Sample Dissertations | University Dissertations | Dissertation Examples
Category: Psychology Dissertations
Our sample Psychology dissertations will prove helpful in constructing your own dissertation topic, objectives, literature review, methodology and analyses. Our sample Psychology dissertations are an ideal tool for any student struggling to start their own Psychology dissertation.
Psychology is a demanding and sensitive topic and there are many subject areas relating to Psychology. By browsing our collection of Psychology dissertation titles, you will get ideas for your Psychology dissertation through the following Psychology subjects:
Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Evolutionary Psychology, Abnormal Psychology and The Psychology of Personality.
The Impact of COVID-19 on College Students – Understanding the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic in a global society is critical as it founds preparation for potential health crises. The pandemic resulted in a critical death rate internationally, which has had detrimental effects on relatives’ psychological well-being (Coughenour et al., 2020).
Second, with the infection rates requiring expensive treatment facilities and resources, destabilization of the global public health sector was apparent. Furthermore, the pandemic altered nations’ economies by distorting employment, ultimately inducing people to low living standards, resulting in trauma and depression (World Health Organization, 2021). Such impacts are practical and evident in society at large, including college students.
Researchers have documented the social, economic, and psychological implications of COVID-19 in society. According to Chriscaden (2020), the pandemic increased poverty rates, raising the number of undernourished people by 132 million individuals.
Such statistics imply that the population suffering poverty-induced mental instability significantly increased with the pandemic. With over 1.8 million deaths globally by the end of 2020 for only countries that can quantify the cases effectively, the social and psychological impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are inarguable (World Health Organization, 2021).
Overall, whether social, economic, or mental implications of the pandemic, the apparent harmful implications in the global community, at all ages, races, ethnic groups, and other social classes.
Specifically, college students should understand how the pandemic affected their social, economic, and psychological welfare to relate effectively and understand how their situations matched the practical health crisis implications. Such research offers the fundamental data and information to spur awareness and attention on the need to focus on college students when health crises occur.
According to World Health Organization (2021), the impacts of the pandemic on the global education system have had a deleterious implication on learners. Therefore, as nations focus on restoring the vulnerable population’s well-being, college students should not be excluded.
College students significantly suffered the pinche of the COVID-19 pandemic considering the social, economic, and political elements surrounding the health crisis. When the World Health Organization (WHO) pronounced the pandemic as a global health crisis, national governments had to take stringent measures to curb the infection spread, including barring physical and interactive classes in colleges.
Such a move distorted the higher learning bussing culture and proximity, inducing learners to critical psychological challenges. College students who were on internships lost their livelihoods, predisposing them to hard financial situations.
The death of relatives and friends due to the critical nature of the COVID-19 infections also pushed college students to hard life situations characterized by psychological and mental instability.
Therefore, although society might not focus on the college students significantly, they form a key group of individuals who suffered the pinches of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Researchers have exploratively studied the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on college students. With the practical effects of the pandemic on human health, including the substantial death rate, and the stay-at-home order in the United States (US), scholars have concluded significant implications in different research journals. Coughenour et al. (2020) and Lee et al. (2021) are among the key researchers exploring the pandemic’s implications on US college students.
Coughenour et al. (2020) explore the correlation between the stay-at-home order, learners’ involvement in physical activity at home, and psychological welfare. Their findings highlight that the pandemic had substantive negative effects on college students’ physical activities and psychological well-being.
Such inference implies that the indoor stay at home reduced the students’ involvement in physical exercises, which integrated with such other factors as the deaths of relatives and friends to contribute to stress and depression.
Also, the journal article concludes that non-American college students suffered more than American learners during the pandemic. Such inference implies that parents, guardians, the government, and the education fraternity should significantly focus on the students of color when health crises occur.
Impact of COVID-19 and Psychological implications
Lee et al. (2021) explores the social and psychological implications of the pandemic on US college students. The authors conclude that the pandemic significantly distorted the college students’ psychological welfare by minimizing physical interactions.
With the barn of physical classes and the indoor lifestyle, students had unreliable social interactions that augmented stress and depression. Ideally, the pandemic distorted the learners’ social life, inducing them to psychological instability. Also, the journal article highlights no significant social differences in the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Such inferences oppose the common expectation that such groups like the LGBTQ+ and non-white students suffered many more challenges than the American students.
While the two research articles focus on different elements regarding the impacts of the pandemic on US college students, social versus psychological, they both posit critical alteration of mental welfare. For Coughenour et al. (2020), failure to engage substantially in physical activities during the pandemic and other social and economic conditions alter the students’ mental welfare.
Similarly, Lee et al. (2021) denote that the socioeconomic implications of the pandemic played a critical role in triggering depression and stress among college students. Both articles present practical arguments because inadequate engagement in physical activity, unreliable social interactions, loss of family members, and financial strains, to mention a few factors, would disrupt mental well-being.
Therefore, both articles reinforce damaging factual implications of COVID-pandemic on college students, recommending future comprehensive research to explore the subjects. However, the articles differ in defining the social variation of the pandemic implications on various social groups, including the blacks and the LGBTQ+ community.
Although Coughenour et al. (2020) infer significant differences of implications relating to sexual orientation, Lee et al. (2021) findings indicate no significant differences in any social group. Although the opposing inferences from both research works might be confusing, the differences in focus might have caused the diverse conclusions.
Notably, the often-societal discriminated groups, including the LGBTQ+ community and the blacks, might have perceived the indoor stay as an opportunity to evade stigmatization, hence evading outdoor physical engagements. Contrary, Lee et al. (2021) emphasize that the presence of strong organizations and groups supporting the minority groups provided reliable support during the pandemic, minimizing psychological breakdown among member college students. Therefore, the evident differences between the two articles are due to focus, which is normal in research studies.
In a nutshell, the COVID-19 pandemic is a fundamental health crisis, and its implications affect every member of society, including college students. Coughenour et al. (2020) and Lee et al. (2021) prove that the epidemic had deleterious impacts on college students’ welfare.
With alteration on learners’ social, economic, and psychological welfare, destabilization of individuals’ welfare was apparent. Such a fact requires the education sector and the global public health system to prepare adequately for future health crises and consider college students’ mental well-being as a key aspect. Researchers are also stakeholders as they will help offer objective findings, which are vital in initiating evidence-based strategies.
Further research should encompass the potential sustainable solutions to safeguard college students’ mental well-being during such health crises. Notably, after learning the practical existence of a social problem, the next step must be seeking a solution. The key lesson from the available research is that the community must find effective strategies to respond to future pandemics.
The need for an effectively coordinated integrative global health sector to handle future health crises in groups, including college learners, is inarguable. Therefore, besides the vital implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on students’ psychological and mental welfare, education and community stakeholders can prepare adequately to counter future destabilization.
Chriscaden, K. (2020). Impact of COVID-19 on people’s livelihoods, their health, and our food systems.
Coughenour, C., Gakh, M., Pharr, J. R., Bungum, T., & Jalene, S. (2020). Changes in depression and physical activity among college students on a diverse campus after a COVID-19 stay-at-home order.
Lee, J., Solomon, M., Stead, T., Kwon, B., & Ganti, L. (2021). Impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of US college students. BMC
World Health Organization. (2021). The impact of COVID-19 on global health goals.
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Carl Gustav Jung is the full name for Carl Jung, Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and a psychologist who was the founder of analytic psychology. He was also a major contributor to the development of Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis. Carl Jung was born in Kesswil, Switzerland on 26th July 1875. Jung was also a major contributor in other fields like religious studies, archaeology, literature, and physiology. Due to his innovation, he created the introvert and extrovert personalities, collective unconscious, and archetypes. Carl Jung was a talented and blessed individual as he was also a proficient writer, artist, and craftsman.
Carl Jung Background
Carl Jung was the youngest and first son of Paul Achilles Jung, his father was a pastor and a philologist. During his childhood days, he was an introvert and a lonely child. However, he was very observant as he observed the behaviors of his teachers, parents, and friends, he was a problem solver. When his father failed in his religious belief, Jung tried to help him as he told his father how he related to his God and how he felt about the issue. From the beginning, Jung tried to search for his purpose. Unfortunately, Jung’s father could not understand him because Jung was always on the front line to resolve problems. He was also very kind and humble.
