Demystifying an Undergrad Psychology course

images (11)The Secret Life of a Psychology Undergrad

  1. You might think we read your mind. But no, we don’t. (Turns out you don’t have that many thoughts, eh?)
  2. Psychology is all about Freud. Oh, how I wish! But, sadly it is not. We spend years getting introduced to Freud, yes. But is that all we study? No way!
  3. We can read your future. Actually, we don’t even know if we will get to major in Psychology, or if we want to.
  4. We don’t have much to study. Not as much as the natural sciences, anyway. Have you ever said, ‘Women! Noone can ever understand them?’ Well, yeah. Turns out, neither can we understand men, or even cockroaches for that matter.
  5. It’s all fluke, anyway.  There are shocking experiments and results about the human behaviour, making you wonder about humans and their sanity. Ever heard of the Lucifer Effect?
  6. It’s not real. Well, hard luck! It is all real. (Or as real as human thoughts, emotions and behaviour are, anyway.) The methods may not be accurate, but they are the best there is in any behavioural or social science. You can even choose statistics as a tool. Foolproof enough?
  7. It’s just arm chair philosophy. You’ll be surprised to know that most of us don’t realize where it turns from philosophy to biology and back. We study the brain, the hormones, evolution, as much as we study existentialism.  Cognitive Neuroscience? Evolutionary basis of love? We know all about it!
  8. What? Behavioural Economics? I thought economics was a quantitative subject? Clearly you haven’t studied Econ either. Ever heard of Keynes? We borrow and lend to many different subjects, including Economics, Linguistics, Biology, Life Sciences, and of course, Sociology, Anthropology and all those subjects you haven’t even probably heard of.tumblr_mloesj1eg91qg9t3eo1_1280
  9. So emotions is surely all you study? Did you not hear me? We study behaviour, as a response to emotive, cognitive, cultural, social, and biological process. If I had to study aggression, I’d say it is a function of anger, frustration, socialization, what the culture thinks is acceptable, and the underlying  neural, hormonal and genetic influences.
  10. Abnormal behaviour? Oh, yes! We all love abnormal psychology. We hear the sympotoms of schizophrenia and think, Hey! I am schizophrenic! We love categorizing people disorder-wise. Helps us memorize them.  It’s called chunking. (Yes, we have a word for it.) But we also study normal (6)
  11. Is it just therapy? Is biology only medicine?tumblr_msxsg6VNkL1qjywvlo1_1280
  12. So it is fun and easy? Sadly, not always. We work for years and years and years, but sometimes, you can’t even tell the difference between Erikson and Freud. And then there are those people, you have it so easy! Have you ever tried to memorize a hundred different research studies? A hundred different names? A hundred different years? It’s as much fun as staying up all night and still not knowing if you’d pass or no. Just about the same as other subjects, you think?

How to recognize a psychology undergrad:stress-cartoon

  • Uses words like disposition, cognition, traits, attribution, aggression, etc. in daily speech.
  •  Loves analyzing people and intimidating them with rhetorics  like You know what Freud would have to say about it, right?
  •   Inferring attributions to everything you say or do.
  •   What if she actually does have depression? Is something you hear us say, if someone behaves oddly for more than two months.
  •   Crack DSM-V related jokes. Every day.
  •  Makes references to Freud, Pavlov or Skinner. Alternately, refers to their theories.
  •  Debates actively (either with others or internally) whether certain behaviours are inborn or learnt.
  •   Uses statistics to explain why you are wrong and how you are wrong. Also, gives explanations as to why you must have inferred it that way.
  • Checks every piece of literature, music and art for its psychological soundness, and gets annoyed when they don’t match.
  • Divides every behaviour in terms of its cognition, emotion and possible biological factors.
  • Backs every statement with a theory, and a consequent research.
  • May say ‘I think I am stuck at security needs. My dad should give me more pocket money so that I can reach self actualization faster.’tumblr_msn8pdYPAs1ql2603o1_500 d

About TheBlackWallflower

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