Psy 3 discussion | Psychology homework help


Dunn & Halonen
The Psychology
Major’s Companion

Chapter 3: Should You Major

In Psychology?

Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences.
~J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter author

Chapter Objectives

Develop a rationale for majoring in psychology.

Determine if your personality is a good fit for psychology.

Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of this chapter, students should be able to:

Envision a future in psychology based on their preferences and values.

Defend the choice of a psychology major from detractors.

Describe side benefits associated with majoring in psychology.

Derive the story that explains the personal appeal of the major.

Recognize that some people who want to study psychology may not be well suited to the major.

Reflecting on Your Choice of Major

Psychology is a traditional liberal arts major.

Provides students with general knowledge rather than specific technical knowledge

Is similar to literature, math, history, philosophy, and other liberal arts subjects

Emphasizes critical thinking, reading, and writing, skills applicable to various settings

Measuring Up: Knowing Yourself (1 of 3)

What are your best features or skills?

Do you like interacting one on one or in groups?

What activities do you enjoy? Why?

Do you have activities you do when not studying or working?

Measuring Up: Knowing Yourself (2 of 3)

What would your perfect environment be?

Do you deal well with conflict?

What stresses you?

Do you prefer to work on small details or the “big picture”?

How do you define success?

Measuring Up: Knowing Yourself (3 of 3)

What is your life’s purpose?

What would you like to be known or remembered for?

What would you change to make the world a better place?

What is the one word you use to describe yourself?

Holland’s Trait Model of Career Choice

The model links personality qualities (e.g., interests, skills) to work settings.

People express their personalities, especially interests and values, in the work they choose.

Experiencing a good fit between personality and work setting leads to fulfillment and success.

Holland’s Trait Model: Six Personal Orientations







Holland’s Six Work Environments

Realistic – involve concrete physical tasks

Investigative – labs, scientific groups or teams

Artistic – performing or studio spaces, libraries

Social – medical, educational, religious settings

Enterprising – company, court, sale settings

Conventional – offices, banks, businesses

Know Your Motives (Meaning Versus Money)

Money does not buy happiness.

Happiness is not increased once annual income exceeds $75,000 per year.

Increased income leads to less leisure time and more responsibility.

Many majors work to find meaning—a sense of direction in life—rather than for money.

How Do You View Work?





Achieve a source of income to support life outside of work

Derive little satisfaction from what they do

Tend not to recommend their work to others

Live for the weekend, holidays, vacation, and retirement


Succeed in one position in order to move to the next one

Can have careers that can be interesting and challenging—or not

Are usually competitive, so they are always looking for the next move

Those with a Calling

See work as integral to a person’s life as it provides satisfaction, pleasure, identity

Love what they do and socialize with peers who do the same thing

Experience work as play—a source of meaning and purpose

Report feeling more satisfied than people with jobs or careers

Side Benefits of Majoring in Psychology (1 of 2)

Strengthens self-regulation abilities

Enhances leadership

Improves communication skills

Deepens empathy and understanding

Improves quality of decisions

Side Benefits of Majoring in Psychology (2 of 2)

Sharpens memory skills, improving grades

Strengthens financial management strategies

Promotes healthy behavior

What If Psychology Isn’t for You? (1 of 5)

Bad Psychology Major



They expect that all their courses will be dealing with therapeutic issues and are destined to be disappointed.

What If Psychology Isn’t for You? (2 of 5)

Bad Psychology Major



They dislike the basic science processes involved in research and interpreting behavior. They don’t like measurement and don’t see the need for statistics.

What If Psychology Isn’t for You? (3 of 5)

Bad Psychology Major



They don’t like reading expert opinion in research that helps to explain behavior and experience serious disadvantages in later courses.

What If Psychology Isn’t for You? (4 of 5)

Bad Psychology Major



They are not successful in other majors and may get encouragement to try psychology as an easy pathway to the degree.

What If Psychology Isn’t for You? (5 of 5)

Bad Psychology Major



They may enjoy their studies but don’t see the major as a pathway to any plan of significance for the future. They tend to be lackluster in their assignments.

When Psychology Isn’t for You

If the requirements of the major feel more like work, you might honorably consider a different direction.

If you want to be in the helping professions, consider education, social work, or nursing.


Psychology is a good choice as a major for those with good intentions, reasonable energy, and good self-discipline.

Choose psychology for the right reasons.

Discussion Questions

What goals and values underlie your choice of psychology?

What will you say to those who might try to dissuade you from majoring in psychology?

What will you do if psychology is not a good fit?

What are some reasons that psychology would be a good choice for you?

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