Psychology is the science of the mind. The human mind is the most complex machine on Earth. It is the source of all thought and behaviour.
But how can we study something as complex and mysterious as the mind? Even if we were to split open the skull of a willing volunteer and have a look inside, we would only see the grey matter of the brain. We cannot see someone thinking. Nor can we observe their emotions, or memories, or perceptions and dreams. So how do psychologists go about studying the mind?
Psychologists adopt a similar approach to scientists in other fields. Nuclear physicists interested in the structure of atoms cannot observe protons, electrons and neutrons directly. Instead, they predict how these elements should behave and devise experiments to confirm or refute their expectations.
In a similar way, psychologists use human behaviour as a clue to the workings of the mind. Although we cannot observe the mind directly, everything we do, think, feel and say is determined by the functioning of the mind. So psychologists take human behaviour as the raw data for testing their theories about how the mind works.
Psychology students explore a wide variety of topics, including Memory, Personality and Aggression. They have the opportunity to take part in experimental research, analyse case studies and watch psychology experiments being carried out. GCSE Psychology is a very useful course for anyone wishing to pursue a career working with people, such as
Teaching, Social Work, HR, Marketing or Business.
For more information please see Miss Hillier.