Essay on Psychology: Professional Planning Portfolio

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University of California, Santa Barbara
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Application of major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical understanding, and historical trends in psychology to prepare for graduate studies or careers in which psychological training is relevant

Psychology deals with the brain and human behavior and specifically the effects of peoples thought processes on their behavior. Therefore, the subject has major concepts that will mainly surround thinking patterns and behavior (Gurung & Landrum, 2013). The first concept is the brain and behavior where psychology aims at understanding the complexity of human thought processes by analyzing various human aspects including memory, learning, perception, emotion, and cognitive development. Therefore, the interest in the brain and behavior will focus on mental and physical processes and their contribution to behavior (Gurung & Landrum, 2013). Another major concept in psychology is individual differences where psychology proposes that people will be different in intelligence, motivation, and personality. Therefore, it will focus on the exploration of how these aspects interact and their impact on how people behave (Gurung & Landrum, 2013). Psychology also focuses on personality, which is an individuals unique patterns in behavior and cognition. It is closely related to identity, and many psychologists will focus on the concept to better understand human behavior. Many psychologists have developed theories to explain the issue of personality. It also focuses on motivation in that every response that is learned is because of a particular motivation (Gurung & Landrum, 2013). The other concept is intelligence where no one psychologist can bravely attest to have clearly defined what it is. However, each of them works on developing their thoughts on what intelligence could be and what it encompasses. Psychology also works towards understanding human behavior through the study of people as social beings. Therefore, the subject will explore various pro-social and anti-social behaviors that may develop due to external influence. Psychologists have developed and continue to develop theories that help explain human behavior. There is psychodynamics, humanistic, behavioral, social, and many other theorists who describe personality development, behavior, cognition and other aspects that pertain to human thoughts and behavior. Many of these theorists will use empirical evidence to help prove their psychological thoughts especially behavioral psychologists like Pavlov and Skinner who carried out experiments to show how human behavior is influenced by rewards and punishments. It is the knowledge that I have gradually acquired throughout my study of psychology. I have gained a clearer understanding of the human thought process and behavior. I now understand how pathology will arise and how it is addressed. I have also learned to apply the theoretical approaches to various issues that people experience to describe human thought and behavior. I believe that the current psychological knowledge creates a solid basis for a deeper venture into psychology at the graduate level. It will be easier to identify and learn advanced concepts and deal with advanced behavioral and psychological issues in my graduate studies because I have the basis of psychological knowledge. I also believe that it will be easy to understand why people behave the way they do in the helping career I will engage in. Psychology will help eliminate any biases I may have towards certain people, and I will, therefore, accept clients as they come.

Application of basic knowledge of research methodology, statistics, measurement, guidelines, ethical standards, laws, and regulations to design, participate in and to evaluate research in a variety of contexts

Psychology involves carrying out research in existing and arising psychological issues in society. Many individuals have conducted research on social and psychological concepts, which help in increasing the knowledge available for these concepts (Smith, 2015). Therefore, research will involve the learning and training of the various research and statistics procedures necessary for the development of a reliable and valid research paper in psychology. Inferential statistical methods including T-Test, Z-score, ANNOVA, and much more act as the basis for the analysis and interpretation of any data collected in psychology (Smith, 2015). In psychology research needs to be classified as experimental, a case study or descriptive and these types of research studies have rules that dictate how they should be carried out and how their data is collected and analyzed (Smith, 2015). It also involves various ethical issues and laws that will help keep the researcher in check to ensure accountability, the safety of participants, and the safety of the researcher. So far, I have carried out various research studies with the help of supervisors in psychology. Therefore, I am confident that the experience, supervision, and practice I have had will be essential in ensuring that I develop quality research papers in psychology. Todays society is evolving rapidly which means that the social and psychological issues are changing at a similar or higher rate. It means that many areas of study for psychology are currently available and they will require the application of the knowledge I have gained so far. I believe that I can comfortably carry out a research study from its initials stages up to the end with the help of a professional in the area I may choose to conduct the study.