During his childhood Jung had some of his father’s character, this made people think that he may also become a minister; some members of the family were ministers of the Word of God. Jung was a very observant boy majority thought he would copy the footsteps.
At first, Jung aspired to study archeology, however, this was not possible as his parents could not afford to send him to a better University. Jung went to Basel University where archeology was not offered. During his teens, Jung decided to study philosophy and read it in depth. During his childhood Jung suffered a condition which he could faint and pass out, however, this problem did not stay for long and was able to eventually get healed.
Due to this challenge, he faced in his childhood, Jung abandoned his passion to study archeology and went against the family traditions and decided to become a psychiatrist where he studied medicine. This is what he was searching for as the course was spiritual and biological. A year later after joining the University of Basel where he was studying medicine his father passed on. This was very unfortunate as he was the breadwinner of the family but Jung’s relatives were very supportive and contributed to his studies.
Jung moved to Zurich University after he completed his studies, he was very fortunate and was employed at the University’s Burgholzili psychiatric hospital, where he was under the supervision of Eugen Bleuler who was the inventor of what is today known as metal illness studies. While he was working there, he gained a lot of experience in this field and was able to conduct researches like association tests which were developed by other researchers. He specialized in the study of how humans respond to a stimulus where he discovered that it was caused by emotionally charged clusters (Dunne, C. (2015).
Jung got married to Emma Rauschenbach in 1903 and gave birth to two children. During their marriage, the couple was able to start a business, which was managed by his wife.
Carl Jung Theory
Carl Jung developed the personality theory which formed the basis of universal types of human personality. The types of theories which are categorized by the theorist are all found in all human beings. However, some of the types are predominant when compared to the normal mode of organizing lives. Carl Jung also pioneered the theory of personality. His theory is one of the types of theories of personality. It mainly involved the introversion and extroversion typology.
He developed the theory referred to as analytical psychology. He viewed the libido not as sexual instinct which was outlined by Freud, but as generalized life energy. One of Jung’s biggest contributions was the ideology of collective consciousness, he deemed as the universal version of the “Freud’s unconscious, holding mental patterns, or memory traces, that are common to all of us” (Boundless, 2016).
The archetypes which Jung referred to them as ancestral memories are represented by the universal themes which are expressed through various art and literature work as well as the dreams of the people. Jung contrasted the idea of Freud’s ego, id, and superego by suggesting archetypes are the shadow reflects of the deeper elements of an individual psyche, whereby latent dispositions are common to us all. Archetypes are also reflecting something which was once spilled from people during the early management of the objects in our lives.
The route to communication has been linked to the “Amina (female) and the Animus (male) with the collective unconscious analogy. The true self is represented by the “Anima/animus” and is opposed to the masks the people wear each day and which is the source of our creativity. The part that connects and is part of the universe is the self. It is the universal thing that unifies both the unconsciousness and the consciousness The nirvana and the ecstatic harmony also represent the latter. Jung narrates that persona serves as the compromise between who we are (the true self) and what the community expects us to do and be. People usually hide the parts of themselves which are not in line with society or community expectations behind the mask.
Introverts are majorly people who prefer their world of dreams, thoughts, feelings the fantasies and mostly they prefer their private space. “Interaction drains their energy whereas being alone energizes them”. They are the opposite of the extroverts.
Psychologist Carl Jung pioneered and was the first to describe the introvert personality. It was first coined in the 1960s. However, these personalities have to do interchange their characters and sometimes the extrovert will act more like the introverts and the introvert will be more of the extroverts.
Traits of an introvert person according to Carl Jung
He/she prefer personal time
The ideology of being alone is more compelling and never taxing. The health and happiness of an introvert person are depended on the periods of solitude (Jung, C. G, 2014). The times do not matter to them whether they are engaged to something or just spending time to rest. Their main thing is being in solitude. They mostly enjoy reading, gardening writing, and any other activities which don’t require people to attend.
They are drained by social interactions
The introverts will never want to engage in party-like concerts. Most of the time they know they have masked out of them and there is a need to refuel their batteries. That’s not to say all introverts will flake out of parties they can and do enjoy them as much as an extrovert but at the end of a long night, introverts need to escape to recharge and reset.
For quite some time, many psychologists have used the extrovert personality trait to try and have a better understanding of how people differ. Many people use this term to describe people who are more talkative and more comfortable with social situations. They are the outgoing type.
Traits of an extrovert
With their ability to talk and have the issues on the table with other people, the extrovert is in pole position to offer hand solutions.
Extroverts Love talking
Extroverts love to strike new conversations with new and total strangers. They don’t enjoy talking to friends, or the family members and mostly the co-workers. They love to meet new people and learn more about their lives. Unlike introverts who put their thoughts first before speaking, extroverts tend to speak while exploring and organizing their thoughts and ideas. Their circle of friends tends to be wider
One of the greatest criticisms of Jung was his work; this is because his work is termed as unscientific. These criticisms first occurred in 1913 when Jung did split with Freud. However, the way Jung interpreted dreams and believed in spirits also caused him to be highly criticized. Some of these interactions made him be isolated from the community (Jung, C. G, 2014). Due to this criticism, his book was termed as rubbish at some point. Even though Jung studied medicine the majority of his work gained a lot of criticism and was termed as unscientific.
Some of his works and concepts like synchronicity and archetypes cannot be scientifically proven. The collective unconsciousness that is based on an outdated understanding of evolution concerns of the archetypes. Jung interpreted archetypes as primordial images that appear rapidly in symbols, myths, and other personified forms. Some critics have also justified that Jung might have agreed with the notion that lamarckianism evolution might be existing through the various attempts to define archetypes.
Some critics also argue and criticize that the emotional theory in question has no definite answer. Through this writing it is evident that Jung had not contacted spirits which he claimed her mother used to experience during the night, it shows he was always in contact with ordinary reality. However, contemporary critics see mysticism and occultism as irrational and too much at work in the part of Jung’s theory. Critics point out that Jung seems to have protected his theory from scrutiny by never settling on any specific explanations for evil.
Critics also found out that Jung’s work has an impact on social science’s invaluable ways. It was highly criticized because it has very strict measurements of extroversion and introversion. The critics do not accept the notion an individual is extensively either an introvert or an extrovert they consider the test too simplistic.
Unlike Freud, Jung seemed aware of the possible dangers of the psychological imbalance presented within the ideology of culture centrality much as each individual in his thinking has a prominent mode whether thinking, feeling, sensing, or intuiting so a given group consciousness might present the same. Among Jung’s numerous hypotheses is the collective unconscious. As per Jung, the human aggregate oblivious is populated by impulses and by models.
In conclusion, Jung devoted the rest of his life to developing his ideas especially those on the relation between psychology and religion. In his view obscure and often neglected texts of writers in the past shed unexpected light not only on Jung’s dreams and fantasies. According to this research curl, Jung was a good theorist due to his good writing skills. During Jung’s corroboration with Freud, the two worked hard in hard to try and solve and answer some questions through their theories (Dunne, C, 2015). Despite, their separation and criticism among themselves they will still be termed as one of the best psychologists of all time.
Thought Jung’s career he was able to win various prizes for his good work in research and writing. Although Jung faced a lot of challenges when perusing the career, he never gave until he achieved and became one of the greatest theorists of all time. In 1943, Jung became a full medical professor of medical psychology at the University of Basel but later resigned due to health problems. Jung continued writing and publishing books the rest of his life, in 1961, Jung wrote his last book, Jung died on 6 June 1961 after a short illness. Most of Jung’s work was published at his death.
Jung, C. G. (2014). Nietzsche’s Zarathustra: Notes of the Seminar given in 1934-1939 by CG Jung. Routledge.
Jung, C. G., & Pauli, W. (2014). Atom and Archetype: The Pauli/Jung Letters, 1932-1958-Updated Edition. Princeton University Press.
Dunne, C. (2015). Carl Jung : Wounded healer of the soul. Watkins Media Limited.
Jung, C. G. (2019). History of Modern Psychology: 1933-1934. Princeton University Press.
