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Applied psychology: More than just face reading

delhi Updated: Jun 08, 2010 00:16 IST

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Anita Kant
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
Vivekananda College

Applied psychology is not ‘face reading,’ as is generally thought. Psychology is the science of human and animal behaviour, including the application of the science to human problems.

The course is the study of the particular strains of psychology that are necessary and can be used in the real-world situations.

The course aims to equip students with knowledge of the issues involved in the study of psychology; give students a firm background in the basic principles of psychological research, design and methodology; and to develop flexibility of thought and the use of problem-solving approaches.

Being a specialised course, many career options open up with higher studies such as psychologists in clinical, educational, school, community, social or the industrial model.

As far as the curriculum is concerned, there is emphasis on practical work, development of research skills and an extensive training programme, along with a field setup relevant to certain areas such as counselling, clinical, social and industrial/organisational psychology.

Students are encouraged to develop the skills appropriate for a wide range of research techniques including the design and analysis of experiments; psychological testing in the areas of intelligence, aptitude, personality, interest etc; the use of statistical techniques and observational and interview techniques along with the dynamics of interpersonal relationships.

Students possessing a scientific temperament; a desire to learn more about human nature; statistical and reasoning abilities; and effective communication skills are most likely to extract the best from this course.

This course not only enables students towards developing a critical understanding of the discipline but also enhances the understanding of their own self which results in personal growth and sensitivity towards others.