Gap Between Psychology Theories and their Application?
This week, my blog is going to discuss whether there is a gap between the theories psychology puts forward as scientifically significant and there use in practical life. For example, Cognitive Psychologists have huge amounts of research about how memory works but are these theories put to use in education to help children with their times tables or spelling? Also, are Developmental theories used to ensure that children are given all the possible tools to grow up in the ‘best’ way possible?
There are many theories about why some people often exceed the recommended maximum amount of alcohol they drink. Recently, a study has proposed that two-thirds of a sample of 18-25 year olds could not accurately identify the correct amount of units of alcohol in their regular drinks (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-17170501). This information could be hugely beneficial as it means that many people may not even realised they may be drinking too much. However, the information is no use if nothing is going to be done about it (such as a campaign about the correct amounts of units).
Clinical theories should be available to everyone in an attempt to prevent some disorders rather than just giving people treatments after they have been diagnosed. According to this report http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-jersey-17098556 soldiers are not recieving the help they need until long after they are diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder. With this disorder it is important to catch it early (http://ptsd.about.com/od/selfhelp/a/Warning_signs.htm) and so with more methods put in place to prevent it rather than treat it, there could be fewer people suffering as much. This later diagnosis could also mean that there are more people out there who are suffering but have not yet been identified so may not receive help in time.
But is the gap really that big? Is the best being done with the resources available?
Psychology is a huge field of research with few limits as every aspect of human behaviour is under inspection in some parts of psychology (http://raymondphilippe.hubpages.com/hub/Psychology-and-its-Importance). With such a huge area of expertise there are bound to be a few cases in which the findings are not immediately, directly applied to real life. However, with the most crucial of findings, changes are seen quickly and often other findings find their place in society after a while.
Dating sites (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17017963), at least, seem to be taking psychological theories ‘to heart’…
Psychology, as a science, should benefit everyone, which means we must attempt to find it a place in every day life.