Tuesday, June 3, 2014


    If you like to help children, school psychology might be a great fit for you. School psychologists work with children and their parents to address unique developmental needs of students. They help set children up for long term success both in a school environment and in every day life.

Starting salary range

Starting school psychologist salaries range from $34,428 (Ohio) to $48,859 (California).

Average salary

A school psychologist average salary is $70,190 and maximum school psychologist salaries top out at over $116,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Larger school districts tend to pay more than smaller ones, according to Payscale's Median Salary by Company Size Charts)

Opportunities for advancement

School psychologists can advance by gaining on the job experience and tenure. School psychologists can earn an additional 10% or more by earning a Ph.D. Some school psychologists may turn their Ph.D. into training for other psychological specialties including clinical psychology, counseling psychology, or research included in the choices. School psychologists can typically increase earning potential by moving to a larger school district. In addition, school psychology salaries vary widely by state - The clear leader is California, where school psychologists can earn over 150% of the national average.

Benefits and perks

Paid time off, health care, pension, education reimbursement, sick days, insurance, bonus, and taxes increase the total compensation package by an average 27.9%**, bringing the median total school psychologist compensation to $77,298.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Number of School Psychologists

How many school psychologists are there in the country? How many are providing psychological services in the nation’s schools? A 2004 NASP study examining these questions provides the best—perhaps only—recent empirically based answers. This article briefly presents some of the results of the study, makes comparisons with the previous study in 1999, and discusses the implications of collecting this type of data for the future of the profession. Estimates of changes in the degree to which states are meeting the NASP-recommended ratio of one school psychologist per 1,000 students are also provided, and the benefits and limitations of such estimates are considered.

The school psychology credentialing systems come to mind first as logical sources of information on the number of school psychologists in the country. Apart from the NASP Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential, the credentialing of school psychologists is a matter governed by state laws, and there is a great deal of variability from state to state. The state agency usually charged with the credentialing of school psychologists is the state department of education, though in some states psychology licensing boards also credential school psychologists. Twenty-six states use the NCSP as part of their standards for state certification. The NASP website provides brief summaries by state of certification and licensure requirements, with links to state departments of education and state licensing boards (www.nasponline.org/certification/state_info_list.html).

With these credentialing systems in place, determining the number of credentialed school psychologists in the country would seem to be an easy matter. However, this has not proven to be the case. Difficulties have been reported in obtaining official data on the number of credentialed school psychologists in some states. This situation is one of several reasons why there is currently no compendium of school psychology workforce data that one can reach for to discover how the workforce changes from year to year.

One federal publication, however, is becoming just such a centralized source for information on mental health practitioners and trainees, from social workers and psychiatrists to psychiatric nurses and school psychologists. The most recent edition,Mental Health, United States, 2002, includes school psychology data for 2000, making possible comparisons between the school psychology workforce and the other professions that provide mental health services (Center for Mental Health Services, 2004). One impetus for the present study was the need for updated data for the 2004 edition of this publication. The study was conducted in the fall of 2004 (Charvat, 2004).

Monday, February 4, 2013


The Department of Education’s “Federal Resources for Educational Excellence” project is a wealth of information. Selected offerings for teachers, parents and students include:

Helping Your Child Learn Math: activities for parents to help children (K-5th grade) have fun learning geometry, algebra, measurement, statistics, probability and other subjects (Department of Education).

Project Links: web-based modules for teaching advanced math methods, probability and statistics, differential equations, discrete mathematics, linear systems, and calculus (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute/ National Science Foundation).

Collected Learning Units in Mathematics: more than 200 instructional units in arithmetic, algebra, calculus, data analysis, fractions, geometry, number theory, pre-algebra, pre-calculus, probability and statistics (National Security Agency).

Journal of Online Mathematics and its Applications: articles, learning modules, “mathlets,” reviews of online resources, and a developers’ area (Mathematical Association of America/National Science Foundation).

