Welcome to Psychology!
The discipline of psychology is the scientific study of human behavior and mental processes. As such, it overlaps and integrates a wide range of topics from the natural, cognitive, and social sciences. This includes subjects at micro levels of analysis like the structure and function of the brain and sensation and perception to those at more macro levels of analysis such as human behavior in groups.
Psychologists do basic and applied research on both normal and abnormal thoughts and behavior. They examine motives from the physiological to social, including religious and spiritual motives. They investigate memory, language acquisition and production, problem solving, and the effects of "nature and nurture" on behavior. They study social cognition--our beliefs, attitudes, and attributions about other people's behaviors--and other social influences, such as how the presence of other people affects our behavior. Research in psychology can also overlap with that in computer science, mathematics, biology, chemistry, and other natural sciences. Emerging fields such as neuroscience and cognitive science represent such interdisciplinary alliances.
Psychologists also work in applied areas like industrial/organizational psychology, marketing, military, and media psychology. Others specialize in the intersection between the law and psychology. Still others work in areas such as school psychology, health psychology, rehabilitation psychology, educational psychology, and community, clinical, or counseling psychology.
This listing is just a quick glimpse into the world of psychology. If people engage in a behavior, psychologists probably study it! At Westmont, you will learn about many of these areas of psychology in the courses that are offered. Use the links under "Planning your Major or Minor" to see what this might involve. Talk to a psychology professor about being a major or minor in psychology. Investigate the careers that are possible with a psychology major and some of the graduate schools and programs our majors have attended by selecting the links under "After Westmont."
Psychology is a fascinating world, and we hope that you decide that it is for you.
Westmont's Psychology Program