Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. Such study can involve both animal and human behaviors. When applied to humans, psychology covers everything that people think, feel, and do.
Psychologists use the systematic method, the use of a systematic method of asking and answering questions about why people think, act, and feel as they do reduces the chances of coming to false conclusions.
As psychologists go about their systematic and scientific study of humans and animals, they have several goals. Overall, psychologists seek to do four things.
Describe - The first goal for any scientist or psychologist is to describe or gather information about the the behavior being studied studied and to present what is known.
Explain - Psychologists are not content simply to state the facts. Rather, they also seek to explain why people or animals behave as they do. Psychologists use hypothesis, an educated guess. It is a researchers prediction about what the results of a study are expected to be. As they study, more complex explanations called theories are constructed. A theory is usually a complex explanation based on findings from a large number of experimental studies.
Predict - The third goal of psychologist is to predict, as a result of accumulated knowledge, what humans will think or feel in various situations. By studying descriptive and theoretical accounts of past behaviors, psychologists can predict future behaviors.
Influence - Some psychologists seek to influence behavior in helpful ways.
To ensure that data are collected accurately, psychologists rely on the scientific method. In psychology, facts are based on data. The data obtained from methods such as experiments, surveys, and case studies. This means psychologist reach their conclusion by identifying a specific problem or question, formulating a hypotheses, collecting data through observation and experimentation, and analyzing from the data.
Although psychologists use the scientific method to test and support many theories, many questions about behaviour remain unanswered , but new theories and technological developments are constantly generating new questions and new psychological studies.
There are many different psychologists such as clinical psychologist, industrial/organizational psychologist, counseling psychologist and engineering psychologist. Some are involved in applying psychological principles rather than discovering them.
Some psychologists conduct studies with a long-term goal of finding out more about human or animal behaviour by doing basic science, or research. Other psychologists are more interested in discovering ways to use what we already know about people to benefit others, they view psychology as an applied science and use psychological principles to solve more immediate problems.