What are the benefits of studying psychology?

John Radford writes.

The year 2021 marked 60 years since I graduated in Psychology, one of some 600 in the UK. The yearly total now is over 120,000. Ten years later I examined the first 120 GCE A-level candidates in Psychology. In 2021 the number was over 68,000, making it the second most popular choice. There are other comparable increases.

I firmly hope and believe that this remarkable rise is beneficial both for the individuals and for society. But belief is not enough. Hard evidence is noticeably lacking. Surely psychologists above all scientists should be aware of the results of what we do.

I wish to urge strongly that the society, perhaps in collaboration with the Association for the Teaching of Psychology, should seriously consider establishing or sponsoring a substantial research project to examine the immediate and longer term effects of major courses in our discipline, both for students and more widely.

John Radford
Emeritus Professor of Psychology
University of East London

Editor’s note: We have sought a society response.

BPS Members can discuss this article

Already a member? Or Create an account

Not a member? Find out about becoming a member or subscriber