Top 12 things you must know about studying Cognitive Psychology!
Last Updated on October 5, 2021 by iSchoolConnect
Are you deeply interested in the human psyche? Do you think it’s fun observing people, picking on unsaid cues, and reading between the lines. If yes, this article will be a treat for you! It uncovers all the aspects of building a successful career in Cognitive Psychology.
Are you are a go-to person for your friends or family members when they want a genuine opinion on a problem they’re facing? Do they turn to you for answers and insights? If yes, then building a career in Cognitive Psychology might just be the right career choice for you. You can become a counselor, psychologist, therapist and we are going to tell you how.
Learn all about Cognitive Psychology in this article!
#1 What is Cognitive Psychology?
According to the American Psychological Association, Cognitive Psychology is a branch of Psychology that explores the operations of mental processes. They are related to perceiving, attending, thinking, language, and memory.
In simple terms, Cognitive Psychology is the science of how we think. Although it is a fairly young branch of Psychology, it has grown popular over the years.
Cognitive Psychology is used to help people with memory disorders, improve decision making, and more. It also helps those with brain injuries, treats learning disorders, and enhances the mind’s learning process.
Learning how people think and process information helps researchers delve deeper into the human mind. This, in turn, allows them to develop new methods to help them more efficiently.
In addition, this branch allows us to understand how people form, store, and recall memories. Understanding this work has also allowed psychologists to develop ways to improve memory and work around potential memory problems.
#2 What will I learn while studying Cognitive Psychology?
There are many areas of the cognition processes that make up the branch of Cognitive Psychology. Some of these processes include
- Knowledge representation
- Mental imagery
- Decision making, and
- Problem-solving cognitive development
Hence, the work of a cognitive psychologist is not limited to just one area. The focus is on different areas of the human mind and how it influences a person.
#3 What are the education requirements?
There are certain educational criteria that you must be complete to become a cognitive psychologist-
#4 Bachelors in Psychology
This is a 3 to 4-year-long undergraduate course that will help you understand and develop a strong foundation in Psychology. After completing a bachelor’s, you can choose to pursue a master’s degree to specialize in a certain field of Psychology.
However, these entry-level positions will not let you conduct independent research. Through a bachelor’s degree, you will be allowed to assist the lead researcher in collecting and analyzing data.
#5 Masters in Psychology
If you see yourself as a full-time practicing psychologist, then having a Master’s degree in Psychology is essential. This is a 2 to 3-year-long post-graduate course that will help you specialize in Psychology. Some subjects in the Master’s degree would be based on research.
However, getting a Master’s degree in Psychology will open more opportunities for you. Depending on your degree requirements, the course may last between 2 to 4 years. For a higher pay and deeper understanding of Cognitive Psychology, you will need a doctorate degree.
#6 Ph.D./Psy.D. in Psychology
This is a 2 to 4-year-long course completely based on research. This is certainly the most advanced degree in the field of Psychology. So if you want to become a clinical, counseling, or research psychologist, you’ll have to pursue a doctorate.
A Doctorate in Psychology lasts between 5 to 7 years and involves intensive research on certain aspects of Cognitive Psychology. If you want to work with clients in a clinical setting, you need to pursue a Ph.D. or a Psy.D. in addition to a one-year post-doctoral internship or residency.
The title of a cognitive psychologist will be given to you once you complete certain criteria. These criteria may include graduate and post-doctoral training, completion of internship programs, and also experience in Cognitive Psychology.
#7 Difference between a psychologist and a therapist?
Majority of people are not aware of the exact difference between a psychologist and a therapist. Let us help you out-
|Psychologists have an advanced degree in Psychology such as a Masters, Ph.D., or Psy.D., and are also licensed to conduct independent practices.||Therapists can have many degrees such as Masters, Ph.D., MD, or certificates in fields such as social work, family counseling, etc.|
|A psychologist is a social scientist who is trained to study human behavior and mental processes.||Therapists are trained and licensed to provide treatment and also rehabilitation for people.|
|They work in research or clinical settings.||They can be marriage counselors, social workers, psychoanalysts, life coaches, etc.|
|Their goal is to diagnose mental disorders or problems and determine what’s the best course of action for the person.||Their goal is to provide support and guidance and help the clients make decisions and clarify their feelings in order to solve problems.|
#8 What skills do I need to pursue Cognitive Psychology?
There are some key skills needed to pursue a career in Cognitive Psychology-
Genuine interest in others
This profession demands you to be curious about others, especially your clients. Observe ‘How they think, behave, and process information’ to treat them accurately.
Ability to introspect
Being a mental health professional comes with a possibility of losing touch with yourself. Hence, it is important for you to sit with your thoughts and organize them every once in a while.
Active listening skills
You should be an active listener to understand a client’s issue and provide the right help. Besides, only through listening will you validate them and get more insight into their psyche.
Creating a non-judgmental space is the first step towards being a psychologist. This, of course, comes when you learn how to empathize with others and don’t allow yourself to come in the way of their feelings and thoughts.
You must also have strong problem-solving skills to treat your clients. In addition, to understand what treatment will suit which person, you have to identify the challenges they’re facing and solve them.
Thinking critically allows you to distinguish between facts and biases. This further helps you to make the right decisions for yourself and your clients.
As we mentioned earlier, this profession comes with the possibility of losing a sense of self. Hence, it is essential to set clear boundaries between your work and your personal life.
To be successful in this field, you should also be able to organize research and perform tests when needed. These basic requirements demand good organizational skills.
#9 Which subjects will I learn?
If you go for a Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Psychology or any entry-level program, these are the subjects that you will learn-
- Introduction to psychology
- Psychological research
- Statistical methods for psychological research
- Understanding psychological disorders
- Social psychology
- Counseling psychology
- Industrial psychology
- Applied social psychology
- Developmental psychology
- Abnormal psychology
In addition, in your first year, you will learn the basics of Psychology and as the years go by, the complexity of what you learn will increase.
#10 Top universities offering Cognitive Psychology courses
Once you’re sure about building a career in Psychology, you can focus on choosing the right university to pursue it.
To help you get started, here’s a list of top universities that’ll help you build a career as a mental health professional-
- University College London (UCL)
- King’s College London
- University of Amsterdam
- The University of Edinburgh
- KU Leuven
- London School of Economics and Political Science
- Karolinska Institute
- Cardiff University
- Utrecht University
- University of Groningen
#11 Where will I be working?
Cognitive psychologists can focus on different aspects of the mind, after graduation. You can conduct applied research or do basic research on how human thought processes function. You can also work at government agencies, universities, corporate businesses, or even as a private consultant. Another avenue you can consider is conducting general research.
However, with more time and knowledge, you will focus on more specific areas of cognition. These might include memory learning disabilities, impairments of speech, and also becoming an expert in a certain field of cognitive research.
#12 What are the job opportunities?
As a psychologist, you can easily get a job in private and government sectors such as clinics, schools, universities, and hospitals. Europe, the USA, New Zealand, and Australia are popular countries to learn and build a career in Psychology.
These are the dominant careers you can pursue after completing your graduation or post-graduation in Psychology, –
- Research psychologist
- Educational psychologist
- Psychology professor
- Healthcare (work in hospitals & mental health clinics)
- Business (create marketing strategies, develop products, and also conduct research)
Now that you know what Cognitive Psychology is, are you willing to take that step and pursue it? If you find yourself stuck at any point in time, we are here to help.
And if there’s anything your brain needs to spurt, head on to the comments section!
Until next time!