Psychology In Various Fields: Analysing The Trends

Posted on October 9, 2010 in Learning+

By Divya Gupta:

Psychology, a subject which is often associated with mind reading, hypnosis, to some extent paranormal activities so on and so forth! In reality psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and behavior. It aims at thoroughly and objectively understanding the underlying causes of how and why we behave the way we do. It emerged in the 18th century and has since then attempted to study causes of both covert and overt behaviors and it has been successful to a very large extent. To establish a career in psychology one had to either become a traditional counselor or a clinical psychologist!

In the 21st century, psychology, one of youngest disciplines on the block started incorporating itself into various existing fields. It now offers a wide range of career options which are in conjunction with many exciting fields like media, military, sports etc. we shall now look at some of the emerging trends in the discipline of psychology:

  1. Media Psychology seeks an understanding of how people perceive, interpret, use, and respond to a media-rich world. In doing so, media psychologists can identify potential benefits and problems and promote the development of positive media. The study of Media psychology emerged as an academic and professional discipline due to a social and commercial demand for the application of psychological theory and research into the impact of media and emerging media technologies both academic and non-academic settings. Media include all forms of mediated communication, such as pictures, sound, graphics, content and emerging technologies. Media psychology draws from multiples disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, neuroscience, political science, rhetoric’s, computer science, communications, and international relations. It seeks to promote research into the impact of media on human behavior and understanding media use; to facilitate interaction between psychology and media representatives; to enrich the teaching, training, and practice of media psychology; to encourage the use of psychological theory and expertise to the development of media across a wide array of applications such as education and healthcare; and to prepare psychologists to interpret psychological research to the lay public and to other professionals.
  2. Military psychology is the research, design and application of psychological theories and experimentation data towards understanding, predicting and countering behaviors either in friendly or enemy forces or civilian population that may be undesirable, threatening or potentially dangerous to the conduct of operations. Military psychology is applied towards counseling and treatment of stress and fatigue of military personnel as well as treatment of psychological trauma suffered as a result of military operations Operational psychology is the use of psychological principles and skills to improve a military commander’s decision making as it pertains to conducting combat and/or related operations. This is a relatively new sub discipline categorization that has been employed largely by psychologists and behavioral scientists in military, intelligence, and law enforcement arenas. Examples of such applications include the development of counterinsurgency strategy through human profiling, interrogation and detention support, information-psychological operations, and the selection of personnel for special mission units.
  3. Investigative psychology is the term given to a new area of applied psychology. It is a major and rapidly expanding sub-discipline of Forensic and Criminal Psychology. It brings together issues in the retrieval of investigative information, the drawing of inferences about that information and the ways in which police decision making can be supported through various systems derived from scientific research. Investigative Psychology grows directly out of empirical research and logical inference to cover the full range of investigative activities not only the preparation of ‘profiles’. It is one of the most interesting career options in psychology which has a very wide scope as well.
  4. Consumer behaviour is the study of when, why, how, and where people do or do not buy product. The discipline of consumer psychology draws heavily from the fields of marketing, advertising, economics, anthropology, social psychology, and cognitive psychology. Customer behaviour study is based on consumer buying behaviour, with the customer playing the three distinct roles of user, payer and buyer. Relationship marketing is an influential asset for customer behaviour analysis as it has a keen interest in the re-discovery of the true meaning of marketing through the re-affirmation of the importance of the customer or buyer. A greater importance is also placed on consumer retention, customer relationship management, personalisation, customisation and one-to-one marketing. Consumer behaviour is influenced by: demographics, psychographics (lifestyle), personality, motivation, knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and feelings. Consumer behaviour concern with consumer need consumer actions in the direction of satisfying needs leads to his behaviour of every individual depend on thinking.
  5. Sport psychology is the study of the psychological and mental factors that affect and are affected by participation and performance in sport, exercise, and physical activity. It is also a specialization within the brain psychology and kinesiology that seeks to understand psychological/mental factors that affect-performance in sports, physical activity, and exercise and apply these to enhance individual and team-performance. Some of the most important skills taught are goal setting, relaxation, visualization, self-talk, awareness and control, concentration, confidence. In the 1970s, sport psychology became a part of the curriculum on university campuses. In the 1980s, sport psychology became more research focused. Today, sport and exercise psychologists have begun to research and provide information in the ways that psychological well-being and vigorous physical activity are related. Also, sport psychologists are beginning to consider exercise to be a therapeutic addition to healthy mental adjustment. Special focus is geared towards psychological assessment of athletes.

The writer is a Special Correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.

Image courtesy: http://www.st-aug.edu/academics/divisions/socialscience/psychology/whatispsychology.htm

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