Discuss the contribution that psychology has made to contemporary society
Since Psychology has been known as a subject, it is very broad, and has contributed to many areas of society to the work place, school, prison and institutions.
In the work place, managers are trained to deal and communicate effectively with employees and customers alike. This helps to keep both parties happy, and this causes less distress.
Most work places are under law in which even people with mental health issues are allowed to be employed, and only in severe cases they will be unaccepted to the job. An occupational psychologist is able to find a job for those who are disabled and that would be able to meet their skills and knowledge. A couple of centuries ago, people who had mental illnesses wouldn’t be able to get a job, and are likely to be distinguished as ‘insane’ or ‘crazy’, because of the lack of help that was given at that time.
In the school, the National Curriculum has been helped by the research of Psychology by the reflection of Piaget’s stages – showing that children are likely to cope with ideas when they are ready or at a given age. For example, those children who are at the concrete operation stage at age 11 should not be given anything to do with formal reasoning. Although, Vygotsky believed in scaffolding, this means by actively participating in groups to their level of understanding to be able to make them understand what they are being taught better.
In prison, they use token economy systems which is based on operant conditioning for those who have good behaviour they are reinforced with tokens, and these can be saved up to be able to have a privileges to go out. The token economy system allow for prisoners to continue their repeated good behaviour. During court sessions they need to know whether someone is classified as insane, and whether they should go to psychiatric hospital or ward, or to prison because they are a criminal.
In institutions, they also use the operant conditioning of token economy systems to be able to have the patients do good behaviour and to be reinforced with tokens. This allows to substitute the tokens to be able to have leave or be able to do more activities within the institution. Institutions also have social skills to help those with mental health issues to be able to understand how to make social interactions with other people – many of both offenders as well as patients lack these skills, and these can be developed through number of ways such as role play and rehearsal.