Branches of Psychology – How many are there?

Part 1 of 2!

How many branches of psychology do you think there are? 3? 7? 20? At the moment there are 18, however, the field of psychology is constantly changing and evolving. It is composed of multiple branches to provide further understanding of the varying psychological factors that influence who we are, behave and think. Each branch of psychology shares the common goal to study and explain human thought and behaviour. For ease of understanding it can be somewhat divided into two major areas. One is research, which aims to increase our knowledge base and the second is practice, which is when our knowledge is applied to solving problems in real life. Ever-changing and growing, these subfields can be broken down into the branches below:

Abnormal Psychology – looks at psychopathology and abnormal behaviour such as anxiety and depression

Behavioural Psychology – (behaviourism) the theory of learning that all behaviour can be conditioned to get a specific result

Biopsychology – focuses on how the brain, neurons and nervous system influence our thoughts, feelings and behaviours; often involved in brain disease or brain injuries

Clinical Psychology – assessment and treatment of mental illness, abnormal behaviour and psychiatric disorders

Cognitive Psychology – focuses on internal mental states such as perception, motivation, emotion, language, learning, memory, attention, decision making and problem solving

Comparative Psychology – the study of animal behaviour and how this can lead to understanding of human psychology

Counselling Psychology – The Society of Counselling Psychology describes this area can improve interpersonal functioning throughout life by improvising social and emotional health

Cross-cultural Psychology – the branch that looks into how cultural factors influence human behaviour

See the next post for more branches of Psychology!

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