General Psychology

Definition of Psychology and Importance of It

What is Psychology?

Psychology is derived from the Greek words Psyche and logos, meaning soul and study. To Greeks, Psychology is simply a study of the soul.

Different authors define Psychology in different ways but in 1990, Feldman defines Psychology as the scientific study of human behavior and mental processes. Scientific because it uses the steps in a scientific method in its quest to understand why a person behaves in a certain manner. It is systematic and empirical and it is dependent upon measurements. A scientific method generally follows the ff. steps:

1.) Identification of the Problem

2.) Formulation of Hypothesis

3.) Gathering of Data

4.) Interpretation and Analysis of Data

5: Generalization of Conclusion

Behavior includes everything that we do – thinking, feeling, writing, reading, imagining, etc.

Kinds of Behavior

a. Overt -> behavior that is observable by others and can be seen readily (ex. Laughing, shouting, talking, etc.)

b. Covert -> behavior that is internal therefore not observable and cannot be seen. This comes in the forms of feelings, thoughts, and motives (ex. Happy, angry, imaginations, etc.)

Sigmund Freud, a Psychoanalyst classified behavior according to a person’s awareness of his behavior, to wit:

a. Conscious Behavior -> any behavior that the person is aware of (ex. walking, eating, etc.)

b. Unconscious Behavior -> any behavior that the person is not aware of (ex. mannerisms, shaking of the legs while sitting, biting your fingers, playing, with your pen while listening to your teacher’s discussion, etc.)

According to Freud, our unconscious is bigger than the conscious. Dreams and “slip of the tongue” phenomenon are some ways of releasing the unconscious.


October 31, 2008 Posted by | Psychology As A Behavioral Science | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Kinds of Motives or Drives

1.  Physiological Drives or Motives

These drives ar inborn and present at birth. They are essential to life.

  • Hunger Drive -> a feeling of hunger will motivate a person to look for food
  • Thirst Drive -> a feeling of thirst will motivate a person to look for water/liquid to maintain water level in the body
  • Elimination Drive -> this drive dictates the body to release body waste or else the person will be poisoned
  • Oxygen need or air-hunger -> no body would survive without oxygen
  • Fatigue -> prolonged tensions, problems, frustrations, worry and boredom can cause fatigue. People has to find time to rest, relax and recreate.
  • Rest and Sleep -> after a long day of chores, we get tired so our body needs this in order to regain energy and strength
  • Avoidance of pain -> every normal person like to avoid pain
  • sex drive ->this sex drive is not essential to life but vital for the preservation of the human species
  • maternal drive -> every mammal including human mothers manifest the maternal drive in taking care of thier young.
  • warmth and cold -> this is important for the maintenance of normal body temperature.

2. Psychological and Social Drives

  • Parent-Child motives. Human infants need their parents to care for them and to provide for their needs, Parents perform these functions. In effect, the child becomes attached to them.
  • Peer-group relations –  affiliation motives. As children grow up, their environment also broadens, they establish relationships with their friends, classmates, etc. The social adjustment will depend on the extent to which these motives are satisfied.
  • motives related to competence and self. The first and foremost of these motives is achievement motivation or the desire to accomplish something. All of us want to have the feeling of having achieved something.

December 17, 2008 Posted by | Motivation | , , | Leave a comment

The Motivational Cycle

When a goal is achieved, the individual rarely stops ther. Often, the accomplished goal leads to other drives. A person never gets contented. One goal leads to other motives or drives.

Abraham Maslow expressed increasing needs of human beings in a heirarchical order. He viewed man’s needs in a ladder-like sequence where one need leads to another until the goal is attained.

Physiological needs, the strongest of the needs occupy the first rung of the ladder. They must be met for survival – food, water, medicines, oxygen clothing. As soon as the physiological needs are met, the individual must seek to satisfy the safety needs, and so on until he reaches the topmost rung of the ladder – self-actualization. Even if Maslow’s theory is in hierarchical order, it does not follow that one need must be met first, before the next need emergers. Some of the needs overlap one another and not one need can be satisfied quite fully.

December 17, 2008 Posted by | Motivation | , , | 2 Comments