Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand behavior and mental processes by researching and establishing both general principles and specific cases. For many practitioners, one goal of applied psychology is to benefit society. In this field, a professional practitioner or researcher is called a psychologist, and can be classified as a social scientist, behavioral scientist, or cognitive scientist. Psychologists attempt to understand the role of mental functions in individual and social behavior, while also exploring the physiological and neurobiological processes that underlie certain functions and behaviors. Psychologists explore such concepts as perception, cognition, attention, emotion, phenomenology, motivation, brain functioning, personality, behavior, and interpersonal relationships.
Some, especially depth psychologists, also consider the unconscious mind. Psychologists employ empirical methods to infer causal and correlational relationships between psychosocial variables. In addition, or in opposition, to employing empirical and deductive methods, some—especially clinical and counseling psychologists—at times rely upon symbolic interpretation and other inductive techniques. Psychology incorporates research from the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities, such as philosophy.