I want to know why we cannot use the former. I have been told that only the latter is correct but I want a more definite explanation of this. Why is it that we can say "the human mind", "the human body" but not "the human psychology"?

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    Whoever told you that is wrong. Oct 13, 2016 at 16:28
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    (Non-medical disclaimer...) If you say "human mind", I think most people will visualize a brain, which is definitely countable. But "human psychology" is more of a general term describing all those wonderful processes going on in there.
    – user3169
    Oct 13, 2016 at 19:40

1 Answer 1


You can, as long as you're talking about a specific human psychology, for example

"The human psychology behind Facebook Success is not easy to explain"

but bear in mind 'psychology' is an uncountable noun and 'the' is a definite article, therefore they cannot be used together when you're referring to psychology in a general aspect.

You could argue you're talking about human psychology in particular as opposed to psychology in general, but by definition, there is no psychology other than human psychology; thus, by saying human psychology you're effectively talking about psychology in a general way.

This is easier to see if we take other uncountable nouns, for example: you can say, "the tea in my cup is cold", but you can't say "I like the tea"; the correct way to say that, as you're talking about tea in general, is "I like tea". Same goes for other uncountable nouns like water, sand, soil, sugar, etc.

An interesting discussion about this took place yesterday here and further explanation on this subject may be found here.

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  • @AlanCarmack your comment strikes me as condescending... grammatically, there is no psychology but human psychology until the definition in the dictionary changes. Google is not a recognized authority on the English language.
    – matias
    Oct 14, 2016 at 16:22

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