SGPsychStud: Psychology Happenings in Singapore 2013


You might not know it, but there were quite a few events and happenings in the psychological arena of Singapore this year.  Some of them happen every year, and some for the very first time.  They are written in chronological order, with talks organised by SPS in a different (bottom) section.

February:  2nd Annual International Conference on Cognitive and Behavioural Psychology
This conference is held for the last two years in the same venue, and hence the same again next year.  The early bird registration ends 30 December 2013 (gotta do it asap!), so if you wish to pay lower fees for the event next year, the link for the event is above.

March:  Changes in the SPS Executive Committee
As the term of office for the SPS Executive Committee is two years, this year was the year where a change of office is due.  The major changes are the positions of President and Vice-President, whom the the current office bearers are Clare Yeo and Jennifer Teoh, respectively.

May:  Asian Conference of Criminal & Operations Psychology 2013
Jointly organised by the Singapore Home Team Behavioural Sciences Centre, Police Psychological Services Division (Singapore Police Force) and the Psychological and Correctional Rehabilitation Division (Singapore Prisons Service), Singapore, the second run of Asian Conference of Criminal & Operations Psychology (ACCOP) will be held in Singapore and organised by Dr Majeed Khader and his team.

September:  2013 Joint SELF Biennial International Conference and Educational Research Association of Singapore (ERAS) Conference
This conference was jointly organised by SELF International and Educational Research Association of Singapore (ERAS).  Coincidentally, it is the 7th conference held by both groups, and this event was held in Nanyang Girls High School.  Click here for the speakers' slides, and photos and videos of the event.

October:  SPS Student Research Award 2013
This event has been going on for the last three years, and it is getting bigger every year, with more research entries year after year.  For this year's list of entries, here is the pdf file.

November:  Mindfulness - What the buzz?
Up to around 1,800 people participated in this evening talk (so did I), and it was a really wonderful talk.  There were 9 speakers, including Venerable Dr Matthieu Ricard, and speakers from the Mind and Life Institute, with Professor Jay Garfield moderating the conversations.  Even though the event went overtime, the participants were more than happy to stay till the end of the Q&A session.
For more information:
Information about mindfulness and the event
Take home messages and summaries of the talks and discussions (reported by The Kent Ridge Common)

December:  SPS Youth Chapter
The Youth Chapter is made up of students from NUS, NTU, SIM, Raffles College of Higher Education, Temasek Polytechinc and Ngee Ann Polytechnic, with the aim to coordinate and synchronise psychology-related activities around Singapore, and to enhance the psychology learning journey for students pursuing Psychology in Singapore.  I do hope that good things will happen from this initiative in the coming year!

Talks organised by or in collaboration with SPS
May:  Systemic Psychology and Family Therapy: Milan Approach
Speaker:  Mr Luca Lombardo (SPS Family Psychology SIG (Special Interest Group)]

July:  2nd Sport Psychology Symposium 2013
Organised by:  Singapore Sport Psychology Network / SPS Sport Psychology SIG
Speakers:  Professor John Wang (NIE), Mr Luca Lombardo, Dr Dev RoyChowdhury (Australia), Mr Carlin Lee, Ms Emily Ortega (Psyched Consultancy Pte Ltd), Dr Jaylee Longbottom (Singapore Sports School)

Do make sure you stay tuned to the Conferences and Events page and the Facebook Page to keep yourself updated about the latest events and happenings!!! Also wishing all my viewers Merry Xmas and Happy New Year!!!

Stage 12: Reflections of an experienced practicing psychologist

In the course of my work as a developmental psychologist and counsellor, I meet families who are finding it hard to cope in one way or another and have come to me for support.  Often they need advice on supporting the behavioural, educational or psycho-emotional needs of their children.  Sometimes parents suspect their child has a disability and they approach me for a diagnosis.  The difficulties my patients face range from extreme anxiety, anger management issues to learning disabilities.  In order to successfully work with a child, it is critical that as a psychologist I understand the family environment and dynamics that the child lives in.  Working closely with the children and their families inevitably leads to the development of a strong bond between me and the entire family.

However, as a psychologist I need to be professional and maintain a clear boundary between my own emotions and the emotions of the child and his/her family.  Being too emotionally attached to the child may cloud my professional perspective on things resulting in decisions made and the advice given not necessarily being in the best interest of the child and family.  In reality though, when working with families who are struggling, maintaining such a distance is not always easy.
A piece of advice a professor of mine shared with me years ago is that is important to draw an emotional boundary between work and personal life.  I make it a point to try to remember that valuable advice. In many of the cases I work with the family is experiencing very trying times.  An inability to emotionally detach from my patients after work is crucial in ensuring that my patient’s problems do not end up impacting my own mental health.  I am only effective when I can think with a clear head.

I have been in this field for over 15 years and not one day has passed that I have regretted entering this field.  Knowing that I have the potential to help a fellow human being makes the long hours at work feel very worthwhile.  I believe that a successful child psychologist requires a love for working with people and in particular with children.  It is definitely a rewarding job!  Throughout my years, I have learnt to let the experience of working with others enrich my own life and to help me become a better person. I am still growing and learning every single day.

Penny Tok, PhD
Chartered Psychologist (UK)
Dr Penny Tok Psychology Practice

SGPsychStud: What's there to fear??

I tend to tell people: One of the most common and basic emotion that compels us to do something or pulls us back from doing anything is Fear.  However, what's there to fear?  And what can we do about it if we do experience fear?

Psychological researchers, John Watson and Paul Ekman, recognised that fear is one of the basic innate emotions that we experience, and everyone will experience it.  Fear is associated with the amygdala in the brain and regulated by the hypothalamus, with the physiological reactions known as the "fight-or-flight" response and/or even "freeze" response in some situations (you can remember them by the 3"F"s).  We know a lot about them from the most common phobias that we have heard or learnt about, but this post is addressing general fears of the unknown, rather than phobias.

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933), the 32nd President of the United States, in his first Inaugural Address said:
"the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."  
This unconscious inner fear that we experience comes unknowingly, sometimes unexpressed, and often stops us in our tracks.  I am referring the fear of facing, trying, or experiencing something new, unknown, etc.  People fear facing and experiencing things that are new and unknown, purely for the reasons that they are new and unknown.  Why is this so?

