To answer just what the importance of Psychology is, first we should define Psychology as a practice and field of study. As described in what is psychology – the field of Psychology can be described as:
- The scientific study of the human mind and its functions, esp. those affecting behaviour in a given context.
- The mental characteristics or attitude of a person or group.
- The mental and emotional factors governing a situation or activity
Over the years as the field of Psychology grew, it was broken down into seven schools of thought. These schools of thought are definitely not the only psychological fields of study, but are broad comparisons to help you narrow your thinking as to what is Psychology and thus defining its importance. The seven schools of thought being referred to are Biological Psychology, Behavioural Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Humanistic Psychology, Cross Cultural Psychology, Evolutionary Psychology and Psychodynamic Psychology.
So Why is Psychology Important?
Psychology is the study of so many different aspects that relate to the human mind, functions and our environment. Looking at the many different branches of Psychology, one can immediately see how it is engraved into our lives in so many diverse ways. While looking at these various ways Psychology is being studied, it’s applications can be seen in the personal / inner-self, environmental interactions between us and the outside world and so on.
Psychology and its Importance to Health
In our daily lives Psychology is directly relevant through services like therapy and counselling. Clinical Psychologists work with anyone from individuals, couples, families, or groups in a variety of settings, including private practices, hospitals, mental health organizations, schools, businesses, and non-profit agencies. We can immediately see the array of applications Psychology has in only one immediate practice, however Clinical Psychologists do employ numerous different ideologies and types of Psychological approaches that determine how they approach their practices.
Often the practice of Psychology takes from its various branches or schools of thought, depending on what we are trying to diagnose or figure out. For example – treating a patient with Alzheimer’s Disease (a neurodegenerative disease characterized by memory loss, language deterioration, impaired ability to mentally manipulate visual information, poor judgment, confusion, restlessness, and mood swings [Psychologytoday]) is a lot different then treating someone with a Schizoid personality disorder (Schizoid Personality Disorder is characterized by a long-standing pattern of detachment from social relationships. A person with schizoid personality disorder often has difficulty expression emotions and does so typically in very restricted range, especially when communicating with others [PsychCentral]).
The Importance and Relevance of Applied Psychology
Instead of using Psychology as a treatment, it can also be used to improve our daily lives through developments in Applied Psychology. We can apply Psychology to our everyday lives for situations such as for business, education, product design, ergonomics, law and so on. Applied Psychology utilizes other forms of Psychology, such as Social and Cognitives Psychology fields to help in its design. Applied Psychology is a part of Clinical Psychology as already described above, however it is a great example at being able to show how Psychology can have an important role in pretty much anything.
For example – Psychology is important to businesses who want to be able to best sell their products to the consumer, such as yourself. Back in February of 2012, the following was an article published by Forbes magazine – How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant before Her Father Did. The premise behind the article was that Target, a large retail company started sending out coupons for baby items to customers based on “pregnancy scores”. These scores were determined by a consumers shopping habits and sure enough it worked rather successfully as seen in the above linked article. Through studying the Psychology of Target’s consumers shopping habits, they were able to accurately market their products , which ideally from the perspective of Target would increase sales and decrease advertising costs in the long run.
The above story is used as an example to what the power that Psychology and the study of can have. Whether or not the benefit was to the corporation or to the consumer, either way you can see the relevance it can have in the lives of everyone.
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Shakespeare (Hamlet)
Psychology is Everywhere
The importance of Psychology is seen through the many different examples of how Psychology is being studied and how it is being applied to our daily lives. Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behaviour, which can literally be applied to everything from health to business and social behaviour. In an attempt to improve our lives, Psychology strives to collect and make sense of the data that surrounds our day to day. And when we posses maladaptive behaviour & thinking, Psychology attempts to diagnose and treat. Through just a quick introduction into the different types and applications of Psychology, we see just how relevant and important it really is.
Can you think of any examples of how Psychology is important to yourself?