Psychology Personal Statement

During my time at school I have been fascinated above all else by human history and human psychology. Both are concerned with human behaviour, but unlike history, psychology has a range of applications beyond the academy: in sports; education; health; social behaviour; organisational behaviour; group dynamics and individual cognitive behaviour to name but a few.

While, like history, it contains enormous intellectual fascination, psychology does not merely formulate theories about past behaviour but is predictive and can help us live a better future.

It holds open the prospect not merely of looking at human behaviour from the outside, but of testing theories about what really makes people tick and how best they can adapt to the circumstances of their lives.

My love of Psychology was further enhanced when conducting my own experiment as part of a course extension research project. My experiment involved an online questionnaire based on an idea I had after reading about Kohlberg and Gilligan's theories on the stages of moral development.

These theories, which aim to explain how a person's moral reasoning changes as they age, were based on experiments in which the participants were told a story about a character and his dilemma.

The participants were asked to make a choice in response to a specific moral dilemma presented in the story, after which they answered a series of questions to explain why they made that choice. My experiment was designed to test the hypothesis that a person's moral reasoning is affected by the presence of an authority figure.

Initially, the outcome of the experiment interested me because it revealed differences between the behaviours of students depending on age, as Kohlberg and Gilligan suggested.

However, I then realised that the same behaviours could also be explained in a variety of different ways depending upon the theory being applied.

The behaviourist approach, for example, would argue that differences are explained by the extent to which an authority figure is a conditioning factor; the social learning theory by the extent to which an authority figure is a role model; the psychodynamic approach by the extent to which an authority figure, such as a parent during upbringing, affects the balance between the id and super-ego.

But in any case, it is this diversity that makes psychology so interesting: the ability to present multiple explanations for the same set of behaviours allows for an amazing array of solutions and ideas.

During the last two years I have developed my research skills while conducting my private Investigation for history and from my time spent writing articles at SAP Hybris. These experiences have also helped me develop my report writing skills, which have undoubtedly better prepared me for the research methods element of the psychology undergraduate course.

Moreover, I believe my time spent at my school's Combined Cadet Force, as well as my time helping at the Marie Curie Hospice, has allowed me to improve my teamwork and communication skills.

I have also conducted a field observation with a partner, which has further developed my interpersonal skills. In addition, outside of School I have spent time learning how to programme in Python and playing Squash regularly.

All in all, I believe I have the academic, social and extracurricular experiences to date to prepare me for the undergraduate degree in psychology.

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Author's Comments

In hindsight the first paragraph may have been a little too pretentious but hey, I got offers from all my unis so it did the job

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