University of Leicester, Psychology Personal Statement

Psychology, University of Leicester

Psychology influences our everyday decisions and moulds us into who we are. Growing up as a transgender youth, studying the case of David Reimer was extremely captivating. This case study led to the nature-nurture debate which helped me understand the development of the gender debate throughout the years.This is a very predominant aspect of my life as the evolution of psychology in this area has led to the treatment I have received.

Having completed several online courses on FutureLearn such as ‘Psychology and Mental Health’ and ‘The Mind is Flat: the Shocking Shallowness of Human Psychology’, as well as having attended a psychology taster day at King’s College London. An area that has particularly caught my interest is how chemical imbalances can lead to mental disorders. This was particularly interesting after completing tasks involving being attached to a machine that detected brain activity. Where the objective was to complete the race course against an opponent, a chemical imbalance would cause a scalextric set to halt.

Further reading has extended my knowledge of the subject. ‘The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat’ by Oliver Sacks which includes six individual stories about some of his remarkable patients. One of these stories included twin Autistic Savants who had spectacular talent dealing with prime numbers, which improved my understanding of topics within psychology such as the characteristics of Autism and the application of psychology to everyday life. Books ‘Blink’ and ‘The Tipping Point’ by Malcolm Gladwell explains ‘the three rules of epidemics’ and prejudicial behaviour previously highlighted in social psychology.

I have had the opportunity to enhance my knowledge of the subject further by attending a criminology conference. Guest speakers included Professor Graham Pike and Dr Michael Fiddler, who spoke about the myths of criminology and the public response to crime and punishment. On top of this, attending a course on phobias at the Zoological Society of London developed my knowledge of the clinical and learning aspect of psychology. John Clifford, the lecturer, explored hypnotism as a form of cognitive behavioural therapy to resolve common phobias such as arachnophobia and ophidiophobia.

I currently have a part time job working as a teaching assistant at Kumon, a tutoring company which aids children in areas of Maths and English. Here working first hand with an Autistic child has allowed me to apply the aspects we learn in the classroom to a real life situation. I have developed patience as well as adapting my tutoring style to the needs of the children.

Studying psychology at A-level allowed me to understand the basis of the subject in depth which provides a foundation for further knowledge which I know will aid me at university.

In addition to studying Psychology at A Level, my A levels in Government and Politics as well as Economics have improved my essay writing ability and analytical dexterity, which are traits needed in psychology.

Aside from academic interests, I have completed my Bronze DofE and I am currently in the process of completing it at Gold level. This gives me many diverse skills due to the varied sections of the programme. I have partaken in and completed many charitable events, such as reaching the semi-finals of the Wings of Hope Achievement Awards competition, in an effort to fundraise for better education for children in India and Malawi. On top of this I have regularly been nominated for various roles such as Sports and Form Captain as well as school council roles, and received an outstanding contribution award in 2013 for my involvement within the community such as helping out on open and parents’ evenings.

I believe that the skills I have gained throughout my A level courses have prepared me well for the challenges I will face at university.

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