5 Myths About Psychology. Check out Aventis’s Psychology and Counselling Programmes!

December 08, 2021

5 Myths About Psychology. Check out Aventis’s Psychology and Counselling Programmes!

Considering taking up a psychology and counselling course? Check out Aventis’s courses here. Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and behavior.

It’s a fascinating and varied subject that encompasses everything from theories of effective leadership and interpersonal attraction to the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders. This variation means that it’s very difficult to provide a single definition of what a psychologist is and what exactly it is that they do.

There are many types of psychology, and therefore there are many types of psychologists.

You’ve heard that saying that we only use 10% of our brains, right? It’s actually a myth! Or how about the one where listening to classical music makes you smarter? Nope. It’s a myth.

If you’re considering enrolling in a psychology program, here are a few key pieces of information that will help you make a more informed decision. On August 1, 2010, this entry was published.

Here are a few of the most common myths we hear on a regular basis:

Psychologists can read minds

When you tell people you study psychology, no matter who they are or where they come from, their first response is always ‘So you can read people’s minds!’ or ‘Can you tell me what I am thinking?’ But that is not the case. Psychology is the study of the mind and how people interact in society. No psychologist will ever claim that they can mind read. For some reason (possibly the popularity of TV “mentalists” like Derren Brown), many people associate psychology with intuition or the reading of body language.

The reality is very different. Psychologists are either research scientists or evidence-based practitioners (more on this distinction below), not magicians or performers! Although they seek to develop, test, and apply theories that explain human behaviour, they don’t have a supernatural ability to read minds. In truth, nobody does!

A psychologist is the same as A Psychiatry

A graduate with a psychology degree is called a psychologist. However, a psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in psychiatry. Psychologists are not called doctors unless they complete a PhD and they focus on psychotherapy as compared to psychiatrists, who diagnose and help manage mental illnesses through a range of therapies like pharmacotherapy.

Psychologists work only in hospitals

It is a common misconception that a psychologist can only be found in a clinical setting. While many psychologists are practitioners (a practitioner is someone who “practices” a particular discipline or profession, meaning that they apply psychological principles to help individuals or groups in a real-world context), many are better characterised as researchers.

Research psychologists are often employed in academic settings like universities, where they combine research with teaching in their domain of expertise.

Some research psychologists are also employed in the private sector, where their role often overlaps with that of the practitioner. For example, psychologists work in prisons, intelligence agencies, schools, sports, counseling services, rehabilitation centers, human resources (HR) departments, and industrial sectors in addition to hospitals. Research and teaching careers are also very common.

There aren’t any statistics in Psychology

Students tend to assume that psychology is an “essay-based” subject and hence doesn’t involve much mathematics.

Unfortunately, this isn’t true.

One reason you might be surprised to know that psychology also involves mathematics and statistics is that psychology is so often associated with qualitative things like emotions and feelings. While some types of psychologists do engage in qualitative research, the majority (both practitioners and researchers) take a quantitative approach, meaning that they gather numeric data and analyze it in order to make decisions and derive insight.

Statistics are particularly useful in this regard.

While you don’t have to be a maths genius to study psychology, it is important to go in with your eyes open so that you’re receptive to acquiring new analytic skills. You need to master one or more statistical software like Excel, SPSS, or Jamovi to analyze the quantitative data and eventually deduce results in research projects. Statistics allow psychologists to present data in ways that are easier to comprehend, such as using graphs, pie charts, and scatter plots. These will be highly prized by any future employer, inside or outside of the field of psychology.

Psychology isn’t a science

It is commonly heard that psychology is not real science. Psychology indeed has its fair share of pseudoscience. However, it does take a scientific approach and uses empirical methods to understand human behaviour. Psychologists use both qualitative research methods such as interviews and focus groups as well as quantitative research methods such as questionnaires and surveys to understand various behavioral and cognitive processes.

Students are often drawn to psychology and related disciplines because they are interested in people.

If you’re truly curious about what makes people tick and why they behave the way that they do, studying psychology empowers you with the tools to really understand and predict human behavior, using reliable evidence rather than relying on guesswork and intuition.

The postgraduate Psychology programmes offered by the Aventis School of Management are registered with the Singapore government authority for Private Education (CPE). We are also a member of the International Association for Counselling (IAC).

Speak to our programme consultants now to know more about our programmes. 

Check out our other article, Mental Health Management – Why Are People Still Reluctant to Seek Help?





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