Psychology is a highly interdisciplinary field and the people who pursue this discipline work in various areas. You can find a psychologist working in a clinical health setting diagnosing and treating mental health disorders, another working on legal contexts, and so on. We can study the work of psychologists by discussing the branches of psychology.
Psychologists specialize in different areas within the field and identify themselves by many various labels.
Clinical psychologists study, assess, and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. They are trained to diagnose and treat short-term crises, such as difficulties resulting from adolescent conflicts, unhappiness over the breakup of a relationship to more severe conditions, such as phobias or clinical depression. Clinical psychologists often work in health care centers and team up with physicians to solve problems related to mental health.
Cognitive psychologists study various cognitive processes such as human perception, thinking, memory, problem-solving, learning, judging, decision making, and so on.
Counseling psychologists help people to cope with everyday problems and adversity. They generally address the people who have milder emotional and personal issues. Counseling psychologists try to help people who have problems with family life, marriage, education, career, and so on.
Cross-cultural psychologists study how cultural factors influence psychological functioning.
For example, cross-cultural psychologists study how cultural factors play a role in the difference in the use of punishment during child-rearing ad so on.
Developmental psychologists seek to understand complex behaviors by studying their beginnings and the orderly ways in which they change with time. In other words, developmental psychologists study how people grow and change from the point of conception through death.
Previously, the focus of developmental psychology was on childhood, teenage life, and adolescents psychology. As the life expectancy of people is increasing throughout the world, many developmental psychologists are now working to help older people regarding the various aspects of their life.
Educational psychologists work in different educational settings like schools, colleges, and universities. They study how people learn, teaching-learning processes, learning disabilities, and so on.
Engineering psychologists explore the relationships between human beings and machines. Engineering psychologists make the connections between them more friendly to the users.
Evolutionary psychologists study how human thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by our genetic inheritance from our ancestors. This approach suggests that the genes determine not only physiological characteristics like (hair color, eyes, race, and so on) but also a wide variety of psychological characters.
Forensic psychology unites the areas of psychology and the law.
Forensic psychologists apply psychological principles to legal issues and work in criminal and civil law areas. They also research on jury behavior or eyewitness testimony.
Health Psychologists study how physical ailments or diseases are influenced by psychological and social factors. For example, health psychologists are interested in exploring how psychosocial factors like stress can affect physical health. Moreover, health psychologists also work to identify and promote behavior that has a positive impact on health.
Neuropsychologists/ Behavioral Neuroscientists
Neuropsychologists/ Behavioral Neuroscientists are concerned with the relationship between the brain/nervous system and the behavior. They study how the brain and nervous system along with the other biological aspects of the body, determine behavior.
For example, people who have Parkinson’s disease might cause neurological problems. Neuropsychologists might study the progression of the disease as well as its effects.
Industrial and Organizational Psychologists
Industrial/Organizational Psychologists apply the knowledge of psychology to solve the problems in the organizational settings. Many I/O psychologists work in many organizations and address issues of hiring, placement, training and development, performance measurement, motivation, so on. They also try to ensure the psychological well-being of employees.
Human beings are social beings, and we spend much of our lives in the presence of others with whom we interact frequently. Social psychologists study how the presence of other people and interactions with others influence our thoughts and behaviors. Social psychologists focus on attitude, persuasion, authority, conformity, compliance, obedience, and so on.
Sports psychologists apply the knowledge of psychology to increase the performance and well-being of athletes. They also help athletes cope up with the intense pressure and anxiety that originated from competitive events and overcome such problems with focus and motivation.