Good Example Of Essay On Courses And Concepts Relevant To Psychology
Reflection Paper on Psychology Journey
The study of Psychology as a course has been an eye-opener to understanding people and how they relate to the environment. Through studying Psychology, one can understand that the discipline is not only an art, but also a science. Psychology is a scientific study because it includes the use of definite methods with the utilization of the steps of scientific inquiry. As a definition of psychology, it can be described as the art and science of human behavior and cognitive processes in response to the environmental stimuli (Guerrero, 2013). Human behavior may include and not limited to everything that individuals do, think, feel, write, read, and imagine. Since the Psychology is largely the study of behaviors in response to environmental stimuli, it is of great significance to establish the various forms of behavior.
This paper is a reflection of what has been covered in the Psychology major. The paper mainly includes the relationship of Psychology with other disciplines, insights of theories and how they relate to psychology, and personal transformation. This document also highlights what the learner was able to understand when doing the course, and how the information will be of use in live.
A major in Psychology is also interdisciplinary since it heavily borrows from other related and unrelated disciplines and subjects. Some of the unrelated disciplines that Psychology borrows from include Economic, History, Research, and Philosophy among other disciplines. Psychology partly borrows from economics by analyzing the behavior of individuals due to changes in prices of products consumed by the individuals. Psychology also analyzes individual behavior in reaction to changes in supply of goods and services, thus borrowing behavioral theories from economics. By definition, economics can be described as a social science that analyzes how individuals, household, firms, and governments make selections in allotting limited resources to satisfy the unlimited human needs. This situation clearly shows that economics is related to Psychology since the two disciplines study human behavior, but Psychology covers a wider scope (Nath & Chandra, 2002).
Psychology also borrows from history by maintaining theories and philosophies that were suggested by different thinkers recorded in historical books. By definition, history can be explained as the study of the chronological human past events that relate to a specific place, subject or organization. Since history records past events, it also covers the past events relating to Psychology. Theories developed by Abraham Maslow, Wilhelm Wundt, John Broadus Watson, Edward Lee Thorndike, B. F. Skinner and other early Psychologists are recorded in books of history relating to Psychology. It means that Psychology borrows from the discipline of History in order to get a background of existing Psychological theories for understanding a phenomenon or further developing the theory.
Psychology also borrows from the discipline of research by using analytic and report writing techniques studied in research. As a discipline, research aims at analyzing different phenomena to establish what affects its values and how they are affected. Research may be qualitative or quantitative. Qualitative research is the investigation of values that are not quantifiable while quantitative is the investigation of values that are quantifiable. Psychology uses research techniques to analyze causes of individual behavior and how they are affected by different environmental stimuli. This process means that Psychology uses qualitative research in most cases to analyze (Greene, 2001).
Psychology also borrows from other disciplines that are related to it to some extent. Some the related subjects include behaviorism, cognitive neuropsychology, sociology, industrial and organizational psychology, medical psychology, forensic psychology, educational psychology, among other disciplines. The high interconnection of Psychology to other disciplines has made the discipline very complex to its learners and very significant to the society. Psychology can now be viewed as an essential discipline in society since it touches on almost every area of human life (Mohsin, 2011).
Psychology Program Goals Relevant to the Student
The first program goal for a psychology student is to be able to apply central theories, hypothetical standpoints, experiential findings, and historical developments in psychology. The students can meet these goals by understanding theories and philosophies explained in the method and research psychology, behaviorist psychology, and cognitive psychology. Research psychology involves studies and analysis of behaviors and experiences of individuals and groups to establish why and how they react to certain stimuli. From research psychology, the students can carry out psychology related surveys and case studies using methodologies such as experiments and observation. Experimental outcomes and historical trends in psychology can be reinforced or refined through research psychology since it facilitates the discovery of new theories and trends in psychology.
Behaviorist psychology involves the study of overt behavior. It means it is concerned with the study of observable behavior, as opposed to internal behavior. From the study of behaviorism, students can establish individual reactions to stimuli, thus understanding of overt behavior. The application of concepts and theories learned in behaviorist psychology will, for this reason, facilitate understanding of individual and group behavior (Steg & Groot 2013). Such knowledge may be of great significance to practicing psychologists who seek to establish why an individual behaves the way he does.
Theories and knowledge gained from cognitive psychology are also important to the psychology student who aims at practicing it as a career. Mental psychology includes the study of mental processes that include perception, attitude, memory, attention, creativity and thinking among other processes. It can, therefore, be established that cognitive psychology involves the study of covert behavior since this are behaviors that cannot be seen (Kishtainy, 2012). Cognitive psychology equips the student with knowledge of understanding brain processes. By so doing, they can be more analytic and informed when dealing with individual or group problems that are caused by cognitions such as negative attitudes (Stewart & Kamins, 1993).
The second goal for students studying psychology is to be able to apply basic knowledge of research methodology, statistics, measurement, guidelines, ethical standards, laws, and regulations to design, participate in, and evaluate research in a variety of contexts. The interdisciplinary nature of Psychology prepares its learners to be diverse in analyzing and understanding different issues faced by different individuals from different backgrounds. One of the most important features for a mental health counselor or Psychologist is his or her ability to understand easily and connect with the patient. The interdisciplinary nature of Psychology facilitates the ease to learn patience by giving a background of the patient’s discipline or career, thus creating a friendly environment for therapy. The interdisciplinary nature of Psychology also opens up the learner’s scope of the study. For this reason; they can have a number of other areas to major in during their education (Steg & Groot 2013).
