How to write a brilliant psychology essay.

A wise man once said “there are three things that are 100% certain in life:

  1. We will be born
  2. We will die one day
  3. Psychology students will have a horrible amount of essays to write during their studies.”

And you know what? He was right!

In this blog post, I aim to provide a few pointers towards writing an essay that will get you a first. Of course, this will likely apply to any college students as well, but you usually require much less work at A-Level standard than degree level.

So, what exactly makes a brilliant psychology essay?

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Continue Reading March 5, 2011 at 6:00 pm 3 comments

How to tell if someone is lying… maybe.

Jeremy Kyle. Jerry Springer. Trisha. What do they have in common?
All of those daytime talk show hosts use something that fascinates all human beings. A lie detector.

We find it almost shocking to think that a machine may actually see through our deception. Is it that obvious that you’re telling a lie? Can a bunch of wires and a polygraph really see through even the most cunning liars?

Well, in honesty, there is probably no such thing as a 100% correct lie detector – even the talk shows say they’re only 98% likely to be correct. Is that figure even remotely close to it’s accuracy? I’m very skeptical. Many critics disregard the lie detector as rubbish, it’s simply not a scientific procedure. There’s certainly no conclusive evidence that they DO work.

But what about humans?
We all lie at some point, so surely we’d be better at detecting lies than a machine that doesn’t know what it’s doing?

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Continue Reading February 28, 2011 at 5:28 pm 4 comments

Guest Post – Eating disorders: myths, facts and unknowns.

Eating Disorders: Myths, Facts, and Unknowns

This week, February 20-26, is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. The campaign was established by the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) in order to raise awareness about one of the most insidious mental illnesses effecting especially (but not only) adolescents in Western cultures today. Despite the fact that we always hear about anorexic celebrities and models, ostensibly placing understanding of the illness in the spotlight, there are many public misconceptions. Here are a few misunderstandings, established facts, and areas in which more research is required.

** This guest post is contributed by Tara Miller, who particularly enjoys writing about psychology degree. Questions and comments can be sent to: **

Please click the post title above to read more!

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Continue Reading February 24, 2011 at 1:03 pm 2 comments

Evaluating and comparing two theories of cognitive development.

Both Piaget and Vygotsky provided highly influential theories which had impact on the way children are taught. However, as with every theory and study, there are pro’s and con’s to be highlighted. I will first evaluate Jean Piaget’s theory, followed by Lev Vygotsky. I will then compare and contrast the two with each other, showing the main similarities and differences between the two.

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Continue Reading December 12, 2010 at 2:00 pm 11 comments

Exploring schizophrenia

Schizophrenia (commonly abbreviated to SZ) is very often portrayed in the media as something it is most certainly not. One only needs to watch films like Hide and Seek to see exactly what schizophrenia isn’t. There are common misconceptions that:

  • Schizophrenics have split personalities
  • All schizophrenics are violent or dangerous
  • Schizophrenia is untreatable (note: I’m not saying there’s a cure, but it can be treated)

In fact, most schizophrenics couldn’t be distinguished from a crowd of ‘normal’ people. They are often not violent or dangerous, and certainly do not have more than one personality (that’s called Multiple Personality Disorder). Many psychologists/psychiatrists argue that split personalities aren’t even possible, but that’s another kettle of fish.

With a lifetime prevalence of less than 1%, one can begin to question whether schizophrenia is even a useful diagnosis. The main ‘clinical handbook’, known as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (currently DSM IV-TR) suggests that for a patient to be diagnosed as schizophrenic, they must demonstrate two or more symptoms for a “significant portion of time” over at least one month. Regardless of this, let’s explore this psychopathology in more detail.

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Continue Reading December 8, 2010 at 7:58 pm 2 comments

Guest post: The counselling relationship

This post is very kindly written by a psychology friend of mine, Gemma Sweet. Read the full text for more information.

People use counsellors to get help and understanding for their problems. However, whether this works or not depends on how good the counsellor is, how able the client is to speak about their problems and the relationship between the two. The relationship between the two can be demanding and hard work. It’s hard for the client to speak for hours to someone they don’t know about personal problems and it’s hard for the counsellor to be non judgemental and to actively listen for hours. The client may have trouble accepting the counsellor as being genuine; they might not trust them to keep their information confidential which can cause them to hold back. There are boundaries that can arise in the counselling relationship.

Read more to learn about the client-counsellor relationship.

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Continue Reading December 5, 2010 at 7:13 pm 2 comments

The best paid careers in psychology.

Psychology is an amazingly diverse subject, with roots in many fields. Of course, with this diversity, you can expect a very diverse range of pay between them all. This post will show the highest paid jobs in psychology, in order from highest to lowest.

Please note: The pay for psychology jobs vary depending on where you live! This list ‘mixes’ the pay between jobs in the UK and USA. However, all these are subject to change depending on geography and general changes over time.

Read on to find out which jobs will bring in some serious cash!

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Continue Reading November 19, 2010 at 2:30 pm 16 comments

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