It is speculated that psychology grew out of people wanting a better understanding of themselves. As it has evolved in its practices and interpretations, its diversity has become more challenging, but it can be put into perspective using seven key themes.
Theme 1 : Psychology is Empirical
Empiricism is the premise that knowledge should be acquired through observation in which research is conducted to test ideas.
Theme 2 : Psychology is Theoretically Diverse
A theory is a system of interelated ideas used to explain a set of observations. A theory links unrelated observations and tries to explain them.
Theme 3 : Psychology Evolves in a Sociohistorical Context
Dense interconnections exist between what happens in psychology and what happens in society. Psychology develops in a social and historical context through trends, issues and values.
Theme 4 : Behavior is Determined by Multiple Causes
In general, pschologists find that behavior is governed by a complex network of interacting factors, an idea referred to as the multifactorial causation of behavior.
Theme 5 : Our Behavior is Shaped by our Cultural Heritage
Culture refers to the shared customs, beliefs, values, norms, institutions, and other products of community that are transmitted socially across generations.
Theme 6 : Heredity and Environment Jointly Influence Behavior
A century of research has shown that genetics and experience both influence an individual’s intelligence, temperment, personality, and susceptibility to many psychological disorders.
Theme 7 : Our Experience of the World is Highly Subjective
We actively process incoming stimulation, selectively focusing on some aspects of that stimulation while ignoring others. People tend to see what they want to see or what they expect to see.
In conclusion, psychology in all its many variations emphasize seven key ideas as unifying themes. As a field of study, the three themes are (1) psychology is empirical, (2) psychology is theoretically diverse, and (3) psychology evolves in a sociohistorical context.
Looking at psychology’s subject matter, the remaining four themes are (4) behavior is determined by multiple causes, (5) our behavior is shaped by our cultural heritage (6) heredity and environment jointly influence behavior, and (7) our experience of the world is highly subjective.