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Different fields and branches of Psychology

1. Abnormal Psychology
Abnormal psychology is the area that looks at psychopathology and
abnormal behavior. The term covers a broad range of disorders, from
depression to obsession-compulsion to sexual deviation and many
more. Counselors, clinical psychologists and psychotherapists often
work directly in this field.

2. Behavioral Psychology
Behavioral psychology, also known as behaviorism, is a theory of
learning based upon the idea that all behaviors are acquired through
conditioning. While this branch of psychology dominated the field
during the first part of the twentieth century, it became less
prominent during the 1950s. However, behavioral techniques remain
a mainstay in therapy, education and many other areas.

3. Biopsychology
The branch of psychology focused on the study of how
the brain influences behavior is often known as biopsychology,
although it has also been called physiological psychology,
behavioral neuroscience and psychobiology.
4. Cognitive Psychology
Cognitive psychology is the branch of psychology that focuses on
internal states, such as motivation, problem solving, decision-
making, thinking and attention. This area of psychology has
continued to grow since it emerged in the 1960s.
5. Comparative Psychology
Comparative psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with
the study of animal behavior. The study of animal behavior can lead
to a deeper and broader understanding of human psychology.

6. Cross-Cultural Psychology
Cross-cultural psychology is a branch of psychology that looks at

how cultural factors influence human behavior. The International

Association of Cross-Cultural Psychology (IACCP) was established in

1972, and this branch of psychology has continued to grow and

develop since that time. Today, increasing numbers of psychologists

investigate how behavior differs among various cultures throughout

the world.

7. Developmental Psychology
This branch of psychology looks at development throughout the
lifespan, from childhood to adulthood. The scientific study of human
development seeks to understand and explain how and why people
change throughout life. This includes all aspects of human growth,
including physical, emotional, intellectual, social, perceptual and
personality development. Topics studied in this field include
everything from prenatal development to Alzheimer's disease.
8. Educational Psychology
Educational psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with
schools, teaching psychology, educational issues and student
concerns. Educational psychologists often study how students learn
or work directly with students, parents, teachers and administrators
to improve student outcomes.

10. Forensic Psychology

Forensic psychology is a specialty area that deals with issues
related to psychology and the law. Forensic psychologists perform a
wide variety of duties, including providing testimony in court cases,
assessing children in suspected child abuse cases, preparing
children to give testimony and evaluating the mental competence of
criminal suspects.

11. Health Psychology

Health psychology is a specialty area that focuses on how biology,
psychology, behavior and social factors influence health and illness.
Other terms including medical psychology and behavioral medicine
are sometimes used interchangeably with the term health
psychology. The field of health psychology is focused on promoting
health as well as the prevention and treatment of disease and

12. Personality Psychology

This branch of psychology is focused on the patterns of thoughts,
feelings, and behavior that make a person unique. Some of the best-
known theories in psychology have arisen from this field, including
Freud's psychoanalytic theory of personality and Erikson's theory of
psychosocial development.

13. Social Psychology

Social psychology seeks to explain and understand social behavior
and looks at diverse topics including group behavior, social
interactions, leadership, nonverbal communication and social
influences on decision-making.

Fields of Psychology

Industrial Organizational Psychology

Counseling Psychology
Clinical Psychology
Developmental Psychology
Experimental and Human Factors Psychology
Educational Psychology
Social Psychology
School Psychology
Physiological Psychology
Environmental Psychology
Health Psychology
Family Psychology
Rehabilitation Psychology
Psychometrics and Quantitative Psychology
Forensic Psychology and Psychology with the Law
Geropsychology/Psychology of Aging
Sport Psychology
Consumer Psychology
Aviation Psychology
Industrial Organizational Psychology
Industrial/Organizational Psychology is a field in which scientific principles are
developed and applied in the workplace. Industrial Psychology is focused on the
management perspective of organizational effectiveness through the proper use of
human resources and people. Common issues in Industrial Psychology include
performance appraisals, efficient job design, and employee selection and training.
Organizational Psychology, on the other hand, is focused more on the individual
employee. It is concerned with understanding and enhancing the well-being and
development of the individual employee. Common issues in Organizational
Psychology include job stress, employee attitudes and behavior, and supervisory
Counseling Psychology

"Counseling psychologists do many of the same things that clinical

psychologists do. However, counseling psychologists tend to focus more
on persons with adjustment problems, rather than on persons suffering
from severe psychological disorders. Counseling psychologists are
employed in academic settings, community mental health centers, and
private practice. Recent research tends to indicate that training in
counseling and clinical psychology are very similar" (as stated on the APA

Clinical Psychology
"Clinical psychologists assess and treat people with psychological problems. They
may act as therapists for people experiencing normal psychological crises (e.g.,
grief) or for individuals suffering from chronic psychiatric disorders. Some clinical
psychologists are generalists who work with a wide variety of populations, while
others work with specific groups like children, the elderly, or those with specific
disorders (e.g., schizophrenia). They may be found in hospitals, community health
centers, or private practice" (as stated on the APA website).

