Types of Psychology


Authored by Eliza Wynn in Psychology 
Published on 01-21-2010

Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. In most cases, it refers to the study of humans, although some studies are devoted to animal behavior. There are many types of psychology, and “comprehensive” lists don’t agree on exactly how many types there are. In fact, there are many differences between such lists. With that in mind, this article will discuss several different types of psychology.

Abnormal psychology is the study of behavioral, emotional, and mental aberrations. The focus of this branch is research that will diagnose, prevent, and treat psychological disorders such as neuroses, psychoses, personality disorders, and mental retardation.

Biological psychology focuses on how genetics, evolution, and the brain affect behavior. Specializations within this branch include neuropsychology and physiological psychology.

With clinical psychology, the focus is on diagnosis and treatment. It is essentially the practice of psychology by a licensed professional.

Cognitive psychology is devoted to studying how human behavior is affected by internal processes such as language, reasoning, perception, and memory. Specifically, it is concerned with how these processes help people make sense of their environment and make decisions.

Comparative psychology is the study of animal behavior. The focus is on comparing the behavior of animals to that of humans.

Consumer psychology is the study of consumer behavior to determine why some products are popular while others never catch on. Advertising, packaging, lifestyle, home environment, and pricing are some of the factors that this field takes into account.

Counseling psychology is similar to clinical psychology. Professionals in this field provide counseling to help clients with their problems.

Developmental psychology deals with the mind’s development throughout a person’s entire life, regardless of the reason for the changes that take place.

In educational psychology, the emphasis is on how people learn. The findings in this field influence the educational process in many ways, including the development of policies, the organizational structure of schools, and the development of instructional materials.

Geriatric psychology is concerned with the health of the elderly. Also known as geropsychology, its focus is to understand, predict, and control behavior related to aging.

Health psychology focuses on the effects of a person’s health on his mental state.

Media psychology is a newer field concerned with studying the media’s impact on human behavior. Its purpose is to understand how people use and develop technological media.

Organizational psychology is concerned with people’s relationships to their job. Career counseling and job productivity are important aspects of this field.

Personal or personality psychology focuses on what makes someone unique. The way a person thinks, feels, and acts is explored in this branch.

Physiological psychology deals with the genetic and physical causes of psychological disorders.

School psychology deals with the development of students both intellectually and emotionally.

Social psychology is concerned with how people think about, influence, and relate to each other. Attraction, aggression, leadership, and prejudice are some of the focuses of this branch.

This list is not exhaustive. It is meant to be a starting point for those interested in learning about the many different types of psychology. With so many different fields, there is bound to be something get the attention of anyone interested in learning about careers in psychology.


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