Sample Psychology Paper on The Pros and Cons of Researching the Human Mind

Researching the human mind has been deemed to be one of the challenging tasks as the actively involved researchers over time haven’t really been sure of what they would make of the brain scans. This thereby brings us to the quest for the ideal method of studying the brain and the pros and cons of the different methods used in the studies and the research.

For instance, it’s really difficult for scientists to look at a fiery spot on a brain scan and conclude with certainty what’s going on in the mind of a person, as well as diagnose some conditions.

Basically, the research on the human mind heavily relies on Neuroanatomy and Neuroimaging, where there’s usually a taxonomic listing of the brain structures and connections thought to be especially important for each kind of declarative and nondeclarative memory.

With Neuroimaging and Psychology, Lilienfield believes that Neuroimaging provides researchers with valuable information and a different level of analysis of human behavior. He still warns against the potential dangers of “eurocentrism” or the view that human behavior can be best explained by looking solely at the brain.

Still, he argues that many psychologists, for example, rely on patients’ answers to questionnaires and their self-reports to gauge their conditions, but those sources have obvious limits.

This thereby concludes that brain imaging can provide “converging evidence” that supports or confirms a potential diagnosis.

From a different view, relying heavily on the technology has its cons as well. Lilienfield says that Imaging may help us identify some of the mechanisms of depression and other ailments, but the fact that we can see how conditions manifest in the brain, on a biological level, should not go hand-in-hand with the assumption that they have strictly biological causes or that they can only be treated with medication.

Another common misconception related to brain research is the idea that each area of the brain directly corresponds to one emotion or mode of thought. The reality is that the most neural real estate is “zoned for mixed-use development.”

Researchers could therefore identify areas of the brain that react in response to a different stimuli, but rarely that wouldn’t be it all. This therefore makes the brain research very complicated and the most complex structure known in the universe up to date. The main reason for the complexity is that different regions can perform different functions, and thus the complexity of the human being.



Sally Satel & Scott O. Lilienfeld (2015). Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience by (Basic Books,) ISBN 978-0-465-06291-1

John Ruscio, Steven J. Lynn (2008).Navigating the Mindfield: A Guide to Separating Science from Pseudoscience in Mental Health (Prometheus Books) ISBN 978-1-591-02467-5

Satel, Sally; Lilienfeld, Scott O. (June 30, 2013). “Observer: New Review: Discover: Is human behavior all in the brain – or the mind? Neuroimaging is widely regarded as the key to understanding human behavior, explaining everything from criminal activity to why we vote the way we do. But, in their controversial new book, Brainwashed, Sally Satel and Scott O. Lilienfeld argue that this approach is not only misguided, it is dangerous”. The Observer. London, UK. p. 20. Retrieved 29 July 2015.