Psychology: (Meaning, Types and Scope)

In this brief guide, we will discuss Psychology, and we will cover topics like the types of psychology, degrees and courses in psychology, and the most common applications of psychology in the real-world.

Psychology: Meaning and History

Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behavior, and it may also seek to study why human beings work the way they do so many times, and how they relate to each other as well.

Psychology tries to understand everything about human beings from the moment they are born to the moment they die, and everything in between, which includes how we think to how our actions affect those around us; how our brains work and also how our hypothetical souls and spirits work.

This branch of study acts as a bridge too, sometimes, between the more subjective philosophical viewpoints to the most fact based and rational, practical aspects like the brain and neurons and how these work together to create the human experience.

Psychology is based in philosophy, but over the many decades it has had to develop it has taken on the values and beliefs of many other disciplines, like economics, sociology, and most recently, Neuroscience and Biology.

There are now many different disciplines a psychologist could go, they could study how a brain works and they can study how people work together in a group; a psychologist could try to study why infants learn in a specific way to how old age affects individuals in a mental way rather than just a physical one.

The possibilities for psychological research are quite staggering, when one starts to think or read about it, and it is easy to get lost in the many, many things one can study about humanity, and even after doing plenty of research one might find that it is not nearly enough.

There are differing opinions about when and how psychology came into existence, but most people ascribe the beginning of psychology to Sigmund Freud and Willhelm Wundt, because Freud was the one who started the phenomenon of understanding the way an abnormal human mind works, whereas Willhelm Wundt established the first Psychological Laboratory.

Psychology used to be classified as an Arts field, much like philosophy and sociology, but it changed significantly after the introduction of the laboratory, and with the experiments of scientists like Pavlov and Skinner, it became amply clear that Psychology is not nearly subjective enough to classify it in the same branch as other Arts fields.

Over the years experimentation and research in psychology has made it a purely scientific field, whose advancements are used across many other fields, like Occupational therapy or Economics, which is evident in how Positive Psychologist Daniel Kahneman won the Nobel Prize for Economics for his Integrated approach to apply psychological findings into how people make decisions and strategize under conditions of uncertainty.

Most people associate psychology with pop psychology, however, and this can be misleading; pop psychology is a moniker given to the system of beliefs and values that have been spread so much over time by supposed “psychologists” or people who claim to understand the subject very well, that they have been accepted as true despite lack of evidence.

The way to differentiate between psychology and pop psychology is simple; when you see a fact presented as a Psychological Fact or finding, you need to look for the research that underlies it, and read through to see if that research has been peer-reviewed and replicated, and if the results it shows are generalizable to other groups apart from the one tested in that study.

If there is lack of adequate research, you need to discard the fact that has been presented, and this scientific method is what separates psychology from pop psychology.

Types of Psychology

The types of psychology are mostly just branches that have come out of the relationship between psychology and other fields like Biology, Neurology, Statistics, Economics, sociology and philosophy, and the main types are discussed below.

Clinical Psychology: This is the main type of psychology most people may be aware of, and it mainly focuses on mental health and disorders of the human mind and behavior. 

A clinical psychologist seeks to diagnose, study and treat mental illnesses through therapy and they may use diagnostic assessments as well as those to understand the individual’s personality and such, and work with populations that may be suffering from depression, anxiety and such.

Applied Psychology: Applied psychology is the opposite of clinical psychology, in a way, and this field focuses on the research aspect of psychology, which means that the academics who come up with the theories and hypotheses that the entire field of psychology is eventually based on, may well be applied psychologists.

Applied psychologists are the reason we have assessments and models of behavior on which to base our judgments, and there is a great overlap between this field and statistics.

Developmental Psychology: Developmental psychologists are the experts that study human development, and they often study how we start learning and how we progress over our lifetimes, and individuals like Jean Piaget are considered developmental psychologists.

Neuropsychology: neuropsychology is one of the most important fields in the current times, and it has been since the prevalence of brain imaging, because this branch of psychology is concerned with the neurological underpinnings of behavior and thinking.

This branch of psychology is responsible for everything we know about which part of the brain does what, for instance neuropsychology tells us that the Amygdala is responsible for fear responses and that we use the Frontal lobe for planning and executive functioning, to the more obscure things like the fact that we use our anterior cingulate cortex for distinguishing between stimuli.

Educational Psychology: This type of psychology is concerned with learning, how we learn and how best to teach others, and it may frequently be employed in taking care of those that have trouble with learning as well as enhancing the education of the individuals who have no problems with learning.

Social Psychology: This type of psychology is probably one of the most important ones in the current times, because all the political unrest and international relations as well as foreign policy come under the purview of social psychology.

