The purpose of MPA, the organized voice of psychology in Mississippi, is to advance psychology as a science and a profession by:
- Contributing to scientific knowledge in psychology;
- Disseminating this knowledge through education of the public as well as MPA’s membership; and
- Applying this knowledge through professional practice to promote health and human welfare.
What Is Psychology?
- Psychology is both an academic and applied discipline involving the science of mental processes and behavior. Academic psychologists study such phenomena as perception, cognition, emotion, personality, behavior, and interpersonal relationships.
- Psychology also, and more typically to the public, refers to the application of such knowledge to various types of human activity, including issues related to daily life, such as family, education, and work, and particularly the treatment of mental health problems.
- Most MPA members are applied psychologists. Applied psychology, including clinical psychology, industrial and organizational psychology, forensic psychology, health psychology, psychopharmacology, school psychology, community psychology and others, encompasses both research designed to help individuals overcome practical problems and the application of this research in applied settings.
- The field of psychology plays an integral role in public health, by providing treatment and education in the areas of substance abuse, addiction, and other health-related behaviors. Individuals suffering from addictions and other psychological disorders have a major impact on the community, and on the nation, causing financial loss, accidents, decreased business productivity, and other significant social and psychological effects.
- Therapeutic techniques for these individuals generally focus on development of coping skills, ego strength, improved self-esteem, and other behaviors and skills needed to lead a healthy life. In recent years, appropriately trained psychologists in some geographic areas have added the use of psychotropic medications to their clinical practice.