Concept of Psychology, Child Psychology, And Educational Psychology

Concept Of Psychology, Child Psychology, And Educational Psychology

Educational psychology is crucial for teachers to enhance their teaching effectiveness.

It covers a broad range of topics, from childhood to adulthood, to help learners lead meaningful lives.

Educational psychology has its own theories, research methods, and techniques.

It aids in understanding teaching and learning processes and finding ways to enhance them.

Meaning And Nature Of Psychology During The Ages  

The status of Psychology as we see it today is not the outcome of any sudden development. It has passed through various stages of evolution to attain its present status i.e., the science of behavior. 

Concept And Status Of Psychology In Ancient Times

  • Psychology is a crucial field of knowledge today.
  • In ancient times, it wasn’t a separate subject but was part of philosophy.
  • Greek and Indian philosophers like Democritus, Plato, Kapil, and Patanjali explored the nature of the soul.
  • They believed in the separation of the soul from the body.
  • The term “psychology” was first coined by Rudolph Goeckel in the sixteenth century.
  • Etymologically, psychology comes from the Greek words “Psyche” (soul) and “Logos” (systematic discussion).
  • It essentially means the study of the soul.
  • Some, like McDougall, consider the soul as a vital principle animating the human body.

Concept Of Psychology During Medieval And Pre-Modern Times

  • Initially, psychology was about studying the soul, but this was seen as speculative.
  • Instead, psychologists started focusing on the study of the mind.
  • The mind includes various mental processes and faculties.
  • It deals with internal personal experiences like feelings, desires, and more.
  • Psychologists like James described the mind as the stream of consciousness.
  • Psychology became known as the science of consciousness.
  • Freud and Jung believed that consciousness is just a small part of the mind.
  • They compared it to the tip of an iceberg visible above water, with most of the mind hidden below.
  • They developed psycho-analysis to study the subconscious and unconscious parts of the mind.

Modern Concept Of Psychology 

  • In the 20th century, behaviorism became a dominant force in psychology.
  • Psychologists realized that studying objective human and animal behavior could make psychology a science.
  • Modern psychology is all about studying behavior, including thoughts, feelings, and actions.
  • It covers cognitive (thinking), affective (feeling), and connative (action) aspects of behavior.
  • Psychology doesn’t prescribe how people should behave but describes how they actually behave.
  • It observes the behavior of adults, children, those with abnormalities, and geniuses.
  • People are different in many ways, from likes and dislikes to talents and values.
  • Psychology helps us understand these differences and why people behave differently in various situations.
  • It explores human nature and how it manifests in different individuals

Definitions Of Psychology

  • Woodworth: Psychology deals with an individual’s activities in their environment.
  • Crow and Crow: Psychology studies human behavior and relationships.
  • N.L. Munn: Psychology scientifically investigates behavior.
  • Skinner: Psychology is the science of behavior and experience.
  • Watson: Psychology is the positive science of behavior.
  • Murphy: Psychology deals with the interaction between an organism and its environment.
  • Locke: Psychology studies the inner nature of an organism based on its outward behavior.
  • S.K. Chatterjee: Psychology is the positive science of an individual’s experience and purposeful behavior.
  • Psychology is a crucial part of human knowledge.
  • It focuses on studying how individuals, especially humans, adapt to their social and physical environment.
  • This study primarily uses empirical and objective methods, earning its status as a distinct science

Important Questions

Q1. Describe The Concept Of Psychology During Ancient Times.

In ancient times, psychology was not a separate discipline but was studied as part of philosophy in both India and Greece. Thinkers like Democritus, Plato, Aristotle, Kapil, Patanjali, and Vyas explored the nature of the soul, often separate from the physical body. However, this focus on the soul was considered metaphysical and speculative.

Q2. Distinguish Between Views Of James And Freud Regarding The Meaning Of Psychology.

James believed that psychology was the study of the mind and considered it the science of consciousness, emphasizing the stream of consciousness. In contrast, Freud and Jung argued that consciousness was just a small part of the human mind, like the visible tip of an iceberg. They introduced psychoanalysis to explore the unconscious mind, which remained hidden, much like the submerged part of an iceberg.

