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[sahy-kol-uh-jee] /saɪˈkɒl ə dʒi/
noun, plural psychologies.
the science of the mind or of mental states and processes.
the science of human and animal behavior.
the sum or characteristics of the mental states and processes of a person or class of persons, or of the mental states and processes involved in a field of activity:
the psychology of a soldier; the psychology of politics.
mental ploys or strategy:
He used psychology on his parents to get a larger allowance.
Origin of psychology
1675-85; < New Latin psȳchologia. See psycho-, -logy
Related forms
prepsychology, noun
Can be confused Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for psychology
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The method of psychology is the same as that of all other sciences; namely, the method of observation and experiment.

    The Science of Human Nature William Henry Pyle
  • Such an assumption is based on false conception of the psychology of suggestion.

    The Sexual Question August Forel
  • psychology is therefore of equal importance with anatomy and acoustics as an element of Vocal Science.

    The Psychology of Singing David C. Taylor
  • But psychology has also some other supports, specious rather than real.

    Theaetetus Plato
  • One unobjectionable sort of psychology is biological, and studies life from the outside.

British Dictionary definitions for psychology


noun (pl) -gies
the scientific study of all forms of human and animal behaviour, sometimes concerned with the methods through which behaviour can be modified See also analytical psychology, clinical psychology, comparative psychology, educational psychology, experimental psychology
(informal) the mental make-up or structure of an individual that causes him or her to think or act in the way he or she does
Derived Forms
psychologist, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for psychology

1650s, "study of the soul," from Modern Latin psychologia, probably coined mid-16c. in Germany by Melanchthon from Latinized form of Greek psykhe- "breath, spirit, soul" (see psyche) + logia "study of" (see -logy). Meaning "study of the mind" first recorded 1748, from Christian Wolff's "Psychologia empirica" (1732); main modern behavioral sense is from early 1890s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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psychology in Medicine

psychology psy·chol·o·gy (sī-kŏl'ə-jē)

  1. The science that deals with mental processes and behavior.

  2. The emotional and behavioral characteristics of an individual, a group, or an activity.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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psychology in Science
  1. The scientific study of mental processes and behavior.

  2. The behavioral and cognitive characteristics of a specific individual, group, activity, or circumstance. ◇ Clinical psychology ◇ is the application of psychological knowledge to the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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psychology in Culture

psychology definition

The science dealing with mental phenomena and processes. Psychologists study emotions, perception, intelligence, consciousness, and the relationship between these phenomena and processes and the work of the glands and muscles. Psychologists are also interested in diseased or disordered mental states, and some psychologists provide therapy for individuals. In the United States, however, psychologists, unlike psychiatrists, are not medical doctors. (See psychiatry.)

Note: The two main divisions of psychology are individual or personality psychology and social psychology; social psychology deals with the mental processes of groups.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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