Virginia State Biopsychology and Perception Psychology Reflection & Responses


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For this Discussion, in your Initial Post you will share with your classmates your observations from your research on Biopsychology and Perception Psychology as subspecialties and career options.

Please be sure to address BOTH subspecialties in your response to each question. Points will be deducted if both subspecialties are not clearly and separately addressed.

1) After researching these areas, do you find them to be career possibilities you are interested in or careers that don’t capture your interest? Why or why not?
2) What is at least one thing you learned about each of the two subspecialties that you did not previously know?

3) Describe a “real-world” application for each of the two subspecialties. How could knowledge gained through the pursuit of each subspecialty help us to understand everyday problems, dilemmas, or situations? Note: your answer does not have to be specific to psychology as a field. Think broadly; psychological principles can apply to many different fields.

No citations needed, please put in your own words.

thoughtfully integrate relevant theory and research you read about this week and strive to make connections between that academic content and your own observations and experiences.

Your responses to the postings of other students should be relevant and substantive.

Response #1 aim for 100 words +

Good evening class!

After researching what each subcategory is and what it consists of, I do like the idea of biopsychology. This is because I am drawn to behavior based psychology. I enjoy learning what drives behavior and why. From our reading from this and last week, Biopsychology basically combines different areas of neuroscience with psych to explain the bases of behavior. This is a highly research motivated field but you still work with patients to fulfill the interaction portion. However, this field usually requires a PhD so it is not a tangible field for me. Not that I wouldn’t be interested in pursuing this far of an education but I’m already in a profession. So, by the time I am finished with my current career, I don’t think I’ll be at an age or will I have the desire to pursue a doctorate. In order to use Biopsych in a real-world scenario, you could study the people around you on a small scale. I tend to try to figure out what motivates the people around me which is what they value. This turns into why they do what they do and I can ensure their needs and values are being met depending on the project at hand.

Perception Psychology is very fascinating and from what I’ve noticed it can be rabbit holed very quickly. Meaning, so many things are interconnected. For instance, the sensation piece is tightly woven into perception. Our perception of what we have experienced and how we organize our perception from that is top-down processing. This is based on our interpretations of thoughts, feelings and experiences. I’m not sure if I would consider this as a professional avenue I would pursue. However, I do use this a lot in my professional career. A lot of thought and study also goes into attention and inattention “blindness”. This occurs when we don’t perceive something based on what we are paying attention to. Seems a bit confusing but in a relative term we call that “noise”. Our brain focuses on what is important and tunes out the “noise” of our everyday life. I use this in my classroom setting to help facilitate conversation on priorities. This helps the members focus on what is needed to be successful in the military and how to manage priorities which also aligns with the Air Force values and expectations.

Have a great week!


Response #2 aim for 100 words +

Biopsychology deals more with the brain and nervous system, also how they both influences someone’s behavior. After researching more about the subspecialty I don’t think I would be interested in the careers that are associated with it. Its jobs consist of laboratory assistant, research assistant, pharmacist, which does not capture my interest. I have never been big on doing any kind of laboratory work or dealing with different types of drugs. One this I did learn is that employment in the field is projected to grow from 9% to 13% from 2014 to 2024, which is faster than the average projected growth of other occupations. A real world application dealing with biopsychology can be drugs, like pills that helps alleviate pain or increase concentration. Also, those that help populations that have mental disorders like schizophrenia or depression. We find out what it does biologically to the body and the brain, then how it helps the person psychologically afterwards. Do further research on how the human brain works and also doing a scientific study can help people with their everyday problems; maybe even resolve it.

Perception Psychology focuses more with the human conscious and its unconscious distinctive features of the cognitive system. It also includes how someone sees you with the way that you act or recognizing sensory information like a smell, sound, or touch. The career possibilities associated with perception psychology captures my interest because it requires you to work with children to understand memory formation, Teaches language skills and taught in many different settings like a classroom or a government office. One thing I learned about this sub specialty is that it emphasizes the role of thought processed in learning and human behavior. A real world application for perception can be when a person looks a bottle of hot sauce, the first thing to pop up in their head is the word hot or spicy. Perception is a big issue in the military because the way people see you act professionally, they automatically assume that’s how you are, and one way of understanding it is by actually speaking to the person and getting to know them. -ariel

Response #3 aim for 100 words +

Biopsychology, also known as behavioral neuroscience, psychobiology, or physiological psychology, is a unique interdisciplinary area of study which integrates psychology and biology. While psychology, in general, is the study of the mind, this particular branch of psychology includes study of the brain and nervous system and how they impact– and even control– thoughts, feelings, and behavior. This is of particular interest to me, as I have long been intrigued by the inner workings of both the mind and the body. In both yoga and ayurveda, we philosophize about how psychology impacts physiology, and vice versa. From what I’ve learned, Biopsychology appears to be the modern day, science-driven approach to these ancient philosophies, with advanced methods and the data to back its findings. Like other subfields under the umbrella of psychology, career possibilities in biopsychology vary, depending upon the level of education achieved, ranging from research assistant or high school teacher, to researcher or college professor, to neuroscientist or pharmacologist, as well as a mental health counselor or psychologist.

Had I began my college experience with this area of study and career-path in mind from the get-go, this may have been a good fit for me, as this blend of the psychological and physiological would be of benefit to me in my desire to pursue a career in performance psychology. That said, based on my current credits earned, going this route would require me to take on additional science and math courses, substantially adding to amount of time it would take for me to complete my degree. One of the reasons I changed my major from Sports & Health Sciences to Psychology was because my previous coursework had better prepared me to pursue a BA, rather than a BS. So, long story short: no, this would not be a good path for me.

Perception psychology, as known as perceptual psychology, is a subfield of cognitive psychology that seeks to understand how humans interpret their environments. (Yet another shared aspect with yoga!) Similar to biopsychology, an undergraduate degree in cognitive psychology with an emphasis in perception psychology includes additional science and math courses, as compared to the traditional psychology track. Because this is a specialty within a subfield, careers options are more specified, making an advanced degree even more important. According to, most cognitive psychologists work in a university setting and either teach or conduct research, or both. While this type of career would require a PhD, there are some entry-level career options available to undergraduate degree holders, such as psychiatric technician or research assistant. Personally, I couldn’t see myself pursuing this path. Cognitive psychology in general is interesting, as it explores how the mind affects reality, but perception psychology is simply too specialized for me; I simply prefer broader areas of study. The entry-level careers available are of little interest to me, and I am still uncertain if I will attempt to achieve a degree beyond master’s level.

Something new that I learned about biopsychology is that, while it is currently increasing in popularity thanks to advances in technology, its beginnings were greatly influenced by the Cartesian model, which is a form of rationalism, that emphasized a scientific approach using reason an evidence. This may seem like common sense these days, but it was quite revolutionary in its time!

As for perception psychology, I wasn’t aware that it even existed! So that, in and of itself, is new to me. I also learned that perception psychology favors nativism, which states that humans are born with an innate perceptive ability. This is in contrast to empiricism, which holds that perceptual abilities must be learned.

A real world application for biopsychology could be used to understand how certain stimuli affects someone with PTSD. Perceptual psychology could be used to explain reactions impacted by implicit bias, such as how a police officer can see a man holding a gun when, in reality, the man is only holding a cell phone. -Sommer

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