Q3. Discuss The Modern Concept Of Psychology.

In the 20th century, behaviorism became dominant in psychology, emphasizing the objective study of human and animal behavior. Psychology shifted its focus to the scientific study of all organism activities in relation to their environment. It covers cognitive, affective, and conative aspects and examines thoughts, feelings, and actions. Modern psychology describes human behavior as observed in various individuals, acknowledging differences in likes, dislikes, temperaments, needs, skills, and more. It aims to understand why people behave differently and what influences contribute to these differences.

Q4. Reproduce The Definition Of Psychology Given By Woodworth.

According to Woodworth, “Psychology deals with the activities of the individual in relation to his environment.”

Q5. Fill In The Blanks:

  • The faculty theory of mind was propounded by Aristotle.
  • The term psychology was coined by Rudolph Goeckel.
  • Behaviourism catapulted psychology to the status of science.
  • In modern times psychology is a science of behaviour.

Concept Of Educational Psychology

  • Psychology has many branches.
  • Educational psychology is an essential and popular branch.
  • It combines psychology and education.
  • Education helps develop a child’s abilities.
  • Psychology helps understand a child’s potential, desires, and more.
  • Educational psychology applies psychology in education.
  • It studies learner behavior and the learning process.
  • It addresses educational needs and teaching methods.
  • It guides socialization and behavior modification.
  • Helps with teaching strategies.
  • Supports effective teaching.

A Brief History Of Educational Psychology

  • Educational psychology is as old as humanity.
  • Started with parents guiding their children.
  • In the West, Plato and Aristotle contributed.
    • Aristotle identified the faculties of the mind.
  • Descartes, Rousseau, and Locke made further contributions.
  • Pestalozzi emphasized teacher training.
  • Galton, Wundt, James, Freud, and others contributed.
  • Intelligence tests and I.Q. introduced a new era.
  • Educators like Froebel, Montessori, Dewey, Gandhi, and Tagore emphasized individuality.
  • Educational psychology is vital in teacher education.
  • It’s an applied behavioral science.
  • Focuses on learner behavior.
  • Analyzes cause and effect scientifically.

Definitions Of Educational Psychology

  • Various educationists and experts have defined educational psychology:
    • Kolesnik: Application of psychology findings in education.
    • Stephen: Systematic study of educational growth and development.
    • Crow and Crow: Describing and explaining an individual’s learning experiences from birth to death.
    • Skinner: Deals with teaching and learning.
    • Peel: Science of education helping teachers understand pupil development, learning processes, and social relationships.
    • S.S. Chauhan: Systematic study of individual development in educational settings.
    • Judd: Science describing changes in individuals from birth to maturity.
    • S.K. Chatterjee: Deals with behavior and experiences related to child education.
    • Encyclopaedia of Educational Research: Study of the learner and the teaching-learning process for societal integration and satisfaction.
  • Educational psychology focuses on the ‘what,’ ‘how,’ and ‘when’ of education.
  • It’s a positive science of human behavior.
  • Concerned with conditions aiding learners’ development.
  • Emphasizes understanding the child in educational contexts and discovering effective teaching methods for holistic development

Q. Tick the right choice :

(a) The process of education helps in (getting a degree/defeating enemies/manifestations of inborn talents/climbing mountains)

(b) Educational Psychology is applied in (business/improving handwriting/learning cycling/ educational situations)

(c) It was (Descartes/Freud/Shakespeare/Pestalozzi) who applied knowledge of psychology in the training of teachers.

