What are the 4 major areas of psychology?

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The current blogspot will be based on the question “what are the 4 major areas of psychology?”.  We will enlist the 4 major areas of psychology and elaborate in detail about each area, its application and its importance.

What are the 4 major areas of psychology?

The 4 major areas of psychology are :

  • Clinical psychology
  • Behavioral Psychology
  • Biopsychology
  • Behavioral Psychology

Clinical psychology

Clinical psychology is a specialty of psychology. It is aimed to provide continuing mental and behavioral care for maintenance, awareness and sustainability of emotional anxieties and concerns related to mental health disorders.

Clinical psychology tends to advocate the awareness regarding mental health disorders across various platforms and educate people for counseling and psychotherapy. The information regarding the occurrence of and symptoms of various mental disorders and psychopathy are also made common among the various communities. 

Clinical psychology is also much related to the treatment of various mental disorders. Clinical psychology is based on the integration and knowledge of various techniques that are used for counseling, psychotherapy and psych assessment in order to know the underlying symptoms of various mental disorders and provide treatment in the form of therapy and counseling sessions.

The clinical psychology is broadly related to :

  • Understanding psychopathology
  • Screening symptoms and features related to mental disorders
  • Studying the development of various mental disorders across the course of human development starting from infancy.
  • Conduct assessment to surface the personality features and obtain data from personality tests to incorporate it into case formulation made on the basis of other inventories for measuring various aspects of mental health.
  • Consider other spheres of human health to get a deeper insight into the various factors that have an impact on mental health and related emotional anxieties. 
  • Clinical psychology integrates psychological practices with research to find out and generalize the cause and effect relationship of various life stressors, life phenomena and human needs with mental and emotional health of human beings. The obtained results from the researches based in clinical psychology have implications to improve quality of life and decrease mental health issues among individuals across various platforms.

What are the three important parameters of clinical psychology?

The 3 important parameters of clinical psychology are :

  • People
  • Problems (emotional issues/personal issues)
  • Procedures

People are a parameter of clinical psychology. It tends to understand and explore the individual behaviors and emotions in the context of their life stressors and provides services to the individuals across the life span. 

Clinical psychology tends to understand the genetic epidemiology of various mental disorders and the age related developmental changes in human behaviors and functioning due to various neurodevelopmental disorders. 

Clinical psychology tends to work with people from diverse backgrounds, It tends to understand people based on their ethnic and cultural values including their religious and political views with a broader consideration for their socio economic values.

The second parameter of clinical psychology is the problems of people. The problems of people including their emotional and personal issues in life are a subject matter for clinical psychologists. 

Clinical psychologists tend to understand the behavioral and mental health related problems of people. The problems include majorly the following issues:

  • Problems related to disability and adjustment
  • Problems related to neurosis 
  • Problems related to psychosis
  • Problems related to life adjustment
  • Problems related to psychopathy
  • Problems related to traumatic events 

The third parameter of clinical psychology is the procedures performed to help people to get over with their anxieties and insecurities in life. Clinical psychology uses various inventories and testing tools to help gather information about the underlying symptoms of individuals that go through various mental health conditions. 

On the basis of the data gathered, clinical psychology integrates various therapeutic approaches to counsel the individual about the life issues and incorporate various therapeutic interventions into the therapy sessions for a deeper understanding of the underlying personality conflicts of the individual.

Besides assessment, counseling and therapy, clinical psychology is also related to research procedures for gaining a better understanding of the various life factors that have an impact on the mental health of individuals across the lifespan.

The applications of clinical psychology involve working in the following areas :

  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Community Centers
  • Colleges
  • Universities

Cognitive  Psychology

Cognitive psychology is the branch of psychology that emerged from behaviorism in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Cognitive psychology tends to deal with the specific concepts of human perception, learning, thinking, motivation, judgement, memory and language. 

Cognitive psychology explores the mental processes related to the human cognitive processes through inferences drawn from behavior of humans. It highlights the importance of  unobservable mental concepts and unseen knowledge instead of the observable behaviors that are based on measurable actions.

Cognitive psychology tends to put down the concept behind behaviorism that the relationship between stimulus and response is direct. It rather suggests that the relationship between stimulus and response is mediated by a number of cognitive processes.

Cognitive psychology has been influenced by the information processing theories that have been used in computer science and are used for information used in artificial intelligence in the modern era. 

What are cognitive processes?

Cognitive processes are regarded as the mental processes that affect behavior. These processes are related to following 3 stages of memory:

  • Sensory memory storage that is related to holding sensory information
  • Short term memory storage that holds temporary information for interpretation and analysis and retrieves information from the long term memory.
  • Long term memory is the part of memory that holds information for an extended period of time and it also receives and stores information from the short term memory.

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What are the practical applications of cognitive psychology?

  • Cognitive psychology has framed out cognitive behavior therapy that helps the clinical psychologist to help the individuals overcome their distorted patterns of thinking and identify their underlying schemas in order to get better at thought stopping.
  • Cognitive psychology tends to explore the mental processes and their relationship as a cause of psychopathology and the effect of psychopathology on the mental processes.


Biopsychology is the branch of psychology that studies the relationship between the brain and behavior. Biopsychology tends to explore the ways that our behavior, thoughts and feelings change as a result of biological processes including our brain and neurotransmitters.

Biopsychology is related to the study of neurochemicals and neurotransmitters that change our behavior patterns. It tends to study the brain, neurotransmitters and the nervous system to better explain the behaviors, thoughts and feelings that appear to be a hindrance in smooth human functioning.

Biopsychology works in research are related greatly to the localization of the various brain functions, the role of neurons in stimulation of behaviors and the role of central nervous system in actions and behaviors.

The branch of biopsychology is often referred to as physiological psychology, behavioral neuroscience and psychobiology.

What are the applications of biopsychology?

The applications of biopsychology include :

  • Behavioral neuroscience related to studying the connection between the nervous system and the human behavior
  • Cognitive neuroscientists that investigate the brain scans and anatomical structures to explain the mechanisms behind the ways people think and behave.
  • Evolutionary psychologists tend to understand human evolution from the previous form of mankind.

Behavioral Psychology

Behavioral psychology is a branch of psychology that is related to the study of observable and measurable behavior.behavioral psychology is based on the behaviorism school of thought. The behavioral psychology is centered on the belief that human behavior is shaped by the environment.

The study of observable human behavior in behavioral psychology has been a focus of attention throughout the mid twentieth century.The concepts and theories behind the analysis, observation and measurement of human behavior were practically used in psychotherapy and educational psychology.

The work in behavioral psychology and the advancements in behavioral psychology are related to Ivan Pavlov and J B Watsonn for their exceptional empirical based experiments to study behavior and analyze the role of the environment on human behavior. 

Ivan Pavlov’s classical conditioning helped us understand the way humans associate and learn negative consequences and unpleasant feelings related to neutral stimuli. Similarly J B Watson implemented the findings of behavioral conditioning to human life. He emphasized that through behaviorism we can make children become better humans as per the needs of  their environment. 

Behavioral psychology has postulated behavioral therapeutic techniques that are based on the following :

  • Systematic desensitization
  • Exposure and response prevention
  • Token economy 
  • Modeling
  • Applied behavior analysis
  • Contingency Management

Systematic desensitization

Systematic desensitization is a behavioral technique that is based on relaxation techniques and coping strategies to overcome the fear and anxiety related to an object or a situation. Individuals are gradually exposed to the objects they fear.

Exposure and response prevention

Exposure and response prevention techniques of behavioral psychology is based on the strategy that involves exposing an individual to the object of fear or anxiety and not letting him get involved into coping strategies that help him ease the feelings of anxiety or fear related to the uncomfortable situation or object.

Token economy 

Token economy is a behavioral technique that is largely incorporated in applied behavioral analysis. It tends to reinforce behavior that is required to be strengthened by associating the positive behavior with symbols that can be later exchanged for something else that is desirable.


Modeling is a behavior technique that is based on learning through observation only. This technique is mostly used in developmental psychology, educational settings and cynical settings.

Contingency Management

Contingency management in behavioral psychology is related to receiving prizes. It is based on monetary based reinforcement for clinical  patients of chronic disorders. 

What are the applications of behavioral psychology?

Behavioral psychologists usually work in following setups:

  • Drug rehabilitation centers
  •  Educational setups
  • Special needs schools
  • Psychiatric rehabilitation centers
  • Behavior therapy centers


The current blogspot was based on the question “what are the  4 major areas of psychology?”. We learned clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, biopsychology and behavioral psychology. We also discussed the details related to each branch of psychology.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs): What are the 4 major areas of psychology?

What are the 4 areas of psychology?

The 4 areas of psychology include the following :

  • Clinical psychology
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Behavioral Psychology
  • Biopsychology

How many branches of psychology are there?

Following are the branches of psychology :

  • Clinical psychology
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Forensic psychology
  • Biopsychology
  • Forensic psychology
  • Child psychology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Sports psychology
  • Educational psychology
  • Evolution psychology

What are the most popular branches of psychology?

Following are the most popular branches of psychology :

  • Organizational psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Educational Psychology
  • Clinical psychology
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Experimental psychology
  • Social psychology



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