Which of the contemporary perspectives in psychology makes the most sense to you? Discussion
It is evident that psychology is being increasingly used in daily events. Employment for
example, in Europe more companies are subjecting potential personnel to psychological
profile checks and psychological tests during interviews. Even our social lives are
becoming affected. People who are seeking the right partner are using psychological
techniques to establish the emotional state of their potential partners. As psychology
becomes more and more accessible and understandable to more people, I feel that it will
begin to influence our lifestyles more.
The evolutionary perspective "focuses on why a particular behavior or physical structure
developed and how the behavior or structure aids in adaptation to the environment"
(Lahey, 20). Charles Darwin was the innovator who popularized the evolutionary theory.
This summarizes how a being can adapt to an environment and keep certain habits, in
turn passing these traits along to future generations.
Sociocultural perspective "focuses on the different cultures, ethnic identity and other
sociocoultural factors to fully understand a person" (Lahey, 17) - which I think is makes
the most sense. At a point in time the psychology field was dominated by Caucasian
males. Females and people from different races were not allowed to be in the field or
even to obtain a doctoral degree. Thought the years, the percentage of men and women
in the field have changed dramatically. Once dominated by men, the field has shifted
more toward women dominating the field.
The contemporary perspective in psychology that makes the most sense to me is the
neuroscience perspective. I think the neuroscience perspective is very important
especially within the medical field. I understand why this course is a pre-req for entry
into pharmacy school. The neuroscience perspective "focuses on the nervous system in
explaining behavior and mental processes. Psychologists are interested in the structures
of the brain that play roles in emotion, reasoning, speaking, and other psychological
processes" (Lahey, 20). For example, after drinking alcohol you slur you speech and are
unable to walk a straight line. Alcohol affects the part of the brain that controls muscle
coordination. Also,the illegal drug MDMA/ecstasy effects serotonin levels in the brain.
This plays a role in emotion. While on the drug you have a wide range of good emotions.
After the drug is out of the brain you don't feel as good. The brains of people with
schizophernia, bipolar disorder, MS and Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's are different
than people without these conditions. MRI's, EEGS and PETS (scans of the brain) have
shown this difference. New drugs have been created to treat these conditions based on
neurotransmitters and chemicals in the brain. With more and more research being today
on these diseases, better and effective treatments are being developed based on the
way are body/brains are built and function. Most psychologists agree "Human beings are
biological creatures" (Lahey, 26) The new drug Namenda, for Alzheimer's works by
attaching to a certain receptors and allowing just enough chemical that effects learning
and memory. Too much of this chemical and the nerve cells die, too little and information
cannot be stored.
I think all of the perspectives have some value. They are different and some similar in
explaining behavior and mental processes. "Generally, contemporary psychologists do
not align themselves with a single theoretical position. Rather, they integrate the best
contributions of each perspective into their own eclectic view." (Lahey, 25) I think when
evaluating behavior and mental processes, each perspective should be considered and
the best parts used.
I agree with Aga when she says in her post "The evolutionary perspective "focuses on
why a particular behavior or physical structure developed and how the behavior or
structure aids in adaptation to the environment" (Lahey, 20). Charles Darwin was the
innovator who popularized the evolutionary theory. This summarizes how a being can
adapt to an environment and keep certain habits, in turn passing these traits along to
future generations." Many traits are passed along and also bipolar disorder can be
passed on to future generations. The behavior of a son/daughter having bipolar disorder
can be similar to the mother/father that has bipolar disorder. Also, bipolar disorder is
somehow connected with out physical makeup, DNA. That is how it is passed
on. "Although Darwin wrote long before the mechanisms of genetic inheritance were
understood, he hypothesized that variations occur occasionally in the process of
reproduction" (Lahey 20) Who knows maybe bipolar disorder was originally a "mutation".