DU course profile: Open to students of all fields, psychology puts you in high demand in job market
The course embraces all major subfields such as cognitive psychology, statistics, biopsychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, clinical psychology, counselling psychology, organizational behaviour, and research methodology.education Updated: May 24, 2017 10:27 IST
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Lady Shri Ram College for Women
Many decades ago, when I joined psychology and everyone asked me “Why?” I couldn’t tell them that I was nosey, so I just said “people interest me”! On a more serious note, psychology is indeed one discipline that can provide both a better understanding of others’ behaviour as well as a pathway to self-understanding.
The word psychology is derived from the Greek word psyche, meaning ‘soul’ or ‘mind’. Psychology soon lost its soul (pun intended!) and is today recognised as the scientific study of the mind, brain and behaviour. It may be envisaged more as a series of fundamental questions about ourselves, trying to unravel the forces that are shaping the subjectivity and uniqueness of every individual. What it definitely is not is mind/face reading, common sense or some secrets to happy living. Beware of pseudo-psychologists who claim otherwise.
The course embraces all major subfields such as cognitive psychology, statistics, biopsychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, clinical psychology, counselling psychology, organizational behaviour, and research methodology. It has optional papers like psychology of health/peace/disability/youth/media/education/community, human resource management, emotional intelligence, cultural psychology and so on. A new addition in the CBCS syllabus is a strong practical component. Students are imparted a variety of skills such as conducting experiments, administering tests, making observations, interviewing, case analysis, developing intervention programs, time management, stress management, to name a few. Examples from real life, research, films and fiction are frequently drawn upon to make concepts come alive and resonate with students. This helps in developing a scientific temper, research aptitude, and emphasis on application to concerns such as road rage, bullying, body image, internet addiction, violence, conflict, etc.
Psychology is open to students from all backgrounds, although having studied psychology in school gives you an edge. Skills of introspection, critical thinking, empathy, self-insight, and awareness about psychosocial realities help you understand and appreciate psychology better. Psychology needs sensitive, thinking individuals, those who think outside the box and look at an issue from different standpoints
Public interest in the subject is at an all-time high, and work is aplenty in a variety of settings like hospitals, counselling centres, government organizations, NGOs, universities, schools, HR departments in MNCs, consulting firms, psychometric firms, trainers, defence, sports bodies, to name a few. Many psychologists are self-employed, usually working as private practitioners. In a globalised world, where individual well-being is the key driver for promoting sustainable development, psychology is an extremely pertinent subject that meets not just market demands but also societal needs.