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Psychology in everyday life

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7/10/2009 Sarah Burn Psychology in everyday life Psychological ideas are used frequently in everyday life. They can be found in the media or discussed with your friends or even strangers. Psychological research findings are regularly found on TV, radio, internet and in newspapers. You come across all sorts of different kinds of psychological information; such as origins of behaviour, consciousness the brain and emotions. These are always under debate in many different countries. These public debates help us to make psychology a visible part of everyday life. Media coverage can confuse us when wanting to find out about psychology. Psychological knowledge can be presented in number of different ways. Common sense * Ideas have long been presented in the media; a good illustration of this kind of common sense is the topic of leadership. Gordon Brown is prime minister of Britain; he is regularly under discussion in the media. * He is commonly talked about in everyday language; the media often raises questions on; leadership qualities, is he good at his job? Is he fit to rule the country? His failing as a leader. His private life. * The media can also present dubious interpretations of psychology, they are largely drawn upon to support arguments that journalists want to make. * Recently in many countries there are books, radio programmes, articles and TV series that deal with psychological research and debate in a serious manner. ...read more.


Psychological research often addresses questions that originate in common-sense understandings. This direction of influence between psychology and ordinary, could suggest that psychology is no more than common sense. But as a field of enquiry, psychology is about much more than common sense; it investigates its subject matter. * Psychology is evidence-based. This can be knowledge about people and psychological processes that are common in the culture or it could come from personal experiences. It is often called common-sense. One tradition in the study of personality began from the ordinary-language adjectives that everyone uses to describe people's characteristics. Psychological researchers have chosen research topics and studied them in ways that reflect their own life concerns. * Evidence-based research findings often contradict the common-sense understandings of the time; they can produce new understandings that eventually become accepted as common sense. Psychologists may begin from 'ordinary' knowledge or their own preoccupations, they start formulating their research questions using the existing body of psychological knowledge (the literature) and the evidence-based research. Developments can lead to entirely new research directions. A new direction is neuropsychology and the increasing application of brain-imaging techniques; it is a way of understanding behaviour and mental processes. The diversity of psychology Psychology is concerned with the full range of what makes us human, psychology has always been a diverse, multi-perspective discipline. Philosophers asked the first psychology questions, then by biologists, physiologists and medical scientists. ...read more.


Psychologists should study only behaviours that are observable from the outside and should not make assumptions about mental states and the goings on inside the head. * There was a 'cognitive revolution' in the 1960s; it was an important shift in thinking about psychology. Psychologists began to take a greater interest in what goes on in the mind. This is known as cognitive psychology. It starts with the study of learning, and then became the study of information processing associated with mental activities such as attention, perception and memory. * Recently there has been a second cognitive revolution; a broadening of focus from mental processes to studying how meaning is understood through cultural practices and language. * Psychologists are increasingly concerned with investigating issues relevant to people's everyday functioning; their social and cultural contexts. The practical and professional application of psychology is important in many areas of life. * Psychologists work as consultants, therapists, and professional advisors in a range of settings such as education, the workplace, sport and mental health; they research areas of immediate practical concern such as dyslexia, stress, police interviewing of eye-witnesses, and autism. * So, whilst earlier traditions like psychoanalysis or behaviourism still contribute and produce important innovations, the discipline of psychology has continued to develop in ways which have fostered an ever broader range of perspectives. No one approach is either 'right', or adequate for answering all psychological questions. As a result, psychology is now seen as legitimately multifaceted. ...read more.

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The writer has included quite a lot of information about everyday psychology in the essay. Throughout there is a sense however, that much of the writing has been copied and the writer needs to explain things in their own words for fear of being accused of plagiarism. The 'common sense' section needs explaining more fully and improved upon in order to improve the overall essay score. When discussing the social impact and the diversity of psychology in everyday life, the quality of the writing improves.

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Marked by teacher Linda Penn 29/05/2013

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