Introduction to psychology

Psychology is the scientific study of human mind and behaviour: how we think, feel, act and interact individually and in groups.

Psychology is concerned with all aspects of behaviour and with the thoughts, feelings and motivations underlying that behaviour. It is both a thriving academic discipline and a vital professional practice.

We are all interested in what makes people tick and how this understanding can help solve major problems in society.

Psychology is a science and psychologists study human behaviour by observing, measuring and testing, then arriving at conclusions that are rooted in sound scientific methodology.

Applied or practising psychologists use the knowledge gained from this research in a wide range of settings. Applied psychologists help people with all sorts of problems, working with them to bring about change for the better.

Types of psychologist

The title of Chartered Psychologist is the benchmark of professional recognition, reflects the highest standard of psychological knowledge and expertise, and allows a psychologist to use the abbreviation CPsychol after their name.

The British Psychological Society recognises several areas of psychology in which it is possible to become a Chartered Psychologist:

If you are thinking of consulting a psychologist and want to make sure they are Chartered, you can consult our Directory of Chartered Psychologists.

Anyone interested in a career in psychology should visit the careers area of the website for further information.

Regulation of psychologists

Statutory regulation for psychologists was introduced on 1 July 2009 and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) register of practitioner psychologists opened.

More information on the regulation of psychology can be found here.