The Diverse Nature of Psychology Nicole Celencevicius Capstone Course in Psychology/Psy490 September, 26, 2011 Dr. Susan Ellis-Slavich The Diverse Nature of Psychology Psychological is a very diverse field. The field of psychology is broken into four major theoretical perspectives; the psychodynamic perspective, the humanistic perspective, the cognitive-behavioral perspective, and the family systems perspective (Plante, 2011). In addition to major theoretical perspectives, psychology is comprised of many subdisciplines and subcategories.
Subcategories and subtopics within psychology are often applied to other disciplines and venues in contemporary society further adding to the diversity of the field. The concepts and subtopics within the field of psychology tie into personal theoretical perspectives; in my case, the cognitive-behavioral perspective. Psychology is an invaluable tool which can be used outside of the classroom setting in professional, health, and social aspects. The following paper will further examine the diversity of the field of psychology and how the field of psychology ties into my personal perspective and life.
What once began as a thought by ancient Greek philosophers such as Socrates evolved into psychology as is it known today and beyond. Psychology is broken into many different perspectives. The main perspectives in psychology are: the psychodynamic perspective, the humanistic perspective, the cognitive-behavioral perspective, and the family systems perspective. Although each perspective is an off shoot of psychology, each theoretical perspective has its own approach to understanding the human brain, uncovering behavior, and treatment methods.
The core theoretical perspectives in the field of psychology gave birth to subdisciplines such as environmental psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, abnormal psychology, clinical psychology, school psychology, and cognitive-behavioral psychology. The theoretical perspectives and subdisciplines of psychology illustrate just how diverse the field of psychology is. Since psychology possesses many subdisciplines it is safe to say that there are many subcategories that coincide with the subdisciplines. For example, clinical psychology is a subdiscipline of psychology.
Subcategories in clinical psychology include assessments and psychoanalysis. Cognitive-behavioral psychology is a subdiscipline of psychology. Subcategories include operant conditioning and cognitive dissonance. Each subdiscipline of psychology possesses a subcategory which mirrors the core concepts of the subdiscipline. However subcategories also exist as a way of expanding upon the ideas and concepts of a subdiscipline. Subcategories or subtopics possess many applications outside of the typical patient-psychologist office setting.
The subcategories and subtopics in psychology offer limitless applications to contemporary society. For example, forensic psychology is used within prisons to help evaluate criminals and criminal behavior in order to come to a consensus for treatment. School psychology is used with educational settings to assess a child’s learning and behavior, offer counseling, and help fine tune an educational curriculum to children with learning disabilities or disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Artificial intelligence is used to study learning and cognition since the human brain works similarly to a processor within a computer. Neuropsychology is used within a biological or medical settings in order to assess the neural pathways within the brain and spot any errors or problems which contribute to a behavior or disorder. As previously stated, psychology offers many applications within contemporary society. Out of all of the perspectives in psychology, I identify with the cognitive-behavioral perspective and branch of psychology the most.
I have always been a proponent of the cognitive-behavioral perspective and branch of psychology. I feel that all that we do ties into what we have learned throughout our lives. The ways we learn are very different which is why no two behave in the same manner. The cognitive-behavioral perspective comes into play in many if not all aspects of psychology. And really why wouldn’t it? We learn how to behave; behavior is not some innate aspect of ourselves. Behavior is fostered, it is taught. We learn from what we see and how we perceive and interpret our surroundings.
If we grow up loving the environment and feel comforted by being outdoors that love would relate back into environmental psychology. If we grow up witnessing violence or live in a high crime area we may end up resorting to criminal behavior because we have learned that that type of behavior is okay; this ties into forensic psychology. The foods we crave, the drugs people end up experimenting with, and even the way we behave in a social atmosphere all tie into learning and cognition. Psychology has taught me so much about people and myself.
I will always be able to apply all that I have learned outside of the classroom. In addition to using what I have learned in psychology in this course and my future courses within the field, I am able to apply what I have learned in professional, health, and social aspects. For example, from what I have learned about personality and motivation, I am able to go into a workplace knowing that everyone is different. Personality dictates how we act towards one another and within a team setting. We are all motivated by different things; time off, a pay increase, or just notoriety for a job well done.
By understanding the differences in personality and motivation, it is easier to understand the people I work with and helps with diffusing any personal issues since I know that not everyone is going to be get along and be great friends because our personalities are different. However, that doesn’t mean that we cannot settle our differences and learn to work together; psychology has taught me this. In a health setting, I have learned about how stress can lead to physical and psychological issues such as depression. By understanding how to recognize and cope with stress, I am able to handle ups and downs in life without getting sick over it.
I can better handle change and adapt to situations knowing that I now possess the capacity to know myself and my triggers and how to lead a a more psychologically healthy life. Psychology above all has helped me to understand myself as a person and this understand others. I have a better understanding of empathy which allows me to better relate to others without being condescending or unsympathetic. I feel I can help out friends and family suffering from depression, substance abuse, or marital problems because of what I have learned in psychology. Everyday I find a new circumstance where my psychological schooling can be applied.
Psychological is a very diverse field. The field of psychology is broken into four major theoretical perspectives; the psychodynamic perspective, the humanistic perspective, the cognitive-behavioral perspective, and the family systems perspective (Plante, 2011). Psychology is comprised of many subdisciplines and subcategories. Subdisciplines include environmental psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, abnormal psychology, clinical psychology, school psychology, and cognitive-behavioral psychology. Subcategories include but are not limited to assessments, psychoanalysis, operant conditioning, and cognitive dissonance.
Psychology is used in a variety of settings including prisons, schools, hospitals, and personal life. The cognitive-behavioral perspective and branch of psychology to me is the most influential aspects of psychology. We learn from what we see and how we perceive and interpret our surrounding; this idea ties into many facets of psychology. The journey I have taken in the field of psychology has given me the tools to apply information to everyday life including professional, health and social settings. Reference Plant, T. G. (2011). Contemporary clinical psychology (3rd ed. ). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons