1. EducationPsychologyPsychologyBasicsTheoriesExperimentsSharePrintFree Psychology Newsletter!Discuss in my forumBranches of PsychologyOverview of the Major Branches of PsychologyBy Kendra Cherry, About.com GuideAds:Courses PsychologyCareers in PsychologySchool PsychologyEducational PsychologyPsychology Degree ProgramThere are a number of unique and distinctive branches of psychology. Each branch looks at questionsand problems from a different perspective. While each branch has its own focus on psychologicalproblems or concerns, all areas share a common goal of studying and explaining human thought andbehavior. The following are some of the major branches of psychology within the field today.1. Abnormal Psychology
Photo by Marcin Balcerzak/iStockPhotoAbnormal psychology is the area that looks at psychopathology and abnormal behavior. The term coversa broad range of disorders, from depression to obsession-compulsion to sexual deviation and manymore. Counselors, clinical psychologists and psychotherapists often work directly in this field.What is Abnormal Psychology?Mental DisordersAdsWhat Does My Dream Meanwww.DreamsCloud.comFree dream analysis / reflection. OnlineDream Journal. Try it free.What is DownSyndrome?www.downtv.orgAll videos on DownSyndrome All the info at DownTVQuestions & Answerswww.Facebook.comOnline Tests, Quizzes and Surveys On VariousSubjects. Sign Up now!2. Behavioral PsychologyPhoto by Kim Gunkel/iStockPhotoBehavioral psychology, also known as behaviorism, is a theory of learning based upon the idea that allbehaviors are acquired through conditioning. While this branch of psychology dominated the fieldduring the first part of the twentieth century, it became less prominent during the 1950s. However,behavioral techniques remain a mainstay in therapy, education and many other areas.What is Behaviorism?Classical ConditioningOperant ConditioningReinforcement SchedulesBehavioral Analysis3. Biopsychology
Photo from the Wikimedia CommonsThe branch of psychology focused on the study of how the brain influences behavior is often known asbiopsychology, although it has also been called physiological psychology, behavioral neuroscience andpsychobiology.What is Biopsychology?Neuron BasicsNervous & Endocrine SystemsStructure of a Neuron4. Cognitive PsychologyPhoto by Bart Coenders/iStockPhotoCognitive psychology is the branch of psychology that focuses on internal states, such as motivation,problem solving, decision-making, thinking and attention. This area of psychology has continued to growsince it emerged in the 1960s.What is Cognitive Psychology?Careers in Cognitive PsychologyMemoryIntelligence5. Comparative PsychologyPhoto by Dimitri CastriqueComparative psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with the study of animal behavior. Thestudy of animal behavior can lead to a deeper and broader understanding of human psychology.What is Comparative Psychology?
6. Cross-Cultural PsychologyPhoto by B S KCross-cultural psychology is a branch of psychology that looks at how cultural factors influence humanbehavior. The International Association of Cross-Cultural Psychology (IACCP) was established in 1972,and this branch of psychology has continued to grow and develop since that time. Today, increasingnumbers of psychologists investigate how behavior differs among various cultures throughout theworld.7. Developmental PsychologyPhoto by Lotus HeadThis branch of psychology looks at development throughout the lifespan, from childhood to adulthood.The scientific study of human development seeks to understand and explain how and why peoplechange throughout life. This includes all aspects of human growth, including physical, emotional,intellectual, social, perceptual and personality development. Topics studied in this field includeeverything from prenatal development to Alzheimers disease.What is Development?How is Development Studied?Issues in Developmental PsychologyChild Development Theories8. Educational PsychologyPhoto by Heriberto HerreraEducational psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with schools, teaching psychology,educational issues and student concerns. Educational psychologists often study how students learn orwork directly with students, parents, teachers and administrators to improve student outcomes.Careers in School Psychology
Jung and Learning StylesMultiple IntelligencesAdsFree Full Ebook Downloadwww.readingfanatic.comRead From 1 Million Free Titles DownloadToday for Free eBooks!DNA in Salivawww.dnagenotek.comOragene self-collection kit. Easiest way to collect DNA.9. Experimental PsychologyPhoto by Rich Legg/iStockPhotoExperimental psychology is the branch of psychology that utilizes scientific methods to research thebrain and behavior. Many of these techniques are also used by other areas in psychology to conductresearch on everything from childhood development to social issues.Introduction to Research MethodsSteps in Psychology ResearchThe Simple ExperimentCorrelational Studies10. Forensic PsychologyPhoto by Julie ElliottForensic psychology is a specialty area that deals with issues related to psychology and the law. Forensicpsychologists perform a wide variety of duties, including providing testimony in court cases, assessingchildren in suspected child abuse cases, preparing children to give testimony and evaluating the mentalcompetence of criminal suspects.Overview of Forensic PsychologyWhat Is Forensic Psychology?The History of Forensic PsychologyCareers in Forensic PsychologyPrevious
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Further information: Outline of psychology and Index of psychology articlesPsychology is an academic and applied discipline that involves the scientific study of mentalfunctions and behaviors.Psychology has the immediate goal of understanding individualsand groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases,and bymany accounts it ultimately aims to benefit society.In this field, a professional practitioneror researcher is called a psychologist and can be classified as a social, behavioral, or cognitivescientist. Psychologists attempt to understand the role of mental functions in individual andsocial behavior, while also exploring the physiological and neurobiological processes thatunderlie certain cognitive functions and behaviors.Psychologists explore concepts such as perception, cognition, attention, emotion,phenomenology, motivation, brain functioning, personality, behavior, and interpersonalrelationships. Psychologists of diverse stripes also consider the unconscious mind.Psychologists employ empirical methods to infer causal and correlational relationships betweenpsychosocial variables. In addition, or in opposition, to employing empirical and deductivemethods, some—especially clinical and counseling psychologists—at times rely upon symbolicinterpretation and other inductive techniques. Psychology has been described as a "hubscience",with psychological findings linking to research and perspectives from the socialsciences, natural sciences, medicine, and the humanities, such as philosophy.While psychological knowledge is often applied to the assessment and treatment of mental healthproblems, it is also directed towards understanding and solving problems in many differentspheres of human activity. The majority of psychologists are involved in some kind oftherapeutic role, practicing in clinical, counseling, or school settings. Many do scientific researchon a wide range of topics related to mental processes and behavior, and typically work inuniversity psychology departments or teach in other academic settings (e.g., medical schools,hospitals). Some are employed in industrial and organizational settings, or in other areassuchas human development and aging, sports, health, and the media, as well as in forensicinvestigation and other aspects of law.Contents1 Etymology2 Historyo 2.1 Structuralismo 2.2 Functionalismo 2.3 Psychoanalysiso 2.4 Behaviorismo 2.5 Humanismo 2.6 Gestalto 2.7 Existentialismo 2.8 Cognitivism3 Subfieldso 3.1 Biologicalo 3.2 Clinical
o 3.3 Cognitiveo 3.4 Comparativeo 3.5 Developmentalo 3.6 Educational and schoolo 3.7 Evolutionaryo 3.8 Industrial–organizationalo 3.9 Personalityo 3.10 Socialo 3.11 Positive4 Research methodso 4.1 Qualitative and quantitative researcho 4.2 Controlled experimentso 4.3 Survey questionnaireso 4.4 Longitudinal studieso 4.5 Observation in natural settingso 4.6 Qualitative and descriptive researcho 4.7 Neuropsychological methodso 4.8 Computational modelingo 4.9 Animal studies5 Criticismo 5.1 Theoryo 5.2 Practiceo 5.3 Ethical standardso 5.4 Systemic bias6 See also7 References8 External linksEtymologyThe word psychology literally means, "study of the soul" (ψυχή, psukhē, meaning "breath","spirit", or "soul"; and -λογος -logos, translated as "study of" or "research").The Latinword psychologia was first used by the Croatian humanist and Latinist Marko Marulić in hisbook, Psichiologia de ratione animae humanae in the late 15th century or early 16th century.The earliest known reference to the word psychology in English was by Steven Blankaart in 1694in The Physical Dictionary which refers to "Anatomy, which treats of the Body, and Psychology,which treats of the Soul."HistoryMain article: History of psychology
Wilhelm Wundt (seated) with colleagues in his psychological laboratory, the first of its kind.Wundt is credited with setting up psychology as a field of scientific inquiry independent of thedisciplines philosophy and biology.The study of psychology in a philosophical context dates back to the ancient civilizations ofEgypt, Greece, China, India, and Persia. Historians point to the writings of ancient Greekphilosophers, such as Thales, Plato, and Aristotle (especially in his De Anima treatise),as thefirst significant body of work in the West to be rich in psychological thought.As early as the4th century BC, Greek physician Hippocrates theorized that mental disorders were of a physical,rather than divine, nature.StructuralismMain article: Structuralism (psychology)German physician Wilhelm Wundt is credited with introducing psychological discovery into alaboratory setting. Known as the "father of experimental psychology",he founded the firstpsychological laboratory, at Leipzig University, in 1879.Wundt focused on breaking downmental processes into the most basic components, motivated in part by an analogy to recentadvances in chemistry, and its successful investigation of the elements and structure of material.Although Wundt, himself, was not a structuralist, his student Edward Titchener, a major figure inearly American psychology, was a structuralist thinker opposed to functionalist approaches.FunctionalismMain article: Functional psychologyFunctionalism formed as a reaction to the theories of the structuralist school of thought and washeavily influenced by the work of the American philosopher, scientist, and psychologist WilliamJames. James felt that psychology should have practical value, and that psychologists should findout how the mind can function to a persons benefit. In his book, Principles of Psychology,published in 1890, he laid the foundations for many of the questions that psychologists wouldexplore for years to come. Other major functionalist thinkers included John Dewey and HarveyCarr.
Other 19th-century contributors to the field include the German psychologist HermannEbbinghaus, a pioneer in the experimental study of memory, who developed quantitative modelsof learning and forgetting at the University of Berlin,and the Russian-Soviet physiologist IvanPavlov, who discovered in dogs a learning process that was later termed "classical conditioning"and applied to human beings.Starting in the 1950s, the experimental techniques set forth by Wundt, James, Ebbinghaus, andothers would be reiterated as experimental psychology became increasingly cognitivist—concerned with information and its processing—and, eventually, constituted a part of the widercognitive science.In its early years, this development was seen as a "revolution",as it bothresponded to and reacted against strains of thought, including psychodynamics and behaviorism,that had developed in the meantime.PsychoanalysisMain article: PsychoanalysisFrom the 1890s until his death in 1939, the Austrian physician Sigmund Freud developedpsychoanalysis, which comprised a method of investigating the mind and interpretingexperience; a systematized set of theories about human behavior; and a form of psychotherapy totreat psychological or emotional distress, especially unconscious conflict.Freudspsychoanalytic theory was largely based on interpretive methods, introspection and clinicalobservations. It became very well known, largely because it tackled subjects such as sexuality,repression, and the unconscious mind as general aspects of psychological development. Thesewere largely considered taboo subjects at the time, and Freud provided a catalyst for them to beopenly discussed in polite society. Clinically, Freud helped to pioneer the method of freeassociation and a therapeutic interest in dream interpretation.Group photo 1909 in front of Clark University. Front row: Sigmund Freud, G. Stanley Hall, CarlJung; back row: Abraham A. Brill, Ernest Jones, Sándor Ferenczi.Freud had a significant influence on Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, whose analytical psychologybecame an alternative form of depth psychology. Other well-known psychoanalytic scholars ofthe mid-20th century included psychoanalysts, psychologists, psychiatrists, and philosophers.
Among these thinkers were Erik Erikson, Melanie Klein, D.W. Winnicott, Karen Horney, ErichFromm, John Bowlby, and Sigmund Freuds daughter, Anna Freud. Throughout the 20th century,psychoanalysis evolved into diverse schools of thought, most of which may be classed as Neo-Freudian.Psychoanalytic theory and therapy were criticized by psychologists such as Hans Eysenck, andby philosophers including Karl Popper. Popper, a philosopher of science, argued thatpsychoanalysis had been misrepresented as a scientific discipline,whereas Eysenck said thatpsychoanalytic tenets had been contradicted by experimental data. By the end of 20th century,psychology departments in American universities had become scientifically oriented,marginalizing Freudian theory and dismissing it as a "desiccated and dead" historical artifact.Meanwhile, however, researchers in the emerging field of neuro-psychoanalysis defended someof Freuds ideas on scientific grounds,while scholars of the humanities maintained that Freudwas not a "scientist at all, but ... an interpreter."BehaviorismMain article: BehaviorismSkinners teaching machine, a mechanical invention to automate the task of programmedinstruction.In the United States, behaviorism became the dominant school of thought during the 1950s.Behaviorism is a discipline that was established in the early 20th century by John B. Watson, andembraced and extended by Edward Thorndike, Clark L. Hull, Edward C. Tolman, and later B.F.Skinner. Theories of learning emphasized the ways in which people might be predisposed, orconditioned, by their environments to behave in certain ways.Classical conditioning was an early behaviorist model. It posited that behavioral tendencies aredetermined by immediate associations between various environmental stimuli and the degree ofpleasure or pain that follows. Behavioral patterns, then, were understood to consist of organismsconditioned responses to the stimuli in their environment. The stimuli were held to exertinfluence in proportion to their prior repetition or to the previous intensity of their associatedpain or pleasure. Much research consisted of laboratory-based animal experimentation, whichwas increasing in popularity as physiology grew more sophisticated.Skinners behaviorism shared with its predecessors a philosophical inclination toward positivismand determinism.He believed that the contents of the mind were not open to scientific
scrutiny and that scientific psychology should emphasize the study of observable behavior. Hefocused on behavior–environment relations and analyzed overt and covert (i.e., private) behavioras a function of the organism interacting with its environment.Behaviorists usually rejected ordeemphasized dualistic explanations such as "mind" or "consciousness"; and, in lieu of probingan "unconscious mind" that underlies unawareness, they spoke of the "contingency-shapedbehaviors" in which unawareness becomes outwardly manifest.Notable incidents in the history of behaviorism are John B. Watsons Little Albert experimentwhich applied classical conditioning to the developing human child, and the clarification of thedifference between classical conditioning and operant (or instrumental) conditioning, first byMiller and Kanorski and then by Skinner.Skinners version of behaviorism emphasizedoperant conditioning, through which behaviors are strengthened or weakened by theirconsequences.Linguist Noam Chomskys critique of the behaviorist model of language acquisition is widelyregarded as a key factor in the decline of behaviorisms prominence.Martin Seligman andcolleagues discovered that the conditioning of dogs led to outcomes ("learned helplessness") thatopposed the predictions of behaviorism.But Skinners behaviorism did not die, perhaps inpart because it generated successful practical applications.The fall of behaviorism as anoverarching model in psychology, however, gave way to a new dominant paradigm: cognitiveapproaches.HumanismMain article: Humanistic psychologyPsychologist Abraham Maslow in 1943 posited that humans have a hierarchy of needs, and itmakes sense to fulfill the basic needs first (food, water etc.) before higher-order needs can bemet.Humanistic psychology was developed in the 1950s in reaction to both behaviorism andpsychoanalysis.By using phenomenology, intersubjectivity, and first-person categories, thehumanistic approach sought to glimpse the whole person—not just the fragmented parts of thepersonality or cognitive functioning.Humanism focused on fundamentally and uniquelyhuman issues, such as individual free will, personal growth, self-actualization, self-identity,death, aloneness, freedom, and meaning. The humanistic approach was distinguished by its
emphasis on subjective meaning, rejection of determinism, and concern for positive growthrather than pathology.Some of the founders of the humanistic school of thought wereAmerican psychologists Abraham Maslow, who formulated a hierarchy of human needs, andCarl Rogers, who created and developed client-centered therapy. Later, positive psychologyopened up humanistic themes to scientific modes of exploration.GestaltMain article: Gestalt psychologyWolfgang Kohler, Max Wertheimer and Kurt Koffka co-founded the school of Gestaltpsychology. This approach is based upon the idea that individuals experience things as unifiedwholes. This approach to psychology began in Germany and Austria during the late 19th centuryin response to the molecular approach of structuralism. Rather than breaking down thoughts andbehavior to their smallest element, the Gestalt position maintains that the whole of experience isimportant, and the whole is different than the sum of its parts.Gestalt psychology should not be confused with the Gestalt therapy of Fritz Perls, which is onlyperipherally linked to Gestalt psychology.ExistentialismMain articles: Existentialism and Existential therapyIn the 1950s and 1960s, largely influenced by the work of German philosopher Martin Heideggerand Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, psychoanalytically trained American psychologistRollo May pioneered an existential branch of psychology, which included existentialpsychotherapy, a method of therapy that operates on the belief that inner conflict within a personis due to that individuals confrontation with the givens of existence.Existential psychologists differed from others often classified as humanistic in theircomparatively neutral view of human nature and in their relatively positive assessment ofanxiety.Existential psychologists emphasized the humanistic themes of death, free will, andmeaning, suggesting that meaning can be shaped by myths, or narrative patterns,and that itcan be encouraged by an acceptance of the free will requisite to an authentic, albeit oftenanxious, regard for death and other future prospects.Austrian existential psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl drew evidence ofmeanings therapeutic power from reflections garnered from his own internment,and hecreated a variation of existential psychotherapy called logotherapy, a type of existentialistanalysis that focuses on a will to meaning (in ones life), as opposed to Adlers Nietzscheandoctrine of will to power or Freuds will to pleasure.In addition to May and Frankl, Swiss psychoanalyst Ludwig Binswanger and Americanpsychologist George Kelly may be said to belong to the existential school.
CognitivismMain articles: Cognitivism (psychology) and Cognitive psychologyBaddeleys model of working memoryCognitive psychology is the branch of psychology that studies mental processes includingproblem solving, perception, memory, and learning. As part of the larger field of cognitivescience, this branch of psychology is related to other disciplines including neuroscience,philosophy, and linguistics.Noam Chomsky helped to launch a "cognitive revolution" in psychology when he criticized thebehaviorists notions of "stimulus", "response", and "reinforcement". Chomsky argued that suchideas—which Skinner had borrowed from animal experiments in the laboratory—could beapplied to complex human behavior, most notably language acquisition, in only a superficial andvague manner. The postulation that humans are born with the instinct or "innate facility" foracquiring language posed a challenge to the behaviorist position that all behavior, includinglanguage, is contingent upon learning and reinforcement.Social learning theorists, such asAlbert Bandura, argued that the childs environment could make contributions of its own to thebehaviors of an observant subject.The Müller-Lyer illusion. Psychologists make inferences about mental processes from sharedphenomena such as optical illusions.
Meanwhile, accumulating technology helped to renew interest and belief in the mental states andrepresentations—i.e., the cognition—that had fallen out of favor with behaviorists. Englishneuroscientist Charles Sherrington and Canadian psychologist Donald O. Hebb usedexperimental methods to link psychological phenomena with the structure and function of thebrain. With the rise of computer science and artificial intelligence, analogies were drawnbetween the processing of information by humans and information processing by machines.Research in cognition had proven practical since World War II, when it aided in theunderstanding of weapons operation.By the late 20th century, though, cognitivism hadbecome the dominant paradigm of psychology, and cognitive psychology emerged as a popularbranch.Assuming both that the covert mind should be studied, and that the scientific method should beused to study it, cognitive psychologists set such concepts as subliminal processing and implicitmemory in place of the psychoanalytic unconscious mind or the behavioristic contingency-shaped behaviors. Elements of behaviorism and cognitive psychology were synthesized to formthe basis of cognitive behavioral therapy, a form of psychotherapy modified from techniquesdeveloped by American psychologist Albert Ellis and American psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck.Cognitive psychology was subsumed along with other disciplines, such as philosophy of mind,computer science, and neuroscience, under the cover discipline of cognitive science.SubfieldsMain article: Subfields of psychologyFurther information: Outline of psychology and List of psychology disciplinesPsychology encompasses a vast domain and includes many different approaches to the study ofmental processes and behavior.BiologicalMain articles: Biological psychology, Neuropsychology, Physiological psychology, andCognitive neuroscienceMRI depicting the human brain. The arrow indicates the position of the hypothalamus.
Biological psychology or behavioral neuroscience is the study of the biological substrates ofbehavior and mental processes. There are different specialties within behavioral neuroscience.For example, physiological psychologists use animal models, typically rats, to study the neural,genetic, and cellular mechanisms that underlie specific behaviors such as learning and memoryand fear responses.Cognitive neuroscientists investigate the neural correlates of psychologicalprocesses in humans using neural imaging tools, and neuropsychologists conduct psychologicalassessments to determine, for instance, specific aspects and extent of cognitive deficit caused bybrain damage or disease.ClinicalClinical psychologists work with individuals, children, families, couples, or small groups.Main articles: Clinical psychology and Counseling psychologyClinical psychology includes the study and application of psychology for the purpose ofunderstanding, preventing, and relieving psychologically based distress or dysfunction and topromote subjective well-being and personal development. Central to its practice arepsychological assessment and psychotherapy, although clinical psychologists may also engage inresearch, teaching, consultation, forensic testimony, and program development andadministration.Some clinical psychologists may focus on the clinical management of patientswith brain injury—this area is known as clinical neuropsychology. In many countries, clinicalpsychology is a regulated mental health profession.The work performed by clinical psychologists tends to be influenced by various therapeuticapproaches, all of which involve a formal relationship between professional and client (usuallyan individual, couple, family, or small group). The various therapeutic approaches and practicesare associated with different theoretical perspectives and employ different procedures intended toform a therapeutic alliance, explore the nature of psychological problems, and encourage newways of thinking, feeling, or behaving. Four major theoretical perspectives are psychodynamic,cognitive behavioral, existential–humanistic, and systems or family therapy. There has been agrowing movement to integrate the various therapeutic approaches, especially with an increasedunderstanding of issues regarding culture, gender, spirituality, and sexual orientation. With theadvent of more robust research findings regarding psychotherapy, there is evidence that most ofthe major therapies are about of equal effectiveness, with the key common element being astrong therapeutic alliance.Because of this, more training programs and psychologists arenow adopting an eclectic therapeutic orientation.
CognitiveMain article: Cognitive psychologyGreen Red BluePurple Blue PurpleBlue Purple RedGreen Purple GreenThe Stroop effect refers to the fact that naming the color of the first set of words is easier andquicker than the second.Cognitive psychology studies cognition, the mental processes underlying mental activity.Perception, attention, reasoning, thinking, problem solving, memory, learning, language, andemotion are areas of research. Classical cognitive psychology is associated with a school ofthought known as cognitivism, whose adherents argue for an information processing model ofmental function, informed by functionalism and experimental psychology.On a broader level, cognitive science is an interdisciplinary enterprise of cognitive psychologists,cognitive neuroscientists, researchers in artificial intelligence, linguists, human–computerinteraction, computational neuroscience, logicians and social scientists. Computational modelsare sometimes used to simulate phenomena of interest. Computational models provide a tool forstudying the functional organization of the mind whereas neuroscience provides measures ofbrain activity.ComparativeThe common chimpanzee can use tools. This chimpanzee is using a stick in order to get food.Main articles: Comparative psychology and Animal cognition
Comparative psychology refers to the scientific study of the behavior and mental processes ofnon-human animals, especially as these relate to the phylogenetic history, adaptive significance,and development of behavior. Research in this area addresses many different issues, uses manydifferent methods, and explores the behavior of many different species, from insects to primates.It is closely related to other disciplines that study animal behavior such as ethology.Researchin comparative psychology sometimes appears to shed light on human behavior, but someattempts to connect the two have been quite controversial, for example the Sociobiology of E. O.Wilson.Animal models are often used to study neural processes related to human behavior,e.g. in cognitive neuroscience.DevelopmentalMain article: Developmental psychologyA baby with a bookMainly focusing on the development of the human mind through the life span, developmentalpsychology seeks to understand how people come to perceive, understand, and act within theworld and how these processes change as they age. This may focus on cognitive, affective,moral, social, or neural development. Researchers who study children use a number of uniqueresearch methods to make observations in natural settings or to engage them in experimentaltasks. Such tasks often resemble specially designed games and activities that are both enjoyablefor the child and scientifically useful, and researchers have even devised clever methods to studythe mental processes of infants. In addition to studying children, developmental psychologistsalso study aging and processes throughout the life span, especially at other times of rapid change(such as adolescence and old age). Developmental psychologists draw on the full range ofpsychological theories to inform their research.Educational and schoolMain articles: Educational psychology and School psychology
An example of an item from a cognitive abilities test used in educational psychology.Educational psychology is the study of how humans learn in educational settings, theeffectiveness of educational interventions, the psychology of teaching, and the social psychologyof schools as organizations. The work of child psychologists such as Lev Vygotsky, Jean Piaget,Bernard Luskin, and Jerome Bruner has been influential in creating teaching methods andeducational practices. Educational psychology is often included in teacher education programs inplaces such as North America, Australia, and New Zealand.School psychology combines principles from educational psychology and clinical psychology tounderstand and treat students with learning disabilities; to foster the intellectual growth of giftedstudents; to facilitate prosocial behaviors in adolescents; and otherwise to promote safe,supportive, and effective learning environments. School psychologists are trained in educationaland behavioral assessment, intervention, prevention, and consultation, and many have extensivetraining in research.EvolutionaryMain article: Evolutionary psychologyEvolutionary psychology examines psychological traits—such as memory, perception, orlanguage—from a modern evolutionary perspective. It seeks to identify which humanpsychological traits are evolved adaptations, that is, the functional products of natural selectionor sexual selection. Evolutionary psychologists suggest that psychological adaptations evolved tosolve recurrent problems in human ancestral environments. By focusing on the evolution ofpsychological traits and their adaptive functions, it offers complementary explanations for themostly proximate or developmental explanations developed by other areas of psychology (that is,it focuses mostly on ultimate or "why?" questions, rather than proximate or "how?" questions).Industrial–organizationalMain article: Industrial and organizational psychologyIndustrial and organizational psychology (I–O) applies psychological concepts and methods tooptimize human potential in the workplace. Personnel psychology, a subfield of I–O psychology,applies the methods and principles of psychology in selecting and evaluating workers. I–Opsychologys other subfield, organizational psychology, examines the effects of workenvironments and management styles on worker motivation, job satisfaction, and productivity.PersonalityMain article: Personality psychologyPersonality psychology is concerned with enduring patterns of behavior, thought, and emotion—commonly referred to as personality—in individuals. Theories of personality vary across
different psychological schools and orientations. They carry different assumptions about suchissues as the role of the unconscious and the importance of childhood experience. According toFreud, personality is based on the dynamic interactions of the id, ego, and super-ego.Traittheorists, in contrast, attempt to analyze personality in terms of a discrete number of key traits bythe statistical method of factor analysis. The number of proposed traits has varied widely. Anearly model, proposed by Hans Eysenck, suggested that there are three traits which comprisehuman personality: extraversion–introversion, neuroticism, and psychoticism. Raymond Cattellproposed a theory of 16 personality factors. Dimensional models of personality are receivingincreasing support, and some version of dimensional assessment will be included in theforthcoming DSM-V.SocialMain article: Social psychologySee also: Social psychology (sociology)Social psychology studies the nature and causes of social behavior.Social psychology is the study of how humans think about each other and how they relate to eachother. Social psychologists study such topics as the influence of others on an individualsbehavior (e.g. conformity, persuasion), and the formation of beliefs, attitudes, and stereotypesabout other people. Social cognition fuses elements of social and cognitive psychology in orderto understand how people process, remember, or distort social information. The study of groupdynamics reveals information about the nature and potential optimization of leadership,communication, and other phenomena that emerge at least at the microsocial level. In recentyears, many social psychologists have become increasingly interested in implicit measures,mediational models, and the interaction of both person and social variables in accounting forbehavior. The study of human society is therefore a potentially valuable source of informationabout the causes of psychiatric disorder. Some of the sociological concepts applied to psychiatricdisorders are the social role, sick role, social class, life event, culture, migration, social, and totalinstitution.PositiveMain article: Positive psychology
Positive psychology derives from Maslows humanistic psychology. Positive psychology is adiscipline that utilizes evidence-based scientific methods to study factors that contribute tohuman happiness and strength. Different from clinical psychology, positive psychology isconcerned with improving the mental well-being of healthy clients. Positive psychologicalinterventions now have received tentative support for their beneficial effects on clients. In 2010Clinical Psychological Review published a special issue devoted to positive psychologicalinterventions, such as gratitude journaling and the physical expression of gratitude. There is,however, a need for further research on the effects of interventions. Positive psychologicalinterventions have been limited in scope, but their effects are thought to be superior to that ofplacebos, especially with regard to helping people with body image problems.Research methodsMain article: Psychological researchPsychology tends to be eclectic, drawing on knowledge from other fields to help explain andunderstand psychological phenomena. Additionally, psychologists make extensive use of thethree modes of inference that were identified by C. S. Peirce: deduction, induction, andabduction (hypothesis generation). While often employing deductive–nomological reasoning,they also rely on inductive reasoning to generate explanations. For example, evolutionarypsychologists attempt to explain psychological traits—such as memory, perception, orlanguage—as adaptations, that is, as the functional products of natural selection or sexualselection.Psychologists may conduct basic research aiming for further understanding in a particular area ofinterest in psychology, or conduct applied research to solve problems in the clinic, workplace orother areas. Masters level clinical programs aim to train students in both research methods andevidence-based practice. Professional associations have established guidelines for ethics,training, research methodology and professional practice. In addition, depending on the country,state or region, psychological services and the title "psychologist" may be governed by statuteand psychologists who offer services to the public are usually required to be licensed.Qualitative and quantitative researchResearch in most areas of psychology is conducted in accord with the standards of the scientificmethod. Psychological researchers seek the emergence of theoretically interesting categories andhypotheses from data, using qualitative or quantitative methods (or both).Qualitative psychological research methods include interviews, first-hand observation, andparticipant observation. Creswell (2003) identifies five main possibilities for qualitative research,including narrative, phenomenology, ethnography, case study, and grounded theory. Qualitativeresearcherssometimes aim to enrich interpretations or critiques of symbols, subjectiveexperiences, or social structures. Similar hermeneutic and critical aims have also been served by"quantitative methods", as in Erich Fromms study of Nazi votingor StanleyMilgrams studies of obedience to authority.
Quantitative psychological research lends itself to the statistical testing of hypotheses.Quantitatively oriented research designs include the experiment, quasi-experiment, cross-sectional study, case-control study, and longitudinal study. The measurement andoperationalization of important constructs is an essential part of these research designs.Statistical methods include the Pearson product–moment correlation coefficient, the analysis ofvariance, multiple linear regression, logistic regression, structural equation modeling, andhierarchical linear modeling.Controlled experimentsMain article: ExperimentFlowchart of four phases (enrollment, intervention allocation, follow-up, and data analysis) of aparallel randomized trial of two groups, modified from the CONSORT 2010 StatementExperimental psychological research is conducted in a laboratory under controlled conditions.This method of research relies on the application of the scientific method to understand behavior.Experimenters use several types of measurements, including rate of response, reaction time, andvarious psychometric measurements. Experiments are designed to test specific hypotheses(deductive approach) or evaluate functional relationships (inductive approach). A trueexperiment with random allocation of subjects to conditions allows researchers to infer causalrelationships between different aspects of behavior and the environment. In an experiment, oneor more variables of interest are controlled by the experimenter (independent variable) andanother variable is measured in response to different conditions (dependent variable).Experiments are one of the primary research methods in many areas of psychology, particularlycognitive/psychonomics, mathematical psychology, psychophysiology and biologicalpsychology/cognitive neuroscience.Experiments on humans have been put under some controls, namely informed and voluntaryconsent. After World War II, the Nuremberg Code was established because of Nazi abuses ofexperimental subjects. Later, most countries (and scientific journals) adopted the Declaration ofHelsinki. In the U.S., the National Institutes of Health established the Institutional Review Boardin 1966, and in 1974 adopted the National Research Act (HR 7724). All of these measures
encouraged researchers to obtain informed consent from human participants in experimentalstudies. A number of influential studies led to the establishment of this rule; such studiesincluded the MIT and Fernald School radioisotope studies, the Thalidomide tragedy, theWillowbrook hepatitis study, and Stanley Milgrams studies of obedience to authority.Survey questionnairesMain article: Statistical surveyStatistical surveys are used in psychology for measuring attitudes and traits, monitoring changesin mood, checking the validity of experimental manipulations, and for a wide variety of otherpsychological topics. Most commonly, psychologists use paper-and-pencil surveys. However,surveys are also conducted over the phone or through e-mail. Increasingly, web-based surveysare being used in research. Similar methodology is also used in applied setting, such as clinicalassessment and personnel assessment.Longitudinal studiesLongitudinal studies are often used in psychology to study developmental trends across the lifespan, and in sociology to study life events throughout lifetimes or generations. The reason forthis is that unlike cross-sectional studies, longitudinal studies track the same people, andtherefore the differences observed in those people are less likely to be the result of culturaldifferences across generations. Because of this benefit, longitudinal studies make observingchanges more accurate and they are applied in various other fields.Because most longitudinal studies are observational, in the sense that they observe the state ofthe world without manipulating it, it has been argued that they may have less power to detectcausal relationships than do experiments. They also suffer methodological limitations such asfrom selective attrition because people with similar characteristics may be more likely to dropout of the study making it difficult to analyze.Some longitudinal studies are experiments, called repeated-measures experiments. Psychologistsoften use the crossover design to reduce the influence of confounding covariates and to reducethe number of subjects.Observation in natural settings
