Now that we are an established weekly addition to Salient, we feel we have earned the right to do what we have longed for since the beginning—rip on Psychology for all its worth. Here we go. Like us, you probably thought taking PSYC121 would set you on a journey toward understanding people better and eventually having the superpowers outlined in Lie To Me. Either that, or the three-to-one girl-to-guy ratio looked inviting. How wrong we all were.
Lab reports are the most inhumane thing since the Little Albert Study (poor little shit), mainly because two-thirds of it is talking about the true essence of statistics and who the fuck cares about statistics? But thank goodness for RPEs—I love answering unambiguous questions on a text I didn’t have to memorise.
If you are doing well at Psyc, congratulations but you’re still going to fail if you don’t participate in 5.5 hours of compulsory probing justified under the banner of “research”. In the real world, people give their personal opinions about ideas and it’s called a focus group. In psychology it’s classified as a study, it’s usually painful but it’s compulsory if you’re paying them $800 for the paper. Oh and don’t bother asking what the study is about; chances are it’s completely ridiculous and a waste of taxpayer money. But there is a positive for one of the studies—Luke saw half a boob for 0.5 seconds, enough to get a semi.
However, not all was bad. Both of us learnt about the biggest psychological breakthrough since Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (you don’t need to be a Psyc student to know this, they teach it in every single course). We remember it as “The Flower Study”, in which the researchers concluded with a p-value, less than 5 per cent, that babies are more scared of snakes than flowers (Who Cares et al, 2015). This result helped me come to the conclusion that if I wanted a degree in common sense I should just stick with Commerce.
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Neither of us continued our careers in psychology. Luke decided to pursue a more practical discipline from the array of “Arts-Dinner-Party-Subjects”—Philosophy. And as for Tom, the compulsory 200-level research methods paper wasn’t enough to convince him to stick it out.
Tip of the Week: For RPEs, only read one of the articles—the time you save can be spent looking at papers to do next year after you’ve dropped Psychology. Also Psyc is about statistics so hopefully the odds are in your favour (The Hunger Games, 2008).
Tom and Luke