This post includes an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The introduction introduces the concept of cognitive psychology and how it influences the responses of individuals. It also gives out a detailed history of how cognitive psychology has evolved through the ages. The body has explained the components of cognitive functions. The study of these cognitive functions defines the whole concept of cognitive psychology. These functions include language, perception, memory, and attention. The body also explains the how the computer analogy compares with the processing procedure of information in the human brain. The succeeding section includes three paragraphs that elaborate the importance of cognitive psychology. Lastly, the last section contains two paragraphs that summarize the whole essay.
Unarguably, the scientific study of the human mental and cognitive functions has led to many discoveries and observations. Foremost, various psychologists and anatomists have tried to elaborate the human cognitive human processes. For instance, history elicits that Plato was among the first individuals, who tried to explain how the human mental processes function. Cognitive psychology entails the scholarly and practical study that tries to comprehend the manifestation of the various mental processes.
Indeed, the brain is a complex organ that operates in a complex manner to process and coordinates the various processes in our bodies. Thus, cognitive psychology tries to outline how the brain compartmentalizes functions such as memory, perception, language, reason making, and perception (Thorndyke, 1977). It is relevant to mention that this study emphasizes how mental processes affect the way humans act, operate or feel. Furthermore, it is crucial to add that cognitive psychology requires an understanding of cognitive science and the fundamental foundations of cognition.
As mentioned earlier, cognitive psychology utilizes various research and studies that elaborate the various mental processes. Thus, this study has links to the various branches of psychology. For instance, these concepts exist in the fields of personality, social, educational, and developmental psychology. Various concepts entail the functioning of the brain with regard to mental processes.
Plato came up with the notion that the brain is the foundation of the various cognitive processes. Various philosophers and psychologists have argued for or against this notion. History elicits that there were scholars, who argued that human thought was innate. This concept tried to show that human thought was not experiential. Alternatively, other philosophical debates tried to elaborate that human thought depended on the sensory situations.
In fact, philosophers such as John Locke extensively supported this idea. Crucially, comprehension of the various cognitive functions requires an understanding of the anatomy and functioning of the brain. Notably, the 18th century paved the way for this understanding. Broca’s area is an anatomical part of the temporal region of the brain associated with language development and production (Mandler & Johnson, 1977).
Paul Broca discovered that this anatomical area determined the nature of language production in humans. This discovery was very crucial, since, it strengthened the foundations of cognitive psychology. Consequently, Broca’s aphasia relates to the dysfunctional production of language. Carl Wernicke identified the region associated with the processing and understanding of language. Damage to the Wernicke’s area due to trauma, infections or congenital malformations causes Wernicke aphasia.
Fundamentally, various situations and occurrences in history increased the awareness of cognitive psychology. In fact, psychologists drew various concepts from the various occasions in history. For instance, the introduction of the computer technology induced various concepts concerning cognitive psychology. The understanding of how the artificial intelligence affects the computer performance was very crucial. It enabled psychologists to draw contrasts and comparisons between this process and how the mental functions operate. It is fundamental to note that computer experts such as Herbert Simon and Allen Newell cooperated with cognitive psychologists. These synergic efforts helped the evolution of cognitive psychology (Tversky, 1981). Significantly, the World War II led to various insights regarding the understanding of behaviorism. There was a general motivation for scientists, who wanted to increase the performance of soldiers.
Various individuals, such as Donald Broadbent developed concepts of behaviorism that provided more insight about the field of cognitive psychology. Indeed, human cognitive functions play various roles in the survival of human beings. Sensory input plays the role of information in the human’s brain. Thus, it has to go through various transformational and conversion stages so as to produce relevant interpretations. It is important to mention that cognitive psychology may have various distinctions or branches depending that improve the general comprehension of cognitive psychology.
The main distinction involves a classification of the various sources of information related to cognition. As mentioned earlier, mental processes and computer functionality have a couple of similarities. Therefore, the main branches include cognitive neuroscience, experimental psychology, and computer analogies approach. Using this classification, individuals may comprehend how mental cognitive functions operate.
Cognitive neuroscience involves how the brain functions when under various types of stress or duress. For example, cognitive dysfunction may occur due to trauma, congenital malformations, infections or brain tumors. Thus, an understanding of how these factors affect the general cognitive functions explain the scope of cognitive neuroscience. Human experimental psychology entails the study of the various mental activities and how they interrelate with the sensory input. The effect of various situations on language or memory may enhance the comprehension of human experimental psychology. Notably, computers receive data input and process it through various sequential procedures. Thus, there is a branch of cognitive psychology that dwells on the comparisons and contrasts between computer functionality and mental procedures. In summary, this paragraph provides more insight on how the various cognitive psychology concepts evolved.
Humans constantly receive data in the form of sensory input. The various sensory perceptions include the sense of sight, smell, taste, sound, and touch. Physiology explains how these senses coordinate the behavior and state of humans. Sensory input travels through nerves to the nervous system. The central nervous system includes the brain and the spinal cord. Thus, these organs have the capability of interpreting data and converting it into useful information. Significantly, the cerebral cortex plays a crucial role in converting the sensory input. For example, the occipital cortex processes visual stimuli (Siegler, 1976).
The body, consequently, utilizes the information to perform bodily functions that manifest as responses. The body may react to painful stimuli by moving that part of the body. Indeed, the fundamental areas of study in cognitive psychology involve mental functions that influence behavior. This essay shall elaborate the contents of the major mental processes. These include attention, perception, memory, language and metacognition. Foremost, attention affects the way humans behave and act.
There is no proper definition for this term. However, it defines the presence of alertness towards a certain sense of perception. Attention has two major branches. Psychologists categorize attention depending on the type of control type. Hence, attention may have exogenous or endogenous control. This distinction aids in elaborating the various ways in which attention operates. In fact, psychologists use various models to explain how the influence of attention on our behaviors and actions.
The endogenous type of attention originates from the brain, especially, from the cerebral cortex. In this model, the brain actively sends impulses that control the awareness of the sensory input from the external environment. For instance, an individual studying a section of a book elicits this type of attention. Alternatively, the exogenous kind of attention refers to awareness of sensory impulses from the peripheral regions of the body. Exogenous attention, often, manifests in our daily activities. The significance of attention is evident when the brain is receiving different kinds of stimuli from the environment.
The brain discriminates between the crucial and irrelevant kinds of sensory input. Thus, attention enables the brain to perform its cognitive functions effectively. It filters and picks out the important aspects of data. This effect helps the brain to concentrate on the various aspects of data in the environment.
Unarguably, many cognitive psychologists have studied the various aspects of divided attention. People are able to critically analyze and process diverse forms of sensory input. This phenomenon occurs due to divided attention. Thus, friends at a loud party can talk to each other and, concurrently, appreciate the decent music at the background. Researchers are still trying to figure how the brain picks attention and how it processes sensory input so as to produce information (Anderson, 1990). In summary, attention is crucial, since, it avoids the overload of data at the brain. Too much unfiltered information may lead to confusion and poor concentration.
Language is a fundamental aspect of cognitive function. Cognitive psychologists extensively research and conduct various experiments on this field of study. Language involves the use of phonetic and articulation sounds to communicate. This cognitive function affects the way individuals relate to each other. There are various disorders associated with the poor development of language. Dysarthria refers to the poor articulation of sounds in relation to talking or speech formation. Alternatively, dysphonia describes the inability to produce speech sounds.
Often, it manifests due to the impairment of the vocal organs which include the tongue, throat, mouth, and lips. This elaboration emphasizes on the relevance of language in the lives of humans. In fact, the main form of communication in humans is through the use of language. It acts as an auditory form of sensory input. Thus, language is not a communication tool in the auditory impaired individuals. As mentioned earlier, cognitive psychology involves the study of how cognitive functions influence the way humans behave. Language is a principle factor that affects the way humans act or behave.
The temporal region of the cerebral cortex takes part in the development, production and processing of language. The Broca area of the cerebral cortex plays the crucial role of language production. Paul Broca provided the insight about how the brain perceives input and produces language. He discovered that the cerebral cortex coordinated the audio output through at this area of the brain. Physiologists and psychologists refer to the dysfunction of language production as Broca aphasia.
