The Benefits of Taking a Psychology Class

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Even if you're not a psychology major, you can still benefit from learning more about the human mind and behavior by taking a psychology course. Many universities require students to take at least one class in psychology or a related topic such as sociology or anthropology.

Why is psychology often included as part of a core general education requirement? There are a few great reasons.


There are a few great reasons to learn about psychology, even if you don't plan to pursue a career in it.

Understanding Others

If you are majoring in a subject that will lead you to a career that involves working directly with lots of different people, such as teaching or nursing, understanding more about how people think and behave will be extremely helpful in your career.

Even if you don't plan to work with people, psychology is still beneficial in helping you understand how and why the people in your life think and behave the way they do.

Understanding Yourself

Just like it helps you better understand others, taking a psychology class can help you learn about parts of yourself too, including what motivates you, what sort of personality you have, and how your personality contributes to the way you think and behave.

Understanding yourself better can help you improve your relationships with others, your communication skills, your motivation, and how you relate to the world around you.

The study of psychology helps you understand yourself and others, which can be extremely fulfilling and lead to better, stronger relationships with your family, friends, and co-workers.

Improving Critical Thinking Skills

Psychology classes help you learn the scientific method, how to evaluate sources of information, and how to think critically about the information you encounter every day. These classes can help you hone these skills, which prove useful in a variety of careers and different areas of life.

An Intro to Psychology Class

You might be expected to take one introductory psychology class, which can be a great way to get a basic grounding in the topic. In an introductory class, you will learn about a range of topics including:

Sometimes your major might require you to take a class such as abnormal psychology or developmental psychology as part of your core requirements. Health majors, in particular, can benefit from taking such classes.

These topics can help prepare you to work with individuals who are experiencing some form of mental illness and teach you more about human behavior and development. By learning more about the symptoms and treatments of such disorders, you can develop greater empathy and understanding when working with people experiencing psychological problems.

Of course, knowing why your university requires you to take a psychology class doesn't necessarily make it any easier. If you know little about the topic, or if you're struggling in your class, there are a number of things you can do to find help.

Many universities offer free tutoring centers or academic assistance labs, but you can also turn to online resources to help you make sense of the subject.

4 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Tenney ER, Vazire S, Mehl MR. This examined life: The upside of self-knowledge for interpersonal relationships. PLoS One. 2013;8(7):e69605. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069605

  3. Gurung RA, Hackathorn J, Enns C, et al. Strengthening introductory psychology: A new model for teaching the introductory course. Am Psychol. 2016;71(2):112-124. doi:10.1037/a0040012

  4. Carr JE. The evolution of psychology as a basic bio-behavioral science in healthcare education. J Clin Psychol Med Settings. 2017;24(3-4):234-244. doi:10.1007/s10880-017-9507-x

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