My son is a sophomore in high school and the only field he seems interested in for college is psychology because he wants to help people. I'm trying to figure out the best way to help him make an educated decision on what college might give him the best chances for starting his career. I figure that if we know what he specifically would like to focus on as a discipline post graduation, I could help him get to a list of great colleges/universities offering him a step up in that specialty.

Is there a series of questions/guide/webpage/book that might help us figure out the specialty that he would most enjoy? Any advice on this would be welcome.


Psychology can be roughly summarised as the study of human behaviour. To figure out where your interest lies in the field, you have to figure what aspect of human behaviour you want to understand and how you want to understand it.

Do you want to know:

  • How people solve problems? That’s Cognitive Psychology.
  • How we can model how people solve problems with a computer? That’s Cognitive Modelling. etc…

There are a lot of fields and they aren’t mutually exclusive. To get started, you may want to browse the tags of this site or look at the Wikipedia outline of the Psychology topic.

Side note: Wanting to help people isn't the best reason to want to study psychology. There a much more effective ways of reducing suffering in the world. See 80,000 Hours for further information.


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