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Approaches in Psychology

By Galindez1 Oct 18, 2012 3735 Words
Approaches in Psychology

There are about eight approaches in psychology.
1. Developmental Psychology
2. industrial psychology
3. child psychology
4. educational psychology
5. cognitive psychology
6. social psychology
7. abnormal psychology
8. clinical psychology
9. Counseling
10. Psychology Of Individual Difference

What is Developmental Psychology?
Developmental psychology is a field of psychology that examines the impact of maturational processes and experience on behavior.
We can also describe the definition of developmental psychology as “It is the study in which behavior develop and change during a life span. Special areas of interest include the development of language, social attachments, emotions, thinking and perception”

More In Developmental Psychology:
Developmental psychology is the scientific study of age-related changes throughout the human life span. A discipline of scientific inquiry, developmental psychology recognizes humans of all societies and cultures as beings who are “in process,” or constantly growing and changing. This discipline identifies the biological, psychological, and social aspects that interact to influence the growing human life-span process. Beginning with Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) and Jean Piaget (1896–1980), the early focus of developmental psychology was on child development, or the maturation of children. Within the last 25 years, developmentalists—researchers who study human development—expanded their focus to include the study of the physical, motor, cognitive, intellectual, emotional, personality, social, and moral changes that occur throughout all stages of the life span. In it’s special areas of interest language development, emotions, perceptions and thinking are included. When a baby born, he’s totally unaware about the words his mom, dad and people attached with him say. The baby needs to develop his mind to learn the language. He always tries to copy the people of his surrounding to learn language. But the question is that why the animals can’t learn language? There’s a special device or you can say that there’re special cells in the brain of a baby and has the specific period by which baby learns the language and this type of thing is not available in the minds of animals. The development of emotions and thinking are also based upon the development of mind and language. When a baby learn the language he also try to act and shows emotions like hunger, pain and something like that.

2- Industrial Psychology:
What is Industrial Psychology?
Industrial and Organizational Psychology is a specialist
area that applies psychological knowledge and skills to
work, with the aim of improving organizational
effectiveness and the quality of work life.
More In Industrial Psychology:
Psychologists in this field advise businesses and organizations on a variety of subjects: the selection and training of workers; how to promote efficient working conditions and techniques; how to boost employee morale, productivity, and job satisfaction; and the best ways to evaluate employee performance and create incentives that motivate workers. I-O psychology first became prominent during World War II (1939-1945), when it became necessary to recruit and train the large number of new workers who were needed to meet the expanding demands of industry.

The selection of workers for particular jobs is essentially a problem of discovering the special aptitudes and personality characteristics needed for the job and of devising tests to determine whether candidates have such aptitudes and characteristics. The development of tests of this kind has long been a field of psychological research.

Once the worker is on the job and has been trained, the fundamental aim of the I-O psychologist is to find ways in which a particular job can best be accomplished with a minimum of effort and a maximum of individual satisfaction. The psychologist's function, therefore, differs from that of the so-called efficiency expert, who places primary emphasis on increased production. Psychological techniques used to lessen the effort involved in a given job include a detailed study of the motions required to do the job, the equipment used, and the conditions under which the job is performed. These conditions include ventilation, heating, lighting, noise, and anything else affecting the comfort or morale of the worker. After making such a study, the I-O psychologist often determines that the job in question may be accomplished with less effort by changing the routine motions of the work itself, changing or moving the tools, improving the working conditions, or a combination of several of these methods.

Industrial-organizational psychologists have also studied the effects of fatigue on workers to determine the length of working time that yields the greatest productivity. In some cases such studies have proven that total production on particular jobs could be increased by reducing the number of working hours or by increasing the number of rest periods, or breaks, during the day. I-O psychologists may also suggest less direct requirements for general improvement of job performance, such as establishing a better line of communication between employees and management.

3- Child Psychology:
What is Child Psychology?
It’s the study in which we study how children grow and issues related with their upbringing, physical and psychological health.
More In Child Psychology:
Child Development, physical, intellectual, social, and emotional changes that occur from birth to adolescence. Although people change throughout their lives, developmental changes are especially dramatic in childhood. During this period, a dependent, vulnerable newborn grows into a capable young person who has mastered language, is self-aware, can think and reason with sophistication, has a distinctive personality, and socializes effortlessly with others. Many abilities and characteristics developed in childhood last a lifetime.

Some developments in behavior and thought are very similar for all children. Around the world, most infants begin to focus their eyes, sit up, and learn to walk at comparable ages, and children begin to acquire language and develop logical reasoning skills at approximately the same time. These aspects of individual growth are highly predictable. Other aspects of development show a much wider range of individual differences. Whether a child becomes outgoing or shy, intellectually advanced or average, or energetic or subdued depends on many unique influences whose effects are difficult to predict at the child’s birth.

