The Diverse Nature of Psychology
Psychology, though a young field, is a uniquely successful one, flourishing in the twentieth century through intellectual and social expansion (Darity, 2008). From its philosophical roots to its emergence as a scientific discipline, the field of psychology has been concerned with behavior and mental processes. By its very nature, the field is diverse encompassing many subdisciplines and areas. The American Psychological Association recognizes more than 50 different divisions in the field, marked either by area of study or area of practice. Because of its diverse nature, the field has become widely applicable and valuable in many other fields. Psychology has successfully been applied to fields like education, vocational, medicine, sports, and the corporate world. This paper will discuss the impact of diversity on psychology’s major concepts, give examples of subdisciplines and their implications in other fields, and examine many ways psychology has contributed to society.
There does exist some discourse regarding the unification of this diverse field. Some early theoretical psychologists and modern experts have criticized the missing unity of psychology (Darity, 2008). In the early twentieth century, there was a movement to unify major concepts in psychology such as psychoanalysis, behaviorism, Gestalt psychology, and structuralism. Later, criticisms involved multiple theoretical approaches and empirical data that were often contradictory (Darity, 2008). Today, the field of psychology is so diverse in its concepts and its positions on theories and so disjointed in its characteristics that multiple psychologies, rather than a unified psychology, remain prevalent (Darity, 2008). Those who advocate unity in the field demand unification for theoretical reasons. Opponents of unification contend that the lack of unity in the field makes for an adaptive discipline applicable in other fields (Darity,...
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