Written by Owen Hu August 23th 2021
Psychology as a field is already incredibly abstract. It addresses the intangible, diving deep into explorations of the intricacies of the human mind. In the same sense, the future of psychology is an abstract world, a realm that has yet to have its potential untapped. Nonetheless, there are several key pathways that psychology as a whole can develop and follow - but if history were to be a common predictor, further advancements in the field of psychology may yield more questions than answers.
Unlike some other fields of science, the purpose of psychology has always been to understand the mind and to use this knowledge in the aid of others. As such, psychology has always been deeply integrated into practical considerations in the world - for example, the findings of psychology are being used every day by therapists, clinical psychologists, and counsellors alike to address the unique predicaments of each individual. It is this close relationship with the real world that psychology may be influenced to develop in the future. Any evolution that psychology as a field takes must conform with practical applications, and perhaps nothing is more pressing and practical than concerns relating to climate change.
Interestingly, climate change psychology is a growing field and is expected to expand even further in the future. By studying the psychological aspects of climate change, such as the effects of carbon dioxide on the human mind and the effectiveness of certain policies to minimize the impacts of global warming, these psychologists are pioneers into unknown territory. As a recent study observed, access to green spaces, especially to those living in highly urbanized areas, is associated with improved well-being. The practical applications of these studies could bring drastic change to the way society works and lives, simultaneously ameliorating standards and helping the planet. This powerful, albeit unconventional, sector of psychology is surely a pathway that psychology may flourish in the future.
In a more traditional way, the field of psychology is expected to expand further into the worlds of healthcare and business. With public interest in topics such as mental health and even personal charisma having skyrocketed in recent years, the works of psychologists may provide the answers to the numerous questions that have been raised. For one, business executives have looked to psychologists as “coaches” to become better leaders, looking to improve their charisma and the way they lead their teams. Even more, research into mental health has helped psychologists better understand effective ways to treat these difficult situations; with more work anticipated to come into fruition in the future, the world of healthcare could potentially be transformed as society gains a new outlook into the way we treat our mind.
In many ways, the field of psychology will change drastically in the future - but in equally many ways, psychology will stay the same. What is certain is that this field will only build upon its basis of studying the human mind and behaviour by developing practical applications to combat the problems of today. All in all, there are many exciting developments ahead, and the importance of psychologists will only continue to grow as the years move ahead.
McLeod, Saul. “What Is Psychology? | Simply Psychology.” Simplypsychology.org, 2019, www.simplypsychology.org/whatispsychology.html.
“The Future of Psychology: New Methods for Helping People.” Maryville Online, 14 June 2019, online.maryville.edu/blog/future-psychology/.
“What Is Psychology?” ELearners.com, 30 May 2014, www.elearners.com/online-degrees/public-affairs-social-sciences/psychology/what-is-psychology/. Accessed 24 Aug. 2021.