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Subfields of Psychology

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Psychology is the science of behaviour, both in humans and non-human animals. In contrast to other disciplines, psychology is very broad, with many sub-fields.

Consequently, psychologists can work in many different research areas, and pursue a variety of careers.

Psychology is a diverse field and it has evolved into a number of subfields over the years:

  • Abnormal psychology – According to the NKU, this is the study of behaviors and mental illnesses that are unusual and atypical; out of the societal norm. 
  • Behavioural psychology – According to James Clear, this is the study of the connection between our minds and our behaviour. 
  • Biopsychology – According to the Acta Psychopathologica, this analyzes how the brain and neurotransmitters influence our behaviors, thoughts and feelings.
  • Blog psychology – Dennis Relojo-Howell, the world’s first blog psychologist, says that this subfield deals with the psychological benefits people can derive from blogging
  • Clinical psychology –  According to the NHS, this deals with a wide range of mental and physical health problems including addiction, anxiety, depression, learning difficulties and relationship issues.
  • Cognitive psychology – According to G.D. Logan, this concerns with advances in the study of attention, memory, language processing, perception, problem solving, and thinking.
  • Comparative psychology – According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, this discipline pays particular attention to the psychological nature of human beings in comparison with other animals.
  • Counselling psychology – According to the American Psychological Association, this addresses the emotional, social, work, school and physical health concerns people may have at different stages in their lives, focusing on typical life stresses and more severe issues with which people may struggle as individuals and as a part of families, groups and organizations.
  • Cross-cultural psychology – According to the Springer Link, this concerns with uniformity and variation of psychological abilities, processes, and characteristics across cultures.
  • Developmental psychology – According to R.A. Dixon, this concerns with the description and explanation of changes that occur in psychological processes at any point in the life span. 
  • Educational psychology – According to the British Psychological Society, educational psychology is concerned with children and young people in educational and early years settings.
  • Experimental psychology – According to CSP, this seeks to explore and better understand behaviour through empirical research methods. 
  • Forensic psychology – According to the NHS, forensic psychology applies psychological theory to criminal investigation, understanding psychological problems associated with criminal behaviour, and the treatment of those who have committed offences.
  • Health psychology – According to the Lumen Boundless Psychology, this is a discipline concerned with understanding how biological, psychological, environmental, and cultural factors are involved in physical health and the prevention of illness.
  • Industrial-organizational psychologyAccording to the Careers in Psychology, this is the study of the workplace environment, organisations, and their employees. 
  • Personality psychology – According to the Science Daily, this studies personality and individual different processes which makes us into a person.
  • Political psychology – According to Diana Mutz, political psychology is, at heart, concerned with the characteristics of individuals and of situations that are most conducive to a successful political system.
  • School psychology – According to the Verywell Mind, this collaborates with parents, teachers, and students to promote a healthy learning environment that focuses on the needs of children.
  • Social psychology – According to Saul McLeod, this is a scientific study of how people’s thoughts, feelings, beliefs, intentions and goals are are constructed within a social context by the actual or imagined interactions with others.
  • Sports psychology – According to the IResearchNet, this is a subdiscipline that applies to a competitive sport as a specific context of organized physical (motor) activity. 


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