My Interest In Studying Psychology At University

Despite the rapidly evolving technological world around us, humans remain our most important asset. They are the initiators, driving force, and mind behind all developments and businesses. Therefore, a better understanding of behaviour and the way the mind works and more importantly, an application of this knowledge will, subsequently, benefit other areas in the business-oriented world. My interest in psychology stemmed from this concept.

As I began to translate my personal interest of human behaviour into academic knowledge during IB Psychology, other aspects of psychology such as the biological approach further intrigued me. Why do people behave so differently yet are genetically similar? The ongoing nature versus nurture debate, particularly concerning gender identity interests me since it is quite a relevant and controversial topic. After reading 'As Nature Raised Him' by J. Colapinto regarding the case of David Reimer's gender reassignment, I decided to base my extended essay on the biological and social influences on gender identity, allowing me to pursue this curiosity further. My interest in the biological side of psychology was enhanced when I volunteered at a special needs school earlier this year and had the opportunity to work closely with autistic children.

The experience was extremely valuable as I learnt a great deal about the disorder from teaching and observing the children in the class. This includes the learning disabilities they face such as communication and memory problems, as well as social difficulties. This experience expanded my knowledge of psychology outside of the classroom and allowed me to gain new practical skills that will be valuable to a psychology course. Business psychology is another area of psychology that fascinates me. Extensive knowledge of the way the mind works and human behaviour is becoming an increasingly invaluable resource as businesses are continually wanting to improve individual, group and organisational dynamics. I extended this curiosity by reading books such as 'Thinking, Fast and Slow' by D. Kahneman, which explains the way we think through two systems, and the effect thinking biases have on decision making. Living in four different countries around the world has exposed me to a variety of cultures, and the diverse ways people behave and interact with each other. For example, human behaviour in China tended to be much more community based as opposed to the UK, which placed a greater stress on the individual. Having first-hand exposure to these different ways of living amplified my curiosity for psychology and showed me the extent culture and language can shape our behaviour.

Additionally, I have enjoyed making a contribution to the school community. Aside from representing my school in the netball and cross-country teams, I was also selected to be a pastoral school prefect, which developed my leadership and communication skills. Outside of school, I have worked part-time in a clothing store, which has allowed me to develop my communication skills further. I have also been fortunate enough to do volunteer work. Recently, I went to Tanzania to help build goat sheds and show the villagers how to milk the goats. This was an incredibly eye-opening experience that taught me the about importance of sustainability as the locals were able to make an income from this knowledge through selling the milk. I am eager to embark on this degree and have the opportunity to develop my knowledge of the human mind as well as gain new skills for the future. I believe that my drive and motivation to learn will make this achievable while still allowing me to participate fully in university life.

18 May 2020
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