A variety of factors influence child development. Heredity guides every aspect of physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and personality development. Family members, peer groups, the school environment, and the community influence how children think, socialize, and become selfaware. Biological factors such as nutrition, medical care, and environmental hazards in the air and water affect the growth of the body and mind. Economic and political institutions, the media, and cultural values all guide how children live their lives. Critical life events, such as a family crisis or a national emergency, can alter the growth of personality and identity. Most important of all, children contribute significantly to their own development. This occurs as they strive to understand their experiences, respond in individual ways to the people around them, and choose activities, friends, and interests. Thus, the factors that guide development arise from both outside and within the person.

Why is the study of child development important? One reason is that it provides practical guidance for parents, teachers, child-care providers, and others who care for children. A second reason is that it enables society to support healthy growth. Understanding early brain development, for example, means that parents can provide better opportunities for intellectual stimulation, and society can reduce or eliminate obstacles to healthy brain growth. Third, the study of child development helps therapists and educators better assist children with special needs, such as those with emotional or learning difficulties. Finally, understanding child development contributes to self-understanding. We know ourselves better by recognizing the influences that have made us into the people we are today.

4- Educational Psychology:
What is Educational Psychology?
Educational Psychology, application of
scientific method to the study of the behavior
of people in instructional settings. Although
the behavior of teachers and students is of
greatest interest, educational psychologists
also study the behavior of other groups, such
as teacher aides, infants, migrants, and the
aged. The areas covered by educational
psychologists inevitably overlap with other
areas of psychology, including child and
adolescent development, social psychology,
psychological testing, and educational
There are different theories of child psychology which are as follow: • Learning (Different theories of learning help educational psychologists understand, predict, and control human behavior. For example, educational psychologists have worked out mathematical models of learning that predict the probability of a person's making a correct response; these mathematical theories are used to design computerized instruction in reading, mathematics, and secondlanguage learning. Different psychologist have their contribution in this field. Ivan Pavlov and B.F Skinner are prominent)

• Motivation (Attribution theory describes the role of motivation in a person's success or failure in school situations. Success on a test, for instance, could be attributed to luck or hard work; the theory predicts the behavior of students depending on their responses.)

• Development (The theory of the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget that intellectual ability is qualitatively different at different ages and that children need interaction with the environment to gain intellectual competency has influenced all of education and psychology. This new concept of intelligence affected the design of learning environments for young children and the development of mathematics and science programs)

• Theory of teaching (The variables that educational psychologists have found to be important in classroom teaching include the time teachers allocate to instruction, the amount of content they cover, the percent of time that students are engaged in learning, the congruence between what is taught and what is tested, and the ability of the teacher to give clear directions, provide feedback, hold students accountable for their behavior, and create a warm, democratic atmosphere for learning.)

• Instructional theory (The American educator Robert Gagné developed a hierarchical theory that some types of learning are prerequisites to other kinds of learning. His research has been fruitfully used in determining the sequence of instruction.)

5- Cognitive Psychology:
What is Cognitive Psychology?
It is the scientific study of cognition.
Cognition refers to the process of
knowing, and cognitive psychology is the
study of all mental activities related to
acquiring, storing, and using knowledge.
Other topics that fascinate cognitive
psychologists include creativity,
intelligence, and how people learn,
understand, and use language.
It can also be said like “it is the study of internal processes which include thinking, memory, concept formation and processing of information.” Behavior is composed of mental events, internal representations, desire, beliefs and thoughts.

Cognitive approach is the study of mental process. Cognitive psychologist believe that if we want to understand why people act as they do , we need to understand how they think, remember and reason. They are interested in how we interpret and make sense of the world around us.

More In Cognitive Psychology:
cognitive psychologists have discovered that mental activities that seem simple and natural are, in fact, extraordinarily complex. For example, most children have no trouble learning language from their parents. But how do young children decode the meanings of sounds and grasp the basic rules of grammar? Why do children learn language more easily and rapidly than adults? Explaining these puzzles has proven very difficult, and attempts to duplicate true language ability in machines have failed. Even the most advanced computers have trouble understanding the meaning of a simple story or conversation. Cognitive psychologists have found similar complexity in other mental processes.