Psychology also helps its students use elementary knowledge of the inquiry, statistics, methodology, quantity, procedures, moral values, laws, and guidelines. They are to strategize, participate in, and assess research in a number of contexts (Valus, 2002). Due to the interdisciplinary nature of Psychology, it uses research philosophies in analyzing, interpreting and recording psychology problems, thus ensuring more accurate and reliable solutions. Psychology researchers may want to analyze a wide variety of topics within the scope of Psychology. The psychology research topics may include but not limited to early childhood development behavior, group formation, employee attitudes and behavior, to other areas of psychology research. Psychology research can range from simple to complex experiments, depending on the scope and depth of the research being carried out (Stewart & Kamins, 1993).
Psychology also uses mathematical equations in carrying out quantitative research on topics within the psychology scope (Saul, 2008). It clearly shows that psychology is more of a science than an art. It is because it employs systematic scientific research methods and procedures in conducting studies and research in psychology. Some of the most common ways of conducting a psychology research consist of identification of a psychological problem, and designing the psychology study. Others include asking questions and collection of data, analyzing the data, interpreting the data, and reaching a conclusion. Studying research methods such research design procedures can be explained in detail, thus ensuring all the relevant information is considered, and an accurate solution is established.
In regards to ethical standards, laws, and regulations, Psychology is governed by ethical codes developed by various Psychological organizations. The code of ethics outlines the best way to conduct psychotherapy and also outlines the unethical actions that should not be practices by Psychologists. For example, it is unethical to discuss in full disclosure the issues of a patient with another third party. The cord of ethics outlines the unethical behaviors that should not be practiced and corrective measures that should be taken in case such actions happen. Laws and regulations may also be set to regulate the discipline in the society since it is of great significance, thus need for control. The government and local authorities may regulate this discipline through licensing and policy formation (Putnam, 1999).
The third goal of psychology is to enable its students apply information of human behavior to apprise personal growth, converse efficiently, make decisions, solve problems, and interact with individuals, communities and organizations. Psychology has played a significant role in helping its student achieve this goal by approaching challenges from a social science point of view. It clearly shows that Psychology is a social science. A social science can be explained as a discipline that involves people in its study, experimentation, and analysis of the issues involved in the topics under investigation.
Psychology facilitates guidance and counseling that is an important aspect of personal growth, decision-making, and individual and group interactions. Through advice and counseling sessions, an individual can overcome phobias; hence deal with fears that make them less sociable. The knowledge gained from Psychology primarily helps in warming up people for a conversation, for this reason, facilitating socialization among strangers. Conflicts can easily be solved and communication among different individuals in society enhanced by empowering persons with social skills. Psychology plays a very significant role in conflict resolution, stress management, personal development and social cohesion among other things being a social science.
The fourth goal of psychology for its students is to enable them use critical and creative thinking skills and have skeptical inquiry. Psychology students can improve their critical thinking skills and skeptical inquiry through the study of philosophy of psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis is a study of psychological theory and therapy that aims at handling mental disorder by analyzing the interaction of conscious and unconscious components in the mind. This approach to solving human psychological problems facilitates creation of solutions for complicated psychological problems. More efficient ways can also be identified, thus ensuring problems are solved efficiently by creating more than one way of solving a problem (Ivanhoe & Norden, 2011). Cognitive psychology can also be of significance in developing a student’s critical thinking skills. It is because Cognitive psychology involves the study of mental processes such as perceptions, attitude, creativity, and thinking.
The fifth goal of psychology for student is having the ability of being diverse and possess a different perspective, tolerates ambiguity, and act ethically. Through the study of psychology, learners can also be able to have a much broader understanding of issues, thus able to tolerate ambiguity and act ethically to communicate appropriately with various sociocultural populations. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of psychology, its learners can be diverse and able to understand other people’s point of view. It makes the learners able to tolerate ambiguity to some extent since they have several points of reference to a given issue that is being addressed.
The interdisciplinary nature of Psychology has made the discipline to be of great significance not only for the learners, but to the whole society. Learners gain much knowledge that will not only benefit them, but also the society by studying psychology. The cause for this is that psychology is a social science that involves people in its study, experimentation, and analysis of the issues.
Greene, J., 2001. Learning to use Statistical Tests in Psychology. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education.
Guerrero, M., 2013. Introduction to Psychology. New York: Rex Bookstore Inc.
Ivanhoe, P., & Norden, V., 2011. The Philosophy Book. Berlin: Springer.
Kishtainy, N. 2012. The Economic Book. New Delhi: New Age International.
Nath, R., & Chandra, S., 2002. General Psychology. New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers.
Mohsin, S., 2011. Elementary Psychology. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers.
Putnam, H., 1999. Reason, Truth and History. California: Stanford University Press.
Saul, M., 2008. Correlation in Psychology. [online] Available at <http://www.simplypsychology.org/correlation.html> [Accessed 5 Feb., 2015].
Steg, L., & Groot M., 2013. Environmental Psychology: an Introduction. Malden: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Stewart, D., & Kamins, M., 1993. Secondary Research: Information Sources and Methods. New York. Westport Publishers.
Valus, A., 2002. Surveys in Social Research, Allen & Unwin, St. Leonards. London: Routledge.
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