The Psychology Portal

Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of conscious and unconscious phenomena, including feelings and thoughts. It is an academic discipline of immense scope, crossing the boundaries between the natural and social sciences. Psychologists seek an understanding of the emergent properties of brains, linking the discipline to neuroscience. As social scientists, psychologists aim to understand the behavior of individuals and groups. Ψ (or psi) is a Greek letter which is commonly associated with the science of psychology.

A professional practitioner or researcher involved in the discipline is called a psychologist. Some psychologists can also be classified as behavioral or cognitive scientists. Some psychologists attempt to understand the role of mental functions in individual and social behavior. Others explore the physiological and neurobiological processes that underlie cognitive functions and behaviors.


Psychologists are involved in research on perception, cognition, attention, emotion, intelligence, subjective experiences, motivation, brain functioning, and personality. Psychologists' interests extend to interpersonal relationships, psychological resilience, family resilience, and other areas within social psychology. They also consider the unconscious mind. Research psychologists employ empirical methods to infer causal and correlational relationships between psychosocial variables. Some, but not all, clinical and counseling psychologists rely on symbolic interpretation. (Full article...)

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Score distribution chart for sample of 905 children tested on 1916 Stanford–Binet Test
Score distribution chart for sample of 905 children tested on 1916 Stanford–Binet Test

IQ classification is the practice by IQ test publishers of labeling IQ score ranges with category names such as "superior" or "average".

The current scoring method for all IQ tests is the "deviation IQ". In this method, an IQ score of 100 means that the test-taker's performance on the test is at the median level of performance in the sample of test-takers of about the same age as was used to norm the test. An IQ score of 115 means performance one standard deviation above the median, a score of 85 performance, one standard deviation below the median, and so on. Deviation IQs are now used for standard scoring of all IQ tests in large part because they allow a consistent definition of IQ for both children and adults. By the current "deviation IQ" definition of IQ test standard scores, about two-thirds of all test-takers obtain scores from 85 to 115, and about 5 percent of the population scores above 125. (Full article...)
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  • "Knowing reality means constructing systems of transformations that correspond, more or less adequately, to reality." — Jean Piaget

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Nancy Bayley (28 September 1899 – 25 November 1994) was an American psychologist best known for her work on the Berkeley Growth Study and the subsequent Bayley Scales of Infant Development. Originally interested in teaching, she eventually gained interest in psychology, for which she went on to obtain her Ph.D. in from the University of Iowa in 1926. Within two years, Bayley had accepted a position at the Institute for Child Welfare (now called the Institute for Human Development) at the University of California, Berkeley. There she began the longitudinal Berkeley Growth Study, which worked to create a guide of physical and behavioral growth across development. Bayley also examined the development of cognitive and motor functions in children, leading to her belief that intelligence evolves over the course of child development. In 1954, Bayley began working on the National Collaborative Perinatal Project (NCPP) with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), where she applied her work to infants. After retiring in 1968, Bayley synthesized her work and published the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, which is still in use today. For her efforts in the field of psychology, Bayley became the first woman to receive the Distinguished Scientific Contribution award from the American Psychological Association (APA), of which she was a fellow, amongst other honorary awards. Bayley was also a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She died at the age of 95 from a respiratory illness. (Full article...)
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