Psychology Critical Tool for National Development, Says Expert
A seasoned Psychologist, Dr Wilson Ochoroghene Vincent Ijide, has tasked the National Psychological Association (NPA) on the imperative of creating awareness about the importance of psychology to national development.
Dr Ochoroghene, an official of the Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ibadan, made the call as Guest Speaker at a recent Town and Gown Seminar of the Department of Psychology, Covenant University.
While making his presentation titled 'The Role of a Psychologist in National Development: a Town And Gown Sharing Experience', the Guest Speaker said a psychologist must be one with the requisite education and training. He added that a psychologist must be ready to constantly apply psychological theories, principles and techniques to solve human behaviour problems whenever and wherever.
Dr Ijide, a retired Colonel of the Nigerian Army, stated that national development referred to directed growth which included social, cultural and economic change.
However, he regretted that the significance of the discipline of psychology in human capital development, which was the most singular important factor of national development, was ignored, knowing that there could be no development whatsoever without the human factor.
In his personal experience, Dr Ijide said psychology played a big role in securing many successful operations while he was in the military. A good example, he noted, was the Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG), where the leadership deployed psychology in handling the pre-operations deployment of officers' committee and predicting Operation Octopus application of rewards for distinguished conduct of professionalism. He stated that psychology was also used to know and apply the effect of morale on troops, stalking a platoon commander on patrol and calming a soldier with a case of combat stress, etc.
The Guest Speaker described the impact of psychology on his career in the military as immense. "Psychology gave me the required orientation to produce watertight reports for sound policy decisions in the Army. I single-handedly made the Army reverse a policy that affected morale negatively, very retrogressive, known as statute-barred, that made the Army adopt a direct payment of disturbance allowances when personnel are transferred. Using psychologically-based arguments, I caused the Military Secretary (Army) to stop a proposal that would have caused the abolition of a policy of loss of seniority for a specific type of commission in the officers' corps," he explained.
Earlier in her opening remarks, the Head of Department, Psychology, Dr Sussan Adeusi, appreciated the Guest Speaker, the University Management and the participants for their roles in making the Town and Gown event a success.
She encouraged the students to take advantage of the vast experience of the Guest Speaker and maximise the opportunity they had to learn about the practical application of psychology in the world of work.
Others at the event were other senior members of the Department.