Changes in treatment for individuals with psychological illn…

Changes in treatment for individuals with psychological illn…

Kaplan University:Psychology / Applied Behavior Analysis
PS499: Bachelors Capstone Course in Psychology
One original discussion post and two replies.

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   The student is required to answer the questions below to make a new discussion post, then make a reply comment to two other student’s posts. So, one new original post, and two reply comments (one comment about Student 1’s post, and one comment about Student 2’s post).
Original post 300-450 words. 2 references. APA format.
Reply comments 150-250 words

The field of psychology has changed dramatically over time. As our knowledge has grown, treatment of individuals and groups has improved. Review your materials from previous classes and locate additional resources as necessary. Choose one aspect of the field in which there has been an improvement and discuss the change(s). Some areas to consider are:

Changes in what is considered a mental disorder
Changes in treatment for individuals with psychological illness
Changes in research practices
Changes in common educational or organizational practices

Next, answer the following question: In what way(s) can we still improve in this area?

Student 1’s (Tiffany) post:
There have been significant changes to the field of psychology over the years. One example of this is the field of Applied Behavior Analysis itself, this is a relatively new science in the field of psychology. However, across psychology as a whole, there have been large changes in the way in which assessments of clients is done. This characteristic of psychology is something that is constantly changing and improving throughout the course of time and of individual treatment. Using ABA as an example, there are four methods to obtaining information about clients, there is interviews, checklists, tests and direct observation (Cooper, 2014). However, each of these forms of assessments come with their own pro’s and con’s. This means that there is still much room for growth in the manner of how assessments are given to clients. The big con for most of these methods is the fact that there is a large possibility for bias. These assessments for the most part are based on the reporter’s thoughts and observations. There is not a lot of reliability in some assessments simply because there is a chance that 2 people observing the same client may see 2 completely different things. Take direct observation for example, 2 therapists are observing a client on the playground, they are watching for a particular behavior, let’s say hitting. One therapist may see the client hit the slide while the other observes it as trying to get a grasp as the client climbs up the slide. Another type of assessment is interviews, interviewing family and friends is a good way to get information, but do these individuals have their own agenda, maybe they see things from a different view point. So while I agree that assessments have developed over time, I also see that there is still room for developing better methods of assessment.
Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2014). Applied behavior analysis. Edinburgh gate: Pearson educational international.

Student 2’s (Kaitlin) post:
The field of psychology has indeed evolved throughout history. Research practices have changed over time to better protect the participants involved. A code of ethics have been developed in order to assure this. An example of this would be the subject referred to as “Little Albert”. Schultz (2012) reports that Watson conducted experimental studies with “Little Albert” when he was 8 months old. The purpose of these studies was to demonstrate Watson’s theory on conditioned emotional responses. Watson conditioned Albert to fear what was a previously neutral objects to him such as white rat, rabbit, and a santa clause mask. Watson did this by presenting these objects to Albert, and pairing it with the loud striking sound of a hammer coming down hard on a pipe. (Schultz, 2012)
Today, an experiment such as that would not be permitted to be conducted because the welfare of the child would be a concern.
This example of Watson’s experiment also touches on psychology evolving and the development of behaviorist as a science. Behaviorism influenced psychology to move in a more objective position focusing on observable and measurable behaviors. (Schultz, 2012)According to Passer (2014), the code of ethics serves as a system of moral principles to provide guidelines for researchers. Passer (2014) further states that the APA Code of Ethics includes the following principles: Beneficence and no maleficence, fidelity and responsibility, integrity, justice, as well as respect for people’s rights and dignity.We can continue to improve on this area by reflecting on oneself as well as professional peers in their research to ensure that the APA code of ethics are being followed and constantly assessing and evaluating thee experimental procedures and making sure that the overall welfare of the subjects is continuing to be held to the utmost importance.
Kaitlin Gallagher
Passer, M. (05/2014). Research Methods, 1st Edition. [Kaplan]. Retrieved from
Schultz, D. P. (2012). A History of Modern Psychology, 10th Edition. [Kaplan]. Retrieved from
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