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Psychology Questions and Answers (Q&A)

You can offer just a bachelor's degree and get a job such as in marketing, retail management and customer services but it's the training specific to a job that is the key rather than a master's degree. The master's gives evidence that you can study to a higher level successfully, and that you have the personal discipline to follow one line of academic enquiry and increase our body of knowledge.

However, to carry out any job there is nothing like hands-on experience. Different jobs require different kinds and extents of training. In clinical psychology you have some further years of study, albeit much practical, before you qualify. The same for forensic, industrial, educational psychology. Other fields, such as management, retail, the company may have its own in-house training. Don't ever think a bachelor's degree is enough in itself.

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Both psychology and philosophy are words originating from the Greek language. The word philosophy translates to “love of wisdom”. Philosophers study the essential, important, and underlying issues associated with items such as knowledge, reason, values, and existence. One of the best known philosophical questions is “What is the meaning of life?” The word psychology translates to “the study of human spirit”.

Psychologists study the mental processes used by the human mind including both conscious and unconscious feelings, and the human behavior that results from those feelings. Another important difference is the methods used by each discipline to answer questions. Philosophy studies will generally never result in a single, correct answer. Psychology uses scientific methods that test hypothesis and produce concrete results.

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Ethics in the field of psychological experimentation is rightly very much stricter than in the time of Stanford and his prison experiment. Nowadays when devising an experiment you must carefully consider any possible adverse effects upon any participant. While the real focus of interest may well be kept from participants for the very good reason that otherwise this would ruin the experiment, participants should not be led to believe they are doing good when the outcome is bad.

In any case, there is no 'promoting' of any experiment. There is its acceptance or otherwise by the university or research establishment, and there is funding or not. If unethical, the establishment would not accept a proposed piece of research. It could only be a senior researcher who would be in the position of 'promoting' i.e. stating it would be a helpful / insightful experiment to the establishment.

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The fate of marriage does not depend purely on the happiness or otherwise of the partners within it, but the possible outcomes of ending it. In previous eras, to be divorced was shocking. People did not wish to be described as 'a divorced man' or ;a divorced woman'.

It sounded somehow louche. When divorce became more easily tolerated, and the church's role cannot be ignored here, it was not so unusual and so not so shocking. People stay within marriage for various reasons apart from love: financial reasons, effect on children, dependency, and therefore the number of people with 'lasting marriages' may belong to the list of happy marriages.

Who knows, but it seems likely that the proportion of marriages that are mutually happy are pretty much the same today as they have always been. It is just that, when unhappy, we can now get divorced easily.

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There are many websites devoted to dream interpretation. All are fraudulent. Why? There is no scientifically supported system of dream interpretation. There are no data to support any particular interpretative scheme over another. The sense of falling while dreaming can be divided into that 'fall' that jerks you awake, your limbs actually moving as though to break the fall, and the sense of a continuous, lengthy fall.

People can give you interpretations but you should ignore them. without any evidence, whatsoever, one interpretation is as good as another. We are still no way near to breaking the dream code until, perhaps, neuro-imaging while electrically monitoring the dreamer finds some information.

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Always' is your key word. It shows that you are over-generalizing from one or two instances. It is dangerous and will not serve you well. It may be that 'jerks' you refer to are those with a charismatic personality but poor ethics; someone who sets out to charm but once a person is trapped into a relationship, treats them badly. If this has happened to you, my sympathies, but learn to be cautious.

We do have a tendency to be attracted by a particular combination of looks and personality so that a person's partners often bear close similarity with each other. The element of danger in a person whose ethics are dodgy can seem exciting. Then the outcome is miserable. We have to be self-aware. Why do I like him? Would my elders like him? If not, why not, and does it matter?

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It is a vital human response to sense danger and to respond with fear. We have what is called a 'flight or fight' reaction to threat. In the amygdala, sited in the temporal lobe region of the brain, a frightening stimulus causes excitation.

This causes release of stress hormones, and various bodily changes such as pupil dilation, breathing rate, a rush of blood flow and glucose to the skeletal regions, all of these preparing us to react with a swift escape or an angry attack. Also, the hippocampus - related to the amygdala - is alerted. This area of the brain is involved in interpreting the threat. The fight or flight process is vital to our well-being and appears to be hard-wired into our neural mechanism.

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IN MILGRAM'S experiment, participants believed they were engaged in a learning experiment. Assigned the role of 'teacher' they were told to administer an electric shock every time the 'learner' (a colleague of the experimenter, but passed off as a volunteer) got an item wrong in paired memory recall.

The real focus of the experiment was to see how far people were willing to go against their conscience in administering pain. Conscience was set against 'obedience' to the increasingly severe demands of the experimenter. Over 60% complied with the most extreme level of punishment although, of course, there was no electric shock.

The reason for the experiment was to explore Nazi criminals' claims that they were only acting on orders when engaging in horrific torture. Milgram's experiment helped to show that this could be true. We are programmed to be obedient to authority figures.

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This is an area within social psychology called Fundamental Attribution Theory (FAE). Assigning blame or self blame to actions is of obvious interest within the field of criminology, too, for those accused must answer for who or what they assert is the cause of their criminal act. This area of psychological enquiry reveals that observers are often quicker to attribute cause of an action to an individual, even when that action or outcome is positive, than to situational factors.

In one experiment, observers stated that questioners had higher intelligence than answerers when questioners had advance knowledge of the questions, and answerers none. The situational factor had been neglected. We are typically more ready to believe that we are responsible for our success, but other factors more responsible for our failures.

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Gestalt is a German word for which we have no real equivalent but it is to do with parts of a whole. A gestalt is a kind of pattern made of individual parts but the nature of the whole cannot be determined by analysis of its parts, according to Gestalt theory. The first area of work in Gestalt psychology was perception, but later learning, problem solving and personality were explored within this theoretical framework.

Getalt theory emphasises the totality of experience rather than a mechanical operation by one part of the brain or body in response to a stimulus. This developed in contrast, and almost rebellion, against the stimulus, percept, response style of physiological or psychological description of behaviour.

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