Definition of psychology in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behaviour in a given context.

    • ‘The field of psychology should be articulating a broad vision of human beings not a reductive fragmentary one.’
    • ‘He studied Jungian and transpersonal psychology and took a special interest in allergic diseases.’
    • ‘Priming paradigms are heavily used in many areas of cognitive psychology.’
    • ‘How can we benefit from an understanding of cognitive science and evolutionary psychology?’
    • ‘He'd learnt in psychology that parental behaviour had a strong impact on the subconscious.’
    • ‘Hedonic psychology is the study of pleasant and unpleasant experiences.’
    • ‘I would definitely recommend this book to students studying legal psychology as well as criminology.’
    • ‘I never did become a doctor, eventually studying physiology, psychology and philosophy at Oxford.’
    • ‘There is a subdiscipline of psychology devoted to the study of individual differences, too.’
    • ‘The next section of the book focuses on clinical applications of psychology in criminal matters.’
    • ‘She is senior editor of health psychology for the journal Social Science and Medicine.’
    • ‘Qualitative inquiry embeds psychology in rich contexts of history, society, and culture.’
    • ‘However he is more famous for his subsequent studies on reflexes and for laying the foundations of the field of behavioural psychology.’
    • ‘He was going to study psychology and then counseling at some Christian school in Virginia.’
    • ‘Perhaps the other area of psychological science most relevant to camps is behavioral psychology.’
    • ‘He was so impressed that he went on to study psychology, neuro-linguistic programming and hypnotism.’
    • ‘In seven schools, students were required to study only psychology and multiculturalism.’
    • ‘Memetics is a scientific theory unifying biology, psychology, and cognitive science.’
    • ‘Seligman's learned optimism is grounded primarily in the cognitive model of psychology.’
    • ‘These researchers draw their inspiration from the discipline of psychology and study behaviour in a quite detailed way.’
    study of the mind, science of the mind, science of the personality, study of the mental processes
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  • 2[in singular] The mental characteristics or attitude of a person or group:

    ‘the psychology of child-killers’
    • ‘As with her use of subtext, Griffith is quite modern in her use of setting to shed light on the psychology of her characters.’
    • ‘The toughest thing was finding a physicality, a psychology, a voice, for the character.’
    • ‘He has interesting insights on the psychology of people drawn to this kind of procedure.’
    • ‘Both of us are big sports fans and fascinated by the psychology of the people who rise to the top in sports management.’
    • ‘It comes back to the psychology of investors or people in general - everyone likes to back a winner and steer clear of a loser.’
    • ‘Cannington had stopped writing and was intrigued by the psychology and shift of temperament.’
    • ‘In human psychology, paranoid aggression is usually an indicator of nervous insecurity.’
    • ‘Plato and the Stoics see Medea in terms of very different accounts of human psychology and the emotions.’
    • ‘The hardest thing about playing Julie was dealing with the psychology of her fractured persona.’
    • ‘Carlyle warms to his next theme: exploring the psychology and inner world of his character.’
    • ‘While many movies attempt to imitate the personal psychologies of cops and criminals, Dark Blue hits closer to the mark than most.’
    • ‘Appealing to the differing psychologies, motivations, communications preferences and needs of individual daters is fundamental; bringing together like-minded individuals is the key to longevity.’
    • ‘This is an extraordinarily complex topic that has its roots in history, the global economy, the failure of diplomacy and the psychologies of the people involved.’
    • ‘Belarussian cinematography tends to focus on heroic and romantic genres, as well as the psychology of characters.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, an understanding of psychological types opens the way to a better understanding of human psychology in general.’
    • ‘That's the difference between having ideas about what people do and really knowing the psychology from the inside.’
    • ‘The election, he must remind voters, is really about something more than the personalities, and the psychologies, of the two major candidates.’
    • ‘There are long biographical interludes on the major figures, but no sustained attempt to convey the psychology of the individuals.’
    • ‘One of Alistair's main fascinations is human psychology and its role in sustaining an illusion.’
    • ‘Puthenveed has analysed the psychology of most the biblical characters.’
    mindset, mind, mental processes, thought processes, way of thinking, cast of mind, frame of mind, turn of mind, mentality, persona, psyche, make-up, character, disposition, temperament, temper, behaviour
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    1. 2.1 The mental factors governing a situation or activity:
      ‘the psychology of interpersonal relationships’
      • ‘He wittily captures the psychology of the situation without actually showing many of the faces.’
      • ‘Few people understand the psychology of dealing with a highway traffic cop.’
      • ‘It may help you to increase your sales by understanding the psychology of purchasing and your part in that process.’
      • ‘The fact that he is red-green color blind prompted an interest in optics and the psychology of vision.’
      • ‘If we understand the psychology of job loss, we usually have an easier time adjusting to it and moving on with our lives.’


Late 17th century: from modern Latin psychologia (see psycho-, -logy).