How Can You Spot a Psychology Major?

A few tell tale signs you’re dealing with a psychology major

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “you’re a little bit different, aren’t you?”.

That statement is completely correct. You can always tell who the psychology major is in your group of friends. There are always a few signs to be found, so here are a few serious and not so serious ones that help identify the psychology majors from the rest of the school.

  1. People always ask if we can read their minds. We promptly respond with “I’m not that kind of doctor.” Unless you’re a clinical psychologist, in which case, as my teachers have suggested, tread lightly before a 2-hour flight becomes a 2-hour therapy session (and no, we are not mind readers).

  2. We all have an APA manual that has highlighted sentences on just about every page, dog ears everywhere, and yellow post-it notes all throughout it.

  3. Self-diagnosis is a thing. As much as we are told not to do it, sometimes it’s hard not to try and self-diagnose or diagnose our friends.

  4. You know what operant conditioning is and how to use it for more than just training your pet. A prime example is training your messy roommate to throw his clothes in the hamper.

  5. When you participate in other students’ research, you find yourself playing detective, trying to figure out the dependent and independent variables, and playing Sherlock Holmes about what their hypothesis might be.

  6. There is a difference between negative reinforcement and punishment. You know what it is and you spend more time than you would think necessary to explain the difference to others.

  7. The words nature and nurture are now almost inseparable from each other in our vocabulary.

  8. We often have to define psychological terms to our friends and family because they are part of our daily vocabulary.

  9. You are known as the “listener” among your friends. You genuinely enjoy listening to people and their problems and trying to figure out why they think and act a certain way, and coming up with solutions that might help them.

  10. You understand what significance levels, t-tests, standard deviations, and z-scores are. You understand them, but by no means does this mean you like statistics.

  11. You are fluent in APA paper style. You can read and write APA research papers, name every portion backwards, forwards, inside out, and in your sleep if you needed to.

  12. You know the exact meaning between “correlation does not equal causation” and have probably used it many more times than you wish to admit.

    And finally for those of us who take it to the extremes……

  13. You have a dog named Pavlov, a cat named Thorndike, and a rat named Skinner. You’ve also probably conditioned them not to eat each other at this point.

Not all of these points apply to every single psychology major, but if you are one or know one, there definitely are some aspects of this list that will ring true.

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