Sources for Careers in Psychology
What is the average pay?
Pay can vary with location, years of experience, and what one is specializing in. Cognitive psychologists who work in research facilities are paid $100,790 while those who work in a physician’s office earn $109, 600 on average. This is greater than the average pay for all psychologists in general, which is $86,510.
Where would you typically work?
Cognitive psychologists can work in a variety of places. They can work in the classroom at universities and schools as undergraduate or graduate professors. Because research is vital to this career, many also work in research facilities under their employer, a government agency, or a university, or they may research topics of choice independently. If they decide to treat clinically patients, then they can work at mental health clinics or hospitals. It is also possible for cognitive psychologists to open their own practice and work there. Cognitive psychologists can work with other psychologists, computer scientists, or neurologists in neuroscience in facilities.
Is this in the basic or applied category of psychological research and why?
Cognitive psychology is a basic category of psychological research because the research is not targeting a certain set of circumstances or particular problem, but focusing on researching more fundamental ideas and theories that can contribute to solving a wide range of issues in the field. By researching about how people process information, cognitive psychologists can use their findings to create better ways to treat those with mental illnesses and disorders.
How much schooling is needed to achieve a career in this field?
Approximately 8-10 years of schooling is needed to become a practicing cognitive psychologist. First, a 4-year Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology must be earned, followed by a 2-year Master’s Degree, and lastly a PhD or PsyD, which can take between two and four years. A Doctor of Philosophy emphasizes research while the Doctor of Psychology degree focuses on practical skills needed in working. After getting a doctorate, a person will be required to spend at least one year with a practicing cognitive psychologist as an intern or at some entry-level job to be evaluated and earn their license. Even though this final step as an intern is not exactly school, it is critical to the learning process before getting the job. Although, some people may finish with a Master’s Degree, most people today are required to get a doctorate. Individuals would need to be well acquainted with neuroscience principles because cognitive psychology is encompassed by the ideas behind the human brain and how it works.
Cognitive psychologists are concerned with cognition, or the human thought process, which involves how people acquire, process, and store information. Generally, a cognitive psychologist will specialize in “one thought process,” and during their career focus on either research, treatment, teaching, or a combination of them. For instance, an individual might focus on research on improving memory or teaching children with learning disabilities. Teaching children can also involve linguistics. Many cognitive psychologists can also work with patients with mental illnesses or people who are suffering from trauma or are afflicted with any brain disorder. Specifically, cognitive psychologists can be responsible for taking care of Alzheimer’s patients. Something unique that they can also do is research how convicted criminals or mentally insane people input information and think.
The career I selected was a cognitive psychologist because as one, you get to focus on the very basis of our behavior, decisions, and understanding of everything around us. I am curious to know how our mind influences our reasoning, judgment, and problem solving ability because how we set a goal or deal with a conflict can direct our life’s actions. I found cognitive psychology the most intriguing because it evaluates the entire process of how sensory information is processed within our mind, so for example, when it comes to learning, I would be able to study about how memory works, why we remember the things we do, and possibly ways that we can improve our memory. I find this interesting not only because researching this could help those who suffer from a disorder, like dementia, but also because I would want to know how our brain stores these intangible thoughts. Also, cognitive psychologists, since they look at how we take in any information, look at perception and often look at abnormal psychology, which is when people’s normal cognitive processes are interrupted by depression, brain disorders, etc. I find this especially interesting because I have anxiety, so I would want to explore how people with some impediment in their mind process things differently from others.