Psychology has become a very important and popular subject today. It deals with many problems of everyday life. Psychology helps us to understand the behaviour of people around us, to find out why they behave differently and what forces are responsible to make them so different from others.
It tries to explain wide array of factors involved in what we human beings do. The principles explained by psychology give us a rational basis of understanding of what we and others do. Psychology has been defined in many ways. In ancient days people were analysing the behavioural aspects on the basis of philosophy. They believed that there is a soul in every individual and this is responsible for all our activities.
This view led to the opinion that the subject matter of psychology must be the study of soul. But this definition could not answer the questions regarding the existence of soul and its accessibility for study. This condition led to a new definition by Greek philosophers who defined psychology as a ‘science of mind’. But this definition was also rejected on the same grounds as soul was rejected.
Later, Wilhelm Wundt a psychologist who established the first psychological laboratory at the University of Leipzig in Germany defined psychology as the study of consciousness. EB Titchener the disciple of Wundt, proposed the method of Introspection to study consciousness. But because of its subjectivity and unscientific method of study, this definition was also rejected.
Gradually, as a result of the development of scientific outlook people started thinking on scientific basis and began to define psychology as a science of behaviour. Finally, it is JB Watson (1913) defined psychology as a science of behaviour of human as well as animal beings.
Today this is the most accepted definition. In this definition the term behaviour includes the cognitive activities like thinking, reasoning, intelligence, imagining, memory, etc., co-native activities like walking,...