Is diversity an obstacle to understanding in psychology?

Topics: Psychology, Developmental psychology, Attachment theory Pages: 4 (1678 words) Published: November 14, 2014
Critically discuss the claim that ‘The diversity of perspectives in psychology is an obstacle to understanding’ drawing on material from at least two chapters of Book 2.

Psychology is a multifaceted discipline utilising the varying approaches, methods and themes from many perspectives to explore the mind and behaviour of humankind. Many perspectives, from the biological and objective to the psychoanalytical and totally subjective, serve to answer psychological questions with possible theories based on a range of studies, lab experiments and research. All perspectives are underpinned by their history, traditions and methods which affect the types of questions they ask, the focus of their enquiries and, ultimately, the outcome of their efforts. This means that across a topic, perspectives may all be looking at the same thing but asking very different questions and therefore producing findings that are difficult to interpret as complementary, co-existing or conflicting. To further this thinking, it could be argued that different perspectives are offering such different theories in the same topic due to asking different questions with a different object of knowledge, rather than actually having found different answers. Metaphorically, perspectives are coming back with different results simply because they carried out different experiments, not because they have conflicting findings. Many perspectives can aid the understanding of the discipline, but there are certainly disadvantages to be explored regarding the way in which multiple perspectives can serve as an obstacle to understanding. An aid to understanding must be seen to build greater understanding and support progress in the discipline. The first and most apparent way in which diversity aids the understanding of the human mind and behaviour is the suggestion that many perspectives reflect the complexity of human life, and in respect of this, psychology as a discipline continues to acknowledge that no...
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