Developmental Psychology
"Developmental psychologists study how we develop intellectually, socially,
emotionally, and morally during our lifespan. Some focus on just one period of life
(e.g., childhood or adolescence). Developmental psychologists usually do research
and teach in academic settings, but many act as consultants to day-care centers,
schools, or social service agencies" (as stated on the APA website).
Experimental and Human Factors Psychology
"This area of specialization includes a diverse group of psychologists who do
research in the most basic areas of psychology (e.g., learning, memory, attention,
cognition, sensation, perception, motivation, and language). Sometimes their
research is conducted with animals instead of humans. Most of these psychologists
are faculty members at colleges and universities" (as stated on the APA website).

Educational Psychology
"Educational psychologists are concerned with the study of human learning. They
attempt to understand the basic aspects of learning and then develop materials and
strategies for enhancing the learning process. For example, an educational
psychologist might study reading and develop a new technique for teaching reading
from the results of the research" (as stated on the APA website).
Social Psychology
"Social psychologists study how our beliefs, feelings, and behaviors are affected by
other persons. Some of the topics of interest to social psychologists are attitudes,
aggression, prejudice, love, and interpersonal attraction. Most social psychologists
are on the faculty of colleges and universities, but an increasing number are being
hired by hospitals, federal agencies, and businesses to perform applied research"
(as stated on the APA website).
School Psychology
"School psychologists are involved in the development of children in educational
settings. They are typically involved in the assessment of children and the
recommendation of actions to facilitate students' learning. They often act as
consultants to parents and administrators to optimize the learning environments of
specific students" (as stated on the APA website).
Physiological Psychology
"Physiological psychology is one of psychology's hottest areas because of the recent
dramatic increase in interest in the physiological correlates of behavior. These
psychologists study both very basic processes (e.g., how brain cells function) and
more observable phenomena (e.g., behavior change as a function of drug use or the
biological/genetic roots of psychiatric disorders). Some physiological psychologists
continue their education in clinical areas and work with people who have
neurological problems" (as stated on the APA website).
Environmental Psychology
"Environmental psychologists are concerned with the relations between
psychological processes and physical environments ranging from homes and offices
to urban areas and regions. Environmental psychologists may do research on
attitudes toward different environments, personal space, or the effects on productivity
of different office designs" (as stated on the APA website).
Health Psychology
"Health psychologists are concerned with psychology's contributions to the
promotion and maintenance of good health and the prevention and treatment of
illness. They design and conduct programs to help individuals stop smoking, lose
weight, manage stress, prevent cavities, or stay physically fit. They are employed in
hospitals, medical schools, rehabilitation centers, public health agencies, and in
private practice" (as stated on the APA website).
Family Psychology
"Family psychologists are concerned with the prevention of family conflict, the
treatment of marital and family problems, and the maintenance of normal family
functioning. They design and conduct programs for marital enrichment, pre-marital
preparation, and improved parent-child relations. They also conduct research on
topics such as child abuse, family communications patterns, and the effects of
divorce and remarriage. Family psychologists are often employed in medical
schools, hospitals, community agencies, and in private practice" (as stated on the
APA website).
Rehabilitation Psychology
"Rehabilitation psychologists work with people who have suffered physical
deprivation or loss at birth or during later development as a result of damage or
deterioration of function (e.g., resulting from a stroke). They help people overcome
both the psychological and situational barriers to effective functioning in the world.
Rehabilitation psychologists work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, medical
schools, and in government rehabilitation agencies" (as stated on the APA website).
Psychometrics and Quantitative Psychology
"Psychometric and quantitative psychologists are concerned with the methods and
techniques used to acquire and apply psychological knowledge. A psychometrist
revises old intelligence, personality, and aptitude tests and devises new ones.
Quantitative psychologists assist researchers in psychology or other fields to design
experiments or interpret their results. Psychometrists and quantitative psychologists
are often employed in colleges and universities, testing companies, private research
firms, and government agencies" (as stated on the APA website).
Forensic Psychology and Psychology with the Law
"Psychology and the law studies legal issues from a psychological perspective (e.g.,
how juries decide cases) and psychological questions in a legal context (e.g., how
jurors assign blame or responsibility for a crime). Forensic psychologists are
concerned with the applied and clinical facets of the law such as determining a
defendant's competence to stand trial or if an accident victim has suffered physical or
neurological damage. Jobs in these areas are in law schools, research
organizations, community mental health agencies, and correctional institutions" (as
stated on the APA website).
"Psychobiologists and neuropsychologists investigate the relation between physical
systems and behavior. Topics they study include the relation of specific biochemical
mechanisms in the brain to behavior, the relation of brain structure to function, and
the chemical and physical changes that occur in the body when we experience
different emotions. Neuropsychologists also diagnose and treat disorders related to
the central nervous system. They may diagnose behavioral disturbances related to
suspected dysfunctions of the central nervous system and treat patients by teaching
them new ways to acquire and process information technique known as cognitive

