Definition: The somatic nervous system is composed of the nerves that connect the sensory organs, the skeletal muscles, and the skin. It plays an important role in the peripheral nervous system by carrying sensory and motor information to and from the central nervous system. Sensory information gathered from touch, hearing, and sight are processed by this system and all voluntary movements of the body are controlled by the somatic system.
Learn more about how this important part of the nervous system works in this overview of the somatic nervous system.
More Psychology Definitions: The Psychology Dictionary
If you like solving real-world problems and finding practical applications for psychological knowledge, then you might be interested in the field known as engineering psychology. This growing area of psychology focuses on enhancing human abilities by improving things such as workplace environments, technology, and equipment.
Engineering psychologists often work for private companies, but they can also be employed by universities or government agencies. Some even work as freelance consultants.
So what exactly does an engineering psychologist do? The answer often depends on exactly the specialty area in which the individual is employed. For example, an engineering psychologist who specializes in product design might work to create safer, easier-to-use products. Other specialty areas include aerospace, human-computer interaction, and workplace safety.
Learn more about the job duties, educational requirements, and average salaries in this overview of a career as an engineering psychologist.
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Did You Know: On this day in 1895, Anna Freud was born. She was the youngest daughter of famed psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and she went on to become a prominent child psychoanalyst. Her many contributions to psychology included expanding the concept of the ego's defense mechanisms and founding the Hampstead Child Therapy Center in England.
Learn more about her life and work in this brief Anna Freud biography.
In psychology, the term obedience refers to performing an action under the orders of another person. While it is related to concepts such as compliance and conformity, obedience differs in a number of important ways. One notable difference is that conformity involves altering behavior in order to fit in or go along with the rest of the group, while obedience involves doing something because someone else told you to.
Learn more about this topic in this overview of obedience.