As we go though our everyday lives, we form habits unconsciously, walking the same path to and fro work everyday, saying "Hi" to same people, having meals and coffee breaks at the same time, creating a monotonous boring cycle.  This provides us with a sense of security and insurance that we know that we are in control of whatever is happening around; on the other hand, these routines may create a restriction towards the vast opportunities, experiences, and knowledge that one could actually get if some changes, even minor ones, were made.  We take "flight" or "freeze" from these opportunities that may benefit us somehow at an uncertain point of our lives.  The new, unknown,  or unpredictable experience could actually be useful in some way, and by not experiencing it, we will not even get the chance to see if it will be useful at all.

This concept of not having the fear of new opportunities and experiences require a few conditions:
  • Thirst for Knowledge
    • You need to have the hunger and thirst for knowledge.  Knowledge is one thing that no one can take away from you and only accessible to you alone, hence there is no harm in gaining more for yourself.  Any information you gain now may be useful later.  However, acquiring knowledge should be focused and directional.  That way, it will serve a purpose, and with this purpose, it can then propel you to seek more knowledge.  Gaining more knowledge also helps you understand things better, and through understanding yourself and your fears better, it will help in reducing them.
  • Curiosity
    • With curiosity, it will make you ask more questions, get the answers, and then asking more questions, leaving no stones unturned.  Through being curious, it will also help you to gain more knowledge.  A good way is to start asking "What?  Why?  How?"  Though curiosity may not be as useful as having knowledge to reduce fears, it might serve as a motivation to understand the situation better, than the focus on the negative thoughts relating to the fears.     
  • Positive Mindset
    • When experiencing the fear, it is inevitable that one will have negative thoughts.  Always having a positive mindset will help face these negative thoughts better, as staying positive in the face of fear will help you deal with it more rationally and calm.  In the process, you just need to tell yourself "It's okay, just relax and (try to) enjoy the process"  If that is not possible, the next step would be to do some deep breathing, followed by altering your thoughts to more positive ones, such as "You can do it!"  As we start to calm down, it will allow us to react better towards the situation and enjoy the experience much more.
So in facing your fears and the unknowns, stay thirsty, hungry, and curious to get the knowledge, approach them face-to-face, relax and enjoy the experiences, change your ideas if required, stay positive, and all is good...

Statistics Made Easy 1: Foundational things you NEED to know

Statistics is one of the topics that most people doing psychology either have a love or hate relationship with, with most more having the hate relationship.  But it is still a module in psychology that you cannot avoid and would have to enroll in for sure.  Psychology students who feel that statistics is difficult often give several similar reasons (like disinterest in Maths, not understanding probability, just bored with the formulas, etc.), but I believe statistics in psychology can be quite easy once you have a good grasp of what is required (the foundations) and the logic of statistical analysis.  So in this post, I will go through what you NEED to know in statistics to help you understand statistics better and get through the "terrible" (or fun) times that you will be expecting...

1.  Statistics is divided into two types, descriptive statistics and inferential statistics.
I would recommend that you read up and understand descriptive statistics well, because it forms the basics and foundations as you proceed into inferential statistics.  If you have issues understanding descriptive statistics, you might face more problems as you go into inferential statistics.  For starters, click on the links above.  This post will also revolve mainly around descriptive statistics.

2.  Central Limit Theorem (CLT), Normal distribution, and the Bell (-shaped) Curve
According to the central limit theorem (CLT), the mean of many (or rather 'a lot'; some say at least 30 as a rough minimum) random samples independently drawn from the same distribution is distributed approximately normally.  This means that you will get what we call a "normal distribution", also known as the bell (or bell-shaped) curve [as shown above].  In statistics, we often assume that that our means are distributed on a normal distribution; this might not be the case all the time but more often than not, just an assumption.  Best way to find out?  Use Excel to plot your distribution out and check if it looks like the picture above.
Also to understand the shape of a distribution better and to differentiate one distribution from another, we need to know its central tendency and spread.

3.  Population and Sample
This is one of the important things that I would highlight to students.  Make sure you know the difference between a population and a sample.  A population refers to all members of a defined group that we are studying or collecting information on for data driven decisions.  However, it is impossible to to study all the members of a population for a research project, because it just costs too much and takes too much time.  Hence, we choose a small group of participants to be representative of the population to undergo the study; this group of participants is the sample.  We assume that the sample is representative of the population, and possesses the same characteristics as the population.
Other than understanding the differences between population and sample, you should also know that there are differences between the population parameters and sample statistics.  As they are very similar in notation and formulas, students tend to get confused over them.

4.  The 3 Ms of Central Tendency: Mean, Median, Mode
Understand the difference between the mean (average), median (middle value or mean of the two middle values or 50th percentile), and mode (value of highest frequency).  In reporting of statistics and research articles, you will see the mean more often than the other two.  This is because if we assume that the sample is of a normal distribution, the mean is the same as the median and mode, so it would make more sense just to use the mean with standard deviation (its measurement for spread).  If the distribution is not normally distributed, report the median or mode rather than the mean.

5.  Spread or Variability: Quartiles, IQR, Variance, and Standard Deviation
To understand a distribution or the overall description of a set of data, we also need to know the spread (or variability) other than the central tendency. This can be measured by the above four.
Quartiles tell us about the spread of a data set by breaking the data set into quarters.  In a sample of data, the 1st quartile (Q1) is the 25th score, 2nd quartile (Q2) the 50th (also the mean), and the 3rd quartile (Q3) is the 75th score.  Quartiles are a useful measure of spread because they are much less affected by outliers or a skewed data set than the equivalent measures of mean and standard deviation.  For this reason, quartiles are often reported along with the median as the best choice of measure of spread and central tendency, when dealing with skewed and/or data with outliers.  A common way of expressing quartiles is as an interquartile range (IQR). The IQR describes the difference between the third quartile (Q3) and the first quartile (Q1) or Q3 - Q1, telling us about the range of the middle half of the scores in the distribution. You can see an example for quartiles and IQR here.
The standard deviation (SD) is a measure of how spread out numbers are.  It is calculated by the square-root of the variance, while the variance is defined as the average of the squared differences from the mean.  Hence its formula is "root-mean-square of the differences from the mean"; this is one formula you SHOULD know how to do.  In my definition, the SD (or σ) is a averaged measure of how far each of the values deviates from the mean, which also means that you can use the SD to calculate how far a certain value is from the mean.  As you can see above in the picture, each σ is equally spaced from each other; the distance between 3σ and 2σ is the same as the distance between 2σ and 1σ.  More often than not, you will see research articles reporting the SD, rather than the others.  This is due to the assumption of the samples having a normal distribution.

