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Article. Published on Feb 02, 2018.

Career in Psychology

Therapist

Is a career in Psychology for you?

Have you ever been intrigued or curious about people’s behavior? Are you a good listener, keen observer or just genuinely curious about why people act the way they do? If so, a career in Psychology might intrigue you. A few years ago, the choices available for picking a profession were quite limited. Now, however, there is more scope and opportunity for diversifying occupations. Here is the breakdown of the different topics that fall under the subject, so that you can decide if a career in Psychology is for you.


First things first: What is Psychology?

Have you ever been intrigued or curious about people’s behavior? Are you a good listener, keen observer or just genuinely curious about why people act the way they do? If so, a career in Psychology might intrigue you. A few years ago, the choices available for picking a profession were quite limited. Now, however, there is more scope and opportunity for diversifying occupations. Here is the breakdown of the different topics that fall under the subject, so that you can decide if a career in Psychology is for you.

Your Options

In general, Psychology is divided into Pure/Experimental and Applied Psychology.
Pure Psychology

Experimental or Pure Psychology

Relies largely on theory and experimentation. These branches deal with the formulation of principles, theories and suggest different methods for the assessment of behaviour. Psychologists under this field likely to focus on research and thus associate themselves with a University or Research Institution.
Applied Psychology

Applied Psychology

Applied branches look into the application of psychological principles for solving different types of problems. Psychologists under this field are likely to be school counsellors, therapists, health psychologists or criminal psychologists.

Experimental Psychology

Few branches of Pure/Experimental Psychology

Brain Science and Cognitive Psychology

Psychologists in this field study how the human mind thinks, remembers and learns. Some of the interesting topics in the field involve looking into different kinds of memory and knowledge such as Procedural or Declarative, perception, problem solving, and mental imagery.

Developmental Psychology

Developmental psychologists study how people grow and adapt over the course of their lives. Topics include studying how babies learn to empathize and communicate, parenting styles, to changes in behavior over time.

Social Psychology

Researchers in this field try to understand how individuals perceive themselves in relation to the rest of the world and “how this perception affects our choices, behaviors and beliefs.” Some interesting topics include bystander intervention, morality (Zimbardo and Milgram), and psychology of the self.

Climate and Environmental Psychology

Researchers in the field study how an individual’s physical environment affects their interactions and behavior. For example, reports suggest that daily outdoor walks for 30 minutes can have a profound impact on one’s mood. Climate Psychologists look into topics like this, and other eco friendly practices that can help alleviate mood and stress. Other popular fields include Evolutionary and Behavioural Psychology.

Applied Psychology

Applied Psychology is extremely broad, with plenty of overlap among its sub-fields. There are many topics that lie under multiple disciplines, and often, researchers in the field collaborate with one and another to formulate different theories and practices. An example of an overlapping degree could include Sports Psychology, which can practiced by Counseling Psychologist as well as a Clinical Psychologist. An example of an overlapping issue could be a topic such as Bullying, which can be looked by both Counseling, as well as Educational Psychologists. Branches under applied psychology also often work with Psychiatrists.
Here are some examples of this branch:

Counseling Psychology

The practice of counseling psychology encompasses a broad range of culturally sensitive practices that help people improve their well-being, alleviate distress and maladjustment, resolve crises and increase their ability to function better in their lives.

Clinical Psychology

It addresses a breadth of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders, integrating the science of psychology with the prevention, assessment, diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of complicated human problems.

Social Psychology

Researchers in this field try to understand how individuals perceive themselves in relation to the rest of the world and “how this perception affects our choices, behaviors and beliefs.” Some interesting topics include bystander intervention, morality (Zimbardo and Milgram), and psychology of the self.

Educational Psychology

Educational psychologists apply theories of human development to understand individual learning styles and inform the instructional process. While interaction with teachers and students in school settings is an important part of their work, it isn’t the only facet of the job. Learning is a lifelong endeavor. People don’t only learn at school, they learn at work, in social situations and even doing simple tasks like household chores or running errands. Psychologists working in this subfield examine how people learn in a variety of settings to identify approaches and strategies to make learning more effective. The branches above depict a few examples of a broad and nascent subject. Since Psychology is only growing, there is scope for branching out and looking into never conceived before ideas about behavior and thinking.
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