Psychology Personal Statement

The internet, the telephone and the steam engine. All inventions derived from one of the most complex sources of knowledge on Earth, the human mind. Yet, whilst human beings innovate idea upon idea, one thing they struggle with most is solving the very source of these inventions. This inability to fully decode the human mind is the basis of my enthusiasm for psychology.

By studying psychology, I aim to contribute to the process of solving the puzzle that is human behaviour.

Studying English literature at A-level has helped me develop various skills that have complimented my study of psychology.

English has provided me with the analytical and writing skills needed to interpret and understand psychological phenomena. It has also allowed me to understand a breadth of subjects such as history and politics, studied in order to understand the context in which a novel was written.

I was particularly interested in the psychological interpretation of Heathcliff, in ‘Wuthering Heights’ as having an anti-social personality disorder.

Having taken part in a psychological experiment on adolescent sleep by Charlotte Harris, I decided to do my own research project about sleep. English aided the construction of this project, as it provided me with the research skills required for a deeper comprehension. I presented this at my school science fair at the end of the year.

Recently, I spent two weeks doing charity work at a Bosnian orphanage. There were many instances in which I had to take care of children who had mental health issues such as anxiety, ADHD and autism. This experience gave me the opportunity to observe the psychological influence war can have on children.

It also allowed me to get a taste as to the extent studying psychology could enable me to help people. Along with the various mental conditions the kids suffered from, there was also the difficulty of a language barrier.

Communicating effectively through this was a challenge, but these difficulties allowed me to find ways to communicate that ran deeper than just words spoken. I feel this will help me at university as communication is an essential skill required to work with my tutors and fellow students.

I also did work experience in “Addaction”, a drug and alcohol charity that deals with people trying to recover from an addiction. Here I shadowed a key worker as well as working at reception. I would argue that working at reception was perhaps more enlightening as I was able to meet people suffering from an addiction.

This helped me to understand and facilitate the needs of those that seemed distressed or angry by offering them help.

Recently having read David McRaney’s “You Are Not So Smart”, I was introduced to new concepts like “hindsight bias”, “priming” and “the Texas sharpshooter fallacy”. McRaney’s book gave me great awareness in regards to my own thought processes.

The Texas sharpshooter fallacy in particular, taught me that evolutionarily, we are designed to find patterns in things, and that there aren’t really any “coincidences”.

There are times when I catch myself in the midst of such phenomena, but now I am self-aware. This is something I wish to expand on, getting to know my own mind, as well as others. Priming was something I wrote about on my psychology blog “astudyofthemind.weebly.com”.

In my spare time, I enjoy writing stories, ranging from children’s stories to young adult fiction.

I am also a member of my school rowing team, and enjoy acting and theatre, having obtained a silver arts award for my performance in the ‘Shakespeare Schools Festival’. I am also the winner of this year's ‘Gold Award’ in Government and Politics.

Throughout my school life, I have taken on many leadership roles, from being a student ambassador and member of the youth council, to the role of prefect in sixth form.

I am a self-motivated and resilient student, and believe that the skills I have, have made me a suitable candidate for university life.

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