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Which Psychology Field Is Right for You?

Posted by LearningHouse on January 18, 2016  /   Posted in Psychology News

Much like the human behaviors that mainstream psychologists study, there is a large variety of fields in the larger area of psychology. This offers those interested in psychology countless doors on what to specialize in. There are some areas that may be more suited to your personality and interests.

Branches of Psychology

Different types of human behaviors have different causes and effects. Specific fields of psychological study will involve different kinds of work and study. A field like clinical psychology is basically the traditional idea of a psychologist, but an abnormal psychologist will work in entirely different settings. Each has its own challenges and available opportunities.

Industrial & Organizational Psychology

This field (commonly called I/O psychology) is the study of human behavior in the workplace. I/O psychologists use theory to better understand how an organization is functioning. Most I/O psychologists work directly with companies to help improve performance, efficiency, employee satisfaction as well as other personnel issues. This field is one of the fastest growing in all of psychology, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expecting over 20 percent growth through 2022.

Developmental Psychology

The human mind evolves over the course of your life, and developmental psychologists study how behavior changes along with it. This field includes the studies of adolescence, adult development and aging. Researchers may observe motor skills, cognitive development, identity formation and a variety of other topics that change with age. Developmental psychology often informs other fields, and draws from a broad spectrum of theories.

Educational Psychology

This is the branch of psychology that observes how humans learn. It involves studies of both cognitive and behavioral perspective, and involves topics like intelligence, motivation and development. Educational psychology is largely based on quantitative methods, especially testing and measurement. Today’s researchers in this field are studying classroom management, instructional design and assessment construction to improve learning processes at all educational levels.

Media Psychology

How various forms of media impact human behavior is studied by media psychologists. This field is changing and expanding exponentially thanks to the rapid pace at which technology is introduced into our lives. We live in a media rich world, and all of this output is impacting how people perceive, interpret, respond and interact.

Forensic Psychology

At the intersection between the justice system and psychology is forensic psychology. It involves using psychological theory in the parameters of fundamental legal principles. This usually involves issues of competence and child custody, as well as harassment and workplace discrimination. Forensic psychologists are also used as witnesses in trials, and may be involved in investigations.

Clinical Psychology

This is perhaps the most common idea of what psychologists do, involving the use of psychological theory to prevent distress and dysfunction and promote well-being. Clinical psychologists use psychological assessment and psychotherapy to help patients better their state. In many ways a clinical psychologist are health care professional, helping better their patients’ mind.

Social Psychology

The thoughts, feelings and behaviors of others influence our own behaviors, and social psychologists are experts of understanding this effect. This includes the study of relationships, interpersonal communications and family dynamics. Social psychology is different from sociology because it focuses on micro variables and specifics, as opposed to the larger population.

Abnormal Psychology

This branch of psychology focuses on the unusual patterns of human behavior that may be the symptoms of a mental disorder. While many behaviors would be considered abnormal by the layman, abnormal psychologists deal in clinical senses. This field involves identifying multiple causes of mental health problems as well as treatment through a variety of ways.

Environmental Psychology

A person’s surroundings can have a profound effect on their human behavior. Environmental psychologists study how natural, social and constructed environments affect individuals and their behaviors. This field is typically value and problem oriented with research aimed at complex issues affecting a larger population. Common issues explored by environmental psychologists are common property resource management, environmental stress and restorative environments.

Comparative Psychology

This form of psychology examines the behavior and process of non-human animals. This includes the actions of countless species from insects to primates. Comparative psychology may identify similarities and differences between humans and animals; however, it also focuses on understanding single organisms. Many comparative psychologists also observe the effects of animals on humans.


Now that you understand more about the different branches of psychology, take the knowledge you have and pursue a career in psychology. Learn about how easy earning a psychology degree can be with Brescia University. Our fully online degree programs allow you to create a flexible and convenient schedule that works for you. With our experienced faculty members, you’ll gain the skills and credentials employers are looking for. Begin your journey and request more information about our programs today!

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