Psychology is growing as one of the most favoured degrees at university today, and psychology jobs are some of the most sought after in today’s market. Yet, psychology is an umbrella term that contains many different sub-categories and themes. In this article, I will unpack a few of these themes which help define psychology in its broad sense, as well as some characteristics of its subsets.
Unsurprisingly, personality makes up a huge part of psychology. What personality is varies massively between the different schools. And different theories over time become highly credited, followed by swiftly being discredited as a new more up to date theory fills their shoes. It is at least agreed that personality is the enduring pattern of behaviour, thought and emotion. Even though, what forms a personality has been highly contested, certain traits, in modern medical psychology have come to the forefront of explaining certain psychological issues, and a lot of these traits can be traced back to Raymond Cattell’s Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire he constructed throughout the 40s.
The unconscious mind is another large avenue of psychology. Often people will think of Freud whenever the unconscious mind is mentioned in regard to psychology, yet most of his work on the matter is now seen as outdated and misdiagnosed. The unconscious mind being removed from Freud’s teaching has kept its importance in the world of psychology. With a lot of research being focused on how the subconscious can covertly influence thoughts and behaviour. Strangely echoing aspects of Freud’s original ideas, without the subjective distortion he managed to put on them.
Motivation also plays a large role in psychology. Especially when looking at some of the more modern areas of psychology, such as marketing psychology. Research through the years have shown that motivation can be manipulated and/or modulated in many different ways. One example of this is how eating does not just rely on our physical need and dependency on food/energy, but also depends on the general availability, tastes/preferences and cost.
The final theme I’ll bring to your attention is development. It is interested in how people in the first place come to perceive and understand certain aspects of the world. And then it takes a closer inspection into looking at how this develops and changes over time. For example, it is now understood that babies before the age of eight months cannot distinguish themselves as a separate entity to what it perceives around it.