Write An Abstract

Posted by e-Health Monday, December 24, 2012 0 comments
The abstract is the second page of a lab report or APA-format paper and should immediately follow the title page. Think of an abstract as a condensed summary of your entire paper. First, write your paper. While the abstract will be at the beginning of your paper, it should be the last section that you write. Once you have completed the final draft of your psychology paper, use it as a guide for writing your abstract. Begin your abstract on a new page and place your running head and the page number 2 in the top right hand corner. You should also center the word Abstract at the top of the page.Keep it short. According to the APA style manual, an abstract should be between 150 to 250 words. Exact word counts can vary from journal to journal. If you are writing your paper for a psychology course, your professor may have specific word requirements so be sure to ask. The abstract should also be written as only one paragraph with no indentation. In order to succinctly describe your entire paper, you will need to determine which elements are the most important.Structure the abstract in the same order as your paper. Begin with a brief summary of the Introduction, and then continue on with a summary of the Method, Results and Discussion sections of your paper.Look at abstracts in professional journals for examples of how to summarize your paper. Notice the main points that the authors chose to mention in the abstract. Use these examples as a guide when choosing the main ideas in your own paper.Write a rough draft of your abstract. While you should aim for brevity, be careful not to make your summary too short. Try to write one to two sentences summarizing each section of your paper. Once you have a rough draft, you can edit for length and clarity.Look in academic psychology journals for examples of abstracts. Keep on hand a copy of a style guide published by the American Psychological Association, such as the Concise Rules Of APA Style, for reference.If possible, take your paper to your school's writing lab for assistance.if(zSbL

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Writing Case Studies

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Case Study A case study is an in-depth analysis of a single person. Case studies are often used in clinical cases or in situations when lab research is not possible or practical.

Photo by Andrew Cahill

At some point in your study of psychology, you may be required to write a case study. A case study is an in-depth analysis of a single person. These are often used in clinical cases or in situations when lab research is not possible or practical. In undergraduate courses, these are often based on a real individual, an imagined individual, or a character from a television show, film, or book.

The specific format for a case study can vary greatly. In some instances, your case study will focus solely on the individual of interest. Other possible requirements include citing relevant research and background information on a particular topic. Always consult with your instructor for a detailed outline of your assignment. The following format is often used in undergraduate courses for psychotherapy case studies.

1. Background Information

The first section of your paper will present your client's background. Include factors such as age, gender, work, health status, family mental health history, family and social relationships, drug and alcohol history, life difficulties, goals and coping skills and weaknesses.

2. Description of the Presenting Problem

In the next section of your case study, you will describe the problem or symptoms that the client presented with. Describe any physical, emotional or sensory symptoms reported by the client. Thoughts, feelings, and perceptions related to the symptoms should also be noted. Any screening or diagnostic assessments that are used should also be described in detail and all scores reported.

3. Your Diagnosis

Provide your diagnosis and give the appropriate Diagnostic and Statistical Manual code. Explain how you reached your diagnosis, how the clients symptoms fit the diagnostic criteria for the disorder(s), or any possible difficulties in reaching a diagnosis.

The second section of your paper will focus on the intervention used to help the client. Your instructor might require you to choose from a particular theoretical approach or ask you to summarize two or more possible treatment approaches.

1. Psychoanalytic Approach

Describe how a psychoanalytic therapist would view the client's problem. Provide some background on the psychoanalytic approach and cite relevant references. Explain how psychoanalytic therapy would be used to treat the client, how the client would respond to therapy and the effectiveness of this treatment approach.

2. Cognitive-Behavioral Approach

Explain how a cognitive-behavioral therapist would approach treatment. Offer background information on cognitive-behavioral therapy and describe the treatment sessions, client response and outcome of this type of treatment. Make note of any difficulties or successes encountered by your client during treatment.

3. Humanistic Approach

Describe a humanistic approach that could be used to treat your client. Provide information on the type of treatment you chose, the client's reaction to the treatment and the end result of this approach. Explain why the treatment was successful or unsuccessful.


Do not refer to the subject of your case study as "the client." Instead, use his or her name.
Remember to use APA format when citing references.
Read examples of case studies to gain and idea about the style and format. The following case studies can provide insight on how to write up a case history: Case Studies

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Overview of Memory

Posted by e-Health Sunday, December 23, 2012 0 comments
brain maze Memory involves encoding, storing and retrieving information.

Photo by Kiyoshi Takahase Segundo/iStockPhotoHave you ever wondered how you manage to remember information for a test? The ability to create new memories, store them for periods of time and recall them when they are needed allows us to learn and interact with the world around us. The study of human memory has been a subject of science and philosophy for thousands of years and has become one of the major topics of interest within cognitive psychology. But what exactly is memory? How are memories formed? The following overview offers a brief look at what memory is, how it works and how it is organized.

Memory refers to the processes that are used to acquire, store, retain and later retrieve information. There are three major processes involved in memory: encoding, storage and retrieval.