Application of knowledge on human behavior to inform personal growth, communicate effectively, solve problems, make decisions and interact with individuals, communities, and organizations

The basis of psychology is human behavior and how it is influenced by how people think. Psychology will describe human behavior to be acceptable and unacceptable in some instances especially for psychopathology (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2014). The subject often believes that everyone is insane it is only the level of insanity that differs. Pathology or maladaptive behavior according to psychology will be influenced by how people think and how the environment affects their thought process (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2014). These thought processes may develop during childhood as Freud proposes or due to learning from society as proposed by social learning theorists like Bandura. All the psychologists develop theories focused on explaining human behavior and why people behave the way they do. They often indicate the effect of human behavior on the rest of society (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2014). Psychology has helped me learn so much about myself that I was not aware of. The subject recommends self-awareness for psychologists and provides various tools that enable individuals to learn more about who they are. I would say that the self-awareness I have acquired helps me understand why I behave the way I do towards other people, and it helps me monitor my behavior in ways that were impossible before psychology. My communication patterns have significantly improved because I have learned how to communicate effectively and how to analyze other peoples communication patterns to understand them better. I can now identify non-verbal communication, and what it could mean for the situation I am in. Psychology has opened up my understanding of society and organizations. Group behavior and dynamics are major concepts in the subject, and thus I have acquired knowledge that helps in identifying how groups operate and what may make them dysfunctional. I can interact better with other people in society because now I understand why they behave the way they do and I will not judge them on first instances like I used to. Psychology has various problem-solving and decision-making techniques, which I have acquired in the course of my education. My approach towards problems has changed from an overall negative and hopeless view to one with the hope of making it through because psychology has helped me identify how to systematically solve any difficulties I encounter. I also take keen note when faced with instances where I need to make decisions. I will apply both objectivity and subjectivity when making decisions that will influence my life and the lives of other people around me.

Using critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and where possible, technology and the scientific approach to solving problems related to current and emergent trends within the domains of psychology

Creative thinking involves the creation and development of new ideas or theories that are useful in addressing rising issues in psychology and the society (Burke et al., 2014). It involves addressing issues in a new, useful, and productive way that works better than the existing solutions to the problem. Creative thinking will work well if its developer works only for an intrinsic reward and he or she does not pay attention to negative feedback from others(Burke et al., 2014). The world and society are changing rapidly it means that the problems that arise will not remain as society is used to them. Unique problems continue to come up which means that the age-old solutions that society has in place will not work for the new breed of problems. Therefore, creative thinking is necessary for the current society to remain sane and deal with the unique issues that keep cropping up. Skeptical inquiry involves the questioning attitude, effort, or doubt towards any knowledge or belief (Burke et al., 2014). Therefore, in psychology skeptical inquiry will involve the questioning of knowledge or facts based on psychological and scientific understanding. Any profession will require a questionable attitude towards facts that are developed concerning issues that touch on the well-being of people. It will ensure that the facts that are developed work for the benefit of society. It is especially important for psychology because it is a subject that touches on the emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being of people in society. Technology is especially necessary for psychology due to how it makes treatment for psychological distress easy. Technology will provide a source of information for inquiry on psychological treatment and health. Technology will be effective in developing better treatment for people suffering from various severe psychological disorders thus ensuring their well-being. As an individual working towards a career and professionalism in psychology creative thinking, skeptical inquiry and technology are essential aspects that will ensure I have the ability to address emerging issues in society. People and society continue to change every day, and it is necessary that as a psychologist I have the necessary skills to develop creative ideas that will meet people at their point of need. It is also important that I approach issues with skepticism to ensure that interventions developed towards psychological issues are the best for society. It is also important that I keep in touch with the changing technology to make sure that when it is needed, I will know where to apply it throughout my psychological practice.

The valuing of diversity and different perspectives, tolerating ambiguity and acting ethically to communicate appropriately with various socio-cultural and international populations

Psychology is a people profession, and it identifies people as unique beings with different thoughts, desires, views, and thought processes. Therefore, people will always have different perspectives on life issues, and in some instances, they may not agree with similar decisions. It, therefore, calls for ambiguity in interactions with others in society. It is necessary that one is flexible towards ideas developed by others and that he or s...

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