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Fig 1.16-Symbol of Psychology

Text: Page 36

The symbol of psychology and the American Psychological Association originated from the penultimate letter of the Greek alphabet and the first letter of the word psuche. This word meant soul to the Greeks, and later in modern psychology was changed to mind. The pitchfork has a rich symbolic history. In Greek mythology, it related to the trident of Poseidon, the god of the sea. The pitchfork in Christianity often symbolized the devil and dark evil forces. Historically, mental illness was often associated with devil possession, and some believed that psychology adopted the trident pitchfork as its symbol to show its irreverent defiance of the belief that mental illness was a result of dark demonic forces. It is a reminder of the powerful positive and negative shadow elements in all professions.

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