Psychology in Everyday Life

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After examining the large realm of the science of psychology I now realize that my initial definition “the study of the mind and how it worked” was quite incomplete. My initial definition simply covered the branch of psychology known as cognitive psychology, and this is only one of many areas that are actually included under the title psychology. Many psychologists focus on more quantitative aspects than the function of the human mind. There are several different areas that are more easily researched than that of the brain’s functionality.

An example would be behavioural psychology in which the focus is put on observing behaviour rather than on the processes going on inside the brain that invoke the subject’s behaviour. This is just one of the many examples that illustrate this point, and that makes developing a working definition of the term psychology extremely difficult to attain. The range of topics that are considered psychology is very surprising to a newcomer in the field. Everything from determining which parts of the brain are responsible for controlling certain senses to analyzing the influence of society on behaviour and development is considered “psychology”.

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So it is obvious that my original definition was extremely limited, but it has now been vastly broadened. In addition to recognizing the broad range of topics that psychology covers, I also realized that there is large number of different occupations a person trained in psychology can hold. My original idea was that a psychologist was a person who dealt only with psychoanalysis, and I would imagine that this is a common misconception. The possible career fields for a psychologist are much greater than I had imagined it to be. In the context of the Jamaican society, psychology plays a major role in the developing and emerging trends.

In my own experience many of Jamaica’s youth are ill-equipped to deal with the daily problems and issues which arise through general socialisation; this may be due to an overarching problem stemming from morale degradation over many years. Many men and women my age suffer from low self esteem and psychology and the study of it could greatly increase this, it has done so for me and continues to do so. Research Questions: The purpose of this study is to examine how Psychology and its study affect and improve an individual? This study will address the following questions. . What is the study of Psychology? 2. To what extent does understanding Psychology change a person’s outlook? 3. How does Music affect the Psyche of people? Literature Review Lawrence Kohlberg developed the theory of moral development stages in the 1950’s. It is an outstanding example of research in the Piagetian tradition. Wherein Piaget focused on only 2 levels/ stages of moral development, Kohlberg focused on moral development as a continuing development and has proposed a stage theory of moral thinking which goes well beyond Piaget’s initial formulations.

With Kohlbergs’ theory at stage 1 children think of what is right as that which authority says is right. Doing the right thing is obeying authority and avoiding punishment. At stage 2, children are no longer so impressed by any single authority; they see that there are different sides to any issue. Since everything is relative, one is free to pursue one’s own interests, although it is often useful to make deals and exchange favors with others. At stages 3 and 4, young people think as members of the conventional society with its values, norms, and expectations.

At stage 3, they emphasize being a good person, which basically means having helpful motives toward people close to one At stage 4, the concern shifts toward obeying laws to maintain society as a whole. At stages 5 and 6 people are less concerned with maintaining society for its own sake, and more concerned with the principles and values that make for a good society. At stage 5 they emphasize basic rights and the democratic processes that give everyone a say, and at stage 6 they define the principles by which agreement will be most just (Kohlberg, 1958b).

I remember at the age of 12 my mother was in the kitchen cooking curried chicken which was and still is my favourite style of cooking chicken. I remember waiting until she left the kitchen to sneak in and steal some food out of the pot even though I wasn’t hungry. I did not know my mother knew about the incident until many years after, at which time she told me she was waiting for me to tell the truth when she asked. Looking back now I believe I should have told the truth. With Kohlberg, it is important to remember, is a close follower of Piaget.

Accordingly, Kohlberg’s theoretical positions, including that on developmental change, reflect those of his mentor. Kohlberg (e. g. , 1968; 198 1, Ch. 3) says that his stages are not the product of maturation. That is, the stage structures and sequences do not simply unfold according to a genetic blueprint. Neither, Kohlberg maintains, are his stages the product of socialization. That is, socializing agents (e. g. , parents and teachers) do not directly teach new forms of thinking.

Indeed, it is difficult to imagine them systematically teaching each new stage structure in its particular place in the sequence. The stages emerge, instead, from our own thinking about moral problems. Social experiences do promote development, but they do so by stimulating our mental processes. As we get into discussions and debates with others, we find our views questioned and challenged and are therefore motivated to come up with new, more comprehensive positions. New stages reflect these broader viewpoints (Kohlberg et al. , 1975).

I can say that it was only through growing and being in many subsequent arguments with my mother and other family members did I reflect and condemn my actions on that day. I concluded that while I was not necessarily wrong in taking the food, I was dishonest when questioned and should have been punished. References Blatt, M. , & Kohlberg, L. (1975). Effects of classroom discussions upon children’s level of moral judgment. Journal of Moral Development , 129-161. Crain, W. C. (1985). Theories of Development. Prentice-Hall , 118-136. Kohlberg, L. 1968). The Child as a Moral Philosopher. PSYCHOLOGY TODAY , 2 (4), 24-30. Piaget, J. (1932). The moral judgment of the child. London: Free Press. Literature Review Conformity may be defined as a type of social influence involving a change in belief or behaviour in order to fit in with a group. This change is in response to real (involving the physical presence of others) or imagined (involving the pressure of social norms / expectations) group pressure. Conformity can also be simply defined as “yielding to group pressures” (Crutchfield, 1955).

Group pressure may take different forms, for example bullying, persuasion, teasing, criticism etc. Conformity is also known as majority influence (or group pressure). The term conformity is often used to indicate an agreement to the majority position, brought about either by a desire to ‘fit in’ or be liked (normative) or because of a desire to be correct (informational), or simply to conform to a social role (identification) (Asch 1951). Rastafarianism is a common subculture in Jamaica which has risen to the status of religion over the years.

Opposition to the repressive socio-economic political climate that resulted in the impoverishment of masses of Jamaicans, the Jamaican Rastafarians developed a language to resist societal oppression “Dread Talk” this is a direct expression of Rastafarians to not conform to socio-economic pressures in Jamaica. Having determined that the other variations spoken in their community–Standard Jamaican English and Jamaican Creole–were inadequate to express their dispossessed circumstances, the Rastafarians forged an identity through their language that represents a resistant philosophy, music and religion.

This resistance not only articulates their socio-political state, but also commands global attention. Within the past three decades the Jamaican Rastafari movement has been transformed from a local Caribbean to a global cultural phenomenon. Reggae music and other popular cultural media have been the primary catalysts in this international spread of the movement. As a result, Rastafari has lost its original territorial moorings and become a travelling culture. Global in scope, Rastafari has nevertheless been localised in very different ways, depending on where the movement has been appropriated (Hansing 2001). As can be seen in the song by Lt.

Stitchie the Rastafarian man simply expresses his discontent with the policeman’s constant pressure on his lifestyle choice which results in a infuriated beating by the officer who believes the “rastaman” is disrespecting him. Rastafarianism a religious myth that does not have to subscribe to any systematic logic necessary to validate other types of knowledge systems, since history has proven that people are quite willing to “die more frequently for religious beliefs than will the scientist for so-called “truth”, this speaks directly to the non conformist stance taken by most if not all who practice Rastafarianism (Manget-Johnson 2008)

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