Psychology is an academic and applied discipline that involves the study of human behaviours, thoughts, feelings and interactions with other people. The discipline consists of a large number of areas.
The foundation of psychological knowledge lies both in its theoretical points of departure and its empirical methods. Psychology is based on both quantitative and qualitative research approaches, but with a greater focus on quantitative data and the statistics needed to analyse such data.
Cognitive psychology deals with the processes of thought and knowledge, including memory as a central component. Examples of other areas included in cognitive psychology are neurocognition, knowledge representation, decision making, visualisation, language and problem solving.
The psychological changes in humans throughout the lifespan are studied in developmental psychology. Especially the development during early childhood has been thoroughly studied, and theories for cognitive, emotional, and social development have been formulated, but the effects of ageing are also addressed.
Personality psychology studies the development and composition of personality. Research in the area investigates the differences between people, for example with regard to intelligence, personality, interests and values, and attempts to explain these differences, as well as to chart the possibilities for change.
Biological psychology relates to the nervous system and the brain, its structure and evolutionary development, and how it develops from conception to death. The subject examines the functions of the brain relative to motor, perceptual, cognitive, linguistic, motivational, emotional processes and behaviour. From this perspective various psychological phenomena and psychological disorders are studied.
Perception deals with how humans perceive and interpret their sensory impressions and attempts, among other things, to acquire knowledge of the neurological basis of perceptual features and phenomena, such as how the visual system extracts meaningful information from patterns of movement.
Social psychology concentrates on description, explanation and prediction of social behaviour. Based primarily on the individual perspective, social psychology addresses group dynamics, attitudes, attitude change, and prejudices, as well as the attraction between people and sexual behaviour, prosocial behaviour and aggressiveness, leadership and more.