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Why does psychology involve maths?

nadav17nadav17 12 replies15 threads Junior Member
I got accepted to UC Berkeley and they are making me take more maths. Why? I am more interested in clinical, biological, and social psychology. I don't want to do research. My career goal is to be a clinical therapist. I don't understand why I need maths. I already have done statistics and research methods.
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Replies to: Why does psychology involve maths?

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 10871 replies136 threads Senior Member
    Part of a well rounded psychology education is analyzing research studies and data, regardless of what your end career goal happens to be.

    Even back in the stone ages When I was in school calculus and upper level calc based stats were required.
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  • twogirlstwogirls 7827 replies7 threads Senior Member
    As a clinical psychologist you might be asked to read reports from schools. These reports will include standardized tests, and you need to understand the scores.
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  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers 3702 replies85 threads Senior Member
    Just getting through your degree will require that you know enough math to do sophisticated statistical analyses. Pscychology is first and foremost a science. A subsection of it also deals with helping people clinically. The lay public perceives it in the opposite direction, as first a way to help people then a science (and many people don't realize that it's a science), probably because most people first encounter psychologists as therapists. They don't perceive the science behind it.
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  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston 15981 replies1068 threads Senior Member
    Maths? Are you British? If so you would be better off going to a British univesrity where you only study one subject.
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  • nadav17nadav17 12 replies15 threads Junior Member
    @TomSrOfBoston That's xenophobic.
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  • jym626jym626 57905 replies3037 threads Senior Member
    You will be expected in grad school to take courses in statistics, tests and measurements, you will need to know how to do research (masters and dissertation work), you will need to be able to critically review articles, to understand if data is reliable and valid, to perform psychological tests and understand how to interpret these tests, to understand if a difference is or is not significant, how change is measured, etc. You will need to understand how the electrophysiology of the brain and neurotransmitters work, and there may be a need for ore math to understand what an action potential is.. etc. And this is just a start.
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  • aunt beaaunt bea 10466 replies73 threads Senior Member
    edited July 12
    Every single clinical psychologist, who has ever worked with me, has had to present the results of recent testing of the patient. As part of the rehab team, this occurred almost daily. You can’t be a clinical therapist if you don’t understand the testing that you did on the patient. You have to do math calculations when summarizing the evaluation results. I had protractors in my desk and those went largely missing because the psychologists kept “borrowing” them to assess angles in a patient’s drawings.

    My colleagues used math every single day to understand the statistics and probabilities of testing results. You have to be able to interpret, understand, and compute results of the various tests presented to patients. Some of the tests presented to clients involved math algorithms. You need math skills to understand how the patient is working out and deriving solutions to mathematical problems printed in the evaluations.

    If you don’t want additional math courses don’t take this major. You have to be able to explain the results of all of the evaluations that were completed by the patient, to the insurance company, in your reports. You have to be able to explain it to the patient and his or her family In layman’s terms.
    So you had better get used to being able to mathematically interpret results, and “translate” them for the insurance companies. Insurance companies will eventually will pay your fees, unless you plan to be working for free? A large majority of people seeking clinical services are not self-pay.
    edited July 12
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