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What Does a Psychology Lecturer Do?

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  • Written By: Jan Fletcher
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2016
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A psychology lecturer may speak on the theory, practice or application of psychology. He or she may also speak in other public venues, or conduct on-the-job training using a lecture-style presentation. Those who work in this profession may also undertake research, or publish academic papers on the topic of psychology, and as a result may give lectures on research findings.

The lecturing activities of an expert in psychology may address a wide range of topics within the field of psychology, depending upon the audience. A psychology professor may present academic material to psychology students, whereas a noteworthy expert in psychology may address a group of professionals, such as people in attendance at a trade conference. Sometimes a company will invite an expert in human behavioral science to give a presentation to company personnel. For example, a psychologist experienced in preventing workplace violence may lecture a company's personnel on various methods of spotting warning signs, so as train staff to head off episodes of violence.

Teaching students is a very common activity for a psychology lecturer. Oftentimes, the lecturer may be a professor, but not always. Sometimes, students seeking a master's degree in psychology may present academic material to other students, as a grad assistant. This may happen particularly with lectures that are presented to those students who are taking a psychology class as an elective, and not as preparation for a career in psychology.

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For students seeking degrees in the field of psychology, a psychology lecturer will typically delve into a much more academically rigorous exploration of the subject matter. Presentations of scientific findings and discussions of clinical research studies may comprise the subject material of a lecture in these situations. Those who lecture students may teach various disciplines within the field of psychology. A lecturer teaching behavioral psychology, for example, will usually present students with examples and facts concerning aspects of how human psychological dynamics may influence behaviors of a person or a group of people.

Someone lecturing in social psychology will usually focus his or her lecture material on how groups influence social interactions and mental states of individuals within the group. Clinical psychologists may lecture to groups of medical professionals on best practices in clinical psychology, or new research findings. A psychology lecturer with focus in developmental psychology may lecture to groups of teachers, or present scientific findings in this area. Scientists within the field of psychology often lecture on the more arcane topics in the field that would appeal to a narrower group of psychology professionals. A psychology lecturer who works for a university or college may also be expected to publish papers, or books in his or her field, in addition to teaching college classes.

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