So when I was 14 years old I started an interest in psychology. I've been studying it (legitimate medical research articles, textbooks, clinical guides, etc vs googling) for almost 13 years at this point, while not having a degree or formal education in the subject, I'm still quite knowledgable. I've also in the past year have suffered multiple concussions so sometimes I'm struggling finding my words.

  • If you don't have specific achievements in self-trained psychology, you could use your entry in the cover letter rather than the resume. Covers can be a bit chatty. Resumes that are will make you sound like a teen. Commented Jun 28 at 13:36
  • You are an autodidact.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jun 28 at 16:29
  • Thanks that's a good point. Commented Jul 1 at 10:43

4 Answers 4


There is probably no single-word term for what you are trying to describe; however, the two word term "armchair student" encompasses the case that you delineate.

(Cambridge Dictionary) armchair adjective [ before noun ]

used to refer to a person who knows, or says they know, a lot about a subject without having direct experience of it:

  • an armchair critic/gardener/traveller

(Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 18 (2016) Daniel C. Peterson · 2016) Mark Bukowski is a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has been a student of philosophy for over 40 years. He received a dual Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy and Psychology at UCLA, studying with Robert C. Solomon, a noted scholar on 19th century German Philosophy, and Angela Davis, who was a student of Marcuse. As an undergraduate, he became a student radical and atheist Marxist. In graduate school at the university of New York, he studied William James and John Dewey Under the tutelage of John J. McDermott and became convinced that personal religious experience could be seen as a valid way to justify statements about religion. He also agreed with Wittgenstein, that philosophical "problems" were often purely semantic misunderstandings and that language was often inadequate to express direct experience. These two philosophical insights proved to be life changing. He left academic philosophy but has remained an "armchair student" ever since.


Perhaps you can call yourself an

: a self-taught person
was an autodidact who read voraciously


The obvious answer is studying psychology is a hobby of mine. Other straightforward variations on that, such as one of my hobbies is the study of psychology, also seem to fit your requirements.

  • Thanks I should add that I want to use it in the context of a resume. So I would love to be able to highlight the 13 years within the statement and make it clear, yet professional that I am not in any way certified for counselling etc. I appreciate your answer I typically use "hobby" just hasn't felt correct haha good to know I'm not alone with this for a word choice. Commented Jun 28 at 13:00
  • 1
    @MaddieKiley : "Self education in psychology" may be the title of the corresponding section of your CV.
    – Graffito
    Commented Jun 28 at 13:18
  • Tsk - I answer your question, you change your question. If you had mentioned that you want to include something in your resume about your dalliance with psychology I'd have suggested a different answer. Commented Jun 28 at 14:40

You could say you dabble in academic psychology, which indicates an intermittent or non-formal participation in an activity that's not your primary focus. It connotes an ongoing interest in something, but also suggests that the interest is not very serious - it's a hobby, not a profession. That said, 13 years is a fairly long time to dabble in something, it may be somewhat of an understatement depending on the depth and breadth of your knowledge.

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