WHAT’S ON THEIR MINDS? SEMANTIC NETWORKS IN PSYCHOLOGY TRAINING FOLLOW-UP
Universidad de Monterrey (MEXICO)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Research is part of psychologists’ everyday life. Their own object of study requires the use of scientific method for understanding and analysis. Thus,as they advance in their training, regardless of their area of expertise or interest, they formulate several questions about human behavior and its relation to a number of variables. Hence the interest in research is present as a feature of the psychologist in relation to other health professionals.Psychology program at the University of Monterrey encompasses the academic, professional and practical knowledge in order the students grow personally and professionally and thrive in an ever-changing world. The curriculum connects core academic strengths and hands-on professional education with the development of the research skills. Nevertheless, we have found that on arrival at the Seminar of Psychological Research Project -a course in which students prepare and design their research protocol for further implementation in the next semester during their Final Assessment Program- most students have difficulty in designing their protocols by themselves. This would mean that our educational model, based on professional competences, seems to have developed research competence only to a resolution level, that is, if the professor shows in detail what and how to do something, the student produces. This level is distant from a strategic level where, in addition to determining autonomously what to work, the student is capable to innovate and project the scope and impact of his research.As part of a larger research, we used natural semantic networks technique because of the reconstructive process that takes place when a set of words are selected by memory from the cognitive structures. This allows collecting information on knowledge and understanding of the individual. We can also picture the cognitive map that people have about a concept based on associations or logic and analog networks as well as the semantic memory organization. This also provides a glimpse of the scale of values. Results based on semantic networks suggest that for students close to start their final assessment project, psychology is mostly associated with clinical and health (help, listening, counseling, health);that the effort to applyunderstanding to know something is associated with research and analysis; that competences are primarily associated to effort and skills; and that dedication is related to the development and improvement of skills and ethical and responsible behavior, typical of the descriptions of professional competences of our socio-formative Psychology program, in particular,and the way in which values education in Universidad de Monterrey permeates the curriculum,in general.
Keywords: Natural semantic networks, reearch competence, psychologist, knowledge, understanding.