Psychology Personal Statement
It was the odd behavioural traits displayed by my uncle, who has Asperger’s syndrome that first generated from a young age my questioning about why he acted so ‘differently’ to the rest of us.
This was part of what led to my interest of studying psychology, as it made me question how and why humans are so disparate from one another, and what part the brain plays in running our everyday lives.
As I began to study psychology at A level, it rapidly dawned on me how elements of it linked with my other studies.
For example in history, the question of why Hitler’s ‘charisma’ was so epidemic in convincing a majority of the German people to trust and follow him blindly, and in geography, we can ask why certain cultural regimes are seen as very controversial to other cultures.
One of my main interests involves psychology and its relationship with music. This originated from a summer research project on cognitive psychology, where I chose to research Clive Wearing.
It is fascinating that even though the disease Herpes Encephalitis damaged Wearing’s Hippocampus, and thus his short and long term memory encoding, he could still ‘remember’ how to play piano pieces he couldn’t technically recall.
I hope to develop greater understanding of this phenomenon through the cognitive and biological modules of the course; together with the diverse range of options within the degree providing me with an extensive range of other paths to discover, from evolutionary psychology linked with behavioural learning, to the theory of reverse-engineering brain functions.
I came across this theory in Steven Pinker’s book, ‘How the mind works’, and it opened my eyes to how studying the unordinary, is no match for thoroughly studying the ordinary that we take for granted everyday.
While in comprehensive school, I took part in work experience through Caerphilly County music department and spent time travelling to local schools, assisting with teaching the violin to primary and secondary school pupils.
From this I gained experience in how to work effectively with children and different kinds of people, and the opportunity arose within Trinity Fields School (special needs), to assist in teaching the violin to a boy with learning disabilities. I witnessed that creating music had a positive effect on his behaviour and concentration, and he showed much joy at being able to play.
In August, as part of my DoE silver award, I completed the three-day expedition after which we created presentations relating to our expedition experiences.
I chose to focus on how exertion and stress affected the members of the group, and how their emotions were impacted positively during the walk by factors such as talking or playing simple games.
I greatly enjoyed the practical experience of conducting and analysing my own research rather than relying solely on other lecture studies.
I consider myself to be an active individual, and have pursued many hobbies such as dance, drama, skiing and above all music, also relishing reading fiction, drawing and painting in any spare time that I have.
Despite these pursuits, I manage to keep on top of my academic work consistently and have advanced my musical talent as I play three instruments and sing to a high standard, all of which is indicative of my determination and perseverance towards what I enjoy.
Volunteering within the community and college is something that has given me useful experience in management and administration duties, having worked with a group of peers to co-ordinate a project on Bee conservation and meadowland development, which included responsibility for calculating expenses and contacting outside bodies.
I am enthusiastic towards both my academic and personal interests, and am always dedicated to completing the job to the highest standard.
I resolutely believe that obtaining a degree at your institution will give me the best opportunity to pursue a later career and a fuelled interest in the field of psychology.