Welcome to the School of Psychology. This is a place for initiating the development of learning projects and resources related to psychology in general.
What is Psychology?
To answer this question we will refer to a definition given by the American Psychological Association (APA).
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. The discipline embraces all aspects of the human experience — from the functions of the brain to the actions of nations, from child development to care for the aged. In every conceivable setting from scientific research centers to mental health care services, "the understanding of behaviour" is the enterprise of psychologists.
This does not reflect a world view of psychology, but rather describes the wide range of topics which, collectively, constitute the field of psychology.
What do psychologists do?
It is likely that you are familiar with the noun "psychologist" as representing an individual who provides treatment for people with mental illness. However, psychology has a wide range of activities. Psychologists may work as researchers, clinicians, teachers, or consultants. Fields of psychological research include social psychology, cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, biological/health psychology, developmental psychology, experimental psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, school psychology, and several other subdisciplines. Psychologists working as clinicians commonly provide services such as psychotherapy, counseling, assessment, and forensic consulting.
What kind of job can you get with further/higher education in psychology?
The answer to this question really depends on where you are in the world. Different jurisdictions have different legal bases for determining the entry qualifications to various professions, and psychology is one such profession. For example, the United States has an over-seeing body known as the American Psychological Association (part of whose brief is to accredit both under-graduate and professional post-graduate courses in psychology, as well as the degrees that they lead to). The United Kingdom's equivalent body is the British Psychological Society, which also oversees the profession and the conduct of persons employed within it. In some other jurisdictions, the content of professional training is determined by law (such as, for example, Finland). So the answer to this question is not a simple one.
Nonetheless, graduates with a bachelor degree in psychology (but who do not become professional psychologists) tend to find their ways into careers such as social work, medicine, employment consulting, teaching/training, organisational consultancy, and politics (to name but a few).
Careers in professional psychology differ from country to country, as has been mentioned earlier. This is because of the different legal systems and the statutory bodies given authority to oversee the profession. One outcome of this is that one may be allowed to use the title 'psychologist' in one jurisdiction but not in another.
The title 'psychologist', under the legal systems operating in the United Kingdom, is not a protected title: anyone may call him/herself a 'psychologist' there. The protected titles are listed on the UK Health Professions Council website, and are drawn up to include the titles 'registered psychologist' and 'practitioner psychologist'. The title 'applied psychologist', however, is not protected. With regard to the title 'psychologist', the British Psychological Society takes the view in its March 2010 publication "Level A Information Pack: Certificate of Competence in Occupational Testing" that "the label 'psychologist' is being used refer to any person eligible for Graduate Membership of the Society - not just to Chartered Psychologists" (p. 4). The situation in other countries, however, is not the same. In Australia and Canada, the title 'psychologist' is protected under law.
A development in the law regarding the provision of psychological services in Canada has lead to the appearance of the titles 'psychological associate' and 'psycho-educational consultant'. The requirements to be eligible to use the title of 'psychologist' vary between the provinces. According to the Canadian Psychological Association, which accredits university training courses for intending psychologists, an approved doctoral or master's degree will suffice as entitlement to be described as a psychologist in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, the North-west Territories, Newfoundland & Labrador, Alberta and Saskatchewan, allowing independent practice in these provinces. Manitoba, Ontario and British Columbia require one to hold an approved doctoral degree in order to register and practise as a psychologist, but have made provisions for registration and practice as a 'psychological associate' for those who hold approved master's degrees in psychology. These provinces vary in whether they allow psychological associates to practise independently. The Yukon Territory has no legislation on the matter.
The title of 'psycho-educational consultant' has no registration requirements, according to the Peel District School Board website, but the qualification for this title is "a relevant master's degree and eligibility for registration with the College of Psychologists of Ontario". Obviously, this applies to those wishing to practise as a psycho-educational consultant in Peel, since that place is in Ontario. For psycho-educational consultants, supervision is required for two years. This must be provided by a registered psychologist. After this, the psycho-educational consultant can provide independent psychological services but the range of services s/he can provide is limited. It is not clear whether this is a Canada-wide issue, since no information has been found by the current editor to support the notion that such consultants exist in other Canadian provinces.
In Finland, the title 'psychologist' usually refers to a 'legalised psychologist', who is allowed by law to practise the profession. Finland does not have a specific profession of 'educational psychologist', so that title is not specifically protected or regulated under law. An 'educational psychologist' is not, in Finland, a practitioner psychologist, and would have to fulfill further training and professional requirements in order to become legalised. This paragraph is not intended to be an exhaustive statement about psychology as a profession and the title 'psychologist'; it is merely an example of the complicated nature of the concept of what a 'psychologist' is in different jurisdictions. Finland claims to follow models set up in other Nordic countries, so the situation in Norway, Sweden and Denmark is very similar to that in Finland, with regard to the licensing of psychologists.
(references to come)
Please brainstorm a list and add to it when you can think of missing departments. These are some of the sub-fields within the field of psychology:
Things you can do
This page contains an old list of possible courses which needs updating.