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Goals of psychology

Psychology can be termed as the science of reasoning use to study behavior. The goals of psychology can be summarized as; to describe behavior, explain why a certain behavior occurs, predict behaviors in future and modify or control behaviors. An example of these objectives would be in investigating autism. Autism was earlier though to be caused by cold and rejected parenting but most recent studies shows biological causes by abnormal brain development with a genetic connection.

The causes may be inked to early brain damage or abnormal cerebrum or abnormality in the part linking the two sides of the brain, or maternal illness during pregnancy. The risk for autism; there is 2-4 times as many males with autism, the family with an autistic kid are 50-100 times more at risk to have another kid with autism Predicting a situation when symptoms may worsen; it may occur when there is sensory overload, or when the traditional way of doing things is disturbed.

Controlling symptoms of autism; symptoms can be avoiding certain situations or stimuli and also genetic counseling can reduce the risk of autism as well as good parenting for an autistic kid. There are various theories in psychology that try to explain the human brain and its formation. One of the theories is cognitive. It describes behavior in terms of flow of information. Cognition is the aspect of trying to understand the surrounding and making sense of it. It originates from the word conation which related to motivation. Each person has his or her own way of processing information and hence will interpret situations differently.

The other important perspective is the biological one. It tries to builds on the connection between physiology and psychology. With the biological analysis of the brain, it has been possible to analyze the brain and map the functioning in relation to human psychology. Another theory is the evolutionary perspective of psychology which focuses on the relation between evolution and psychology. Mental processes exist because they help in evolution and hence enable survival. Psychodynamics is the other theory in psychology, important because of the view that psychological processes are actually the flow of psychological energy in the brain.

It enlightens the relationship between the mind and the personality, focusing on the conscious and the unconscious parts of the human minds. Mental forces result from the action at the subconscious level. Behaviorism is the learning perspective of psychology that ascertains that all thing s that organisms do are their behaviors. It explains that the environment influences human’s behavior, which is comparable to animals behavior. Human behavior is perceived as an outcome of the link between his/her ideas and experiences. Research methods in psychology There are three main research methods in psychology: causal, descriptive and relational.

In causal research, the investigation is done on the effect of one or more variables on one or more outcome variables. It also investigates if one or more variables cause other variable(s) to change or exist. An example could be changing the amount of drug given to a patient and studying the outcome on the patient. Descriptive research tries to find out what already exists in a given population. There is really no measure of the variable, only description. For example, an opinion poll on who is the favorite presidential candidate to vote in the next elections.

Relational research is aimed at studying the already existing behaviors in a population. For example, how many people would buy a classic CD compared to a jazz CD in a group of people? In psychological research, there is always a hypothesis of the study which is the expected outcome of the study, for example, ‘what is the effect of good study habits to an exam anxiety test? ’ Critical thinking skills in psychology Critical thinking is thinking correctly in pursuit for relevant and reliable knowledge. It is reasonable, reflective and reliable thinking in order to choose what to believe in or do.

It is the ability and willingness to assess claims and make objective judgments on the basis of well supported reasons. It is a way to analyze questions, avoiding questions that suggest answers and look for evidence to support answers given while rejecting any answers that do not have a basis of evidence. It is not always negative thinking though. In answering questions, it is good to give several possible answers and criticize them effectively. One important problem to avoid is being swayed by emotions or authority to make wrong decisions.

In critical thinking, persistence, tolerance for ambiguity and intellectual engagement is encouraged in the process of looking for the most exhausted, correct and convincing conclusion from an open and quality discussion. It is important to respect and use critical thinking for success in investigations and fro general life experiences. It is also important to differentiate critical thinking from good thinking or creative thinking. It is important to identify behaviors that relate to critical thinking and apply them. It is good to complete task analysis, define intermediate goals and design evaluation methods.

