What Types of Skills Are Best for a Psychology Major?

With its deep insights into human behavior, psychology is a fascinating major that helps to develop students’ understanding of mental health. If you’re considering becoming a psychology major, you might be wondering about the types of skills you’ll need in order to be successful.

Here are some of the most common skills for psychology majors.


Human behavior is a complex subject and learning about it in detail requires an open mind. In your classes, you’ll be learning about various types of behaviors and mental health disorders, as well as about the different ways that people interact with one another. In order to get the most out of these classes, and to ensure that you’re developing an in-depth understanding of the field, it’s important to be objective and flexible in your thinking and to be willing to change your mind when presented with new information.

Critical thinking skills

Another important skill for psychology majors is the ability to think critically. Since you’ll be learning about various psychological theories and analyzing an array of case studies in your classes, the ability to form connections between different areas of psychology (and to determine which theories resonate most closely with your own ideas) is an extremely important part of succeeding in this major.

Research skills

Psychology majors also need to have well-developed research skills including the ability to conduct experiments and to quantify and interpret data. As a psychology major, you’ll be putting these skills to use by carrying out different experiments and presenting your research to your professors and your peers. You’ll also spend a lot of time reading about various behavioral theories and therapeutic modalities so being able to find relevant texts and pull information from them is extremely important.

Problem-solving skills

Problem-solving skills are important for almost every major and psychology is no exception. In fact, being able to solve problems in an effective and creative way is a necessary part of studying psychology since so much of the subject is focused on assessing and treating mental and behavioral problems. If you’re more interested in research than on the clinical aspects of psychology, having great problem-solving skills will help you design and implement experiments to further your research.

Communication skills

Since psychology trains you to work closely with others, being able to communicate effectively is key. Strong communication skills are also important when it comes to presenting research papers at conferences, so ensuring that your style of communication is clear and effective is a great way to set yourself up for success.

Although psychology majors come from a variety of interest areas and backgrounds, those who really succeed in this major are able to develop these skills and to put them to good use.

Next, learn more about this college major such as What Is a Psychology Major and Is it Right for Me? and get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as 3 Ways to Be More Productive at Work.