Mind Matters


By Paonam Thoibi

‘It is advisable if time spent on playing video games are regulated and games with violent content are reduced.’

1. Madam, I don’t know if my question is relevant for this column or not. Some of my colleague says that video games are good for child’s mental growth. Today, children spend a lot of time either playing video games or watching TV. I think it can harm their health. Any proper study done on this? Sibananda Kh, Haobam Marak, Imphal

Dear Sibananda, the impact of video games is a common issue of discussion these days and it does not only affect the children. Many adults also engage in video games and gets addicted to heavy usage. It is also more or less the same games on mobile phones. Many parents are concerned on the alarming rate on how video games are taking over traditional games and recreation. It is due to many factors- like the easy availability of video games stations and medium, shrinking space of leisure and recreation, families becoming nuclear and many parents working

I have got quite some children who admit that video games are doing them no good and that they want help to kick away the addiction for video games. The games provide a high level of instant gratification and they lose, they start over to work on the goal again. This cycle often leads to an addictive routine.

There are not many studies done on this, because this is a relatively recent development. However, most of the research papers all points to both pros and cons of video games. In our practice, most of our concern is children and teens increasingly playing violent games and getting hooked on violent fantasies and also makes them prone to aggressive thoughts, attitudes, and actions. Some students I have met and talked with admit that it also wastes their time leading to low academic grades and hampers interpersonal relations at home.

Yet, there are some advantages of playing video games cited in some research works. Used in moderation, it can provide stress relief for kids. They can help enhance motor and ability to think quickly and act on a situation. They can also help kids relate to one another in some forms of healthy competition.

It is advisable if time spent on playing video games are regulated and games with violent content are reduced. Children can also be encouraged to engage in more and equally interesting real-time activities where their social skills can be developed and enhanced.

2. Dear Madam, I read in 11, Arts stream. I am also interested in reading the behavior of people. I think this is part of the Psychology as a subject of study. I would like to know some of the career options in Psychology. Bebethoi, Tidim Road, Imphal

Ans: Dear Bebethoi, it is quite encouraging to know about your interest in the study of human behavior. Psychology as a subject of study will be very fulfilling for you. It is a huge area of study and almost every day there are new breakthrough researches on this field. Unfortunately, there are no colleges or institutes which offer this course of study here in Manipur- even in the University level, so you have to go to other universities and colleges outside.

A number of different fields of psychology have emerged to deal with specific subtopics within the study of the mind, brain and behavior. I will list only some branches of study in Psychology and the corresponding career options they offer:

Clinical Psychology: Clinical psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with the assessment and treatment of mental illness like depression, obsession-compulsion, sexual deviation and many more. Counselors, clinical psychologists and psychotherapists often work directly in this field.

Cognitive Psychology: Cognitive psychology is the branch of psychology that studies mental processes including how people think, perceive, remember and learn. As part of the larger field of cognitive science, this branch of psychology is related to other disciplines including neuroscience, philosophy, and linguistics. Many scientists specializing in robotics and artificial intelligence are from this field.

Educational Psychology: Educational psychology involves the study of how people learn, including topics such as student outcomes, the instructional process, individual differences in learning, gifted learners and learning disabilities. Educational psychologists are mostly employed in school and institutes.

Forensic Psychology: Forensic psychology is defined as the intersection of psychology and the law, but forensic psychologists can perform many roles so this definition can vary. In many cases, people working within forensic psychology are not necessarily “forensic psychologists.” These individuals might be clinical psychologists, school psychologists, neurologists or counselors who lend their psychological expertise to provide testimony, analysis or recommendations in legal or criminal cases.

Industrial-Organizational Psychology: Industrial organizational psychology is a field of psychology that applies psychological theories and principles to organizations and focuses on increasing workplace productivity and related issues such as the physical and mental well-being of employees. Most human resource executives have specialized in this subject.

Social Psychology: Social psychology looks at a wide range of social topics, including group behavior, social perception, leadership, nonverbal behavior, conformity, aggression and prejudice. Social perception and social interaction are also vital to understanding social behavior. Social psychologists are mainly focused on research works and are closely related with cultural anthropologist and other social scientists.

Sports Psychology: Sports psychology is the study of how psychology influences sports, athletic performance, exercise and physical activity. Some sports psychologists work with professional athletes and coaches to improve performance and increase motivation. Other professionals utilize exercise and sports to enhance people’s lives and well-being throughout the entire lifespan.

Experimental Psychology: Experimental psychology is an area of psychology that utilizes scientific methods to research the mind and behavior. Experimental psychologists work in a wide variety of settings including colleges, universities, research centers, government and private businesses.

This is not an exhaustive list and I may suggest you to read up more about the branches and the career options on the internet and take proper guidance from anyone who had done it and had established a career on Psychology. All the best to you.


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