6.  The 68–95–99.7 rule
This is a rule that has been calculated by mathematicians and used especially in basic probability calculations in statistics.  Simply, about 68.27% of the values lie within 1 SD of the mean (μ ± 1σ).  Similarly, about 95.45% of the values lie within 2 SDs of the mean (μ ± 2σ).  Nearly all (99.73%) of the values lie within 3 SDs of the mean (μ ± 3σ) .
A simple example is the example of IQ scores, of μ = 100, and σ = 15.  This means that the values left of the mean are 85(μ-1σ), 70 (μ-2σ), and 55 (μ-3σ); values right of the mean are 115(μ+1σ), 130 (μ+2σ), and 145 (μ+3σ).  Approximately 68.27% of people have IQ scores ranging from 85 to 115. 95.45% of people have IQ scores ranging from 70 to 130, and 99.7% of people have scores ranging from 55 to 145.

I have tried to avoid formulas for those with "phobias" of formulas, and explained the above essential statistics information as detailed and simple as possible.  If you have any further questions or require more explanations for the above, feel free to ask.

Stage 2: Reflections of a NUS student

In NUS, Psychology is within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS).  The implications of this therefore is that one need not commit straight away to studying solely psychology, as FASS allows for students to freely choose their modules each semester without having any declared major.  This may be useful for people who are yet to be sure whether or not they want to pursue an education and possible career in psychology.

Looking back at the last 2 years of studying, I am grateful for the broad exposure that the department offers students.  While the undergraduate modules may not go very deeply into certain fields like neuropsychology, the curriculum is nonetheless structured in such a way that students will study introductory modules of five main branches - Social, Abnormal, Cognitive, Developmental and Biological Psychology.  Personally, I have found this helpful as it allows for a deeper and more holistic appreciation of psychology as a whole, and also provides opportunity for students to 'try out' the different fields to see which they prefer.

The lecturers that I've had so far are highly competent and able to explain effectively to us any tricky concepts that we come across.  They are also very approachable and willing to spend extra time and effort helping students who may be struggling with school work - all you need to do is ask for their help.  Also, there are some lecturers who clearly go the extra mile in making psychological concepts more understandable and relevant to students, often involving the use of current affairs and popular culture as examples of what they teach.  These lecturers make learning much more enjoyable, and I must say that I am very thankful to be taught by them.

Still, the course (like any other undergraduate discipline) is no walk in the park, and requires hard work and focus from each student.  The course is very content driven, so students are expected to diligently read the textbooks and research papers, as lectures sometimes do not cover all the relevant info due to time constraints.  One common complaint among all NUS students is the high amount of work load each semester, which some times results in the joy of learning being sapped away as students rush from one assignment to another, without any space to appreciate what is being learnt.  However, this is probably the case in most universities, and to be fair, one's ability to manage high amounts of work load (and stress) is trained in the process.

W

Research Methods and Statistics: Explaining the links..


Doing experiments is one major part of psychology, and as a result, we learn research methods and statistics.  However, because of statistics, a lot of people are turned off from this experimental side of psychology.  Different people may have different motivations and levels of understanding for statistics, hence I should not delve too much into the reasons into why people do not like statistics.  One common reason is "I am not good in maths".  My reply to that?  "Statistics is not math..."

To make things easier, I'll try to explain the relationships and links between doing research, research methods, and statistics.  Doing research is an essential part of psychology, where we can confirm our assumptions and understand more of what we may not totally understand.  How quantitative research is done is through the use of research methods and statistics, with both undertaking different aspects of research.

"Research methods" are two simple words which can be explained by "things you do in research", but they encompass a lot of meaning and work behind them.  These things include the knowledge of and abilities to do conceptualisation of the problem (i.e. hypothesis building, variable quantification, etc.), sampling, measurement (including validity and reliability), and experimental design (types of design and experimental biases).  These mentioned are only the main branches of research methods with some examples, without really going in depth for each of the branches.  Think about the things you need to know and work you have to do for research methods...There are a lot!!!

So where does the statistics come in??  If research methods are the "things you do in research", then statistics would be the "instrument that you use to analyse the data".  However, it is not that simple; this "instrument" require you to know the foundations of probability and statistics well, before being able to understand and use the simplest of the advanced part of statistics - Inferential statistics, such as ANOVA and regression.  So where does maths come in?  Mostly in the foundations of probability and statistics, where you are exposed to the formulas, and not much in everywhere else in research methods or statistics.

To conclude, research methods and statistics should work hand in hand for you as a quantitative researcher - first with research methods for everything till collection of data, followed by statistics to analyse the data.  In upcoming posts about statistics, I will talk about how to make statistics easier for you as students to learn and use.

Stage 7: Reflections of a PhD Candidate 2

To achieve a PhD degree has been a dream for me since a child.  After completing my Masters degree in sport science (sport and exercise psychology) from Europe, my next target was to do a PhD.  By late 2009, I made up my mind on what I wanted to do.  My first step started off by contacting the professors who were experts in the areas that I was interested to specialize in.  All I had in mind was 2 concepts: my passion for sports and my nature of always being positive.  I started my journey along with the guidance of my supervisors, by reading research articles in sport and positive psychology and developed ideas for my research.  With appropriate research questions and hypothesis framed and approved, I started with the data collection.  Probably like any other PhD student, I went through sleepless nights, irregular meals, confusions and constantly trying to figure out solutions.  Though there were hardships faced during the initial stages of doing the PhD, now when I look back at them, I have different feelings about them.  The realization that ‘research always evolves and opens new directions and gateways’ struck me harder this time around.  It has been two years since I commenced on my PhD journey, and I have no regrets at all.  I must highlight that doing  a PhD is a lonely journey which involve stress, tensions and frustrations.  My strategy has always been to be positive and enjoy your research.  I also believe that sharing your knowledge could help you progress well, because sometimes input of ideas from others can help you think out of the box and untangle the difficult thoughts and questions.

A

Psychology Program Comparison Between Local Universities

A reader actually posted me this question, and it was one of the things that I have yet to look at in this blog:

"Is it true that NTU Honours students would have more hours spend in both psychology and psychology-related modules as compared to NUS Honours students?  From the apparent reasons (which may not be true), that NTU psychology students start in 1st year."


This dawned on me that though I have done a comparison of degrees in Singapore, but I have yet to look comprehensively at the degrees offered by the local universities.  Hence the universities of which psychology programs are included in this list are: NUS, NTU, SMU, and UniSIM.  Their psychology degrees are awarded by the university itself, and not from any other overseas universities.  This comparison will also take into consideration of Honours, and the psychology programs as a single major.      

