Every semester, psychology students around the country anxiously file into their required, introductory statistics classes. Although some love it, statistics tends to be difficult and anxiety-producing for psychology students (who sometimes refer to it as Sadistics 101). To combat this, publishers have released a flurry of student-friendly textbooks designed to make statistics more palatable. However, students often face challenges learning statistics, and, frankly, don’t generally like it.
Now in my 8th year as a psychology professor, one topic job that seems to consistently come up in conversation around working with students is email etiquette. I guess I should clarify that these conversations usually have to do with one part of email etiquette: expected response time. For better or worse (probably worse), it’s clear that in academia email has become the dominant way people communicate with each other.
As commencement approaches, our baccalaureate psychology graduates will likely hear the familiar admonition “But you can’t get a decent job with a bachelor’s degree in psychology!” There is some truth to that warning (Carnevale, et al., 2015; Rajecki & Borden, 2011) and to employers’ complaints that graduates are unprepared for work. However, if we vigorously shared other data with our students we could instill optimism in the 55% of those graduates who enter the job market.
How can teachers and advisors help?
Professional organizations are great resources for people already working in a field, but it turns out that they’re great for students, too! As I-O psychologists, our field bridges the gap between so many different specialty areas that it can be tough to find all the different organizations that can provide the best resources for us. The best place to start is the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), of course!
Kevin, a bright, enthusiastic second-grader, has tremendous difficulties in school. He can’t seem to pay attention to his teacher’s instruction, gets distracted easily by activities around him, has trouble staying still in his seat, and often bothers his classmates by talking to them during work time or calling out without permission. As a result, Kevin gets very little work done and is getting increasingly further behind in math and reading. Kevin’s teacher and parents are very frustrated and blame each other for Kevin’s difficulties. Unfortunately, Kevin’s situation is very typical for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); a condition that affects between 5 to 10% of students in the US.