Research for my personal project

Hey guys!

So I know that I’m a couple of weeks overdue for my next post, but it’s just been a hectic month what with other exams and stuff so I do apologise, but hopefully from here on out I will have a bit more time on my hands so I can post more frequently as I had planned.

Ok, so getting straight down to it, I last talked about how I had chosen the theme of environment for my personal study project, and that my next steps were to get on with doing some drawings that reflect which of my environments are important to me, and personally, I think that the results are awesome (if I do say so myself).

I had a lot of fun with the first experiment (black and white painting). I did this drawing from a photograph that I took of the equipment next to the sink in the art room, and used a technique called ‘impasto’, which means the ‘process of laying on paint or pigment thickly so that it stands out from a surface’.

(Helpful Tip – Always try to use the proper art terms when describing a piece of work, this skill will come in handy when you come to write your essay)

For this, I used only black and white acrylic paint, and I actually applied the paint using sticks! Like actual sticks from the garden! (I know… wild times right). I found that this was a really good way to produce a creative piece of work in a relatively short amount of time (which is a key thing for a perfectionist like myself). This experiment linked nicely to an artist called Frank Auerbach, who uses a lot of impasto in his work.

(Helpful Tip – Get into the habit of finding and linking an artist or two into every piece of work/double page that you produce. Showing that you are able to analyse other artists’ work and how they influenced you to create your own work is a very key aspect, as it is one of the four assessment objectives that your teachers will be looking for when marking your sketchbook)

Moving on, I decided next to focus on my garden environment. I did an oil painting of a pot of flowers that I took a picture of in my Nan’s garden. Now, due to the chosen media, it did take a ridiculously long time to complete, but in my opinion, it was well worth the time and the effort. As you can see above, i’ve put up an image of the real thing, alongside an image of my painting. So far, I’ve had lots of positive feedback from my close friends and family, but I would also love to hear what you guys think! (Any feedback is helpful, wether it’s positive or otherwise).

Well that’s it from me for today. As I said, I will try my best to post more frequently, but in the mean time, if there’s anything specific you would like me to write about or if you have any questions/comments about the work I’m doing, then please feel free to write in the comments section below. Bye guys!


Experimentation and Ethics in Psychology 

After reading Research Ethics in Psychology: Vulnerable Research Participants, I remembered the importance of so-called “Ethics” in psychology. It is covered in the social psychology part of  the   course. 

So, what are ethics? 

Well, to be ethical may be defined as sticking to moral principles, such as values that avoid deliberate harm to others or ourselves.  Ethics, in psychology, links to the rights and responsiblities of researchers to their participants. These ethics are meant to limit psychical and psychological harm of an individal and are moral restrictions of research. 

The British Psychological Society (BPS) decided not to allow the researchers to define their own moral standards, but to come up with guidelines that all must follow. 

These guidelines are as follows: 

  • Respect 
  • Integrity
  • Responisiblity
  • Minimising harm 

Below are some key parts of ethics studied in the course

Informed Consent

Well this idea is split into two important parts. 

Firstly, the simple idea of consent. This is the idea that all participents must be voluntary. They must not be forced, brided or intimidated in any way to take part. 

Secondly, the idea of “informed” consent. This is the idea that, whenever possible, the participent must be aware of 100% of what the research is for, what their results will be used for and what the procedure is. 

For example, Milgram had many issues around the idea of informed consent as he told his participants that his experiment was about memory when it was in fact about obedience. 

Right to Withdraw

The right to withdraw suggests that at anytime a participent may leave the research. They cannot be forced to stay or denyed the right to leave. 

The researchers have a few important procures to ensure they obide by the right to withdraw: 

  1. The researcher has the responsibility to inform the participants of their right
  2. If, at any time, a participant asks to leave – they must be allowed without any resistance 
  3. If, during or after the research, the participents asks to withdraw their data (or remain anonymous) from the research – this wish must be respected


A debrief is the process in which, after research, the researcher “checks in” on the  participant to ensure no harm has come to them. This is especially important where full informed consent was unable to be attained. 

It is important that the debreif if done as quickly as possible, with the aim to sooth any anxieties of the participant. 

Protential for harm   

This is the idea that researchers take into account any harm that may occur. This may include any psychical, emotional or psychological risks that the participant may encounter. Risks are particularly important to be reduced if the participents are vunerable due to young/old age or disabilities. The rule is, usually, that a participant must not be exposed to more risk than they would encounter on a normal day of their lives. However, allowances may be made if the value of the research is high (pictured below). 

Psychiatry vs Clinical Psychology: what is the difference? 

Today I wanted to clarify two different careers that work with mental illness- Psychiarists and Psychologists. They are very similar, but very different. Enjoy! 

So I attended a Medicine Calling event called “With a Spotlight on Psychiatry” at Leicester University. I will share some insights that they taught me. 

Just take moment to think about your answers to these questions… 

Are psychiarists doctors? How about clinical psychologists, are they doctors? 

Do either of these career choices need you do have a medical degree? 

What would be the best opitions at A level to secure a place on the needed courses? 

Read on to know discover the answers! 

While I have decided to take the path of Clinical Psychology, both are very rewarding ways to get to diagnose, work with and treat people with mental health disorders. Both careers are considered to be doctors but they are quite different in the education you need. 


Psychiary can be defined as a medical speciality. Psychiarists tend to work with the more severe end of the spectrum of mental illness- such as chronic Schizophrenia. Psychiarists are medical doctors that can prescribe medicines, such as antidepressants, to control symptoms of mental illness.  

Psychiarty is the act of teaching people to stand on their own two feet while reclining on couches

-Sigmand Freud 

To become a psychiatrist you need a medical degree. Medicine is one of the most competitive university courses to get on, so it would be advisable to pick 2 science A levels (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) and then one contrastng A level, such as English Lit, French or History. It would also be important to get some work experience through the NHS or in other care settings such as a care home.  Good places to find volunteer work: 

  1. Vinspired
  2.  Get Involved Northamptionshire
  3. Do It

Clinical Psychology  

Clinical Psychology can be described as a specialism  of psychology, thay are doctors but without a medical degree. They cannot prescribe drugs and they usually specialise in a type of treatment such as CBT. 

Man can alter his life by altering his opinon 

-William James

To become a clinical psychologist, you can take a psychology degree at university. It is advisiable to take at least one science subject AND psychology or maths. It would be important to show a passion for psychology through attending lectures, events and further reading. 

Some good places to start Psychology TED talks and Psychology Today

So whatever you decide, both careers are highly competitive but rewarding ways to work with mental illness. I will link here a post by “Learn How To Become” that allows you to explore more careers that work with mental illness if it is something you are interested in. Also, here is a insightful post by Psychology Today of interviews from people who work with mental illness.