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Suggestions needed: USC Applied psychology, NYU general psychology and UPenn positive psychology


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Hey everyone, I'm new to the forum and pretty much to psychology as well. I need some advice/insights for choosing a good MA/MS in psychology so any input is appreciated!

My goal is NOT to get into a PhD program, at least not for now. I really want this program to help me build a foundation in psychology and better prep me for my marketing career. So the three programs I'm looking at right now are USC Applied psychology, NYU general psychology and UPenn positive psychology. My undergrad degree is actually biochemistry, so a foundation in psychology is just as important as the application part of it for me. I do want to have a solid understanding of psychology as a whole because I don't think spending that much time and money on a career development program is necessarily worth it. 

If anyone has any knowledge or experience with these programs, I'd really appreciate some help here! 

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I am not personally familiar with those programs. My advice here is more broadly focused. To be honest, it doesn't sound like a degree in psychology is what you want. If you are not interested in a solid understanding of psychology, a general psychology MS is the furthest thing from what you want. Given your marketing career, it sounds to me that you might be best served just taking some non-degree seeking classes in social psychology that talk about persuasion techniques. In fact, if you are only interested in having the knowledge (as opposed to the degree), just read some stuff by Robert Cialdini. I know he is a big name in social persuasion research. Beyond that, maybe some marketing classes would be more up your alley (assuming you did not take such courses in your biochem degree). If you really want a degree in psychology, then you will have to take some foundation courses I would assume. But positive and general psychology degrees as definitely not what you are looking for it seems. 

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Seconding what Applicant38 said -- it sounds like you could get the knowledge and information you need just from reading independently. Cialdini is a good person to read, as are books by folks like Dan Ariely, Richard Thaler, and Danny Kahneman. The behavioral economics and I/O literatures would be good to familiarize yourself with generally.

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