Professions of Psychology


  • Conduct Research
  • Study and Contribute to the Work Environment
  • Promote Physical & Mental Health
  • Help People Learn
  • Work in the Community

Psychologists study two critical relationships: one between brain function and behavior, and one between the environment and behavior.

PSYCHOLOGISTS employed by colleges and universities can divide their time between teaching and research and also may have administrative responsibilities; some have part-time consulting practices.

CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGISTS - Concerned with the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders. Often times, they provide an opportunity to talk and think about things that are confusing or worrying, offering different ways of interpreting and understanding problems and situations.

COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGISTS - Advise people on how to deal with problems in the home, place of work, or community, to help improve their quality of life. They foster well-being by promoting good mental health, and preventing mental, physical, and social disorders.

DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGISTS - Study the physiological, cognitive, and social development that takes place throughout life. Some specialize in behavior during infancy, childhood, and adolescence, or changes that occur during maturity or old age.

EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGISTS - Concentrate on how effective teaching and learning take place.

ENGINEERING PSYCHOLOGISTS - Conduct research on how people work best with machines.

EXPERIMENTAL/RESEARCH PSYCHOLOGISTS - Work in various organizations studying behavior of both human beings and animals. Prominent areas of study in experimental research include motivation, thought, attention, learning and memory, sensory and perceptual processes, effects of substance abuse, and genetic and neurological factors affecting behavior.

FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGISTS - Use psychological principles in the legal and criminal justice system to help judges, attorneys, and other legal professionals understand the psychological findings of a particular case.

GEROPSYCHOLOGISTS - Work with the special problems faced by the elderly. Work may include helping older persons cope with stresses that are common in late life, such as loss of a loved one, relocation, medical conditions, and increased care-giving demands.

HEALTH PSYCHOLOGISTS - Are interested in how biological, psychological, and social factors affect health and illness. They promote healthy living and disease prevention through counseling, and they focus on how patients adjust to illnesses and treatments and view their quality of life.

INDUSTRIAL/ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGISTS - Apply psychological principles and research methods to the work place in the interest of improving productivity and the quality of work life.

NEUROPSYCHOLOGISTS - Explore the relationships between brain systems and behavior.

QUANTITATIVE/MEASUREMENT PSYCHOLOGISTS - Focus on methods and techniques for acquiring and analyzing psychological data.

REHABILITATION PSYCHOLOGISTS - Work with stroke and accident victims, people with mental and developmental disabilities.

SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGISTS - Study how a person's mental life and behavior is shaped by interactions with other people. Many social psychologists specialize in a niche area, such as group behavior, leadership, attitudes, and perception.

SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS - Work directly with students in early childhood and elementary and secondary schools. They collaborate with teachers, parents, and school personnel to create a safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments for all students.

SPORTS PSYCHOLOGISTS - Help athletes refine their focus on competition goals, become more motivated, and learn to deal with the anxiety and fear of failure that often accompany competition.