Table of Contents
Scope of Psychology
The scope of psychology is unusually broad and diverse. Even though different founders of psychology studied different aspects of human behavior, they share a common goal of describing and explaining behavior and the mental processes that underlie it. The branches of psychology will help us to understand why people think, feel and act as they do. Contemporary psychology can be roughly divided into two main groups.
The basic area of psychology concerns theoretical knowledge, principles, facts, and research. It conducts research in psychological processes such as learning, reasoning memory, prejudice, emotion, etc. It adds theories and valuable basic principles to enrich and expand psychology’s perspectives on human experience by using scientific methods.
Psychologists working in the basic areas work in colleges and universities where they teach and conduct research, but some work in research institutions, government agencies, or other settings. These psychologists are broadly trained and specialized in the psychological process. The following are the most prominent basic areas of psychology:
Human development is a life long process. Developmental psychologists study changing abilities from worm to tom. It studies people during their life span as they grow and mature from conception to old age and death. Developmental psychologists study quantitative and qualitative changes and stability in the physical, mental emotional and psychosocial domains.
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It studies the ways in which people change as well as characteristics that remain fairly stable throughout life. The study of human development describes, explain, predict and modify behavior. Development psychology overlaps with child psychology, social and personality psychology.
The area of child psychology is limited whereas that of developmental psychology is broad and diverse covering life-long processes and progress of human beings. Child psychology studies children from parental period to adolescence describing how a particular period of life such as infancy, the pre-school years, or adolescence shapes a child’s behavior.
The complete socialization features and pictures are presented in child psychology. It points out the healthy growth of the physical, mental, emotional, moral, educational and motor development of the child and the genetic effects is a highly demanding study being carried nowadays in child psychology.
Social psychology is interested in understanding how individuals are influenced by other people. It tries to find out how individual perceive the world and how those perceptions affect their behavior and behavior towards others. Being social animal-human development takes place in the context persons-parents, siblings, playmates and school companions which is a socialization process.
Social psychologists are concerned with the behavior of groups. Leaders, followers, crowds, communities, interpersonal attraction, intimate relationships are the subject matter of this branch. They talk about a variety of prospects found in social affairs, like prejudice, propaganda, intragroup conflicts, etc.
Psychology studies not only normal behavior but also the abnormal behavior of people. It includes the study of neurotic, psychotic and other abnormal individuals marked by limited intelligence, emotional instability, personality disorganization, character defects, with their underlying causes and general principles to cure these abnormalities.
Cognitive psychology concern with how we process change, store, and retrieve information. Psychologists in this area associated with intelligent actions like thinking, learning, perceiving, planning, imagining, creating, dreaming, speaking, listening and problem-solving (see cognitive perspective). Cognitive psychologists try to find out solving problems. It focuses on how thought occurs, memory processes information stored and is utilized.
Many new specialties are emerging within this basic area. Psychology of learning, memory, sensation, and perception are examples. In learning and memory, psychologists concern with the ways in which we learn and remember new information, new skills, new habits, and ways of relating to other people. Psychology of sensation and perception is concerned with how sense organs operate and how we interpret incoming sensory information in the process of perception.
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The other main branch of psychology is its application to various field, where psychologists conduct research that tackles practical problems. They use psychology’s concepts, methods, and knowledge to solve human problems through researching, working in mental health centers, industries, school systems, medical centers, and other settings.
Animal psychology, consumer psychology, psychometric psychology, engineering psychology, military psychology, advertisement psychology, and legal psychology is related to various aspects of the organism’s life. The following are the major specialties within the applied field of psychology.
Clinical psychology is concerned with the study, diagnosis, and treatment of behavioral and emotional problems. It is a helping profession devoted to practical issues such as how to lead a happy marriage life, how to overcome anxiety or depressions and how to raise children etc.
Clinical psychologists administer and interpret tests, provide psychotherapy, manage mental health programs and conduct research. They also cure various types of abnormalities or psychological disorders. Clinical psychologists are usually confused with psychiatrists.
Counseling and Guidance
As clinical psychologists, a counselor usually works in educational settings in solving problems and giving advice. This applied area of psychology is used for counseling people with emotional, education, vocational, carrier, and personal problems.
It aims to provide services to people in distress and maladjustment. It is a helping profession to develop insight and understanding to solve problems by one’s own efforts.
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Health Psychology has been used to provide awareness and understanding toward healthy attitudes of the population. Physical health and sanitation, mental health programs, basic healthy atmosphere in dealing with behavior and behavioral problems are highlighted. Health psychology sheds light on different tensions, frustrations, pressures, conflicts, hardships affecting the healthy growth of the human being.
It focuses on diseases and prevention by exercising different techniques to reduce health hazards, such as relaxation diet, rest, sleep, etc. even spiritualism and religion are important parts of health psychology.
Industrial psychology is also known as organizational or personnel psychology. This applied branch of knowledge studies and advises behavior in the workplace. They use psychological concepts and methods to help organizations and companies.
Industrial psychologists take advantage of psychological tests in selecting, hiring, and training employees. They help the institutions in boosting morale, and productivity among employees by establishing a good relationship between the workers. Organizational psychologists also help design products and research assessing people’s responses to them.
The applied aspect of this branch of psychology has revolutionized approaches to education. Parents, teachers, students, and administrators profited form this branch of knowledge. what, how, when, to teach advice, and the train is the concerned issues.
Many elementary schools employ psychologists who are trained in child development, education, and clinical psychology so that children can profit from problems related to learning, behavioral and emotional difficulties. They also assess intelligence, achievement, personality traits for children and counsel with parents and teachers, to help children with coping behaviors and the adjustment process.