Psychology is the scientific study of human behavior and mind. Psychology incorporates both cognitive and behavioral science, and the study of individual and collective thought and feelings. It is an interdisciplinary field of great scope, spanning the entire spectrum between the physical and social sciences. In recent years, with the development of new technology, particularly the Internet, much research has been done on how various aspects of human behavior affect the development of technology, ranging from learning, entertainment, and interpersonal relationships.
In recent years, the field of psychology has been made even more diverse due to the variety of disciplines it includes. In fact, recent years have seen a number of unique developments within the field of psychology, including cross-discipline studies, like personality psychology focuses on the psychological aspects of personality, and cultural psychology focuses on the cultural aspects of psychology, such as race, gender, nationality, ethnicity, and sexuality. Within these various areas of study are different approaches to the same question, which is, “What is psychology?” Below is a list of some of the most common areas of psychological research.
- Experiential Psychology: The study of behavior in the context of controlled, and reproducible situations. This view of psychology distinguishes between theoretical and practical psychology, between descriptive and explanatory psychology, and between cognitive and behavioral psychology. Most empirical psychologists fall into one of two camps of conceptual or structuralists. Those who believe that all phenomena are cognitively simple (i.e. straightforward), fall into the category of conceptual psychologists. Structuralists look at the world of psychology from a structural/ evolutionary perspective, and attempt to explain psychological phenomena by means of biological and social science information science.
- Cognitive Psychology: This is the study of mental health and behavior based on the understanding that a person’s thoughts and actions are shaped by his mental health and social environment. In contrast to the structuralist school of psychology, cognitive psychologists attempt to discover explanations for psychological phenomena through the use of statistical sampling, phenomenological inquiry, and cross-cultural replication. Cognitive psychologists also subscribe to the general principle of relativity: What is true in one culture may not be true in another, and what is true for one person in one situation may not be true in others. For example, according to this school of psychology, people’s attitudes toward religion vary across cultures. They also claim that there are no universal psychological principles that can be accepted universally, because each culture experiences and expresses different types of psychological problems and dilemmas.
- Mental Health Psychology: This sub-field of psychology studies mental health and its related disorders. Normally it is subdivided into two main groups: psychodynamic psychology and clientelism. According to psychodynamic psychologists, a problem can only be solved when it is viewed from the right perspective; clients, on the other hand, need to undergo a change in their behavior or mindset in order to solve their psychological problems.
- Child Development and Education Psychology: This sub-field studies the influences on children’s psychological and emotional development and on how these influences relate to the achievement of personal goals in adulthood. The study of child development and education psychology is closely related to the study of child development and psychology. In addition, they share many concepts in the field such as motivation, self-esteem, and the importance of positive parenting. A cross-section of areas in which these experts analyze child development and education psychology are: Developmental Psychology, School Psychology, and Counseling Psychology.