Psychology with Foundation Year Personal Statement
Submitted by Cindy
“It is not primarily our physical selves that limit us but rather our mind-set about our physical limits.” – Ellen J. Langer
In what way can our mind-set limit us, and to what extent is it a limiting factor? However, can’t human biology and evolution also limit us? These common questions shaped my interest in understanding abstract psychological concepts. From my individual research, Psychologist Langer (1997) concluded that a crucial aspect about ‘The Power of Mindful Learning’ is that we learn to avoid forming mind-sets that could unnecessarily limit us and this innovates our perception of the world. However, “mindless learning” can be represented as antagonistic to ‘mindfulness’- an example of mindless learning is when we are exposed to new information; we involuntarily process that information without questioning, and consequently this restricts our understanding. This sparked my curiosity because what intrigues me about Psychology is that there are alternative perspectives, which can be applied to the real world. As a Psychology student, I do not want to feel restricted with one viewpoint, as I believe it is vital for the development of key skills within the field of Psychology such as thinking more critically.
Before I pursued Psychology as an A-Level, I had developed an interest in factors that could drive human behaviour and I had many unsolved questions about cognitive Psychology, which predominantly shaped my ambition. My curiosity tailored towards the way we process sensory information and how ‘faulty’ processing occurs. During my studies, I began to challenge several aspects of Psychology, by taking in account different approaches and factors. My decision to study A-Level Biology has deepened my knowledge around how the field of Biology and Psychology are interrelated; an example of this is how the human biology can be manipulated with drug use, as a result, it affects our behaviour through the release of hormones and neurotransmitters. Furthermore, studying A-Level Geography has honed my analytical skills when handling data, due to the nature of examining statistics; it has driven me to question why such cultural variations and norms exist on a geographical scale.
My participation in 'The Scholars Programme' in 2015 reinforced my decision to progress my studies onto university. ‘The Scholars Programme’ run by ‘The Brilliant Club’ aim to increase the number of pupils from under-represented backgrounds and state schools to progress to highly selective universities. From the challenging university-style sessions I had attended, I learnt the importance of being more independent and focused which was a vast difference between sixth form and university. Aside from academia, I engage in multiple extracurricular activities. For example, I play badminton once a fortnight, which benefits me by helping me maintain a healthy lifestyle, by playing a major role in improving my mental wellbeing.
In conclusion, as a young female aspiring to become a Cognitive Psychologist, I have been inspired by multiple elements of Psychology, such as the work conducted by Ellen J. Langer. I wish to advance to the next stage towards my goal and ultimately as an engrossed student, I believe completing a Psychology degree at your institution will give me the best opportunity to pursue a successful career, providing introspection, just as pioneering psychologists like Langer have done before me.