Psychology is often associated with the study that involves "reading minds". While that is not entirely untrue, it is quite far from reality. An understanding of psychology which is the study of the human mind and behavior, will allow a person to perceive a person's thoughts. However, one cannot predict a subject's behavior as each person is different from the other.
However, psychology does help us in understanding human behavior and psyche better, such that we are able to comprehend why people behave the way they behave. Psychology is not as generalized as it seems, though, and has, in fact, several branches that deal with the many facets of human personality. In this following PsycholoGenie article, we will look into the varied branches of psychology.
List of Subdivisions in Psychology
Abnormal psychology is the study of certain behavioral abnormalities in a person's psyche. Like, neuroses, psychoses, and mental retardation. Hypnosis and mesmerism are often used for treatment in this branch of psychology. Abnormal psychology is one of the most basic forms of psychology study, and is taught in Law and Human Resource Management studies as well.
Behavioral psychology is the more popular term used for behavioral neuroscience, or biopsychology, or psychobiology. It studies the mental processes and the behavioral patterns of humans as well as non-human subjects to gage the psychological state of an individual. Treatment in this branch of psychology is more physical, like electrolytic lesions and chemical lesions. This branch of psychology is concerned with the physical functioning of the brain and its cells.
Clinical psychology is the branch of psychology that is the scientific study of the prevention, understanding, and the relieving of psychologically-based issues. Psychological assessment and psychotherapy are the means of treatment used in this field of psychology. Nonetheless, clinical psychology also stresses a great deal on research, teaching, consultation, forensic testimony, and program development and administration. It is also referred to as counseling psychology.
Cognitive psychology, one of the most recent branches, deals with the internal mental processes of thought such as visual processing, memory, problem solving, and language. It basically looks over the information processing functioning of the brain. It thus studies concepts like perception, aging, memory, emotions, and decision-making etc.
Community psychology studies the psychology of individuals and the dynamics in a community. It studies the concepts of diplomacy, etc, that are characteristic to community oriented behavior. It studies adaptation, succession, and interdependence. It helps a community understand empowerment, social justice, citizen participation, etc. It is also referred to as critical psychology.
Developmental psychology is the study of the systematic changes that occur in a human being and his psyche over the course of life. It is also concerned with early child development and care. Each individual goes through certain changes during their life. Developmental psychology is the branch of psychology that studies this progression and helps understand these changes, their causes and effects, better.
Educational psychology is the branch of psychology that is used in educational institutions. It deals with learning disorders, "gifted" students, peer pressure, adolescence, sex education in children, etc. Educational psychologists usually work as school counselors. Educational psychology is also referred to as school psychology. It comes in handy in colleges as well. It basically concentrates on student life.
Evolutionary psychology is the branch of psychology that studies the most primal psychological stimuli in human beings. It is believed by evolutionary scientists, that while it is absolutely natural for a human being to pick out linguistic skills, the same does not hold true for reading and writing. They are adaptive skills. It is also natural for a human being to gage another human being's emotional state of mind, and the ability to recognize a kin from another.
Legal psychology is basically the same as cognitive and clinical psychology. However, a legal psychologist has to assist in the process of criminal investigation. This branch of psychology uses this understanding to judge the testimonies and statements of the witnesses or the victims, giving the investigation the extra push that it may need. More so, it works at understanding a certain witness or victim's perception from the legal point of view.
Personality psychology is the branch of psychology that governs the legitimate IQ tests and the personality tests that one takes to understand themselves better. It is the branch of psychology that puts a wholesome picture in front of an individual about themselves. It also studies specific personality disorders like narcissistic personality disorder, etc. It helps an individual see themselves in a more objective light.