Before buying a subscription to this magazine I would suggest reading through an issue first, just so you are aware of what you'll be getting. No, it's not anything particularly challenging or mind-provoking, and the articles aren't scholarly or journal-worthy. But.. the articles make the subject accessible to the average reader, and do include insights into human behaviors and relationships that are fun and interesting. I am always engaged reading the articles, and find them topical and very current, unlike some psychology magazines which are too `deep' and drenched in older principles. This is a very `hip' psychology magazine and would be appreciated by those who are not necessarily scholars in the subject but who have a genuine interest in learning more. My favorite part is looking through the recommended books section, because there is usually something worthwhile to read.
Good magazine for the lay reader
Despite many of the harsh reviews, Psychology Today does have many practical articles and advice. I agree that some of the ads are cheezy but that does not take away from the fact that the articles are excellent.
Risque Covers, Relevant Contents
Yes, the magazine has "risque" covers, but that's to get people to pick it up. And then, hopefully, someone who wouldn't have otherwise read a factual, informational, psychological magazine will read it. I feel the stories are designed to be interesting to a wide range of people, and they keep the diction simple enough so that even if you're not a psych student you can make sense of it. I also think the stories bring relevance to psychology - it's not all about people with disorders and treatments, etc - it relates to day-to-day thought processes and behavior. Besides, if you're a psychology student, you shouldn't be expecting this magazine to substitute a textbook or published study. I'm a psychology student, and I find the articles refreshing - they're informative, relevant to society, thought-provoking, and teach without shoving theory after theory down your throat.
I'm a long-time reader of PT--I just read Aaron Knoll's review. I must agree in many respects. Since Daniel Goleman left the editorship of PT, it seems to me to have slid continually away from sound, scientific (insofar as the Art of Psychology can go), in the direction of the trendy, dare I say, Aquarian approach to life. There isn't really a substitute for the magazine, so I'd certainly like to see it become a little less like Soap Opera Digest. (I'm about to renew my subsceiption though!)
a magazine best suited for people who have not studied psychology
Psychology Today is truly a magazine for persons who want some information about psychology without going to school and studying psychology. Therefore, there are going to be two mindsets about this magazine: The psychology students and professionals will think this too fluffy and stuffed with ads; and the everyday man on the street will say, "Wow! That was a pretty good article. I learned something."
My own experience is similar to the gentleman who purchased a three year subscription to Psychology Today and then wound up tossing it away more and more as his formal studies gave him an in depth education of psychology and how it is used. I loved this magazine when I was a teenager planning to work with people to help them solve their problems. However, these days as someone who has a master's in social work I would probably not get much out of the magazine.
The ads are certainly numerous and you get the feeling that Psychology Today wedges in just enough articles to keep subscribers interested while selling ad space to make big bucks. That's a shame.
Overall, this magazine is best suited for the everyday man on the street who has not studied psychology and who does not plan on studying psychology. These people will get a lot more out of their subscriptions to this magazine. I recommend this for the layman while students of psychology at the college or postgraduate level would do well to skip this one.
Great for a thoughtful teen, too light for most others
I had a subscription to this as a teenager and loved it. In the dark ages before the internet, I anticipated its arrival every month with enthusiasm and hungrily devoured each new issue. I'd have to credit Psychology Today with giving me a reasonably solid foundation for understanding human nature, something that I too often take for granted in adulthood.
Recently, feeling nostalgic while browsing my local library, I picked up the latest issue. Obvious fluff, every bit of it! Common sense with bright pictures! What had happened to the quality of the magazine I'd once loved?
Nothing had happened at all, I realized. I just grew up. At some point, common sense does indeed become common--if you learn it in the first place. This was a great magazine for me as a teen, but not at all interesting as an adult.
But then, I outgrew Sesame Street Magazine even earlier. Maybe I'll show PT to my own teenage children. I suspect they might love it as much as I did!
At first i was excited to find a magazine devoted to the interesting field of psychology, unfortunately, i ordered a subscription of Psychology Today, before i found Scientific American Mind.
Psychology Today is a pop-magazine with much emphasis on day-to-day selfconfidence struggles. Some of the information presented is worth reading, but it's just not worthy of bearing it's name in that it portrays psychology as something superficial, and as if it were an exercise in highschool conversation; discussing why one person is more popular than the other.
It's a mundane, practical how-to magazine without much depth.
Not scientifically valid--won't renew
Every once in a while, this magazine produces a truly great or fascinating article. Unfortunately, now that I have a subscription, I have realized that the bulk of the articles are very mundane, contain no references or studies, and sometimes purport to have conclusions which are drawn from nowhere. I agree with other reviewers that you could find most of these articles/tidbits in Cosmo or Glamour...
Moreover, I have noticed that psychology today has a free website that contains the majority of their past articles, so check that out before you waste money and paper on a hard copy subscrption.
Only read if you feel like you would welcome a discussion point. I am going to sign up for something a little more academic.
Great magazine for the armchair psychologist
Now, let me say that if you are looking for scientific data, or read hard core studies, this isn't the magazine you are going to pick up. I have a subscription to the magazine and I enjoy it from a light reading perspective. Most articles involve topics that relate you to friends and family. I enjoy their monthly question and answer section the most, I find that in that area they do address deeper topics. While its not super serious study, it does make for some interesting reading.
Disappointed, But Helpful
I was disapointed with this Issue -- March 2005 -- as there was in my opinnion an excessive ammount of ads and not a lot of information. However I did find what little information there was -- to be very interesting and worth the read. But it was not enough to fulfil my mind's 'psychological' craving for information.