What is psychology?

Psychology is the scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of humans and animals. It seeks to define and understand both normal and abnormal behavior. Different disciplines in psychology focus on different approaches to understanding why people and animals do what they do. These focuses include physical and social environments and the ways in which they affect thinking, perception, learning, memory, motivation, behavior, human growth and development, intelligence, social interaction, personality development, and abnormal behavior. They also study the nature of psychological disturbance, its treatment, and how to maintain good psychological health. Psychology majors are qualified to work in many people oriented industries such as advertising, human services, market research, personnel, public relations and sales. With a master's degree or Ph.D., many psychology majors go on to work in areas of clinical or counseling psychology: industrial or organizational psychology, experimental psychology, developmental psychology, forensic psychology, or sports psychology.

Why should I consider majoring in psychology?

Psychology majors have a broadened sense of what types of human and animal behaviors are normal and abnormal. They understand the different theories and concepts from the various disciplines in psychology. They design and execute research projects and experiments, organizing the resulting data. Psychology leads to an understanding of human and animal physiology. Psychology students learn about the physiological and psychological aspects of individuals, relationships, perception, motivation, emotion, values and experiences related to sexuality, gender, culture, race and ethnicity. They also gain knowledge of how social and cultural contexts influence attitudes, values and behaviors.

What interests and values are related to psychology?

Psychology majors are usually sensitive to individual differences and diversity in behavior. They often desire to prevent social problems and want to understand what motivates people to make certain decisions. They are curious about the behavior of people and animals, and they care about the welfare of others.

What career fields are related to psychology?

  • Academic Advising
  • Behavioral Sciences
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology/Psycholinguistics
  • Community Psychology
  • Counseling Psychology
  • Criminology
  • Developmental & Child Psychology
  • Educational Psychology
  • Experimental Psychology
  • Forensics
  • Gerontology
  • Human Resources Management
  • Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • Labor/Industrial Relations/Labor Studies
  • Organizational Behavior Studies
  • Neuropsychology
  • Physiological Psychology/Psychobiology
  • Psychiatric/Mental Health Services Technology
  • Psychology, General
  • Public Health
  • School Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Student Counseling & Personnel Service

How can I learn more about psychology?

Occupational Outlook Handbook  

Contact Source:

College of Education & Human Development Academic Discovery Center

Location: Hinckley 309

Phone: 208-496-9850

Email: CEHDacademicdiscoverycenter@byui.edu