What is psychology?

What is psychology. Psychology is known as the science that is responsible for studying human and animal behavior, making use of multiple approaches in order to analyze, understand and predict the behavior of organisms.

A definition that allows us to understand, in basic terms, the concept of this discipline so well known worldwide. But how many areas of psychology can we find? The truth is that we are referring to one of the most comprehensive sciences that exist, and, therefore, based on a wide variety of classes.

Let us know, in the next sections, the different ways in which we can come to understand psychology.

What is psychology
What is psychology?Definition


When we talk about reverse psychology, we are specifically referring to a technique that is used to persuade, which is possible through the assertion of a behavior opposite to the desired one.

Faced with this statement, it is assumed that a person will act in a way that is completely contrary to this, which can work as a way to control their behavior. This process occurs due to reactance, a phenomenon of the psychological type that explains that individuals tend to act in an opposite way to the orders they receive when they feel persuaded.

Consequently, reactance causes a person to respond in the opposite way to what is indicated, and in this sense, they could be being persuaded if what is wanted is, specifically, that they act contrary to the orders they receive.


Clinical psychology corresponds to an area of specialization in psychology that deals with the study of those factors that can affect a person’s mental health. In this way, the evaluation, investigation, treatment, diagnosis and rehabilitation of all disorders present in mental health are part of its main practices.

Clinical psychology is arguably one of the best known areas within this discipline, due to its wide application. Some approaches to clinical psychology may differ from each other, precisely in the attribution of some behavioral disorders.

For example, some aspects of clinical psychology start from Freudian approaches, while others, for their part, emphasize a more behavioral-cognitive approach, finding serious differences between the practice of clinical psychologists.


Forensic psychology is a derivation of legal psychology, which is responsible for providing support in the approach to judicial processes, helping in different investigations and consultations in courts and tribunals. Its task is to analyze all the information of the psychological type related to the environment of a certain scenario, in order to provide it as part of the data in question.

Its application allows obtaining valuable information from testimonies, symbols of violence, relevant articles in speech, etc. Thanks to forensic psychology, it is possible to offer advice on all these elements, bringing observers closer to data of great value for the final opinion.


Industrial psychology is responsible for the study of human behavior in their work environment, emphasizing the factors that influence this behavior, present both in their work spaces and at home.

Under this approach, industrial psychology seeks, among its objectives, to understand how work spaces can favor work behavior. For this, ergonomics studies are carried out, which seek to determine those agents that can reinforce the performance of a person in their workspace.

The intervention of an industrial psychologist is essential in every work area, since he or she can offer a series of tools that will substantially improve the performance of your employees. Also, it will ensure the well-being of all the personnel that make up a company, allowing it to approach its objectives in a satisfactory way.

Industrial psychology, in short, is based on understanding the relationship between the worker and work, and vice versa, determining how this correlation can progressively improve, emphasizing the well-being and performance of the people who coexist in a company.


Holistic psychology is an area of application directed, like clinical psychology, to the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, analysis and investigation of disorders that affect the mental health of a person.

However, it differs greatly from clinical psychology with regard to the attribution and conception of disorders. In the first place, as its name indicates, holistic psychology recognizes the human being as a whole, so its approach is based on grouping, not only psychological agents, but also physiological, spiritual and cultural aspects respectively.

In this way, holistic psychology is based on the study of the human totality, understanding the exhaustive approach of all the elements that constitute an individual. Its fundamental basis warns that psychological disorders start from the soul, so many of its therapeutic methods are based on the study of the spirit, mind and body.

In turn, part of the studies of holistic psychology recognize the existence of the unconscious, which is why it maintains the importance of its study and understanding. Only then will it be possible to eradicate those problems that affect a person’s mental health. There must be a general transformation to be able to address any type of psychological disorder.


Cognitive psychology is an area of psychology that is responsible for the study of complex mental processes, used by humans to solve problems. These processes allow you to capture and encode information, allowing you to properly adapt to your environment in this regard.

The study of cognitive psychology is part of the evolution in its study methods, which date back to the 60s, in which it was determined that it was important to recognize the existence of psychological processes that occurred in individuals. In this context, let us remember that the behaviorist approach, which rejected the concept of the mind, was the predominant one until then.

Thus, cognitive psychology constitutes one of the most important points in the evolution of psychology, since it has managed to unify the study of higher processes in conjunction with observable behavior. The result, a complex approach system, capable of offering powerful explanations of human behavior.

Respectively, the processes that cognitive psychology studies are learning, language, memory, attention, thought and perception. In this way, it can explain the way in which the human being distributes, for example, the attention resources of him, and performs certain tasks in a coordinated and orderly manner.


Social psychology is an area that is responsible for the study of human behavior as the result of its interaction with its environment, understanding it as the result of all those social factors that have influenced its behavior. For this, social psychology takes multiple approaches in order to understand, not the individual, but individuals as parts of a society.

The social psychology approach is key to explaining multiple phenomena present in the social spectrum, as well as to understanding how individuals are integrated into groups, and through these, they acquire an identity that allows them to fully develop.

These studies are carried out through field work, where information is collected with multiple methods as the case may be. Likewise, social psychology plays an important role in the study of small groups such as tribes, isolated societies, prison contexts and other settings.

Social psychology is part of one of the most important tools of psychology as a discipline, since it allows us to understand the constitution of a society, as well as the way in which it is related. It is an approach that allows us to understand all the processes implicit in our groups.


When we talk about dark psychology, we refer to a set of psychological traits characterized by involving harmful behaviors in society, such as psychopathy, or manipulation. There is no dark psychology respectively, and it should not be confused, in this sense, with areas such as forensic psychology and criminal psychology.

It could be said that dark psychology is an alternative area, which is used to refer to multiple disorders present in a person’s mental health, which frequently refer to negative characteristics. In this way, dark psychology mostly explains pathologies that end up affecting those around a person.

However, it is necessary to note that dark psychology does not have to be associated with criminals, but with certain disorders in their personality, which can seriously affect their social life.

Conclusion What is psychology?

Psychology is, in short, a discipline that presents multiple facets, which continue to generate great contributions to society, allowing to increase the understanding of both human and animal behavior. An area of study that, despite not being considered a solid science, has shown great findings since its consolidation in 1879.

Although these are not all areas of psychology, we could say that they are part of the best known, and in this sense, the ones with the greatest expansion so far.

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