This website uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some of these cookies are used for visitor analysis, others are essential to making our site function properly and improve the user experience. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Click Accept to consent and dismiss this message or Deny to leave this website. Read our Privacy Statement for more.
Psi-Chi-ology Lab
Blog Home All Blogs
Search all posts for:   


View all (102) posts »

How to Say "Psi Chi"

Posted By Psi Chi Central Office, Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, March 28, 2018


Psi Chi is the International Honor Society for Psychology. This is easy enough to read and remember. But what isn’t always so easy is pronouncing Psi Chi out loud for the first time! At the Psi Chi Central Office, we’ve witnessed this play out in many ways on the phone and in person. For example:

Some people tackle the issue head on by asking, “Am I saying that right?” Good for them! Others sometimes accidentally say “Psy Chee” or “P-si Chi.” And other times, people avoid mentioning the word Psi Chi throughout an entire lengthy conversation—coincidence? We think not! ;)

Anyway, mispronouncing Psi Chi happens all the time, and it’s nothing to feel embarrassed about. The word isn't exactly composed of the most commonly used syllables. And it is doubtful that this little mistake will disappear any time soon (unless Psi Chi gets added to a lesson in Hooked on Phonics, perhaps).

So for the record, here’s how you say Psi Chi!

So, What Does Psi Chi Mean?

Deconstructing the name of our Professional Organization is revealing. First there’s the Psi part, which represents the Greek letter Ψ and Greek word psyche. Psyche means mind, particularly enrichment of the mind or scholarship.

Chi is for the Greek letter Χ, which represent the word cheires. This means hands, as in fellowship and cooperation.

Then comes International, the newest part of Psi Chi’s name. For the majority of the organization’s history, Psi Chi was a “national honor society.” This change to an international honor society was a big one, even requiring an amendment to the constitution. Thanks to these efforts, Psi Chi now has chapters located all around the world.

(Check your own local chapter banners and materials. Do they have the proper International name printed on them? You can order new ones in the Psi Chi Store.)

Next, there is the word Honor, which speaks to our members’ outstanding academic performance. The requirements to join Psi Chi are stringent; having met them is proof of scholastic achievement. Service is not a requirement of membership, but it is an meaningful component of many chapters’ activities. Those who serve their communities add another dimension to the “honor” part of the name.

Finally, there is in Psychology. Psychology is a broad field, and the day-to-day work of a counselor differs substantially from the day-to-day work of a neuropsychologist. However, they do have one important commonality—a desire to help. Our members represent a population that strives to improve the human condition.

As it turns out, a name can convey a substantial amount of information! So when you say Psi Chi, be sure to say it with pride for all the positive things that our society and your membership stands for. Psi Chi offers $400,000+ in annual awards and grants, four great publications (including your favorite blog here!), a Career Center, and many other benefits.

Conduct an Experiment

The author of this post admits to mispronouncing Psi Chi once, a long, long time ago. So let’s all be honest! Have you ever mispronounced Psi Chi? If not, then maybe you’d like to share any other psychology words that have you mispronounced instead (login required to comment).

Tags:  Chapter Life  Psi Chi Related 

Share |
Permalink | Comments (0)

Psi Chi Central Office
651 East 4th Street, Suite 600
Chattanooga, TN 37403

Phone: 423.756.2044 | Fax: 423.265.1529


Certified member of the
Association of College Honor Societies