The Career of Psychology

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The dissection of one’s mental state as a human with all of its complexities, better known as psychology. The fascination to comprehend the nuances of emotions derived by each unique individual has experts delving into the soul to grasp answers. The career of Psychology contains, interesting history, enriching educational paths, and a unique day to day life with new challenges encountered. Psychology allows for people of various backgrounds and psychological approaches to contemplate and consider other behaviors, aside from their own, in order to work and live harmoniously. This discipline albeit instrumental in resolving many complex human and primate relationships and psychological needs. Negotiations between various groups employ the use of psychological approaches to remedy tumultuous situations in both the workplace, and at home..

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In 1889, psychologist Alfred Binet took a fond passion towards psychology surrounding general intelligence. Binet helped establish the first psychology lab in France, the Ribot, where he pursued many research studies on human intelligence “Alfred Binet Bibliography”. He worked to establish experimental approaches to discover a way to measure intelligence along with reasoning abilities. The achievement of this goal in which creating a series of different tests, allowed for the administering of test subjects to provide data. Gathering and analysis of the specific data points concluded a pattern to scientifically determine outcomes. After many studies, devising a single test that along with the age of the test subject, would reveal their intellectual age. Binet then founded the first psychological journal in French called the L’Annee Psychological, or “The Psychological Year” “Alfred Binet Bibliography”. After death, his research maintained its relevance linking psychological studies to the brain. Todays IQ testing closely resembles a revised testament to the accomplishments of Binet’s Intelligence testing.

Ever since an Austrian psychologist named Sigmund Freud introduced the idea of psychoanalysis, as well as hysteria, psychology continuously evolved. Starting in 1895, Freud took interest in the idea of hysteria when a colleague fell ill, with symptoms including sleepwalking and hallucinations soon after her father passed away (Gillam). He defined hysteria as a mental disorder derived from drastic changes in sensation experiences, as well as emotional misjudgement. This patient had a concept, that maybe, if she could explain to them why these symptoms occurred, they could better understand how to treat it. This concept later led to a theory called “The Talking Cure” that Freud published a book on called Studies of Hysteria on (Gillam). This case allowed Freud to interpret patients dreams which later allowed him to reveal their unconscious desires. By doing this, he introduced a new branch of psychology called psychoanalysis, studies of the mind.

In the early 1920’s people believed in two theories which describes humans as nothing more than creatures of habit. The first theory explained that humans do not make decisions based on their own thoughts, but instead out of habits in our DNA. The second theory says one can only distinguish between individuals by test (Devonis). 1924, a man named John B. Watson proposed that everyone will manipulate situations in order to receive optimum results, such as a raise at work and proved this theory. This theory, called Behaviorism, which Watson later wrote the publication called Behaviorism (Devonis). Between the 1920’s and 1930’s, experimentation to prove these ideas shifted from the use of human subjects into animal subjects. By doing so, they realized that the theory of human actions basing off of instinct was incorrect, and instead derived out of free choice, also known as individualism (Devonis). Although human test subjects still appear today, psychologists tend to use animal subjects, such as monkeys, instead due to newly developed ethical guidelines.

In 1958, psychologist Harry Harlow wondered if primates attach to their mothers due to their need of food, or the need for maternal physical contact. After weeks of proposing different methods to answer this question, he came to a conclusion. He decided he would design a wire “mother” made of wire who would provide food, as well as a cloth “mother” who did not provide food to the baby monkeys (Vicedo). As months passed, he begins to see a trend, the monkeys prefer to spend time with the cloth mother instead of the wire mother, despite the food coming from the wire monkey. Physical contact becomes paramount for proper development and good mental health to incorporate maternal care as these studies show (Vicedo). These findings represent not only primates need for maternal attachment, but also humans need for physical comfort contact for healthy development and future relationships. Harlow’s discovery contributed to one of the most important findings in behavioral psychology, that answered the debate of food versus comfort.

A career in psychology will require many years of education, varying on the field and career sought out in the future. The most basic degree you must earn, a bachelor in psychology which requires four years of schooling. After this, one can earn a masters degree in psychology, which will allow students to pursue multiple different career paths. The minimum of a bachelors and masters degree required for careers such as a case manager, social worker, or school counselor “How long does it take to become a Psychologist”. If students choose to work for a higher education, and earn a PhD or PsyD, requires an additional five to seven years of schooling “How long does it take to become a Psychologist?”. In order to obtain a PhD or PsyD, the student must complete more schooling. Acquiring a PhD for psychology tends to go toward the scientific studies and cases. After earning a PsyD, careers such as psychiatry becomes an option. Psychiatrists must obtain a PsyD in order to fully meet requirements, as well as prescribe medications to patients “How long does it take to become a Psychologist”.

