Western Kentucky University

Psychological Sciences

What is Psychology?

According to the American Psychological Association, "Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. The discipline embraces all of the human experience--from the functions of the brain to the actions of nations, from child development to care for the aged. In every conceivable setting from scientific research centers to mental healthcare services." 

What is Psychological Science?

There are many facets to Psychology. Some psychologists use science to further psychological knowledge and some apply psychological principles to analyze, improve or measure behavior. Psychological science is the use of the scientific method to create, test and improve hypotheses concerning behavior and the factors and processes underlying behavior. Advances can be motivated by a desire to understand behavior at a basic level or to by a desire to apply scientifically supported methods to the vast range of topics related to human behavior (e.g., child development, aging, behavior within an organization, clinical populations and more). Underlying both the basic and applied research of Psychological Science is a fundamental reliance on the scientific approach.

Why Major In Psychological Science? 

Students who major in Psychological Science develop many skills that help them in their future careers. Because psychology is the science of behavior, psychological science students learn a great deal about working effectively with other people, but they also learn to think logically and rationally. 

Some careers in psychology require advanced degrees. An important step towards getting an advanced degree is building a strong, broad knowledge of Psychology. By looking at the content covered in GRE Psychology subject test, you can get a good understanding of how to best prepare yourself for the GRE Psychology test and graduate studies in Psychology. Majoring in Psychological Science can prepare you for graduate school, but these skills can also help you succeed in the workforce. Understanding how people typically behave and the factors influence behavior are an asset in most jobs. Other skills that undergraduate students in Psychological Science develop are critical thinking skills, working effectively in diverse organizations, and using and interpreting data. Students who obtain a degree in Psychology find jobs that are in "administrative support, public affairs, education, business, sales, service industries, health, the biological sciences and computer programming. They might also work as employment counselors, correction counselor trainees, interviewers, personnel analysts, probation officers and writers." (American Psychological Association, website). 

Please see our BS in Psychological Science webpage for more information on the major. 

For more information on why to major in Psychological Science, please see a recent article from "Psychology Today." 

Why Become A Psychologist?

Psychology includes many sub-fields, ranging from more applied areas such as Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Clinical Psychology, to more basic areas of Psychology, such as Experimental Psychology and Physiological Psychology. The faculty in the Department of Psychological Sciences represent a wide variety of Psychology sub-disciplines. If you are interested in observing, explaining, and optimizing the human condition, you should consider becoming a Psychologist. 

For more information on specific areas of Psychology, please see the American Psychological Association's information on careers in Psychology

Some careers in Psychology require a postgraduate degree. If you are interested in pursuing one of these careers, you might be interested in some general information on applying to graduate school in Psychology


American Psychological Association (website). http://www.apa.org/careers/resources/guides/careers.aspx


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 Last Modified 8/5/14