Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Diverse Nature of Psychology

          The field of psychology is a scientific discipline of human motivation, emotion, cognition, and behavior. Plante (2011), “it can be subdivided into many different specializations, some of which are concerned primarily with psychological science (experimental psychology) and others of which are concerned with both psychological science and the application of that science to real-world problems outside of the research setting” (p. 5). The evolution of psychology began from philosophical roots and evolved into a discipline of science separate from philosophy in 1879, with the creation of the first psychological laboratory by Germany psychologist, Wilhelm Wundt. Today, the American Psychological Association (APA) lists 54 unique divisions of psychology, which provides a clear indication of psychology’s diversity (Hergenhahn & Henley, 2013). Psychology’s diversity is also evident by evaluating the influence on its major concepts. Within the field of psychology are several sub-disciplines and subtopics of such sub-disciplines that are of interest. Such sub-disciplines and subtopics can apply to particular areas outside of psychology. These sub-disciplines and subtopics also compare to a personal theoretical perspective. Also, education in psychology will provide contributions to society in the future.
The Influence of Diversity on Psychology's Major Concepts
            As mentioned before, the APA lists 54 divisions of psychology, which represent focuses on specific areas and numerous sub-disciplines of psychology (Hergenhahn & Henley, 2013). Such sub-disciplines of the field of psychology display vast diversity by covering diverse areas of inquiry; such as with how abnormal psychology, which investigates abnormal behavior and how biological psychology investigates how evolution and genetics contribute to influencing behavior. However, the diversity of psychology expands beyond individual sub-discipline’s area of inquiry, and extends to and influences psychology’s major concepts. The major concepts of psychology emphasize varying aspects of human behavior influenced by the sub-disciplines of psychology, which reflects the diverse nature of sub-disciplines of psychology.
Sub-disciplines within Psychology, and Subtopics of those Sub-disciplines
            Indeed, psychology is a diverse field with sub-disciplines such as abnormal psychology and biological psychology but because of such diversity numerous other sub-disciplines exist such as clinical psychology and industrial and organization psychology (I/O). Clinical psychology and industrial and organization psychology (I/O) are two particularly interesting sub-disciplines of psychology.
Clinical Psychology
          In its use of psychological principles, clinical psychology makes an attempt at alleviating, predicting, and understanding aspects of human functioning; such aspects include behavioral, social, psychological, biological, emotional, and intellectual aspects. Clinical psychologists perform assessments and treatments for behavioral, emotional, and mental disorders and problems. Certain clinical psychologists focus on treating specific disorders and problems, such as clinical depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); while, other clinical psychologists focus on particular populations, such as adolescents and young adults. One subtopic of clinical psychology is assessment. Clinical psychologists use assessments to clarify client’s diagnosis, and for help when planning services or treatments.
Industrial and Organizational Psychology (I/O)
          Plante (2011), “I/O psychology is an eclectic field that has borrowed concepts, ideas, techniques, and theories from many other disciplines” (p. 4). I/O psychologists work within organizations by applying research methods and psychological principles to the workplace with the intention of improving the quality of work life and productivity (Landrum & Davis, 2010). One subtopic of I/O psychology is employee testing. I/O psychologists use employee testing to help organizations determine if a potential employee has the appropriate behavior and workplace skills to foster organizational objectives and goals.  
Practical Application of Sub-disciplines
            The diverse nature of psychology is evident by means of the implications of psychological discovery providing a variety of applications in various venues in contemporary society. For instance, the application of I/O psychology is a means of studying the effects of workplace stressors on individuals in regard to how such effects hinder individuals’ abilities to perform to and meet standards set forth by the organization. Also, such an application of I/O psychology promotes and fosters the well-being of employees by means of assessing employees and reporting such findings to officials of the organization; thereby, enabling such officials of an organization to implement workplace changes to promote and foster the well-being of employees and a healthy work environment. Thereby, allowing officials of an organization to improve employee socialization, performance, retention, and morale. Which is just one instance of the practical applications of one sub-discipline of psychology, but because of the diverse nature of psychology, there are numerous applications of various sub-disciplines.   
Comparing Subdisciplines and Subtopics to Personal Theoretical Perspective
            My personal beliefs about psychological theory are similar, if not the same as theories of cognitive psychology or as in cognitive perspectives. To understand the behavior of individuals, and why behavior occurs, one must understand the mental processes of individuals or what occurs in an individual’s mind. Therefore, by applying measures of clinical psychology as a clinical psychologist, in my future such as analyzing and treating psychological and behavioral disorders and problems I can try to enhance the well-being and health of clients. Therefore, through means of using integrative evidence-based approaches of contemporary clinical psychology I can affect the well-being of clients by means of understanding, addressing, treating, and possibly preventing human psychological disabilities.
Contribution to Society
            My contributions to society, as a result, of my education in psychology occur today, by means of how I approach and treat other individuals because I have an understanding of why behavior occurs and what affects an individual’s behavior. My future contributions to society will occur as a clinical psychologist by way of assessing, treating, and using psychotherapy to help clients who suffer from psychological and behavioral disorders and problems. Thereby, affecting or improving the well-being and health of clients and significantly affecting well-being of society.      
          Psychology is a diverse field of science, and such diversity has a significant influence on the major concepts of psychology. Psychology also has numerous sub-disciplines and thereby, subtopics of such sub-disciplines that can apply to various venues in contemporary society, and the sub-discipline of cognitive psychology is similar to my personal theoretical perspective by means helping me understand why behavior occurs. Also, this sub-discipline and its subtopics allow me to apply the measures of another sub-discipline that is clinical psychology to contribute to society in the future.

Landrum, E. & Davis, S. F. (2010). The Psychology Major: Career Options and Strategies For Success (4 ed.). Pearson Education.

Plante, T.G. (2011). Contemporary Clinical Psychology (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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