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General Psychology is one of the most popular elective course for first- and second-year college students. It is available as an Advanced Placement (AP) elective in many high schools, and the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) sponsors a General Psychology exam that allows anyone to earn college credit for the subject.

For most high school and college students, General Psychology will be their only exposure to the subject--but why is General Psychology so popular? Of course there is the basic knowledge of the human mind, nervous system, and behavior. Those topics help us have a better understanding, or at least a better appreciation, for world events that touch upon some of the principles of psychology.

The real value of a course in General Psychology lies More ...




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PERSPECTIVE

So, What's the Big Deal with Studying General Psychology?

General Psychology is very popular elective course for first- and second-year college students. It is available as an Advanced Placement (AP) elective in many high schools and the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) sponsors a General Psychology exam that allows anyone to earn college credit for the subject?

For most high school and college students, General Psychology will be their only exposure to the subject.

But why is General Psychology so popular? Of course there is the basic knowledge of the human mind, nervous system, and behavior. Those topics help us have a better understanding, or at least a better appreciation, for world events that touch upon some of the principles of psychology.

The real value of a course in General Psychology lies its covering a wide range of topics that go far beyond the boundaries of psychology. Here is what that means:

Most general psych courses begin with the history of psychology. Now who really cares about who did what and when the did it? But "why" they did and what they had to go through to do it--now that has some meaning. And it applies to virtually every academic discipline on the planet.

The second topic in General Psychology is usually the research methods. Let's imagine you are a graphics arts major and you take psych as one of your required electives. Where else in your college experience will you be exposed to the discipline of the scientific method and research protocols? This demonstrates how to recognize a problem, design a plan for digging up information, evaluating that information, applying a big dose of critical thinking, and putting together in an intelligible document.

In short, General Psychology successfully blends with just about any other academic and  career discipline. Not because you need to "psych people out," but because Gen Psych is a suitable wrapper for a number of valuable learning and performance traits that apply virtually everywhere.

General Psychology has to top your list of study options, whether you are involved in a traditional course or exploring education with free-ed.net.

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I "majored" in psychology for a couple of years through my early college yers. I started with the usual misperceptions--you know, like learning how to spook my friends by figuring out what they are thinking. Frankly, the only reason I got into university psychology was that my initial choice of studies (physics and mathematics) was seriously interfering with my social life. Psych sounded simpler. Well, I found it was quite different from physics, as I had expected; but not as dumbed-down simple as I had imagined. But I never finished college, anyway. That was a handful of decades ago.

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OPINION

One of the most tragic misconceptions about college and carrier these days is that the name of  your college major must closely resemble the name of your lifetime career. That is so widely believed, yet so untrue.

A common example of this short-sighted belief can be illustrated this way:

What good is a bachelor's degree in psychology? You aren't qualified to do any clinical psychology, industrial psychology, or any teaching of psychology. You need at least a master's degree.

Yes, it is true that a BSc in psychology doesn't qualify a person to do any job that has "psychology" in it title. But it opens to door to a huge number and variety of entry-level careers. Excluding science, engineering, and construction trades, your BSc in psychology can really work for you. Take your pick:  government service, business administration, entrepreneurial ventures, sports agency and administration, publishing, entertainment agency and administration, ...  Just go through the entire list of subjects offered by Free-Ed.Net, and you will find any number of disciplines that can be blended with a degree in psychology to create some awesome career descriptions.

If you are uncertain about your choice of a college major, Psychology is a four-star choice for launching a career (that probably will not have "psychology" in the name).

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David L. Heiserman, Editor

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All Rights Reserved

Revised: June 06, 2015