Current Issues and Debates in Psychology
Basis for Growth
Consideration of modern psychological tendencies assures psychologists and psychoanalysts that physiological researches are widely progressing, involving in its scope of inquiry more spheres of human life and thus, bringing into spot new disciplines, methods and research fields. Consequently, the issues put onto discussion grow in number
Theory and Practice
One of the current tendencies which have become obvious is the implementation of theory into practice and successful management of particular cases in the terms of available knowledge. Here the main problem is the fact that some of the psychological concepts referring to behavior of individuals cannot be checked until psychologists face a particular situation and observe its development till it is solved. So, specialists are trying hard to find media for explanation of practical issues on the basis of empiric information. Situation becomes even worse when some of the issues appear to have various outcomes and the main task is to find the most appropriate and effective one.
The other up-to-date issue refers to multiplicity of processes, states and human features which have also to be viewed and explained in terms of psychology. However, many of those processes haven't been thoroughly studied yet to secure the theoretical basis for practical implementation. It should also be taken into consideration that each psychological phenomenon may develop differently depending on the individual psychological characteristic of the particular person. Multiplicity may also refer to the number of possible concepts as since the very development of this science it has united a number of branches, each of which offer different solutions for one and the same issue. Modern psychology still has to deal with theoretical multiplicity and analyze theory-based solutions. At the same time psychology cannot ignore the studies of related sciences. For instance, many activities of human brain are an unsolved mystery for physiologists, and new results of researches in this particular field may radically change the understanding of certain phycological processes and motives of human behavior and result in development of new contradictory theories.
Among different trends in development of psychology as a science, cognitive psychology is predominating now. This tendency is mostly connected with the fact that computer technologies are spreading to all scientific fields and psychologists start modeling the cognitive processes of human brain via computer in order to predict mental activities of a person in a particular case. But is it possible to create a computer model of psychics? The answer will be found in the near future, and psychologists are actively cooperating with specialists of new technologists. This newly viewed aspect is also explained with the fact that there is a hope to create certain computer programs which will be able to give the exact possible variants of human activity when facing "psychologically unstable" situations or offer preferable solutions for those situations.
The other recent hot debate originated from the question whether a psychologist has a right to prescribe medicines to his clients. As clinical psychology deals with the branch of psychology that studies and treats mental illnesses and mental retardation, it becomes necessary from this point of view to prescribe certain sedative medicines to the clients. However, the other question inevitably comes into being: is it safe to prescribe medicines to people suffering from mental diseases? Will the person with such diagnosis use medicine appropriately? Or should such people be prescribed medicines only by psychotherapists? If psychologist has a right to prescribe medicines, to which extent should the list of possible drugs be limited? This debate cannot be answered at once as sometimes it's not easy to establish the border between psychological problem and a real mental disorder when psychologist is obligated to redirect its clients to psychotherapists who deal with more serious and dangerous aspects.
Many psychologists trying hard to explain the activities and behavior of their clients from deterministic point of view. They assume that whatever a person does has its determination and it's possible to predict how people will react and what they will do. Their oppositionists, on the other hand, negate the determinism. They usually point out that everything is a matter of choice and will. Individuals are free to decide how to behave and what to do in each "psychologically unstable" situation. They explain this view with the facts that people with same backgrounds and mental conditions may behave differently and, consequently, they exclude the deterministic factor.