Subfields of Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior in both human and animal subjects. It is multifaceted, with a broad range of subfields. Those who study psychology can pursue a variety of occupations and programs. One also receives extensive knowledge in the use of the scientific method, as well as how it is applied in understanding human and animal behavior within the various topics of interest. This piece will provide a brief description of several speciality areas that one can pursue. There are countless pursuable careers within these subfields, which will be covered throughout the semester by the media outreach team!
Those in the clinical psychology subfield focus on research based assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of those with severe mental disorders, including psychopathology. Clinical psychology applies psychological principles to assessment, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of these various mental disorders.
Abnormal psychology studies abnormal or atypical behavior of individuals. Some very commonly studied abnormalities include schizophrenia, dissociative disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and mood disorders.
Developmental psychology is the study of human behavior and change across the lifespan. One major theme of developmental psychology is the nature-nurture debate: How our genetic inheritance interacts with our experiences to shape our development.
The field of cognitive psychology studies mental processes including memory, language, attention, sensation, creativity, learning, consciousness, and problem solving. How these various mental processes impact human behavior is the focus of cognitive psychology.
Forensic psychology is an applied field that deals with the interaction between law and psychology. Those who pursue careers in this field may work in prisons, jails, rehabilitation centers, law firms, etc.
Social psychology is the study of individuals’ beliefs, thoughts, behaviors, intentions, and goals and their effects on social interactions with others. Topics covered in social psychology include the self, self-esteem, prejudice and discrimination, group processes, social influence, aggression, and stereotypes.
The field of health psychology covers how biological, social, and psychological factors influence health and illness. Health psychologists use the interaction of these factors to promote healthy behavior and illness prevention.
Quantitative psychology focuses on the mathematical and statistical analysis of human or animal behavior. Quantitative psychologists are often involved in the design and implementation of scientific studies and methodologies.
Industrial/Organizational psychology is characterized by the study of human behavior in organizations and the workplace. I/O psychologists address problems in the workplace, implement training programs, assess market strategies, and optimize the quality of work life.