Psychology Personal Statement
Psychology intrigues me because it draws upon an eclectic range of sciences including sociology, biology and physics in order to contribute tentative clues to questions that perennially beset us as a social species.
I was recently inspired by a lecture of Pulitzer-Prize winning author Ron Suskind as he presented the story of his ASD-affected son Owen, who began to lose his speech at the age of three, but established a pathway to his father through immersion in the Disney universe.
I was amazed and wondered if one might from this incident infer the basis of a more general therapy. I later found that affinity therapy is already being actively studied by researchers from MIT, Yale, and Cambridge, who are trying to unfold the underlying impact on neurological processes when a therapeutic construct is built around a child's deepest affinity.
I ponder how to design experiments that can draw objective and reliable information from such serendipitous occurrences. Leading researchers are currently evaluating fMRIs performed on different test groups exposed to affinity therapy to clarify the route through which an obsession, such as Owen's, can act as a link to the outside world.
I find it instructive that the history of cognitive psychology and neuroscience, and the constant refutations of theories posed by them, typifies how the methods of acquiring valid knowledge in these fields have evolved. One may take for example how phrenologic pseudoscience, its entirely false and unscientific concept notwithstanding, nonetheless contributed to Fodor's notion of the modularity of mind.
Such notion that paved the way for advanced and modern neurological diagnostic procedures, like the brain-scanning technology used for the scientific dissection of Owen's story. This rapid evolution of the subject, advanced by ongoing Popperian methodological falsification, is what inspires me to dedicate my academic career to the research of mind and brain.
I was awarded the Heinrich Neuy Abitur graduate prize given to students with self-sustained motivation and academic potential.
My interest in psychology was fostered by having biological and educational studies as my Abitur subjects but, as secondary education is inevitably limited in its scope, I desired to deepen my grasp of the subject.
For instance, I read APA publications such as a thought-provoking article that touched on the issue of how the majority of leading researchers in psychiatry are redefining mental disorders as brain disorders, although general paresis remains at present the only neuropsychiatric disease empirically linked to a brain dysfunction.
Though I take great interest in neuroscience, it is intriguing to consider the extent to which brain-imaging techniques such as described above are legitimate psychiatric tools.
In my free time, I audit online lectures of acclaimed universities to experience how psychology is taught at an advanced academic level. For relaxation, I enjoy playing chess in a local club.
Currently, I am a full-time volunteer at a non-profit organisation in the USA. I regularly visit thirty elderly with low income and no family support to counterbalance the social isolation and loneliness prevalent among them. Furthermore, I organise social events that we provide to our elderly throughout the year.
This experience has opened my eyes in that the individual socio-cultural differences among humans are now more apparent to me than ever, as a result of interacting with people from various backgrounds such as with victims of sexual abuse and substance addiction.
This work has enabled me to interact and communicate effectively with people in a variety of settings.
Finally, my active interest in foreign languages prompted me to take the Cambridge Advanced English exam, in which I scored 208 out of 210 points (Grade A). In closing, I look forward not only look to meeting the challenges offered by this degree but also to making a valuable contribution to society.
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Applied to St. Andrews, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Strathclyde. Strathclyde is the only one who answered and they rejected me.
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