Biopsychology is a field in psychology that addresses the impacts of individual brain and neurotransmitters on behaviors. Through specialization in biopsychology, career psychologists can put together an understanding of the effects of the nervous system on the brain and the physical reactions of the body towards the same. Once qualified as a biological psychologist, one can work as a research assistant, teacher, counselor, or even a researcher. Working in any of these careers requires different qualifications since some are more advanced than others. For instance, biological psychologists who intend to work as research assistants must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in the field. However, teachers and researchers must possess a doctorate in the field while the counselors need a master’s degree in biopsychology. As such, working in any of the careers comes with significant challenges based on the position of a professional.
Research assistants in the field of biopsychology work hand in hand with supervising professors or researchers. Their scope of duties includes mainly offering hands-on services as directed by the professors with whom they work. The jobs of the research assistants can, therefore, include performing simple experimental surgical procedures on animal subjects. As in 2015, the median salary for a research assistant in the field of biopsychology was $ 42,480 per month with an expected growth rate of 6% between 2014 and 2024. Teaching careers in biopsychology range from secondary school teaching to post-secondary school teaching roles. In some instances, bio-psychologists with doctoral degrees who have engaged in research activities may be capable of getting opportunities to teach in research universities. In such cases, their median salary, as was reported in 2015, is to be approximately $ 70,260 with an expected growth rate of 16% between 2014 and 2024 (study.com, 2017).
Biological psychologists working as scientific researchers have a wide scope of performance. Although there are many available research options for biological researchers, most of them develop the interest in particular parts of the brain or conditions. They may be engaged in searching for causes and effects of particular mental illnesses, brain injury, stress, and hormones. Most of the studies focus on determining the neural impacts of certain activities or compounds on the brains of animals used in research. As such, they are mostly employed by pharmaceutical industries to conduct studies on the drug effects and interactions, using animals such as rodents as the study subjects. Among the biopsychology careers, the scientific researchers enjoy the greatest financial benefits, with a recorded median salary of approximately $76,000 as in 2015. In spite of this, the career prospects in biopsychology research are recorded to be reducing, with an expected drop of 2% between 2014 and 2024 (study.com, 2017).
Most of the bio-psychologists shy away from working as counselors. Counselors trained in biological psychology often have interest in neuroscience. They are, thus, more likely to be employed in mental health institutions, clinics, and hospitals, where they help patients who report handicaps and cerebral disorders. Even while working in such environments as psychologists, they still have to possess working knowledge of pharmacological methods as such may be required in the hospital context. Despite the wide scope of responsibilities associated with counseling psychologists and the high level of education relative to the research assistants, they are reported to have the lowest median salaries of approximately $41,880. However, the career growth prospects of the same are still on the rise, expected to grow by 20% between 2014 and 2024 (study.com, 2017).
Scientific research appears to be the most attractive career among those supported by bio-psychology. As such, I would choose this among the other career prospects. Research offers a lot of diversity during practice, as opposed to teaching and counseling careers. Moreover, scientific research offers the most attractive revenue although one has to begin from being a research assistant. Instead of being a teacher, I would rather begin by being a research assistant and then work hard towards better benefits in the future. As a researcher, I would also interact with many people and engage in many experimental activities that enable me to learn more than I would learn otherwise. For instance, I would learn why some drugs do not work in a given combination while others do. In the classroom or the hospital setting where teaching and counseling services are provided respectively, a bio-psychologist would have limited application of their competencies. I believe being a researcher will help me by testing the deepest reserves of my knowledge and capacity.
One of the most interesting things I have learned about bio-psychology is its application. Initially, I limited the application of psychology-based fields on areas where interactions between humans are prevalent. For instance, I was more likely to say that psychologists can work in a mental health facility but not a pharmaceutical company. Through understanding biopsychology, I have come to realize just how many opportunities I can be passed by without even being aware of their existence. I am now aware that as a psychologist, I am not restricted to counseling or even to teaching, but I can explore all the available career options in whatever field of psychology that I choose to pursue.
In relation to biopsychology, I listened to episodes 199 and 280 of psych files on depth perception and bystander activation respectively. While listening to these podcasts, I remembered a phenomenon that commonly occurs among people interacting with each other. While the podcast on depth perception focused entirely on perception of depth in the observation of things, I realized that human interactions can also face similar depth abstractions. For instance, people who are not physically close to us tend to occupy a very small space in our minds. At the same time, their presence is not as illuminated as the presence of others who are closer to us. Because of this, we often fail to feel their pain or their joy as opposed to what we feel for those who are close. At times, pain may even feel like our own if shared with people who are very close as in the concept of bystander activation explained in podcast 280.
The topic of discrimination perfectly fits in with the two podcasts listened to. In terms of depth perception, discrimination portrays an image of indifference and lack of understanding of the other, which can only exist where people have different characteristics such as others appear to be farther away from us than others. For instance, people of the same race may possess a greater feeling of togetherness as compared to people of different races. Similarly, our positions in other people’s lives also affect their perception about us and their probability of influencing us towards ideological change. As such, people opt to practice discrimination as it is easier to deal with those with whom you have some similarities in ideology or background.
Study.com (2017). Biological psychology careers: Options and requirements. Retrieved from www.study.com/articles/Biological_Psychology_Careers_Options_and_Requirements.ht ml