Portal:Psychology
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Portal:Psychology

Welcome to the psychology portal

Human brain, lateral view, with brainstem
Psi - Greek letter commonly associated with psychology.

Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of conscious and unconscious phenomena, as well as feelings and thought. It is an academic discipline of immense scope, crossing the boundaries between the natural and social sciences. Psychologists seek an understanding of the emergent properties of brains, linking the discipline to neuroscience. As a social science, psychologists aim to understand the behavior of individuals and groups.

A professional practitioner or researcher involved in the discipline is called a psychologist. Some psychologists can also be classified as social, behavioral, or cognitive scientists. Some psychologists attempt to understand the role of mental functions in individual and social behavior. Others explore the physiological and biological processes that underlie cognitive functions and behaviors.

Psychologists explore behavior and mental processes, including perception, cognition, attention, emotion, intelligence, subjective experiences, motivation, brain functioning, and personality. Psychologists' interests extend to interpersonal relationships, psychological resilience, family resilience, and other areas within social psychology. Psychologists also consider the unconscious mind. Research psychologists employ empirical methods to infer causal and correlational relationships between psychosocial variables. Some, but not all, clinical and counseling psychologists rely on symbolic interpretation.

While psychological knowledge is often applied to the assessment and treatment of mental health problems, it is also directed towards understanding and solving problems in several spheres of human activity. By many accounts, psychology ultimately aims to benefit society. Many psychologists are involved in some kind of therapeutic role, practicing in clinical, counseling, or school settings. Other psychologists conduct scientific research on a wide range of topics related to mental processes and behavior. Typically the latter group of psychologists work in academic settings (e.g., universities, medical schools, hospitals). Another group of psychologists is employed in industrial and organizational settings. Yet others are involved in work on human development, aging, sports, health, forensics, and the media. (Full article...)

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The name-letter effect is the tendency of people to prefer the letters in their name over other letters in the alphabet. Whether subjects are asked to rank all letters of the alphabet, rate each of the letters, choose the letter they prefer out of a set of two, or pick a small set of letters they most prefer, on average people consistently like the letters in their own name the most. Crucially, subjects are not aware that they are choosing letters from their name.

Discovered in 1985 by the Belgian psychologist Jozef Nuttin, the name-letter effect has been replicated in dozens of studies, involving subjects from over 15 countries, using four different alphabets. It holds across age and gender. People who changed their names many years ago tend to prefer the letters of both their current and original names over non-name letters. The effect is most prominent for initials, but even when initials are excluded, the remaining letters of both given and family names still tend to be preferred over non-name letters. (Full article...)

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Spinning Dancer.gif
The Spinning Dancer, a kinetic, bistable optical illusion resembling a pirouetting female dancer.
image credit: Nobuyuki Kayahara

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  • "Loneliness is a barrier that prevents one from uniting with the inner self." -- Carl Rogers

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Hans.Eysenck.jpg

Hans Jürgen Eysenck (; 4 March 1916 - 4 September 1997) was a German-born British psychologist who spent his professional career in Great Britain. He is best remembered for his work on intelligence and personality, although he worked on other issues in psychology. At the time of his death, Eysenck was the living psychologist most frequently cited in the peer-reviewed scientific journal literature. A 2019 study found him to be the third most controversial of 55 intelligence researchers.

Eysenck's research purported to show that certain personality types had an elevated risk of cancer and heart disease. Scholars have identified errors and suspected data manipulation in Eysenck's work, and large replications have failed to confirm the relationships that he purported to find. An enquiry on behalf of King's College London found the papers by Eysenck to be "incompatible with modern clinical science". (Full article...)

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Meredith Eaton-Gilden

  • ...that there appears to be no localized consciousness in the human brain?

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