Psychology Misconceptions: What to Know Before Pursuing a Degree

Artistic Painting of the human brain

People’s view on psychology as a field is invariably riddled with misconceptions. One of the most ingrained misperceptions is the fear that psychology will force the subject to take on beliefs they don’t want to.

This view is so prevalent that for professor and head of the psychology department at Florida National University, Dr. José Pérez, the challenge for him when teaching psychology is to explain “and really make students understand what psychology really is.”

Whenever we hear misconceptions, we tend to agree with them due to some cognitive bias. Problems arise in academia and the world when we hold on to misconceptions in general because it reduces the ability to learn and perform well.

The biggest surprise students face on the nature of psychology studies, according to Dr. Pérez, is how truly misinformed they were about some ideas they take for granted and … how amazingly they come to accept new concepts within the field!

Studying psychology “…guides students to change their conceptions about life in general and understand psychology from its true core,” Dr. Pérez reiterates.

Does Psychology Dispel Your Beliefs?

Psychology inadvertently does make people think about beliefs, their origins, differences among cultures and so forth, but does not dispel them.

Even surprising to the students themselves, they find that when psychology has a totally different discussion around age-old fundamentals of life (such as love, intelligence, fear, race, culture, religion etc.) that it is still reasonable to examine these fundamentals through a new lens and as constructs.

To get to the core of the issue, many people are afraid of what psychology might reveal and will force them to change things they do not wish to change. Whether it’s about themselves or those fundamental beliefs, such as religion.

What Does Psychology Aim to Achieve?

The aim of psychology is not to change beliefs and to completely change someone’s personality, but rather augment the good. And wherever there are elements in a person’s life and behavior that are chronically causing negative repercussions, psychology helps people see the pattern and make modifications in such a way that they reduce or eliminate these negative repercussions.

What Are Some of the Subjects That Psychology Studies Covers

Psychology studies a host of fascinating disorders as well as common, day-to-day matters such as happiness, grief and child development.

In basic classes you may define fundamental constructs, such as love:

  • romantic (idealized) love
  • companionate, friendly love with someone who is very familiar
  • passion, initiated through physical attraction and sexual desire
  • intimate, bonding love
  • committed love, where there is a decision to commit to building the relationship with this person

Psychology Degree Classes at FNU

At FNU you can choose to concentrate on either Mental Illness or Addiction Studies to further specialize in these fields.

“To discover more about psychology and whether it’s the right field for you, contact us at FNU. We can get you to choose and start you on your career path.”

The table below lists some of the core classes at FNU and a brief idea of what you can expect to learn in each course.

Core Classes at FNU

What the Class Covers

Abnormal Psychology Symptomology and pathology of psychological disorders.
Foundations of Clinical Psychology Theoretical models, assessment and intervention approaches current trends.
Behavior Modification Behavior analysis and application of learning principles, interventions in treatment settings
Psychology of Childhood Child development from biological to factors that shape personality and affect achievement.
Adolescent Psychology Dynamics of socialization, self-concept, identity, peer groups and problems in adolescence.
Psychology of Aging Psychological processes, problems of the aged and theoretical and methodological issues in its study.
Cognitive Processes Intro to human cognitive abilities, including perceptual and motor skills, attention, learning and memory, language
Psychology of Personality The study of personality development and processes that define them.
Biological Basis of Behavior The structure and function of the nervous system. Theories on neuronal activities, sensory systems, motivated behaviors, and higher mental processes.
Psychological Research Methods Experimental design, concept, and control of the analysis of experimentally obtained data. Incl. laboratory.
History and Theories of Psychology Scientific method and worldview in Europe during the modern era, recurring issues in philosophy and history of psychology in America.
Social Psychology How socialization, social influence and conformity, interactions attitudes and opinions influence individual behavior.
Cross-cultural Issues in Psychology Underscoring the connection between culture, emotions, thoughts, and behavior.
Psychology and Gender The psychological study of gender using research and theories regarding the validity and utility of commonly accepted gender differences.

For upper-level electives in psychology you can choose from:

  • Juvenile Delinquency
  • Psychology Applied To Law
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Ethics In Psychology and Health
  • Psychology of Health and Illness
  • Psychological Tests and Measurements
  • Psychology of Exceptional Children
  • Psychology of Learning
  • Substance Abuse Prevention
  • Industrial/Organization Psychology
  • Foundations of Counseling
  • Statistics For The Behavior Science
  • Principles of Sociology
  • Marriage and The Family

Getting Your Degree from an Accredited University is an Imperative in Psychology

To properly be called a “psychologist” and be able to work as such in the U.S. you must get your Ph.D. Most students find that a B.S. in psychology will land them in a fascinating, satisfying position in many industries. However, you must have attended an accredited university for your baccalaureate degree to be accepted in the workforce as well as to further your studies.

FNU is a fully accredited university, with the authority to award Certificates, Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. This means that once you graduate your B.S. in Psychology degree from FNU is recognized in workforces and universities across the U.S.

Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree Online

Although many psychology students prefer the interaction of in-class coursework, FNU offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology as an online, distance-learning program. This is great for students who are currently working and prefer a study-at-your-own-pace program, students who have children and need flexibility or people who just prefer to work from the comfort of their home.

You can even live in another state and get your degree from Florida National University. This is useful if you are considering moving out of the area.

You won’t be charged the costlier out-of-state tuition fees if you aren’t a Florida resident, either. Check out our online degree programs.

At FNU we also accept tuition assistance, scholarships and financial aid for our online coursework.

Contact us at FNU with any questions you may have about studying psychology or if you’d like to discuss career options.