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Fields of Psychology

By Ezrasustal1 Aug 13, 2013 2167 Words
Fields of 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 practices. Abnormal Psychology

Abnormal psychology is a field of psychology that deals with 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.

Biopsychology is a field of psychology that analyzes how the brain and neurotransmitters influence our behaviors, thoughts and feelings. This field can be thought of as a combination of basic psychology and neuroscience.

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.

Cognitive Psychology
Cognitive psychologists investigate mental processes associated with many everyday activities from pattern recognition to complex problem solving. Some of the areas of interest are sensation & perception, attention, memory, language, problem solving, and decision making. Cognitive processes are often applied to other fields of psychology such as developmental, social, education, and clinical psychology. Cognitive psychologists are typically employed in academic settings. Community Psychology

Community psychologists are concerned with everyday behavior in natural settings the home, the neighborhood, and the workplace. They seek to understand the factors that contribute to normal and abnormal behavior in these settings. They also work to promote health and prevent disorder. 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. Developmental Disabilities

Psychologists who work in the area of developmental disabilities use psychological assessments and interventions to improve the lives of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disability (formerly called "mental retardation"), and other conditions. Common psychological activities in this area include assessment to identify (a) a diagnosis, (b) skill deficits (e.g., communication), and (c) the causes of problem behavior (e.g., self-injury). In addition to assessment, psychologists develop comprehensive intervention plans to teach individuals with disabilities important skills and reduce problem behavior so they can live as happily and independently as possible. Psychologists in this area are typically trained in applied behavior analysis or clinical psychology. 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. 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. Evolutionary Psychology

Evolutionary psychology is a field that uses evolutionary theory to understand behavior and the design of the brains and minds of humans and other animals. Closely related to Comparative Psychology, evolutionary psychology is an approach, or way of thinking that can be applied to any topic within psychology, such as perception, learning, development, social, and so forth. Experimental 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 are faculty members at colleges and universities. 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. Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Industrial/Organizational (I/O) psychologists are primarily concerned with the relationships between people and their work environments. They may develop new ways to increase productivity or be involved in personnel selection. You can find l/O psychologists in businesses, industry, government agencies, and colleges and universities. I/O psychologists are probably the most highly paid psychologists.

Neuroscience, Biopsychology and Psychobiology
Neuroscientists (a newer term for Bio psychologists and Psych biologists) investigate brain- behavior relationships. Beginning a Decade of the Brain (1990-2000), neuroscience is a huge and growing research area to which psychologists contribute. These psychologists study both very basic processes (e.g., how brain cells function), sensory systems, memory, and more observable phenomena such as behavior change as a function of drug use. Some continue their education in clinical areas and work with people who have neurological problems. Psychometrics and Quantitative Psychology

Psychometric and quantitative psychologists are concerned with the methods and techniques used to acquire and apply psychological knowledge. A psychometrics’ 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. Psychometrics and quantitative psychologists are often employed in colleges and universities, testing companies, private research firms, and government agencies. 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. They work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, medical schools, and in government rehabilitation agencies. Personality Psychology

Personality psychology looks at the patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behavior that make a person unique. Some of the best-known theories in psychology have originated in this field, including Freud's psychoanalytic theory of personality and Erikson's theory of psychosocial development.

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.

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. 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 may design and conduct programs to help individuals stop smoking, lose weight, manage stress, prevent cavities, or stay physically fit. They are employed is available in hospitals, medical schools, rehabilitation centers, public health agencies, and in private practice. 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, premarital 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. Psychology and the Law and Forensic Psychology

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. Physiological psychology 

Examines the relationship between behavior and body structures or functions, particularly the workings of the nervous system. Physiological psychologists explore the functions of the brain, how hormones affect behavior, and the physical processes involved in learning and emotions. Psychology of Women

The psychology of women is the study of psychological and social factors affecting women's development and behavior. The field includes the study of stereotypes about women, the relation of hormones to behavior, women's achievements in science and mathematics, the development of gender roles and identity, sexuality, psychological problems of women, and sexual abuse of women and girls. Psychologists focusing on the psychology of women are found in academic settings and a variety of clinical settings. Forensic Psychology

Forensic psychology is defined as the intersection of psychology and the law, but forensic psychologists can perform many roles so this definition can vary. In many cases, people working within forensic psychology are not necessarily "forensic psychologists." These individuals might be clinical psychologists, school psychologists, neurologists or counselors who lend their psychological expertise to provide testimony, analysis or recommendations in legal or criminal cases.

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.  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".  Human Factors Psychology 

Human factors is an area of psychology that focuses on a range of different topics, including ergonomics, workplace safety, human error, product design, human capability and human-computer interaction. In fact, the terms human factors and ergonomics are often used synonymously, with human factors being commonly used in the United States and ergonomics in Europe.

Applied Behavior Analysis
Applied behavior analysis is the science of applying what we know about how people learn to improve socially important behavior.  Applied behavior analysts focus on (a) making positive changes to person’s social and physical environment to improve behavior and (b) observing and measuring behavior to document behavior change over time.  Individuals trained as applied behavior analysts work in a variety of areas including education, gerontology, behavioral medicine, developmental disabilities, business and industry, and community psychology.

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