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The Definition and Importance of Psychology

Updated on March 28, 2012
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Christopher F. Bueno is currently the Dean of the College of Education, University of Northern Philippines, Vigan City.


Generally, the definition of psychology is the study of human behavior. It intends to examine the mental process and behavioral action that may later transforms into the development of human personality. These are some of the examples of behavioral actions in the study of psychology :

a) The emotional outburst just like crying or being sad with response such as frustration, disappointment, insult, anger, grieve and other negative human actions.

b) The facial expression in the way we laugh, talk and smile in the process of conversation.

c) The emotional feelings through compassionate love to family, friends and relatives.

d) The emotional attachment, friendly relations, communication and interaction may still be a part to study the behavior of the individual

These are the other definitions of psychology :

  • It is the study of mental activity that concerns with the observable behaviors to assess the personality of the individual as being influence by the environment and heredity.
  • It is the study of observed behavior through the feelings, thoughts, attitudes and other mental processes. These are the general concepts to respond and study certain behavioral actions of individual on the basis of situational scenario in the environment.

The empirical interpretation of behavioral analysis provides conceptual background as to the interpretation of personal facts about the individual. There are certain behavioral disturbances that would focus on the study of a rational person. We can take these as examples in the specific cause of emotional disturbances that may lead behavioral problems:

a) The victims of physical abuse, sexual molestation, rape, harassment, and other forms to deprive the person to live in normal life.

b) The common human problems that may cause stress, depression, trauma and other forms of emotional and behavioral disturbances

Furthermore, the definition of psychology provides an understanding about the general thought and feelings as prescribed by certain human action. The study of human behavior also relates the understanding and identifying causes that bring about certain effects in the mental process. It is directly related to specific observed action that may usually infer to understand the causes of human behavior. These are examples of human behavior that explain different situation and conditions in the environment :

  1. The student intelligence may be evaluated by psychological testing through IQ test to classify them according the level of intelligence. Those with low IQs are classified by the word “moron” or “imbecile”.
  2. The constant pressures and personal problems may lead to behavioral disorder such as depression and stress.
  3. The physical deprivation and abuse of children and adults may lead to low self-esteem, compulsive behavior, and other forms of behavioral problems.
  4. The sexual perversion is the result of previous sexual experiences such as molestation, harassment , rape and other forms of sexual stimulation.
  5. The personal vices such as drinking and taking drugs may lead to some behavioral problems as it creates violence, perversion and lack of foresight.

These are also the general applications as to the importance in the study of psychology as we discuss term behavior and mental process :

1. The level of awareness may be viewed as to the observable actions that consciously acted by a person. There are actions that we can usually aware which can be easily manipulated by certain behavior. On the other hand, the unconscious behavior may also reflect the true attitude given and sometimes the evaluation is beyond the understanding oneself. The unconscious actions in behaving a certain situation such as emotional outburst, expression of love, social relationship, and other related psychological variables in some way can also understand and explain the behavior of a person.

2. There is also a behavior that it has an automatic response which is the basis of action based on certain external stimuli. For example, when a person encounters fear or survival on certain situation.The tendency is to run, cry, seek for help, or even depend himself for the preservation of your life.When you feel in love with the opposite sex the tendency to have intimate sexual relationship to show emotional affection. Although there is also behavior that it has complexity that needs to know the interplay of other psychological factors.

Supposing, a person has intimate sexual relationship with a woman which necessary a condition to show emotional affection of love. But the emotional attachment by this person is more on lust, fantasy and sexual desire.The complex behavior on the emotional affection is deeply rooted by sexual molestation, physical abuse, family problems and drug addiction.

3. The standard behavior that we always know is the rational action that a person is doing in a civilized society.It is considered that man is a rational and sane being capable of thinking what is right or wrong following a normal behavior in a society. For instance, the rational being has to wear decent clothing, go to school on the prescribed uniform, use personal belongings to its utility, and other ways which are culturally and behaviorally accepted by the society. The insanity and irrationality may reflect on the behavior of those who may not follow standard behavioral norms of society such as those insane persons, weird and unpredicted persons, pedophiles, homosexuals, rapists, sex maniacs, drug addicts, and other abnormal behaviors of persons.

4. There are controlled and uncontrolled behaviors that the respond may be connected in the nervous system.Likewise; there are also instincts and reflexes that we must know why persons may act on certain situations and conditions.These are the common problems applied in this situations that may cause insanity and abnormal actions: (1) genetic defects ; (2) alcohol and drugs; (3) depression and stress ; (4) social and sexual attachments; and (5) other related situations.


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    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I have always had a fascination for Psychology on various levels. So, I enjoyed this hub immensely. But I do have a question. What does the map refer to? I don't see a connection between the map and the article.

      I'm voting up and interesting. Thanks so much.