ISSUES degrees than ever before. However studies

ISSUES AND PERSPECTIVES ON PSYCHOLOGY MONICA REED THE CHICAGO SCHOOL OF PROFESSIONAL PSYCHOLOGY  Abstract Psychology continues to grow as a profession daily. The applications of psychology are also becoming widely apparent and used in many different fields. These trends are favorable for new psychologists because while they offer a wide variety of opportunities. The future of psychology may depend on how well psychology maintains its scientific roots while meeting the needs of the public and adapting to the changing technological world.                                                 Myths about Psychology There are several myths about psychology which have emerged in recent years. One of these myths is that fewer scientific psychologists are graduating with doctoral degrees than ever before. However studies show,  Fowler (2001a) indicates that the number of graduating scientific psychologists has actually increased over the last 25 years and continues to grow with each passing year. Psychologists today are presented with a wide variety of careers to choose from and fields to enter. (Fowler 2001b). Below are some of the current trends in the field of psychology today. Psychology is a very broad field. Some psychologists will work in schools.  while some are clinicians. Some conduct research.  Others design software or instrument panels.  This list could go on and on.  There is a great deal of diversity in psychological thought also, the following are some of the more recent trends/issues in psychology today. This is in no way am complete list because that would take many hours of research and I’m sure I still would not cover all of them, but I feel this will provide an overview of the current changes taking place today Applied Psychology      Applied psychology is enjoying a large and fast growth rate. Most are employed in the marketing field.  Industrial/Organizational psychologists are also being used in a variety of different capacities in the business world.   Health psychology profession focuses on the promotion and maintenance of overall health, prevention and treatment of illness, also identification and diagnostic of illness, prevention, and treatment. Along with related dysfunction, and the analysis of the health care system and policies. (Stone, 1987; Matarazoo, 1982) One of the most important aspects of health psychology is that it deals with both prevention and treatment. Oncology is one area that is actively using psychologists to help patients deal with cancer treatment and their illness. Health psychology is an exciting area of psychology with great potential for the future advancement. Another area of applied psychology is psychological testing.  Society today tends to measure everything today. We have become hooked on statistics. An example of this is IQ test (ASVAB) are given to place military solders in positions appropriate for their abilities prior to enlisting. Testing seems to be in high demand. Many have argued that intelligence tests are written using assumptions from one social class or another and therefore, are not generalizable to people from other social classes, racial or ethnic groups.  The other concern is that the United States as a whole has an increasing minority population, and could affect the outcome of the tests. Public Policy      There is also an increased emphasis over the last several years to promote psychology and to inform policy makers of psychological research concerning matters that are important to the general public. These topics include growing class sizes in schools, aging/elderly, children with disabilities, ethnic minorities, HIV/AIDS, lesbian, gay and bisexual issues, women’s issues, to name just  a few. Recently the American Psychological Society recently started a new journal, Psychological Science in the Public Interest, to address issues of public interest from a psychological perspective. Research Methods      One of the key concepts taught in general psychology is that psychology is a science. Undergraduate psychology majors are now required to take courses in statistics and research methods because these courses help build the foundation for understanding and contributing to the science of psychology as a whole. There are several trends in research that may either improve the science of psychology or take away from it.  One of those being Internet access.  The internet has provided greater access to all research. The internet is also providing a new outlet for scholarly work. Most importantly the internet is beginning to become a tool used frequently in data collection. Researchers are able to place questionnaires online either on their own or on specifically designed web sites or software for collection. This form of research reaches many more people in many cities/countries that would not be able to participate before.                                              5 Major Perspectives in Psychology Biological Approach      Biopsychologists look at how your nervous system, hormones and genetic makeup affect your behavior. Biopsychologists explore the connection between your mental states and your brain, nerves, and hormones to explore how your thoughts, moods, and actions are shaped. Psychodynamic Approach      The psychodynamic approach was promoted by Sigmund Freud, who believed that many of our impulses are driven by sex.  Some believe that these unconscious thoughts and drives from childhood are the stem of behavior overall. Behavioral Approach      Behavioral psychologists believe that external environmental stimuli influence your behavior and that you can be trained to act/react a certain way. Some behaviorists don’t believe in free will and believe that we learn through punishment and reinforcements. Cognitive Approach      Cognitive psychologists believe that your behavior is determined by your experiences and emotions. That we solve problems based on past experiences good or bad.  Humanistic Approach      Humanistic psychologists believe that you’re essentially good and that you’re motivated to realize your full potential. They think that how we feel good about ourselves based on how we fulfill our needs and goals in life. That if we gain insight on our feelings we achieve more.                                                               Summary There are numerous beliefs, perspectives and issues in Psychology. This is a growing field that still has a lot to explore and learn.  References American Psychological Association. (2000). What is psychology? About the American Psychological Association web page.( http://www.apa.org/about) Koach, Christopher. Fowler, R. D. (2001a)Myths and misconceptions, Monitor on Psychology. 32(5), 9 Fowler, R.D (2001b) Myths and misconceptions, Monitor on Psychology.32, (2), 9 Matarazzo, J.D. (1982) Behavior health’s challenge to academic scientific, and professional psychology. American Psychologist, 37. 1-14 

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