Statistics Online Computational Resource: online aids (including interactive graphs and calculators ) for probability and statistics education, technology-based instruction, and statistical computing (UCLA, supported by multiple agencies).

Teaching with Data Simulations: activities to help students visualize abstract statistical concepts and see dynamic processes behind the gathering, analysis, and interpretation of statistics (Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College/National Science Foundation).

Data in the Classroom: curriculum guides for using real scientific data to investigate earth processes. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

Sunday, January 27, 2013


What Psychologists Do

    Industrial-organizational psychologists apply psychological research and methods to workplace issues. Psychologists study mental processes and human behavior by observing, interpreting, and recording how people and other animals relate to one another and the environment.
Psychologists typically do the following:
  • Conduct scientific studies to study behavior and brain function
  • Collect information through observations, interviews, surveys, tests, and other methods
  • Find patterns that will help them understand and predict behavior
  • Use their knowledge to increase understanding among individuals and groups
  • Develop programs that improve schools and workplaces by addressing psychological issues
  • Work with individuals, couples, and families to help them make desired changes to behaviors
  • Identify and diagnose mental, behavioral, or emotional disorders
  • Develop and carry out treatment plans
  • Collaborate with physicians or social workers to help treat patients
    Psychology seeks to understand and explain thoughts, emotions, feelings, and behavior. Depending on the topic of study, psychologists use techniques such as observation, assessment, and experimentation to develop theories about the beliefs and feelings that influence a person’s actions.
   Psychologists often gather information and evaluate behavior through controlled laboratory experiments, psychoanalysis, or psychotherapy. They also may administer personality, performance, aptitude, or intelligence tests. They look for patterns of behavior or cause-and-effect relationships between events, and use this information when testing theories in their research or treating patients.

The following are common occupational specialties:

Clinical psychologists assess, diagnose, and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Clinical psychologists help people deal with problems ranging from short-term personal issues to severe, chronic conditions. Clinical psychologists are trained to use a variety of approaches to help individuals. Although strategies generally differ by specialty, psychologists often interview patients, give diagnostic tests, and provide individual, family, or group psychotherapy. They also design behavior modification programs and help patients implement their particular program. Some clinical psychologists focus on certain populations, such as children or the elderly, or certain specialties, such as the following:
Health psychologists study how psychological factors affect health and illness. They educate both patients and medical staff about psychological issues, and promote healthy-living strategies. They also investigate health issues, such as substance abuse or teenage pregnancy, and develop programs to address the problems.
Neuropsychologists study the relation between the brain and behavior. They typically work with patients who have sustained a brain injury. Clinical psychologists often consult with other medical personnel regarding the best treatment for patients, especially treatment that includes medication. Two states, Louisiana and New Mexico, currently allow clinical psychologists to prescribe medication to patients. In most states, however, only psychiatrists and medical doctors may prescribe medication for treatment.

Counseling psychologists advise people on how to deal with their problems. They help patients understand their problems, including issues in the home, workplace, or community. Through counseling, they work with patients to identify the strengths or resources they can use to manage problems. For information on similar workers, see the profiles on mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists, substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, and social workers.

Developmental psychologists study the psychological progress and development that takes place throughout life. Many focus on children and adolescents. Development psychologists also increasingly study aging and problems faced by the elderly.

Forensic psychologists use psychological principles in the legal and criminal justice system to help judges, attorneys, and other legal specialists understand the psychological findings of a particular case. They often appear in court as expert witnesses. They typically specialize in family court, civil court, or criminal court.

Industrial-organizational psychologists apply psychology to the workplace by using psychological principles and research methods to solve problems and improve the quality of work life. They study issues such as workplace productivity, management or employee working styles, and morale. They also work with management on matters such as policy planning, employee screening or training, and organizational development.

School psychologists apply psychological principles and techniques to education-related issues. For example, they may address students’ learning and behavioral problems, evaluate students’ performances, and counsel students and families. They also may consult with other school-based professionals to suggest improvements to teaching, learning, and administrative strategies.