Broca aphasia has various causes. However, the main cause of this type of aphasia occurs due to brain injury at the Broca’s area. On the other hand, the Wernicke area participates in the processing of language. It is relevant to mention that the human body perceives the various forms of sensory input and undergoes a sequential process to produce relevant information (Williams et.al, 1988). This information may be in the form of audio input. Physiologists and psychologists have extensively studied this area in a bid to understand how this area incorporates signals to produce output. Indeed, language is a vital aspect of human development. In fact, pediatricians concentrate on language development in infants because it may predict the cognitive function (Bruning et.al, 1999). Various factors influence the way people develop language. For example, memory and socioeconomic status are major determinants of language development.
Significantly, memory is a fundamental component of cognitive functions. There are two major distinctions of memory. Short term memory defines memory over a short period of time. Cognitive psychologists dedicate most of their research in studying the aspects of memory. Amnesia is a common symptom of patients, who have suffered from concussions. It refers to the lack of memory. Various factors may affect memory. Of course, individuals vary in the way they remember events, people or names. Thus, genetics affect memory. In fact, research shows that gene variations may influence the functioning of the cerebral cortex in terms of the formation of the neural circuits. Therefore, this effect may also elaborate the differences in learning rates. Amnesia occurs after concussions due to the traumatic injury of the head. Practitioners and psychologists use various ways to gauge the memory levels of various individuals.
For instance, a practitioner may ask a patient to tell him or her the name of the president as a mode of gauging the long-term memory. There are various concepts that cognitive psychologists utilize to elaborate the different instances of memory. For instance, the Ebbinghaus experiment involves the naming of a list of items. This experiment elicits that it is easier for people to recall items mentioned at the start or the end of a list. Nevertheless, some words in the list may attract more attention more than others. Long-term memory has various types. A common type of long-term memory is the semantic memory, which individuals use to identify popular things or names.
Cognitive psychologists extensively study on how the mental processes process and dedicate information. Thus, they utilize various approaches to studying the impact of these mental functions on behavior. A good example of a psychological approach is the reductionist approach. This approach refers to the ideology that regardless of the complexity of human behavior, filtering of cognitive functions is possible. Thus, it is important to emphasize the role of practical studies and applications on the study of cognitive psychology
Of course, scientific studies require practical applications and studies that prove the accuracy and legitimacy of the concepts (Rosch, 1975). Therefore, cognitive psychology also requires a laboratory utilized for testing the credibility of the various theories. Nevertheless, it is important to mention that some laboratory studies might lack the appropriate laboratory validity. Notably, this branch of psychology involves the extensive use of experimental methods. Cognitive psychology has theories that oppose some of the concepts of behaviorism and conditioning. It also antagonizes the concepts of the various psychoanalytical theories developed by famous psychologists such as Sigmund Freud.
Critical analysis of the various cognitive processes shows that the invention of the computers induced an elevating interest in the comprehension of the whole concept of thinking. Psychology scholars agree that the field of cognitive psychology gradually progressed during the 1960s. Famous psychologists such as Jean Piaget laid the foundation for the development of principles regarding cognitive thinking and reasoning. The artificial intelligence system of the computers resembles how the various mental functions.
Computer analogy provides a rough description regarding how the computer processes information. Consequently, cognitive psychologists link this process to the sequence of cognition. The paradigm of cognitive information starts with the perception of various stimuli from the environment. It is relevant to point out that there are various distinctions between behaviorism and cognitive psychology. Behaviorists always study the external manifestations of human behavior. Thus, they can only observe the body stimulus and response. Hence, they only study the input and output. Alternatively, cognitive psychologists believe that human behavior has an external and internal component. They, therefore, study the input and response. Also, they study how the internal processes coordinate to mediate the production of a response after stimuli perception. As mentioned earlier, these coordination processes may involve language, attention, and memory.
Significantly, perception is a vital determinant of humans’ behavior. It involves the ability to sense the external stimuli. Perception often occurs at the peripheral organs. They include the skin, eyes, ears, tongue, and nose. These organs have nerve endings that can receive stimuli from the external environment. Consequently, conversion of stimuli to nerve impulses takes place at these sites. Visual and auditory stimuli are some of the common stimuli. Cognitive psychology deals with how the central nervous system interprets these stimuli.
Perception is an example of a cognitive process that occurs constantly in normal humans. Comatose patients may have inadequate or impaired perception. Unarguably, the study of cognitive psychology involves a collection of various concepts from the various fields of study. Cognitive science and cognitive psychology share certain similarities. It is difficult to distinguish between these areas of study. Nevertheless, critical examination elicits various contrasts. Foremost, cognitive psychology involves the understanding of the motivating factors of human behavior. Thus, it seeks to explain why individuals act in different ways after exposure to the same kind of stimuli. Alternatively, cognitive science involves an accumulation of various concepts from diverse subjects of study, especially, neuroscience. It extensively depends on practical research and the utilization of case studies.
Importance of Cognitive Psychology
Notably, cognitive psychology plays a fundamental role in the various branches of medicine. The treatment of depression uses the concepts of cognitive therapy. Depression is steadily increasing in various regions. Essentially, many practitioners and medical experts use pharmacological therapy to manage depression. However, statistics show that only 60% of patients benefit from the use of antidepressants. Antidepressants have adverse side effects.
Many patients taking antidepressants experience weight gain. Moreover, there are various reports of patients experiencing hypersensitivity reactions due to the use of antidepressants. Thus, the management of depression should include the combination of pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapy. Non-pharmacological therapy, often, involves the use of cognitive therapy. In this treatment model, the patient teaches himself to control the depressive symptoms. Studies show that there is a gradual improvement of symptoms using this model. In fact, the use of antidepressants only is not a better alternative because patients lose the internal ability to control their moods.
Crucially, personality psychology has enhanced due to the general comprehension of the concepts of cognitive psychology. Evidently, individuals have diverse personality traits. Therefore, the various methods of perception and information processing influence the way people behave. In fact, studies show that some personality disorders may evolve due to cognitive dysfunction. Cognitive therapy is important in the management of personality and mental disorders. It involves training individuals to control their actions and behavior. Also, cognitive psychology has empowered educational psychology. Psychologists can now illustrate how humans handle and process information.
The various theories in the education sector utilize concepts from this branch of psychology. For instance, the various distinctions of long-term and short-term memory have provided more insight on how students learn. Furthermore, teachers can determine the causes of amnesia in a student using the memory model. Cognitive psychology has also increased the understanding of knowledge organization.
Jean Piaget developed various ideologies and theories regarding the cognitive development of humans from adulthood to childhood. His theories elaborated how individuals have diverse forms of behavior. In fact, he came up with a model that explained how skipping certain childhood stages may lead to the manifestation of certain abnormal behavior. Cognitive psychology played a crucial role in the development of his theories. In fact, it is crucial to add that the fundamental concepts of developmental psychology relate with those of cognitive psychology.
The cognitive development of a child extensively uses metacognition. Thus, the child focuses on its thoughts then it assumes that all other individuals also have thoughts and feelings. Metacognition is a cognition process that involves a critical analysis of one’s thoughts. It helps people to gauge their mental performance. Vitally, cognitive psychology aids in defining the various causes of social dysfunction. According to research, anti-social people have a depressed information processing function. They have a limited capability of processing the social stimuli. Also, they cannot evolve an appropriate social response or cue. There are various social models that trace the various stages of humans as they progress to adulthood.
An analysis of the essay shows that cognitive psychology plays a significant role in the development of human beings. It involves the study of how mental processes influence the behavior and deeds of individuals. It is worth noting that cognitive psychology examines how human beings perceive and process information. It deals with the internal processes that occur before the evolution of a response. As mentioned earlier, there are various cognitive processes that play a principal role in determining the behavior of people.
Attention, language, memory, and perception are the major examples of cognitive processes. They manifest in various ways. For instance, attention filters the raw data that enters the central nervous system. This data is always in the form of sensory input. Nevertheless, it avoids the overload of information in the brain. There are various criticisms against the concepts of cognitive psychology.
Behaviorists such as B.F. Skinner oppose the theories of cognitive psychology. According to them, the only determinant of behavior was external stimuli. They claim that there are no information processing procedures that take place in the central nervous system. Moreover, some of the behaviorists such as Carl Rogers believe that using the laboratory for practical research is not suitable and credible.
