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Educational Psychology

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Introduction to educational psychology

Psychology has been defined as the scientific study of animal and human behaviour and covers all kinds of pursuits from making dogs salivate at the sound of a bell to a study of the growth of then intelligent behaviour in humans. The term behaviour on the one hand includes all those aspects of human activity which we can observe. It also involves personal experience which can only be studied by asking individuals to express their feelings and thoughts.

The study of animal and human behaviour can take different forms. As such, a set of broad disciplines emerged within the science of psychology which focused on particular areas of interest. Physiological psychology, for instance, studies the animals and humans body structures and their influence on behaviour. That is to say, it is concerned with the biological basis of behaviour. On the other hand, social psychology, which involves the study of social institutions and their impact on the behaviour of individuals, concentrates on the external factors which influence man. It studies how people's thoughts, feelings and actions are affected by other people. Another broad filed of psychological interest, developmental psychology, deals with the physical, emotional, and intellectual characteristics and development of youngsters from the prenatal stage onwards. In other words, it considers how people grow and change throughout their life span.

Out of these interconnected areas, a number of applied fields developed which draw on the findings of physiological, social and developmental psychology such as clinical psychology (which is concerned with the diagnosis, study and treatment of abnormal behaviour and which provides useful criteria for defining the attributes of normal mental life), occupational psychology ( or the study of such problems as vocational development and job satisfaction), industrial psychology (the study of machine simulation of human functions such as appear in 'George' the automatic pilot in aircraft) and educational psychology.

Definition of educational psychology

Educational psychology has been defined in many different ways. An academic definition would put forward that educational psychology is the study of learners, learning and teaching. For students who are or expect to be teachers, however, it is more than this. It is the accumulated



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