Are psychology majors crazy?

crazypsychThe above image shows some search terms people have used to find this blog.  This tells me two things.

1. People want to know if psychology majors are crazy.

2. There are people who don’t realize a “?” is unnecessary for a search engine.

This post will focus on the first observation, rather than the second. Though I do think the second is also important.

Please note: This post is purely conjecture. I have not met every single psychology major in the world or interviewed a sufficiently sized random sample. I can’t draw real conclusions about an entire group. Everything I am saying is just based on personal experience.

The title of my blog is intended to be a little tongue in cheek. I’m a psychology major and I might half-jokingly refer to myself as “crazy” so it seemed like a good blog title. Humor is a useful defense.

So are psychology majors crazier than the average person?

I think everyone is a little crazy, just in different ways and in varying amounts.

It takes a certain amount of sanity to be able to be in college. I think a better question is “Are psychology majors crazier than the average college student?”

I can’t really answer that. I don’t think anyone can.

I believe that I am probably crazier than the average psychology major as well as the average college student.

I know a lot of “crazy” psychology majors. But I just in general associate myself with fellow crazy people. Some of them just happen to be psychology majors. The majority are not.

Looking at my peers in class they don’t seem particularly crazy. They could perhaps be excellent at hiding it. People have many different motivations for an interest in psychology. Personal experience is just one of them.

A psychology major who happens to also be “crazy” likely has greater insight into their problems. I believe that insight helps a person function better and thus makes them less crazy. It blows me away how little some non-psychology majors know about the problems they are suffering from. Knowledge is very beneficial.

A non-psychology major who I know was recently diagnosed with social anxiety. When I first met her, I assumed she already had been diagnosed with it, because it seemed obvious to me. Last semester she was struggling with her classes. A large part of the problem was her fear of talking in class for oral presentations (she’d skip class when she had one or put off doing the assignment) and she skipped appointments she made to talk to the professor for help because she’d get too anxious. Eventually she went to the school counseling center where she was diagnosed with social anxiety. She hadn’t had a clue there were treatment options for her problem and is now getting help.

A psychology major might not have needed to wait so long to realize there were options available for help.

Hypothetically, if psychology majors are psychologically different from other majors this would pose a problem for some research being conducted at universities. Many psychology classes at colleges offer small amounts of extra credit for participating in one of the school’s research studies. While many psychological studies do have specific inclusion and exclusion criteria, often (at least at my school and others I have heard of) the ones available for extra credit are open to all. If psychology  students are “crazier” this could potentially be hurting the results of the study and making them less able to be generalized to the whole population.

In conclusion, I don’t have evidence to say whether or not psychology majors are crazier than the average college student. I just think those that are, are more aware of their personal crazy. This might cause them to be more vocal about it and maybe seem more crazy, but in the end the additional insight they have is able to help them.

What do you think?

11 thoughts on “Are psychology majors crazy?

  1. Honestly? I can’t believe no one has commented on this post! I believe that people are dodging the obvious implications to what this post is perhaps suggesting (big bunch of crazy babies!).

    Actually, that probably means that you might be right on target with your idea. *Giggles*

    I won’t tell – i promise!

  2. Bit slow in replying to this (but not surprising as I’ve only just found your blog!)

    I studied psychology as an undergrad (in the UK, so a different system) and therefore have a degree in psychology. If I hadn’t, I think I’d have been labeled as crazy somewhere along the line (I developed panic disorder) but the ‘insight’ I gained from studying did help and I probably appeared more normal to others than I actually was.

    Having said that, I don’t think I am crazy. I think I developed mental health issues because of difficult experiences but that don’t make me crazy!

    I’m now a counsellor (therapist) and love it. I still have the occasional panic attack, I still struggle at times with depression, but knowing the stuff I know means I can get the help I need when I need it, and function normally.

    A point of interest – I wonder how many therapists are ‘crazy’?!

  3. I have one class left to complete my undergrad psych degree. It’s now my second major, because with time away from school, and life experience, I realized it was a total waste of my time. I changed my major over to fine art and added a minor in art history, but then added psych back as a second major, because I was so close to finishing. I HATE it, but with only needing that one class, I plan to finish it.

    In my anecdotal experience, psych majors aren’t any crazier than the rest of the majors, but often there are life experiences that have led them to this study. I think a lot of us are prone to “helping” or trying to problem solve. RE: how many therapists are “crazy”… well, I think a lot of them are drawn to the MH profession as a way to heal themselves. Too often they lack that insight about themselves.

    Interesting point about studies conducted using psych majors. Just about every single study carried out by the profs. in our department uses psych majors, and most are Freshman that get required to participate by their professors as part of a grade. Yes, this could potentially cause serious problems with generalizing the results to the rest of the population. The use of college students as a study sample proved to be a problem with Kinsey’s sex studies.

