Psychology: Posts

Topics in Applied Psychology: Interview with Graham Davey

Read our interview with the editor of the Topics in Applied Psychology series, Graham Davey!

Why did this series need to be put together?

Student interest in applied psychology has grown significantly over the past 10-15 years, and this has led to some significant changes in the way that applied psychology is taught in undergraduate degree programmes. Traditionally applied psychology modules used to be confined to final year electives or options, but now the demand for such courses occurs at all levels of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching to the extent that it is even an integrated part of first year foundation teaching in many undergraduate psychology programmes. This series was conceived as a set of texts that could be used readily and easily to provide teaching and learning aids covering the main individual areas of applied psychology – and covering both academic and professional angles of applied psychology.

How are the Topics in Applied Psychology books different from other books in the field?

Each text is based on a similar academic formula that combines a comprehensive review of cutting-edge research and professional knowledge with accessible teaching and learning features, and the books are structured so they can be easily used as an integrated teaching support for a 1-term or 1-semester course in each of their relevant areas of applied psychology.

What do you hope readers will take away from this series?

Hopefully a lot! Each text is written by professionals and academics who provide a range of insights into their applied topic, including the latest research findings, debates on current issues of controversy, a flavour of what it is like to be a practicing professional in that area, and information about the various training routes required to become a professional applied psychologist.

What are the benefits of an applied psychology perspective?

Arguably a majority of undergraduate psychology students choose psychology because of an interest in applied psychology and a desire to use psychological knowledge to help alleviate social and personal problems. Indeed, around 15-20% of UK psychology graduates who do enter employment immediately after graduation enter professional and applied occupations. So significant is the interest of the undergraduate student in applied aspects of psychology that many Universities now teach core psychological knowledge by using applied psychology examples.

What’s new to the second editions of these books?

All texts have been updated with details of recent professional developments as well as relevant research, and we have responded to the requests of teachers and reviewers to include new material, and new approaches to this material. Perhaps most importantly, all texts in the series will now have back-up web resources.

Are there any key messages within the series you’d like to highlight?

Perhaps most importantly, a series such as this attests to the increasing significance of applied psychology in the undergraduate psychology curriculum. Not only are students learning how to apply the psychological knowledge they learn, but they are also being taught core knowledge with the use of applied psychology examples.

Can you offer some guidelines for mastering an applied psychology discipline?

Dedication! Becoming an applied psychologist requires a thorough understanding of the psychological knowledge that underpins an applied topic, as well as a knowledge of relevant research and the methods used to conduct that research – and that’s just the basic requirement! To then work professionally using this knowledge requires intensive professional training and a genuine desire to help people generally.

What inspired you to edit a series on applied psychology?

There was certainly a dearth of relevant applied psychology text books on the market given its rapidly rising profile in undergraduate degree programmes, so it seemed appropriate to put together a series that offered up-to-date information and knowledge across the main areas of applied psychology, and in a format that facilitated teaching and learning. But professional applied psychologists are very busy people, and it is often difficult to get such people to contribute to writing academic texts such as those in this series. But we did it! And we have an excellent list of authors, editors and contributors across the series as a whole.

Are there any disciplines not yet featured you’d like to feature in the series?

There are certainly some applied disciplines we are actively considering as additions to the series, and these include Counselling Psychology, Coaching Psychology, and Forensic Psychology. But as applied psychology grows – especially as a topic taught at undergraduate level – we will undoubtedly be considering many other additions as new topics become influential, and some of these emerging areas include environmental psychology, consumer psychology, and community psychology.

Graham Davey

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Graham Davey is the editor of the Topics in Applied Psychology series. He is Professor of Psychology at the University of Sussex, UK. Professor Davey has published over 150 articles in scientific and professional journals and written or edited 16 books, including Psychopathology, Clinical Psychology, Applied Psychology, Complete Psychology. He has served as President of the British Psychological Society, and is currently editor-in-chief of the Journal of Experimental Psychopathology and Psychopathology Review.