Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour. Psychologists are typically involved in studying and understanding mental processes, brain functions and human behaviour. Usually, what psychologists do with that behaviour depends on the type of psychology they work within. In this article, Pritish Kumar Halder looks at what psychology is and briefly explores the different types of psychology.
Types of psychology
There are various types of psychology. The discipline seeks to comprehend how biological processes, environmental variables and societal forces influence people’s reactions. Psychology is a comprehensive academic discipline with multiple schools of thought. Here is a list of different types of psychology you may want to learn more about:
1. Behavioural psychology
Behavioural psychology, often known as behaviourism, is a psychological approach that investigates observable behaviour, emphasising the significance of conditioning in impacting a person’s beliefs and behaviours. Behavioural psychology is a branch of the philosophical school of behaviourism, which holds that knowledge is rooted in observable entities and that human behaviour is the product of prior and ever-evolving learning environments. Behaviourism typically focuses on observable stimulus-response behaviours studied in depth. Psychologists and counsellors who work in this field often examine patients and provide treatment plans.
Biological psychology, often known as biopsychology, is the study of mental processes and behaviour using biological disciplines. It is a scientific field that uses biological concepts to comprehend psychology. Psychologists typically investigate the biological foundation of human behaviour to understand how the brain and physiological processes impact how individuals think. Researchers in this discipline often study neurological topics to discover how and why the brain affects emotion.
3. Clinical psychology
Clinical psychology is a science-based field that blends theory and clinical practice to better understand, prevent and treat psychological illnesses or disorders. Clinical psychologists are professionals who often diagnose and treat emotional, mental and behavioural problems. They usually provide treatment for depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, addiction, eating disorders and learning disabilities. Clinical psychologists apply psychological ideas and procedures to discover how illnesses may affect a person’s life and formulate a treatment plan to enhance their client’s mental health.
4. Community psychology
Community psychology is a discipline of psychology concerned with the study of how people interact with their communities and the reciprocal impact of communities on people. Community psychologists typically examine unpleasant and challenging issues to improve a community. It necessitates an examination of larger social, political and physical systems that influence human behaviour. Community psychologists generally utilise their knowledge of a wide range of health and social services to assist individuals and communities in living better lives.
5. Child psychology
Child psychology is concerned with a person’s development during their childhood. It involves the growth of a child’s mental processes, emotional and social behaviour. This usually includes assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and teenagers with mental, physical, emotional and behavioural issues by highly competent mental health practitioners. Child psychologists often monitor and analyse patients’ behaviour in age-appropriate settings to comprehend their feelings, identify the source of the problem and give support and therapy.
6. Comparative psychology
Comparative psychology is the branch of psychology that studies animal behaviour. This approach compares the similarities and differences of species to obtain knowledge of evolutionary links. The comparative approach seeks to compare living and extinct animal species. This typically helps to a better understanding of human psychology. Observed concepts include heredity, adaptability, evolution and mating behaviours.
7. Consumer psychology
It is essential for businesses to have a good understanding of their target consumers, how they think and why they behave the way they do. Consumer psychology is a discipline of social psychology that studies consumer preferences, habits and tendencies and their influence on market offerings. Consumer psychology aids the corporation in the development of new items and the creation of manufacturer advertisements. This type of psychology typically examines consumer behaviour to better understand the decision-making process of customers in groups or individuals.
8. Critical psychology
Critical psychology is a branch of psychology that puts major emphasis on critical theory. It incorporates a critical assessment of society and culture to determine the nature of society’s issues. It is a field that covers many sub-disciplines of psychology and comprises numerous theoretical viewpoints. Critical psychology uses several disciplines, including sociology, literary theory and other branches of the humanities and social sciences.
9. Developmental psychology
The scientific study of the continuous psychological changes that occur in humans as they age is known as developmental psychology. Primarily focused on newborns and children and subsequently with other times of significant change such as adolescence and ageing, it now covers the whole human life span. Psychiatrists can detect important changes through observations and tests on newborns, adolescence, teens and adults. It explains the experiences of different age groups and the differences between people.
10. Educational psychology
The study of how humans acquire and retain knowledge, mainly in educational environments such as classrooms, is known as educational psychology. Simply put, it is the study of how humans learn. Emotional, social and cognitive learning processes are all included. Educational psychologists usually work with students to resolve issues such as learning disabilities, along with social and emotional problems.
11. Environmental psychology
Environmental psychology is the study of the interactions that occur between individuals and their socio-physical environments on a daily basis. Understanding how human behaviour impacts the natural environment is a fundamental part of environmental psychology. It is often critical in shaping people’s consciousness and behaviour to move to a more sustainable future. It also aids in the adaptation to numerous environmental challenges brought on by climate change and environmental degradation.
12. Evolutionary psychology
According to evolutionary psychology, natural selection has affected human emotions and behaviours. It studies how evolution has influenced the human mind and behaviour. An evolutionary psychologist typically evaluates the previous generation’s unique features and their influence on the present human behaviour to comprehend humankind.
13. Forensic psychology
Forensic psychology, also known as criminal psychology, is the study of the relationship between psychology and the legal system. Forensic psychologists provide professional psychological views in court. They examine criminal behaviour and treat people who have committed crimes. Examples include identifying a defendant’s mental capacity, assisting in the development of a suspect’s psychological profile and assessing the reliability of a witness.
14. Health psychology
The scientific study of the psychological processes involved in health, sickness and healthcare is known as health psychology. It entails studying the behavioural and psychological influences on health. Health psychologists often apply psychological knowledge in clinical and community contexts. They aid in the prevention of sickness and the promotion of health and well-being.
Neuropsychology is a branch of medicine that combines neurology and psychology. The field focuses on the study of the brain and behaviour. It often investigates the connection between the neurological system and mental functions as language, memory, learning and behaviour. Neuropsychologists usually assess, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate persons suffering from neurological, developmental or psychological problems that impair cognitive function or a person’s capacity to think, reason, remember and learn.
16. Military psychology
Military psychology is a subfield of psychology that focuses primarily on military people and their families. Military psychologists are proficient in diagnosing and treating members of the armed forces. They often collaborate with military personnel assigned to support, technical and combat roles. Military psychologists may be civilians or research psychologists with a focus on military concerns.
17. Sports psychology
The study of human engagement and performance in sports, athletics, physical activity and exercise is known as sports psychology. Sports psychologists typically operate as trainers, consultants or therapists to help athletes perform at their best. They may provide counselling for difficulties such as eating disorders or career changes. In certain circumstances, the role includes counselling players with off-field issues and assisting them with injury recovery.
18. Industrial-organisational psychology
The study and application of psychological principles and techniques to an organisation and its personnel are known as industrial-organisational psychology. It is concerned with ways to enhance working conditions. Industrial-organisational psychologists usually apply psychological concepts and research methodologies to solve workplace problems and improve people’s quality of life. They typically assist businesses in increasing their efficiency by enhancing recruiting, training, development and more.
19. School psychology
School psychology applies psychological ideas to education. School psychologists are often educators that work within school settings to assist various kids in achieving success in academic, social, behavioural and emotional aspects. They typically seek to provide safe and healthy environments that enhance cooperation between school, home and community. School psychologists’ primary responsibilities include mental health interventions, behaviour management, crisis intervention and response, evaluation, consulting and teamwork.