[ANSWERED 2023] Understanding and applying psychology in one’s everyday life can have numerous benefits and is often the basis of research that is conducted in this field

Written By: Dan Palmer, RN

Understanding and applying psychology in one’s everyday life can have numerous

Understanding and applying psychology in one’s everyday life can have numerous benefits and is often the basis of research that is conducted in this field

Understanding and applying psychology in one’s everyday life can have numerous benefits and is often the basis of research that is conducted in this field. In this assignment, you will write an essay requiring you to employ critical thinking as you contemplate the science of psychology.

You will write this essay from the perspective of a potential first-time researcher. Pretend you are pondering conducting research into the psychological aspects of a specific human behavior you have seen demonstrated in your everyday life (may be personal or work-related).

First, you should start with an introduction that allows the readers to fully understand your intent and the main points of the research you are contemplating. Be sure to identify your research question (e.g. Why do we yawn when we see someone else yawn?)

Next, include the following elements of your intended research:

  • describe your vision of the research experiment,
  • explain research methods that could be used to describe the behavior in your research experiment, and
  • indicate the ethical guidelines you must follow while conducting research involving people.

Finally, in your own words, identify the basic ideas behind early approaches in psychology that may influence your research.

Your essay will be a minimum of two pages in length, double-spaced, and in Times New Roman 12 pt. font. Include your name and course at the top of the first page of your essay.

APA Style will not be required for this assignment. However, keep in mind that when directly quoted or paraphrased works of others are used in any manner, the writer is obligated to properly cite the source of the original narrative. You should become familiar with citing sources, as you will be graded on proper APA citation and reference formatting later in this course, and throughout your future academic endeavors.

Click here for a tutorial on writing an effective essay. A transcript for the tutorial is provided in the Notes section of the presentation.

Expert Answer and Explanation

Why People Look Up When Thinking

Understanding the intent of different human behavior is an interesting aspect that many psychologists engage in on a daily basis. Some of the seemingly common behaviors may be done subconsciously but may have an underlying motivation behind them. This research will aim at determining the reason why people look up when thinking.

People elicit different behaviors under different circumstances. For human beings, most of the physical action we take correspond to some psychological features. It may be something that we are cultured to or aping out a certain behavior that we have witnessed from those around us. However, other than the known assumptions, in the field of psychology we have to ask ourselves, might there be a deeper meaning to those actions (Halevy, Kreps & De Dreu, 2019).

The behavior of people looking up when thinking can be viewed from different perspectives. The process of thinking is usually attached to concentration when people look up, it may be considered as a behavior that assists them to channel their concentration towards thinking. The visual system of a human is known to correspond to its surroundings with any changes to the surrounding being interpreted by the brain.

Therefore, the more the information unrelated to the subject being thought about being processed by the brain at any given moment, the lower the level of concentration.  By looking up, the number of distractions or secondary information being processed may be fewer, thereby, boosting the level of concentration (Hutchison, 2018).

From a philosophical perspective, looking up may have a spiritual connotation to it. Looking up might be a form tapping to the spiritual realm for guidance into the decision-making process.

Vision for the research

However, to better understand this issue in a more in-depth perspective, research ought to be done. This research will be conducted on a population obtained from the general public. The research will involve asking the participant to answer written questions that will demand some critical thinking to be applied.

Then, observations will be made on the reactions of the participants while in deep thought. the research will then ask the participants why they behaved in a certain manner while thinking, especially for participants who look up during the though process.

Research methods to be used

The research methods used in the study will include random sampling to select the sample, and observation method to collect the data. Finally, the data will be analyzed using thematic analysis, where the collected data will be arranged on themes based on the reasons given by the participants. Given the mentioned methods, the research will therefore be qualitative (Boswell & Cannon, 2018).

Ethical considerations

For any research, ethical considerations are part and parcel of ensuring that the research adheres to the recommended standards and that the participants are protected from any harm that may result from the research process (Doody & Noonan, 2016). In a research that has human participants, it is of great importance to seek consent from the participants.

