Psychology is the study of human behavior and mind, and is among the sciences of critical importance in understanding human beings. Scientific experiments play a major role in making sense of human behavior and in researching the reasons that underlie it. Scientific psychological experiments may be carried out on both humans and animals. While in the past some ethical issues regarding the conduction of these experiments arose from time to time, the psychologists of today always abide by a set of ethical rules in their experiments. One of the aims of psychology is to understand the mental health of human beings, and thus to improve and develop it. Psychology also analyzes animal behavior just as it examines human behavior.
Why Department of Psychology in Turkey?
Turkey has recently experienced major advances in social and economic fields. Similar developments are taking place in the field of higher education. In our country, many long-established state universities and private universities have psychology departments and a large number of students graduate from these departments each year.
There is no doubt that wherever there are human beings, there is [a need for] the science of psychology. Turkey's growing population as well as all the concomitant social, political and economic changes being experienced to a remarkable degree, affects the psychology of the individuals living in the country. These changes have increased the need for psychological research. Psychology plays an important role in both understanding people and enhancing the quality of their lives by providing them psychological support and making them feel good about themselves. In acknowledgment of these impacts of psychology, Turkish universities recognize psychology as a [vital] discipline and a science, and endeavor to carry out all the necessary corresponding work to that end.
Psychology Education in Turkey
The undergraduate psychology education in Turkey lasts four years and is divided into four main areas. Clinical Psychology deals with the mental health of human beings and focuses on improving and developing it. Cognitive Psychology examines the working patterns of the human mind. It tries to explain the mechanisms of perception, sensation, memory, thinking, learning, reasoning and decision-making and is in constant interaction with neuroscience. Developmental Psychology examines human development from infancy onwards. When examining progressive human development, it takes into account the social and emotional aspects of the individuals, and it concentrates on their cognitive and physiological sides as well. Social Psychology recognizes humans as social beings, and studies the influence of the society on human behavior. In this sense, Social Psychology is in close contact with sociology. It examines how people relate to each other, basing this examination on the attitudes of the individuals in society and their perceptions of themselves.
In their freshman year, psychology students take introductory courses to psychology as well as other courses from areas related to psychology such as philosophy, biology, human history, mathematics, and sociology. In the second year, fundamental courses from Cognitive Psychology and Learning and Developmental Psychology become part of the curriculum. In the third and fourth years, the fundamental courses given are Research Methods, Experimental Psychology and Psychology Theories. In addition, students begin taking courses in the field of Clinical Psychology. Therapies in Clinical Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Health Psychology and Family Psychology are among the courses in this area.
A bachelor's degree in psychology provides only a general framework on psychology, and therefore the graduates wishing to specialize in any one of the subbranches of psychology are required to do a master's degree. Many universities offer masters and doctoral programs in psychology to graduates who wish to further their academic studies. In particular those who are determined to be an expert in the field of Clinical Psychology may qualify for becoming one only upon the completion of a master's program in Clinical Psychology.
Qualifications Required of Students and Job Opportunities
The individuals who want to study the science of psychology first and foremost must be curious about human nature and behavior. Achieving medium success in high school in mathematics and science courses, but higher scores in social sciences will facilitate the student candidates while studying psychology at the undergraduate level. For instance, biology, genetics and neuroscience from among the physical sciences are in constant interaction with psychology. Mathematics, too, manifests itself in this field through the science of statistics. Social sciences other than psychology also conduct studies in order to make better sense of human being, which is a social creature. Therefore, those who want to study psychology must be interested in certain social disciplines such as sociology, philosophy, and history and this interest will assuredly give them a wider perspective for their future examinations into human psychology. All this shows that psychology is in close contact with physical sciences, mathematics, and a great number of other social sciences.
Graduates of psychology departments can find jobs in many public institutions, especially hospitals and schools, and in many private institutions such as counseling centers and business research companies. Finally, those who want to seek a postgraduate degree may find themselves a place in the academic world.