Social psychology seeks to explain and study why things work between people and in groups, and it may often work with concepts like prejudice, stereotypes and compliance, which makes it an extremely relevant field of study.

Health Psychology: Health psychologists use the science of psychology to promote good health practices, prevent illness and improve health care. 

This branch of psychology is concerned with the root of people’s emotions to help them make healthy choices in their day to day life.

Positive Psychology: where clinical psychology focuses on the negative and abnormal, positive psychology focuses on the positive and enhanced, and it seeks to better the lives of individuals using concepts that may be based in more philosophical fields like anthropology or spirituality.

The most well-known concept in Positive psychology is Mindfulness, which is something everyone knows pretty well by now.

Psychology Degrees

Here is a list of some of the best psychology degrees one can enroll in:

Associate degree in psychology: an undergraduate-level degree that usually takes two years to complete.

Bachelor’s degree in psychology: This degree may be something like a B.A. or B.Sc.

Master’s Degree: A Master’s degree in psychology may be anywhere between 2-3 years and may enable you to practice as a psychologist in many parts of the world.

Ph.D. in Psychology: This degree involves research and it enables you to become an expert in your given field of study. It is more extensive and may take anywhere between 4-7,8 years.

Psy.D.: This degree is more recent, and it stands for a Doctorate in Psychology, and this degree involves research as well as clinical or real-world experience, and it may also take anywhere between 4-7 years.

Psychology Facts

Here are some psychological facts that are scientifically validated:

  • The type of music you listen to has an impact on your perception of the world.
  • Having positive and happy people around you can keep you happier
  • Good liars are also the good ones in detecting lies from others.
  • Tearing the paper off drink bottles is a sign of sexual frustration.
  • You are more likely to succeed if you care about doing things rather than do something for the reward.
  • ‘Catching a yawn’ shows empathy.
  • When there is a division of two different groups, it doesn’t matter how arbitrary it is, eventually they will hate each other for no reason and say that group A is better than group B.
  • Intelligent people are more likely to doubt their accomplishments and intellect.
  • Narcissistic people are more prone to depression than normal people.
  • People aged between 18 and 33 carry the most amount of stress in the world.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we discussed Psychology, and we covered topics like the types of psychology, degrees and courses in psychology, and the most common applications of psychology in the real-world.

Psychology is an extremely extensive field that encompasses many topics, from mental illness to why people act the way they do to even economic and political reforms, and it has crossovers with nearly every type of humanities related fields.

Psychology is an important tool in the arsenal of even the most ordinary individual, because it allows for an in-depth look into how society, groups and people work with themselves as well as with others.

The types of psychology alone show exactly how much it impacts all the different walks of life, and how much it can be used to change the world no matter what area of psychology you choose to study and work in.

If you have any more questions or comments about psychology, please feel free to reach out to us at any time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Psychology

What is the study of psychology?

Psychology is the scientific study of how people think, feel and behave, and it also seeks to understand the link between these three facets of humanity.

Psychologists are individuals who are involved in the study of psychology, in various areas of study, which may include everything about the human experience from the basic workings of the human brain to cognitive and emotional functions like consciousness, memory, reasoning and language to personality and mental health.

What are the 7 types of psychology?

The 7 types of psychology include:

Psychodynamic model of psychology
Cross-Cultural model of psychology.
Evolutionary model of psychology. 
Humanistic model of psychology.
Behavioral model of psychology. 
Cognitive model of psychology. 
Biological model of psychology. .

What are the 3 branches of psychology?

The Major Branches of Psychology

Overview.
Abnormal Psychology.
Behavioral Psychology.
Biopsychology.
Clinical Psychology.
Cognitive Psychology.
Comparative Psychology.
Counseling Psychology.

What are the 4 types of psychology?

The four types of psychology are:

Clinical Psychology. 
Applied Psychology. 
Counseling Psychology. 
Developmental Psychology.

What are 2 types of behavior?

The two types of behaviour are:

Efficiency investment behaviour, which defines one shot behavior
Habitual or ‘curtailment’ behaviour, which defines unconscious decisions, routines.

Citations

https://www.apa.org

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us

https://www.simplypsychology.org/whatispsychology.html#:~:text=Psychology%20is%20the%20scientific%20study,social%20behavior%20and%20cognitive%20processes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychology

https://www.verywellmind.com/psychology-degrees-2795151

https://www.verywellmind.com/psychology-courses-you-should-take-2795152

Divya is currently a Clinical Psychology Trainee in a Master of Philosophy program and holds a Master’s in clinical psychology. She has a special interest in Personality studies and disorders, having researched the subject before, and Neuropsychology; with an additional interest being Mood disorders. She likes to write about Psychiatric issues, having worked in multiple specialty setups during her time as a clinical psychology student, and in her free time she likes to cook and read.

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