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Contemporary psychology research is led by four basic scientific and non-scientific viewpoints that allow for the investigation of thoughts, behavior, and feelings. Behavioral, biological, cognitive, and socio-cultural views are among these techniques. Although it is widely acknowledged that no single perspective on psychology is fully comprehensive, they all overlap in improving our understanding of behavior, feelings, and thoughts (Wade & Tavris, 2017).
For starters, the behavioral approach is based on the influence of external stimuli on people's observable behaviors. A system of punishments and reinforcements, according to this viewpoint, may train a given behavior regardless of how that person believes (Wade & Tavris, 2017). For example, a solid incentive system is capable of training employee's conduct in a work environment.
On the other hand, cognitive perspectives rely on the mechanistic approach of input, memory, and output in the metal, processes of an individual which influences behavior. According to this view, emotions and expectations drive psychological outcomes (Neisser, 2014). For example, in anticipation of an upcoming event shapes your feelings and behavior before, during and after the event.
Additionally, the biological perspective of psychology explores the influence of genetics, hormones, and the nervous system on thoughts, feelings, and behavior in close relationship to evolution. This approach draws a connection between the brain, hormones, and nerves and the actions, moods, and thoughts (Wade & Tavris, 2017). For example, the drop in a father's testosterone levels immediately after a child's birth is a biological control towards timidity and promotes fidelity.
Finally, the socio-cultural perspective is based on the influence of imitation and behavioral observation to an individual's behavior and thoughts. This approach relies on the perception that behavior can be learned through observation and imitation from the surrounding environment (Gross, 2015). For example, a smoking father is more likely to bring up a smoking son as compared to a nonsmoker.
Psychology can be defined as the scientific study of human behavior and mental processes. In understanding the scientific aspect of psychology, the utilization of scientific and empirical methods in experiments and hypothesis testing is crucial (Wade & Tavris, 2017). In this aspect, psychological science is studied through the all-important and rigorous field and laboratory experiments that bear evidence-based strategies for understanding human behavior and brain functioning.
In scientific contexts, a theory is an explanation that is satisfactorily tested and substantiated to represent a defined set of factors while a hypothesis is an untested explanation or an unsubstantiated prediction of particular phenomena. An operational definition, on the other hand, is the measurable contextual definitions of a study concept that is defined to enable empirical measurements during research. These three descriptions are crucial in understanding psychology since they enable the conduct of laboratory and field testing and measurements in a bid to better understand psychological concepts and present them. This is important for the advancement of psychological perspectives and applications.
Certain perspectives of psychology relate it to genes, chromosomes, genomes, and DNA. In this light, the above aspects contribute to the genetic makeup of an individual which has been linked to psychology through the biological school of thought. The genetic makeup influences the presence of specific biological chemicals such as testosterone and other natural sterols which are mental and behavioral influencers and thus psychological factors (Neisser, 2014). The genetic makeup of individuals has also been linked to occurrences of conditions such as depression and bipolar disorder which are crucial concerns of psychology. In this way, genes which are segments of DNA, genomes, and chromosomes which comprise the DNA and determine human developmental characteristics all contribute to the understanding of psychology.
Also, the central nervous system (CNS) is another crucial component in the understanding of human psychology. It is defined as the vital component of the overall nervous system that is comprised of the brain and the accompanying spinal cord. These two parts are distinguished from the peripheral nervous system which spans the rest of the human body. The spinal cord is an impulse conduit that transfers nervous information into the brain and responses back to the respective peripheral organs. It, therefore, integrates information from the peripheral nervous system and relays to the brain and back. Notably, the spinal cord is also responsible for controlling simple reflexes of skeletal muscles without the influence of the brain. The brain, on the other hand, is the central integration center of sensory information that works unconsciously and consciously to coordinate bodily functions and process sensory information. Most importantly, the brain performs complex functions of thinking and feeling which influence psychological behavior and emotions (Gross, 2015). This significant correlation of the CNS and psychology makes it an important facet of the understanding of behavior and thoughts.
In conclusion, psychology is a multi-faceted study field that encompasses diverse perspectives in understanding thoughts and human behavior. Its representation through well-developed scientific approaches and utility in different areas of medicine and counseling therapy is a testament to the vastness of psychology study and practice. It is therefore essential that more research is conducted in psychology to strengthen its application in fields such as counseling, medicine, education, forensics, and sociology as well as the exploitation of other possible utilities to the discipline.
Gross, R. (2015). Psychology: The science of mind and behaviour 7th edition. Hodder Education.
Neisser, U. (2014). Cognitive psychology: Classic edition. Psychology Press.
Wade, C., & Tavris, C. (2017). Psychology (12th Edition ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
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