Trends in Psychology

Topics: Psychology, Scientific method, Cognition Pages: 3 (775 words) Published: December 20, 2012
I. Research Question or Problem
Yes. The question is clearly stated. The purpose of this study is to examine trends in the prominence of four widely recognized schools of scientific psychology, and which, if any, is most prominent (Robins, Gosling, Craik, 1999). II. Introduction

Yes. The introduction indicates the importance of how psychologists should evaluate trends in the prominence of four schools of psychology empirically not intuitively. Nine sources are cited in the introduction. Many contentions and declarations have evaluated trends intuitively as to which psychological school is most prevalent (Leahey, 1991, pp.118-119). Scientific prominence is examined using three indexes that will measure convergence across the same trends (Robins et al. 1999, p. 118). III. Methodology

The first index of prominence was measured through selecting flagship publications, specifically, “ The American Psychologist, Annual Review of Psychology, Psychological Bulletin, and Psychological Review” (Robins et al., 1999, p.120). PsychINFO database was used to retrieve articles containing specific word stems. For each school, the percentage of articles published included one or more key words selected to represent that school. The trends were plotted and computed annually from 1950 to 1997 (p.120). The second index of prominence, the researchers measured and examined the “subject matter of doctoral dissertations” retrieved from PsychINFO from 1967-1994 (p. 120-121). This index was computed by calculating the percentage of dissertations providing it included one or more key words selected to represent each school (p. 121). The third index was measured by trying to replicate findings using non-keyword index. The researchers selected representative schools they used “Friman et. al.’s (1993) criteria to select journals (p.121). For neuroscience, the researchers used “ratings of prominence by neuroscientists working within psychology departments” (p.121). Twenty relevant...

References: The format used listing references was consistent, and all the references given were cited in this journal. A variety of sources were sited, given the number of noteworthy trends in the history of psychology.
VII. Personal Reaction
I found this to be an interesting study. The research provided identified numerous noteworthy trends in psychology’s history. I agree with the proposal that the rise in cognitive school attained most of its prominence due to the rise in communication networks in publishing scientific products, where they are easily published and accessible (Robins, 1999, p.127). The study confirms that psychologists should “evaluate trends empirically and not intuitively” (p.117) as many researchers have a hypothesis of why a school is more prominent.
Leahey, T. H. (1991). A history of modern psychology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Robins, R. W., Gosling, S. D., & Craik, K. H. (1999). An empirical analysis of trends in psychology. American Psychologist, 54(2), 117-128.
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