The participants need to be aware of what the research entails and any potential harm that may result as a consequence of participating in the research. It is from that point that the participant needs to give their approval to participate in the research. Doody and Noonan, (2016), also asserts the importance of protecting the participants’ confidentiality as being part of the ethical guidelines to adhere to when conducting research involving human subjects.

Influence of early approaches in psychology in the research

In the research to be conducted, the early psychological approaches of introspection will be helpful in defining some of the behaviors elicited by the research participants. Introspection as indicated by Wilhelm Wundt, a renown psychology expert, allows one to inquire what is the motivation behind different actions showed by people.

I therefore think that introspection will be helpful in explaining why people look up when thinking.

 

References

Boswell, C., & Cannon, S. (2018). Introduction to nursing research. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Doody, O., & Noonan, M. (2016). Nursing research ethics, guidance, and application in practice. British Journal of Nursing25(14), 803-807.

Halevy, N., Kreps, T. A., & De Dreu, C. K. (2019). Psychological situations illuminate the meaning of human behavior: Recent advances and application to social influence processes. Social and Personality Psychology Compass13(3), e12437.

Hutchison, E. D. (2018). Dimensions of human behavior: Person and environment. Sage Publications.

A phenomenon in research refers to a particular observable event or occurrence that can be studied and analyzed. Here are some examples of phenomena in various fields of research:

  1. In physics, the photoelectric effect is a phenomenon where electrons are emitted from a metal surface when light falls on it.
  2. In psychology, the placebo effect is a phenomenon where a patient experiences a positive outcome after receiving a fake treatment, simply because they believe it to be a real treatment.
  3. In sociology, the bystander effect is a phenomenon where people are less likely to help someone in distress when other people are present, assuming that someone else will take responsibility.
  4. In economics, the sunk cost fallacy is a phenomenon where people continue to invest in a project or a business, even if it is no longer profitable, simply because they have already invested a lot of time and money into it.
  5. In biology, the circadian rhythm is a phenomenon where the biological processes of an organism follow a 24-hour cycle, regulating functions such as sleep, hunger, and body temperature.

These are just a few examples of the many phenomena that researchers study across various fields.

How to identify research phenomenon

To identify a research phenomenon, you need to look for a specific observable event or occurrence that you want to study. Here are some steps to follow to identify a research phenomenon:

  1. Identify the general area of interest: Start by identifying the broad topic or subject area that you are interested in. For example, if you are interested in studying human behavior, you might start with the general area of psychology.
  2. Narrow down your focus: Once you have identified the general area of interest, narrow down your focus to a more specific topic. For example, you might focus on the phenomenon of social anxiety in young adults.
  3. Identify the observable event or occurrence: Once you have narrowed down your focus, identify the specific observable event or occurrence that you want to study. For example, you might study how young adults with social anxiety respond to social situations.
  4. Formulate a research question: Based on the observable event or occurrence that you have identified, formulate a research question that you want to answer. For example, you might ask, “How do young adults with social anxiety perceive and respond to social situations?”
  5. Conduct a literature review: Before you begin your research, conduct a literature review to see what research has already been done on your topic. This will help you to refine your research question and identify any gaps in the existing research.

By following these steps, you can identify a research phenomenon that is specific, observable, and relevant to your area of interest.

Revision Policy

History of social psychology

The history of social psychology can be traced back to the late 19th century, when scholars began to study the social influences on human behavior. However, it wasn’t until the early 20th century that social psychology became recognized as a distinct field of study.

The first social psychology experiments were conducted by Norman Triplett in 1898, who studied the effect of competition on cyclists’ performance. In 1908, William McDougall published “An Introduction to Social Psychology,” which is considered to be the first textbook on the subject.

One of the most important figures in the development of social psychology was Kurt Lewin, who is often referred to as the “father of social psychology.” Lewin immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1933 and founded the Research Center for Group Dynamics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Lewin emphasized the importance of studying social behavior in the context of the group, and his work laid the foundation for many of the theories and methodologies used in social psychology today.

