The Study Of Behavior Is Not Just For Psychologists

psychology of education

As the title says that this introduction to our field will touch on a wide array of factors involved in what we human beings do, it will present a number of major principles underlying human actions. Such principles can give us a rational basis for understanding what we and others do. In a sense, this article is a record of how far we have come in realizing the promise and hope of psychology, the rational understanding of human behavior. We hope that this article will give the reader a sense of the limitations on what we know and people do what they do. But by means of patient research, careful observation, imaginative hypothesizing, and constructive self-criticism, psychology is gradually nearing the hoped-for goal of understanding human behavior.

Psychology is far from being the only branch of knowledge which studies human and animal behavior. Anthropology, sociology, economics, political science, geography and history also study various aspects of behavior. Together with psychology, these fields make up the group of knowledge areas known collectively as the behavioral sciences. What sets psychology apart from the other behavioral sciences is partly its exclusive interest in behavior, partly its focus on individuals, and partly the wide range of behaviors it covers. Anthropology, for example, compares behaviors across cultures; sociology studies the behavior of people in groups; and economics is concerned with the behavior involved in the exchange of goods and services. The study of behavior is also a part of several biological sciences especially zoology, but also, to some extent, pharmacology, physiology and neurobiology.

In the area where the many disciplines which study behavior overlap with psychology, the boundaries are blurred. For instance, a psychologist might study the personality patterns of political leaders, but so might a political scientist or a historian. The person who studies the effects of marijuana, or any drug, on behavior might be a psychologist or a pharmacologist.