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Psychology: not Just a Subject, but a Way of Living

What is Psychology?

Psychology is the science of behaviour. It’ has been a subject of mystery since many years. While it gained popularity in the eighteenth century, it has been discussed and spoken about for more than a thousand years. The earliest the study of human behaviour can be traced back to 1550 BC in ancient Egyptian texts that mentioned disorders of thought and depression. Socrates, Hippocrates, Plato and Aristotle, among others shed new light into the working of the mind, especially questioning the physiological basis of the mind. Works of Wilhelm Wundt, John B Watson, B F Skinner, Sigmund Freud, Carl Rogers, Alfred Adler, Aaron Beck, Viktor Frankl among many many others seated a road map for psychology, with each of them providing a fresh perspective to the field and provided it with new horizons. Psychology has many schools of thought along with a broad range of branches: Clinical, Criminal, Cognitive, Developmental, Evolutionary, Health, Neurological, Occupational, Social etc. The scope of study of psychology is vast and ever growing with increasing research and new discoveries and inventions of various aspects of behaviour: both normal and abnormal.

What is the benefit of studying Psychology for layman as well as a professional?

The reason why Psychology is a subject that is a beneficial one for each and every individual, whether laymen or professional is because of the definition of the subject. As mentioned above, it is the science of behaviour. Man is a social animal, and is thus a part of society. It is extremely difficult to survive in isolation. And hence, interaction with other humans is a necessity. Psychology helps to understand this interaction better. It helps to better understand why a person behaves in a certain way. It helps to understand others and our own selves better. It helps to develop insight. It acts as a guide to live better, happier, fulfilling lives. Mentioned below are a few reasons why knowledge of psychology is important to both laymen, as well as professionals:

1. Understanding others better: It helps to gain a deeper access to the human mind that gives new meaning to how people emote, why some situations effect some people more than others. One can get a richer comprehension of nonverbal communication, ability to understand your emotions and the emotions of those around you.The term emotional intelligence refers to your ability to understand both your own emotions as well as those of other people. The emotional intelligence quotient( EQ) is a measure of this ability. According to psychologist Daniel Goleman, EQ may in fact be more important for successful daily functioning than Intelligence Quotient( IQ). One is like to more carefully assess one’s own emotional reactions, and also try to see situations from the perspective of another person and helps develop an empathetic understanding of others. In the professional front, when one is better equipped at understanding others, it helps to develop the various skills of team work and organisation and relationship building.

2. Understanding your own self better: When one studies psychology, they not only understand the behaviour of others, but also their own. One can get an insight into why they behaved in a certain way, the rationale behind the behaviour, the motivating factors in life, and the details of their own personality traits and type. In the professional front, once an individual understands his or her own self better, it is easier to pin point the aptitude, what makes one happy, what are the expectations in life, what is the capacity to change to live more fulfilling lives

3. Improvement of cognitive skills:

 a. Behavioral training skills:Learning psychology also offers an advantage as a behavioural trainer, whether you want to train your dog, child, spouse or even yourself. With an understanding of theories of classical and operant conditioning, one learns interest ways and means to learn and unlearn behaviour

b. Memory : A further benefit of psychology, which may be handy when studying for an exam or work presentation, is knowing memorisation techniques. Psychology courses teach students the process of acquiring and using memory, as well as techniques to enhance memory abilities.

c. Critical thinking: Due to better insight into behaviour and understanding a situation or response of self or others, it helps individuals to see any problem or situation from a variety of perspectives and thus providing an out of the box thinking opportunity

d. Problem Solving abilities: No relationship, be it professional or personal, is totally free of conflict. Knowledge of psychology assists in identifying the reasons behind the behavior, the motivation for the conflict, thus enables to be better prepared in finding a resolution

4. Improve communication skills: It helps in acquiring skills in the management of emotions or by understanding body language much more together with all its nuances actually helps to develop a greater ability in interpersonal communication.

5. Improve leadership skills: Whether a layman, or a professional, leadership skills improve quality of life and helps to take your group forward; whether it be your family, or your coworkers, or your students of your friend groups, Once an individual begins to understand the concepts and frameworks of social psychology and group cohesiveness, it becomes easier to show skills of a leader. It helps to focus on stimulating ideas, reward creative ones, encourage communication from all members of the group.

6. Development of a new perspective towards mental disorders and differently abled individuals: Learning about the various classifications, causes, epidemiology, and symptom of the mental disorders helps individuals to understand them better and have more empathy for them. It creates a deeper sense of attachment rather than a being aloof and indifferent towards these individuals. On a professional front, greater empathy creates an active attempt to reduce stress creating environments and better understanding erratic and odd behaviours.

In conclusion,

Thus, Psychology is a subject that any individual, whether student, whether teacher, whether corporate employee, or even a home maker; should read and understand. The theoretical concepts and frameworks that one would understand would help to develop and create better, healthy and deeper relationships with family, co-workers, friends and any human at all. The crash course on psychology in kolkata, would provide a technique to live more fulfilling and enriching lives and find a deeper meaning to it.