ERIC Number: ED375692
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993
Reference Count: N/A
What Do Students in Psychology Courses Know about Clinical Psychology?
Ellis, Jon B.; Cantrell, Peggy J.
This study examined what psychology students know about clinical psychology as most students with declared majors in psychology state that they have career plans to work in applied psychology. A five-item questionnaire was administered to 162 undergraduates in three introductory and upper level psychology courses. The questionnaire asked students to define psychology and clinical psychology, to describe the educational requirements for a clinical psychologist, to describe the difference between a clinical psychologist and a psychiatrist and to name two prominent individuals in the field. Results indicated that generally all students displayed a poor understanding of clinical psychology. Although upper level students were better able to define psychology, their understanding of clinical psychology was no better than that of introductory students. Though many of the upper level students, if not most of them, reported interest in clinical psychology, they demonstrated little understanding of what this field entails. Fifty students were unable to name two psychologists, and of the rest, most cited Freud (though he was first a physician), and only 23 percent cited two appropriate names. Results support the need to emphasize basic information about applied careers early in students' academic careers. Contains one table and seven references. (JB)
Descriptors: Career Choice, Clinical Psychology, Higher Education, Knowledge Level, Majors (Students), Psychologists, Psychology, Student Attitudes, Undergraduate Students, Undergraduate Study
Dept. of Psychology, Box 70, 649, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN 37614-0649.
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A