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Perception of Psychology in Society

Why do so many people associate the field of psychology with clinical issues rather than science?

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Since its inception, Psychology has been widely taken as a clinical way of treating mental disorders or working out relationships (PsychNet UK) through counseling. Due to this reason, it is usually perceived to treat disorders related to the various states of the mind. However, over time, psychology has evolved from being a basic field of study to an amalgamation of many disciplines, medicine, philosophy, education, human development, sports, media, etc. Although still growing as compared to other matured disciplines, Psychology still remains primarily inclined to diagnosing and treating disorders of the human mind. All sciences are associated with rules that have to be followed and cannot be changed; however, the rules of Psychology vary in each case, since every mind is different.

Perception of psychology in this manner can be attributed to some reasons:

  1. Psychology is relatively a newer field of study
  2. Psychology relies highly on experimentation, identifying and explaining various phenomena through observations, interviews, assigning values to variables that are highly unquantifiable.
  3. Psychology is relative

Why invasive procedures are acceptable with animals but not human participants?

Organizations, for decades now, are working towards stopping invasive procedures on animals as well as human participants, their use permitted only under the boundaries of artifacts such as ethical policies or obtained legal consent to do so. In the case of human participants, students and physicians find it ethically objectionable to do so without informing the participant completely of the consequences. It is now widely believed and accepted that physicians and surgeons view the use of invasive procedures as dangerous and painful that can have adverse traumatic effects on human participants. Unless completely required, nurses and doctors advise against the use of invasive procedures on patients. Consent from the next of kin or contemporaneous surrogate consent is required to be obtained before performing any invasive procedure on the patient. Following are some of the concerns involving the use of invasive procedures on human subjects:

  1. Risk of complications, resulting in harming the patient
  2. Likelihood of failure
  3. Objections can be raised on these procedures being unethical

What role does perception play in the development of culture and taste preference? How do you believe culture guides perception and preference?

Perception, or the way of assigning meaning/interpretation to received information in light of past experiences and our physical environment, shapes how we see different societies and develop a positive/negative perception with regard to how something feels to our taste buds. Perception clearly depends on how information is presented to the user, consequently resulting in the similarity of the structure in which this information is stored, to match with the community or a group we belong to, therefore, creating a culture. An example would be the treatment of animals in various societies. In our environments, cats and dogs are friendly pets hence, as we grow in an environment, we develop an interpretation of loving these animals, thereby becoming a part of our culture. Other communities might have a different perception regarding animals we treat as pets, such as food in China, considered taboo in our part of the world.

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A culture defines values uprooted in individuals particular to an environment, characterizations of that area identifiable in the individual beliefs, values, and attitudes. These values identify how individuals collect information, process it, compare it against previous information and create a new memory, based on a combination of past and present experience, commonly known as perception. For example, the Japanese values system seeks executives to meet gracefully, discuss the weather and other news in a casual manner, and after 30 – 45 minutes start off with the actual meeting. In cases where an American delegate is visiting, getting straight to business creates an experience for the Japanese executives that conflicts with their past and their values, thereby creating a negative perception. This negative perception would hence deter Japanese investors and induce a negative preference in doing business with American companies since it is their belief that greeting each other and being hospitable creates a more healthy relationship, whereas the American values system suggests that getting straight to business saves time.

Another example of how culture sets up perception and shapes preference is evident from the use of white color in different parts of the world. In the Western values system, white is a color of peace, strength, which creates a perception of positivity, however, in the Eastern parts of the world, white is perceived to be a color of death.

How your sleeping habits are (sleep enough or too little)? Using information from chapter 5, list possible consequences of your sleeping habits for your social, academic, and work lives?

The amount of sleep every individual takes in daily life varies greatly, depending on a number of different factors. As a student, I usually sleep five (5) hours a day, quite less as compared to the amount of sleep termed as sufficient. Although, in general, it seems fine, however, taking fewer amounts of sleep each day can affect an individual in a variety of ways. Lack of mood, irritability, and disinhibition (Office of Public Communications, American Psychological Association) is among the first signs of the person experiencing less amount of sleep. Other consequences are:

  1. Decrease in performance
  2. Attention deficiencies
  3. Reduced memory
  4. Weight gain
  5. Anxiety
  6. Depression
  7. Rebelliousness

Works Cited

Office of Public Communications, American Psychological Association. Why sleep is important and what happens when you don’t get enough. 2006. Web.

PsychNet UK. What is Psychology? Is Psychology a Science? 2008. Web.

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