What is Psychology?
Psychology determines the habitual traits and mental on goings of any biotic being. Basic behavioural patterns pertaining to specific social scenarios is the main target of study for psychologists. Though an esoteric approach to psychology began in early India, Egypt and Greece, the conventional scientific and experimental approach was popularized by Wilhelm Wundt after he setup a laboratory dedicated to the same in Leipzig, Germany in 1879. An academic approach to this field offers an interesting and engaging spectrum of realisations, which enables the seeker to explain interesting phenomena like déjà vu and placebo medications. Psychologists have other responsibilities ranging from advising health authorities to working with recruitment teams in companies.
Psychology: An academic perspective
Psychology, in an academic light comprises of clinical, child development, gerontology, learning, social, motivation, physiological, and industrial/organizational among other specializations. Degrees in Psychology ranges from Associate degrees to Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology). Critical thinking is inevitable in psychology as a discipline. This in turn elevates the students’ social skills. Psychology is a steam with magnificent scope. Contrary to popular beliefs, students of psychology have a wide vista of engaging careers including law, social work, teaching and business among others. Since psychology is an exhaustive field of study and a supportive knowledge base at the same time, enthusiasts can opt to choose online Psychology degrees as a convenient mode of study. The academic outlook on psychology views it as a science attempting to define behaviour, employing observational procedures, standardization, and contemplations in a theoretical framework.
Professions in Psychology
Psychologists aim to explain, predict and control behaviour and mental processes while constraining the observations to verified theories and conventionalities. The focus of careers in this field are statistical, organizational, clinical, cognitive, behavioural, social, developmental and educational. There is a plethora of options for a psychology aficionado to pursue. The inclusion of helping individuals through personal problems, listening, interviewing, analysing, collecting data, being creative and researching human and animal behaviour is inevitable for a fruitful career in psychology. Few job opportunities include:
Psychometrists work under a licensed psychologist and administers psychological tests and scoring. One has to be a graduate in clinical psychology to pursue this position.
- Substance abuse counsellor
As one of the fastest growing careers in the United States, a strong personality to deal with patients suffering withdrawal symptoms is a pre requisite along with a qualified academic background. A substance abuse counsellor works with clients addicted to illegal drugs.
- Psychiatric Technician
Psy Techs assist in personal hygiene, administering oral and injectable medications and is responsible for a patient’s overall mental fitness.
- Human Resource Personnel
This is an entry-level job for those who prefer organizational settings to clinical scenarios. These professionals are responsible for aiding the HR manager in implementing policies and strategies. They are responsible for maintaining good performance of the employees.
- Experimental Psychologist
With this transitional career, one could be a laboratory manager, research assistant or aid a marketing research team. A mastery in understanding different research methods and excellent writing and communication skills are also required. This is not a terminal occupation.
- Sports Psychologists
These professionals relate the effects of physical activities on the athlete’s psychological health and performance. They are also concerned with provision of counselling to transitioning athletes.
This is the most popular and prestigious career choice after graduating in Psychology. Psychiatrists specialise in treatment of disturbed patients and ensuring sustainable treatment.
- Educational Psychologists
Educational Psychology helps in developing learning material and understands the basic mode of human learning. Understanding the effects of educational intercession to learning and development remains the prime motive.
Specializations in Psychology
Some of the online Psychology colleges provides specialisations such as Addiction Psychology, Biopsychology, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Forensic Psychology. In the most essential respects, Psychology can be categorized under eight headings:
- Clinical Psychology
This branch aids in assessing, diagnosing and treating mental illness. Clinical psychology further branches into psychological disorders, abnormal psychology and neuropsychology among others.
- Experimental Psychology
This field entertains research on various living beings to track developments in the areas including but not limited to substance abuse, genetics, neuroscience, motivation and cognitive processes.
- Counselling Psychology
Counselling psychology is similar to clinical psychology but tends to ke less severe subjects as concern. This branch concentrates on emotional, social, vocational, educational, health related, developmental and organizational concerns of patients with less severe forms of mental problems.
- Forensic Psychology
This branch nestles in the recess between psychology and law. Custody disputes, insurance claims and lawsuits come under the spectrum of concern along with providing psychotherapy to crime victims, working with child witnesses and providing assessment of juvenile and adult offenders.
- Human Factors Psychology
Incepted at World War II, this branch applies itself to designing more productive work environments with minimal safety issues. Currently it covers computing, manufacturing, product design, engineering, military and government industries.
- Industrial-Organisational Psychology
This is one of the fastest growing specialty areas focussing on workplace behaviour including hiring qualified employees, conducting tests, designing products, creating training courses and performing detailed research on workplace aspects.
- School Psychology
Emotional, social and academic issues of students are focussed in this area which works hand in hand with the educational system to deal with behavioural problems, academic difficulties, disabilities and other pertaining issues.
- Social Psychology
This field takes into account impact of interactions and group behaviour. Study focusses include group behaviour, attitudes, perceptions and leadership.