Social psychologists study how people’s mindsets and behavior are shaped by social interactions. They examine both individual and group interactions and may investigate ways to improve negative interactions.
Psychologists held about 174,000 jobs in 2010. About 34 percent of psychologists were self-employed, 29 percent worked in educational services, and 20 percent worked in healthcare settings.

Some psychologists work alone, which may include independent research or individually counseling patients. Others work as part of a healthcare team, collaborating with physicians, social workers, and others to treat illness and promote overall wellness.

Many clinical and counseling psychologists in private practice have their own offices and can set their own schedules. Other typical workplaces include clinics, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, and community and mental health centers.

Most research psychologists work in colleges and universities, government agencies, or private research organizations.

Most school psychologists work in public schools, ranging in level from nursery school through college. They also work in private schools, universities, hospitals and clinics, community treatment centers, and independent practice.
Work Schedules

Psychologists in private practice can often set their own hours, and many work part time as independent consultants. However, they often offer evening or weekend hours to accommodate clients. Those employed in hospitals, nursing homes, or other healthcare facilities also may have evening or weekend shifts. Most psychologists working in clinics, government, industry, or schools work full-time schedules during regular business hours.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


A chi-square test is a statistical test commonly used for testing independence and goodness of fit. Testing independence determines whether two or more observations across two populations are dependent on each other (that is, whether one variable helps to estimate the other). Testing for goodness of fit determines if an observed frequency distribution matches a theoretical frequency distribution. In both cases the equation to calculate the chi-square statistic is where O equals the observed frequency and Ethe expected frequency. The results of a chi-square test, along with the degrees of freedom, are used with a previously calculated table of chi-square distributions to find a p-value. The p-value can then be used to determine the significance of the test.

There are two types of random variables and they yield two types of data: numerical and categorical. A chi square (X2) statistic is used to investigate whether distributions of categorical variables differ from one another. Basically categorical variable yield data in the categories and numerical variables yield data in numerical form. Responses to such questions as "What is your major?" or Do you own a car?" are categorical because they yield data such as "biology" or "no." In contrast, responses to such questions as "How tall are you?" or "What is your G.P.A.?" are numerical. Numerical data can be either discrete or continuous.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Statistical Procedures

   Statistical procedures are of particular importance in the behavioral sciences because of the need for data reduction and abstraction. Because of the variability of human behavior, the study of single individuals contributes little to the search for general consistencies. Groups of people must be studied in order to avoid the danger of generalizing from an atypical person. 
   Statistics, then, refers to a set of techniques for describing groups of data and for making decisions in the absence of complete information. Generally speaking, there are two types of group statistics. Descriptive statistics means we are describing a group in terms of averages or some other numerical measurement, whereas inferential statistics is the series of techniques used to determine, for example,  the probability that particular samples of observations are only the result of chance variation. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Statistics and Psychology

    Both research and statistics play a major role in the science of psychology as without these two disciplines it is unlikely that it would even exist. This is because research is imperative in psychology as it helps to prove or disprove theories, without it we would not know what we do about the brain and human behavior as it is all due to research carried out and experiments undertaken. Like other natural sciences it relies on a scientific method, based on the idea of observation and experimentation. The only way that we can check the honesty of the statements and theories which have been formed is through experimental evidence and it is that important evidence that is collated in the form of research and statistics. The integrity of psychology lies in the use of evidence-based practices that correctly and systematically collect data and then analyse it in a significant way. Statistics are just as important for psychology; this is because they help to determine whether the findings made are legitimate and whether they are significant based on the probability of the stats. Psychologist's make observations so that they are able to come up with critical conclusions to a problem and deduce practice results. Without results through research and statistics, the sciences would fail as they would not be orientated towards the pursuit of idea that is practical along with the predictable results. The science of psychology is based on the reliability and validity of measurements as constructs and in order to ensure this happens you need interventions on leadership, job performance, employee stress, and selection techniques. So the role that research and statistics takes in psychology is essential to prove that the psychological theories are correct.