(d) The major focus of educational psychology is on (Physical development/agricultural

training/cultivating sportsman spirit/ all-round development of the child)

(e) Teacher must know both John and Latin was stated by (Rousseau/John Adams/ Pestalozzi/Watson)

(f) When psychological principles are applied to the teaching-learning process, this is called……….(industrial psychology/clinical psychology/educational psychology)

(g) Nature of Educational Psychology is (normative/unorganized/positive and scientific)

Answers – (a) Manifestation of inborn talents (b) Educational situations (c) Pestalozzi (d) All round development of the child (e) John Adams (f) Educational Psychology (g) Positive and Scientific

Concept Of Child Psychology

  • Child psychology focuses on studying behavior during childhood, from birth to early adolescence.
  • It examines both fundamental and practical aspects of psychological findings related to children.
  • Key areas of study include the child’s growth and development during infancy, early childhood, and late childhood.
  • Child psychology explores the development of emotions, perception, intelligence, sentiments, imagination, desires, aptitudes, and attitudes in children.
  • It analyzes how children learn to speak and achieve social development.
  • Child psychology aims to understand the multi-dimensional personality of children during their first 13 or 14 years of life.
  • It emphasizes the importance of teachers being acquainted with child psychology to meet a child’s educational needs, mental level, interests, abilities, and personality.
  • Child psychology provides insights into the learning process, teaching methods, and conditions that affect a child’s learning.
  • Educational approaches like Kindergarten and Montessori are based on child psychology principles.
  • Child psychology advocates democratic and internal discipline rather than harsh punishment.
  • It highlights the significance of co-curricular activities in a child’s development.
  • According to Crow and Cros, child psychology studies growth stages, the influence of the environment, and psychological and social interactions within society, benefiting teachers in making the teaching-learning process effective

Definitions Of Child Psychology

According to Crow and Crow, “ Child Psychology is the scientific study of the inidvudual from the prenatal beginnings through the early stages of his adolescent development”. 

According to Watson, “Child Psychology came into being from the scientific study of the child”. 


  • Child psychology is a scientific field that studies a child’s behavior within their environment, considering the child as a unique individual.
  • Educational psychology is also a positive science, focusing on the scientific examination of a learner’s behavior.
  • Educational psychology provides insights into enhancing the effectiveness of learning, securing students’ attention, maintaining discipline, and improving teaching methods.

Important Questions

Q. Critically Examine The Meaning And Definitions Of Psychology. Discuss The History Of The Development Of Psychology.

The meaning and definitions of psychology have evolved significantly throughout history. Initially, psychology was rooted in philosophical inquiries into the nature of the soul and mind. In ancient times, philosophers like Democritus, Plato, Aristotle, Kapil, Patanjali, and Vyas explored concepts related to the soul and consciousness. The term “psychology” itself emerged in the 16th century, with its etymology signifying the study of the soul.

During medieval and pre-modern times, psychology shifted from soul-focused speculations to the study of the mind. Psychologists considered the mind as a combination of mental processes and faculties, leading to the concept of psychology as the science of consciousness.

In modern times, behaviorism emerged as a dominant paradigm, focusing on the objective study of behavior. This shift transformed psychology into a scientific discipline, emphasizing empirical observations and measurable behavior. Today, psychology is widely accepted as the scientific study of behavior and mental processes.

Q. State How The Discipline Of Psychology Came To Acquire Its Present Concept Since Ancient Times.

The discipline of psychology has evolved significantly from its origins in ancient times. Here’s how psychology acquired its present concept:

  • Ancient Roots: Psychology’s beginnings were intertwined with philosophy, particularly in India and Greece. Ancient philosophers explored the nature of the soul and consciousness, laying the groundwork for future psychological inquiries.
  • Emergence of the Term: The term “psychology” was coined in the 16th century by Rudolph Goeckel. It originated from the Greek words “Psyche” (soul) and “Logos” (systematic discussion), signifying the study of the soul.
  • Shift to the Study of Mind: During medieval and pre-modern times, psychologists moved away from soul-centered theories to focus on the mind. They viewed the mind as a collection of mental processes and faculties, leading to the science of consciousness.
  • Behaviorism and Scientific Approach: In the 20th century, behaviorism emerged as a dominant paradigm. This shift emphasized objective and empirical study of behavior, marking psychology as a scientific discipline.
  • Contemporary Psychology: Today, psychology is widely recognized as the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. It encompasses various subfields, research methods, and approaches, contributing to its multifaceted nature.

