Branches of Psychology
The study of psychology is one of the most extensive sciences that exist. Psychology entails the study of the human brain and how the mind functions and produces behaviors. Many aspects of psychology are so dense that various sub-disciplines have been formed in order to provide for a more concise and focused concentration in researching and discovering new information and knowledge.
This field of psychology concentrates in the study of the actual mental processes that occur in the brain. It will study aspects of the mind such as memory, perception, decision making, language recognition, and the internal thinking process. Cognitive psychology uses the scientific method as an approach to study internal mental states, which differs from other types of psychology, such as behaviorism.
Forensic psychology actually entails a combination of both psychological studies and the criminal and legal system. One of the main duties of a forensic psychologist will entail providing testimonies regarding suspects or witnesses, and use their background in psychology to provide information regarding a particular case, such as whether or not a criminal is legally insane.
Abnormal psychology is the branch that studies and researches particular patterns of behavior and mental process that are not considered to be within the context of what is considered normal. Abnormal psychology attempts to understand the nature of deviant behavior such as drug and substance abuse or sexual deviation.
Clinical psychology is a fairly broad sub-discipline of psychological studies that employs the psychology theory and knowledge within the context of a clinical or medical setting. The overarching goal of clinical psychology is to understand mental dysfunction and abnormal behavior for the purpose betting the health of an individual.
Even though it may often be confused with forensic psychology, criminal psychology is a much more specialized psychology field in which the main goal is to find the ultimate reasoning of the human mind to commit crimes. Furthermore, a criminal psychologist will also study how criminals react and behave in specific situations, such as when facing trial or fleeing the law.
Child psychology is often seen as a closely related field to that of developmental psychology. Though both disciplines will prove to have similar concentrations, child psychology will focus in the earlier stages of development, ranging from childhood to early adolescence. Not only does it study the mental aspects of development, but those also including neurological implementations, such as motor skill development.
The study of psychology can be applied in virtually any situation, and sports psychology is an excellent example. This particular concentration of psychology focuses on the many mental factors that can either hinder or improve the performance of an athlete. Furthermore, concepts such as leadership and visualization are applied in psychological contexts to see how athletes perform on both an individual and group/team setting.
Educational psychology studies how the human mind undertakes the learning process within an educational setting. It studies how students develop in a school environment, and how such development is impacted by not only the cognitive process, but also behaviors in particular settings or situations.
Many fields in psychology will tend to focus on how an individual's minds and behaviors are formed, manifested, and affected by various situations. Social psychology, however, focuses on how psychological implications work within relationships of people in groups. The overall psychology of the group, as well as the individual’s psychology within that group, is the source of focus for this particular branch of psychology.
Evolutionary psychology is the branch that deals specific traits of the mind, such as perception, memory, and language, and how these functions have evolved and adapted as the result of a changing environment. Evolutionary psychology is viewed through scope of how the human psychology has evolved over time, using current knowledge and applying to historical perspectives.
Because the human brain is part of the biological components of the anatomy, it would make sense that studies regarding the biological functions of the mind would play an important role in the psychological development of people. Biological psychology is that field of study, which implements the fundamentals of biology in the study of human psyche and behavior.
Gestalt psychology refers to a particular school of study in which the concept that brain functions in terms of a whole rather than focusing on singular mechanisms. Gestalt psychology arose in part to the opposition of other psychological philosophies, such as those posed by Wilhelm Wundt and structuralism.
Jungian psychology, also known as analytical psychology, was developed by the famed psychiatrist Carl Jung. The main aspects of Jungian psychology are that it focuses on the unconscious mind as the source for development and overall health of the human psyche. Dreams, myths, and folklore are used in terms of providing for information regarding the processes of the unconscious that may have a huge impact as to how the mind works as a whole.
Transpersonal psychology is a fairly new sub-discipline that studies aspects such as religion, spirituality, and mysticism and how they affect the development and function of the human mind. The focus lies in the understanding of transcendental qualities or experiences and how the manifest themselves on the psyche.
An educational psychologist may prove to have an important role within a school setting. Often times, an educational psychologist will have a hand in the development of the educational experience that, with the conjunction of the study of the student population, can promote a better and more successful learning environment.
Organizational psychology, also known as industrial organizational psychology, focuses on how the human psychology works and interacts within a working environment. Experts in the field will often take part in the evaluation of employees, personnel performance, and evaluation of the overall group behavior in order to provide for the best and optimum work environment.
Experimental psychology is more often considered to be a method or approach, rather than an actual field of study of the science. Experimental psychology will often times span various fields of psychology, and will typically focus
conducting experiments and explore different methods in order to further gain knowledge and data in the field.
Developmental psychology is an overarching study of the human mind and how the changes and development occur throughout a lifetime. Often times, developmental psychology will be linked to child psychology as one and the same, but developmental psychology studies all the changes in the human psyche at the various life stages.
School psychology could be viewed as a sub-discipline that combines both clinical psychology and educational psychology in an educational setting. This field will focus on the diagnosis of students that are experiencing academic or behavioral problems with the purpose providing a more adequate learning environment to suit their needs.
School Psychologist Jobs
The field of school psychology is a fairly recent career that has developed in to one of the most sought after positions. School psychologist jobs are considered to be the most popular career choice within the field of psychology. In the United States, school psychologist jobs are on the rise, and have proven to be a quite a stable career choice, making it an attractive position.
School Psychologist Salary
One of the most attractive features of a career in school psychology is the salary that the position entails. A school psychologist can make, on an average, anywhere between $50,000 to $75,000 a year. However, it is important to keep in mind that a school year is not the same length as a calendar year, making the salary worth more than it may seem at a simple glance.