NUSNTUUniSIMSMU
Name of programB.A. / B.Soc.Sci (Hons)BA (Hons) in PsychologyBSc PsychologyBSocSc
Classification of Honours1st Class / 2nd Class Upper / 2nd Class Lower / 3rd Class / Pass1st Class / 2nd Class Upper / 2nd Class Lower / 3rd Class / Pass1st Class / 2nd Class Upper / 2nd Class Lower / 3rd Class / Passcum laude (with honours) / magna cum laude (with high honours) / summa cum laude (with highest honours).
Number of years3 + 1 (extra year for Honours)43 + 1 (extra year for Honours)4
GPA Requirement for Honours Entry3.5Direct Honours3.5Direct Honours
Minimum Number of Psychological-Related Modules To Be Taken23262611
ThesisNot CompulsoryCompulsoryNot CompulsoryCompulsory
Note:  
1)  The number of psychological-related modules to be taken are the minimum that one is required to take, not the maximum required of the program.  Students are allowed to take more psychological-related modules as electives for some of the programs.  
2)  NUS and UniSIM Students are only allowed entry into the Honours program (+1 year) upon GPA requirement, otherwise they will graduate after 3 years without Honours.
Information are as correct at date of this blog post.

These information are taken from the respective university program websites, and the minimum number of modules are rough estimates based on the academic or credit units as provided by the websites.
Feel free to tell me or put in the comment box below any comparison between the programs you would like to know, and I will try my best to update it in the list. 

SGPsychStud: Reality or Passion?


This is a topic that I have been discussing with a certain group of people which I am very close to.  Which will you choose??  To stick with reality or go with your dreams and passions??  I already know my answer, so this post is for you guys to ponder over.  This post is not only for people to do psychology, but also for everyone else.

We all know what everyone has dreams or will be interested, or even passionate, in doing certain things.  This understanding of yourself and your passion and interests may come in your teens, twenties, or even later.  The main question to ask yourself is: "What is the thing that you want to do with the rest of your life?" And this thing is has to be something you would enjoy doing, and be happy doing it.  However, as we know, life never goes the way we want it to go...
  
One way is to play safe and stick to reality.  In a environment and country like Singapore,  having personal financial stability, and even a job, is essential, and I need not explain further on why it is so.  Hence, a lot of people may choose to go into studies and careers that enables them the financial stability to support their family and their lifestyle.  But is this really what they want to do?
Through my discussions with my group, it has been proposed that it might be a good idea to get that financial stability (i.e. study and get a job that gives you the money) first, and go for your dreams later.  My question for those who feel this way too: "Will it be too late then?"  Because some (or rather most) careers and passions require a lot of time and effort for one to succeed; Psychology, for one, requires minimum 6 years of education and more years of training, and to become an established psychologist, in my opinion, it may take up to 15 to 20 years upon starting the first degree.

So the other side of the discussion is that with a passion in mind, one should do whatever you can to reach that dream and achieve your fullest potential.  However, there is an underlying note to this: You must and need to be willing to work hard and sacrifice time and effort to reach the goals that are set.  The main question is that: "Are you willing to do those sacrifices?"
Another point is from a developmental view that you should start early on your passions and interest, and it has been fully explained in this earlier post.  But the main problem for most people is that they do not really know what they may want till when they reach their 20s or 30s.  So it is important that people know what they want to do as early as possible.

So what is the thing that you want to do with the rest of your life?  Which will you choose: Reality or Passion??
To end off this post, I would like to share a quote by Anita Roddick, British Founder of the Body Shop:
"To succeed, you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality."

SGPsychStud: Psychology in Daily Life

After learning psychology and the psychological theories for so many years, most things in my daily life are being interpreted and/or understood with what I have learnt in psychology.  For me, I would say that it has made my life better as I now understand the reasons for why things happen that way; but, there are also times where conflict or misunderstanding happens, as not everyone will see things that way I see them.  I cannot really explain why that understanding through psychology happens, but it does.  Probably this is an after-effect of my many years of studying psychology...

Here's a short (but probably non-exhaustive) list of where I have seen psychology in my daily life:

  • Observation of people in their 'natural' environment - Social Psychology
  • Organisational-related things that happen at the workplace - Organisational/Industrial Psychology 
  • Issues that people face from day to day (i.e. stress, mood changes, mental health issues) - Clinical Psychology
  • Learning of new material by students or children - Educational Psychology
  • Growth of my nephews and nieces - Developmental Psychology
  • My own interaction with people - Counselling Psychology

Have you seen Psychology or used Psychology to explain things in your own daily lives??

Statistics and Psychology

I probably have mentioned about this word "statistics" in several posts before, but it has not really been discussed in depth.  (To know in which posts "statistics" have been mentioned, double click on the word and search for it in the search box on the right.)  So this post will be all about statistics and psychology.

When I first mentioned the word "statistics" to students, the first thing that come to their minds is usually "maths".  And for students who are not very good in maths, or those who enrolled into the psychology program thinking it is going to be an all social arts course, a soft groaning noise may be heard in the masses of students.  My usual reply to them would be: "Psychological research is not just about statistics, and statistics is not just about maths."  So what is statistics?

According to American Statistical Association:
Statistics is the science of learning from data, and of measuring, controlling, and communicating uncertainty; and it thereby provides the navigation essential for controlling the course of scientific and societal advances (Davidian, M. and Louis, T. A., 10.1126/science.1218685).
Statisticians apply statistical thinking and methods to a wide variety of scientific, social, and business endeavors in such areas as astronomy, biology, education, economics, engineering, genetics, marketing, medicine, psychology, public health, sports, among many.  "The best thing about being a statistician is that you get to play in everyone else's backyard." (John Tukey, Bell Labs, Princeton University)

But how is statistics and psychology linked?
In psychological experiments and studies, especially quantitative studies, statistics is one of the usual methods/steps used to analyse the results.  It is usually done with the IBM SPSS program. But that is pretty much what it is, as there is much much more other things that should be focused on in doing psychological quantitative studies.
In quantitative studies, it could mainly be divided in two parts, research methods (sampling, design, and measurement, etc.) and analysis (hypothesis testing, with statistics being only one section of the hypothesis testing).  It is important that  a psychological researcher emphasizes on both parts, as both parts complement each other and work together.  Without good research methods, the results obtained through the analysis would be flawed; without good analysis and results, the experiment would not be completed even with good research methods.

