Meaning of Psychology

The word, “Psychology” is derived from two Greek words, “Psyche’ which means soul and ‘logos’ which means ‘talk about’ or ‘study’ of. So, the term means the ‘study of soul’. But, to define Psychology as the ‘science of soul’, is to defeat the very meaning of science’. The nature and origin of soul are not known and thus ‘soul’ cannot be put to any scientific study.

In the words of Garret: “Psychology is the study of human behaviour and its subject-matter is what people do and how and why they do.”

McDougall has also defined Psychology as “the positive science of conduct and behaviour.” It is the science which aims “to give us better understanding and control of the behaviour of the organism as a whole.”


1.Skinner’s View.

According to Skinner, “Educational Psychology deals with the behaviour of human beings in educational situations.”

2. Stephen’s View.

According to Stephen, “Educational Psychology is the systematic study of the educational growth and development of a child.”

3. Judd’s View.

Judd is of the view that Educational Psychology is that science which “explains the changes that take place in the individuals as they pass through the various stages of development.”

4. View of Walter B. Kolesnik.

According to Kolesnik, Educational Psychology is “the study of those facts and principles of psychology which help to explain and improve the process of education.

5. View of Peel.

According to Peel, Educational Psychology broadly deals with the nature of learning, the growth of human personality, the difference between individuals and the study of the person in relation to society. It is the science of education.

6. View of Crow and Crow.

Educational Psychology describes and explains the learning experiences of an individual from birth through old age.

7. Trow’s View.

Educational Psychology is the study of the psychological aspects of educational situations.

8. Anderson’s View.

G. Lester Anderson has viewed Educational Psychology as an academic discipline. Accordingly, educational psychology

  • is focussed on human behaviour;
  • is a body of facts and information, gathered after observation, which can be generalised into principles or theories;
  • has a scientifically developed methodology to investigate and arrive at useful solutions of the problems in hand.

The information, knowledge and principal methodologies constitute the content of Educational Psychology. They, in turn, provide a basis for modern educational theory and practice.

Thus, Educational Psychology is the body of scientific knowledge about two activities-education and psychology. Its subject matter is concerned with the conditions that affect learning.

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