Psychology Department

Welcome To Psychology

Why people think, feel and do the things they do is an age-old question. Psychology — the science concerned with internal and external behavior in both human and nonhuman animals — is only 140 years old.  The roots of Psychology can be found in Philosophy.  We are ultimately interested in the meaning of meaning(an angelo-saxon word that means "to wish")

The early roots of psychology (psyche is a Greek word) extend back to the Greeks some 2500 plus years ago with Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and many others. Psychology grew out of Philosophy and influences from such greats as Socrates, who said: "The unexamined life is not worth living."

Despite its short contemporary youth, Psychology as a Science is a broad discipline, essentially spanning subject matter from biology to sociology. Biology studies the structures and functions of living organisms. Sociology examines human group functions in culture and society.

Psychologists study the intersection of two critical relationships: one the biology of brain function and behavior and one between the environment and behavior. As scientists, psychologists use scientific methods, carefully observing, experimenting, and analyzing both human and animal behavior, physiology and mental processes.

Psychology is a tremendously varied field. Psychologists conduct both basic and applied research, serve as consultants to communities and organizations, diagnose and treat people, work in industry and government, and teach future psychologists and other students as well as conducting research. Psychology is all around us, the physiology, genetics, cultural, and other environmental factors combine to influence behavior.  Clinical psychology can test intelligence, personality and assess behavioral function and well being. Cognitive, clinical and industrial psychologists study how human beings relate to each other and also machines, and they work to improve these relationships.

The United States is undergoing large changes in population makeup, and  psychologists bring important knowledge and skills to understanding diverse cultures. One of the most appealing aspects about majoring in psychology is that it is an excellent preparation for many other fields of study, e.g., medicine, law, education, marketing and business. The job market for psychology majors is excellent, and the U.S. Department of Labor anticipates that there will be a steady demand for psychologists for the next 25 years.


Psychology Lab L-27
Contact: Charles B. Ramskov
Phone: 408.864.8853
Building: Office F21a
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Last Updated: 4/6/13