Define Psychology. Describe the basic and applied fields of psychology
ANSWER – INTRODUCTION : Psychology as a behavioral science shares common characteristics with other physical and biological sciences. All science has practical applications to deal with human problems and improve their quality of life. Engineering and technology have developed from the results of physics, chemistry and mathematics and made life easier and comfortable. Similarly, medical science has not only contributed significantly to fighting and eliminating many deadly diseases, but also treated / prevented many diseases. Psychologists have developed many techniques to help people to live a full and happy life by promoting / enhancing their psychological health.
Psychologists also cure and help to prevent various psychological and emotional problems (behavioral disorders). Sometimes, the problems of the world such as climate change, pollution, natural calamities, man-made disasters etc. are so widespread and serious that no one or two sciences can solve such problems. A group of scientists from different areas, therefore, come together and jointly manage such problems. It is known as ‘Transactionism’ (Rush, 1972). Due to the interplay of the results of various subjects, new areas of knowledge have emerged.
The basic and applied fields of psychology
Basic fields of psychology
The basic areas in psychology are primarily concerned with identifying the causes of behavior. Those who work in these fields try to understand and describe the determinants of psychological behavior. The following are basic areas:
- bio psychology: studies the biological bases of behavior. The intimate relationship between psychology and biological science is quite clear. All behavior is through physical processes. The brain plays a very important role in coordinating and organizing the functions of various organs of the body.
- Cognitive psychology: Studies human information processing capabilities. Psychologists of this area study all aspects of cognition, such as memory, thinking, problem solving, decision making, language, reasoning and so on.
- Comparative Psychology: Studies and compares the behavior of different species, especially animals. That is why some authors called this area as animal psychology. By studying the behavior of animals, these psychologists collect important information, which can be compared with human behavior.
- Cultural Psychology: Studies of methods of culture, subculture, and ethnic group membership influence behavior. These psychologists cross cultural research and compare the behavior of people in different nations.
- Experimental Psychology: Examines all aspects of psychological processes such as perception, learning and inspiration. The main research method used by these psychologists includes controlled experiments. But, as Morgan et al. (1986), the experimental method is used by psychologists other than experimental psychologists.
- Gender Psychology: The difference between men and women, the acquisition of gender identity and the role of sex throughout life.
- Learning Psychology: These psychologists develop the theory of learning and apply the rules and principles of learning to solve various human problems. Personality psychology: Studies personality traits and dynamics. These psychological personality develops theories of personality and trials to assess the symptoms. They also identify the causes of problems related to personality development.
- Physiological Psychology: Physiological Psychologists examine the role of biochemical changes within our nervous system and body, what we do, feel or think. Mostly, they use the experimental method and do basic research on the brain, the nervous system and other physical origins of behavior.
- Sensation and perception psychology: The study of the sense organs and perceptions. Psychologists working in this field examine the mechanisms of sensitivity and develop theories about perception or misconception (illusion). They also study how we feel the depth, speed and individual differences in the assumption. Research in this area has given rise to many laws and principles that help us understand the ways in which we adjust in a meaningful way in the visual world.
- Social psychology: Examines human social behavior including attitude, conformity, persuasion, bias, friendship, aggression, help and so forth. Emphasizes all aspects of social behavior as how we think and interact with others, how we influence and are influenced by others.
- Clinical Psychology: Psychotherapy; Examines clinical problems; Develops methods of treatment. This area emphasizes the diagnosis, causes and treatment of serious psychological disorders and emotional problems.
- Community Psychology: Promotes community-wide mental health through research, prevention, education, and counseling. Community psychologists apply psychological problems, ideas and approaches so that social problems can be solved and help individuals follow their work and living groups.
- Consumer psychology: research packaging, advertising, marketing methods and consumer characteristics. This field is a disadvantage of social psychology.
- Counseling Psychology: Psychotherapy and personal counseling; Research on emotional disturbances and consulting methods. This branch deals with helping people / individuals with personal problems, including mutual problems, career choices, mild emotional problems or behavioral problems such as excessive eating, slow learning or lack of concentration. Counseling psychologists help individuals with specific problems like how to plan a career, how to develop more effective interpersonal skills (eg communication skills).
- Educational Psychology: Examines the mobility of classroom, learning styles and learning; Develops educational tests, evaluates educational programs. From all the teaching disciplines to learning disabilities, examines all facets of the learning process. This branch deals with the comprehensive problem of increasing learning efficiency in school by applying psychological knowledge about learning / inspiration. Another special sub-field named School Psychology can be included in educational psychology.
- Engineering Psychology: researches applied to machinery, computers, airplanes, automobiles, and similar designs for business, industry and military. Psychologists working in this field also write the instruction booklet in a way that can be understood by LePerson so that they can handle complex machinery and home appliances.
- Forensic psychology: examines the problems of crime and crime prevention, rehabilitation programs, prisons, court room mobility; Selects candidates for police work. Forensic psychologists mostly work within the judicial system in such areas, such as testing and assessing emotional and psychological conditions of victims, evaluating rehabilitation programs; Eyewitness testimony and evidence; Jury selection; And police training etc.
- Industrial / Organizational Psychology: Seeks and examines all aspects of behavior in the job setting, from select recruitment, performance evaluation, work inspiration to leadership. For the problems of industries and organizations, the first application of psychology was the selection and recruitment of employees using intelligence, qualification tests.
- Medical Psychology: Emotional management of medical problems, such as emotional effects of illness, self-screening for cancer, and applied psychology to comply with taking medicines. These psychologists work overlap with the part of health psychology.
- School Psychology: These psychological psychological tests, referrals, emotional and business counseling of students; Discover and treat learning disabilities, and help improve classroom education. School psychologists include diagnosing and measuring difficulties of learning in the job.