Can studying psychology help you in everyday life? Absolutely. Here are 8 ways that learning psychology benefits you personally.
We surveyed psychology graduates to find out the lifelong advantages from studying the subject at university. These top 8 benefits were identified. They can all help you in ordinary day-to-day life. And they can help you throughout your career – even if you don’t become a professional psychologist.
1. People Skills
Studying psychology, even in the online mode, gives you an edge when it comes to interactions with friends, family, co-workers, employers, and even in romantic relationships. You’re more likely to achieve harmony and mutual satisfaction.
Academic courses introduce important concepts and tools. You’ll soon find yourself putting the pieces together to better manage your own interpersonal interactions. Positive relationships are key to happiness, balance, and an overall better quality of life.
Remember, the field of psychology is dedicated to understanding and explaining human behavior – why we think, feel, and behave the way we do – and how life circumstances affect people. Delving into the motivations and intentions of others helps you build interpersonal skills. You do better when interacting with people in all kinds of situations.
2. Success Strategies
A further advantage is that you develop strategies for personal growth and success. These should be a product of your studies – if you were paying attention and relating your studies to personal life.
By learning psychology, you’re able to build a platform for personal growth and development. You naturally become more aware of your own thoughts and beliefs, how you see yourself, and how these cognitions influence your everyday life. You’re therefore better equipped to develop strategies and habits that lead you towards greater life success.
3. Personal Therapy
You might get over your terrible fear of clowns or spiders or something else after doing psychology studies. In fact, by learning about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), you gain a self-help tool to correct all sorts of negative thinking patterns. For example, you could use it to reduce anxiety.
CBT is an important therapy technique that you’re introduced to in psychology courses. With some practice, you can learn to apply CBA yourself when needed. Although bachelor-level psychology courses don’t go into depth on the treatment of disorders, you learn some basics about CBT and how it’s applied.
We all have negative thoughts from time to time. CBT focuses on replacing negative thoughts and reactions with more positive alternative thoughts and behaviours. CBT teaches that our thought processes shape the way we feel, behave, and even our relationships with others.
With time and practice, we can introduce and reinforce positive thoughts and response patterns. They eventually become an entrenched part of our cognitive repertoire. The benefits from improving thought processes can be enormous. It’s been shown that people who interpret their environment in a positive manner lead healthier and more successful lives.
4. Problem-Solving Skills
Your problem-solving skills are improved by studying psychology, meaning you’re better able to manage life circumstances, reach personal goals, and achieve success.
Studying psychology trains you to consider problems from different perspectives, which is vital for finding the most effective and beneficial solutions. Psychology teaches you to think about the way you think. This offers a great advantage when confronting life challenges and making decisions. You have a better chance of making choices in a thoughtful, considered manner that overcome any of the unwanted biases and habits that we all have.
5. Conceptual Reasoning
If you want to become a better thinker, studying psychology is a good way to do it. Being exposed to scientific principles in psychology helps you to think, question, and reason like a scientist. Your analytical and reasoning skills will be strengthened.
The learning process doesn’t just occur in the classroom. You’ll gradually begin to make observations and apply what you’ve learned in your interactions with others. This allows you to see and experience many of the theories of human behavior in real-world scenarios.
6. Communication Skills
Psychology graduates have good communication skills that can be applied in many situations. For example, you may have an improved sense of how to write a persuasive job application or how to effectively introduce yourself to a new group of people.
Better communication skills happen for two main reasons. One is that you get the opportunity to develop your writing and presentation skills through the course. Secondly, thinking like a psychologist helps you pitch your communications to get the kinds of responses you want. Graduates are often employed in marketing roles because of their ability to reach and influence an audience.
Here’s a great example: psychologist Jordan Peterson
7. Behavioural Training Skills
Learning psychology also offers an advantage as a behavioural trainer, whether you want to train your dog, child, spouse or even yourself.
Students come to understand how people and animals can learn (and unlearn) behaviors, including how fears are developed (or extinguished). These things happen through the processes of conditioning and/or reinforcement.
Studying psychology helps you understand why people run away when they see an insect, why our heart begins to race if we hear a loud noise, or why some people are afraid of flying or heights. At university or college, you’ll likely have at least one or two courses that introduce you to classical and operant conditioning. These are the two main processes that contribute to learning.
8. Memorisation Techniques
A further benefit of psychology, which may be handy when studying for an exam or work presentation, is knowing memorisation techniques.
Psychology courses teach students the process of acquiring and using memory, as well as techniques to enhance memory abilities. In a degree program, you’ll likely have at least one unit where you learn the neurological bases of memory, and ways to consolidate and retrieve memory.