Perception of Psychology
Psychoanalytic theory suggests that some memories can be so painful, that a person can totally block them from their conscious memory and then later “recover” them; either spontaneously or while receiving therapy. Others argue that these are false memories that can be created through the power of suggestion for some people. Which viewpoint do you agree with and why? Have you had a memory that later turned out to be incorrect? What do you think was the cause of the error in your recollection?
Public perception of psychology tends not to portray the entire scope of the field. To evaluate this statement please ask three people who are not in this psychology class (e.g., roommates, parents, friends and professors from other fields) what they think psychologists do. Next, compile a list of the ideas and then compare this list to Chapter 1 of the textbook. What did your small sample miss? What did they over-represent? Why do you think these misperceptions exist?
Information and perspectives regarding the psychoanalytic theory of memory repression and false memories.
Regarding the issue of memory repression, some studies suggest that it is possible for people to repress traumatic memories or experiences that are too painful or overwhelming to remember consciously. Psychoanalytic theory suggests that these repressed memories may continue to influence a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors unconsciously, and that they can be recovered through therapy.
However, other researchers have raised concerns about the accuracy and reliability of such recovered memories. Some studies have suggested that memories of traumatic events can be distorted or false, especially if they were implanted or suggested by a therapist or other people. This can happen due to suggestion, memory contamination, or other factors.
Therefore, it is a complex issue, and both viewpoints have valid arguments. It is essential to evaluate each case individually, using scientific evidence, to determine the validity of recovered memories.
It is true that many people have a limited understanding of what psychology is and what psychologists do. They may perceive psychologists as only dealing with mental health issues or treating patients with severe mental illnesses.
However, the field of psychology encompasses a wide range of areas and topics, such as cognitive psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, neuropsychology, forensic psychology, industrial-organizational psychology, and many others. Psychologists conduct research, provide therapy, consult with businesses and organizations, and work in various settings, including schools, hospitals, clinics, and private practice.
The first chapter of a psychology textbook typically provides an overview of the field and its subfields, including its history, research methods, and applications. It also introduces some of the major theoretical perspectives and issues in psychology, such as nature vs. nurture, consciousness, and free will.
Based on this, it is possible that people outside of the psychology field may miss some of the breadth and diversity of the field. They may over-represent the idea that psychologists mainly deal with mental health issues or that they can read people’s minds. These misperceptions can arise from media portrayals of psychology, personal experiences, or a lack of exposure to the field.