Conclusively, the post elaborates the various merits of cognitive psychology. Many fields of study utilize concepts that originate from cognitive psychology. It has led to an enhanced comprehension of educational psychology. Teachers and educational professional can now understand how the various forms of memory determine the learning rates of students. Besides, sociologists can now explain the origins of the various forms of social problems. An evaluation shows that aggressive individuals lack the appropriate schematic procedure of sensory perception and information processing. The field of developmental psychology has majorly benefited from understanding how the various cognitive functions relate. For instance, Jean Piaget extensively utilized the concepts of cognitive development to explain the various stages of development from childhood to adulthood. In summary, cognitive psychology is a fundamental section of psychology that explains the behavior of individuals.
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Cultural factors in diagnosis and treatment are highly imperative. This paper includes critical thinking on the perils of using mainstream methodology with non-Western cultures.
Cultural factors have deep roots in the clinical psychology. Cross cultural psychology has now become an inseparable idea in clinical psychology. Culture cannot be avoided in order to make a precise judgment on mental problem. The paper is based upon literature review on various academic articles and books written to cover the significance of culture in clinical psychology. It offers systematic review based upon authentic basis regarding psychological treatment considering the cultural factors involved in diagnosis. Efforts are expected to focus on accurate judgment, suitable therapeutic process and an eventual release of the painful feeling.
The capable psychoanalysts must be devoted, and eager to understand the cultural backdrop, past experiences and its correlation with the psychological diagnosis and handling of the case. Also a patient from non-western cultural background must be treated with extreme care while considering his cultural beliefs as important indicators to achieve optimum output; an ultimate relief for the patient.
Respecting the consensus developed by historic and contemporary professionals, a psychologist can enhance efficacy of the treatment and avoid the perils of the mainstream methodology in treatment of non-western cultures.
Cultural factors are one of the most significant variables in the field of clinical psychology. A clinician cannot aim for precise diagnosis and appropriate treatment without considering the culture of the patient as a guiding principle, as many of the psychological behaviours are directly influenced by the cultural norms.
The paper presents a review of different cultures and their requirement for the diagnosis of treatment on mental health problems. It will also highlight potential harms of applying mainstream methodologies on a non-western client. A detailed literature review will explain the main aspects of non-western culture and culture related attitude on mental health.
While treating the mental disorders, it will be useless if a general method is applied on everyone, without studying the socio cultural background of the client and salient features of the specific culture. We can explain its importance through an example; drinking habit may be a serious issue in a culture and may demand psychotherapy to get rid of it, but it is possible that it is considered as a normal thing in another culture.
Also shyness of a female towards the males can be considered as a psychological problem in the western culture, though it may be considered as a normal behaviour in non-western traditions. Any diagnosis cannot be appropriate unless it is seen through the lens of the culture. Every psychological disorder has a deep connection with religious beliefs, ethnic norms, and native environment.
An expert clinician has to identify that root first before making a professional judgment on the problem, type of treatment and therapeutic process required, and mannerism of the sessions, and required cultural sensitivity aspects during the therapies. The need of cognitive testing can only be identified after thorough analyses of the cultural factors behind the problem.
Cultural factors in psychological diagnosis and treatment; an overview
Psychological diagnosis is very much dependent on the symptoms in human behaviour. Talking about the general perception on mental illness or disorder, anything different from a usual behaviour is referred as a psychological disorder. These perceptions are closely related to the culture possessed by the patient and also the interpretation of any behaviour as according to the cultural norms.
We can understand this phenomenon by an example of some sort of mania. Mania is almost a common problem found in almost all the cultures, but the clinician must be very careful in diagnosis, as there is a probability of confusing the culture related expression of distress as wrong diagnosis of mania. We can observe cultural diversity in stating the depression, but it may be under diagnosed, usually on initial stage and careful measures are not taken.
It is true that somatic characteristics may be identical in all the cultures, yet, it is critical to differentiate physical descriptions of a sentimental situation. Generally ways of expressing depression are different in all the cultures, however, sad mood, unwillingness in enjoying something, nervousness, and feeling energy less are common symptoms of depression. Culture cannot be neglected for any sort of psychiatric treatment like, while classifying depressive disorders, for example, we have to consider both internal factors within the individual and external factors related to the culture of the subject (Cowen P. et al. 2012. p212).
In the discussion, as it follows, various culture factors will be elucidated as they influence psychological diagnosis and treatment in various situations. It is also important to know how the treatment can cause harm instead of healing the suffering if a client from non-western culture is dealt in mainstream methodologies of diagnosis and treatment.
Cultural diversities and mental health
Culture is an inherited asset which travels from generation to generation. This is a factor which has direct influence on all aspects of the lives of human beings. As far as the approach on mental problems is concerned, it varies from person to person, family to family; various ethnic groups, culture to culture and country to country.
It has been observed that culture and religion have a strong influence over the mental health of a person, and initiation of mental illness. Also cultural mannerism of responding towards such problems, determines the extent of agreement of the patient for mental sickness treatment and consistency in this regard. It is very important to understand that representation of mental wellbeing service demands cultural sensitivity for improving acceptance and awareness on the use of these services.
This will help to reform approach about mental illness, as it is different from the one customary in the west. We can review a case study to understand this difference. This comparative study was conducted by universities in India and America, to compare behaviours in India and USA. It was found that the students from India perceived depression as an outcome of the factors like, being unsuccessful in achieving goals, or else which can easily be controlled by them individually, and felt that only way to manage depression is to ensure social facilitation and religious practices. They suggest that understanding and treating depression must consider diverse point of views on mental illness for enhancing the efficacy of mental wellbeing plans (Nieuwsma, J.A.et al. (2011). p 539-568).
Relationship of psychology and culture has been discussed by many expert psychologists, according to Triandis H.C. quoted by Kitayama S. and Cohen D. (2010), history of psycho-cultural tendencies have shaped the contemporary approaches of cultural psychology, and the future of this field is also based upon the same.
He emphasizes on the close connection of the language; a salient feature of each culture, and psyche. He believed that language is the key to understand the thoughts of the speaker. Due to interaction of various people within the same culture, many agreements are found on the ways to behave collectively. These practices by the time shape the mind accordingly, thus we can say, an individual expresses his culture which he has been brought up (Kitayama S. and Cohen D. 2010).
Mental illness as a stigma in various cultures
Perceiving mental disorder as a shameful fact may be due to many reasons, for example, any of the apparent reason of the sickness. Many studies have reported other major distinctions in behaviour towards mental illness amongst cultural groups in the USA. Carpenter-Song et al. (2010) performed a thorough, one and a half year long culture based study.
The subjects for the study were 25 patients with critical mental illness. These were European-American patients engaged in regular treatment by expert psychiatrist, inclined to state convictions about mental sickness associated with medical viewpoints about the illness. Contrary to this, people belonging to Africa, America or Latin patients were more liable to highlight non-medicinal explanations about the signs of mental disorders.
Though, all the subjects from 3 cultural clusters shared about some sort of stigmatization because of their mental problems, this very shamefulness sentiment proved to be a main part of the African-Americans reactions, hence it was not focused in case of European-Americans, instead they inclined to consider mental problems as major and most important side of the human requirements on health.
As far as African-Americans were concerned, they were frustrated when the clinicians emphasized on the need of medication. In case of Latin persons, they generally considered diagnosis of mental sickness to be a severe damage to their social image and status; they focused on stating the sickness on a very low severity to stay safe from extreme stigma (Carpenter.S. E. (2010) p 224-251).
As argued earlier, when we talk about stigma, its severity may be different in different individual cultures, which refers to a diverse nature in western and non-western cultures. In the non-western culture, sentiment of dishonour linked with mental disorder is very high. In such cases a mental situation, in which the patient thinks as if he is humiliated or not cared by anyone, leads to extreme loss of self-belief; thus the symptoms of mental sickness may even enhance.
Another evaluation of the association between ethnicity & cultural beliefs and mental disorders is conducted by Abdullah et al. (2011). This study illustrates thoughts on broad diversity of culture related ideas embedded in mental condition. For instance, a number of the cultures may not regard mental disorder as a cause of disgrace, some of those only focus on the extreme problems but others may feel shame on disorders of any level of problem. Generally, non-western people are highly anxious about their traditions, self-control, individual associations and expressive connections, mental illness is taken as shameful dilemma, not only for the specific person, but for the whole immediate and extended family. (Abdullah et al. 2011)
Resistance from the patients
Bailey et al. (2011) have shred about reluctant behaviours regarding mental treatment. He notes that sense of being ashamed, religion related misconceptions, lack of trust on the clinicians and language barriers and communication issues may be the reason behind this resistance in opting for mental health treatment as required (Bailey, R.K.et al. 2011 p 548-557.) In certain cultures clients show a lot of resistance just to satisfy their self-respect that they are normal and it will be real dishonour if they admit and accept need for mental treatment.
