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How can you combine clinical psychology with women's studies?

Hi my name is Bryanna and I am a senior in High School. Every since I was younger I have always been called the "mother" of my groups of friends because I take care of everyone and make sure they are all happy and feeling good. Little did I know I actually enjoyed the feeling of knowing that I was able to help someone who truly was not in the right state of mind. Just recently around last year I began embracing my power as a young women and thus identified myself as a Feminist. So with these two of my passions I want to combine them I'm just not sure how to as of yet. clinical-psychology therapists womens-studies

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Daniela’s Answer

Hi Brianna,

There is a great decision! For these cases that impact the society, we have the social psychology :
According to psychologist Gordon Allport, social psychology is a discipline that uses scientific methods "to understand and explain how the thought, feeling and behavior of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined or implied presence of other human beings" (1985).

Social psychology looks at a wide range of social topics, including group behavior, social perception, leadership, nonverbal behavior, conformity, aggression, and prejudice. It is important to note that social psychology is not just about looking at social influences.

Social perception and social interaction are also vital to understanding social behavior.

t is important to understand how social psychology differs from other disciplines. Social psychology is often confused with folk wisdom, personality psychology, and sociology. What makes social psychology different? Unlike folk wisdom, which relies on anecdotal observations and subjective interpretation, social psychology employs scientific methods and the empirical study of social phenomena.

Researchers do not just make guesses or assumptions about how people behave; they devise and carry out experiments that help point out relationships between different variables.

While personality psychology focuses on individual traits, characteristics and thoughts, social psychology is focused on situations. Social psychologists are interested in the impact that the social environment and group interactions have on attitudes and behaviors.

While some social psychologists find work with a masters degree, most opt to earn a doctorate degree. In most cases, students interested in becoming a social psychologist should start by earning an undergraduate degree in psychology. The next step is to enroll in a graduate program in social psychology. Some programs follow a two-step process by first awarding a masters degree in social psychology and then a doctorate, but other programs may skip the terminal masters degree and go straight to the Ph.D.

For most students, it will take at least four to five years of graduate study in order to earn a Ph.D. in Social Psychology.

Research areas of Social Psychology:

  • Violence and Aggression

What causes violence and aggression? Social psychologists are interested in how and why people engage in violence or act aggressively.

  • Attitudes and Attitude Change

Another major research area in social psychology involves the study of attitudes. Social psychologists are interested in the components of attitudes, how attitudes develop and how attitudes change.

  • Violence and Aggression

What causes violence and aggression? Social psychologists are interested in how and why people engage in violence or act aggressively.

  • Prejudice and Discrimination

Prejudice, discrimination and stereotypes exist in any social group.

Social psychologists are interested in the origins, causes and effects of these types of attitudes and social categorizations. How does prejudice develop? Why are stereotypes maintained in the face of contrary evidence?

  • Self and Social Identity

Our perceptions of social identities and ourselves are another important research area in social psychology. How do people come to know and understand themselves? How do these self-perceptions affect our social interactions? Social psychologists are interested in learning more about how this inner life influences our outer lives and social world. Self-awareness, self-esteem, self-concept, and self-expression are just a few of the factors that influence our social experience.

  • Group Behavior

The behavior of groups is one of the largest research areas in social psychology. Most people realize that groups tend to behave differently than individuals. These group behaviors are sometimes beneficial and positive, but they can also be detrimental and negative. Social psychologists often look at topics such as group dynamics, leadership, group decision-making, conflicts, cooperation and group influence.

  • Social Influence

Social psychologists are also interested in the role that social influence has on behavior and decision-making. Topics such as the psychology of persuasion, peer pressure, conformity and obedience are just a few of those studied in this area of social psychology. Research has helped reveal the power of social influence and has uncovered ways to help people resist influence.

  • Interpersonal Relationships

Social relationships play a major role in shaping behavior, attitudes, feelings and thoughts. Social psychologists study how these interpersonal relationships affect people by looking at attachment, liking, love and attraction. How do close relationships affect individuals? How important are these interpersonal relationships? These are just a few of the questions social psychologists seek to explain.

Read more and see videos about it in:

Best of luck in this incredible journey!

Thank you so much Daniela. This response clarified a lot of thoughts that I have had. I did not know there was a area for what I enjoy doing. Bryanna S.
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Dr. Ray’s Answer

Dear Brianna,

Although I do not work in a university environment I think it would be quite easy to combine your interests in feminism and helping others. Social science courses, such as psychology, sociology or anthropology could help you acquire knowledge and helping skills. Most universities also have feminist studies programs, which I think you could easily integrate with your interests. On the applied side I know several female attorneys and psychologists who work mostly or exclusively with women.

Best wishes in your search.