Science and advancements in psychology

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Information about Science and advancements in psychology

Published on June 27, 2016

Author: falcoforado


1. 1 SCIENCE AND ADVANCEMENTS IN PSYCHOLOGY Fernando Alcoforado * In the mid-nineteenth century, Psychology was studied only by philosophers. Psychology acquired the status of science with the formulation of theories on the central nervous system by demonstrating that thought, perceptions and human feelings were products of this system. Psychology is the science that studies the behavior and mental functions. To know the human psyche becomes necessary to understand the mechanisms and functioning of the machine of think of man - your brain. The main theories of Psychology in the twentieth century are considered by many authors as behaviorism, gestalt and psychoanalysis. Behaviorism became important to have defined the psychological fact in a concrete way, from the behavior notion. Gestalt emerges as a denial of the fragmentation of actions and human processes postulating the need to understand man as a totality. Psychoanalysis, born with Freud in Austria, from medical practice, postulates the unconscious as object of study, breaking the tradition of Psychology as a science of consciousness and reason [DAVIDOFF, Linda. Introdução à Psicologia (Introduction to Psychology). São Paulo: Makron, 2000 and MASLOW, A. H. (1954). Motivation and Personality. New York, NY: Harper, 1954]. Technological advancement has proved useful in many areas of science. Like other sciences, Psychology has taken advantage of this technological advancement to perfect its research techniques and thus the practices that guide its professionals. It was from the advent of imaging techniques that it became possible to observe the brain in action, and so, call the 1990s the "Decade of the Brain" with research in neurosciences with a leading character in the scientific revolution (a powerful influence until today). Research on cognition and behavior became even more stylish and explanatory and brought evidence hard to refute. But the psychological practice in all these years of technological advancement apparently did not suffer so much change in clinics, organizations and schools because the psychologist did not use many instruments or advanced appliances for their intervention, at most a few psychological and neuropsychological tests. The trend, however, is that this picture will change. Psychologists have sought different ways to interact with their clients, either by twitter and dissemination of blogs or opinion, or seeking to validate calls for chat software like MSN. The technology is becoming more popular in discussions of psychological practices. A technology already known by many psychologists, Virtual Reality, is being used to assist therapists in several cases, such as training, cognitive rehabilitation and motivation for children who are submitting to physical therapy. This causes apparently is the Virtual Reality that is expected major changes to the psychological practice. A study conducted at the University of Padova in Italy, a rehabilitation technique for memory deficits in older adults with Alzheimer using virtual reality was tested. The results presented show that, despite the cognitive decline that still exists in these elderly, their attention considerably improved, also allowing an improvement in the long-term information memory. In Germany a group of researchers assessed another use for the Virtual Reality - and apparently this will become even more useful with time - therapy for phobias. The use of Virtual Reality programs to work airplane phobias, height and spiders already has proven effective in some studies, but in the specific case of research conducted by German researchers, questioned to the extent to which a virtually designed spider would get the same effect aversive as a real spider for individuals with phobia.

