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A Career in Psychology

Are you often curious about why people behave the way they do, and what goes on in their minds? Psychology is the scientific study of human behaviour and the mind.

Psychologists apply scientific methods to describe and explain human behaviour, with the aim of improving well-being. Contrary to popular belief, they do not have the ability to read people’s minds. Students on an undergraduate psychology course will be exposed to various fields of psychology such as developmental psychology, social psychology, neuroscience, clinical psychology and psychometric testing. Graduates may then further their studies in a specialised area. There are various specialisations in psychology. Let’s take a look at several popular specialisations within psychology.

Educational Psychology

This specialisation is mainly concerned with the scientific study and application of human learning in educational settings. Researchers try to understand individual differences in a myriad of aspects, such as motivation, cognitive perspectives, development and intelligence. Ultimately, professionals in the
field aim to develop and enhance learning processes, in particular, instructional methods and design, classroom management and assessment.

Developmental Psychology

Do you often think back to when you were younger and wonder why you thought and acted the way you did? This area of psychology studies this exact process, particularly, how and why we develop over the course of our lives. More specifically, it is concerned with the psychological processes that influence our social, emotional and cognitive development. Researchers largely find solutions and causes to developmental disorders, such as autism, attention deficit disorder and dyslexia.

Clinical Psychology

Have you ever had days when you just didn’t feel like getting out of bed or doing anything at all? For most people, this is a normal occurrence, but it can be the tip of the iceberg of a mental or emotional problem for some. Clinical psychology focuses on diagnosing and treating mental, emotional and behavioural
disorders. Some common disorders include substance addiction, depression, and eating disorders. Find out more at the official website of The Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology (MSCP) at www.malaysiaclinicalpsychology.com.

Occupational Psychology

Psychologists in this area aims to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of an organisation by applying scientific concepts to improving employees’ motivation and job satisfaction levels. Professionals in the field work closely with management, human resources and training departments, among others. They aim to develop conducive work environments, assessment and selection processes, career development programmes and facilitate employee counseling. This area of psychology is considered broader and more informal compared to many other fields of psychology.

Counselling Psychology

Counselling psychologists deal with a wide range of everyday issues with the aim of helping people cope better with life. They diagnose the issues and work with individuals through various counselling techniques over several sessions. A counselling psychologist must be equipped with the necessary skills to deal with individuals of different personality types and issues.

The above are just some of the many specialisations within psychology; other areas of specialisation include cognitive, forensic, health, neuropsychology, psychometric testing and sports psychology. Postgraduate studies spanning between two and five years are necessary if you wish to specialise in a particular area. Graduates who do not wish to further their studies can find work in human resources and training, market research, and marketing among others. To discover more about the vast and deep field of psychology, visit the official website of the Malaysian Psychological Association at www.psima.org.my.

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