Critical thinking is a process in carrying out an investigation and requires identification of the best method of instruction for each aspect the whole process. This process sometimes calls for use of scientific methods to solve problems. Application of psychology Psychology studies can be applied in many ways. Those with knowledge in psychology can apply it in their daily life to make informed choices and avoid conditions that would lead to discomforts of many kinds. The application of psychological knowledge by professionals end-up in a different purposes though.

In clinical psychology for example, the professional will help people with mental disorder, relying into the nature, diagnosis, classification, treatment and prevention of the disorders. In an academic setting, research is done into problems of learning, adjustment to movements and child behavior and psychological results applied with the ultimate goal of offering help to troubled kids, parents and teachers. In industrial or occupational psychology, the main aim is usually research into people’s performance and well being while at work in the organization, whenever specific problems are identified in such areas.

There is also the application of psychoanalysis, which is a special case compared to the clinical and counseling psychology as it is highly influenced by the theory of mental structure and based on the theory of mental structure and function. There is also the application of psychological knowledge in sports. The field of psychology in sports and exercises explores the relationship between psychological factors and optimal performance. This study is important to the sports population and in cases of sports physical rehabilitation by physician.

The roles of physicians are expanding because of the need of psychological knowledge in order to offer holistic services to the sportsmen and physical rehabilitation patients. Psychology is also applied in some service industries including market research, management consultancy and advertising. Psychology is often applied for the special skills and knowledge on the subjects in these fields. There is also demand of skills and knowledge in psychology in existing professional areas like medicine, nursing, teaching, social work, speech and therapy and specific branches of medicine like psychiatry.

Values in Psychology Psychology was once clearly understood as physical application of philosophy. The philosophy was based on moralist and spiritual principles, requiring man to be attuned to his spiritual nature. Values are ideally everything from eternal ideas to behavioral actions. In psychology, values can be viewed as ways of determining levels of things like goodness, worth or beauty. They are affectively-laden thoughts about objects, ideas or behaviors that guide behavior but do not necessarily but do not necessarily need them.

Values are what make social groups stick together and sometimes impossible because of setting the stage for friction. Values are not just personal traits; they are what the society has agreed as right, good and to be cherished. A value system represents what is to be hoped for, what is required and what is forbidden for a society. For this reason, they may not be what an individual would personally uphold but since collectively the society agrees as to those values, the person has to bear with the ambiguity of the values. It is therefore necessary for a person to act ethically in order to fit into the society.

Values at a personal level can be learnt through testimonies or behavioral choices. But at the society level, they are learnt through cultural and social structures; spending time, energy and resources together in the process of structuring the natural environment. From a scientific point of view, the history of research has had it that a persons value is perceived through observation of behaviors directly but in future, it might be expanded to some indirect methods like asking what the society offers to a person, as well as what behaviors are rewarded or sanctioned. Personal Development

Psychological self development is based on the total gradual change and molding of ones self from the various forms that his traits may take while interacting with different phenomenon like home, school, work and others. This is because a person may have different forms at different contexts, but they share a common thread to which the self is. There are many areas of personal development including; research and contribution, mental knowledge and learning, physical health, work, career and job, financial matters and others. It always includes some activities of goals, programs, tools and methods.

Personal development includes developing ones self quality as well as touching on others. Self development requires internal reflection. This involves thinking that is driven by some expectation or purpose of some desired outcome. Then there is the realization, awareness or understanding stage. In this stage, the results of internal reflection may provide some knowledge that requires no further analysis but just assimilation. However, if the knowledge is partial, further internal reflection may be applied to gain more realization of the knowledge and understanding. The results after this would be personal growth and application in others.

At this point, the person finds himself in decision making on how to invest in cause further change. The factors that may influence this decision maybe the impact of change on self and the impact on others. In personal development, the methods used may be both internal and external development methods. The person may initiate action and cause others to follow or may join the right movement and get helped, helping others later. Reference Jan N. Hughes and Sheila Youngson, 2009, Personal Development and Clinical Psychology, British Psychological Society and Blackwell Publishing

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