Psychology subfields
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Psychology Subfields - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Psychology Subfields. Applied Psychology Laboratory East Tennessee State University. Biopsychology. aka Behavioral Neuroscience Study of the biological structures that contribute to behavior, often focusing on the role of the brain and nervous system. Brain Function & Injury

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Psychology Subfields

Applied Psychology Laboratory

East Tennessee State University

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  • aka Behavioral Neuroscience

  • Study of the biological structures that contribute to behavior, often focusing on the role of the brain and nervous system

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Brain Function & Injury

Blood-brain barrier


Brain plasticity, language processing, & reading

Addiction’s path

Nicotine & the brain

The mind-body link

Effects of testosterone & estrogen on the brain

Cell suicide

Topics in Bio/Neuro Psych

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Clinical Psychology

  • Area of psychology concerned with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of psychological disorders and disturbances

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Mental health disorders & conditions




Down syndrome

Mental retardation


Eating disorders

Alcohol/Drug addiction

Topics in Clinical Psych

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Cognitive Psychology

  • Study of how learning occurs and information stored in memory is utilized

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Memory & amnesia

Artificial intelligence

Culture & cognition

Cognitive basis of gender stereotypes

Cognitive inhibition



Motivational factors in routine performance

Subliminal perception

Topics in Cognitive Psych

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Community Psychology

  • The application of psychology to the study of social organizations such as neighborhoods, and the development of methods for evaluating and initiating changes in social policy

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Individual & community mental/physical health

Collective social action

Self & mutual help

Evaluating interventions

Social welfare & social injustice

Prevention of problems in living

Empowerment of marginal groups

Topics in Community Psych

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Counseling Psychology

  • Area of psychology that maintains an emphasis on the positive aspects of human development and are focused on exploring and facilitating the strengths and assets of individuals, groups, and organizational units

  • Emphasizes the development of self-direction, life-stage coping skills, and educational strategies for change

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Coping with personal, school, & community crises

Role of feelings & emotional states in the learning process

Consulting with parents & teachers


Development & implementation of educational strategies

Enhancement of self-awareness, & social & interpersonal skills in students

Topics in Counseling Psych

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Developmental Psychology

  • Study of the growth, development, and changes that occur throughout the life cycle

  • Child Development focuses on changes and development that occurs during infancy, and childhood, often extending into adolescence

  • Adult Development focuses on the changes and development that occur during adulthood

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Language acquisition

Gender role socialization

Social & cognitive development


Crisis during late life

Adult sexuality & gender

Adult development & life span issues

Topics in Developmental Psych

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Environmental Psychology

  • Study of how changes in physical space & related physical stimuli can affect behavior of individuals; relationships between humans & the physical environment

  • Environmental perception, effects of the environment on behavior & experiences, effects of behavior on the environment

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The sense of place

Integration of ecological issues & principles into psychotherapy

Wilderness-based rites of passage & renewal


Environmental awareness

Environmental sustainability

Nature & mental health

Topics in Environmental Psych

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Experimental Psychology

  • A broad area concerned with a variety of basic topics, including cognition, memory, learning, and language in humans or animals

  • Most experimental psychologists are in academia and work in a variety of areas during their career

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Forensic Psychology

  • Branch of psychology that studies possible relationships between psychopathology and criminal behavior

  • Sometimes work within court systems and conduct psychological evaluations on individuals accused of committing a crime, particularly juveniles

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Eyewitness testimony

Offender profiling


Media & crime

Munchausen syndrome by proxy

Forensic parapsychology


Topics in Forensic Psych

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Health Psychology

  • Study of the effects of psychological matters on physical well being

  • Often focus on developing programs to help individuals break physically unhealthy habits, or to reduce the likelihood of participation in such an activity

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Perceptions of risk

Illusions, errors, & biases in judgments about health & risk

Personality factors in health

Health promotion & intervention

Effects of disclosure & repression on health

Conceptualizing behavior change

Evaluating theories of health behavior

Stress & coping

Topics in Health Psych

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I/O Psychology

  • Study of the behavior and mental processes than take place in organizational settings (typically work situations), and the human factors that influence the work environment

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Sexual harassment

Successful employment of workers with disabilities

Workplace culture

Workplace aggression

Leadership behaviors of management

Personality traits in the hiring process

Selection of law enforcement officers


Topics in I/O Psych

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Personality Psychology

  • Attempts to identify the factors that cause one person to think, feel, and behave differently from another person within a given situation

  • The study of how people differ

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Attitude formation

Psychology of persons

Competence motivation


Person-environment interaction

Individualism & collectivism

Self-other dependence

Role of emotion in adaptation

Personality continuity & change over lifetime

Topics in Personality Psych

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Positive Psychology

  • Study of the conditions & processes that contribute to the flourishing or optimal functioning of people, groups, & institutions

  • Attempts to help people learn to live lives filled with greater health & well-being as well as the absence of illness & disease

  • Recognizes an imbalance in clinical psychology, where research focuses on mental illness

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Healthy mindedness

Optimism training

Learned helplessness

Attribution style of children & adults

Intrinsic motivation

Resilience in adults & children

Positive human characteristics

Love, optimism, & emotional intelligence

Topics in Positive Psych

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Psychometric Psychology

  • aka Quantitative Methods, Measurement

  • Study of the development of methods and research designs used to measure behavior

  • Requires a strong background in statistics and a general knowledge of matters related to testing personality and intelligence

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Psychological testing & assessment

Survey design & adaptation

Numerical analysis, probability theory, & mathematical statistics

Intelligence testing

Self-discrepancy & trait personality

Development of research design & implementation of measures & statistics

Topics in Psychometric Psych

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School/Educational Psychology

  • Study of learning, & the conditions under which it happens best

  • School psychologists focus more on creating environments that support learning

  • Educational psychologists work to understand how humans learn, & then to develop methods & materials to make learning happen

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Effective interventions in educational settings

School violence

Evaluation of education & educational policy

School discipline

Academic progress screening

Use of digital tools to enhance education & teacher resources

Topics in School/Ed Psych

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Social Psychology

  • Study of how our attitudes, beliefs, social perceptions, culture, cognitions, and relationships effect, and are effected by, our behavior and the behavior of others

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Prejudice, Diversity

Self & Social Identity

Group Behavior

Conflict Resolution

Interpersonal Relations


Social Influence

Prosocial Behavior

Topics in Social Psych