Cognitive psychology is one field within cognitive science, an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the human mind. Other fields in cognitive science include anthropology, linguistics, neuroscience (the study of the brain and nervous system), and artificial intelligence. Cognitive neuroscience, or neurocognition, combines cognitive psychology and neuroscience. Cognitive psychology is sometimes confused with cognitive therapy, a type of psychotherapy used to treat depression and other mental disorders. Cognitive therapy falls within the realm of clinical psychology, the branch of psychology devoted to the study and treatment of mental disorders. Jene Piaget Theory:

Piaget strongly influenced by Kant's constructivist theory of knowledge. Formulated his theory as alternative to and rejection of behaviorist (empiricist) theories of development, which account for development in terms of learning.

In this experiment, Child shown two identical beakers with the same amount of liquid in each. The liquid from one beaker is poured into a wider (or narrower) beaker. Child now says that there is less (or more) liquid in the second beaker. This is how cognitive psychology based on. Now the child has set his mind that the longer one has the more amount of water and the wider one has less. After pouring all the water he’ll still say that the longer one had more water.

6- Social Psychology:
What is Social Psychology?
It is the scientific study of how people think, feel, and behave in social situations. This area of specialization draws on two disciplines: sociology, which focuses on groups; and psychology, which centers on the individual. We can also define it like “We use scientific techniques to examine the effects that people have on one another. They are interested in topics such as altruism, cooperation, aggression, affection and group pressure.” More In Social Psychology?

Social psychologists seek to answer a wide variety of questions, among them: Why do we help or ignore others in need? Why are people romantically attracted to each other? How do people form stereotypes about racial and ethnic groups, and how can they overcome them? What techniques of persuasion do advertisers use to sell their products? Why do people usually conform in group situations? What makes someone an effective leader?

As in other branches of psychology, social psychologists use a wide variety of research methods, including laboratory experiments, observations in the real world, case studies, and public opinion surveys. Some social psychologists conduct basic research to test general theories about human social behavior, while others seek to apply that research to solve real-world social problems.

Social psychology and sociology are often confused, because both fields study groups and group behavior. However, their perspectives differ. Whereas sociologists strive to understand group behavior in terms of society and social institutions, social psychologists focus on individuals and how they perceive, interact with, and influence each other. They study how individuals exert influence on groups and how group situations affect the behavior of individuals.

Most social psychologists who study aggression emphasize the roles of family, culture, peers, and other environmental factors. In particular, these researchers have found that aggression can be triggered by frustration, noise, hot weather, physical pain, and other unpleasant states. Other situational factors that may trigger aggression include the sight of weapons, feelings of anonymity in a large faceless crowd, and the consumption of alcohol and other drugs. Over the years, hundreds of studies have also shown that viewing large amounts of television violence can increase aggressive behavior, particularly in children.

Social behavior and value orientation in which individuals give primary consideration to the interests and welfare of other individuals, members of groups or the community as a whole. The term was used by Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) to describe a suicide committed for the benefit of others or for the community: this would include self-sacrifice for military objectives in wartime. Sociobiology’s argue that altruistic behavior has its roots in selfinterest, the unconscious desire to protect one's genetic heritage. Critics of sociobiology respond that altruism is evident between individuals and in social situations where people are completely unrelated genetically and claim that human conduct and motivations cannot be explained without reference to the values and norms of culture.

7- Clinical Psychology:
What is Clinical Psychology?
It is the branch of psychology devoted to the study, diagnosis, and treatment of people with mental illnesses and other psychological disorders. Clinical psychologists assess and treat a wide range of psychological problems. These problems range from short-term emotional crises, such as those due to family conflicts, to severe and chronic mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia. Some clinical psychologists specialize in treating specific problems, such as phobias or depression. Others specialize in treating specific populations, such as children, the elderly, or members of ethnic minority groups. Clinical psychologists usually seek to treat emotional and behavioral problems with psychotherapy, a form of intervention that relies primarily on verbal communication between therapist and client. The work of clinical psychologists falls into three main categories: • Testing and diagnosis

• Treatment of psychological disorders
Many clinical psychologists combine several of these activities. For example, those who work in academic settings often combine teaching, research, and counseling.
Testing and diagnosis
Clinical psychologists most commonly administer psychological tests for the purposes of assessing a person’s mental health. For example, a clinical psychologist may give a child an intelligence test to determine whether that child has mental retardation. Personality tests, such as the Minnesota Multiphase Personality Inventory, may help determine whether someone has a personality disorder or another psychological problem. Clinical psychologists also conduct detailed interviews with patients, asking questions intended to reveal signs of a psychological problem. Treatment of psychological disorders

Many clinical psychologists work directly with people who have a mental illness or psychological disorder. By choosing an appropriate treatment, clinical psychologists can help such people overcome their problem or, at minimum, manage their symptoms.

