Jack of all trades or Master of one?

Coming into the season of work appraisal, this is a question that I have been asking my fellow colleagues:

"Do you wish to be a Jack of all trades or Master of one?"


Often in work, we are asked to do a lot of things, however most of them may be pertaining to our line of work, e.g. writing clinical reports, preparing and researching information for upcoming meetings, etc.  Doing these things are fine as they belong in your area of expertise, and were what you expected to do when you interviewed for that job in the first place.  These things are also the job requirements that your employers expect you to be equipped with in the first place.

But sometimes we are also asked to do other "non-expertise" things in the areas of event management, marketing, HR, etc.  This is unavoidable and you cannot often say "No" to your own boss or employer.  In my opinion, it is okay if I have to do it once in a while, but it is not conducive to work if that is all I am expected to do instead of the above "expertise"-related work.  It is sometimes made worse, knowing that your work appraisal is going to be based on these "non-expertise" work.  Imagine getting evaluated for your skills in managing a company event when you are employed as a psychologist?  

We are in a society that wishes to improve all the time (due to our ability to find faults in everything).  Hence there is the thought that we need to be well-rounded in different skills; however, are these extra skills the skills we personally want to have?  Will these extra skills help us in our ability to be a better psychologist or employee in our line of work?

This question is also faced by some psychologists.  They may choose to say that they practice eclectic psychotherapy, which is a combination of different therapeutic techniques.  But it is also said that eclectic psychotherapy is practiced by those who are not knowledgeable and skillful in one single therapeutic method, hence they decided to "mix and match" different methods (i.e. jack of all trades).  So would you choose to say that you are very knowledgeable and skillful in one (or a few) types of psychotherapy or just use whichever method (which you learned briefly) that seemed suitable during the session?  But how are you going to attain and practice these "expertise"-related knowledge and skills if you were often asked to do "non-expertise" tasks at work?  

This is written from the author's personal perspective working in the public service.  Your current work situation might not be the same as the case above.  

SGPsychStud's Guide to Exploring SG Psych Stuff

This is the 125th post on the blog, with more than 42,500 views in just this year alone!  Sometimes, I do get confused myself with all these different blog posts, but most of the time, I managed to find what I need.  So here are my tips in terms of navigating around this blog SG Psych Stuff:
  • Know what you are looking for.  Type in the topic you are searching for in the "Search This Blog" just under the labels.
  • The labels are on the right on the main text.  Click on them if you are interested in a certain topic from the list.
  • If you are more interested in the more popular posts, there is a list of them under "What Others are reading" on the right as well.  This list shows the most read posts in the last week.
Did you know that there are some tabs on the top of the page as well?
  • If you wish to know more about me and the blog, make sure to click on About this blog.  There are some personal posts about me there.
  • Upcoming events in Singapore, South East Asia and regions close to us are updated (on a irregular basis - Apologies for that!) on Upcoming Conferences Nearby.  It is updated with events till 2016.
  • If you wish to know more about the psychological journey, there are many motivational stories on Reflection Stories, which 100% of them are all true from different people at different stages of the journey.
You may ask me:  Where should I start reading?  Really depends on which stage of the journey you are at:
That's all I have for you for now.  Please note that the posts above might have further attached links to other posts which might also be of interest to you! 

Thanks for reading SG Psych Stuff!!  

Miss Psychobabble: Tips on Critically Analyzing Journal Articles

In the field of Psychology, you have to constantly research among vast array of articles and make sure that you filter only the useful ones.  Sometimes, searching for the best article is like looking for a needle in a haystack.  Here are some of the tips that may help you with that:

1.  Observe the Article’s Structure or Formatting.
This is the first thing that you shall notice.  American Psychological Association or APA style is the most widely used format within the Psychology community (http://www.apastyle.org/manual/).  It must have all the necessary parts namely:  Abstract, Introduction, Review of Related Literature, Methodology, Results, Discussion, References and Appendices.

2.  Check the Credibility of the Author and the Journal Publication.Prefer an article that has been peer-reviewed and cited by others.  Usually the best articles are from scholarly journals with simple names such as Journal of Clinical Psychiatry or Cognition.  Usually, subscribing to well-known annals costs too much.  So if you’re a student, I suggest you visit these Journal database that provide open access or free complete version for useful journal articles:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/
http://www.springeropen.com/
http://elizabethlieutenant.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/the-journal-subscription-price-is-too-damn-high.jpg

3.  Analyze the study's aims and benefits.
Is the study important?  Contemplate whether the society will benefit from this study.  Did the researchers accomplish what they were looking for?  If not, why did they fail?

