Psychology Majors’ Perceptions Versus Reality: Self-reflection and Awareness

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Eric Landrum


According to the National Center for Education Statistics (2012), there were 100,893 degrees in psychology conferred by degree-granting institutions in the 2010-2011 school year. It is important to note that this number has been increasing over the years and continues to do so. As a result, a number of challenges and questions have begun to surface. Dissatisfaction from both psychology graduates and employers have been actively expressed. Landrum (2009) explained there may be two major factors to consider, one factor being career options available for specific disciplines, and another factor being the students’ recognition of career options versus the reality of career options. If there is a mismatch between a student’s perception and reality, a number of consequences may arise, some of which include dissatisfaction and unpreparedness when entering the workforce. A major concern is do students who pursue bachelor’s degrees in psychology effectively self-reflect and have accurate career knowledge? The key component of this study is to determine if a misalignment exists between students’ perceptions and reality because of students’ lack of self-reflection and awareness. We hypothesize that students who effectively self-reflect are more aligned than students who do not effectively self-reflect. We also hypothesize that students who have accurate career knowledge are more aligned than students who are unaware of different career paths. We define alignments as how well the students are able to identify what they want and how well they understand different career options. We hope to survey Boise State University psychology majors and receive 100 completed questionnaires examining the effects of students’ levels of self-reflection and career knowledge on their alignment.

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