Clinical psychologists use psychotherapy as their main method of treating psychological disorders. In most types of psychotherapy, a therapist talks one-on-one with a patient or client. The therapist and client meet regularly, typically in weekly sessions, until both agree that the client has substantially improved and does not need further treatment. Although clinical psychologists cannot prescribe medication, they often combine psychotherapy with drug treatment by working in collaboration with the client’s physician.

There are many different approaches to the practice of psychotherapy. Each is based on different ideas about the sources of personal problems. Most therapies can be classified as (1) psychodynamic, (2) humanistic, (3) behavioral, (4) cognitive, or (5) eclectic.

8- Abnormal Psychology:
What is Abnormal Psychology?
The definition of the word abnormal is simple enough: deviating from the norm. However, applying this to psychology poses a complex problem: what is normal? Whose norm? For what age? For what culture? Some would simply classify what is "good" as normal and what is "bad" as abnormal, but this is a vague and narrow definition and brings up many of the same questions for the definition of "good" as does the definition for "normal". There are many more ways of determining a more objective reference point. Perspective:

Though there are many perspectives psychologists use to define human behavior as normal or abnormal, we only address three of these perspectives on this website.
The behavioral perspective emphasizes the role of learning, particularly conditioning experiences on the development of psychological disorders. The cognitive perspective emphasizes cognitions (expectations, values, beliefs) in determining the responses a person will make in confronting life's situations, and the medical perspective relates disorders to biological abnormalities. You can find elaborations on each of these perspectives by following their respective links.

The following disorder definitions are taken from Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Inc.'s Introduction to Psychology
• Anxiety disorders
Includes disorders in which anxiety is the main symptom (generalized anxiety or panic disorders) or anxiety is experienced unless the individual avoids feared situations (phobic disorders) or tries to resist performing certain rituals or thinking persistent thoughts (obsessive-compulsive disorders). Also includes post-truamatic stress disorder.

• Mood disorders
Disturbances of normal mood; the person may be extremely depressed, abnormally elated, or may alternate between periods of elation and depression.
• Personality disorders
Long-standing patterns of maladaptive behavior that constitutes immature and innappropriate ways of coping with stress or solving problems. Antisocial personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder are two examples. • Schizophrenia

A group of disorders characterized by loss of contact with reality, marked disturbances of thought and perception, and bizarre behavior. At some phase delusions or hallucinations almost always occur.

• Delusional (paranoid) disorders
Disorders characterized by excessive suspicions and hostility, accompanied by feelings of being persecuted; reality contact in other areas satisfactory.

9- Counseling:
What is counseling?
It is defined as advice or guidance, especially as provided by a professional in a given field.
It is like help individuals solve problems, academic and vocational problems that did not stem from serious mental problems.
More In Counseling:
It means that it deals with the problems facing by the people like academic, vocational and some other serious mental problems. Psychologist advises him about the problem solving. Like if a student is very weak, the psychologist will advice the student to do some useful jobs which will produce interest in his studies. It’s all about the so simple disorder of the mind. Some students are sharp in their studies and other activities and some students are weak. The difference is only where some mental disordering takes place.

10- Psychology of Individual Differences:
What is Psychology of Individual Differences?
Individual difference psychology examines how people
are similar and how they differ in their thinking,
feeling and behavior.
We can also say it like “Focus is more on individual
differences regarding different psychological behaviors
such as perception, memory, personality traits etc”
More In Psychology of Individual Differences:
Individual differences is a cornerstone subject area in modern psychology. In many ways, it is the "classic" psychology that the general public refers to - it refers the psychology of the person - the psychological differences between people and their similarities.

“No two persons are born exactly alike; but each differs from the other in natural endowments, one being suited for one occupation and the other for another.”
Individual difference psychology examines how people are similar and how they differ in their thinking, feeling and behaviour. No two people are alike, yet no two people are unlike. So, in the study of individual differences we strive to understand ways in which people are psychologically similar and particularly what psychological characteristics vary between people. In the Western psychology approach to individual differences, it is generally assumed that:

• People vary on a range of psychological attributes
• It is possible to measure and study these individual differences • individual differences are useful for explaining and predicting behavior and performance
We can classify people psychologically, according to their intelligence and personality characteristics, for example, with moderate success, however people are complex and much is still left unexplained. There are multiple and often conflicting theories and evidence about individual difference psychology.

Human beings have been aware of individual differences throughout history, e.g.
• Gender differences -hunters=men, gatherers=women
• Intelligence differences - caste, class, education, etc. • Personality differences - job specializations.

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