is an academic and applied discipline
that involves the scientific study
of mental functions
. Psychology has the immediate goal of understanding individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases, and by many accounts it ultimately aims to benefit society. In this field, a professional practitioner
or researcher is called a psychologist
and can be classified as a social
, or cognitive scientist
. Psychologists attempt to understand the role of mental functions in individual and social behavior
, while also exploring the physiological
processes that underlie cognitive functions and behaviors.
Psychologists explore concepts such as perception, cognition, attention, emotion, phenomenology, motivation, brain functioning, personality, behavior, and interpersonal relationships, including psychological resilience, family resilience, and other areas. Psychologists of diverse orientations also consider the unconscious mind. Psychologists employ empirical methods to infer causal and correlational relationships between psychosocial variables. In addition, or in opposition, to employing empirical and deductive methods, some--especially clinical and counseling psychologists--at times rely upon symbolic interpretation and other inductive techniques. Psychology has been described as a "hub science", with psychological findings linking to research and perspectives from the social sciences, natural sciences, medicine, and the humanities, such as philosophy. (Full article...)
(SH) or deliberate self-harm
(DSH) includes self-injury
(SI) and self-poisoning
and is defined as the intentional, direct injuring of body tissue most often done without suicidal
intentions. These terms are used in the more recent literature in an attempt to reach a more neutral terminology. The older literature, especially that which predates the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
(DSM-IV-TR), almost exclusively refers to self-mutilation
. The term self-harm
is synonymous with the term self-injury.
The most common form of self-harm is skin-cutting but self-harm also covers a wide range of behaviors including, but not limited to, burning, scratching, banging or hitting body parts, interfering with wound healing (dermatillomania), hair-pulling (trichotillomania) and the ingestion of toxic substances or objects. Behaviours associated with substance abuse and eating disorders are usually not considered self-harm because the resulting tissue damage is ordinarily an unintentional side effect. However, the boundaries are not always clearly defined and in some cases behaviours that usually fall outside the boundaries of self-harm may indeed represent self-harm if performed with explicit intent to cause tissue damage. Although suicide is not the intention of self-harm, the relationship between self-harm and suicide is complex, as self-harming behaviour may be potentially life-threatening. There is also an increased risk of suicide in individuals who self-harm to the extent that self-harm is found in 40-60% of suicides. However, generalising self-harmers to be suicidal is, in the majority of cases, inaccurate. (Full article...)
- "Not a single one of the cells that compose you knows who you are, or even cares." -- Daniel Dennett
Did you know...
- ...that the effects of head trauma on memory can be seen by the post-operative results of HM, a patient who has been unable to form any new long-term memories since a surgical procedure performed in the 1950s?