So what am I going to study in Psychology? (Diploma/Bachelors)

Some of you may be just starting off in your studies in psychology or deciding whether you want to take up psychology or not. So this is probably the first post you should be reading if you find the earlier posts a little too heavy for your liking. Some people may enroll into a psychological course or program, but may find it rather tough so it has things that they did not expect to have, hence this post would look into what you will see in a psychological program (such as diploma or Bachelors). Hope this post enlightens you onto your choice of psychology.

Ok so what are you going to study in Psychology?

Basically, most programs (I am not sure about all of them hence I will not use "all programs) are based on a model: the scientist-practitioner model. From Wikipedia, "According to this model, a psychologist is a scientist and a competent researcher, and also a practitioner who applies knowledge and techniques to solve problems of client". This means that a psychologist should be a good researcher and a good practitioner at the same time. Is it possible? Yes. It sounds difficult to do; is it difficult to do? Of course. That's why the minimum recognised training (aka education) is so long.

Let's talk about the things people expected to study first. The common topics you might see are:
Biological Psychology; Developmental Psychology; Social Psychology; Personality and Individual Differences; Cognitive Psychology; Abnormal Psychology, etc.. and the list goes on..Why so much? This is because you will need to know the different aspects of psychology and how the the different aspects may affect the different people. Like I said before in a previous post, bao ga liao. The subjects that you may do in your diploma/bachelors will depend what the core subjects are as chosen by your institution.
This is to build up your knowledge for the "practitioner" part.

Now for the researcher part. To be able to do research = write reports, conducting experiments, collecting data, and analysing the data (and probably critical thinking). This are the 4 (or 5) main parts. Let's go through them. Writing reports: even if you are bad at writing, you will get used to it at the end of 3 years (for Bachelors). Conducting experiments: you will learn to do that over time. Nothing much to be afraid of as most of them are mainly questionnaires or surveys, unless you choose to do interviews or physical experiments. Collecting data: simplest of all, just writing down the figures that you found, and saying Thank You to your participants at the end of the day. Last one, analysing data: you will need to have a knowledge of statistics (not numbers, thank you) in order to do analyses. Fear Factor: A lot of people are afraid of maths...Can you do stats if you are bad at maths? Yes, but stats to some extent still require some level of maths ability, such as knowing that 0.05 is bigger than 0.001. If you can do that, you probably can do stats. They are just huge chunks of numbers and formulas, which you are looking for just a result of a few numbers.


Hope this is clear enough explaining the scientist-practitioner model. See the next few posts to have more understanding of this model.

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