  4. I think alot of psychology majors study psychology because they are troubled themselves and want to gain an understanding or ‘fix’ themselves. I’m sure many will deny it, but maybe they aren’t being totally honest with themselves. While maybe not crazy, the first patient is usually themselves.

  5. I am not a Psych Major. Yet, I believe it is a yes. Why? Well, because they are diagnosing themselves. But the same can be said about the other majors in college. The choice is for themselves, often – and if it isn’t, then those internal problems continue. If someone is interested in business, often times they are trying to organize their lives in a way that will be benefical. All these things are to satisfy our souls in one way or another, whether we want to realize it ourselves. To quote the previous person, “our first patients are ourselves”, and I am a writer, english major – I want to go on to do art, and well…the reason why is because I want to understand myself through my writing, and my experiences in life.

    Pyschologist aren’t crazier, just more drawn to the belief that psychology is what will satisfy the inner desire to understand self.

  6. There are way more ‘crazies’ in graduate school psychology than in undergraduate. I have seen a number of therapists in my time, and I can tell you right now that most of them seemed batshit insane to me. I just figured that was my own faulty perception though, since I was the client. But now that I’m about to become one of them, I see that I was right all along. People who come into this field are very interesting people with interesting motivations. There are some truly excellent therapists out there, but like any other ‘good’ employee at a job, they are

  7. (continued from above)
    few and far between. Trust your gut. You will save thousands of dollars in the end, and not give them the undeserved resources to keep their harmful practices going. We need more checks and balances in psychology, unquestionably.

  8. Yep APhD is right. They is crazy aw right. Few good ones the rest flakes. How many have BAs LW SWs that can hang shingles. How many are egotistical. How many are dressed like thrift shop overdressed realtors. I mean dont have a Psych PhD or anything but had several undergrad and a couple of Graduate Psych and Soc class, some were core classes others we took to fulfill an elective, we (not a healthcare related major or industry worker) took them because they were …well..easy and pad our GPA’s. Although a few while not hard, were ridiculously busy work time consuming and a waste of time. Don’t get me wrong those who make it their life long ambition to gain knowledge and strive to ain t top expertise knowledge, put in hours after hours of clinical study, practice and research, hats off. But so many out their are just plain flakes that really can do more damage out there than good. Affordable Mental health care access in this country also sucks, but sorry if I am going to spend money and need real help for myself or family member, I want to go to someone who is well adjusted, stable, eats sleeps and lives and always dreamed to be the tops in their field ( then I wont care how quirky they are , not someone who has got an BA/SW or even MA with 2 years experience along with no real life experience. The couple next door are both MA Psych, one even ivy league but they are weird, everyone in the association thinks they are total bonkers. The guy drives in his robe to the drive through to get coffee gets paper holding his pet bird and wears clown slippers, and twice in one month left his car top open all night in the rain. Plus they constantly squabble and fight loudly even when others including children are around.Yes it is judgmental and I don’t mind them, but they are more interested in their personal endeavors than helping people, I would never go to either of them.

  9. Hmm, Ive alway thought there was some truth to this question. I just typed into Google, “are psychology students crazy?”, yes I used the “?.” And although I just read the two things (above) about not needing a question mark in a search engine, I simply type the way I think into the search bar. I think it’s too much of an over generalization to try and make the connection that, “There are people who don’t realize a “?” is unnecessary for a search engine.”

    Anyway, what brought me here was a recent visit to a professional psychology school. I have an MBA from an elite business school, but I want to go on and complete a doctorate in psychology (PsyD) as well. On my recent visit, I got a bit of a weird vibe from someone in the administration and it made me think about past assumptions I have had about psych students/professionals being a little weird.

    I think part of it may be that, what we think about, we bring about. If we know about certain behaviors that fit a certain diagnoses, as an academic, I don’t think it’s a stretch to become aware of our own similar behaviors and over analyze. People do this all the time, the drug industry helps us by listing symptoms, such as “restless leg syndrome.” Humans are wired to make connections and see patterns, take the person who created this page for example (i.e., noticing the “?” pattern).

    I can only speak for myself, I definitely over analyze lots of people including myself and my behaviors. I have always been drawn to self development and I think this why I have a very strong interest in positive psychology. I like the idea of really understanding myself and making improvements where and if I am able. While I don’t have empirical evidence, I do have a very strong hunch that a higher percentage of psych majors are highrer on the crazy side, myself included.

  10. My experience with Psychology majors is that they are very crazy and selfish. I had a lot of different roommates when I was in college and a few of them were Psychology majors. They were the worst roommates. Not only did they seem crazy and had a lot of trouble with relationships and friendships, they were very selfish and narcissistic. One in particular seemed like she didn’t have the capability to reflect on her actions and how they affect others yet she thought she knew everything about everyone else. I’m sure there are some normal psychology majors out there that just want to help others but I wouldn’t be surprised if most of them just want insight into themselves.


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