Should you walk to work or take the bus? Begin writing that big report or wait another day so you can do more research? Have yogurt or salad for lunch? Join your colleagues for a drink after work or head straight home? Decisions. We’re faced with thousands of them every day. Some are big. Some are so minor we hardly realize we’re making them. By some estimates, adults make up to 35,000 decisions a day.1 That’s why what seems like a simple process is an important part of human psychology, which in its simplest form is the study of the interaction between our mind and our behaviors.
It’s this kind of realization that makes psychology such a fascinating field of study, and why a degree in psychology can lead to a host of career options. We can’t directly observe the mind at work. But we can observe the result of the mind’s machinations by examining behaviors. That’s where related disciplines come in: clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, evolutionary psychology. Each relates in some way to the workings of the mind as manifest in behaviors—behaviors like decision-making.
Though making a decision may seem like a simple process, that’s not always the case. True, we may be able to make some decisions quickly by drawing on related experiences, but other decisions can be far more complex due to deadlines, lack of information, highly charged emotions, biases, memories, and other factors. Ultimately, rational thinking, intuition, and information gathering are often required if we are to make quality decisions.
But there’s more. We make decisions at different levels. Some decisions affect our personal lives. Some could affect the organization we work for and the people we work with. Others, depending on our influences, could have local, state, or even national impact.
Studying for a bachelor’s in psychology can shed light on how and why decisions are made by individuals. But in a broader sense, a psychology degree can also give us insight into a wide range of human behaviors and how the mind and body interact. But where and how to earn your degree are two more decisions to think about. There are many schools for psychology across the U.S. offering different types of programs. As a psychology major, you could choose a four-year, on-campus program. Another option is to earn an online psychology degree, a popular choice for working adults. In an online degree program, you set your own schedule. You can take as many or as few online psychology courses as you like each semester, depending on your work and personal responsibilities. You can also study whenever and wherever you like. There’s no need to commute to classes every day.
A BS in Psychology offers many career options. Many graduates choose to work in human or social services, since these are careers that require you to evaluate the needs of clients and express the appropriate response to their behaviors. The important thing to remember is that a psychology degree is versatile and can provide entry into a variety of disciplines.
Which discipline is best for you? That’s a decision you’ll have to make.
Walden University, an accredited institution, offers an online BS in Psychology program that can help you gain new perspectives on social awareness, social responsibility, and evidence-based decision making that can help you make a difference in the lives of others.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.