Psychology with Criminology Personal Statement
Submitted by Maisie Glover
Psychologist Phillip Zimbardo is quoted to have said “I have been primarily interested in how and why ordinary people do unusual things, things that seem alien to their natures. Why do good people sometimes act evil? Why do smart people sometimes do dumb or irrational things?” I have often wondered this too! From observing behaviour, socialising with people and working with the public in different environments and situations, I have witnessed the diversity and impulsive nature of people and their behaviour. I am intrigued in the difference of emotions, actions and what makes people tick and behave the way that they do.
My interest in psychology deepened after firsthand experience of mental health within the family, which has since been suggested to have been caused by biological influences. However, I have discovered that behaviour isn’t always biological after reading about Zimbardo Stanford prison experiment. The findings support the situational explanation of behaviour rather than the dispositional one which lead me to have particular interest in the nature nurture argument. During one of my psychology projects at A level into the nature nurture debate I came across an article in the psychological review which I found particular interesting by John Griffin.
After attending various open days in the summer and talking to lecturers about the course I knew the psychology degree was definitely for me. To develop my interest further, I am currently doing the EPQ project, where I am investigating the impact of social media on behaviour and society one of the main areas being mental health. From my research, I found that it greatly affects a variety of aspects such as anxiety, depression, anorexia and I decided to do this because within psychology I have a particular interest in mental health and the factors which contribute towards it. By doing this independent research project, I will be more prepared for university study, because I will have had the practice and experience to independently research, manage my time effectively and develop my writing skills, which will benefit me when completing assignments. In the summer holidays, I completed two online courses on a website called Alison on memory and cognition and biology and behaviour in psychology. This broadened my knowledge outside of the classroom and helped me make my decision on doing psychology as a degree.
For the past year, I have gained work experience by working as a part time sales assistant at Pandora and from this experience; I have developed many transferable, useful skills. These include people skills; by interacting with a variety of individuals I have discovered how different people behave which has increased my interest in this area further. By interacting with the public, I have developed more confidence which gave me the courage to volunteer at my dance school teaching younger children every week for the past 6 months. By doing this, it gave me leadership skills to take control to lead the sessions and commitment to volunteer every week. Working in retail also challenged me to work under pressure making decisions for myself but also working as effectively in a group. In my spare time, I enjoy keeping fit and staying active by going to the gym. I am also part of a competitive street dance team and we train twice a week competing in competitions all over the UK, my biggest achievement to date was competing at the world championships at the Blackpool Winter Gardens, I would love to carry on dancing at university by joining a dance group.
Studying a levels full time and working every weekend shows my enthusiasm to work hard in order to achieve goals. After graduating, I am aiming to do further training and complete a master’s degree allowing me to eventually specialise in counselling psychology or clinical psychology and I believe I have the determination and enthusiasm to do this.