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Page 1(Introduction)

Page 2 (Behaviorism, Unconscious, Skinner)

Psychology in 1950's & beyond Psychology today (wrap up)

What is psychology today?

  1. What does empirical mean? Basically stating that knowledge should be attained by observation. Psychologists ask themselves questions like are men more aggressive than men or what class of people are smarter than others? Researching and attempting to find a logical answer by theories and studies done on paper is not efficient enough. Therefore you would have to observe the actual test and see for yourself what variables are at play and what results may come after. Using the empirical approach by now means is an easy task. For those without skepticism, empirical way of learning is no task for you. You have to ask yourself many questions and analyze a chockfull of data and drill down the information.
  2. Overall you can think of psychology as an umbrella, underneath are a wide variety of theories. By definition a theory is a cluster of interrelated thoughts that are used to explain a set of problem or observations. There are many theories out there, for some this may sound like a weakness when in fact this is a a positive thing. It is said that such diverse groupings of theories eventually meet a comfort zone enabling people to understand complicated behaviors.
  3. The field of psychology is sociohistorical, meaning that it evolves and develops responsive to historical and social events. Take for an example of Freud's belief of the unconscious and the idea that it secretly contributed to human behavior. During that time, people and society in general were some what prud-ish regarding the topic of sex. Or during WW II, when soldiers who were injured from battles needed special treatment beyond injuries to the body but as well as mentally.
  4. As stated before behavior is rather a complex subject to analyze. Behavior can not be explained as a single statement. 'You are hairy because you eat too much beans' to 'You don't watch sports, so you must be a girl.' These simple conclusion are far beyond the truth and psychologists realize that complex behavior involve multi-factorial causation of behavior.
  5. Different culture contributes to the growth of of psychology. By definition, culture is a label given to a set of norms, communities, customs, etc. Here is an example of different culture's way of eating dinner. In the United States, if you invite someone for dinner, the guest is usually expected to eat all of their dinner. However, in the country of India, guests should leave some left over to show appreciation for the host or hostess.
  6. From the initial beginning of psychology specialists and psychologists held strong beliefs that either people are shaped by environment or it is heredity. As B. Watson has implied that behavior is directly related to environment. On the contrary, Sir Francis Galton theorized that personality and behavior depended on genetic heredity. If you look at psychology journals and what you hear about psychology on TV. or radio, heredity and environment are treated practically equally. Both can be utilized in explanation of various branches of psychology.
  7. There is no ONE vision of psychology. People after all see what they expect to see. An example would be two separate drivers who are involved in a car accident. Chances are their statement will contradict each other, for one good reason probably...avoid paying higher car insurance!  This is why one of the reasons we have psychology to save us, why do we think the way we do?


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Psychology today and for a better future ahead for the field of psychology!

Currently there are a little over 1800 detailed journals regarding new ideas, theories, and findings in the arena of psychology. It is in fact a growing field with countless people who feed the machine of psychology with material to stay momentum. Today roughly one third of American psychologists are involved in some line of work related to academic. (Universities, school consultant, etc) While the rest of the two third work in a wide array of fields, from police departments, counseling centers, or even a private practice. According to one statistics from the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education, one of the ten most popular undergraduate major was psychology between 1999 and 2000! The degree of psychology is broad, and each has their own specialty, since after all, as society moves into a more advanced culture...there are new crisis we face in this busy hectic world.  People are diverse and so is psychology!


The End!

This is Daniel Combs, this web site if for psychology 105. Ms. Burdo class.

Daniel Combs