My advice would be to focus on the foundations of research methods and statistics, as you start your learning in research methods and statistics.  Here is a website that I have always found to be quite useful in understanding the concepts in research methods and statistics: Social Research Methods Knowledge Base section.  This will help in your later understanding of statistics in quantitative studies.  Lastly, even if you still worrying about statistics as you may not be very good at maths, do not worry; there is always the SPSS program that can assist you in the analyses, so all you gotta do is to be good at using the program and knowing which results to use.

Writing a thesis (Part 2) - Preparation

To reach this point of writing a thesis, you would definitely have done your modules of research methods, statistics, and the respective psychological areas.  You would have also practiced writing literature reviews and psychological reports.  Without the above knowledge and practice, it would be relatively difficult to write a full thesis.

Here are a list of the other academic things you may consider to prepare for this major task in your psychological journey:
1.  Know how to use a research database
This is something that you should already have known how to do and have access to.  If you do not have access to a research database, this is the very first thing you should do.  Learning to use is not difficult;  Question is "are you getting the most out of it?"  Otherwise ask your lecturers / supervisors / librarians.

2.  Having a good method or system for compiling your research articles
You are not only handling or researching 10 to 15 articles as per your precious essay papers or reports.  This time, it would be for 50 to 100 articles, hence a reliable system is essential.

3.  Learn Endnote or be really good at APA style referencing and citations
References and citations are must-haves, and in psychological thesis, you need to have them in APA style.  Are you totally sure that your APA referencing skills are impeccable??  Otherwise, try to get Endnote and learn to use the program well.

4.  Using SPSS or Excel (for those doing quantitative research)
Through whichever method you use to analyse your data, make sure you know how to use those programs.  SPSS would be the preferred method; however getting a personal version may burn a hole in your pockets.

Some preparation for you to work better and more efficiently:
1.  Having good time management
As mentioned in Part 1, having good time management is important, as time is not one of the things you will have a lot with the large amount of reading and writing, which may affect your time for sleep, food, and social interaction.  So make sure you plan out your time properly, and always make sure to take a break when  you need it.

2.  Understand your studying / working arrangements 
Are you a morning / night person?  Do you prefer reading via soft / hard copy?  Do you require distractions / total silence to work efficiently?  What is your optimal or maximum concentration time span?
Having a good understanding of your studying arrangements will help in writing your thesis more efficiently.

3.  A good support network
With all those stress that you would be getting, it is always good to have a good support network, someone to talk to or give you a hug when needed, someone to have coffee with, someone to grumble about stuff with you.

With this preparation tips, good luck to those who are going to write a thesis!

SGPsychStud: Reflection after 2 years of blogging

25 July 2011 was the day I started the blog.  It was a time of turmoil for me, as I looked at the psychological arena in Singapore with infuriation and exasperation.  That was because I felt that there were so much things that are still not good enough, such as registration of psychologists and psychological membership in Singapore.
As time passed, these frustrations calmed down, which I directed them towards better use.  As JFK said: "Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country", the same can be applied here.  I too do not ask for what I can get out of doing all these, but this is all for bringing our psychological scene in Singapore up to higher heights.  Changes for a better future in this area will be made someday, maybe not very soon, but there will definitely be changes and improvements, as I have already seen some in the last two years.  Just as the motto of this blog goes: " For a better future in Psychology for You..."

From only individual postings from just myself, there are also postings of reflection stories from my colleagues, students, and even some out there which I do not know at all.  There are also professional invited posts on Forensic and Sport Psychology.  Many has also sent me their questions which I have complied in the Q&A section, and some have even commented on the individual posts.  To Everyone above who have contributed to this blog in some way or another, I THANK YOU!!

The only one project that did not progress as expected was the Volunteering/Internship Project.  Some of you have sent me your contacts to participate in this project; however, it did not push forward as expected due to lack of organisations to participate in this, and lack of time on my side to do the required logistics.  I apologise for this.  But I believe that this project will still go on, as students in psychology will also need internship or work experience to truly understand what psychology work is like.  If someone is willing to help out with this project, please contact me and we can collaborate in making this a success!

In the midst of all the postings directly from the blog, I believe most of you are already connected to the Facebook page.  There are articles shared daily from the various major psychological associations or blogs or other mental health related sites, which I tried to maintain to do (unless I am overseas).
Hence the two things I hereby promise my viewers that I will definitely continue to do (with my daily available time) are:
1.  Daily sharing of articles on the Facebook page
2.  At least two posts on the blog a month

Lastly, I would like to give a heartfelt thank-you to Everyone for spending your time reading this blog!!!  

Forensic and Criminal Psychology in Singapore

This is an invited post by Dr Majeed Khader.  Dr Khader is Chief Psychologist at the Singapore Police Force and Director of the Home Team Behavioural Sciences Centre, Home Team Academy. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at NTU where he teaches criminal and forensic psychology. Please direct all your questions to majkhader@gmail.com or Khader_Majeed@spf.gov.sg. Thanks!

When I tell those I meet that I work as a police psychologist and have been trained in forensic psychology, most ask me if I am a criminal profiler!

Much as I would relish the notion of making my job sexier; this is not the whole truth!

What is forensic psychology then, if it is not just about criminal profiling as popularly made out in the media?  Because the word ‘forensic’ comes from the Latin ‘forensis’, meaning ‘of the forum’; where the courts of ancient Rome were held; ‘forensic psychology’ is about the intersection between psychology and the criminal justice, civil justice and legal systems.

In Singapore, most of us work in the Singapore Police Force, The Singapore Prisons Service, the Home Team Behavioural Sciences Centre, and the Ministry of Social and Family Development. A smaller number of forensic psychologists work at the Institute of Mental Health working with forensic psychiatrists. Most forensic psychologists work in public sector settings but there is a sprinkling of forensic psychologists who work in the private sector, mainly undertaking forensic assessments for lawyers.

What is it they do?
The areas of practice in forensic and criminal psychology are:

Police psychology – police psychologists work in three main areas: 1) applying psychology to enhance police Organisations (e.g. pre-employment screening tests for new police officers, police leadership assessment and development, assessing the organisational climate of police commands), 2) enhancing police Operations (e.g. working in hostage negotiation teams, detection of deception, developing criminal and terrorist profiles for investigation and crime prevention, morale assessment, handling victims of crimes), and finally 3) providing services for police Officers (e.g. peer counselling training, counselling programs for police and civilian staff, and life skills building). We call this the 3 O’s of police psychology. To find out more about police psychology, try this url: http://psychweb.cisat.jmu.edu/spcp. Also look up http://www.apa.org/careers/resources/profiles/hibler.aspx.

