Conceptualization of what psychologists

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Question:The first chapter defines psychology. How is this definition different from your prior conceptualization of what psychologists do? How is it similar? What are some characteristics or features of psychology that surprised you?


After reading this first chapter, the definition of psychology and what psychologists do was mildly different than what I believed and thought it to be. I assumed that there was one side of what they do and that is the professional/clinical half. To my surprise, psychologists engagea in much more data analysis and science than I have ever considered. I continued to assume that they were highly educated and skilled with stereotypical information and applied it to their patients in order to facilitate understanding and provide direction/guidance. I obviously fell short of understanding their profession by an extremely large margin.

The only similarity of my belief in what psychologists do and the definition was the professional side of their expertise. Utilizing data from empiricism, experimental, and correlational research allows them to relate that information to their patients, diagnose, and ultimately help them understand their behavior while providing clarity and assisted direction.

As mentioned above, the science and analytical side of psychology surprised me. I always figured that there was some point at which experiments were conducted and data was collected to eventually support clinical support to patients, but I was not aware of the ongoing research conducted by psychologists. It makes perfect sense that as significant events occur as time moves forward, technology advances, social interaction evolves, and our behavior changes to adapt to them, that ongoing research would be necessary in order to replace outdated data and results.
This is very interesting to me and my curiosity is sparked. Excited for more...



I used to feel that psychology was used to determine who was crazy and who was not. In junior high school I was a bit of a trouble maker and hung out with an inappropriate crowd. I remember my friend Tara (not her real name) being admitted to a psychiatric ward after getting in a fight with her mother. She told me that she would have to talk to the psychologist once a day about random things. She also told me she was held down and given an intravenous sedatives when she acted badly. I talked to her often while she was in the institution and have since associated psychology with the word "crazy" or "insane" I never put two and two together and come to the realization that psychology studies behaviors in all aspects and helps people help themselves until recently.

Though psychologist do deal with "crazy" people, that isn't the whole purpose of their profession. Through therapy sessions, like the many Tara received, psychologist determine the root of the issue and devise solutions to help people get better. In addition, they study behaviors in social society such as the differences in people's behaviors/emotions after face to face interactions vs. Instant Messaging.
It surprised me, yet makes perfect since, that when conducting studies psychologist mislead participants as to what they are actually looking for

Reference no: EM13783591

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