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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Jenner sat down with Dr. Ramani Durvasula, a licensed clinical psychologist and professor of psychology, to discuss the topic in an interview published to the magazine's YouTube channel on Thursday. Asha C. Gilbert, USA TODAY, "'Sometimes I think I'm dying': Kendall Jenner opens up about her anxiety in Vogue interview," 7 May 2021 Jennifer Dobbs-Oates, a professor of psychology at Purdue University, saidthe camera conundrum isa series of trade-offs. Bridget Early, The Indianapolis Star, "'There's only so much we can do': Virtual learning is taking a toll on kids," 5 May 2021 Even though hiring is rebounding strongly this year, there may simply be fewer full-time jobs to go around after the pandemic, says Blake Allan, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Houston. Krithika Varagur, WSJ, "Networking Makes a Comeback for the Class of 2021," 30 Apr. 2021 Erin Bowen, a professor of psychology at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, studies passenger behavior on planes. Melissa Yeager, The Arizona Republic, "Fights on flights: Airline passengers are stressed, angry and taking it out on each other," 23 Apr. 2021 Talk therapy has been an important part of psychology for a century, but conversation and storytelling shape people all the time. Joel Christensen, The Conversation, "What Homer’s ‘Odyssey’ can teach us about reentering the world after a year of isolation," 22 Apr. 2021 Jelena Kecmanovic is the founding director of the Arlington/DC Behavior Therapy Institute and an adjunct professor of psychology at Georgetown University. Washington Post, "Afghanistan pullout may spur mixed emotions for veterans, families. Here’s how to cope.," 21 Apr. 2021 Craig Haney, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an authority on the psychological effects of incarceration, said that isolation can have profoundly negative effects anywhere, but especially in prison settings. New York Times, "In Vermont, Isolating Inmates Kept Covid at Bay, but at a Price," 21 Apr. 2021 The journal, Imagination, Cognition and Personality, is, in fact, still extant, and Salovey and Mayer have become, respectively, the president of Yale and a professor of psychology at the University of New Hampshire. Merve Emre, The New Yorker, "The Repressive Politics of Emotional Intelligence," 12 Apr. 2021

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.

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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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Learn More about psychology

Time Traveler for psychology

Time Traveler

The first known use of psychology was in 1749

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Statistics for psychology

Last Updated

14 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Psychology.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/psychology. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for psychology

psychology

noun

English Language Learners Definition of psychology

: the science or study of the mind and behavior
: the way a person or group thinks

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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