That is the main reason behind the concept that understanding culture of the client is very important, so as to understand the root causes of the resistance and reluctance. During the therapies, the clinician must develop a good rapport with the client, which is only possible with some awareness on the culture of the client. An expert clinician must focus on building a good relationship with the client during a few initial therapeutic sessions.
It may be performed through friendly discussion demonstrating interest in getting awareness on the client’s culture, which must be complemented through attempts to gain knowledge on the same through books and other sources, such as, friends and family of the client, other members of the same community and other internet sources.
This way the client will share many thoughts from his subconscious, and the root may be identified, along with a great control over the expected resistance from the client. Especially when we talk about non-western culture; as argued earlier; their stigma may be a great source of resistance. This can be overcome, if the client receives friendly signals from the clinician, and a sense of trust worthiness for thought sharing.
Cultural sensitivity while treating non-western clients
Generally, Non-western clients, especially Muslims adhere to their religious beliefs; therefore, it is crucial to be aware on the cultural heritage, and religious background of the Muslims for the contemporary psychologists, so as to ensure efficacy of the treatment, as this group of clients is rather difficult and needs to be understood properly. We have a discussion about the Muslim cluster in the non-western culture as it the biggest majority group in the non-west representation.
Considering religion, as a central point of the human life, makes it possible for a practitioner to manage therapeutic process with a high level of skill and anticipation of the optimal output, when tackled in religious framework. Religious beliefs, spiritual thoughts and mental health have an interesting correlation to apply for treating several mental disorders efficiently. Keshavarzi H. and Haque A. (2014) in an article highlight the need of improving the psycho-treatment procedures with the help of its integration with the culture and religious values, while treating Muslims for psychological disorder.
Religious faiths about the reason of mental sickness are typically unconnected to biological systems. Most of these are considered as a curse due to any bad deed in the past, or due to some spirits. However these symptoms may be different in the young and old generations. Also the nature of sickness differs in the native non-western client and second generation borne in a different culture. (Keshavarzi H. and Haque A. 2014)
Keshavarzi H. and Haque A. (2013) also quote Veling et al., (2008) who have highlighted non-western tendency of community based culture. It is a general norm that Muslim are fond of replication of a community environment similar to the native culture, wherever they live, such as community centers, caring for right of neighbours, selfless attitudes, mutual reliance and family values. These strong bonding practices generally tend to reduce chances of mental problems.
Lack or absence of cultural knowledge, especially on religious faith, norms and practices by non-Muslim therapists may be a hurdle in creating a remedial association with the client. It is important to be aware of certain practices which are extremely conflicting with Muslim cultures as observed in the west. Male and female interaction can be one of the examples, which is extremely prohibited in Muslim culture, though considered a normal matter in other cultures. This can lead to a serious problem during the sessions, if not understood according to the cultural requirements. For the therapist, it is also recommendable to make collaboration with religious leaders, so as to enhance religious understanding on the Muslim psyche and Islamic modes of treatment (Keshavarzi H. and Haque A. 2013).
We see that there is lack of sufficient materials on culture specific treatment methodologies for non-western clients. Many therapeutic concepts cannot be applied on the non-western client the way these may probably be efficient for the western client. Treatment of non-western client, though complicated, it also holds many helpful resources within its roots.
As we see that in the non-western culture, family values and social relationships are highly cherished. These may a helpful tool for resource mobilization. To cope with language barriers family members can be a helpful resource. Another precaution is also recommended by Cowen P. et al (2012) that assigning a translator during sessions also demands special care about the selection of the person to interpret. As a general observation it is a fear that involving a translator, other than the therapist himself, may cause difficulty to achieve specific results, besides ever-increasing the duration of the meeting. Mare transformation of the language may not be helpful while the person is not a health expert, sometimes the spirit of the conversation is lost while translation process.
This problem can only be conquered with the help of same community members, close family relation, or assigning a professional psychologist, the responsibility to communicate and interpret with the non-western client, and then be a part of diagnosis and therapeutic process. These dissimilarities are not exclusive for Muslims only; the other representatives of the non-western culture, such as Hindus and Buddhist are also different in terms of their traditions, norms and their approach towards mental illness, from the western culture. The same requirement of studying the specific culture persists for the therapist for a patient who belongs to any of these cultures (Cowen P. et al 2012).
All these arguments on the study of clinical psychology elucidate that dealing mannerism must represent adaptability according to the requirement of the culture when handling patient from a culture, which the therapist does not belong to. It must be understood that mainstream psychological methodologies might not fulfill the extraordinary needs of the situation.
It is also quite natural that a single person may not possess the knowledge about each and every culture in the world, which makes things more complicated for the psychologist to have the anticipated outcomes. In some cases patients may even assume biased behaviour from any person or a group, financial stress, and a feel of inaccessibility to services if he is uncomfortable in any other culture, this might transform into the symptoms of mental illness later on. As a general observation, most of the cases of migrants emerge due to adaptability issues and may become severe if not handled on time with due diligence (Cowen P. et al 2012. p. 26. Ch 3).
As argued earlier, mental health issues with the systematic application of connection with the clients may notably increase because, most of the issues come forward because of cultural intricacy. Even the best knowledgeable practitioner may not be able to ascertain mental well being of a patient, if, he does not make himself well aware of the culture; the patient is coming from, and all probable cultural approaches which may be contributing in increase of mental illness motives in the subconscious of the patient.
The contemporary studies emphasize that culture has unambiguous connection with psychological problems. A psychotherapist must not stress on conservative systems of treatment, and bring in inventive thoughts in accordance to the requirement and judge diverse features of cultural psychology (Tseng W.S 2008).
As we learned from Keshavarzi H. and Haque A. (2014), that initial effort for applying the psychological approach is the precise judgment of the issue and the performance level of the patient. In this regard, the therapist has to collect information which is essentially required for treatment. If the judgment indicates a high tendency of the client towards religion, the therapist must take that into account. This may be evaluated during initial informal discussions through the use of terminologies and his general approach.
The clinician must have an intention to develop an understanding with the patient on how the objective of the treatment is set. Later, a detailed session should be conducted to assess how he expects the improvement as a result of the therapeutic process. If the patient does not take interest in self-actualization, and wants focused attention to the specific problem, therapist must not resist, and make the client comfortable, removing discomforts of cultural difference (Keshavarzi H. and Haque A. 2014).
When we talk about the cultural beliefs in Arabian culture we cannot exclude religious and traditional methods of the psychotherapies. The majority of the Arabs rely on conventional healers, also referred as faith healers, such as experts of herbal medicines, religious elders of the region, healing through rituals. Unfortunately the initial level of mental disorder is assumed to be an assault of evil spirits such possession of the body, which can just be treated with the help of rituals. Treating the mentally ill person is believed as a punishment for the patient, that might mark him as a crazy or abnormal person forever, thus restricting hi normal movement in the in the society for the rest of his life (Parekh R. 2013).
The most complex idea about this subject is the command of a clinician about the features of every culture. Though it is not simple but the clinician must be open to learn about the cultural features which truly have an effect on the healing procedure. Cultural knowledge compliments the success of the healing procedure by demonstrating respect for the patient and the culture. The most important aspect of the point is that a proficient psychologist must be impartial, enthusiastic, and considerate on the cultural surroundings, the history and its link with the course of analysis and therapy.
The whole discussion stressed over an idea that culture and psychology cannot be viewed in isolation; we cannot suppose on the performance of brain and a culture bound psychosomatic approach, linked with one culture and expected to apply in any other culture, these aspects must be taken into account during therapeutic process.
While treating non-western clients, we must be clear on a few general distinctions in the culture, Such as:
Effect of religious beliefs on psychological beliefs
Strong family bonding
Reluctance of women on open communication with a male therapist,
Entirely different social environment
Less preference of psychological treatment as compared to physical issues.
