Psychology as a science explores the behavior and mental processes that occur in the mind of a person.
The subject of psychology as a science at different stages of its development was determined in different ways. Until the 18th century, in traditional representations, the soul of man was considered its subject . In English empirical associationist psychology (J. St. Mill, D. Gartley, G. Spencer, A. Ben) it was a question of the phenomena of consciousness. In structuralism (W. Wundt), the subject was seen in the experience of the subject. Functionalism (F. Brentano) considered intentional acts of consciousness.
The subject of psychology as a science, beginning with IM Sechenov (psychophysiology), is understood as the origin of the types of mental activity. In behaviorism (J. Watson) the main thing was behavior. Psychoanalysis, headed by Z. Freud, turned to the unconscious.
The subject of psychology as a science in gestalt psychology (Max Wertheimer) is defined as the processes of processing and processing information, as well as the results of these processes. In humanistic psychology (A. Maslow, V. Frankl, K. Rogers, Rollo May), scientists pay the greatest attention to the study of personal experience of man.
In the domestic science at the beginning of the formation of Soviet psychology as such, the question of how to determine the subject of psychology as a science was not seriously raised. Only by the thirties the subject began to be explained as "sensations, ideas, feelings, thoughts of a person".
Halperin defined the subject of psychology as an orienting activity (in this concept included the cognitive forms of the activity of the human psyche, and feelings, needs, will).
Thus, as a result of the development of science, the subject of psychology has been called mental processes, and the associated states and properties of people, as well as the patterns of their behavior. An important role in this is given to the study of creations of consciousness, its development, functioning and connection with the general behavior and practical activities of people.
The structure of psychology as a science at the present stage of its development is rather complicated. There are several generally recognized structures developed by well-known psychologists.
Ananiev structures psychology in sections that study individual aspects of consciousness and human activity. He singles out a section that studies the ontogeny of man as an individual (general, differential, age, ontopsychophysiology, psychophysiology); Section that studies the personality throughout its life path (general, differential, comparative, psycholinguistics, psychological doctrine of motivation, psychology of relationships); Section that studies a person as a subject of activity (psychology of cognition, work, creativity, general and genetic psychology).
Ganzen singles out such branches of science as general psychology, psychophysiology, psychophysics, animal psychology, group subjects, development (phylogenesis, ontogeny, anthropogenesis, comparative), activity (behavior, work, cognition, communication), social psychology (historical, interpersonal relations, personality , Mass communications), typological differences, differences (anomalous differences), ethnic differences, individual differences).
Platonov structures science as follows: general, developmental psychology, pedagogical, medical, labor, sport psychology , space, aviation, military, legal, public.
The main object of psychology as a science is a person or group of people (also animals) as carriers of the psyche. They are studied and explored using scientific methods to determine practical recommendations, as well as the creation of new theories of science.
Psychology seeks to answer the question: why does a person behave this way, and not differently in a particular situation. In connection with this, such a mechanism as the psyche, which directs all motives and behavioral actions of a person, is investigated.