The Joy of Psychology

This evening while preparing for a quiz in Theories of Personality I discovered (or brought to consciousness, depending upon if you are a Freudian or not) that I really like Psychology because it is a very modern thing. People who wrote the theories I am learning about are still alive (most of them) and the theories are still being tested and expanded. In completing a degree in mathematics, a person might only get to the things that were discovered up until around the 1500s or so, and for the average student, about 300AD is the newest material you will find in your curriculum. The theories of personality I am learning are new, some as recent as 2005, since I graduated from high school (and since I took my first psychology course). Even computer science doesn’t really see material that new. A new language sometimes, but the concepts are all fairly old. Graduate students get to learn the absolute newest, but undergrads are seldom that fortunate. There are worse topics for that I suppose, such as Art, where learning old stuff first and then new stuff later is encouraged and is the standard operating condition (you must learn how it was done the old way before you can learn the new way), and well… History.. they play a different game altogether.

Aside from the more modern material, it is also kind of fun to explore something that is so versatile. Psychology spans the area of artificial intelligence, art development and so many other areas, especially as an extension of Cognitive Psychology. Cognitive psych proves that psychology is bridging between social science and actual science. As knowledge progresses, the bridge between social science and pure science will become wider.

The biggest disadvantage to psychology is that there is very little history. In art you can call back to what has been done before and put it into cultural context and determine how we got from there to here, but in psychology, that just is not very easy, brains only last as long as people and once they are gone, so is the record of what was. All that remains is filtered notes and of course a few social relics (music for example).