Get Psyched: 10 Blogs for Psychology Students
Lucy van Pelt of the Peanuts comic strip was not the only person to have an interest in helping others with their problems. Although she offered psychiatric help at 5 cents a pop, psychologists today can offer more than just a chair and an hour of client face time.
There are many career options available to students pursuing an online college degree in psychology. Clinical psychology, while the most familiar, is just one branch of study; others include school psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, and marriage and family therapy.
Below, we have compiled a list of 10 psychology blogs that most students in the field can be psyched about. For those who are just beginning to study psychology or those who simply have an interest in it, these blogs can provide insight into the field.
Pull up a chair: 10 must-read psychology blogs
Research Digest: Blogging on brain and behaviour. Want to find out what children think of people who wear glasses or why teens should do music lessons or sports in the late evening? Check out this blog, compiled by The British Psychological Society. You'll find well-written posts summarizing the latest academic research as well as links to interesting psychology news.
Mind Hacks. This blog, inspired by Tom Stafford and Matt Webb's book Mind Hacks, provides tricks, tips and insights to help one to gain a better understanding of what goes on in the brain. The blogger discusses a range of eclectic topics, including lightning-induced hallucinations and a "renegade" psychologist who claimed that the practice of psychology restricts patients' freedom.
PsychCentral: Learn. Share. Grow. PsychCentral hosts a variety of blogs, which discuss psychological topics that could be useful for anyone to know. For example, one blogger answers the question, "Can Refusing To Give a Compliment Be an Act of Love?" Another asks, "What Drives Our Need for Approval?" To find out the answers to these and other intriguing psychological questions, check out the PsychCentral Blog.
The Situationist. Want to find out how to be even happier? Then check out the TED video posted in one blog post. It enumerates the benefits of spending money not just on your family and friends, but also on your co-workers and even the other players on your dodgeball team. Other blog posts, brought to you by The Situationist Staff (those at The Project on Law and Mind Sciences at Harvard Law School), discuss the effects of various situational forces, such as money and religious beliefs, and aim to appeal to a wide audience, including scholars, students, lawyers, policymakers, and individuals simply interested in the subject matters discussed.
The Neurocritic. The blogger, who calls himself "The Neurocritic," analyzes "sensationalistic" news in human brain imaging, cognitive neuroscience, and psychopharmacology. One post, for example, reveals that listening to complainers can actually induce one to also adopt that same negative mindset, while another post discusses masks that actors in traditional Japanese theater wear to convey facial expressions. Readers interested in these and other neurological matters should definitely peruse The Neurocritic.
PsyBlog: Understand your mind. This blog, as the name suggests, is all about understanding how the human mind works. Jeremy Dean, a UK researcher working towards his PhD, blogs about various scientific studies on this matter, including a 2012 study that shows that TV can help increase one's sense of belonging and help to restore self-control. PsyBlog is full of useful information regarding everything from television to the resilience of society to change. Whether you're looking for ways to fight excessive doubt, break through a mental block, or enhance your memory post-reading, you may be at just the right blog.
The Daily Brain. Ever wonder why jerks seem to get ahead, or why you just can't sit still in long meetings? David DiSalvo, science writer and public education specialist, takes a poke at both of these topics on his blog. DiSalvo, author of What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite, also posts other interesting queries on his site, recently including "What is your DNA Worth?" and "What Makes Presidents and Psychopaths Similar?"
The Mouse Trap. Psychologists study children's personalities through the framework of temperaments. Sandeep Gautam, author of this blog, explores the six commonly-established temperaments on a recent post and adds two of his own. Although not a professional psychologist, Gautam, a software professional, says he has spent thousands of hours reading about emotions, motivation and positive psychology. His blog posts are sure to leave an indelible mark.
The W Blog. In this blog, Dr. Susan Weinschenk, a behavioral psychologist specializing in psychology in the workplace, offers advice to professionals and insight into the human mind. For example, one post details how a successful presentation should include a call to action to structure the rest of the presentation. Another post reveals that when making purchasing decisions, consumers tend to select the first product they see.
The Evolutionary Psychology Blog. Robert Kurzban, an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania, discusses papers and studies on psychological topics, often human behavior. In one post, for example, he examines a recent Danish study about whether people who had not yet eaten lunch were more pro-welfare than those who had -- the study seemed to suggest that this was so. In another post, he delves into the sex differences in jealousy. To learn more about these and other intriguing studies in human behavior, be sure to check out Kurzban's "Evolutionary Psychology Blog."
Making it work for you
Whether you're working your way through college or already in your first professional job, psychology can be a rewarding career. As the blogs discussed above show, there are so many different subject areas within psychology that it's not hard to find at least one of interest.