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Fields Which Contributed to the Growth and Development of Psychology

By christinejay May 14, 2013 1051 Words
Fields which contributed to the growth and development of Psychology

There are many fields that contributed to the advancement of the fields. Below I have discussed a very influential few.

Psychology and Anthropology

Anthropology is the study of Humankind and Psychology is the study of human mind. So there is an obvious connection between the two fields. Anthropologists study the past and present of humans to understand the complexity of cultures across the human history. It is evident that this field has contributed to what psychology is today. Early findings reveal that there was a hollow in the skulls they have found in the Stone Age. Psychologists believe that this was the first methods used by our ancestors to treat those who were possessed by evil spirits. They thought that the spirit was in the head and therefore made a hole in the skull, so that the spirit could go away. Surprisingly this may seem to have worked back in time. The findings on different cultures by anthropologists has greatly aided psychologists adjust themselves when dealing with individuals with different cultural backgrounds as well as multicultural groups

Psychology and Biology

Biology is the field that study living organisms. The most important study of biology that has affected psychology in a great deal is the study of human brain. Brain plays an important role in our sensation and perception. It is the mediator that controls our responses to the stimuli and it’s impossible to study the sensory processing without knowing the function of the brain. Also, the finding of the localization of ructions in the brain has helped psychologists to categorize the disorders and improve the treatments. Secondly, genetics plays a major role in Psychology too. In the study of personality, we must consider both genetic and social learning experience to get a good understanding. Studying one alone would not lead to a full explanation. We do even have a separate branch in modern psychology related to biology. These biological psychologists study the relationship between the physiological bases and behavior.

Psychology and Evolution

Evolution is the change in inherited characteristics of population over generations. It is in fact an interesting field to study in relation to Psychology. Charles Darwin in his theory proposed how new species are created and how existing species changes to adapt to the current environment. The human evolution suggests that humans have changed not only physically but also behaviorally. It is surprising to see the long way man has come since then. This does not necessarily take ages. Just think about whom you was when you were a 12 year old and look at a 12 year old today. You will be amazed at how they have changes in a few years time. And when you think way back, how did man who had no language initially are multi lingual now? Psychologists are keen to find out answers to these questions. How did man acquire languages, how was it developed, how men did started creating relationships with each other, with animals etc… Answering these questions has lead psychology grow as a filed, day by day to where it is now. Learning differences, adapting to differences, both behaviorally and psychologically was what we learnt from evolution.

Natural selection, Sexual selection and adaptation are important principles that have contributed to the field of psychology. Natural selection talks about the survival of the fittest. Species that have stronger adaptations skills tend to pass on these genes to the next generation and has better chances of survival whereas Sexual selection talks about the principles of attraction. Adaptation in the other hand explains why certain behaviors exist and also the Ultimate proximate causes of such behavior. These adaptations increase fitness. For example, a pregnant mothers show aversion to toxic food during their pregnancy. This is an adaptation to protect the fetus.

Psychology and Medicine

Development in the field of medicine has indeed aided Psychology in its journey up to date. Finding of various new medication techniques had caused implementation of effective treatment techniques with patients. Even if psychologists do not prescribe medicine, medication indeed helps. For an example, you cannot start psychotherapy on a severely depressed client. Medication is used to bring down the severity and then only the psychotherapy begins. And especially for disorder like schizophrenia, OCD, etc., medication has become a must. And it is proven that it needs medication and psychotherapy combined with social skills training works best for most psychological disorders.

Psychology and Buddhism

Psychology ahs some of its roots embedded in Buddhism too. Meditation techniques Buddhists use are used in some areas of Psychology. Further when you look at Psychological schools live Existentialism and Humanistic perspective we can see a lot of touches added by Buddhism. The famous existentialist Yalom, talks about four principles death, freedom, isolation and meaninglessness. And when studying his theory you come across a lot of Buddhist principles he has used in developing the theory.

Also in the fairly new treatment technique MBCT, which is used mainly to treat relapse prevention in depression, and it also has got Buddhists’ principles embedded in it. Concept of Metacognitive Awareness is one example that directly relates with Buddhism. Even though if psychology has come far as a science, there is still a lot of philosophical influence on the subject throughout its branches which has nourished the field to what it is today.

Psychology and Education

The advancements of the education process in deed had been an enormous support to the development and growth of the psychology field. There is even a separate branch dedicated as Educational Psychology where psychologists study on new changes and additions to the learning curriculum, infrastructure, special needs etc. to make the learning teaching experience more efficient and effective. Also there is a branch naming School psychology that works within the educational system to help children with personal, social and academic issues. These developments as well as the advancements to education itself, has made the field of psychology vast. In early days there were a very minimal number of psychologists working in the field and it was field most of the people couldn’t even understand. But thanks to education, now we have millions of students learning psychology from high schools and collaged and many psychologists working towards the growth of the field.

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