What is Psychology?

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 neurons, from child development to care for the aged. In every conceivable setting from scientific research centers to mental health care services, “the understanding of behavior” is the enterprise of psychologists.

Is Psychology a Science?

Yes. Psychology is sometimes considered a natural science and sometimes a social science. Psychological scientists form hypotheses, collect data, and test hypotheses through experiments, quasi-experiments, and correlational studies. There are many areas of psychology, such as clinical, cognitive, developmental, and affective, that can be studied through a neuroscientific, biological, or behavioral lens. Psychology also includes the scientific study of what therapies work to help those who are experiencing struggles related to thoughts, emotions, memories, learning, and relating to others and how to effectively apply these therapies. If you are interested in neuroscience, emotions, thoughts, memories, learning, social interactions, beliefs, cognitive development, psychological disorders, or therapy, psychology is for you!

Why Study Psychology?

An undergraduate major in psychology offers a student preparation for a wide variety of careers. Many majors find psychology to be an excellent preparation for such service-oriented professions as social work, counseling and guidance, special education, and management. Those who pursue graduate work in one of the many fields of psychology often seek positions in teaching and research or applied human services. In addition, the study of psychology provides a knowledge and an understanding of behavior that has applications in other professions as well, including nursing, medicine, law, teaching, business, and public relations.

 

Undergraduate Psychology News and Highlights

Congratulations Juliana Yoon, 1st place SOURCE Virtual Intersections Award Winner!

Undergraduate Juliana Yoon received 1st place honors in the Social Sciences category for her presentation titled: Workplace Bullying in the Nursing Profession: Dangers and Potential Solutions. Faculty Mentor: Anastasia Dimitropoulos, Department of Psychological Sciences.

Rita Obeid co-writes paper on racial bias and autism identification

Rita Obeid, full-time lecturer in the Department of Psychological Sciences, recently co-wrote a paper exploring the relationship between racial bias and autism identification. The paper, published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, builds on research showing minority populations are frequently misdiagnosed or diagnosed later in life for autism...

Elizabeth Short is lead author on study about role of language in children’s play

Elizabeth Short, professor of psychological sciences, was lead author of a study about the role of language in children’s play. The study explored how children who have various developmental disabilities (ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, and language delay) played compared to their peers of typical development. Results suggested language delays highlighted...

Attending religious services protects against deaths of despair, study finds

The New Daily: Julie Exline, a professor of psychological sciences, offered comments on a finding that people who attend religious services at least once a week are significantly less likely to die from so-called “deaths of despair”: “Religious and spiritual struggles—conflicts with God or religious people, tough questions about...

What Psychologists and Psychiatrists Want You to Know About Anxiety Right Now

Anxiety is a part of life, but it shouldn’t take over. Here’s how to gain control. “People often say they want to get rid of anxiety, but anxiety is programmed into us for a reason,” says Amy Przeworski, Ph.D., an associate professor in the department of psychological sciences at Case...

CWRU Psychology Clinic offers Pandemic Support Services

The CWRU Psychology Clinic has temporarily shifted to Pandemic Support Services in order to help anyone in need of help during the current coronavirus crisis. We are offering free telephone emotional support sessions to help people who have been adversely affected in one of several possible ways: ...

How the Coronavirus Is Influencing Children’s Play

Play is children’s language, and parents shouldn’t be concerned if the pandemic has been showing up in kids’ games lately. In the middle of a disaster—such as the current pandemic—many parents witness episodes like these. “It’s upended lives. It’s natural that it would be on their minds,” Sandra Russ,...

Undergraduates: Apply Now for the Hollander Capstone Research Award

This award honors a graduating senior for an outstanding capstone research project in the psychological sciences (Psychology or Communication Sciences). Dr. Edwin and Patricia Hollander contributed significantly to the field of psychological sciences. Criteria to be used to evaluate applications for the Hollander Capstone Research Award Applicants for this award must...