The World of Psychology
Updated: Dec 28, 2020
The word ‘Psychology’ has been derived from two Greek words, ‘psyche’ (meaning soul, breathe, life) and ‘logos’ meaning (study or research).
Psychology is the study of the human mind and behavior. Psychologists actively engage in studying and understanding brain functions, mental processes, behavior patterns, etc.
Wilhelm Wundt also known as the father of psychology, founded the first experimental psychology lab in Leipzig in 1879, making psychology its own field of study. Psychology has expanded in a way that no area of life has remained untouched. The subject can be divided into 2 major areas – Research and Practice.
Psychology is applied in various life aspects such as Social Progressions, Behavioural Economics, Employee selection and training, Teaching & Learning, Cognitive applications, treatment of Mental health Neurological and Substance use disorders and so on.
Psychology operates in broad variety of specializations. The American Psychological Association has 54 divisions. Most common fields in psychology include:
Clinical Psychology: This is probably the largest applicative field of psychological professions. Clinical Psychologists are associated with diagnosing and treating complications of mental disorders. Furthermore, they work in hospitals with psychiatrists and other health professionals in the larger community. They study chronic mental illnesses and also provide psychotherapy to help people overcome their distress.
Counselling Psychology: This specialization aims towards facilitating a client’s potential growth and alleviating their distress. Counselling psychologists help you manage your problems and help you take responsibility for your own decisions. This specialization covers application areas similar to clinical psychology except that clinical syndromes and mental illnesses are not catered for, by a counseling professional.
Industrial/Organizational Psychology: This specialization deals with the study of individuals in various types of organizations including industries. I/O psychologists study the changing aspects of organizational structures, role of leadership, group dynamics, technology, decision making, and work motivation.
Educational Psychology: Educational psychologists deal with children and teenagers in various academic institutions or special at home units. They collaborate closely with parents, teachers and the bigger community.
Developmental Psychology: Developmental Psychologist is concerned with the ways in which human beings grow and develop through the entire life span. The role of heredity, environment, and socio-cultural
factors in shaping developmental outcomes is studied.
Forensic Psychology: Forensic psychology is associated with the interaction between psychology and the law. It involves the application of psychological knowledge and methods to civil as well as criminal legalities. Forensic psychologists work in prisons, jails, rehabilitation centres, police departments, law firms, schools, government agencies, or in private spaces.
There are many more fields in psychology which are emerging rapidly. The various applications of psychology contribute towards enhancement of the quality of life.
Edited by Supriya Nair
MD AscendPsychology CogniPsyTech Pvt Ltd
What is Psychology? (2019). In Psychology: Textbook for class XI (pp. 4-19). New
Delhi: National Council of Educational Research and Training.