Why Learn About Scientific Psychology?

I once had a psychology professor who asked my class why we were taking a psychology course. Our responses give the range of reasons that people want to learn about psychology:

  • To understand ourselves
  • To understand other people and groups
  • To be better able to influence others, for example, in socializing children or motivating employees
  • To learn how to better help others and improve the world, for example, by doing effective psychotherapy
  • To learn a skill that will lead to a profession such as being a social worker or a professor
  • To learn how to evaluate the research claims you hear or read about

Because it is interesting, challenging, and fun! People want to learn about psychology because this is exciting in itself, regardless of other positive outcomes it might have. Why do we see movies? Because they are fun and exciting, and we need no other reason. Thus, one good reason to study psychology is that it can be rewarding in itself.


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