Psychology is a vast field that encompasses many facets of human life. It has roots in human issues like aging, death & dying, anxiety, anger, ethics, hate crimes, therapy, and many more. Mathematical psychology is a specialty sub-field which advances psychological research through mathematical replicas of cognitive, perceptual, and motor processes. This field focuses on establishing psychological rules with scientific characteristics and quantifiable performance. M
athematical psychology is closely associated with psychometrics, but differs in its adherence to models of cognitive and perceptual processes, whereas psychometrics is concerned primarily with the differences in individuals. This discipline is a mixture of engineering, computer science, mathematical logic, and computability theory. Thoroughly understanding these related fields could lead you to a new and thriving career in mathematical psychology.
The focus on quantification of behavior is the defining element of mathematical psychology, making the theory of measurement the most important topic in this discipline. Psychologists in this field work closely with psychometrics to investigate stochastic reliance structure by observing the population. These practitioners give great importance to modeling data obtained from experimental epitomes, thus making them a part of cognitive psychology, experimental psychology, and psychonomics. To solve the many problems and issues facing humans, these professionals also make use of statistical optimality to study the human brain. Some themes that are used for analysis include limited and unlimited processing capacity, cognitive psychology, and serial vs. parallel dispensation.
Because of the developments in signal processing, information theory, game theory, linear systems and filter theory, stochastic processes, and mathematical logic, mathematical psychologists are able to synthesize the best in psychological thinking. Some of the important theories and models they use include sensation, perception, psychophysics, stimulus identification, memory scanning, visual search, sequential effects, measurement theory, and simple detection.
To apply for a doctoral level degree, one must complete a bachelor’s degree plus an additional 90 hours of coursework. Some courses that are taught in doctoral programs are evaluation & quasi-experimental design, multiple comparison procedures, scaling & measurement, test theory, exploratory data analysis, and longitudinal methods. Individuals who opt for this degree are trained in mathematical modeling, statistics, and psychometrics.
The Psychological Society recognizes a master’s degree as long as its focus is on mathematics and psychology. The first two years include core modules,while the next two years offer advanced research-intensive learning. Students are taught the skills for creating, renewing, and advancing within this field. The master’s degree program includes autonomous learning groups, a dissertation or thesis, practical work, seminars lectures, and one-to-one discussions. Popular courses include fluid dynamics, abstract analysis, solar theory, statistics in practice, and group theory.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, mathematical psychologists serve in all fields of psychology. They held about 10,690 jobs in 2011. Practitioners from mathematics are actively working in fields like:
– Sensation and perception
– Quantitative analysis of behavior
– Problem solving
According to a survey compiled in 2012, the average annual salary of a mathematical psychologist is $77,000 (indeed.com).