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Psychology is defined by American Psychological Association (APA) as a “diverse discipline, grounded in science, but with nearly boundless applications in everyday life” (APA, 2011 pr. 6). Psychologists conduct basic research, developing and testing theories through cautiously refined research methods involving neuropsychological methods, animal studies, observation, survey questionnaires, controlled experimentation, Qualitative and descriptive research, computational modeling, and analysis (Weiner et al., 2003).
Other psychologists make use of the scientific knowledge gained in psychological research to benefit organizations communities and people (APA, 2011).
Currently, psychologists have applied objective scientific procedures to appreciate and offer an explanation or even a prediction of human behavior. However, there have been various misconceptions about psychology but this has been counteracted by more structured psychological studies starting with hypothesis and eventually conducting empirical testing.
However, research findings of cognitive, developmental and social Psychology have had a timely application not only in the academic field, but also in explaining certain thoughts, emotions and behaviors. Additionally, it has helped in uplifting human mental health along with improving performance to advance the living standards of population.
Basic research in psychology revolves around academic psychology that involves study of aspects of personality, social, cognitive and developmental psychology. Moreover, applied psychology aims at putting into practice the theoretical knowledge to solve problems that face human in their daily life through application of various psychological principles (Weiner et al., 2003).
To begin with, forensic psychology has gone a long way in the criminal justice system to determine the cause of crime or identify suspects in order to solve related cases. Besides, psychological research has helped therapists to manage mental, behavioral as well as emotional disorders through application of various scientific methods such as experimental, correlational as well as longitudinal studies (Flavell & Ross, 1981).
Cognitive psychology involves evaluation of human cognitions and mental processes involving attention, thought, learning, memory, reasoning, emotion, language cognition, perception and matters related to making decisions and solving problems. Research on cognitive development has currently been facilitated by enhanced brain imaging technology for psychologists to analyze the brain structure and function.
As a result, this has enabled them to have more information regarding age related questions like sensory perception, storage and retrieval of information in decision making and solving problems. Consequently, the research has enabled the growth of cognitive neuroscience, a high-tech specialty that has allowed physicians to manage brain injuries and other mental health issues.
On the other hand, developmental psychology addresses human growth and development in entire lifespan. Studying how human perceives, understands and responds to the environment and how this modifies as one ages is also part of developmental psychology.
Motor skills and stages of development through various theories are also addressed with emphasis on intellectual, neural, cognitive and social development. Researchers in this field have helped in education, child psychopathology and have added up to social and cognitive psychology. Research in development psychology has also aided in predicting interpersonal relationships and moral reasoning with regard to the stage of development that a person is in.
Finally, social psychology applies scientific methods to evaluate human thoughts regarding one another, social effects, perception, stereotypes, attitudes and interaction through studying group behavior such as conformity and persuasion. Social cognition interprets aspects of social as well as cognitive psychology to appreciate memory and distortion of social facts. Group dynamics helps psychologists to understand the state and ability maximization of leadership as well as communication in a basic social setup.
As a result, research on human society is essential to determine the origin of psychiatric disorders and application of sociological concepts related to the same that includes social role, class, cultural aspects, migration, and experiences. Social psychology studies regarding the extent of effects of social trends on human condition is determined by evaluating social values, group conflicts, submission to the law and social responsibilities.
Such studies have been relevant in relation to gender and racial aspects facing the society. Research has changed the perceptions of gender/race and conformation to these stereotypes (Flavell & Ross, 1981). Studies in this field also aim to have socially valued results applicable in industries and organizations for career counseling.
Human functioning has been attributed to personal factors like thoughts and feelings as well as environmental and behavioral factors. Cognition determines their ability to efficiently control personal responses to other individuals and environment.
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Psychological disorders are managed by researchers in different psychological fields particularly those related to pathologies. All the same, psychotic, mood, antisocial, anxiety among others destroys personal interactions and ability to perform efficiently.
Therefore, psychological research has offered a solution to some of these pathologies affecting the way of life of various people in the world. Psychological research also provides new and relevant information applied in patients, academic institutions, corporate bodies, judicial cases, and even in sports. These psychologists conduct research studies for normal as well as abnormal human functions, to manage mental and emotional issues in them.
Besides, they offer encouragement to behaviors along with ensuring individual well-being and emotional flexibility. Currently, as the connection between body and mind continues to be identified, many psychologists from all over the world team-up with healthcare practitioners to award comprehensive healthcare for those in need of it.
American Psychological Association (APA) (2011). About APA. Web.
Flavell, J. H., & Ross, L. (1981). Social Cognitive Development: Frontiers and Possible Futures. New York: Cambridge University Press Archive.
Weiner, I. B., Freedheim, D. K., Schinka, J. A., & Velicer, W. F. (2003). Handbook of Psychology: Research Methods in Psychology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.