ISSUES AND PERSPECTIVES ON PSYCHOLOGY MONICA REED THE

ISSUES AND PERSPECTIVES ON PSYCHOLOGY MONICA REED THE CHICAGO SCHOOL OF PROFESSIONAL PSYCHOLOGY  Abstract Psychology continues to grow as a profession daily. The applications of psychology are also becoming widely known and used in many different fields. These applications are favorable for new psychologists entering the field of psychology because  they offer a wide variety of opportunities. The future of psychology depends on how well psychology maintains its scientific roots while meeting public needs and adapting to the changing world of rechnology.                                                                                              Myths about Psychology There are several myths about psychology that have risen in recent years. One of these myths is that fewer new scientific psychologists are graduating with doctoral degrees than  before.  Studies show,   Fowler (2001a)  that the number of graduating  psychologists has  increased over the last 25 years and it continues to grow with each passing year. Psychologists today have a  wide variety of careers to choose from and fields to enter. (Fowler 2001b).   Psychology is a very broad field with lots of opportunities and room for growth. Some psychologists  work in schools. while some are clinicians, and some conduct research.  Others design software or instrument panels for making our lives better.  This list could go on and on.  There is also a great deal of diversity in psychological thought ,   This is in no way a complete list because that would take many hours of research and I’m sure I still would not cover all of them, but I feel this will provide an  great overview of the current changes taking place in psychology today Applied Psychology      Applied psychology is enjoying a large and fast growth rate. Most are currently employed in the marketing field.  Industrial/Organizational psychologists to name a few, are being used in a variety of different places throughout  the business world. The health psychology profession focuses on not only the promotion and maintenance of overall health, but also the  prevention and treatment of illness,  identification and diagnostic illness, along with the prevention, and treatment of illness, related dysfunctions, and the analysis of the overall health care system and policies. (Stone, 1987; Matarazoo, 1982) One of the most important aspects of health psychology is that it deals with both prevention and treatment. Oncology is one of the areas that are actively using psychologists to help patients deal with cancer treatments and their illness. Health psychology is an exciting area of psychology with great potential for the future advancement. Another area of applied psychology is the area of  psychological testing.  Society today likes to  measure everything. We have become hooked on statistics. An example of this is IQ test (ASVAB) are given to place military solders in positions appropriate for their abilities prior to enlisting. Testing of all sorts seems to be in high demand. Many people have argued that intelligence tests are written using  one social class or another and are not created for  people from other social classes, racial or ethnic groups.  The other concern is that the United States as a whole has an increasing minority population, and could affect the outcome of the tests. Public Policy      There is also an increased push over the last several years to  not only promote psychology but also to  inform policy makers of psychological research and concerning matters that are important to the general public as a whole. These topics include the growing class sizes in schools,  the  aging/elderly, children with disabilities, ethnic minorities issues, HIV/AIDS issues, lesbian, gay and bisexual issues, women’s issues, just to name a few in a very long list. Recently the American Psychological Society started a new journal  called, Psychological Science in the Public Interest, this was started to address issues of public interest from a psychological perspective. Research Methods      One of the key concepts that is currently being  taught in general psychology today,  is that psychology is a science. Undergraduate psychology majors are now required to take courses in statistics as well as in research methods because these courses help build the foundation for understanding and contributing to the science of psychology as a whole. There are several more trends in research that will either improve the science of psychology or that will take away from it.  One of those being Internet access, while the internet is an amazing and useful tool in all our lives today.The internet has provided greater access to all research and to scholarly work. Most importantly the internet is beginning to become a tool used frequently in all types of  data collection. Researchers are now able to place questionnaires online either on their own or on specifically designed web sites or software that is used for collection. This form of research reaches many more people in many cities/countries that would not be able to participate before.                                              5 Major Perspectives in Psychology Biological Approach      Biopsychologists job is to look at how your nervous system, hormones and genetic makeup affect your behavior. Biopsychologists  also explore the connection between your mental states and your brain, nerves, and hormones to explore how your thoughts, moods, and actions are shaped. Psychodynamic Approach      The psychodynamic approach was promoted by Sigmund Freud, who believed that many of our impulses are driven by sex.  Some believe that these unconscious thoughts and drives from childhood are the stem of behavior overall. Behavioral Approach      Behavioral psychologists believe that external environmental stimuli influence your behavior and that you can be trained to act/react a certain way. Some behaviorists don’t believe in free will and believe that we learn through punishment and reinforcements. Cognitive Approach      Cognitive psychologists believe that all behavior is determined by your expectations and emotions. That we solve problems based on past experiences good or bad and the memory of these experiences. Humanistic Approach      Humanistic psychologists believe that everyone is essentially good and that we are all motivated to realize our full potential. They think that how we feel,  if we feel good about ourselves than we will fulfill our needs and goals in life. That if we gain insight on our feelings we achieve more.                                                               Summary There are numerous beliefs, perspectives and issues in Psychology. This is a growing field that still has a lot to explore and learn.  References American Psychological Association. (2000). What is psychology? About the American Psychological Association web page.( http://www.apa.org/about) Koach, Christopher. Fowler, R. D. (2001a)Myths and misconceptions, Monitor on Psychology. 32(5), 9 Fowler, R.D (2001b) Myths and misconceptions, Monitor on Psychology.32, (2), 9 Matarazzo, J.D. (1982) Behavior health’s challenge to academic scientific, and professional psychology. American Psychologist, 37. 1-14 

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