psychology

noun
psy·​chol·​o·​gy | \ sī-ˈkä-lə-jē How to pronounce psychology (audio) \
plural psychologies

Definition of psychology

1 : the science of mind and behavior
2a : the mental or behavioral characteristics of an individual or group
b : the study of mind and behavior in relation to a particular field of knowledge or activity
3 : a theory or system of psychology Freudian psychology the psychology of Jung

The Roots of Psychology

The word psychology was formed by combining the Greek psychē (meaning “breath, principle of life, life, soul,”) with –logia (which comes from the Greek logos, meaning “speech, word, reason”). An early use appears in Nicholas Culpeper’s mid-17th century translation of Simeon Partliz’s A New Method of Physick, in which it is stated that “Psychologie is the knowledg of the Soul.” Today, psychology is concerned with the science or study of the mind and behavior. Many branches of psychology are differentiated by the specific field to which they belong, such as animal psychology, child psychology, and sports psychology.

Examples of psychology in a Sentence

She studied psychology in college. the psychology of an athlete the psychology of crowd behavior We need to understand the psychologies of the two people involved in the incident.
Recent Examples on the Web Write a gratitude letter, said Harry Reis, a psychology professor and dean's professor in arts, sciences and engineering at the University of Rochester. Rachel Fadem, CNN, 30 July 2022 Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University, said Yubo appears to have benefited from a reaction against apps such as Instagram where there’s pressure to broadcast to a big audience to get likes and followers. David Ingram, NBC News, 1 June 2022 Jessica Payne, a psychology professor at the University of Notre Dame who conducts similar sleep lab research, agrees that taking time to rest, whether by napping or getting into the downstate, is crucial in this day of social media bombardment. Diane Bellcolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 May 2022 The idea that aggression can stoke a certain popularity isn’t new, says Brett Laursen, the lead author and a psychology professor at Florida Atlantic University. Susan Pinker, WSJ, 5 May 2022 Kipling Williams is a psychology professor at Purdue University who studies the silent treatment specifically, and ostracism broadly. Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY, 7 Apr. 2022 Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University, found that teens who spend five or more hours a day online are nearly twice as likely to have suicidal tendencies as those who spend less than an hour. Andrew Solomon, The New Yorker, 4 Apr. 2022 Stephanie Madsen is a college psychology professor at McDaniel College who lives in Westminster with her husband and two children. Lyndi Mcnulty, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, 20 Feb. 2022 Part of the appeal lay in group psychology, as people took comfort in being able to categorize themselves alongside others. Jessie Yeung, CNN, 22 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'psychology.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of psychology

1749, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for psychology

New Latin psychologia, from psych- + -logia -logy

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Time Traveler for psychology

Time Traveler

The first known use of psychology was in 1749

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Dictionary Entries Near psychology

psychologue

psychology

psychomachy

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Statistics for psychology

Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Psychology.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/psychology. Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for psychology

psychology

noun
psy·​chol·​o·​gy | \ sī-ˈkä-lə-jē How to pronounce psychology (audio) \

Kids Definition of psychology

: the science that studies the mind and behavior

psychology

noun
psy·​chol·​o·​gy | \ -jē How to pronounce psychology (audio) \
plural psychologies

Medical Definition of psychology

1 : the science of mind and behavior
2a : the mental or behavioral characteristics typical of an individual or group or a particular form of behavior mob psychology the psychology of arson
b : the study of mind and behavior in relation to a particular field of knowledge or activity color psychology the psychology of learning
3 : a treatise on or a school, system, or branch of psychology

More from Merriam-Webster on psychology

Nglish: Translation of psychology for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of psychology for Arabic Speakers

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