SGPsychStud: The search for knowledge in psychology

Many students  (including myself previously) have this misconception that all the knowledge that you need can be found in your textbooks, so chunking on your textbook theories will allow you to become a good professional in the future. However this may not be very true.

Unlike many other professionals, psychology is still a very young science, having been only around for slightly over 100 years (Yes! 100 years is considered young in science areas). Hence we still require a lot of knowledge, in terms of research to find out more about the human behaviour and mental processes. This knowledge should not be restricted to just reading the textbooks, as they would include talking to your lecturers, reading recent research articles, and even attending psychological events.

To obtain all the knowledge you need in psychology is quite impossible, and it seems to be a new learning process everyday as you find out more about different aspects of psychology. As a student in psychology, you may find that your textbooks are already very overwhelming due to the amount of content. My advice: Wait till you get to go to a psychology conference! You may find yourself soaked in so much content, that you become so eager to go for the next day of the event. On top of that, you get to meet and listen (or even talk!) to the "superstars" of the psychological area: the main theorists and psychologists who may have came up with the theories in your textbooks (think Phillip ZimbardoElizabeth Loftus, and Martin Seligman)! It is highly possible that they are still alive, seeing that we are such a young science.

To finish this post, my advice is: Don't just bury yourself in your books. Go out and experience psychology in its real form, in how it has been applied in our everyday lives, and then go back and analyse why it happens like that. Also make sure you get the latest psychological information and knowledge through recent research articles and by attending conferences and events. All this knowledge will definitely help in building up the psychologist in you!