The general topic we wish to research in more detail is the relationship between the body and the mind. Our study of this theme will be based on the assumption that the mind and the consciousness are generated by the body. On the other hand, we will also suppose that the mental factors can influence the physiology of a person as well. Finding out more about the ways the influence occurs in both directions will be the general purpose of our study.
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It should also be noted that the division between “the mind” and “ the body” might be artificial; perhaps they are a single, united thing instead. However, this division is traditional, and it reflects our current absence of qualitative understanding of the exact way the neurons could produce such things as consciousness and mind (Searle, 2007). Therefore, this division might be convenient to partially compensate for this gap in understanding.
Defense of the Topic
As it was noted, it is unclear how exactly the neurons and connections between them produce what we experience as consciousness. On the other hand, we know that the influence between the body and the mind is mutual; for instance, the body creates hormones which affect our mood, while psychic trauma can sometimes lead to somatic symptoms (Deshauer, 2010). Still, the extent of this influence is not always known; for example, it is sometimes hard to understand which part of the “mind-body” union to try to affect in order to produce some desirable results – such as curative outcomes (Kendler, 2001). Clearly, a better understanding of this influence will be beneficial for many areas of research, but it can easily be seen that the topic also falls within the sphere of general psychology, and can be researched from general psychology’s point of view.
Appropriate Schools of Thought
It appears that the area of our research can best be studied by employing the findings of psychobiology and perhaps also cognitive psychology.
As it is known, psychobiology suggests that biological causes are responsible for the creation and modification of psychological phenomena. It attempts to identify the impact of biological factors on the mind, and vice versa. For instance, Kemeny (2003) studied the effects of stressful life (psychological factors) on the nervous system (biological factors), whereas Stein (2009) researched the neurological basis (biological factors) for resilience (a psychological quality).
Cognitive psychology might also prove useful in studying the indicated topic, for, among other issues, it examines the correlation between neurological processes and cognition. The problem of mind-body dualism is also raised by the representatives of this movement, so its findings may be helpful in studying the indicated topic.
Questions to be Asked
The area of the relationship between the mind and the body is rather broad, and more specific questions should be asked about the topic. For instance, it is not always clear what type of factors – psychological or physiological – will have a greater impact on an individual’s personality and their reactions. Therefore, it is possible to investigate the following problem: To what extent do psychological factors and physiological factors influence a person’s character, reactions, and behavior?
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How Values and Practices of the Chosen Schools of Thought
Fit the Selected Topic
Speaking about psychobiology, it should be noted that the representatives of the school believe that biological phenomena cause psychological phenomena, and conduct studies using both psychological and biological variables. The methods of this school should be able to allow for a more detailed investigation of the influence of biological and psychological factors on a person. This is why psychobiology is appropriate for our study.
As cognitive psychology also researches the mental and neurological processes and how they affect thinking and behavior, uses the same assumptions as we have identified, and employs a wide variety of approaches from numerous disciplines, it is possible that the findings of this school will also help us to find the answer to our question.
Deshauer, Dorian. (2010). A well-grounded approach to the mind-body problem. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 182(13), E673-E674. Web.
Kemeny, M. E. (2003). The psychobiology of stress. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 12(4), 124-129. Web.
Kendler, K. S. (2001). A psychiatric dialogue on the mind-body problem. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 158(7), 989-1000. Web.
Searle, J. R. (2007). Freedom and neurobiology: Reflections on free will, language, and political power. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
Stein, D. J. (2009). The psychobiology of resilience. CNS Spectrums, 14(2, Suppl. 3), 41-47.