Featured Introduction: Welcome Our Newest Blog Contributor -- J.B.

I’m glad to introduce myself as a contributor to Eddie's blog. Yes, this is a financial services website and blog; however, I will not be writing about financial services per se. Rather, I’ll be writing about my area of expertise – psychology – a topic closely tied to your financial situation.

Most people hear “psychology” and think “therapy;” however, I’m not that kind of psychologist. Similar to many other fields, psychology has different specialty areas. The branch of psychology that you are probably familiar with is called “Clinical Psychology” – sometimes referred to as abnormal psychology in textbooks. I have knowledge of Clinical Psychology; however, my specialty areas focus more on the normal rather than the abnormal. Hence, I will not be giving any sort of psychological advice, well, at least no advice pertaining to your friend’s various psychological problems. Rather, I’ll be giving general advice pertaining to two areas of study termed Social and Industrial/Organizational (I/O) psychology. I will take a moment to explain each.

First, Social Psychology is the study of how people think about, influence, and relate to one another. Sub-areas of Social Psychology include: interpersonal relations (dating), evolutionary psychology (sexual behavior), persuasion/social influence (marketing), and social cognition. I’ll take a second to explain the latter in more detail because it will be a major theme in many upcoming blogs. Social cognition is concerned with the cognitive processes that underlie your perceptions, judgments, and memories. And, more importantly, how these cognitive processes affect your behavior, attitudes/opinions, and personal relationships. Overall, research in Social Psychology (especially social cognition) helps to answer the following questions:

 

How do we explain our behavior?

How do we form our beliefs and attitudes/opinions?

How does what we think (at conscious and nonconscious levels) affect what we do?

Second, I/O Psychology is the study of how to maximize human potential within organizations. In simple terms, it is psychology applied to business. As the name suggests, I/O Psychology has two sides, the “I” and the “O.” The “I” side focuses on employee selection (for instance, how to select the best person for a job using tests, simulations, and interviews), performance appraisal, and training and development. The “O” side shifts focus to the individual within the context of an organization by focusing on topics such as leadership, team synergy, motivation, and job attitudes.

Overall, my blog will discuss research in the areas of Social and I/O Psychology and how it applies to your day-to-day life. I’ll touch on topics that include: 1) how nonconscious processes influence your behavior, attitudes, and personal relationships; 2) how you can overcome some of the pitfalls associated with these cognitive processes; and 3) how testing and assessments explain and affect your personal and professional development.

 

I am convinced you will be shocked, entertained, and enlightened. -- J.B.

Eddie Patel