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What should I consider when choosing between psychology and economics??

Im unsure what major to choose or jobs to take

Thank you comment icon Hi Isys! I rephrased your question a bit to make it easier for professionals to answer. I encourage you to add more details to the description so you can get the best advice possible. Thanks for posting! Alexandra Carpenter, Admin
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Minsun (Michelle)’s Answer

Hi Isys,

I studied Economics for my bachelors and my masters while always having a keen interest in psychology.

When I look at the two subjects in from an academic and fundamental perspective, I think economics is a fascinating subject that looks into logic behind social phenomena. Expanding my view, psychology seems like a study that looks into the cause behind actual actions of human behavior. In economics, there are various assumptions to be made, such as the assumption of a rational agent - assuming that people, be it a seller or a buyer, behave rationally. The psychological study would help applying better assumptions to the economic study. In economics, there is a discipline called Behavioral Economics, which was very interesting for me. There, the economic models become more complex with all sorts of agents such as time-inconsistent agents. I loved mathematics but there are also other directions to go within the economics studies. You can take the political path, historical path, statistical path, experimental path and more.

When I look at the two subjects as the stepping stones in the career path, I think economics is a more general topic. It is a business related general study, so if you are looking to work for a company, and you don't specifically know in which specific sector, economics may give you a wider selection. Psychology seems to be more of a specific pool when it comes to career decisions, so it would give you more depth and expertise in the direction you have chosen.

If you are interested in both, I recommend you to start with economics and maybe dive into behavioral economics. Freakonomics by Steven Levitt was a good read for me. How about starting by reading this book to see if you like that?

Minsun (Michelle) recommends the following next steps:

Read Freakonomics by Steven Levitt
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John’s Answer

Hello! Take courses in all that you like and decide what stands out to you. I was an economics major and I enjoyed it because I like the attention to detail econ allows you to develop.
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Lauren’s Answer

Hi Isys,

Your question is a good one - I ultimately chose Psychology as a major and knew a lot of Economics majors in college. They are different in many ways but also both very general. When looking at these two degrees, you may want to do some research on jobs in those fields. For Psychology, you can go into a lot of different fields such as Human Resources, Clinical Research, Training and Management, etc. I am currently working in the technology industry in Customer Support and it's very good to have a background in what makes people tick (aka from my psychology studies).

Once you have done research on jobs in these two functional areas, you should make a list of all the things about those jobs that you are interested in and allow that to help you choose which one to pursue. If you are more interested in working directly with people in need (like social work), then Psychology would be better than Economics where you may find work in business analysis. I hope this helps!
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Duyum Su’s Answer

Hello Isys,

They are both very different branches. But I can explain that psychology is the science of mind and behavior. It encompasses biological influences, social pressures, and environmental factors that affect how people think, act, and feel. Some of the major areas of research and application in psychology include: Clinical psychology, forensic psychology, social psychology, cognitive psychology, personality psychology, biopsychology, neuropsychology, organizational psychology. In the psychology department, there are many different courses such as research, statistics, psychopathology, clinical, social psychology, ethics, developmental psychology, physiological psychology, cultural-environmental psychology, counseling skills, theoretical approaches, experimental psychology and learning psychology. After graduating from this department, you can work in research or application areas. The importent is that you are interested in more which one. If you are undecided, I can suggest you to look at the syllabuses of both departments and compare them. Universities also have double major programs. You can study both if you want.

I hope this helps, best of luck!
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Tyler’s Answer

Economics is derived off the psychology of people'sspending, wants, and needs. Not a bad idea to consider both.
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London’s Answer

Greetings. Try a career assessment. It's free and doesn't take that long. Hope this helps. Best of luck.
Source: https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/best-free-career-assessment-tools
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Ashraf’s Answer

Hi Isys, looks like you're still very early in your college career. Most people do end up changing their majors at university as they take different classes and figure out what they like. It is ok to change your mind. Both of these majors are general enough where you'll have plenty of career options. Also, depending on your school, you may want to consider a double major. That may not be as hard as it sounds and may end up only being a few more classes. You may also end up choosing a completely different major from these two and that's ok as well.
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Tyler’s Answer

Economics is derived off the psychology of people'sspending, wants, and needs. Not a bad idea to consider both.
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