In order to form new memories, information must be changed into a usable form, which occurs through the process known as encoding. Once information has been successfully encoded, it must be stored in memory for later use. Much of this stored memory lies outside of our awareness most of the time, except when we actually need to use it. The retrieval process allows us to bring stored memories into conscious awareness.

While several different models of memory have been proposed, the stage model of memory is often used to explain the basic structure and function of memory. Initially proposed in 1968 by Atkinson and Shiffrin, this theory outlines three separate stages of memory: sensory memory, short-term memory and long-term memory.

Sensory Memory
Sensory memory is the earliest stage of memory. During this stage, sensory information from the environment is stored for a very brief period of time, generally for no longer than a half-second for visual information and 3 or 4 seconds for auditory information. We attend to only certain aspects of this sensory memory, allowing some of this information to pass into the next stage - short-term memory.
Short-Term Memory
Short-term memory, also known as active memory, is the information we are currently aware of or thinking about. In Freudian psychology, this memory would be referred to as the conscious mind. Paying attention to sensory memories generates the information in short-term memory. Most of the information stored in active memory will be kept for approximately 20 to 30 seconds. While many of our short-term memories are quickly forgotten, attending to this information allows it to continue on the next stage - long-term memory.
Long-Term Memory
Long-term memory refers to the continuing storage of information. In Freudian psychology, long-term memory would be call the preconscious and unconscious. This information is largely outside of our awareness, but can be called into working memory to be used when needed. Some of this information is fairly easy to recall, while other memories are much more difficult to access.

The ability to access and retrieve information from long-term memory allows us to actually use these memories to make decisions, interact with others and solve problems. But how is information organized in memory? The specific way information is organized in long-term memory is not well understood, but researchers do know that these memories are arranged in groups.

Clustering is used to organize related information into groups. Information that is categorized becomes easier to remember and recall. For example, consider the following group of words:

Desk, apple, bookshelf, red, plum, table, green, pineapple, purple, chair, peach, yellow

Spend a few seconds reading them, then look away and try to recall and list these words. How did you group the words when you listed them? Most people will list using three different categories: color, furniture and fruit.

One way of thinking about memory organization is known as the semantic network model. This model suggests that certain triggers activate associated memories. A memory of a specific place might activate memories about related things that have occurred in that location. For example, thinking about a particular campus building might trigger memories of attending classes, studying and socializing with peers.

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Careers in Forensic Psychology

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Forensic Psychology Forensic psychology is a specialty area that deals with issues that involve psychology and the law. Learn more about careers in forensic psychology.

Julie Elliott

Forensic psychology involves applying psychology to the field of criminal investigation and the law. The popularity of forensic psychology has grown phenomenally in recent years, partly due to sensationalized portrayals of the field in movies and television, which are not always accurate. Forensic psychologists are often depicted as criminal profilers who are able to almost psychically deduce a killer's next move. In reality, these professionals practice psychology as a science within the criminal justice system and civil courts.

Forensic psychologists are often involved in custody disputes, insurance claims and lawsuits. Some professionals work in family courts and offer psychotherapy services, perform child custody evaluations, investigate reports of child abuse and conduct visitation risk assessments.

Those working in the civil courts often assess competency, provide second opinions, and provide psychotherapy to crime victims. Professionals working in the criminal courts conduct evaluations of mental competency, work with child witnesses, and provide assessment of juvenile and adult offenders.

Salaries within forensic psychology can range greatly depending on the sector of employment, although most entry-level positions for those with a doctorate degree start out between $60,000 and $70,000 annually. Individuals with a bachelor's or master's degree generally hold the title of psychological assistant or psychological associate. Starting level salaries for these positions generally start around $35,000 or $40,000. Those in private practice who offer consulting services typically earn more, often in the $85,000 to $95,000 range.

Forensic psychologists need a doctoral degree in psychology, usually in clinical or counseling psychology. A number of schools such as the University of Arizona and the University of Virginia offer degrees specifically focused on forensic psychology that combine courses in both psychology and law. Such a degree typically takes 5 to 7 years of graduate study to complete and admission into doctoral programs is highly competitive.

After the appropriate education, training, and experience, forensic psychologist can apply for board certification. The American Board of Forensic Psychology offers professionals the opportunity to be certified as a Diplomat of Forensic Psychology.

Before you decide on a career in forensic psychology, there are a few factors you should consider. Do you enjoy working with others? Forensic psychologists usually work with a team of other professionals in addition to working directly with clients or criminal offenders. Do you enjoy challenging problems? In most situations, people are experiencing problems that cannot be easily or quickly resolved.

Forensic psychologists need patience, creativity, and commitment. Are you interested in studying both law and psychology? Students who enjoy both subjects may find that forensic psychology is the perfect career choice.

Benefits of a Career in Forensic Psychology The opportunity to help othersDiverse career paths (i.e. criminal courts, consulting, government, education)Can be a challenging and rewarding careerDownsides of a Career in Forensic Psychology Requires a substantial time commitment (5-7 years of graduate study)Pay is usually low in relation to the amount of education and work requiredFrustration, stress, and burnout can occur

Should You Become a Forensic Psychologist? - Take this brief quiz to learn if a career in forensic psychology is right for you.