During the 1950s and 1960s, social psychology underwent a period of rapid growth and development. Social psychologists began to study a wide range of topics, including conformity, obedience, attitudes, and prejudice. Some of the most famous experiments in social psychology were conducted during this time, including the Milgram obedience study and the Stanford prison experiment.

Today, social psychology is a thriving field of study, with researchers investigating topics such as group dynamics, social cognition, and intergroup relations. Social psychologists use a variety of research methods, including experiments, surveys, and field studies, to better understand the complex interplay between individuals and their social environment.

How can psychology help us understand our daily lives?

Psychology, as the scientific study of the mind and behavior, offers valuable insights that can help us understand various aspects of our daily lives. Here are several ways in which psychology contributes to our understanding of everyday experiences:

  1. Understanding Behavior and Motivation:
    • Psychology helps us comprehend why people behave the way they do. It explores the motivations, desires, and factors that influence our actions, shedding light on the underlying psychological processes that drive behavior.
  2. Coping with Stress and Challenges:
    • Psychological theories and strategies provide tools for understanding and managing stress. Techniques such as stress management, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and mindfulness help individuals cope with challenges and navigate the complexities of daily life.
  3. Improving Relationships:
    • Psychology offers insights into interpersonal dynamics, communication patterns, and relationship satisfaction. Understanding concepts like empathy, active listening, and conflict resolution can enhance the quality of our relationships with others.
  4. Enhancing Communication Skills:
    • Psychological principles help us understand effective communication, including nonverbal cues, persuasion, and the impact of language. Improved communication skills contribute to successful interactions in various personal and professional contexts.
  5. Promoting Mental Health and Well-Being:
    • Psychology plays a crucial role in promoting mental health and well-being. It provides strategies for managing emotions, building resilience, and fostering a positive mindset, contributing to overall psychological health.
  6. Decision-Making and Problem-Solving:
    • Psychological research informs our understanding of decision-making processes, biases, and heuristics. This knowledge aids in making more informed and rational decisions, whether in personal or professional contexts.
  7. Exploring Memory and Learning:
    • Psychology helps us understand how memory works and how we learn. This knowledge is applicable to educational settings, personal development, and improving memory recall in various aspects of our lives.
  8. Self-Reflection and Personal Growth:
    • Psychological insights encourage self-reflection, leading to personal growth and development. Understanding one’s own thoughts, emotions, and behaviors facilitates introspection and the pursuit of positive change.
  9. Addressing Mental Health Challenges:
    • Psychology contributes to recognizing, understanding, and treating mental health challenges. It provides insights into conditions such as anxiety, depression, and disorders, leading to more effective interventions and support.
  10. Promoting Work Productivity:
    • Psychological principles are applied in organizational psychology to enhance workplace dynamics, leadership, and employee well-being. This contributes to improved productivity, job satisfaction, and a positive work environment.
  11. Exploring Cultural and Individual Differences:
    • Psychology helps us appreciate and understand cultural and individual differences in beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. This awareness fosters tolerance, empathy, and a more inclusive perspective in diverse societies.
  12. Facilitating Behavior Change:
    • Psychology provides tools for behavior change, such as goal-setting, reinforcement, and habit formation. These strategies are useful for individuals seeking to adopt healthier lifestyles or break undesirable habits.

10 reasons why psychology is a science

Psychology is considered a science due to its adherence to scientific principles and methods in the study of the mind, behavior, and mental processes. Here are 10 reasons why psychology is recognized as a science:

  1. Empirical Evidence:
    • Psychology relies on empirical evidence obtained through systematic observation and experimentation. Researchers gather data through controlled studies and direct observations, providing a basis for scientific conclusions.
  2. Objective Measurement:
    • Scientific measurement and quantification are fundamental in psychology. Variables are operationalized and measured objectively, allowing for the collection of standardized and replicable data.
  3. Hypothesis Testing:
    • Psychological research involves formulating hypotheses, making predictions based on theories, and testing these predictions through systematic research designs. This process contributes to the scientific method’s rigor and reliability.
  4. Systematic Observation:
    • Psychologists use systematic methods to observe and study behavior. This approach involves structured and organized observations that allow for the identification of patterns and relationships.
  5. Replicability:
    • Scientific studies in psychology should be replicable, meaning that other researchers can conduct similar studies and obtain comparable results. Replication helps validate findings and contributes to the reliability of psychological research.
  6. Peer Review:
    • Scientific journals in psychology use a peer-review process. Before research findings are published, they undergo scrutiny and evaluation by experts in the field. This ensures the quality and validity of the research.
  7. Falsifiability:
    • Scientific theories and hypotheses must be falsifiable, meaning that they can be tested and potentially proven wrong. This criterion distinguishes science from pseudoscience and emphasizes the importance of empirical testing.
  8. Use of Control Groups:
    • Experimental research in psychology often involves the use of control groups to isolate and manipulate variables. This allows researchers to determine causal relationships between variables and minimize alternative explanations for findings.
  9. Theory Development:
    • Psychology develops and refines theories to explain and predict behavior. These theories provide frameworks for understanding psychological phenomena and guiding research. Theories are continually refined based on empirical evidence.
  10. Predictive Power:
    • Scientific theories in psychology are valuable to the extent that they can make accurate predictions about behavior. The ability to predict and explain behavior based on scientific principles enhances psychology’s status as a science.

Branches of psychology

Psychology is a diverse field with various branches that focus on different aspects of human behavior, cognition, and emotion. Here are some major branches of psychology:

  1. Clinical Psychology:
    • Clinical psychologists assess and treat mental health disorders and emotional issues. They often work in therapeutic settings, hospitals, clinics, or private practices.
  2. Counseling Psychology:
    • Counseling psychologists help individuals cope with life challenges, stress, and personal issues. They provide counseling services in various settings, including schools, community centers, and private practices.
  3. Educational Psychology:
    • Educational psychologists study how people learn and develop in educational settings. They may focus on areas such as instructional design, learning theories, and the psychology of teaching.
  4. Developmental Psychology:
    • Developmental psychologists study the psychological development of individuals across the lifespan. This includes cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development.
  5. Social Psychology:
    • Social psychologists explore how individuals think, feel, and behave in social situations. They investigate topics such as social influence, conformity, prejudice, and group dynamics.
  6. Experimental Psychology:
    • Experimental psychologists conduct research to better understand fundamental psychological processes. They design experiments to study topics like perception, memory, learning, and motivation.
  7. Industrial-Organizational Psychology:
    • Industrial-organizational psychologists apply psychological principles to the workplace. They study topics such as employee motivation, leadership, organizational behavior, and human resources.
  8. Forensic Psychology:
    • Forensic psychologists apply psychological principles to legal and criminal justice settings. They may assess criminal behavior, provide expert testimony, and work in correctional facilities.
  9. Health Psychology:
    • Health psychologists focus on the interplay between psychological factors and physical health. They study topics such as stress, coping mechanisms, and the impact of psychological factors on overall well-being.
  10. Neuropsychology:
    • Neuropsychologists investigate the relationship between the brain and behavior. They study how brain injuries, diseases, and disorders can impact cognitive function and behavior.
  11. Cognitive Psychology:
    • Cognitive psychologists study mental processes such as perception, memory, problem-solving, and decision-making. They explore how individuals process and interpret information.
  12. Biological Psychology (Biopsychology):
    • Biological psychologists examine the physiological and neurological basis of behavior. They investigate how the brain, nervous system, and other biological factors influence psychological processes.
  13. Evolutionary Psychology:
    • Evolutionary psychologists explore how evolutionary principles shape human behavior and cognition. They examine how certain behaviors may have evolved to enhance survival and reproduction.
  14. Positive Psychology:
    • Positive psychologists study factors that contribute to human well-being, happiness, and positive functioning. This branch focuses on strengths, virtues, and positive aspects of human psychology.
  15. Community Psychology:
    • Community psychologists work to promote well-being and prevent psychological issues on a community level. They collaborate with communities to address social issues and enhance the overall mental health of populations.

These branches often overlap, and psychologists may specialize in more than one area. The diversity within the field of psychology allows researchers and practitioners to explore a wide range of topics related to human behavior and mental processes.

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