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

Psychology researchers recruiting 7th through 12th graders to participate in paid video-platform creativity study!

Case Western Reserve University faculty member, Dr. Sandra Russ, PhD, and her graduate student, Alexis Lee, MA, in the Department of Psychological Sciences are seeking pre-adolescents and adolescents to take part in a research initiative looking at aspects of creativity. WHO? Young people in grades 7th through 12th both...

When playtime and COVID collide

The New York Times: Sandra Russ, Distinguished University Professor and the Louis D. Beaumont University Professor, discussed how children are incorporating COVID-19 in their pretend play. She said studies have shown children in pediatric hospitals who incorporate their experience into play—by performing “surgery” on their stuffed animals, for example—experience...

Register now: Understanding Suicidality and How to Help

This free (Zoom) talk, hosted by the Rocky River Public Library will cover common myths and facts about suicide, risk and protective factors, warning signs, and how to offer/seek help, including how to approach the conversation with someone you are worried about, a very brief overview of treatments, coping...

Letter to the College Community from Outgoing Interim Dean Sandra Russ

June 23, 2020 Dear Members of the College Community, Ten months ago, when I became interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, no one anticipated the challenges that the university, our nation and the world would be confronting at this moment. We mourn the tragic, continuing loss of life...

Participate in research: COVID-19 on OCD Symptoms and Parenting

Was your family impacted by the coronavirus? Are you or your child struggling with anxiety or depression about the coronavirus or social distancing? Help CWRU researchers learn more about the impact of the coronavirus on children, parents, and families. If you have a child ages 7-17 and have been...

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...