Term Paper: Future of Psychology

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Future of Psychology

Psychology is a science that has a history in many other areas of inquiry but finally grew into its own discipline. Throughout its relatively short history, a number of different areas of concentration have attempted to dominate the field, but none has ever taken over entirely and thus it is difficult to predict that any single domain of inquiry will dominate the future of psychology. The future of psychology will undoubtedly continue to grow in many different diverse areas, but a few areas will be of particular interest over the next couple of decades, including neuroscience and evolutionary theory. Psychology will also continue to capture the minds and imaginations of the general populace, leading to a plethora of popular psychology publications that run alongside the more scientific journals. Although these two areas of publication provide very separate forms of disseminating psychological research to two different audiences, they do still play off of one another.

After World War II cognitivism grew rapidly as an area of psychological research and has made huge advances in our understanding of human thought and behavior (Goodwin, 1999). The introduction of the computer and computer science research has also impacted the way psychological research is done and the ways psychologists understand the functioning of the human mind. The computer became a model of the human brain, allowing researchers to test theories about how the brain is working. In addition, the computer has advanced the types of studies that can be conducted and also advanced the sophistication of statistical analyses that can be conducted, helping to establish psychology as a true science (Neisser, 2009). In many respects, cognitive psychology helped psychology to truly 'arrive' as a science. The next domain beyond cognitive psychology is neuroscience.

One of the most fascinating aspects of human life is the human brain itself. It is more powerful than any computer built, capable of instantaneous processing and multitasking, with unknown capacities for learning, healing and storing. The advancements in brain imaging technology have allowed psychologists and neuroscientists to learn a great deal about specific brain localization issues and how the brain functions under varying circumstances (Hayflix, 2000). Despite these advances, there is still a great deal of unknown information still to be uncovered concerning the functioning of the human brain. The next few decades will surely continue to uncover more and more of the mysteries that lie within the human mind, explaining why we do the things that we do, our unique thought patterns, and our not so unique thought patterns.

As psychologists and neuroscientists continue to investigate the human brain they will not only learn about how it works, but they will also learn about how it fails to work. With this knowledge there will hopefully be great advances in the treatment of mental illnesses and the prevention of mental deterioration. As a woman in my 40s, it is this area of Psychology's future that will most likely have the biggest impact on my life, as I grow older. I am young enough that the advances being made now and that will be made over the next few decades in research on various forms dementia and diseases such as Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's will lead to treatments and preventative methods that I will benefit from in later years. Beyond the realm of neuroscience, other areas of Psychology are also turning their interests to the issues of aging and thus my life and my future will likely… [END OF PREVIEW]

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