Cardiff University, Psychology Personal Statement
A few years ago, I watched as one of my best friend battled with anorexia. I remember how frail and fragile she looked and how even everyday occurrences like eating a piece of chewing gum, seemed obscene to her due to the ‘4 calories’ she would consume. Sitting next to her in the hospital bed as she repeatedly told me there was nothing wrong with her and that she was just wasting a bed, even though her heart had stopped working just hours before, made me realise the complexity of human behaviour.We cannot simply be explained by a few hormones or what our mum told us to do, instead there are many aspects that have an impact on our behaviour from our social influences to our biological influences. It is for this reason I would like the opportunity to study Psychology at university, the subject itself touches every aspect of our lives from how we develop during childhood to enabling athletes to function at their optimum.
Recently I read ‘bad science’ by Ben Goldacres, the book helped me understand the importance of experiments and using statics correctly to help support research which I am aware is a critical element of Psychology. I am particularly interested in the scientific aspect of Psychology and would love to engage in the research that universities offer; it would fascinate me to develop a deeper understanding of particular aspects of human behaviour through first-hand experience.
I have found that Psychology has strong links with my other A levels, as many of the psychological debates, relevant today developed from philosophers such as Locke who argued that people were born ‘Tabula Rasa ’I am interested by the fact that his ideas have been highly influential for supporters of the nurture argument and that current debates are greatly influenced by historical ones. I have also enjoyed discovering how Biology plays a role in Psychology and I enjoy the questions it raises in inherited traits versus acquired ones.
Reading ‘The Bell Jar’ by Sylvia Plathhas also stimulated a stronger desire to study Psychology as the book really opened my eyes to such a huge mental illness. The book was extremely powerful in its portrayal of depression; discussing how depression prevents you from being able to do the simplest of tasks such as taking a bath. Reports have shown depression is on the rise in adolescents with child line now receiving a third of its calls about psychiatric disorders compared to only 1% twenty years ago, therefore Psychology is one of the most relevant and crucial subjects, impacting our everyday life.
I have attended a number of psychology lectures, at my local universities; these emphasised the range of aspects in Psychology from eating disorders to Schizophrenia and therefore furthered my desire to know more about the subject. Recently I worked in a school in as a learning support worker; working with children who had low level learning abilities; and supporting a child who had aspergers syndrome during her lessons, this experience stimulated a stronger interest in aspergers syndrome. I also volunteer at a local beaver group in which I help a young boy with ADHD and a young girl with autism. This summer I did a placement at a local charity working with vulnerable adults who varied from having learning difficulties to depression, helping support them to be able to do everyday tasks such as learning to write.
Although I am not certain which area of Psychology I would like to specialise in yet, I believe Educational Psychology would be an interesting aspect in which to pursue a career. I believe being able to make a positive impact on a Child’s learning would be highly rewarding as education is the only way to bridge the gaps in society.
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