Understanding Psychology

Chapter 21: Psychology: Present and Future

Chapter Overviews

Chapter 21 focuses on psychology's past and present contributions to society and its future directions.

Section 1 explains how studying psychology can prepare people for many career opportunities. As a profession, careers that are based on psychological principles seek to predict how people will act; help people to modify their behavior; and help organizations, businesses, and communities to change. This section lists several careers that use psychological principles and for each details the employer, the training required, and the nature of the job.

Section 2 considers psychology's many contributions to society. Those examined in this section include promoting human welfare, clarifying assessment methods, explaining human behavior, and helping people better understand their environment. The most significant contribution is psychology's development of forms of helping, including psychotherapy. Psychologists have played a leading role in devising and updating educational testing programs and researching issues about our society. The common link in careers in psychology is the desire to understand behavior. This section also discusses how psychology is a growing science and among the fastest growing fields into the twenty-first century. This section describes how psychology is grouped into experimental fields and applied fields. Although both fields gather evidence and use similar processes, the main difference between the two is that applied psychologists search for immediate solutions and experimental psychologists look for long-range answers. Fields of psychology that have potential for future growth include forensic psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, and sports psychology. The section ends with a discussion of the future challenges for psychology.

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