Simply put, psychology is the scientific study of mind and behavior.
Psychology arose over a century ago as scientists became interested in applying the methods of science to understand basic questions about how the human mind works. Early psychologists were interested in studying consciousness and perception, and understanding the brain in much the way medical doctors understood organs like the heart or lungs. What they discovered was a complex, fascinating web of factors that produces human emotion, consciousness, thoughts and cognition -- and that shapes the way humans live in their everyday lives.
Today, those who study psychology go on to perform a wide variety of career functions, and focus their interests at a wide range of topics. This means that psychology encompasses a very wide range of specialties and subspecialties: from clinical psychology, social psychology, and developmental psychology, to neuroscience and industrial/organizational psychology.
Some people gain scientific education in psychology so that they can become licensed care providers in a mental health setting. Others spend their careers creating new research and conducting experiments to further expand our understandings in psychology. Some go on to work in clinical settings with people who experience extreme psychological symptoms, working together in a medical team helping improve the quality of life for those dealing with such issues. Others go on to use their psychological knowledge in academic settings, either as guidance or school counselors, or by teaching psychology themselves. And, like some of our faculty at QCC, many who study psychology will combine a variety of these job functions, allowing for a flexibility in one’s career through the ability to fulfill multiple interests.
Whatever your particular interests and future goals might be, if you are fascinated with the way the human brain works in making us the people we are, studying psychology may be the path for you.
Learn more about studying psychology at QCC.