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What do Psychologists Study?

Updated on November 24, 2017

When most people think of psychology they usually only think of professionals who help people with mental issues.

In reality, this is only one career path available to a psychologist, they actually study a broad range of behaviors.

Psychology is the systematic, scientific study of behaviors and mental processes.

The important thing about this definition is the fact that each of its terms has a broader meaning.

For example, behaviors refers to actions or responses that can be observed in both humans and animals.

On the flipside, mental processes are not directly observable, instead they refer to a wide range of complex mental processes, such as thinking, imagining, studying, and dreaming.

Although the definition of psychology is broad in nature, all psychologists have four specific goals in mind when they study behaviors and mental processes.

What do psychologists do?
What do psychologists do?

Four Specific Goals of Psychology

The first goal of psychology is to describe the ways that people and/or animals behave. The second goal of psychology is to explain the causes of behavior.

The third goal is to predict how people and/or animals will behave in certain situations, and the fourth and final goal is to control the behavior.

In order to keep it simple, just remember that the four goals of psychology are:

1) Describe

2) Explain

3) Predict

4) Control

Want to Learn More About What Psychologists Do?

If you are interested in the study of psychology, and perhaps you are thinking about a career as a psychologist, you should be sure to check out the American Psychological Association's Career Guide.


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    • somethgblue profile image

      somethgblue 6 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

      For a long time they were trying to find out why I'm so cool . . . but eventually they just gave up and had to admit that it was just a natural thang!

      Kind of like Jazz and good sex you don't questioning it you just flow with it!

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 6 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      Getting into our heads, psychology, is a good learning tool. Great hub, thanks.