2. 2 The Psychology of the future will have greater emphasis on science, more emphasis on social issues, theories and use of mathematical models, work on complex problems, greater professionalism and specialization and integration of Psychology around a unifying paradigm. The future of Psychology is associated with the future of technology. The fact that the brain mapping becomes cheaper and portable in the future tends to facilitate the creation of cognitive models increasingly accurate, for example. There is no denying the importance of thinking of Skinner on the future of Psychology [SKINNER, B. F. Walden II: uma sociedade do futuro (A society of the future). São Paulo: Herder, 1972]. Among the great thinkers of the area, Skinner was probably the one that most thought on the developments that would take this science. Skinner considers necessary to have a science of behavior to solve the problems that face the world as the threat of a nuclear holocaust, the population explosion or destruction of the environment. Skinner predicted that the most effective solutions to these problems in the future involve Psychology, instead of engineering. This means that, rather than developing antiballistic missile defense, is to convince people not to shoot the attacking missile, rather than creating innovative contraceptive methods is to convince people to use them, rather than developing cleaner technologies is to convince people not to pollute. The future of humanity depends on the advancement of Psychology as a field of knowledge [SKINNER, B. F. O mito da liberdade (The myth of freedom). Rio de Janeiro: Bloch, 1972, SKINNER, B. F. Tecnologia do ensino (Technology teaching). São Paulo: Edusp, 1972 and SKINNER, B. F.Walden II: uma sociedade do futuro (A society of the future). São Paulo: Herder, 1972]. Social changes happen and, however, little credit is given to the cognitive characteristics of those that promote changes. There is a technological and computational advancement that are changing the way as people are stimulated, and more intelligent people tend to create machines that encourage more and more the human brain. Psychology as a science should not be alien to the improvement of these systems, since this science has the potential to be a major science supporting this change. Psychology should also become a more scientific area, following the global trend. Applied psychologists will be in contact with the knowledge produced by science, will be subscribers and readers of scientific journals, as well as knowledge producers [ARDILA, R. A psicologia no futuro: os psicólogos mais destacados no mundo falam sobre o futuro de sua disciplina (Psychology in the future: the most prominent psychologists in the world talk about the future of their disciplina). São Paulo: Vetor, 2011]. One cannot forget that every time the machines are becoming more like humans. Advances in artificial intelligence will occur in levels faster than humanity can follow. The people of the XXI century should develop skills to relate with both humans and computers. For Psychology, there is the implication that the computer can replace the psychologist's work. This is a present reality and that Psychology as a science, must face. If the machines can now talk to people, it would not be impossible that machines could do psychotherapy with people. This technology already exists, and it is perfectly plausible that is increasingly improved in the future. It seems logical to say that machines will never be able to act like humans. But every time that is considered some characteristic that humans have and that the machines do not have the science works to add this attribute to the machine. And it has been successful [SKINNER, B. F. Walden II: uma sociedade do futuro (A society of the future). São Paulo: Herder, 1972].

3. 3 Skinner was the subject of a controversy when he created the teaching machines. There was some controversy because many claimed that the machine could replace teachers. Skinner said that a teacher who was so bad that it could be replaced by a machine deserves to be replaced by one. However, we have to deal with the fact that today the machines (computers) replace teachers in the task of teaching. The knowledge of mankind has advanced enough, and will further advance because we have machines teaching humans. No teacher overcomes the material indexed by Google. The machines are becoming more like humans and humanity will become increasingly mechanized. The more mechanized humans become, the more similar to humans machines become in its evolution, there is no prospect that the machines are able to meet some human needs, at least in the near future. The psychologist will be the most skilled professional to function to humanize humanity, to bring welfare to the people. XXI Century Psychology needs to improve and popularize techniques to also speed up the emotional development, such as social skills training. An increasing number of emerging areas should arise in Psychology. Psychology is one of the most important science in building the future of humanity, but before that, need to build itself. New generations of psychologists, increasingly innovative and intelligent than the previous ones, solve the current problems of the area. Psychology must learn to recognize these talents and value the ideas of younger people to accelerate their own development [ARDILA, R. A psicologia no futuro: os psicólogos mais destacados no mundo falam sobre o futuro de sua disciplina (Psychology in the future: the most prominent psychologists in the world talk about the future of their disciplina). São Paulo: Vetor, 2011]. * Fernando Alcoforado, member of the Bahia Academy of Education, engineer and doctor of Territorial Planning and Regional Development from the University of Barcelona, a university professor and consultant in strategic planning, business planning, regional planning and planning of energy systems, is the author of Globalização (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 1997), De Collor a FHC- O Brasil e a Nova (Des)ordem Mundial (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 1998), Um Projeto para o Brasil (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 2000), Os condicionantes do desenvolvimento do Estado da Bahia (Tese de doutorado. Universidade de Barcelona,, 2003), Globalização e Desenvolvimento (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 2006), Bahia- Desenvolvimento do Século XVI ao Século XX e Objetivos Estratégicos na Era Contemporânea (EGBA, Salvador, 2008), The Necessary Conditions of the Economic and Social Development-The Case of the State of Bahia (VDM Verlag Dr. Muller Aktiengesellschaft & Co. KG, Saarbrücken, Germany, 2010), Aquecimento Global e Catástrofe Planetária (P&A Gráfica e Editora, Salvador, 2010), Amazônia Sustentável- Para o progresso do Brasil e combate ao aquecimento global (Viena- Editora e Gráfica, Santa Cruz do Rio Pardo, São Paulo, 2011), Os Fatores Condicionantes do Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (Editora CRV, Curitiba, 2012) and Energia no Mundo e no Brasil- Energia e Mudança Climática Catastrófica no Século XXI (Editora CRV, Curitiba, 2015).

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