Clinical neuropsychologists work in the neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatric, and

pediatric units of hospitals, and in clinics. They also work in academic settings where
they conduct research and train other neuropsychologists, clinical psychologists, and
medical doctors. Most positions in neuropsychology and biopsychology are at the
doctoral level, and many require postdoctoral training. Limited opportunities exist at
the bachelor's and master's level for technicians and research assistants" (as stated
on the UNIwebsite).
Geropsychology/Psychology of Aging
"Researchers in the psychology of aging (geropsychology) draw on Sociology,
biology, and other disciplines as well as psychology to study the factors associated
with adult development and aging. For example, they may investigate how the brain
and the nervous system change as humans age and what effects those changes
have on behavior or how a person's style of coping with problems varies with age.
Clinicians in geropsychology apply their knowledge about the aging process to
improve the psychological welfare of the elderly.

Many people interested in the psychology of aging are trained in a more traditional
graduate program in psychology, such as experimental, clinical, developmental, or
social. While they are enrolled in such a program, they become geropsychologists by
focusing their research, coursework, and practical experiences on adult development
and aging... Geropsychologists are finding jobs in academic settings, research
centers, industry, health care organizations, mental health clinics, and agencies
serving the elderly. Some are engaged in private practice, either as clinical or
counseling psychologists, or as consultants on such matters as the design and the
evaluation of programs.

A doctorate is normally required for teaching, research, and clinical practice, but an
increasing number of employment opportunities are becoming available for people
with associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees. These positions typically involve
the supervised provision of services to adults in nursing homes, senior citizens
centers, or state and local government offices for the elderly" (as stated on the
UNI website).
Sport Psychology
"Sport psychology is (a) the study of the psychological and mental factors that
influence and are influenced by participation and performance in sport, exercise, and
physical activity, and (b) the application of the knowledge gained through this study
to everyday settings.

Sport psychology professionals are interested in how participation in sport, exercise,

and physical activity may enhance personal development and well-being throughout
the life span. Sport psychologists are also involved in assisting coaches in working
with athletes as well as helping improve athletes' motivation".
Consumer Psychology
"Consumer Psychology is the study of human responses to product and service
related information and experiences. Many responses are important, including
beliefs and judgments, emotions, purchase decisions, and consumption practices. A
broad range of product and service related information is also important, such as
advertisements, package labels, coupons, consumer magazines, and word-of-mouth
communications from friends and relatives. The goals of consumer psychologists are
to describe, predict, influence, and/or explain consumer responses.

Consumer psychologists are educators, researchers, and administrators. They get

direct feedback from their work and they see how it c hanges things. It is not easy to
understand why some people buy and others do not. Nor is it a simple matter to
discover the trends and predict where things are going in the next few years. The
majority of business executives and managers are well educated and trained in their
field, but few are also all that familiar with the behavioral sciences. This is where
consumer psychologists step in".
Aviation Psychology
"Psychology applied to aviation is an integrative field involving knowledge of just
about all areas in psychology, including perception and attention, cognition,
physiological, experimental, industrial/organizational, clinical, and educational. In
addition to having knowledge in the field of psychology, one who is interested in
studying psychology applied to aviation must know about the aviation field including
the pilot's tasks, memory and decision making skills, pilot selection, cockpit designs,
human-computer interaction, human factors design, training systems development,
program management and human performance research.

An aviation psychologist is concerned with pilot performance and reducing flight crew
error. One who is interested in this field will be challenged with the goal of inventing
the most efficient way of allowing information to reach the pilot.

The Aviation Psychologist works to prioritize information coming in to the pilot, so

that the more crucial information is salient. Because the field of aviation psychology
is integrative, one may hold different titles depending on their area of emphasis. For
example, those with an experimental emphasis would be Aerospace Experimental
Psychologists (AEP), with an engineering emphasis would be Aerospace
Engineering Psychologist, with a human factors emphasis would be Human Factor
Specialists in aviation and so on".