Cognitive health is one of the most exciting and fascinating fields of modern science –that is, if you’re interested in how the mind works in the first place, or if you’re connected with the resources to learn about advances make in the past and the directions for the future. Most mental health professionals have a certain degree of interest in the field of cognitive science, but the population at large is not necessarily as well-informed about the topic, and may hold greatly diverging ideas about its principles and possibilities. In order to discern how different groups of people view cognitive science, research recommended and supported by the Centers for Disease Control has recently been conducted and published in the latest issue of The Gerontologist.
The study separated a large group of nearly five hundred people into fifty five distinct focus groups, working over the course of two years to establish how factors such as age, language, location, and other essential demographic information is related to specific ideas about cognitive science. The results showed that different groups held diverse ideas about the field and the way in which it might become more prevalent among the public. But some ideas remained the same across the demographic spectrum. Most participants noted that education about cognitive science by community leaders in localized areas with topics targeted to area issues and concerns would be ideal, and commented that conceptions of the topic in popular media were confusing.
The study may help professionals in the mental health and medical fields develop new ways of engaging the public in the quest for greater mental prosperity and advancement. Through understanding how different groups think differently and similarly about cognitive science, developing educational programs and initiatives for clients may become more effective and efficient.
© Copyright 2009 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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