Psychology is the study of the human mind, and how it works. That’s the nutshell definition.
Here’s the real definition—Psychology is the study of the processes of the human brain, how it responds to stimuli, how it functions, and how it malfunctions. By looking at general information about groups of people and how they emote and response, and comparing and contrasting that with specific case files, a psychologist learns more about the human mind and human behavior. Psychologists fall into three general classifications: social, behavior, and cognitive.
A social psychologist studies how groups of people think, react, and interact with each other and with outside groups. Social psychology ties in very closely with sociology, with the two disciplines studying different aspects of the same topic. Stereotypes, attitudes, and conformity are all group-model interests that fall into the realm od social psychology.
A behavioral psychologist (or behavioral scientist) focuses on how people are conditioned to certain behaviors, and how those behaviors affect the mind (and how the mind evolves in response to the behaviors). Classical and operative conditioning were models utilized by behaviorists, and another great example is that of criminal profiling, in which trained agents use behaviorism and psychology to create a profile of an unknown criminal offender.
A cognitive psychologist studies human cerebral process like learning, problem solving, and memory. It deals with perception, and how perception affects response and behavior. Concepts like stimulus and response, positive and negative reinforcement, are examples of cognitive psychology.
Are you bored or fascinated? Admittedly, psychology isn’t a field of study of interest to everyone. And if not, that’s OK, just flip forward to the next blog and see what else we have to offer. But if you’re at all like, the chance to learn about how people think, and why they act in certain ways, is an alluring proposition. Yes, getting a degree in psychology can open up new career paths for you, but this is something you can use in every day life, in every interaction you may have over the course of a day.
A degree in psychology can help you in many more ways than getting a job, but having that degree definitely won’t slow down your career at all. And if you are looking for a new career, here are a few examples of what a psychology degree might lead you to:
Clinical Psychology Work doesn’t just mean being a psychologist and working in the mental health field. A career in clinical psychology could lead to social services: being a substance abuse counselor or a youth counselor. You could pursue a job as a psychotherapist, a behavior analyst, or even a career advisor.
Research Clinical Psychology is exactly what it sounds like – working on trials and research studies. Instead o working with individual patients, research psychologists deal with groups and patterns, and look for root causes to widespread psychological maladies. Conducing funded studies or trials for corporations is an option, as is teaching as university professor.