Psychology is relatively modern science, which offers various controversial studies, yet it has already proven to be valuable and beneficial as a theoretical science and in practice. As the establishment of that modern science continues, distinct studies, coming from people with opposing views are emerging. Two main approaches that represent rationalist and relativist points of view have a significant impact on psychology, making its studies vary widely and even conflict. However, even though psychology may appear to be controversial and does not always follow the common standards of research, it made an invaluable contribution to the development of society.
I find learning psychology beneficial in many aspects including its positive impact on my personal development. The first important conclusion that I have drawn is that it is crucial to at least heed or take into serious consideration opposing points of view even if I strongly disagree with them. Such a conclusion is based on the nature of the abovementioned science itself, as diverse and conflicting approaches made an equally significant contribution to the development of psychology. Overall personal development is based on any personal experience. Therefore, learning about psychology has an impact on personal development even by simply being a life experience. Nonetheless, psychological knowledge may be useful in everyday life, bringing a deeper understanding of the human inner world and motivations as well as providing an opportunity to view my thought and feelings through a scientific prism.
Some knowledge related to psychology may have a more specific effect on personal development. Separate concepts of evolutionary psychology made me overview some of my fears and inexplicable feelings. Even though evolutionary psychology is considered to be a very controversial study, I believe that it may provide explanations for certain psychological phenomena. For example, humans are typically more afraid of spiders and snakes than guns, even though much more people are injured or even killed by gunshots than by spider bites. Such irrationality in threat perception may be linked to the evolutionary nature of psychology, as ancient humans had no proper housing and were vulnerable to these animals (Linquist & Levy, 2017). Therefore, humans, who developed a fear of spiders and snakes on the subconscious hereditary level, had higher chances of survival. Evolution is a slow rigid process, which takes thousands of years to provide a visible change, hence many of these fears or behavioral patterns may be considered outdated and not rational in modern times.
Another aspect of psychological knowledge’s influence on personal development may be its impact on the mindset. Making unconscious conscious is one of the fundamental principles of self-development. Such an approach helps to better understand personal unobvious weaknesses and find an adequate way to get rid of them or at least to reduce their negative consequences. Moreover, a person’s mindset may have a huge impact on personal development, as a fixed mindset, for example, may limit an individual’s capabilities and prevent them from ‘growing out of the box’. Learning psychology may solve both of the above-mentioned issues. I believe that as it provides me with well-structured scientific data I can understand my unconscious incompetence and counteract it. Moreover, finding logical and rational explanations for my inner feelings that initially appear to be inexplicable, helps me to accept myself better. Psychology also has an essential effect on the establishment of a growth mindset. As I already mentioned, a wide variety of controversial studies, which contribute to psychology, made me acknowledge that it is crucial not to limit my world views to personal beliefs.
Linquist, S. P., & Levy, N. (2017). Evolutionary psychology. Routledge.