Race and PsychologyTerm Paper

Pages: 10 (2664 words)   |  Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 5

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] This finding suggests that changes in either depressive symptoms or self-esteem are not due to past experiences of ethnic/racial discrimination or economic stress. This is consistent with other findings in the literature that show that for Asian-American youth ethnic/racial discrimination predicted current psychological functioning but not longitudinally, " (p.211).

The Impact of Racism on Psychology

The demonization of the word "racism" has created many problems in society and leave many in a sense of wonder about their place in society and how their race contributes to the cultural development of that collective. Racism implies that a judgment has been made depending on someone's race. Many times this innocuous mental process is never revealed or communicated in any way, but societies pressure to apply guilt to those with these thoughts are creating neuroses at an alarming pace.

Diversity is certainly not accepted in today's society at any wide scale level despite the best efforts of social engineers. Globalization has diversified the globe biologically before the culture seems ready to accept. Quick changes in small amounts of time that are a result of easy travel, limited immigration restrictions and the political and war that displaces so many, all contribute to this shuffling of cultures and races worldwide that has left the world thoroughly mixed up.

Traditions, values and morals have been developed over thousands of years and are passed down through the generations throughout long periods of time. In today's information age, new cultures and traditions are everywhere, leaving many without a strong sense of self-identity without having adapted to the mainstream culture. Since mainstream culture is so quickly changing and so rapidly being interbred with different cultures and races, there is very little time to react and adjust to the new scenario. Psychologists themselves are left with very little to work with as they are adjusting to the environment as well.

Cohen (2011) explored the idea of prejudice and racism and how it affects the world of psychology and the ability for counselors to treat those in need of mental health treatment. She wrote "Given our diverse and multi-ethnic world, it is of great importance to understand ways to reduce social prejudice. In the 1950's, Gordon Allport introduced the intergroup-contact hypothesis. In this view, intergroup contact under positive conditions can reduce social prejudice. The necessary conditions include cooperation towards shared goals, equal status between groups, and the support of local authorities and cultural norms. Considerable research since then has supported these ideas. In a 2003 review, Stephen Wright and Donald Taylor also noted the effectiveness of identification with a super-ordinate group. In other words, different groups can come together as part of one overarching group, for example as part of one community or of a common humanity."

Implementing Ethical Emerging Technology

The technological landscape has provided many avenues of approach towards solving this problem. The adjustment to these new technologies as created uncertainty and stress while at the same time raising serious ethical questions regarding the power of these technologies and their ability to modify and transform human behavior into a desired result or condition. This extra burden places extra demands on the psychologist in today's world, because of the numerous ways that a patient may now be lawfully violated.

Mabus et al. (2011) examined this delicate balance. Their research suggested that "A physician is a fiduciary to his or her patient. A fiduciary relationship exists when one person -- the professional -- accepts the trust and confidence of another person -- the patient -- and agrees to act only in the patient's best interest. Acting in a patient's best interest requires a professional to refrain from all behaviors that may present an unreasonable risk of harm to the patient. In the American Psychiatric Association's Principles of Medical Ethics, Section 1, a psychiatrist's first duty is to do no harm. These standards have not changed with the advent of Google, e-mail, social media, or other Internet communications."

The lack of emotional feedback that is present in many of western socities' technological applications creates a general ambiguity and lack of empathy that seems permeated in all branches of society. This segmenting of society creates psychological harm in many instances, as the human is a social creature needing true human contact. While technology can replace some things, it cannot replaced the human touch, the human spirit or the ability to empathize on any real or concrete level. Psychology must represent what is most important and not be directed to simple and easy avenues of approach in the interest of convenience and haste.

Approaches and Solutions

Psychology is a sub-study of the larger subject of philosophy. The word philosophy indicates a love of learning and knowledge. Those wishing to address the problems of the human mind need to accept the strength of the individual's will and determination to become one's true self and realize that self in the context of a collective society. To successfully accomplish this, a realization of the subjective interpretations of one another becomes integral and mandatory.

The lack of permanence within society suggests that a model of systematic wisdom and learning must incorporate the identity and manipulation of the self or individual. This requires an acceptance and welcoming of change despite the inertial forces of stagnation. Races and ethnicities are changing faster than ever with the advents of new technologies and the results of political strife and war.

While understanding each and every culture around the world, or around the country for that matter, is nearly impossible. Psychological approaches should be holistically intended to branch out to all races and cultures despite the obvious differences. The real challenges lie in not removing bias, but incorporating our biases and judgments into something more useful. This empathetic approach can reveal the true nature of psychological problems and provide useful and practical answers that can address the many problems living in today's racially and ethnically charge society can bring.

References

Christopher, J.C., Wendt, D.C., Marecek, J., & Goodman, D.M. (2014). Critical Cultural Awareness: Contributions to a Globalizing Psychology.

Cohen, L. (2011). The Psychology of Prejudice and Racism. Psychology Today, 24 Jan 2011. Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/handy-psychology- answers/201101/the-psychology-prejudice-and-racism

Hardin, E.E., Robitschek, C., Flores, L.Y., Navarro, R.L., & Ashton, M.W. (2014). The Cultural Lens Approach to Evaluating Cultural Validity of Psychological Theory.

Mabus, L. et al. (2011). A Look at the Ethical, Legal, and Clinical Issues Associated with Information Technology. Psychiatric Times, 28 June 2011. Retrieved from http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/risk-assessment-0/look-ethical-legal-and-clinical- issues-associated-information-technology

Stein, G.L., Kiang, L., Supple, A.J., & Gonzalez, L.M. (2014). Ethnic Identity as a Protective Factor in the Lives of Asian-American Adolescents.

Stevens-Watkins, D., Perry, B., Pullen, E., Jewell, J., & Oser, C.B. (2014). Examining the associations of racism, sexism, and stressful life events on psychological distress among African-American women. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 20(4), 561. [END OF PREVIEW]

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