Psychology Illustration

What is Psychology?

When most people think about Psychology, they tend to imagine someone lying on a couch, talking with a professional counselor. Psychotherapy, a.k.a. counseling, is an important part of what some psychologists do. However, they represent just a small part of what Psychological Sciences are all about.  

If you’ve ever wondered, “Why do people do the things they do, you’ve started delving into the field of Psychology. Psychological Science is the scientific study of the mind and behavior. Psychological researchers use rigorous research methods to carefully test and document factors that influence behavior. It’s considered a “hub science” because of its strong connections to diverse fields, including medical sciences (e.g., biology and neuroscience), public health (e.g., epidemiology), social sciences (e.g., economics and political science), and education.  

Faculty in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Mizzou are actively engaged in teaching and research aimed at addressing questions about a wide range of behaviors and mental processes, such as: 

  • How does memory work? 

  • Why do some people become addicted to drugs and alcohol? 

  • How do adolescents’ relationships affect their mental health? 

  • What is the genetic basis of psychopathology?  

  • What makes life meaningful? 

  • How do people make decisions? 

  • What are the most appropriate ways to analyze research data? 

Based upon their research interests, Mizzou Psychological Sciences faculty are affiliated with one (or more) of the following research areas, or training programs. Each one focuses on different psychological research questions: