Psychology (A comprehensive Overview)

In this guide, you will know in detail the psychology, different fields of psychology, the profession of psychologist and the type of work psychologist does.

Psychology

Psychology is the study of mind and behaviour, initially, it was believed that psychology is the study of the soul. Soul was an ambiguous concept and the field of psychology updated to be understood as the science of mind and behaviour. Psychology is a science, and provide empirical evidence for the phenomenon. Other fields criticized the nature of psychology to be understood as a science, in that time a lot of researches had been done to acknowledge that psychology is a science as its phenomenon can be tested and empirically proved.

There are a number of theories developed in the field of psychology to understand personality and behaviour. Psychology covers a lot of fields within it, and the American Psychological Association claimed that there are multiple disciplines within psychology. These disciplines are, social, human development, health, clinical, cognitive, sports, and interpersonal domains.

You might also enjoy learning about the first African American who received a PhD in Psychology in the US

Advances in Psychology

Psychology has advanced with the research and advancement over a period of 150 years and more. The origin of psychology can be traced back to Greece, 400-500 years BC.

The major emphasis on psychology was of philosophy (.e.g., Aristotle, Plato and Socrates)

Beginning of Psychology

The field of psychology emerged with two dominant perspectives and the initial school of thoughts was Structuralism and Functionalism.

Who started the feminist revolution in psychology? is a question many people ask because feminist psychology is quiet a new perspective. However, still the two main perspectives remain structuralism and functionalism.

Structuralism

This was the first school of thought that emerged and was pioneered by Wilhelm Wundt. Structuralism was initiated with the idea of understanding the mental process and the structure of the brain. They divided the mental processes into different parts.

Titchener was an American Psychologist and was trained by Wundt. Structuralism used introspection as a method of understanding the mental process.

Functionalism

This was another school of thought emerged after the Structuralism and criticizing them, while they focused on the functioning of the brain and tried to understand the how of mental processes. They took a step forward, which was targeted by another powerful school of thought of that time as Psychodynamic.

Psychodynamic

This school of thought was replaced by structuralism and functionalism and dominated the field of psychology. This perspective was held by Sigmund Freud, and widely recognized, and criticized school of thought, gave a new way of understanding to the field of psychology.

The psychodynamic school of thought talks about the unconscious mind. The unconscious mind is unreachable and can only be dealt with professional care. Freud claimed that the unconscious drives the person’s needs and desires. The personality is developed in the first 3 years of the person and the stages of personality development were given by Freud.

Behaviourism

This school of thought emerged and grasp much attention, Pavlov and skinner hold up the most significant position in lab experiments of behaviourism. This perspective claimed that the person’s behaviour is altered and modified in response to the situational consequences and antecedents.

They introduced the concept of reinforcement and punishment in the field of psychology. Reinforcement is when something happening in the environment causes an increase in certain behaviour. The opposite is true for punishment, anything happening in the environment causes the decrease in the behaviour is punishment.

Humanistic

The humanistic perspective was the third force in the field of psychology. This is the person-centred concept and believes that a person has all the authority and power to make and take a decision.

Cognitive

This perspective gave a new dimension in the field of psychology, and acknowledged the thought processes as an important part of a person’s behaviour and tried to understand the memory, perception, cognitive development and mental illness.

Monte Ralph Rissell’s psychic and the reason he behaved the way he did can be understood with both cognitive and behaviorist psychology.

Goals of Psychology

There are four goals of psychology as describe, explain, predict, and change the behaviour and mental processes of others.

Describe

The first goal of psychology is to describe behaviour. This goal of psychology explains that researchers develop general laws and human behaviour.

Explain

Psychology aims towards explaining the laws of behaviour and explain the behaviour.

Predict

Another aim of Psychology is to predict human behaviour, e.g., classical conditioning predicts human behaviour.

Change’

The last aim of Psychology is to change the behaviour once established and understood by description, explanation, and prediction.

Profession in Psychology

In the field of psychology, there are multiple disciplines, and the practitioner of Psychology is called Psychologist. There are different types of psychologists depending on the field of psychology they are working in, Psychologist and their fields are discussed in detail in the following lines.

Psychologist

A psychologist studies normal and abnormal psychological states, cognitive, emotional, social and behavioural processes by dealing with, studying, understanding and documenting how people respond to themselves and their environments. Many psychologists require a license. Psychologists usually need a doctorate in psychology, even though in some cases a master’s degree is appropriate. Regulations and licensing can differ by country and the field of psychology.

Applied Psychology is the most general field of psychology. Applied psychologists work in educational settings and teach students of higher education, they also conduct research as it is an important part of academic psychology for graduate-level students. The field focuses on theory and use their theoretical orientation to solve problems related to animal and human behaviour. Psychologists from the field of clinical and counselling psychology focus primarily on therapeutic methods. There are many other fields like forensic psychology, organizational and industrial psychology and many more.

Types of Psychologist

When people hear the term psychologist, the instant image in their mind is of a person who sits in an office with a notepad and a pen, scribbling notes when the client is lying down in front of him or her. Many of talk therapies, especially following the Freudian approach, engage in this type of approach, but the work of psychologists is not limited only to that. There are a variety of other fields of psychology in which psychologists do more than just sit and listen.

Following is the list of types of psychologists

1.  Social psychologist

2.  School psychologist

3.  Personality psychologist

4.  Developmental psychologist

5.  Educational psychologist

6.  Clinical psychologist

7.  Aviation psychologist

8.  Forensic psychologist

9.  Community psychologist

10.   Industrial psychologist

11.   Biopsychologist

12.   Cognitive psychologist

13.   Consumer psychologist

14.   Counselling psychologist

15.   Cross-cultural psychologist

16.   Health psychologists

17.   Military psychologists

Now that all the types have been mentioned, further explanation will be given about what kind of work psychologists do in their respective fields.

Bio-psychologists

●       Sometimes these psychologists are also referred to as Physiological psychologists or biological psychologists.

●       They study the brain and behaviour and conduct research on their connection

●       Bio-psychologists may understand different biological factors that are affecting the way people think, feel and act, by examining the neural fundamentals of behaviour

●       This type of psychologist can also investigate the impact of brain injury and disease on behaviour

●       They also find new ways to avoid, treat and control serious brain disorders and traumas by better understanding how these brain injuries and diseases impacting people

Clinical Psychologists

●       They are trained professionals for assessing, diagnosing and treating people who are suffering from mental illness and psychological distress

●       They develop treatment plans and perform psychotherapy

●       These psychologists are trained to work in mental health clinics, private practices, and hospitals

●       They use a variety of different techniques but may specialize in working with a certain population or treating certain disorders, for instance, child mental health, generic or adult mental health, substance abuse treatment, etc.

●       Even though they work in hospitals or other medical settings, in most cases they are not allowed to prescribe medicines

●       A working Clinical psychologist can earn up to $80,00 per year according to the American Psychological Association

Cognitive Psychologists

●       Cognitive psychologists explore the ways in which people think, decision making and problem-solving are the topics that are included in cognitive psychology

●       These psychologists are interested in how data is interpreted, absorbed, stored, remembered and used by the brain.

●       There are a variety of settings including schools, research centres, hospitals, government agencies, and private practice where cognitive psychologists work. In this field, practitioners also perform a variety of tasks such as conducting research and patient handling.

●       Cognitive psychologists, like other fields of psychology, sometimes choose to specialize in a specific area of the field such as language development, memory, problem-solving attention, or learning impairment.

Aviation Psychologists

●       Some psychologists study about the attitudes and behaviour of the pilot and other members of the flight crew

●       Aviation psychologists also develop new training equipment, conduct research studies in aviation safety, and assist with the recruitment of appropriate personnel

●       For their help in recruitment, they use and develop psychological tests to screen the applicants for pilot positions

●       As the nature of the job is delicate, the candidates chosen should be healthy, emotionally strong and who have the ability to cope with sudden difficulties

Counselling Psychologists

●       Psychologists from the field of counselling psychology offers psychotherapy for individuals with behavioural problems, mental disorders, stress, emotional difficulties, and related issues

●       These practitioners share and clinical psychologists share a lot of commonalities

●       They make an estimate of $85000 per year according to APA

Community Psychologists

●       Community psychologists focus on conducting researches on the issues of community health

●       They develop prevention programs for the community and seek to educate them as well

●       Their concern is to provide help and bring positive changes on an individual as well as on community level

●       They work in different settings including government agencies, universities, consultants, community organizations, policy advisors, researchers, and program directors

●       The studies conducted by these psychologists provide solutions for real-world problems and are put to work immediately

●       They improve people’s lives by addressing social problems and promote wellness and health

Consumer Psychologists

●       Consumer psychologists, also known as marketing psychologists, are known for studying consumer behaviour and designing sales promotion marketing strategies.

●       These psychologists help companies understand better about what makes consumers buy products and services

●       They investigate how buyers respond to the messages of marketing, evaluate techniques for decision-making, and investigate the role of emotions in purchasing choices

●       Consumer psychologists help companies identify target audiences, create marketing messages, develop products that cater to particular customers, and understand how customers’ attitudes toward product and are formed and modified by using market research polls, studies, naturalistic findings, and consumer focus groups

Developmental Psychologists

●       Developmental therapists have been studying human development for their entire lifetime

●       Some of them focus on a particular period such as early childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, late adulthood or old age.

