Psychology is the scientific study of actions and behaviors. Psychologists often form hypotheses and test these through studies and research. They carefully follow the scientific method to gather data. The research methods used by psychologists vary by branches of study. These methods include controlled laboratory experiments, and personality, intelligence, aptitude, or performance tests. Other methods of research are interviews, observations, questionnaires, surveys, and clinical studies.
There are a wide range of careers under the umbrella of psychology. According to the American Psychological Association, there are fifty-six different divisions of psychology. Some of these divisions include abnormal, biological, clinical, cognitive, comparative, counseling, critical, developmental, educational, evolutionary, engineering, environmental, experimental, forensic, global, health, industrial, legal, occupational health, personality, quantitative, school, social, sports, and neuropsychology.
Because psychology encompasses such a variety of job opportunities, psychologists often work in conjunction with other professionals. Examples of these are other scientists, physicians, teachers, lawyers, computer experts, and policy makers.
Psychologists work with both healthy people, and those suffering from mental or emotional disorders. Not only do some psychologists treat people who are mentally or emotionally unstable, but they work with healthy people to better understand the way a healthy mind works, and what affects brain function. Psychologists often work with business executives to help create a more stress-free work environment. They also help to develop more user-friendly technology. Psychologists are often called in to assist after disasters to help those suffering from shock or post-traumatic stress disorder.
The most common type of psychology is clinical psychology. Clinical psychology deals with the treatment of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Problems a clinical psychologist may treat include depression, schizophrenia, or phobias. They often consult with physicians about the physical symptoms a patient has that are caused by underlying psychological issues, such as anorexia nervosa. Counseling psychologists advise people on how to take advantage of their resources and cope with everyday problems in life. These professionals use psychotherapy, teaching, and scientific research dealing with individuals, families, and organizations.
Neuropsychologists study relationships between the brain and behavior. They study the way the brain makes and stores memories, and the way an injury can affect emotions and behavior. Neuropsychologists often use imaging techniques such as PET and MRI. They also help victims of brain injuries resume a normal life.
Educational psychology focuses on how effective teaching and learning take place. It deals with learning environments, and students’ abilities and...