The educational route for a psychiatrist while strenuous, provides higher pay than pursuing a career such as a social worker. Psychiatry, a type of psychology who not only takes on the responsibilities of a therapist, but also a doctor, must obtain a PhD. A psychiatrists responsibilities include diagnosing mental health disorders, and prescribing medication to these patients. In order to seek the career of a psychiatrist, students must first earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Students can earn a bachelor’s degree at almost all colleges after the completion of four years of basic college courses “How long does it take to become a psychologist?”. After earning a bachelor’s degree, students will typically apply to medical school. These application processes require competitive GPAs as well as multiple interviews before accepted. If accepted into a medical school, an additional five to seven years of schooling deemed necessary for completion. These challenging years in medical school will prepare aspiring psychologists for their everyday lives after medical school. Course requirements such as developmental psychology and neuroscience deemed necessary in order to receive a PhD “PhD Degree Requirements”. After students graduate from medical school, they will have the ability to work as a psychiatrist.

The educational requirements for a school counselor lack rigor compared to a student earning a PhD in psychology. Since school counselors do not prescribe medications, a PhD is not required. Students will start college as a psychology major at a four year university, which will earn them a masters degree after completion ‘How long does it take to become a Psychologist?”. After graduating a four year university with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, students will apply to graduate school to further their studies. Although graduate school seems like an easier acceptance, the process still requires work and dedication. Students who earn an acceptance will have high GPA’s as well as all prerequisite classes completed. An additional two years of schooling required to earn a graduate degree, as well as field experience in psychology helps with career preparation. Students who earned a masters degree in psychology will have career opportunities such as a school counselor, therapist, and many more “Careers in Psychology 2018”.

Depending on the type of college environment desired, many options open in order to receive the education required for a career psychology. Furman University, located in Greenville, South Carolina with an acceptance rate of 63.5% and a student population at an average of 2,970 offers many different options for an education in psychology “Furman University”. A highly competitive school such as Furman, with an average acceptance GPA of 3.64 and average SAT score of 1290, demonstrates the rigor needed for success “Furman SAT Scores and GPA”. The tuition cost per year at $46,000 without any financial aid included. Different kinds of psychology studies offered at Furman includes Clinical Psychology, Organizational Psychology, Social Psychology, and more. Opportunities such as a variety of different research and internships offered through the school helps in building a strong resume. For those who choose to further their education in Psychology, Furman offers a highly competitive graduate program for students interested in earning a higher education. In order for acceptance into the Furman Graduate program, students must obtain a high GPA, apply to the program, as well as go to an interview “Psychology B.S”. Once accepted, students will complete an additional two years and finish with a graduate degree in Psychology.

Located in San Diego, California, Alliant International University also offers top options for an education in psychology. With an acceptance rate of 86% and an average of 944 undergraduate students attending, Alliant International University has a small student to teacher ratio “Alliant International University- San Diego”. The tuition per year at $17,196 for both in-state and out of state without financial aid included. The different Bachelor’s of Psychology degrees offered includes Clinical Child Psychology, School Psychology, Forensic Psychology, and many others “Alliant International University- San Diego”. The staff at Alliant International University shows dedication to assisting students discover what field of psychology they wish to pursue, and also helping them to achieve their goals. Along with the Bachelor degrees in psychology they offer, they also offer an opportunity to participate in their Graduate Program. The Graduate Program at Alliant International offers a fair opportunity to all students. Who choose to further their education. Earning a graduate degree will require and additional two years added onto the four year attended for your Bachelor’s Degree “Psychology Degree Programs Offered at CSPP”.

Clemson University a public college located in Clemson, South Carolina. A highly competitive school that offers many different bachelor’s degrees in Psychology. The acceptance rate of 51%, with 18,016 undergraduate students in attendance along with the average GPA of a 4.18 and SAT score of a 1310 students at Clemson demonstrate dedication to their studies. “Clemson SAT scores and GPA”. The tuition per year with no financial aid at $14,200 for in state students, and $33,100 for out of state students. Clemson offers Bachelor’s degrees in Applied Psychology. Human Factors Psychology, and many others “Psychology (B.S./B.A.) Clemson University”. They offer a highly competitive graduate program for after you receive a Bachelor’s degree. In order for admittance to the graduate program. You must have a high GPA, a strong application, as well as attend an interview “Psychology (B.S./B.A.) Clemson University”. Through Clemson’s graduate programs for psychology. The professors will prepare students for a successful career in the Psychology industry. As well as provide opportunities to experience the work force prior to graduation.

Located in Durham, North Carolina with an acceptance rate of 10%, an average SAT score of a 1540, GPA of 4.17, and an average of 6,600 students, Duke University offers various different psychology opportunities “Duke Requirements for Admission”. Duke offers bachelor degrees in experimental psychology, general psychology, as well as social psychology. Most aspiring psychiatrists will apply to Duke due to the universities unique doctorate program. At Duke University, the shockingly low acceptance rates translate into extremely high qualifications for admittance. The tuition per year at Duke University averages at around $25, 480 per year “Duke University”. Prominently known for the strength of their medical program. Graduating from Duke increases students chances of earning a high paying job right out of medical school.

