Psychology is a science that studies human mental and behavioral patterns that affect all life spheres. It is interconnected with a great variety of other anthropocentric or human-centered sciences. Thus, humanistic studies are impossible without thorough psychological research and relevant, accurate data. To provide it, psychologists should continuously conduct new studies and update the information. Apart from that, they should assess their contribution to general knowledge, limitations, and prospects.
One of the recent significant studies in the psychological field includes Ponder and Haridaki’s paper. It is dedicated to the correlation between media consumption and the amount and quality of political discourse. Ponder and Haridakis (2015) researched the influence of particular media sources on “the frequency of political discussion” with those from the same political party and those from a different one (p. 281). This study illustrates how communication is affected by the interlocutors’ social statuses and background knowledge. Moreover, it contributed to the study of media’s impact on human behavior.
Another recent paper addressed the issue of insufficient replicability level of contemporary psychological studies. Edlund (2016) identified the roots of the replicability crisis in psychology, such as data fabrication, “the pressures of tenure and promotion,” questionable research methods, and the journals’ preference of novel papers and significant results (p.59). Apart from that, the scholar commented on the techniques employed to overcome it. They include preregistered studies involving independent review of “a study’s background, hypotheses, and methods before any data are collected” and “collaborative projects that conduct multiple replications at the same time” (Edlund, 2016, p. 60). Edlund summarized important observations of other scholars in his editorial, which can help future researchers to assess and revise their approaches, thus increasing the quality of their papers and psychological studies in general.
It is important to develop and check the quality of psychological research as it contributes to other spheres of knowledge. For instance, Bullock (2019) is certain that applying psychological knowledge and further psychological research can help fight poverty and economic inequality. Gulliford’s (2016) studies demonstrated how the psychological approach can clarify ethical concepts and contribute to therapeutic interventions by promoting ethically desirable behavior patterns. On the whole, scientists of various fields consider psychological factors in their research and utilize psychological knowledge to learn more about different life spheres.
However, sometimes existing axioms and paradigms in psychology can hamper new research and might need revision. For example, Grof (2016) concluded that his research of special states of consciousness, which he calls “holotropic,” “represent a serious challenge to contemporary psychiatry and psychology” (p.34). According to the scholar, to fully understand the human mind and consciousness, one needs to “transcend the narrow frame” of contemporary psychiatry and psychology (Grof, 2016, p.34). In brief, many functions and processes of the human brain and mind are still a mystery to researchers. Thus, they should be ready to change perspectives and approaches to develop psychological knowledge further.
In conclusion, contemporary psychological studies contribute both to psychological and general knowledge. The recent psychological studies conducted by Ponder and Haridakis and Edlund highlighted interdisciplinary connections within the humanistic field of knowledge and the important problem of insufficient replicability of psychological papers. Bullock and Gulliford’s studies demonstrated psychology’s input in other life spheres: economic state and ethics. However, Grof pointed out some existing limitations in modern psychology and its narrow frame, which may hamper some types of research. Thus, contemporary psychology has many opportunities and directions for development by making new contributions to general knowledge and revising some existing practices and even whole paradigms to transcend its limits.
Bullock, H. E. (2019). Psychology’s contributions to understanding and alleviating poverty and economic inequality: Introduction to the special section. American Psychologist, 74(6), 635-640. Web.
Edlund, J. E. (2016). Invited editorial: Let’s do it again: A call for replications in Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research. Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research, 21(1), 59-61. https://doi.org/10.24839/2164-8204.JN21.1.59
Grof, S. (2016). Psychology for the future lessons from modern consciousness research. Spirituality Studies 2(1), 3-36. Web.
Gulliford, L. (2016). Psychology’s contribution to ethics: Two case studies. In: C. Brand (Ed.), Dual-process theories in moral psychology: Interdisciplinary approaches to theoretical, empirical and practical considerations (pp.139-158). Springer VS, Wiesbaden. Web.
Ponder, J. D., & Haridakis, P. (2015). Selectively social politics: The differing roles of media use on political discussion. Mass Communication & Society, 18(3), 281-302. Web.