Experimental Psychologist

Run experiments to determine why people behave the way they do.

What does an Experimental Psychologist do?

An Experimental Psychologist conducts experiments with the goal of finding answers to psychological questions. As an Experimental Psychologist, you can work in a college or university, in a research lab, or for a nonprofit agency. Your work is very controlled and methodical-you formulate a hypothesis, work with control groups, and do everything that a normal science experiment would require, with the exception that you focus solely on figuring out the behavior of animals and humans.

By and large, the goal of your research as an Experimental Psychologist is motivated by your desire to find out why living things do what they do. You are also driven by the hope that your experiments will add to the knowledge of Doctors and Psychologists about existing mental disorders, and can provide solutions to those problems. You perform many experiments and make reports on your findings, with the goal of being published, creating interest in your work, and raising funds for further research.

The kinds of things you test within a lab include how animals react to incentives, how their memory works, how they react to varying environments, and so on. You conduct research with the help of Research Assistants, most often done on undergraduate students, and completed within a variety of settings. You should be a very perseverant person because you will face many dead-ends and other barriers along the way. But the pursuit of knowledge and the betterment of psychology are your motivators.

You are a naturally curious person. Life is one big mystery to you, and you just can’t wait to crack it.