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. (Full article...)

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Healed scars on the forearm from prior self harm

Self-harm, also known as self-injury, is defined as the intentional, direct injuring of body tissue, done without any intention to commit suicide. Other terms such as cutting and self-mutilation have been used for any self-harming behavior regardless of suicidal intent. The most common form of self-harm is using a sharp object to cut one's skin. Other forms include behaviour such as burning, scratching, or hitting body parts. While older definitions included behaviour such as interfering with wound healing, excessive skin picking (dermatillomania), hair pulling (trichotillomania) and the ingestion of toxic substances or objects as self-harm, in current terminology those are differentiated from the term self-harm.

Behaviours associated with substance abuse and eating disorders are not considered self-harm because the resulting tissue damage is ordinarily an unintentional side effect. Although suicide is not the intention of self-harm, the relationship between self-harm and suicide is complex, as self-harming behaviour may be potentially life-threatening. There is also an increased risk of suicide in individuals who self-harm and self-harm is found in 40–60% of suicides. However, generalizing individuals who self-harm to be suicidal is, in the majority of cases, inaccurate. (Full article...)
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Melencolia I, a 1514 woodcut by Albrecht Dürer, an allegory of melancholia
image credit: public domain

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  • "Loneliness is a barrier that prevents one from uniting with the inner self." — Carl Rogers

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Jessie Margaret Murray (9 February 1867 – 25 September 1920) was a British psychoanalyst and suffragette. Born in India, she moved to the UK when she was 13. She undertook studies in medicine with the College of Preceptors and Worshipful Society of Apothecaries and at the University of Durham and University College London; she also attended the lectures of the French psychologist Pierre Janet at the Collège de France, Paris.

Murray was a member of the Women's Freedom League and Women's Tax Resistance League, two organisations that took direct action in their campaign for women's suffrage. In 1910 she and the journalist Henry Brailsford took statements from the suffragettes who had been mistreated during the Black Friday demonstrations in November that year. Their published memorandum was presented to the Home Office, along with a formal request for a public inquiry; the Home Secretary, Winston Churchill, refused to set one up. (Full article...)
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  • ...that the effects of head trauma on memory can be seen by the post-operative results of HM, a patient who has been unable to form any new long-term memories since a surgical procedure performed in the 1950s?

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