Keeping all these aspects in mind, a clinician has to show respect for that cultural characteristic to develop outstanding professional relationship with the patients. Talking about sentimental problems in a responsive manner may help in this regard, because, general tendency of the non-western clients demonstrates shyness in discussing personal events, which may point towards the roots of the problem which may be linked with the cultural beliefs. Thus, to discover secrets of the subconscious, information on the patient’s culture is unavoidable.
As we have already discussed that family bonding and social relationships are very strong in the non-western culture, these may also give rise to some problems related to the expectations associated with these values. These false expectations may give birth to a feeling of disappointment or betrayal from a close person. It also makes them feel that those people have wasted their sacrifices and have not cherished their support. This leads to anger and fury for their own selves as well as for others.
This also gives rise to hopelessness, and trust over others including their psychologist. It can also result into discontinuation of constructive attitude; which generates dire need of family support, counselling and cognitive therapy with individual. A feel of being deprived regarding marital rights can be an example of such cases. These sort of cases are culturally sensitive and may be dealt with high care, after acquiring sufficient knowledge of the specific cultural values and norms (Keshavarzi H. and Haque A. 2014).
Mainstream methodologies: Benefits and Perils
Before concluding the paper, we must focus on the perils of the mainstream methodologies when applied in non-western culture. During our argument, one thing has been concluded that we cannot study psychotherapeutic treatment in isolation; culture must be included in the analytical process. We can classify the type of clients in two culture specific groups:
Both have very clear dividing lines for general understanding on cultural beliefs. As we conclude that cultural beliefs play a major role in psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. The very first step involves the basic understanding on the culture of the patient and to what extent these beliefs and norm influence his cognitive behaviour. Though these are the two basic cultural groups, the non-western cluster may further be divided into more clusters based on religion and geographic trends.
Muslims; the largest group in the non-western culture are more influenced by the religious education, rituals, spiritual treatment and other limitations. The beliefs of the patients may not be agreed by the practitioner, however it is important, not to argue with the patient, and give him a feel that the practitioner believes him and respects his point of view. Other clusters within the non-western cultures should also be dealt accordingly. Suspicion on the clinician, being afraid of the treatment, being afraid of racist of discriminatory approach, language and communication barriers, and cultural & religious issues may hinder the successful treatment (Keshavarzi H. and Haque A. 2013).
This reaches the following understandings:
Considering culture is the most important aspect in psychological treatment.
Initial meetings should be focused on gaining awareness about cultural and religious tendencies of the patient.
Physical interaction between male and female is strictly prohibited in non-western culture; this must be avoided at any condition.
General methodologies may not be applicable to all the patients. In the study of psychology, every client has his unique identity, he must be dealt individually. The approach that proved to be successful for treating depression of a western women, may not work for exact replication for a non-western woman.
The clinician must not try to influence patient’s cultural beliefs.
The clinician must show respect for the culture to develop mutual trust and good professional relationship.
Mare translation is not enough for the sessions, the interpreter must be a professional therapist, or a family or community member of the patient if the first option is not possible.
Consultation with the family is also recommended when possible. This may also help to overcome stigma and seek early healing of the problem rather that making it worse due to delayed treatment.
Depressive disorders may be similar in different cultures, however, the therapist must study, what is hidden behind the symptoms, inside the cultural context.
As a concluding note we can easily claim that psychiatric diagnosis cannot be made leaving the cultural factors behind. Making an attempt to do so may lead to commit wrong diagnosis and ultimately a wrong treatment. In advanced clinical psychology, wrong diagnosis and treatment is as dangerous as an unnecessary medicinal injection.
A clinician has to demonstrate high level of professionalism and skill to handle the case with careful cultural sensitivity. There may be chances to disagree with the client belief, and also his cultural belief may be opposite from the therapist’s cultural norms, yet, he must not mention so in front of the client. There is high probability for resistance from the client and he also may show distrust on the treatment, however, the therapist has to be unbiased and temperamental. He has to make the client feel that his opinion is respected; being a leader or teacher may not be an appropriate approach, rather than being a facilitator.
As any unnecessary medicine may cause harm, in the same way, wrong approach towards cultural psychology may be equally harmful. A uniform methodology may not be applicable in all cases. If the client is under strong influence of religion and other features of the culture, it may not be ignored. A good rapport with the client is a half way towards the successful psychological treatment, and understanding the Cultural Factors is the map to reach this destination. .
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This philosophical essay intends to identify and explore the key features of Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s approach to the question of perception in “Phenomenology of Perception” by him and discusses the problems or weaknesses if there are any. This philosophy essay expresses argued position on a subject. It presents consideration to be good reasons for the claims that are made and the views defended in this literary piece of work. Furthermore, the essay intends to clearly, distinguishes the philosophical problems addressed in it, and strictly sticks to the reflections upon the issues that are raised by this topic. In order to clarify and develop a point to examine more precisely the common background in the theory of perception in Merleau-Ponty’s work the essay discusses views of others who also have written on the topic (perception).
“Phenomenology of Perception” (1945) is the major work of philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty, one of the founders of phenomenology. The author criticized in this book design Cartesian mentalist and the language, which would make the simple words representations of concepts mentally or objects outside (Merleau-Ponty, 2004, pp.01-589).
Perception is a faculty biophysical or phenomenon physio-sychological and cultural links to the action of living worlds and the environment through the senses and ideologies individual or collective. In humans, perception is also related to the mechanisms of cognition by the abstraction inherent in the idea and concepts learned in thought. The word therefore means perception or sensory ability (the instinct for example), is the process of collecting and processing the information or sensitive sensory (in cognitive psychology, for example), or awareness resulting. In experimental psychology, in the human being, there are scales of perception conscious perception and unconscious, also known as implicit or subliminal (Baldwin, 2007, 33-41). This distinction has been extended to other animals insofar as it is known, or in another measure, can be trained and conditioned to give or not they have received or not a stimulus. The perception of a situation involves senses, the mind, and the ideas at the moment and time.
Fortunately, a close analysis of the overlap between “Phenomenology of Perception” by Merleau-Ponty not only allows us to understand the benefit of hindsight but also to assess the consistency of the analysis of perception. In “Phenomenology of Perception”, Merleau-Ponty (1962, pp.01-589) develops more fully theories of perception, he tries to describe our first experience of living and the world as it is given before any interpretation and scientific knowledge.
Author rejects both empiricism to its choice of atomization and failures to report in general terms of structural models of our experience and rationalism (01-589). Because it separates conscience of the world and proposes an existential perspective that can establish dialectical relationship between the subject and the world, it recognizes the nature of consciousness, mainly due to the situation and the life of the body. Consciousness is consciousness of something and is directed toward the world. “Phenomenology of Perception” “goes further by seeking to discover intentionality operative or pre-reflexive links and predicative that underlie our existence in the world. The first examination of the relationship between man and intentional and the world is through reductions phenomenological method and the first is to put all preconceived outstanding about reality and the natural attitude of everyday life that is “bracketed” and examined in a philosophical or transcendental perspective for understanding the essential dialogue between consciousness and the world.
The precise description of pre-reflective experiences, such as especial articulation, movement, time perception, sensation and sexuality, are one approach. The analysis of pathological cases in which the normal conditions of being in the world are suspended and intentionality weakened and it allows further research. Correspondingly, the human mind has not a pure perceptual function. It is inseparable from the physical data that put thoughts into motion, thus this is the novel form, and more concretely in a modern world, it introduces relativity, which can best grasp this entry in a situation. In short, as the work of Merleau-Ponty keep a referential dimension intrinsic, it is characterized by an effort unrewarding to realism but by the manner of reporting a particular phenomenological point of view (Merleau-Ponty, 1962, pp. 01-589).
Perception is what gives the material concept of the understanding, the “union” forming the sensible object. Perception is reality, which is external, and it is not even given in perception. This perception is a sensation that applies to an object general and not to a specific object. In this sense, the “perceptual judgment” remains purely subjective, opposes “judgment of experience” that is subject to the conditions of necessity and universality. If perception is subjective, so you do not consider as true or as false as it is the understanding that one is able to make a judgment that will have a truth value. When we speak of illusion or appearance is therefore refers not to despise but to perceptions of the mind that makes the mistake of taking subjective mode of representation, perception, an objective mode. The perception, whether sharp or not, shows the registration of rights in a “horizon” which cannot escape, in a space where it is enclosed. The view is thus limited to a certain distance, as well as hearing and touch has their own limitations.
