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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.

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Undergraduate Psychology News and Highlights

Grover C. Gilmore retires after 20 years as Mandel School dean and 46 years at CWRU

When Grover “Cleve” Gilmore agreed to lead the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences in 2002, his appointment was intended to last only a year. Now, after a 20-year tenure as dean of the highly ranked social work school, he will retire June 30. Gilmore’s leadership...

New course addition! PSCL 333: Early Intervention I: Theories and Practice

Are you interested in making a difference in young children's lives?  PSCL 333: Early Intervention I: Theories and Practice (Wednesdays, 8-10:30am) is an exciting newly cross-listed course in the Department of Psychological Sciences offered during Fall 2021. In this seminar-based class, undergraduate students will have an opportunity to learn alongside...

10 myths about the mind

Psychology Today: Brooke Macnamara, an associate professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at the College of Arts and Sciences, discussed her research examining more than 80 studies of performance across domains—including sports, music and education—which found that deliberate practice accounted for at most about a quarter of performance...

Congratulations to PSSC undergad winners of the spring 2021 Schubert@Intersections research competition!

The Schubert Center has selected the winners of the spring 2021 Schubert@Intersections research competition, which recognizes undergraduate projects focused on children and adolescents. The following PSSC students were recognized for their research: First place: Anna Marie Giubileo for “ACEs & Adulthood: How Adverse Childhood Experiences Impact Individuals Later in Life” ...

You don’t need ‘natural talent’ to be good at something says Brooke Macnamara

Medium: Brooke Macnamara, an associate professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at the College of Arts and Sciences, is cited for her research into the extent that practice of activities contributes to excellence and expertise. Read the article here: https://medium.com/moments-matter/you-dont-need-natural-talent-to-be-good-at-something-51e9165e04ac  

How to find a mental health therapist who’s affordable, nearby and a good fit for you: Coping through COVID

The Case Western Reserve Psychology Clinic at the College of Arts and Sciences was highlighted regarding services available to Northeast Ohioans for coping with stress caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Read the entire article here: https://www.cleveland.com/coronavirus/2021/01/how-to-find-a-mental-health-therapist-whos-affordable-nearby-and-a-good-fit-for-you-coping-through-covid.html  

Research Participants Needed: Experiences of Trans*, Gender Fluid, Genderqueer, and Gender Non-Conforming Adults

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University are conducting an online study of the experiences of transgender, gender non-binary, genderqueer, gender nonconforming, and gender fluid adults. The study involves completing online questionnaires about your experiences and emotions. In order to complete it, you must be at least 18 years of...

Your child may mention COVID-19 during playtime. Experts say that’s OK

Deseret News: Sandra Russ, Distinguished University Professor and the Louis D. Beaumont University Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at the College of Arts and Sciences, said that incorporating COVID-19 into children’s playtime can actually be beneficial—as a healthy way for young ones to cope with the pandemic. Read...

Graduate Student Silvia Hernandez quoted in New York Times

Finding Hope When Things Feel Gloomy In analyzing dozens of studies on brief hope interventions in older adults, Silvia Hernandez, a doctoral candidate at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, said cognitive behavioral therapies can significantly improve hope in people struggling with depression, health and bereavement. “We know that if...