6 Fascinating Theories from the Field of Psychology - Deepstash
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The Not-So-Measurable Science

The Not-So-Measurable Science

As we marvel at the impact that science and technology have had in our world, it is too easy to forget about the remarkable progress of the social sciences.

The field of psychology has been a fantastic asset to humankind since it began. From that time forward, we’ve grown to bolster our understanding of the human mind and its workings. We now know the importance of maintaining good mental health and how it affects our society overall. Most importantly, we realize that there’s much more to learn.


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Socioemotional Selectivity Theory

Socioemotional Selectivity Theory

Socioemotional Selectivity Theory focuses on the positive benefits of ageing. The theory is based on the notion that humans modify their goals as they get older because of their unique ability to understand and perceive time.

When people are younger, they view time as an open-ended entity. They prioritize goals based on the future, such as travelling or getting a graduate degree.

However, when we grow older, we begin to see time as a limitation. Our goals tend to become much more focused on emotional gratification and the present day. Thus, older people seek out more meaningful experiences.


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Elaboration Likelihood Model

Elaboration Likelihood Model

The Elaboration Likelihood Model is a theory that seeks to explain why people are persuaded to change their views about certain topics.

The primary concept of this theory lies in understanding the function of elaboration. Whenever elaboration reaches a higher level, people are more apt to think things over carefully than with lower levels of elaboration, where they might decide quicker with less thought.

It states that minds can be changed through greater elaboration, but the real challenge is if they are motivated to listen.


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Mere Exposure Effect

Mere Exposure Effect

His hypothesis simply stated that when people were exposed to something regularly, they would eventually come to like that thing. Zajonc emphasized that people didn’t even need a positive outcome or reward about an object — only its mere exposure was enough.


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Zeigarnik Effect

Zeigarnik Effect

During the 1920s, a Russian psychologist named Bluma Zeigarnik noticed something while sitting in a Vietnamese diner. She observed that waiters could easily remember those orders for customers who had not received and paid for their food. Yet, after the food was served and the check was paid, the waiters couldn’t seem to remember anything about the orders.

This resulted in a series of studies that proved that we remember stuff more if it is unfinished.


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Recency Effect

Recency Effect

The Recency Effect was discussed in a 1962 paper by a psychologist named Bennet Murdock. Murdock discovered that the probability of a remembered word was dependent upon where it was positioned in the list. He learned that the list’s first few words were remembered pretty well, which is called the Primacy Effect.

After this, the likelihood of remembering the word dropped drastically — yet it increased again for the last eight words on the list. In the end, the last few words on the list had the highest likelihood of being remembered — giving birth to the Recency Effect.


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Proximal Development Zones

Proximal Development Zones

Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky believed that standardized tests were inadequate in assessing a child’s learning readiness. While a certain amount of knowledge is naturally gained from exposure and maturity, other knowledge depends on the social interaction with a teacher or mentor.

Vygotsky contended that these zones provide students with the best chance of mastering new knowledge. Thus, a student’s learning process should always take place within these proximal development zones.


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