Is it wise to study psychology if you are not an atheist?

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Liam2013
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#1
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#1
I only really want to be a psychologist so I can help people, but it worries me that it will be really anti religious if do it.

I know psychology is a science and i've seen a lot an anger towards religious people on science forums, all that doesn't really appeal to me, I know it won't be as atheistic as say biology but I do feel cautious about commiting because of the possible anti religious thing

I've never studied it before so I genuinely have no idea, i'm kind of hoping that things like this don't get mentioned and it's more about helping others but i'm not so sure

thanks
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Alpha brah
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#2
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#2
I doubt it'll make a difference
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hotliketea
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#3
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#3
the problem with psychology is that there is a struggle between a nomothetic and idiographic approach. The idiographic approach pulls away from science, but many people focus on the nomethetic approach in order to try and establish psychology as a science. If it leans more in that direction, I'd say you would be shunted towards atheism, but at the moment you are able to make the choice and I think it will remain that way for a very long time.

The best thing about these kinds of things is that religion does not strictly come into it (certainly not what I'm learning at A2) and you can avoid it and keep your beliefs. I don't think you will be pushed towards atheism - you can come to your own conclusions on various pieces of research.
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x__justmyluck
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#4
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#4
A psychology degree is not about 'helping people' it's an academic degree where you will study lots of different areas of normal and abnormal psychology. You religion doesn't matter, it's not 'anti religious' just trying to figure out how the brain works and how that guides behaviour. I'm sure there are religious people studying my course, you can believe that God created the brain how it is we just want to understand how it works, not why. That's more a philosophical debate.
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llacerta
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#5
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#5
(Original post by Liam2013)
I only really want to be a psychologist so I can help people, but it worries me that it will be really anti religious if do it.

I know psychology is a science and i've seen a lot an anger towards religious people on science forums, all that doesn't really appeal to me, I know it won't be as atheistic as say biology but I do feel cautious about commiting because of the possible anti religious thing

I've never studied it before so I genuinely have no idea, i'm kind of hoping that things like this don't get mentioned and it's more about helping others but i'm not so sure

thanks
Unfortunately, I think your conception of what it's like to study psychology (at undergrad degree-level anyway- is that what you're thinking of?) is pretty inaccurate, regardless of your religious leanings. If you decide to do psychology at undergrad, you will not be learning about helping others at all. You'll be learning about how the brain works from various perspectives, from a more 'scientific' approach (so more neuroscience) to learning about personality and social psychology. If that interests you, then great- and then you can go onto a more specialised postgraduate degree which will allow you to go into a more applied area, such as clinical psychology. But that's not what you'd be doing as an undergrad.

As for your religious leanings, I know lots of psychology students who are religious, and it doesn't tend to cause a problem. However, some lecturers and researchers will be a little mocking of the idea of the 'spirit' or a 'mind' that's separate from the brain, but it won't come up much in the vast majority of lectures. Actually, it'll only really come up in lectures that discuss philosophical or conceptual issues in psychology (which is a minority of lectures in most psychology courses).
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x__justmyluck
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#6
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#6
(Original post by llacerta)
x
Hey just looked at your location, are you at Oxford? I'm a first year EP student .
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llacerta
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#7
Report 8 years ago
#7
(Original post by x__justmyluck)
Hey just looked at your location, are you at Oxford? I'm a first year EP student .
Yes I am, I'm an MSc student.
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