●       Such specialists may perform tasks such as examining children with developmental disability or delay, researching issues related to developmental delay or ageing

●       They also examine how language skills are learned

●       Most of these psychologists will focus on research to enhance our comprehension of life-long developmental issues

●       Other practitioners will provide assistance for people who need help in dealing with developmental problems

Cross-Cultural Psychologists

●       Cross-cultural psychologists explore how people differ across societies and how behaviour is affected by cultural affiliations

●       They also discuss how different behavioural aspects across different cultures can either be universal or varying

●       For instance, cross-cultural psychologists investigate how parents form collectivist culture have different parenting styles than those from individualist culture as well as how these differences contribute to the upbringing impact behaviour of an adult

Educational Psychologists

●       They study how people learn and involve in developing teaching techniques and instructional strategies

●       They also engage in studying learning disabilities and giftedness

●       They examine factors impacting the learning process, those could be emotional, cognitive and social factors

●       Many specialists in this area are trained in recognizing and resolving potential problems that may hinder the education of children

●       Others are skilled in researching about the learning process, while some may focus on developing the kind of educational materials that will enhance the learning outcomes instead

●       According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, they earn up to an average of $75,000 per year.

Environmental Psychologists

●       Environmental psychologists are investigating the relationship between people and their climate, including both natural and created environments

●       To help protect endangered species and finding ways to stop global warming, the work on conservation projects

●       Such experts may be employed as scientists to study the effect human beings have on their climate

●       Many environmental psychologists also work to influence environmental policies in government

Forensic Psychologists

●       These psychologists mainly focus on the relationship between law and psychology

●       They might act as a criminal case consultant or a civil disputes consultant, where they offer psychotherapy services to victims of crime and perform child custody evaluations

●       Due to famous representations of movies and television shows, in recent years, interest in this field has grown tremendously

●       While these pop culture representations frequently show the forensic psychologist as a detective working to catch criminals, actual forensic psychologists typically perform tasks such as examining juveniles and adult inmates for risk of reoffending, determining competency to stand trial, providing competent testimony in court and dealing with young victims

School Psychologists

●       In school settings, school psychologists help kids deal with mental, personal, cultural, and behavioural problems

●       Professionals working in this field of psychology play a vital role in the education system, usually collaborating with families, students, teachers, and other school staff to ensure a healthy, comfortable, positive, and successful learning environment.

●       Children who suffer from some kind of issue, be it psychological, behavioural, or educational in nature, will meet with a school psychologist to come up with an effective plan for dealing with the problem

●       Where appropriate, school psychologists provide behaviour therapy or direct intervention, or may simply offer counselling services for students who need someone to speak to.

Health Psychologists

●       They focus on how social groups, biology, behaviour, and psychology have an influence on a person’s illness, well-being, and overall health

●       They work with clients to boost well-being and mental and physical health.

●       Several practitioners do medical work in this field where they assess and manage patients who seek assistance with a variety of health issues

●       This could include offering psychotherapy, conducting various psychological tests, teaching people about different techniques for healing, and counselling patients how they can behave in ways that will be healthy for them

Social Psychologists

Social psychologists research group behaviour including how human behaviour is affected by groups and how people act in social settings

●       A social psychologist may discuss a variety of topics including perceptions, bias, interaction, interpersonal relationships, persuasion and violence

●       Some social psychologists focus primarily on carrying out basic research designed to enhance the understanding of social behaviour

●       Social psychologists, in order to promote healthier and more productive societies, they use their skills and knowledge to influence human behaviour

If social psychologists are employed in public or government organizations, they can earn up to an average of $85,000 per year.

The psychology is discussed in detail, along with the different perspectives, goals and different fields of psychology.

Frequently Asked Questions for Psychology

What are the 3 branches of psychology?

There are no fixed branches of psychology. The branches of psychology are multiple as followed.

Social psychology

School psychology

Personality psychology

Developmental psychology

Educational psychology

Clinical psychology

Aviation psychology

Forensic psychology

Community psychology

Industrial psychology

Biopsychology

Cognitive psychology

Consumer psychology

Counselling psychology

Cross-cultural psychology

Health psychology

Military psychology

What job can I get with a psychology degree?

After getting a Psychology degree one can be in an advertising agency, academia, researcher, clinical practitioner, counsellor, social worker, and probation and parole officer.

What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?

The difference between the psychiatrist and psychologist is that psychiatrists are medical doctors and prescribe medication, while psychologists provide psychotherapy and have done doctor of philosophy and doctorate of psychology.

What exactly is psychology?

Psychology is a science and study of mind and behaviour.

Please use the comment section below if you have any questions.

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References

Simple Psychology

Very Well Mind

Recommended Readings

Cognitive Psychology: Connecting Mind, Research, and Everyday Experience

Life Of A School Psychologist: Back to School Gifts Journal Blank Unlined Notebook To Write In

School Psychology: Professional Issues and Practices

The Psychology of Counseling

Educational Psychology: Theory and Practice (12th Edition)

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