Psychiatrists day to day life will vary depending on the type of environment they choose to work in. Psychiatrists who work in an emergency room will typically start their days early in the morning. The patients they talk to in the emergency room will typically explain to the doctor what kind of symptoms and feelings they experience (Preda). Depending on the severity and legitimacy of the patients’ symptoms, the psychiatrist will choose to either admit them, or sent home with different instructions on how to resolve their issue. If chosen to admit the patient. The lead psychiatrist will allow an intern to present the case in order to initiate a group conversation. On a resolution for the problem at hand (Preda). In order to make a diagnosis, psychiatrists and interns will evaluate the circumstances of the patients’ symptoms and feelings. They will elaborate possible causes in a psychosocial train of thought in order to accurately diagnose the patient.

A school counselor will face different situations each day. In the morning, she will typically work on car line, the school cart, and calming students with separation anxiety from their parents (Mayes). Each day will vary, but each week, the counselor prepares a lesson plan taught based on widespread conflict such as bullying. The school counselor will go into a different grade each week to discuss different lessons. Such as how to react to a situation, or bullying awareness. Their job also has to do with the needs of the students. They will have individual meetings with students who have either come to them with a conflict. Or if their parents request them to talk to their child (Mayes). Counselors must keep things such as academic time missed in mind while talking to the student, so it will usually last around 15-30 minutes maximum so that they will not miss academic opportunities. A school counselor shows dedication to improving lives of students such. As talking to their teachers about having more success in school, and attending to any mental health needs the student may have.

Not only do school counselors help improve the lives of students academically. But also involves themselves in multiple extra-curricular activities. Ms. Aislinn Mayes takes charge of the Lower School student council, and also the fifth grade Safety Patrol Club (Mayes). This helps to build stronger bonds and trusting relationships with the students in order for them to feel comfortable talking to them if they ever have a problem. In addition to these activities, they will typically meet with other counselors around the school campus to do weekly check-ins and discuss similar problems they may see at home (Mayes).

The profession of Psychology has made numerous contributions, especially to Health Psychology. Health Psychology, best defined as the study of how humans’ brains interact with their muscles. Health Psychology can help patients fight diseases like glaucoma. A condition in which pressure builds up in the eye, and potentially leading to blindness. When diagnosed with glaucoma many people develop. Different psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, as well as increased stress (Mendez-Ulrich). Glaucoma will decrease ones health as well as quality of life due to the new adaptations made to continue normal functioning. Since the 1900’s, correlations between glaucoma and the use of psychology has had extremely positive effects on the patients. While using psychology to help glaucoma. Health psychologists will help manage the negative effects resulting from the disease. Stress management classes, as well as the optimization of treatment plans (Mendez-Ulrich). These methods increase the lifespan and decrease the amount of treatment required for one to return to their normal lives. The impact health psychology has made on patients suffering. From glaucoma changes their lives and allows patients to positively. Accept treatment plans and therapy.

Psychology has positively impacted many people since its introduction. Ever since the 1900’s depression and anxiety present themselves. As the top most common mental illnesses experienced world wide. Individuals with mental illnesses such as depression. Have shown more separation from society and choose to rely on substances such. As alcohol and tobacco as coping mechanisms (Calhoon). Habits such as these promote an increase in heart disease, and early morbidity. Once the choice to participate in these behaviors, impulses become harder to stop, so a group of psychologists proposed the idea of 6 therapeutic lifestyle changes in order to get patients back on track. These six lifestyle changes include “being congruent, looking at the whole picture, developing competence and recognizing limits, finding what fits, drawing on psychologist skills, and addressing and removing barriers” (Calhoon). Including activities such as exercise and social interaction promotes the effectiveness of these changes. Often overlooked by therapists, these theories have shown high success rates in patients willing to embrace them. The impacts of embracing a healthy lifestyle decreases effects of mental illnesses on its own. Once a therapist learns how to individualize their patients and treatment styles. Improvements in disorders will skyrocket (Calhoon).

Psychology while a tremendously diverse field allows for an array of career applications. However all still rely on the premise of six approaches which embody the study of the human mind. The mind and soul hold the key to the universe and the complexity of all relationships. Entrigue to solve this paradox beacons many to pursue a career in the study of psychology. As human creativity evolves so do the psychological complexities which requires unraveling. This evolution creates an everlasting demand for all professionals educationally to meet the needs of all new and changing societal expectations of relationships, furthermore allowing increased use of pharmaceuticals, which provides employment opportunities in other career paths. In conclusion, the profession of psychology continuously evolves into a more challenging, although rewarding, life purpose.

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The Career of Psychology. (2022, Oct 05). Retrieved February 7, 2023 , from

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