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What Is a Psychologist?

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Psychologist A psychologist is someone who studies the mind and behavior. Psychologists work in a wide range of specialty areas and study topics that include such things as animal research to organizational behavior.

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A psychologist is someone who studies the mind and behavior. While people often think of talk therapy when they hear the word psychologist, this profession actually encompasses a wide range of specialty areas including such things as animal research and organizational behavior.

The term psychologist can apply to people who:

Use psychological knowledge and research to solve problems, such as treating mental illnesses
Work as social scientists to conduct psychological research and teach at colleges or universities

The American Psychological Association (APA) recognizes 56 distinct divisions, each representing a specialized field within psychology.

While there are many different types of psychologists, they typically fall into one of three different areas:

Applied Psychologists utilize psychological principles and research to solve real-world problems. Examples include aviation psychologists, engineering psychologists, industrial-organizational psychologists and human factors psychologists.
Research Psychologists conduct studies and experiments with human or animal participants. Research psychologists often work for universities, private businesses or government entities. Their research may focus on a wide range of specialty areas within psychology, including cognition, neuroscience, personality, development and social behavior.
Mental Health Psychologists work with people suffering from mental disorders or psychological distress. They often work in hospitals, mental health clinics, schools, government offices or private practices. Examples of mental health psychologists include clinical psychologists, counseling psychologists and school psychologists.

Training and educational requirements vary considerably depending upon specialty area. Industrial-organizational psychologists need at least a master's degree in experimental or industrial-organizational psychology. Clinical psychologists need a doctorate degree in clinical psychology along with one to three years of supervised clinical experience.

If you plan to work in a specialty area such as clinical, counseling or school psychology, you will need to investigate the licensing requirements for your state. In all cases, you should start by making sure that your psychology program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).

Clinical or counseling psychologists need complete a doctorate degree, internship and one to two years of professional experience in order to become licensed. Learn more about the requirements for different professional paths in this article on the accreditation and licensing requirements for psychologists.

Because psychologists perform such a wide variety of tasks, work settings can vary dramatically. Some psychologists work in medical settings, such as hospitals, health clinics, mental health facilities or psychiatric institutions. Other psychologists work in academic or research settings, often teaching students and conducting psychological research. Learn more about the work settings for psychologists.

Many people are not quite sure of the distinction between these two professions, but if you are planning a career in mental health or seeking a mental health provider, it is important to understand exactly how a psychologist differs from a psychiatrist. The simplest answer lies in the educational background required for each profession. A psychiatrist has a degree in medicine and a psychologist has a doctoral-level degree in psychology.

However, there are a number of other distinctions that make each profession quite unique. Learn more about the different educational, training and job requirements in this overview of the differences between psychologists and psychiatrists.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment for psychologists is expected to grow as fast as the average through the year 2018. Certain specialty areas within psychology are rapidly expanding as the demand for trained professionals increases. School psychologists and clinicians in particular may find ample job opportunities over the next several years. Learn more about the job outlook for psychologists and discover which fields of psychology offer the greatest potential for growth.

Because there is so much diversity in psychology professions, earnings and salaries vary greatly depending upon factors such as specialty area, the degree held and the sector of employment. According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook, median earnings for psychologists in 2008 were $64,140. The lowest 10 percent earned under $37,900, while the highest 10 percent earned over $106,840. Click the following link to read more about the earnings and salaries for psychologists and discover some of the average salaries for different psychology careers.

Is becoming a psychologist the best choice for you? Before you decide, spend some time seriously considering your goals and interests. Of course, looking at statistics can never offer a full view of the many aspects of a job. If you are considering psychology as a career, spend some time carefully researching your options in order to determine if this field is a good fit for your personality, needs and long-term goals.

Don't let a single factor, such as projected salary, guide your decision-making process. Instead, look at each career as a whole including the educational and licensing requirements, job outlook, work settings and typical job duties. Take this 10-question quiz to learn more about the psychology careers that are best matched to your interests and personality: The Psychology Career Quiz

Throughout psychology's relatively brief history, there have been many famous psychologists who have left their mark both on psychology and on the world at large. While some of these individuals do not necessarily fit today's definition of a 'psychologist', a term which indicates a doctoral-level degree in psychology, their influence on psychology is without question. Learn more by browsing through this list of some of the most famous thinkers in psychology history.

If you are looking for a trained and experienced psychologist, there are a few different ways to accomplish this. First, you can contact your family physician or local hospital and ask for a referral. This method can be a highly effective way of finding good psychologists in your community. A second approach is to ask trusted friends for family members who they would recommend.

Another option is to utilize the online search tool maintained by the American Psychological Association to uncover a listing of psychologists in your area. Once you have narrowed down your list, book consultations with your top picks. By meeting with each individual and talking about your options, you will have a much better idea of which psychologist is right for your needs.

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