Perception is always wrong because it is too human. Until then, it had always been regarded either as an image or as a sign of external things. In all cases, it was thought as a representation of the thing. I believe that the perception gives something “in the flesh” in his bodily presence unlike the experiences of consciousness (e.g., imagination) that represent things missing. This design is based on the intentionality of consciousness shows that it is by no means a receptacle containing a set of images, but acts of sight. For example, the perception of a cube has nothing to do with the imagination of the same cube, as it is a case of the other “targeted” different kind though their object is the same. Perception is never isolated. We have a perceptual field in which ordered a series of perceptions, what is called perceptual sketches that complement each other in building activity of the meaning of things (Webster, Werner & Field, 2005, pp.241–277).
Based on the reflections of Husserl, Merleau-Ponty (1962, pp.01-589) seeks to demonstrate the first perception. This, he says, is by no means the result of an arrangement of sensations but rather an activity of s open to the world of life. He wants to show that the distinction Husserl between the act of sight and the target object is not primitive and that below it there is a reciprocal implication of subject and object. The experience of perception is the location of this co-belonging of consciousness and the world and that is why perception is a primary experience and precedes speech (301-315).
The suspension of classes and hierarchies that we submit our impressions are often accompanied by a relaxation of the functional perspective on individual objects of our world and a higher prevalence of incongruous detail in the perception of our environment. Such a bet is pending is seen more strongly in times of crisis, when the loss of conscious control over the body and the environment produces a hypersensitivity impressions we reflect normally as trivial and irrelevant. It draws our attention to the operation of pre-reflective and overwhelming our senses, independent of an individual’s personal trauma (LaRock, 2002, pp.231–258).
If knowledge was based entirely on the sensation then it should share the properties of the latter. However, the sensation is a snapshot, not a state but an event that remains vanishes (Merleau-Ponty, 2004, pp.88-136). Sensation is more “mobile” unstable and always singular, it is the result of the encounter between an external object and the ability of sensitive man; meeting takes a different form each time. Thus, knowledge is nothing more than a cluster of sensations that it would be impossible to organize because its elements are incomparable with each other. It is in this sense that we must break away from sense perception to reach true knowledge (Casarett, 1999, pp.125–139).
I agree that sensation is equal to knowledge but it seeks to demonstrate the utility value it for life. For life, it does not mean only that of man but that of any organization. Sensation and movement are the two properties shared by all living beings. The feeling gives access to the outside world and its changes and allows the body to adapt to it and thus to ensure its own survival. Merleau-Ponty (1962, pp. 01-589) gives rise to a true science of sensitive, distinguishing the “sensitive clean” which refers to one of the five senses and not others, and “common sensible” seized all the senses (e.g. movement). He hangs up the existence of a sixth sense, “common sense” that allows the unification of sensitive data from the various sensory organs. In a way, we can say that sensation becomes a real object of knowledge even if it is still not the subject in the sense that it would be knowledge.
I believe sensation is not a reliable source of knowledge. For this, I use the famous example of the “piece of wax.” Initially it presents a set of sensible qualities: it is hard, cold, smells of flowers makes a particular sound when hit etc… Suppose we approach this piece of wax fire, then all of these qualities disappear and replaced by others. However, it does not say much for this thing, which is come before me, is something that I perceived the wax before. This is the same wax that before and after exposure is to fire so this is not what I perceived with the senses that can explain what the wax. However, the imagination, which conceives of something changes, cannot do more because these variations are endless. Only the mind can. Thus, I come to consider the perception rather than as a “vision” but as “an inspection of the mind.” Perception is an act of intellection, producing an idea that can be “imperfect and confused” or “clear and distinct”. In the latter case, there is identification of perception and truth. It is found again in the early 20th century with Alain, which makes perception a “function of understanding.”
The problem of perception has been a central concern of classical philosophy about the origin of knowledge, as evidenced by the famous “Molyneux problem” that looks like this: Suppose a man born blind who has been learned to distinguish by touch a cube and a sphere of the same metal and of equivalent size, find the sense of sight. However, it is noted that the response was generally negative (Webster, Werner & Field, 2005, pp.241–277). Note further that the issue was the assessment of the powers of the senses of sight, often seen as primordial sense, compared to the other senses. The outside world is a construction from sense impressions. One thing, it is the meeting by intelligence, various sensations under the same name, so there is nothing that exists outside of what is perceived. Somehow, the chair I am sitting over there as soon as I left the room. This doctrine is called immaterialism (Casarett, 1999, pp.125–139).
We can also mention the skeptics who do not have little involvement in the devaluation of “knowledge” sensitive. Indeed, a compiled list of cases demonstrates that the perception is sometimes an illusion, an error and in that sense, we should not be proud. Let two of their examples: a square tower we look from a distant point seems round, and a stick dipped in part in water seems twisted (LaRock, 2002, pp.231–258). The list of examples, however, does not answer the question of whether these errors are due to a perception that is itself misleading or judgment that accompanies it. Note finally that the Epicurean Lucretius says it is impossible to demonstrate that the senses deceive us and more importantly, the state would condemn this reason (LaRock, 2002, pp.231–258).
The feeling does not correspond to the coincidence between the subject and the feeling quality (e.g. red) collected. Consciousness is perceptual consciousness. On the contrary, the feeling is embodied in a “horizon of meaning” and is from the perceived meaning that there may be associations with similar experiences (and not vice versa). Printing cannot “wake others”: the perception is not made of sensitive data supplemented by a “projection of memories “in effect, seek to memories presupposes precisely that sensitive data will be formatted and have acquired a sense, then that is what meaning the “projection of memories” was supposed to return (Casarett, 1999, pp.125–139).
Merleau-Ponty (1962, pp. 101-622) explicitly rejects then design Cartesian or mentalist language, which would make the simple phrase of representations mental. The words are not, for him, a reflection of the thought: “the word is not the” sign “of thought”. It cannot be severed from the speech and thought: both are “wrapped in one another, meaning is made in the word and the word is the existence of external sign. He focuses on a conception of the word and the word, which does not reduce to simple signs of thought or the external object, but become the presence of this idea in the sensible world, not the garment (22). He discovered in the conceptual meaning of words an existential meaning emotional (33).
The expression does not that translate well meaning, but realizes or actualizes. The language implies an activity first intentional, which passes through the body itself. Thought is nothing inside; it does not exist outside the world and out of words. There is therefore no thought precedes speech thought is already language (“this inner life is an inner language”) and the language is already thinking.
This philosophy essay explored the key features of Merleau-Ponty’s approach to the question of perception in Phenomenology of Perception problems or weaknesses in of the topic and it found that the body is not a potential object of study for science and an inherence of consciousness and body with the analysis of perception must consider. The primacy of perception signifies a primacy of experience, insofar as perception assumes an active constituent. Maurice Merleau-Ponty analyzes the notion of sensation, despite apparent evidence in the natural attitude and rejects the notion of pure sensation. He then refutes and prejudices the objective world because the perception is rooted in subjectivity that actually produces the indeterminate and confusion. We can conclude with following words that psychology has failed to define the sensation, but the physiology has not been more capable, as the problem of “objective world” arises again and enters in contradiction with the experience to understand what it means to “feel”, we must return to the pre-objective internal experience.
Casarett, D.J., 1999 Moral perception and the pursuit of medical philosophy. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, 20(2), pp.125–139
LaRock, E.F., 2002 Against the Functionalist Reading of Aristotle’s Philosophy of Perception and Emotion. International Philosophical Quarterly, 42(2), pp.231–258
Merleau-Ponty, M., 2004 The World of Perception O. Davis, ed., Routledge
Merleau-Ponty, M., 1962 The Phenomenology of Perception, Routledge
Webster, M.A., Werner, J.S. & Field, D.J., 2005 Adaptation and the phenomenology of perception. In C. Clifford & G. Rhodes, eds. Fitting the Mind to the World Adaptation and Aftereffects in High-level Vision Advances in Visual Cognition. Oxford University Press, pp.241–277
Baldwin, T., 2007 Reading Merleau-Ponty : on Phenomenology of perception, Routledge