Studies on the criminal behaviour & delinquency – these may be practitioners and academics who study criminological psychology, evaluate violence prevention programs, provide policy advice to legislators, help school officials identify troubled and dangerous youth, and conduct research on psychopathy.

Legal and Court Room psychology – Forensic psychologists sometimes work in partnership with lawyers to develop forensic reports and sometimes they work as ‘friends of the court’ to assist the court in answering legal questions which may have a psychological or behavioural angle. Legal and courtroom psychology involves issues such as child custody evaluations, child abuse evaluations, pre-sentencing evaluations, witness preparation, evaluating a defendant's competency or sanity, research on decision making in the courts, and advice on the reliability of eyewitness testimony and confessions.

A sub field of Legal Psychology is ‘Litigation psychology’ and this involves witness preparation, trail research, courtroom decision-making, and persuasion strategy, in relation to the courts cases and trail consultancy. Check out for more information on the American Psychology and Law Society. There is also a European society. In Singapore, there is a multidisciplinary team of counsellors and psychologists who do some aspects of this work.

Correctional and rehabilitation psychology. Most correctional/prisons psychologists undertake inmate classifications, the assessment of ‘criminogenic’ needs, rehabilitation, implementing of treatment programmes, modifying offender behaviour; responding to the changing needs of staff and prisoners; reducing stress for staff and prisoners; and they may advise parole boards and mental health tribunals. For more information, check out http://www.aa4cfp.org.

Civil law applications. In the arena of civil law, forensic psychologists are usually involved in assisting with personal injury suits, sexual harassment cases, child custody disputes, and workers’ compensation cases.

If you would like to find out more about the field of forensic psychology look up the BPS’s Forensic Psychology website.

What type of degree do forensic psychologists need?
Historically, forensic psychologists have been trained in clinical, clinical-forensic, social, organizational psychology or criminology at postgraduate level. Ideally, however those planning to work in forensic and legal settings should be trained formally at postgraduate level in the field of forensic psychology. You would generally need a Second Upper Honours degree and a Masters in Forensic Psychology.

If you don't have a forensic psychology degree, this doesn't not mean you can’t work in policing or correctional settings. In some organisations, you may be considered for employment even if you didn't have a master’s degree in forensic psychology, as employers can be interested in employing psychologists with a Masters in Occupational, Clinical or Health Psychology. For example, the police employ Occupational Psychologists to undertake leadership assessments of police senior managers and personnel selection amongst other things. Prisons departments also employ clinical psychologists and counsellors and the administration of treatment programs.

What is typically covered in a forensic psychology course?
Most forensic psychology/criminal psychology degrees teach courses on criminology, legal systems, how the courts operate, criminal behavior, mental illness within the legal contexts, how to prepare reports for court purposes and how to be an expert witness. Therefore, psychology courses (e.g. clinical, occupational or education psychology) that do not cover these are lacking in coverage and cannot really be called true-blue forensic psychology courses.

What are some good courses I might consider?
I can’t recommend a specific program for all needs, and it depends on what you want (for example, whether you want a policing focus, or a correctional and rehabilitation focus,  an investigation focus or a crime profiling focus). Generally, to become a forensic psychologist, you need a minimum of 4 years of first-degree education (equivalent of Second Upper Honours) plus 1 or 2 years Masters degree specialising in Forensic Psychology/Crime Psychology (make sure your degree is accredited by the professional society). A PhD or PsychD is always ideal in the long run, but since it takes such a long time to get one, I would encourage most Singaporean students to take things one step at a time.

Here are some reputable programs, but these are not exhaustive in any way and it is always good to find out more yourself.

In the USA,
Castleton State College,
The University of Denver,
John Jay College of Criminal Justice (New York)
Marymount University.
The University of Arizona,
The University of Nebraska,
Sam Houston State University, and
Simon Fraser University
Alliant International University - California School of Forensic Studies

Many U.K. universities offer one or two-year postgraduate courses in Forensic Psychology but some of the more established ones are
The University of Birmingham,
University of Leicester,
University of Portsmouth and
University of Liverpool.

Not all of these programs have the same focus within forensic psychology with some emphasising correctional psychology, others emphasising police and investigative psychology and others emphasising forensic-clinical course work. Also, in my personal opinion, the course is only as good as the teaching and research faculty in it; so find out more about the experience and publication record, reputation of the professors teaching there, whether it offers you an internship, whether it is accredited etc.

Several universities in Australia also offer masters or doctoral level postgraduate programs in forensic psychology including:
The University of Melbourne,
Monash University,
University of New South Wales, and
University of South Australia.

In Singapore, forensic and criminal psychology courses are offered at:
NUS (Forensic Clinical Psychology Module and Correctional Psychology Module)
NTU (Forensic Psychology of Crime and Disasters Module)

2 main branches of FP practice experiences in Singapore.
I think that in Singapore, there are 2 main types of forensic psychology: ‘forensic-law enforcement psychology practice’ type (FLEP) and the ‘forensic-clinical practice’ type (FCP).

Those keen on FLEP should speak to those working in police psychology, narcotics psychology and with the HTBSC. The nature of their work may entail crime prevention, criminal profiling, working with police and law enforcement, hostage negotiations, morale assessment, police leadership development, psychological inventions for intelligence operations, detection of deception, victim support etc.

Those keen on FCP should approach the MSF’s CPFP, the Courts psychology branch and the IMH branch. The nature of work tends to have a more clinical slant and covers areas such as risk assessment, rehabilitation, child abuse, domestic violence, family conferences, and interventions for juvenile offenders, therapy and treatment of offenders.

In North America and Europe, there is a third branch, which is developed and that is the forensic and criminal psychology academic research. This third area is underdeveloped in Singapore and forensic/criminal psychology research is limited.

Internship opportunities in Singapore.
Those interested should write in to departments for an internship stint or temporary contract employment to see if they are suited for this field. Some of these departments offer an allowance of some sort and some charge for internship experiences! If you are really keen on getting this experience but find it hard to do so, you should offer to complete an internship without internship allowances (if you can afford this!), since internship opportunities are hard to come by and budgets are limited (however do go in with your eyes open as internships can be a lot of hard work!). The main benefit of this experience and exposure is that you will know after the internship whether FP is something you want to do for the next 20-30 years of your life! Given the challenging nature of nature in the forensic world, it is not everyone’s cup of tea.