Q. “Psychology Is The Science Of Behaviour”. Discuss And Substantiate Your Answer With Concrete Examples.

Psychology is often defined as the science of behavior, emphasizing the systematic study of human and animal behavior. This definition is substantiated by numerous examples:

  • Behavioral Experiments: Psychologists conduct controlled experiments to observe and analyze behavior. For instance, in a classic experiment by Ivan Pavlov, he studied the behavior of dogs in response to conditioned stimuli, demonstrating the principles of classical conditioning.
  • Clinical Psychology: Clinical psychologists work with individuals to assess and modify behavior. They use therapeutic techniques to treat various behavioral disorders such as phobias, anxiety, and depression.
  • Operant Conditioning: B.F. Skinner’s work on operant conditioning provides a clear example of behaviorism in psychology. He demonstrated how behavior can be modified through reinforcement and punishment, leading to changes in behavior.
  • Observational Studies: Psychologists often use observational studies to examine behavior in natural settings. For instance, child psychologists may observe and analyze children’s behavior in school or at home to understand developmental milestones.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is a widely used therapeutic approach that focuses on modifying maladaptive behaviors and thought patterns. It demonstrates how behavior can be influenced by cognitive processes.
  • Social Psychology: Social psychologists study behavior in social contexts, exploring topics like conformity, obedience, and prejudice. The famous Stanford prison experiment conducted by Philip Zimbardo is an example of how social situations can influence behavior.
  • Neuroscience: Advances in neuroscience have allowed psychologists to link behavior to brain activity. For instance, neuroimaging studies reveal brain regions associated with behaviors like decision-making or emotional processing.

These examples illustrate how psychology systematically investigates and understands behavior, supporting the assertion that psychology is indeed the science of behavior.

Q. Explain The Following Branches Of Psychology: (a) Educational Psychology (b) Child Psychology

(a) Educational Psychology:

  • Definition: Educational psychology is a branch of psychology that applies psychological principles and theories to educational settings. It focuses on understanding the behavior of learners, the learning process, and the effective methods of teaching.
  • Scope: Educational psychology encompasses various aspects of education, including curriculum development, instructional strategies, assessment, and classroom management. It addresses questions about when to teach, how to teach, and how to create an optimal learning environment.
  • Examples: Educational psychologists study topics such as student motivation, learning disabilities, educational technology, and the impact of teacher-student relationships on academic achievement. They provide insights to educators on how to adapt teaching methods to cater to individual differences among students.

(b) Child Psychology:

  • Definition: Child psychology is a subfield of psychology that focuses specifically on the study of children and their development. It examines various aspects of a child’s behavior, emotions, cognition, and social interactions from infancy through adolescence.
  • Scope: Child psychology delves into the stages of growth and maturation during childhood, exploring how children acquire language, develop social skills, and form attachments. It also examines the impact of environmental influences on a child’s development.
  • Examples: Child psychologists might study topics like the cognitive development of infants, the effects of divorce on children’s emotional well-being, or the role of play in a child’s social development. Their research informs parents, educators, and clinicians on how to support healthy child development.

Q. What Is Educational Psychology? Discuss Any Of Its Two Definitions.

Educational psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on applying psychological principles and theories to the field of education. It plays a crucial role in improving the teaching and learning process. Here are two definitions of educational psychology:

  • According to Kolesnik, “Educational Psychology is the application of findings and theories of psychology in the field of education.” This definition emphasizes the practical application of psychological research and theories to enhance educational practices. Educational psychologists use their knowledge to develop effective teaching methods, assess student learning, and address various educational challenges.
  • According to Stephen, “Educational Psychology is a systematic study of educational growth and development.” This definition highlights the systematic nature of educational psychology as a scientific discipline. It involves the structured study of how individuals grow and develop within educational contexts. Educational psychologists examine factors that influence learning and development, helping educators better understand students’ needs and capabilities.

Educational psychology, as indicated by these definitions, aims to bridge the gap between psychology and education, offering insights into how to optimize the educational experience for learners of all ages. It addresses questions related to teaching strategies, learner motivation, curriculum design, and the creation of supportive learning environments.

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