I work with real-world, intractable ‘wicked’ problems. These are complex systems that often have no one solution. In many cases all we can do is find a solution that creates change in one area that will ripple through to create change in other parts of the system.
To explain and predict other peoples behaviour, we use theory, experiments and statistics. As the issues are often new, we need creativity and imagination to create unique solutions.
We need to be happy jumping into new and uncertain issues and often work in specialist teams, the public, government and business. This requires gaining a wide understanding of theory and practice and to learn many tools and techniques.
Persuading others on the importance of a psychological approach can be very frustrating. You need to have a thick skin, be extra prepared and to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in! Certainly, it also helps to have humility and patience when explaining difficult concepts to others!