Branches of Psychology
Branches or subfields of psychology is increasing in recent years because of their broad areas. The branches of psychology will help us to understand why people think, feel, and act as they do.
Each branch of psychology needs a specific type of expertise to deal with. Even each field is a career opportunity for psychologists. Thus they are developing knowledge in the fields of psychology to expand their understanding of the insights of human behavior in different fields.
Psychology can be studied through two areas:
- Basic Area – A basic area of psychology concerns theoretical knowledge, principles, facts, and research. It conducts research in psychological processes such as learning, reasoning, memory, prejudice, emotion, etc.
- Applied Field – The applied field of psychology uses its application to various fields, where psychologists conduct research that tackles practical problems. They use psychology’s concepts, methods, and knowledge to solve human problems through researching, working in mental health centers, industries, school systems, medical centers, etc.
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The 10 Major Branches of Psychology
1. Developmental Psychology
One of the important branches of psychology is developmental psychology, which falls under basic branches. Human development is life long process. Developmental psychologists study changing abilities from womb to tomb. It studies people during their life span as they grow and mature from conception to old age to death.
Developmental psychologists study quantitive and qualitative changes and stability in the physical, mental, emotional, and psychological domains. It studies the ways in which people change as well as characteristics that remain fairly stable throughout life. The study of human development describes, explains, predicts, and modifies behavior.
2. Child Psychology
It also falls under the basic branches of psychology. Child psychology studies children from the prenatal period to adolescence describing how a particular period of life such as infancy, the pre-school years, or adolescence shapes a child’s behavior. The complete socialization features and pictures are presented in child psychology.
It points out the healthy growth of the physical, mental, emotional, moral, educational, and motor development of the child. Intellectual personality development including self-concept and genetic effects is a highly demanding study being carried nowadays in this branch of psychology.
3. Social Psychology
Social psychology is interested in understanding how individuals are influenced by other people. It tries to find out how individuals perceive the world and how those perceptions affect their behavior and behavior towards others.
Being a social animal, human development takes place in the context of other persons, parents, siblings, playmates, and school companions which is the socialization process. Social psychologists are concerned with the behavior of groups. Leaders, followers, crowds, communities, interpersonal interaction, intimate relationships are the subject matter of this branch.
4. Abnormal Psychology
Psychology studies not only the normal behavior but also the abnormal behavior of people. It includes the study of neurotic, psychotic, and other abnormal individuals marked by limited intelligence, emotional instability, personality disorganization, character defects, with their underlying causes and general principles to cure these abnormalities.
5. Cognitive Psychology
Cognitive psychology concerns with how we process, change, store, and retrieve information. Psychologists in this area are associated with intelligent actions like thinking, learning, perceiving, planning, imagining, creating, dreaming, speaking, listening, and problem-solving.
Cognitive psychologists are trying to find out the answer to how we use information in remembering, reasoning, and solving problems. It focuses on how thought occurs, memory processes information stored and utilized.
6. Clinical Psychology
Clinical psychology comes under the applied branches of psychology. It is concerned with the study, diagnosis, and treatment of behavioral and emotional problems. It is a helping profession devoted to practical issues such as how to lead a happy marriage life, how to overcome anxiety or depression, and how to raise children, etc.
Clinical psychologists administer and interpret tests, provide psychotherapy, manage mental health programs, and conduct research. They also cure various types of abnormalities or psychological disorders.
Clinical psychologists are graduates in psychology and have obtained the degree of Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) or Psy.D (Doctor of Psychology). They have completed the internship in clinical psychology.
7. Counseling and Guidance
It also falls under the applied branches of psychology. As clinical psychologists, a counselor usually works in an educational setting in solving problems and giving advice. The applied area of psychology is used for counseling people with emotional, educational, vocational, career, and personal problems. It aims to provide services to people in distress and maladjustment. It is a helping profession to develop insight and understanding to solve problems by one’s own efforts.
8. Health Psychology
Health psychology has been used to provide awareness and understanding toward a healthy attitude of the population. Physical health and sanitation, mental health programs, basic healthy atmosphere in dealing with behavior and behavioral problems are highlighted.
Health psychology sheds light on different tensions, frustrations, pressures, conflicts, hardships affecting the healthy growth of the human being. It focuses on diseases and prevention by exercising different techniques to reduce health hazards, such as relaxation diet, rest, sleep, etc. Even spiritualism and religion are important parts of health psychology.
9. Industrial Psychology
Industrial psychology is also known as organizational or personnel psychology. This applied branch of knowledge studies and advises behavior in the workplace. They use psychological concepts and methods to helps organizations and companies.
Industrial psychologists take advantage of psychological tests in selecting, hiring, placing, and training employees. They help the institutions in boosting morale, and productivity among employees by establishing good relationships between the workers. Organizational psychologists also help designing products and research assessing people’s responses to them.
10. Educational Psychology
The applied aspect of this branch of psychology has revolutionized approaches to education. Parents, teachers, students, and administrators profited from this branch of knowledge. What, how, when, to teach, advise, and train are the concerned issues.
Many elementary schools employ psychologists who are trained in child development, education, and clinical psychology so that children can profit from problems related to learning, behavioral, and emotional difficulties. They also assess intelligence, achievement, personality traits for children and counsel with parents and teachers, to help children with the coping behaviors and adjustment process.