Before you major in experimental psychology, it is very important to set aside time to learn what an experimental psychologist does on a daily basis. In short, an experimental psychologist is a professional who uses scientific methods to collect pertinent data that will allow them to perform research on human and animal behavior. While this is experimental psychology summed up in an extremely general sense, there is much more to the role. Find out what a day in the life of an experimental psychologist will be and what the demand is like in the field before you choose to pursue this occupation.
The Roles of Experimental Psychologists
If you take on this title, you will be a psychologist that commits themselves to research. The purpose of the research is to help the world, psychologists and other mental health professionals develop a better understanding of human behavior and psychological matters. A psychologist who works in an experimental setting will take on various research projects where they will conduct research on human or animal subjects to gain insight on many different things related to behavior. They will observe subjects, record data during experiments, and ultimately use their research skills to assess how the mind works and why living things behave the way that they do.
You must know the research process to work in this special field of psychology. While you attend college to earn your doctorate, you will learn about the research process. This process involves developing a hypothesis, testing the hypothesis, recording the methods and materials used during the experiment, recording detailed results and assessing the discoveries so that the findings can be published and used in the medical community.
Where Do Experimental Psychologists Work?
Now that you know how a psychologist conducts research on human behavior, you may be interested in learning about the settings that you can work in if you want to hold this title. Some psychologists in this field work independently, but it is more common to work in a team. You can work in a variety of settings, from universities and colleges to research facilities and government agencies. There are jobs available in the public and the private sector as well. You may also go another route and become a teacher who teaches the methods of research rather than conducting research on behavior, neuroscience or personality.
Demand in the Field
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for psychologists in both clinical and research settings is high and there is projected to be growth of 12 percent through 2022. With this being said, you must also consider the rate of students who are graduating with a doctorate in Psychology. If the supply is on the rise in your area, landing a position may not be as easy as you might expect.
There are many different careers that you can pursue in the field of psychology. If you are a curious individual who loves to perform experiments and sift through data, this could be the perfect career within the field to pursue. Be sure to consider not only the roles of the experimental psychologist, but also the average salary and the demand in the field. If everything is positive, it may be right for you to study experimental psychology rather than other options.