What is Psychology?

Psychology refers to both the science and profession concerned with understanding and influencing the thoughts, feelings, emotions and behaviour of individuals.

Different psychologists are often people with very different interests and abilities. For example, one particular psychologist may have been trained as a practitioner, work in a mental health clinic, and spend most of his or her time interpreting psychological tests and doing psychotherapy. Another psychologist may have been trained both as a scientist and a practitioner and work for a management consulting firm, consulting with clients in regard to organization development, executive selection, and career planning. A third psychologist may have been trained as a scientist and spend most of his or her working time in a research laboratory doing research with either humans or animals. This wide diversity among different psychologists is reflected by the fact that at Lakehead University students may begin their training as psychologists either with an Arts or Science Degree.

Psychologists are concerned with a multitude of questions. How do we perceive? How do we learn? How do we think? What motivates us? What developmental stages do we go through? How do individuals differ from one another? How is each and every individual unique? How are we influenced by our social and physical environments? How do biological factors influence us? How do drugs influence us? What abnormalities can occur in regard to thinking, feeling, emoting and behaving? And, what can we and what should we do about these abnormalities?

What virtually all psychologists have in common is that through their work, whatever it may be, they hope to make a positive contribution to human welfare. Studying psychology at Lakehead University, through either the introductory course or other courses, should prove to be a beneficial and satisfying experience for anyone. The more a person knows and understands about thinking, feeling, emoting and behaving, the better he or she will be able to appreciate and cope with the complex world in which we live!