Contemporary Approaches to Psychology

768 WordsDec 28, 20104 Pages
Contemporary Approaches to Psychology The Latin prefix “psych” is translated into “mind or soul”. The suffix “ology” means the “study of”. Therefore, the study of behavior and mental processes is known as psychology. This field of study deals with animal and human behavior to the environment to which they are exposed. The purpose of psychologists studying the behavior of their “subjects”, or the people or animals being observed or tested, is to find four main things. These goals are to describe, explain, predict, and/or influence the subject’s behavior. Contemporary psychologists go about their research with six main methods of study. These contemporary methods of study are Psychoanalytic Psychology, Behavioral Psychology, Humanistic…show more content…
A problem included with this method is the fact that not everything in behavioral psychology is observable. Many aspects of psychology are mental not behavioral. The Humanistic approach to psychology is the approach that focuses on humans’ personal growth. Humanists, or psychologists who use the humanistic method, believe that the stimuli a human is exposed to is just the background of their actions. The human’s internal growth drives his/her actions. A problem with this method is that it is impossible to quantify the emotions on how a person handles an experience. Cognitive psychology is the study of how a person comprehends and stores information. The researchers who study cognitive psychology are known as Cognitivists. These psychologists focus on the habits that subjects use to remember information and then later retrieve the information. Using the scientific method, Cognitivists go through a series of steps to test our thinking, language, problem solving, and creativity. They then take the results of their studies and make conclusions on how information is processed, stored, and used. Problems associated with this method are the chance that subjects might have already learned the information earlier in life. Another viewpoint of psychologists is Biological psychology. This is a mix of psychology and biology. Psychobiologists who study this are more scientist than psychologist. They believe that genetics, the nervous system, the brain,
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