4.  Spot the study’s blind spots.
Do you find some errors in the results’ interpretation?  Did the researchers describe the methods adequately?  Are the tests used valid or reliable?  Prefer a study that uses standardized measures.
Who are the participants?  The strength of the result may depend on the sample.  Prefer a study that is age and gender representative.

5.  Examine the study’s limitations.
When was the study done?  A good study is no more than 10 years while a better study is from 5 years and below.  This is to ensure that the data, technology and condition of the society or environment are still relevant and updated.
Where was the study done?  Analyze whether a study is cross-culturally (generally/universally) relevant or culturally (specifically/locally) relevant.  For instance, if I were to study the effect of illegality of homosexuality to the homosexuals’ immediate families I can only study the countries that consider it as a crime (the red ones).
http://www.businessinsider.com/where-homosexuality-is-illegal-2013-12?IR=T&
It is a common error for some to overly generalize the study’s results where in fact it is only relevant for a specific group of people.

Conclusion
To help you choose the most appropriate journal article, you must: "OCASE"
  • Observe the article’s structure, 
  • Check the credibility of the author and the journal publication, 
  • Analyze the study's aims and benefits, 
  • Spot the study’s blind spots, and 
  • Examine the study’s limitations

Accreditation of programs and Registration of psychologists

As discussed before (in this link), there is no accreditation of programs for local degrees, and accreditation of overseas programs available in Singapore are to be accredited by the respective accreditation bodies of the different countries.  In Singapore (and some of our neighbouring Asian countries), we have this very unique culture of overseas programs being offered in our local Private Educational Institutes (PEIs).  In Singapore, we have undergraduate and postgraduate programs primarily from America, Australia, and UK.  For those who are new to this blog or wish to understand the study pathway towards being a psychologist in Singapore, please view this post.

For local psychology programs, we know that there are only four local programs, and according to CPE (as updated on 24 Sept 2014), there are 34 registered overseas psychology undergraduate programs in Singapore.  For postgraduate programs,  there are only seven of them, local and overseas.  All in all, there is only a total of 45 programs offered by a total of less than 20 different institutions.

I have previously discussed the importance of having an accreditation of programs, which the focus of this post would be on Reason 4:
4.  Those who complete accredited programs will be "sufficiently qualified and competent to meet the registration requirements" (APAC, 2012).  With the registration requirements met out, this accreditation standards could be in line with the registration requirements.  This would mean that the program that you are doing will be able to equip you with the psychological knowledge and skills you will need to become a psychologist.
The accreditation of programs should tie in with the registration of psychologists, because the main route of training for students to be psychologists in Singapore is through these programs.  In turn, the programs should prepare you to be a competent psychologist.  However, these connections are only assumed: 
  1. Students assume that schools are training them the knowledge and skills they need.  With no accreditation of the programs, there is no fixed regulation of what are supposed to be taught to the students.  
  2. The registration council assumes that these programs are sufficiently equipping the students with the knowledge and skills, and the certificates the students get upon graduation are proof of these knowledge and skills.  However, we do not truly know the knowledge and skills the 'psychologist' possess when they are applying for registration (to be a psychologist) with just their postgraduate certificates.    
With proper accreditation of the programs being in line with the registration criteria, this will ensure that the institutions are providing the programs to students in a way that will prepare them to be qualified and competently equipped to be registered as a psychologist.

With regard to competence, you may wish to also read these posts:
1)  The need of a postgraduate program and Competence
2)  Jobs (Part 6): Why so strict??

Stage 3 - A Journey of Possibilities: An Undergraduate's Reflection

Hi! I'm Anna from www.misspsychobabble.blogspot.sg.  I describe myself as an enthusiastic, positive and hardworking individual.   I’ve been a consistent academic achiever ever since I was young.  Fate brought me to Singapore, and I’m happy that it did.  I graduated with 2nd class Honours under the Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK.

Professionally, I'm taking all the opportunities that I can get.  I’m currently working as an Administrative officer wherein I efficiently manage the client’s information and quickly respond to their needs or requests.  As a fresh (BSc Psychology) graduate, I've realised that experience and learning as much as you can are the most valuable things.

As a foreigner living in Singapore, it opened my eyes to the diverse cultures and the stereotypes associated with it.  As psychology majors, I believe that it's our responsibility to educate others about the untainted truth to battle against social biases.  Furthermore, we shall spread awareness about the strong impact of mental illnesses.  Changing other’s perception can diminish the negative stigma. It’s part of the reason why I created a blog-site.

I wanted my thoughts to be heard and to share what I am passionate about (mostly how Psychology relates to life).  I never thought that I would grow to love writing as much as I do now.  My next venture is entering graduate school.  With hard work, luck and faith, everything is possible.

Once again, thank you and I wish you all the best. :)