15 Signs That You Are a Psychology Major

Female student with hands on her head studying in library
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Do you ever think that psychology majors might be just a little different than other students? Are there certain characteristics that set you apart? Probably so.

Signs That You're a Psychology Major

Here are 15 sure-fire signs that you are a psychology major:

  1. People think you are a mind reader. When you tell people what you are majoring in, they ask if you can read their mind.
  2. You spend more time on APA format than any other subject. Your edition of the APA publication manual is dog-eared and the pages are filled with yellow highlighter marks.
  3. All of your friends seem to have undiagnosed psychological conditions. You have tried to diagnose yourself and your friends with mental disorders. During your abnormal psychology class, you found yourself constantly discovering new symptoms that explained why your friends behave the way they do.
  4. You utilize behavioral training to solve everyday problems. You once used operant conditioning to train your roommate to stop leaving their dirty laundry on the floor in your apartment.
  5. You can’t stop psychoanalyzing everyone in your life. You are pretty sure that your academic advisor has an oral fixation — they're always chewing on something, be it a pen, their fingernails, or a stick of gum.
  6. You spend more time in the library than you do in your dorm room. You are an old pro at writing APA papers and lab reports. Introduction, method, results, discussion — you know the parts of a psychology paper like the back of your hand.
  7. You are known as the "listener" in your social group. All of your friends come to you for advice and you love being able to help. You truly do enjoy listening to people talk about their problems, trying to figure out why they think and behave the way they do, and coming up with solutions that might help.
  8. You have used the phrase "correlation does not equal causation" more times than you care to admit. You also find yourself critiquing news articles that your friends share on Facebook because they constantly seem to confuse correlation with causation.
  9. Psychology experiments are a lot more interesting now. When you volunteer for a psychology study, you find yourself trying to figure out what the independent and dependent variables are and what the researcher's hypothesis might be.
  10. You can tell the difference between ​negative reinforcement and punishment — and you get really frustrated when people confuse the two. Which is great, because I've even heard many graduate students say that they are still not 100% clear on some of the major behavioral concepts such as reinforcement, punishment, the unconditioned stimulus, and many other important terms.
  11. You often find yourself having to define psychological terms to your friends and family because you keep using them in daily conversations. And you are starting to think that psychology should be a required class for all students, not just psychology majors. After all, wouldn't the world be a better place if everyone had a better understanding of the human mind and behavior?
  12. Whenever you hear the word nature, the word nurture immediately pops into your head. You also have a much deeper appreciation for how these two forces interact to influence many different aspects of development.
  13. When you meet someone new, you immediately assess which stage of psychosocial development they are in and how well they are coping with the primary conflict at that stage. You also tend to evaluate which stage of psychosexual development they might be stuck in or whether or not they ever progressed to the formal operational stage of cognitive development.
  14. You have a dog named Pavlov, a cat named Thorndike, and a rat named Skinner. Doesn't everyone name their pets after their favorite theorists? 
  15. You're no longer terrified of statistics. You understand what significance levels, t-tests, standard deviations, and z-scores are. That doesn’t mean you enjoy statistics, however. You definitely still hate statistics.

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd
Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."