Psychology Personal Statement

People’s reactions to a situation are highly individual. This could be the result of a number of different causes ranging from social compliance, behavioural conditioning to cognitive dissonance.

Whilst growing up, I always reflected on the behaviour of the people around me and, in comparison, my own behaviour.

When I was not interacting with others, I spent a lot of my childhood evaluating other people’s interactions. I would watch how they would build relationships with each other and ponder why moods could change within a matter of seconds. Different psychological approaches offer different explanations which interests me endlessly.

This interest in discovering the impact someone’s own thoughts have on them, both psychologically and physically, means I spend a considerable amount of spare time researching cognitive psychology.

For example, I have been drawn to articles about cognitive neuroscience and Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, as well as cognitive therapies as a way of treating psychiatric disorders.

I study documentaries to gain an insight into the lives of people who suffer from complex psychological issues as I feel this helps me gain a broader understanding of psychopathology.

Stephen Fry's "The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive" inspired me to investigate further into bipolar disorder and other mood disorders. I am particularly interested in the link between mania and substantial creativity and how mental illness, on occasion, can become beneficial to an individual.

I am a hardworking and reliable student who enjoys learning and discussing subjects with others. Studying English Language & Literature has developed both my language and my analytical skills which I believe are very valuable and also can be applied to analysing the way someone’s mind works.

A recent theme in my Psychology course has been the constructed nature of diagnostic guidelines for psychiatric disorders which are ever changing.

Studying ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ in the first year of my English course has given me the skills to interpret character and symptoms of psychiatric disorders, as this play incorporates quite an explicit but complex link with mental illness, quite possibly bipolar disorder.

Studying English means I am comfortable with these ideas however also being aware of how a scientific approach is at the heart of psychology and I am keen to study psychology in this way.

At the end of my first year in psychology, I designed, conducted and reported my own investigation and thoroughly enjoyed this experience, and am looking for further opportunities of this type of research.

Psychology interests me in wider settings. At age 15, I spent two weeks gaining work experience at a youth centre that catered mainly to teenagers who were struggling with education or employment.

I had the opportunity to work with many young people of a similar age to me – some of these young people lived with learning disabilities.

I was able to gain experience interacting with a variety of personalities. I loved being able to speak to these young people and learn about their feelings and views, it was new and exciting to gain knowledge and insight from their perspectives.

I have also spent some time mentoring other high school students on revision and study techniques, as well as helping them choose the best path for them beyond secondary education.

From this I have developed valuable tutoring skills as well as being able to work individually with a person, understanding how they feel and what they feel they need to develop further.

I become more and more motivated each day to work hard and to succeed. The skills gained from my studies and experience as a volunteer and mentor mean that I am ready to take full advantage of the new opportunities in higher education that are ahead of me.

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Author's Comments

Completing my statement was extremely tedious and almost as stressful as my actual A Level exams, however, I was quite pleased with the end result. It is extremely helpful to comment on any extra reading you do that is related to your chosen subject as it shows you have a wider interest in the area you have applied for.

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