How to Become a Cognitive Psychologist?

5 minute read

Cognitive psychologists study the human brain. It deals with the mental processes that the brain carries out when it is hit by environmental stimuli. Cognitive psychologists study the behaviour in reaction to these stimuli and understand the connection between the stimuli and resulting behaviour. Cognitive psychologists deal with mental cognition like memory, problem-solving, reasoning, etc.

Name of Course MSc/BSc in Cognitive Psychology
Course Level Graduate and Under Graduate
Eligibility Criteria 10+2 for Undergraduate; Bachelors in Psychology or Cognitive Psychology for Graduates; English Proficiency Tests for University Abroad
Admission Procedure Merit-Based + English Proficiency Tests
Average Salary INR 40,00,000

Who is a Cognitive Psychologist?

Cognitive psychologists study internal mental activities such as memory, learning, perception, and language. They are concerned with how people understand, diagnose, solve problems as well as make decisions. Cognitive psychologists focus on the processes of how people attain, process and recall information.

Cognitive psychologists gather empirical data (verifiable through observation in the natural settings) using scientific research methods to state a case and reach conclusions. 

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What Do Cognitive Psychologists Do?

A lot of psychological theories and studies take a behaviourist approach that focuses on external observable events and actions that can be measured objectively. Cognitive psychology is the scientific study of the mind as an information processor.

The job roles of a cognitive psychologist may include the following:

  • To teach at universities and colleges 
  • To perform research on the human thought processes
  • To work as an industrial-organizational manager or as a human factors consultant
  • To work at a government agency
  • To study the human memory and brain 
  • To work with children in order to understand memory formation
  • To work beside patients with Alzheimer’s or patients with memory-loss symptoms
  • To teach language and problem-solving skills 
  • To work alongside the legal system for studying the mental activities and processes of criminals, witnesses, judges, and juries. 

Skills Required to Become a Cognitive Psychologist

Many skills required to become a cognitive psychologist are similar to the ones required to become general psychologist. However, the field of cognitive psychology involves more research and scientific investigation. Having a certain characteristic can help the aspirants in this field to procure success. Some skills along with experiences you may need before beginning preprofessional training include the following:

  • The aspirant should have a keen interest in how the brain works 
  • This may include memory, attention, reasoning, and problem-solving 
  • They should have critical thinking and analysis skills
  • They should have excellent research skills and should be able to give attention to detail
  • They should be able to actively listen to colleagues and people experiencing  difficulties with mental processing 
  • They should have good problem-solving skills
  • They should have organizational and time management skills
  • They should be flexible and have a knack for multitasking
  • They should have values such as honesty and responsibility
  • They should have a professional conduct
  • They should exhibit accountability and reliability
  • They should protect the welfare of others

Steps to Become a Cognitive Psychologist?

To become a cognitive psychologist aspirants in this field have to earn 

Graduates may then pursue state licensure or certification, followed by board certification if desired. The entire process may take up to 10 years.

There are certain basic eligibility criteria to become a cognitive psychologist. They are as follows:

Eligibility Criteria

  • Aspirant cognitive psychologists have to complete a four-year undergraduate degree in psychology or a related field before pursuing a master’s. 
  • Many states require a doctorate to apply for a license and to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). 
  • Aspirants are suggested to check their state’s education and licensing requirements.

Other Requirements

There may be other requirements to pursue a postgraduate course in the field of cognitive psychology. Moreover, practical experiences may be needed to compete in the market.

  • Application requirements for doctoral programs may include a minimum grade point average or Graduate Record Examinations scores, and recommendation letters.
  • Moreover, English proficiency tests like IELTS, and TOEFL
  • Doctoral candidates pursue internships to gain hands-on experience
  • Students may need to develop a thesis in order to graduate

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Top Universities Offering Cognitive Psychology Abroad

Rank University Name Location
1 Harvard University USA
2 University College London UK
3 Stanford University USA
4 University of Michigan  USA
5 University of Toronto Canada
6 University of Oxford UK
7 Yale University USA

Top Universities Offering Cognitive Psychology in India

University Name Location
Amity University Maharashtra
Calicut University Kerala
Sarojni Naidu College for Women West Bengal
Adamas University West Bengal
Sikkim University Sikkim
St. Paul’s College Karnataka

Career Scope for Cognitive Psychologists

There are immense opportunities in diverse fields for cognitive psychologists, depending on their speciality. For instance, cognitive psychologists who focus on research find work in research facilities and government agencies. Universities might also hire cognitive psychologists as members of the faculty. Moreover, cognitive psychologists also work at treatment facilities, like mental health clinics and hospitals. 

Top recruiting areas

Healthcare Human Resources
Senior Design Researcher Technology Research Developer
Industrial Organisation Manager Clinical Psychologist
Data Scientist Human Factor Consultant
Research Business
Neuroscientist Consultant
Practitioner Lecturer
Advisor Professor

Top Countries for Cognitive Psychologists 

Country Name Average Salary
The United States $58,771 (INR 45,25,367)
United Kingdom £49,005 (INR 47,04,480)
Canada C$ 72,000 (INR 43,20,000)
Australia $109,522 (INR 59,14,188)
India ₹9,62,926 


What is an example of cognitive psychology?

The idea of learning is itself an example of cognition. Cognitive psychology is about the way the brain makes connections as it rememberers what it has learned. The field includes the study of the ability to reason logically, problem-solving and making judgments about information.

What is cognitive psychology in simple terms?

Cognitive psychology is the science behind how we think. It deals with mental processes such as attention, perception, memory, language, and action planning. Each of these components is important and pivotal in the formation of who we are and how we behave.

How is cognitive psychology used today?

Cognitive psychology is a very popular course because it can be applied to a lot of fields in psychology, including those that relate to attention, memory, perception, problem solving, eyewitness testimony, child development, and gender role development.

There is no doubt that you should apply for courses in cognitive psychology if you are interested in the workings of the human brain and behaviours related to it. However, if you want to become a cognitive psychologist, choosing the right course and university that runs parallel to your child’s interests is very important. For this, I’m sure you’ll be pleased to take the assistance of an AI-based tool at Leverage Edu that gives you personalised suggestions based on your skills, qualifications and interests. Contact our experts at Leverage Edu they will assist you in your study abroad endeavour. To get a free consultation from us call us at 1800 572 000 now!

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