Just another word of advice to students: ask around and talk to practitioners if you can. But a word of caution. I tend to get the occasional email with enquiries about FP, and some contain as many as 15 questions! This doesn't create a good impression, since it suggests that little thought has been put into the questions. Think carefully about what you want to ask and limit your questioning to 3-4 questions when you email busy practitioners.

Forensic psychology is a great field to be in! Drop me an email if you have enquiries but don't expect an instant reply. Being a forensic psychologist keeps me real busy!

Good luck!

Dr M.
majkhader@gmail.com

SGPsychStud: Power of Networking


Networking is a activity that most people will associate with business.  However, it should be an activity that everyone in psychology is doing as well.  Why?

I was introduced to this idea of networking several years ago during my Masters program, and that was one of the things the lecturers said was important to do.  I could not understand why then as well too.  However, having gone to several symposiums and conferences, I finally saw its importance and reasons for why we need to do networking, even in psychology.

So, here are the main reasons:
  • Employment / business opportunities - You never know; you might just find your next boss / customer just by talking to them. 
  • Opportunities to knowing new associates from similar or different fields - Support for your clients often tend to be holistic, rather just from the psychologist (yourself); hence often, you may need the help or support from others from a similar or different line of work, such as psychiatrists, doctors, lawyers, etc.
  • Research opportunities - Through knowing others in the similar field or area of research, this may open up your chances of working with others in research projects in your area of research.
  • Social networking - Just purely for the reasons for making friends and acquaintances in psychology and your psychological speciality/area of research.  

Hence to sum up, it's all about the opportunities to know new people for your own career / research prospects, as well as others to know you (which is very important as well).  With networking, it will help you to largely expand your work opportunities and network of associates. So always make sure to get your name-cards ready before the event and their name-cards during the event.  Quite many people actually go for events and conferences not only just for the talks, but also for the chances to do networking with others. So make sure you go for the upcoming events / conferences

Some of you may say "I am quite a reserved person and so during meetings/events/conferences, I will sit and have my meals either alone or only with those I am very familiar with."  However, this may not very good.  So for those who may be shy and reserved, I would recommend that you could use your "listening skills" (I will talk more about these in future posts) in these situations. For starters, you could firstly work up the courage to introduce yourself, followed by letting the other party talk about themselves, and from there, just keep the conversation going.  That would hopefully help build up your courage (and skills) to do better networking in the next event!  

SGPsychStud: Recognition - Such a vague word!

In the questions that I have got from readers, a certain word often shows up: “Recognition / Recognised", with questions often revolving around whether certain psychological programs are "recognised" in Singapore.  I would not like to present myself as ranting about this matter; however, I understand that some clarifications are required so that more readers of this blog would understand this matter at hand.

Most people are concerned whether the degrees that they are pursuing are "recognised", as they may feel that it may affect their future job applications.  But this is a very hard question to answer.  This is because this "recognition" of the degrees would be done by the companies and their human resource departments, and there is no way of really knowing how they quantify or measure or recognise the degrees, unless you are working in the HR department (I have never worked in HR departments, so I do not really know).  The only exception I know of would be for government-related jobs, which your degree should be a local degree or permitted by the CPE (that is if you are studying in a private education institution).  However, this might be flawed too.

So the only two ways we should be looking at overseas degrees programs conducted at PEIs are:
1. If it is permitted by CPE
2. If it is accredited by the respective psychological societies (APS/BPS).

So what about local degrees?
There is no accreditation of local psychological degrees, i.e. degrees from NUS, NTU, SMU, by SPS or Ministry of Education.  But, pretty much, if you attained your degrees in a Singaporean university, it should be "recognised" in Singapore.

SGPsychStud's take on education

This is a guest article as published at Domain of Singapore Tutoring Experts:

Preparation for your future career should start at Secondary 2


Let's start with a story:  Assume your grades are good enough to get into Junior College (JC) and University, which you did a degree, e.g. in medicine, law, or engineering.  You then work a couple of years, now in mid twenties or probably almost 30 years old.  One day, you wake up and start to question yourself on "Why am I trying to pull yourself out of bed and struggling to get to work everyday?"  "Do I really like what I am doing everyday?"  Then you start to notice that this is not really what you want in your life.
So have you wasted all your youth studying for something you did not want?  Some of you may disagree, rebutting with at least you have a job and money to spend.  Is getting all that money and job that important, or becoming the best person you can be of more importance?

 However, the two questions I pose to you are: "Which subject area do you want to study?  and "Why do you want to study that?"  Common answers would be like medicine, law, engineering, accounting, etc., but often the reasons are similar, mostly revolving around money and/or ego-feeding self-esteems.  Very few people will tell me that they are studying (or pursuing) that degree/diploma for their interests or passions.  Despite that, I have seen really seen a classmate of mine who went to do a diploma in architecture, despite having results enough to go to JC, followed by doing a degree in architecture.

Here's my take:  I feel that preparation (or the thought of preparation) for your future career should start as early as at the age of 14 in secondary school, before you are set off to decide the subjects you take that might change your future in Secondary 3.  With this in mind, you are not only deciding the subjects you are going to study, as well as your career and your future life.  Make sure you give it a serious thought about your  career, and be committed to it.

It's fine if you are not prepared at Secondary 2.  Most of us are not too.  According to Erikson, adolescence is a stage of transition from childhood to adulthood, and every individual who goes through this phase are said to experience a conflict between identity and role confusion, seeking their answers of "Who am I and What can I be?"  In your search of your own self identity and often reflecting on your past and present, it is normal that you have not considered your own future.

With the education system in Singapore, we are forced (or guided) to make a decision towards our choices of the subjects we take in Secondary 3 and 4, with our results at the end of Secondary 2.  My advice often to young students is to take these 2 years very seriously to think about what they want for their future.  Let these decisions of what you want to do with your life and studies be your motivator, as well as your direction or goals for you to work towards.
If you are still not sure at the end of Secondary 4, it might be better to go with the JC route; this gives you another 2 years to think about what you want to do.  If you have already considered it well, the polytechnic route might be good, as it gives you the chance to try out the area.  No matter at which stage of education, always do make sure that you study well and hard to enable yourself the best chances to get into the courses you desire.

However, it is of utmost importance that you already know what you want to do in your life by the time you enrol for University; otherwise, you will be in deep trouble, as shown with the example at the beginning of this article.

Stage 8: Reflection of a Masters student almost at the end..

