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Blog by Ms. Nadine Felix, Sr. Instructor.

Here is a question for you: “why should you study psychology?” This is a question that many of my students ask me when they are sitting in one of my psychology class sessions. I always ask them the same question in return: “why shouldn’t you study psychology?” Before we unpack either of those questions, let us take a step back and think about some background issues. We will return to both questions at the end of this blog post.

Let us face it. When you think of ‘psychology’ you picture someone on a couch with a clipboard and pen and someone lying down on a different couch talking away about some problem or the other. For the most part, you would be correct. This is part of what psychologists do. However, this does not mean that this is what you will be doing if you choose to study psychology, or; if you have psychology subjects that are part of your Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a specialization in Human Resource Management, i.e. a BBA HR degree.

This leads to the question: “why are there so many psychology subjects included in the curriculum of this degree”? Simply put, studying the basics of psychology as well as its social and counselling branches will help you to be a better HR practitioner and/or manager. Remember, that while some of psychology undoubtedly deals with biological processes in the brain and the body, psychology too deals with other areas such as social and psychological processes too. This means that studying psychology and it’s various branches, helps you to understand human behavior. It also allows you to understand the mental processes that lead into certain behaviors. It will give you deeper understanding and perhaps empathy for dealing with people who can be traditionally labelled as ‘difficult’.

In 2021, psychology is more relevant than ever in the workplace. Mental health awareness and the focus on its importance is most likely at an all-time high, given the history of the world in the last 20 or so months. While most people who study psychology do not become therapists per se, many do put their training to good use in their business practices. I cannot think of a better time for people to be able to understand each other’s mental processes than the current circumstances. Things like being irritable, missing deadlines, lacking energy, lacking motivation and being generally ‘cranky’ are all byproducts of the pandemic from which countries, economies and businesses are emerging. Having the backup knowledge that studying psychology provides will enable you, as a professional, to navigate these contentious spaces in the workplace and to navigate them smoothly.

Studying psychology will also allow you stay on top of one of the current most important issues in a workplace. That issue is the notion of ‘diversity’. Studying psychology will allow you to explore the motivations of colleagues and subordinates on a deeper level. Understanding what motivates people will undoubtedly lead to a better work culture, environment and management situation. Knowing and openly acknowledging the fact that people do not think the same, learn the same, work the same, feel the same and are not the same will help you not take your own worldview as gospel. You will learn to not take for granted that the world is as you believe it to be. Diversity, be it gender, nationality, age or religion can be one of the strengths of any company. Diversity can also be one of a company’s weaknesses if not managed properly. Studying psychology will give you the tools that enable to you be the person that can manage it.

Finally, and I most probably should have started with this point, studying psychology will help you to understand the most important person in your world. Who is that? That is you. I completely understand and truly empathize with the uncomfortable ‘itch’ on our brains when we are forced to contemplate ourselves. Sometimes it seems almost selfish, self-indulgent for sure. It can come off as a waste of time and energy. Think about it though. If we understand our own motivations, our own thought processes, and take a long and honest look at ourselves if will make us better. We can be better colleagues, better friends, better bosses, and better family members. Studying psychology can enable us to be better listeners, it can show us how to better express our ideas and emotions, it can teach us the way to true empathy, it can show us how to take care of ourselves and of others in the varying life spaces that are needed.

I think I have answered the question of ‘why study psychology’. Do you still have the question of ‘why you shouldn’t study psychology’? I think I have given you enough food for thought to tackle that question too. If something in the above has resonated with you; then why not contact us? Contact one of the best Business Schools in the UAE, Skyline University College, have a look, and see if our BBA HR degree is something that interests you.

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