How Psychologists Study the Mind
27 Apr 22
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Ellisse Vernon | BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing
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Psychology students are mind readers, right?
Are you doing your postgraduate in psychology? Or perhaps you’re an undergraduate with friends from others courses? From silly stereotypes to underestimating the amount of work you have, there are a number of things that may grind your gears over time.
If you’re a psychology student, here are 10 things that only you and your course mates will understand!
1) Psychology has many life benefits (not just for work)
Few people realise the true benefits of studying of psychology. Students get to use their knowledge of human behaviour in everyday life, and the research and analytical skills picked up on this course can help you navigate just about anything!
2) You’re tired of being asked, “Can you read my mind?”
No, you’re a not a mind reader, and you can’t guess what anyone is thinking at any one time. Your course is not a party trick, but an important set of skills that benefit wider society. For long-timers studying a postgraduate psychology course, it must getting tiring by now.
3) Self-diagnosing of psychological disorders is annoying
It’s important to be patient, but when friends and family repeatedly refer to psychological illnesses in the wrong context, it can be exasperating. Common references to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can actually be offensive to OCD sufferers, and sometimes you’ll be the only person in the room who gets this.
4) Psychology courses can lead to a number of careers
One thing that many people assume about psychology students is that they want to become a clinical psychologist. But many graduates go on to become career advisors, counsellors, family mediation experts, HR managers, marketing specialists, probation and prison officers, retail managers, social workers, or even occupational therapists. The world really is your oyster!
5) Male psychology students are totally under-represented
A lot of people don’t realise the gender imbalance in psychology subjects. In fact, 80% of undergraduates are female, making it a female-dominated field. More males are needed to address the gender balance.
6) Referencing is a painful and tedious task
The APA referencing style, used predominantly in psychology and behavioural sciences, makes coursework a bit of an intense slog. It can sometimes take you twice as long to write something because citing references has to be 100% spot on (so no, you can’t make every party or night out).
7) There’s piles of statistics to get through
Despite the intense reading and research in psychology study (particularly in postgraduate psychology courses), people often think your work is kind of easy. Some even consider psychology to be a ‘fluffy’ subject in comparison to say, neuroscience. But your studies involve endless numbers and statistics, and that’s not always easy to wrap your head around.
8) Research isn’t as free and easy as it sounds
There’s a big focus on independent study in a postgraduate psychology course, with much of your time being spent on your own research. But fewer lectures don’t mean less work. Research can be frustrating, especially when it leads to dead ends and inconclusive results. It also requires self-discipline, and a lot of hard work and dedication.
9) You own more highlighter pens than underwear
Everyone’s got reading to do in their degree, but you probably have more than others depending on their chosen course. And with statistics and the rules on accurate referencing, it’s not always easy reading either. Highlighters are your best friend, and your note-taking skills have to be second to none.
10) A postgraduate in psychology can be lonely work
Self-study is something you’re used to by now, especially if you’re doing research for your postgraduate psychology course. This can sometimes get lonely though, so having course mates who can relate is important to you. Plus, it’s nice to have other friends who can take your mind off work from time to time. Just because you study psychology doesn’t mean you’re immune to mental health issues, so self-care is non-negotiable!
We hope this post about stereotypes and assumptions has put a smile on your face! If you agree, don’t forget to share with other psychology students who may relate.
At the University of Bolton, we’re in the Top 10 in the UK (and 1st in Greater Manchester) for Student Satisfaction in Psychology Courses* for the fourth year running! So there’s nowhere better to begin your journey.
Ready to apply in 2022? To find out about starting an undergraduate degree or your postgraduate in psychology, see our available courses here.
*Complete University Guide, 2022, 2021, 2020 & 2019
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