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Can Psychology Help Promote Peace?

Can Psychology Help Promote Peace?

Before I decided to become an actress, I was adamant that I would get my bachelor’s in psychology and become the next Dr. Phil. I would constantly remind my family that Psychology can save lives! I mean think about it! It can promote peace because its research has applied theories containing the origins of aggression, as well as theories specific to interpersonal violence within families; for example, frustration. These theories help us understand what causes violence, and it provides the first step towards promoting peace.

There are many psychological theories that focus on the importance of promoting peace; for example, the Attachment theory. The Attachment theory may be helpful because it focuses on the idea of having a secure base in order to move out and explore the world. It makes sense! One of the most fundamental of human rights is the right to security and the Attachment theory focuses on this human right. Maslow, a personality theorist, emphasized the idea that basic needs were essential before self-actualization could occur.   

In addition, I believe that both “top down” and “bottom up” approaches are needed. Top down approaches are important because it allows for governments and societal institutional settings to change societal norms; for instance, individual and family basic needs and the end to violence. The Bottom up approach is important as well because its efforts have improved individual and family abilities to promote peaceful conflict resolution and control aggression. Top down approaches contain societal agents; for example, law enforcement, laws against corporal punishment in school, social services, and legal services. These agents promote justice and peace. One of the six broad principles of top down approach states that, “Prevention of harm should be the foundation of policy and practice on behalf of children.” Bottom-up approaches also target processes within families/individuals to promote more peaceful transactions. See how it connects?


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