Here are seven ways that learning about psychology can change your life for the better:
1. Increased self-understanding and insight.
This is a no-brainer: By learning about psychological constructs, such as dimensions of personality, we can better understand ourselves, our motives, and our patterns of behavior. Psychological assessments allow us to better know and understand our true selves.
2. Understanding human nature.
Evolutionary psychology helps us better understand our natural urges and internal forces, such as aggression, sexuality, and dominance—the “survival mechanisms” that we must learn to govern and control in order to become more civilized human beings.
3. Overcoming biases.
Social psychology teaches us about biases, such as the in-group, out-group bias, that are at the root of prejudice and discrimination. The Fundamental Attribution Error, for example, explains why we so often place blame on a person and pay less attention to the situational factors that caused a person to behave in a certain way. Clearly understanding our biases in social perception can help us become more empathic and understanding of others, and ourselves.
4. Understanding motivation and goal-setting.
By gaining insight into what motivates us, and by using the well-supported notion of goal-setting, we can learn to accomplish great things, and we can better understand why we strive for the outcomes and goals that we do.
5. Improved communication and empathy.
Learning about topics such as emotional intelligence and nonverbal communication can help us pay attention to the subtle, unspoken cues in others that allow us to connect with them on a deep, emotional level.
6. Becoming a better parent.
There is no doubt that learning something about developmental psychology can help you become a better parent, and raise a more psychologically-healthy child.
7. Becoming a better person.
The positive psychology movement focuses on topics such as happiness, forgiveness, gratitude, and meaning in life. By showing gratitude, understanding what true forgiveness is all about, and building personal character, we become better, more fulfilled individuals.
Have you considered a career in psychology? These posts contain some of the positives (and the not-so-positives) of a career as a psychologist:
Follow me on Twitter.