Psychology is a huge topic and conveying the depth and breadth of the subject can be difficult. As a result, a number of different fields of psychology have emerged to deal with specific subtopics within the study of the mind, brain and behavior.
Most general and introductory psychology courses cover many of these fields of psychology. As you delve deeper into the subject, you’ll soon find courses offered in each individual area. Each field of psychology represents a specific area of study focused on a particular topic. Oftentimes, psychologists specialize in one of these areas as a career.
The following are just some of the major fields of psychology. For many of these specialty areas, ...view middle of the document...
Modern research on animal behavior began with the work of Charles Darwin and Georges Romanes and has continued to grow into a multidisciplinary subject. Today, biologists, psychologists, anthropologists, ecologists, geneticists and many others contribute to the study of animal behavior.
* Counseling Psychology: Counseling psychology focuses on providing therapeutic treatments to clients who experience a wide variety of symptoms. It is also one of the largest specialty areas within psychology. The Society of Counseling Psychology describes the field as " a psychological specialty [that] facilitates personal and interpersonal functioning across the life span with a focus on emotional, social, vocational, educational, health-related, developmental and organizational concerns."
* Developmental Psychology: This field of psychology looks at development throughout the lifespan, from childhood to adulthood. The scientific study of human development seeks to understand and explain how and why people change throughout life. This includes all aspects of human growth, including physical, emotional, intellectual, social, perceptual and personality development. Topics studied in this field include everything from prenatal development to Alzheimer's disease.
* Educational Psychology: Educational psychology involves the study of how people learn, including topics such as student outcomes, the instructional process, individual differences in learning, gifted learners and learning disabilities.
* Experimental Psychology: Experimental psychology is an area of psychology that utilizes scientific methods to research the mind and behavior. Experimental psychologists work in a wide variety of settings including colleges, universities, research centers, government and private businesses.
* Forensic Psychology: Forensic psychology is defined as the intersection of psychology and the law, but forensic psychologists can perform many roles so this definition can vary. In many cases, people working within forensic psychology are not necessarily "forensic psychologists." These individuals might be clinical psychologists, school psychologists, neurologists or counselors who lend their psychological expertise to provide testimony, analysis or recommendations in legal or criminal cases.
* Health Psychology: The field of health psychology is focused on promoting health as well as the prevention and treatment of disease and illness. Health psychologists also focus on...