law.

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Insanity in English law is a defence to criminal charges based on the idea that the defendant was unable to understand what he was doing, or, that he was unable to understand that what he was doing was wrong.

The defence comes in two forms; where the defendant claims he was insane at the time of the crime, and where the defendant asserts he is insane at the time of trial. In the first situation, the defendant must show that he was either suffering from a disease which damaged the functioning of the mind and led to a defect of reason that prevented him from understanding what he was doing, or that he could not tell that what he was doing was wrong. In the second situation, the test is whether or not the defendant can differentiate between "guilty" and "not guilty" verdicts, instruct counsel and recognise the charges he is facing. If successful, he is likely to be detained under the Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964, although judges have a wide discretion as to what to do. Read more...
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Louis wain cats.png
Cat portraits showing increased abstraction, by Louis Wain, who, while an inmate at a mental hospital, may not have painted them in this order, thus the question of whether they document a deterioration in condition remains unanswered. It is also not certain if he suffered from schizophrenia, though the images have been used extensively as examples of schizophrenic outsider art.
image credit: public domain

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Photograph of Rivers taken by Henry Maull
William Halse Rivers Rivers ((1864-03-12)12 March 1864 – (1922-06-04)4 June 1922) was an English anthropologist, neurologist, ethnologist and psychiatrist, best known for his work treating First World War officers who were suffering from shell shock. Rivers' most famous patient was the poet Siegfried Sassoon, with whom he remained close friends until his own sudden death. Rivers was a fellow of St John's College, Cambridge, and is also notable for his participation in the Torres Straits expedition of 1898 and his consequent seminal work on the subject of kinship. Read more...
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Carl Jung
  • ...that ASNOVA was a group of architects that linked psychology and architecture by building laboratories and expounding psychological theories?

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