Psychology is the scientific study of memory, stress, psychotherapy, love, persuasion, hypnosis, perception, death, conformity, creativity, conditioning, personality, aging, intelligence, sexuality, emotion, and more.
The subject matter of psychology is the behavior and experience of human beings and other organisms. While some psychologists are engaged in research to further our understanding of behavior, many are involved in applying the principles developed in the laboratory and field studies to human problems. As the complexity of society increases, psychological knowledge takes on a more and more important role - in courts, in classrooms, in legislatures, in prisons, in boardrooms, and behind sales counters, in clinics, and in hospitals.
Because of the growing relevance of psychology, students planning to enter professions such as medicine, law, management, social work, education, speech pathology, or counseling often elect a major or minor in psychology.
Those who go on to become professional psychologists work in a variety of settings. A recent survey gave the following proportions for major career tracks of psychologists: The mental health field, including private practice, hospitals, clinics, counseling centers, and guidance centers account for 44 percent. Twenty-nine percent are involved in teaching and research at the college level, while 15 percent are involved in elementary and high schools. Thirteen percent work in business or government.
Developmental psychologists study patterns of change from infancy through old age, including physical, cognitive, social, and moral development. Clinical psychologists generally focus on abnormal behavior in an effort to understand, diagnose, and change such behavior. Counseling psychologists also treat abnormal behavior but usually focus on normal problems of living (e.g., marriage and educational counseling). Industrial psychologists usually work for a business enterprise applying psychological knowledge to such areas as personnel policies, working conditions, production efficiency, and decision-making.
Experimental psychologists use scientific methods to carry out experiments designed to develop a basic understanding of such processes as learning, memory, motivation, sensation, and perception in human beings and lower animals. Physiological and comparative psychologists study the contributions of biological factors - such as heredity, the sensory and nervous system, drugs, and species differences - to various kinds of behavior. Social psychologists use a variety of scientific methods to study the behavior of people in social situations, from couples and small groups to crowds. The emerging field of health psychology uses psychological principles in health maintenance.
If you're interested in becoming a psychologist, you will need to earn your Psy.D. or Ph.D. in psychology after earning your BA or BS in psychology (some Psy.D. or Ph.D. programs also require a Master's Degree in Psychology). If you're interested in exploring psychology graduate study further, visit apa.org/about/division/index.aspx.
This list provides a good overview, but keep in mind that the field is constantly growing as new research is completed and as new ways to apply psychological knowledge are discovered.
Like medicine, law, and most sciences, professional employment as a psychologist requires graduate study. There are, however, a variety of jobs the psychology major may pursue without graduate study. We provide a broad-based program that prepares psychology majors for advanced study toward higher degrees in psychology and curriculum fosters learning in several areas targeted by liberal arts and career education: how to learn, how to obtain and/or evaluate different kinds of information, how to think critically, how to solve problems systematically, and how to write effectively.
In addition, our courses provide an excellent educational background for a variety of career choices. By combining the psychology major with another field of study, for example, the student may increase employment possibilities and be better prepared to undertake graduate study in other fields. Secondary education, management, and English are common double majors with psychology. A minor in psychology can strengthen the background of students majoring in other fields
Psychology majors have multiple study abroad opportunities. Recently, a group of students that included Psychology majors traveled to India for research purposes. The video below is an overview of their experience.
The College of St. Scholastica
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