• Question: what does a Psychologist do

    Asked by bazzinga to Pete on 24 Apr 2012.
    • Photo: Pete Etchells

      Pete Etchells answered on 24 Apr 2012:

      Hi bazzinga, thanks for the question! ‘Psychologist’ is a bit of a broad term, really – you can be called a Psychologist and do lots of different things. Very generally, Psychologists are interested in how the brain works, and how that knowledge can be applied to a particular problem. For example, I’m a vision Psychologist, because my research mainly involves understanding how people make sense of the things that they see. For example, at the minute I’m look at how you figure out what a person’s personality is like just from the way they walk. But other Psychologists in my department are interested in things like:-

      – Understanding how people make decisions
      – Figuring out how we understand speech so easily, plus how the brain makes sense of language.
      – Using scanning machines to see how the brain works.
      – Understanding how the brain changes and develops when you’re a child growing up.
      – Understanding why people act the way they do when they’re in groups.

      And lots more! But there are other types of Psychologist too; for example Clinical Psychologists help people who have been in car crashes and have damaged their brain to get better, or they might be involved in helping people who have mental health difficulties. Occupational Psychologists help to train people who work in companies, so that they are happier and better at their work. Sports psychologists study how different types of mental and physical factors affect the performance of athletes, and help to train them to become better.

      That’s just some of the things Psychologists do, I hope that gives you an idea of how cool the subject is!