This has been a long journey for me.  It has taken me more than 4 years to come to this point, even though my Masters program is only 2 years and things should be finished within 2 years.  I did my Masters program in Australia - finished the coursework there within the first 2 years; my placements (or industrial attachments) was delayed hence that took another half year more, and due to visa issues I had to leave Australia to finish up my thesis in Singapore, which took me 2 years to finish this piece of work.

I always joked with people that it is like "going through the classes, but not submitting the assignment".  However, this agony and torment that comes with the uncompleted thesis is often unbearable, such that I will distract myself through other means just to avoid facing the thesis.  This is one of the reasons why it has been dragging for so long.  Another reason came from a realistic side of Singapore: I had to work.  As a result of monetary requirements living in this developed country, having to work is inevitable.  But this slowed my progress further.  Till the point where I got real frustrated with myself, I decided to push on and just finish the thesis once and for all, to get my Masters which will hopefully then allow me to get some better jobs to becoming a  psychologist.  

Now, at this point where I am really touching up and "final" editing my thesis for submission, this is really a feeling of relief, and a huge load of my shoulders.  It has really been a journey of ups and downs, frustration and happiness, and I can't wait for the day I go for graduation, going up to the stage to receive my certificate.  That is my main pushing thought for now.

An advice for those considering to do your Masters program, do make sure to always start your thesis as early as possible.  You never know how long it will take.  I should have listened to this word of advice from my seniors when they visited my class...      

C

SGPsychStud: Diploma or A levels? A post for the secondary schoolers

I just gave a psychology talk in a secondary school recently, and noticed that there are many students in the secondary level who are interested in psychology.  Hence this post is directed more to those in the secondary level.

A lot of people are interested in psychology in Singapore, and this is quite evident from the number of people applying for entry into psychological programs in the polytechnics, universities, and private institutions in Singapore.  As compared to more than 10 years ago, there has a surge of students who are interested in psychology these recent years.  Many reasons may have caused this to happen, such as people becoming more insightful at a younger age, or less interested in normal programs like engineering, science or business,  or other reasons.  However, as this may be a personal reason and differs from person to person, I should not delve into it further.

Psychology is not a subject or area of study that is available in the secondary level in Singapore, hence your only first contact with psychology would most probably be really during the diploma or universities programs that you undertake.
The question here would be when should you come into psychology?  Should you do a psychology diploma directly or should you do your A levels and try to get into the local university psychology program?

My recommendations are:
If you are interested and quite certain (> 80% sure) that this field is something you are interested in, then a diploma might be a good choice to try it out.  Obviously your final ideal choice would not be too far off such that even if you do not choose psychology but something else in university, it would still be a similar or related area.
However for those who are unsure of what you want to do, probably doing the 2 years in Junior College and "A" levels would be a good way for you to buy some time to reconsider what you want to do in your career.  Ultimately this choice you are going to make will affect your careers and your life in the next few years (tertiary schooling and working lives).

This will be written with the assumption that students are able to enter the programs with their current results.  Obviously we know that results can pose an issue for entering the programs; "however there is always a way." (My quote to the students during the psychology talk)

For more information on degrees, please view this post; and here it is for the diplomas.
If you wish for me to provide a free psychology talk to the students in your school, please send me an email at sgpsychstud@gmail.com.

Update of Letter to Ministry of Health

This is an update from the previous post, about the letter being sent to Ministry of Health (MOH) and Allied Health Professions Council (APHC). Hereby, it is stated that this letter may cause some controversy in the psychology community in Singapore; hence if you do not read further, please exit now. 

To protect the confidentiality of the sender, some details have been omitted or slightly altered.


To provide readers with better clarity on the topic and some of the things mentioned in the letter, this post will start from the first email/letter sent (as from the previous post) and links have been provided for you to access them. 

______________________________________________________________________
Sent: [Date removed]-10-11
Subject: Regulatory and Licensing
case number is PQ-11-00xxxx.

This enquiry is about the regulation and registration of psychologists in Singapore. I noticed that in the Allied Health Professionals Act 2011, it only included clinical psychologist, which means that only clinical psychologists will be regulated by this act. And in the HPP site, there is no council for the registration for psychologists. I understand that this registration is done by Singapore Psychological Society (SPS). However it is not compulsory if someone wishes to be a psychologist. Hence there is no formal regulation and registration for psychologists of other areas (educational/organisational/counselling/etc.) in Singapore.

Probably the ministry could look into this, and have some form of mandatory regulation for psychologists in Singapore. This is a vital issue as this affects the prestige and recognition of psychologists(clinical and other areas) in Singapore. This also creates a chain reaction for the academic programs in psychology in Singapore. 

I am not a clinical psychologist, so the regulations and the act do not really affect me at all; however I feel that for the benefit of our clients, there should be some regulation into the registration and control over the other areas of psychology as well. Doesn't "Do no harm to clients" not apply to all psychologists practising in Singapore?

Hope to hear back from you. Thanks for reading this feedback. 
_________________________________________________________________________
Reply to sender:
Received: Oct xx 2011 

Dear xxxx,

Thank you for taking the time and effort to share the suggestions for our consideration.

MOH will take note of your feedback and we will consolidate all other public feedback for our next policy review.

We take this chance to wish you and your family good health always.

Yours sincerely, 

xxxx 
for Quality Service Manager
Ministry of Health, Singapore

________________________________________________________________________
Sender's reply:
Date: May xx 2013

Hi 

The below enquiry and reply email was processed more than 17 months ago. However, it was not a very satisfactory reply, as there was no implications for what was going to be done, and nothing much seemed to be done in the last 17 months.

The Act has not been enforced for clinical psychologists as yet, since the passing of the Act (which I assume is 2011). I understand these processes take time. Is there a projected date/month for when this is going to happen?

And to ask the main question as posed in my previous enquiry again, shouldn't there be a mandatory registration for all other kinds of psychologists in Singapore enforced and imposed by the government, rather than a voluntary-based registration as done by the SRP
This is important, as this affects the prestige and recognition of psychologists (clinical and other areas) in Singapore, considering their influences on the salary rates of psychologists even though we study as many years as doctors.


Thanks for taking time to reply this email.
_______________________________________________________________________
Reply to sender:
Received: June xx 2013 

Dear xxxx

The Allied Health Professions (AHP) Act was brought into force in April 2013 and registration has just commenced for occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech-language therapists.

The inclusion and regulation of the other allied health professions under the AHP Act will be reviewed and implemented progressively.

Thank you for your feedback.

Yours sincerely,
xxxx
for Quality Service Manager
Ministry of Health, Singapore