Psychology can be understood by breaking down its two main categories: cognitive processes, which are those involved in thinking, learning, and remembering; and social processes, which involve how we relate to others and the outside environment.
Cognitive psychologists study mental processes such as attention and memory, whereas social psychologists focus on how individuals interact with one another. The majority of psychologists are involved in both cognitive and social processes, because cognitive processes shape our view of the world and determine how we interact with each other.
Psychologists have many tools at their disposal to help us understand the world and the people in it. If you've ever had a conversation about how your day went and realised that you were both thinking about the same thing, then you've experienced one of these real-time observation tools: memory.
Psychologists also use another tool called an experimental paradigm when they want to get useful information out of a situation. An experimental paradigm is like a recipe that tells you exactly what steps you need to take to get useful information on something you're interested in learning more about. The steps could be different depending on what kind of research you're doing, but they serve as guidelines for collecting information and testing hypotheses.
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