Phineas P. Gage survived an accident in which a large iron rod was driven completely throughhis head, destroying much of his brains left frontal lobe, and is remembered for that injurysreported effects on his personality and behavior.Main article: Naturalistic observationJust as Jane Goodall studied chimpanzee social and family life by careful observation ofchimpanzee behavior in the field, psychologists conduct observational studies of ongoing humansocial, professional, and family life. Sometimes the participants are aware they are beingobserved, and other times the participants do not know they are being observed. Strict ethicalguidelines must be followed when covert observation is being carried out.Qualitative and descriptive researchArtificial neural network with two layers, an interconnected group of nodes, akin to the vastnetwork of neurons in the human brain.Main article: Qualitative researchResearch designed to answer questions about the current state of affairs such as the thoughts,feelings, and behaviors of individuals is known as descriptive research. Descriptive research canbe qualitative or quantitative in orientation. Qualitative research is descriptive research that isfocused on observing and describing events as they occur, with the goal of capturing all of therichness of everyday behavior and with the hope of discovering and understanding phenomenathat might have been missed if only more cursory examinations have been made.Neuropsychological methods
Main article: NeuropsychologyA rat undergoing a Morris water navigation test used in behavioral neuroscience to study the roleof the hippocampus in spatial learning and memory.Neuropsychological research methods are employed in studies that examine the relation ofmental activity and behavior to the structure and function of the brain. These methods includetesting (e.g., the various Wechsler scales, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test), functionalneuroimaging, and transcranial magnetic stimulation.Computational modelingThe experimenter (E) orders the teacher (T), the subject of the experiment, to give what the latterbelieves are painful electric shocks to a learner (L), who is actually an actor and confederate. Thesubject believes that for each wrong answer, the learner was receiving actual electric shocks,though in reality there were no such punishments. Being separated from the subject, theconfederate set up a tape recorder integrated with the electro-shock generator, which played pre-recorded sounds for each shock level etc.Computational modelingis a tool often used in mathematical psychology and cognitivepsychology to simulate a particular behavior using a computer. This method has several
advantages. Since modern computers process information extremely quickly, many simulationscan be run in a short time, allowing for a great deal of statistical power. Modeling also allowspsychologists to visualize hypotheses about the functional organization of mental events thatcouldnt be directly observed in a human.Several different types of modeling are used to study behavior. Connectionism uses neuralnetworks to simulate the brain. Another method is symbolic modeling, which represents manydifferent mental objects using variables and rules. Other types of modeling include dynamicsystems and stochastic modeling.Animal studiesMain articles: Comparative psychology and Animal cognitionAnimal experiments aid in investigating many aspects of human psychology, includingperception, emotion, learning, memory, and thought, to name a few. In the 1890s, Russianphysiologist Ivan Pavlov famously used dogs to demonstrate classical conditioning. Non-humanprimates, cats, dogs, pigeons, rats, and other rodents are often used in psychological experiments.Ideally, controlled experiments introduce only one independent variable at a time, in order toascertain its unique effects upon dependent variables. These conditions are approximated best inlaboratory settings. In contrast, human environments and genetic backgrounds vary so widely,and depend upon so many factors, that it is difficult to control important variables for humansubjects. Of course, there are pitfalls in generalizing findings from animal studies to humansthrough animal models.CriticismTheoryCriticisms of psychological research often come from perceptions that it is a "soft" science.Philosopher of science Thomas Kuhns 1962 critiqueimplied psychology overall was in a pre-paradigm state, lacking the agreement on overarching theory found in mature sciences such aschemistry and physics.Because some areas of psychology rely on research methods such as surveys and questionnaires,critics have asserted that psychology is not an objective science. Other concepts thatpsychologists are interested in, such as personality, thinking, and emotion, cannot be directlymeasuredand are often inferred from subjective self-reports, which may be problematic.Some critics view statistical hypothesis testing as misplaced. Research[which?]has documentedthat many psychologists confuse statistical significance with practical importance. Statisticallysignificant but practically unimportant results are common with large samples.Somepsychologists have responded with an increased use of effect size statistics, rather than solereliance on the Fisherian p < .05 significance criterion (whereby an observed difference isdeemed "statistically significant" if an effect of that size or larger would occur with 5% -or less-probability in independent replications, assuming the truth of the null-hypothesis of no difference
between the treatments).False positive conclusions, often resulting from the pressureto publish or the authors own confirmation bias, are an inherent hazard in the field, requiring acertain degree of skepticism on the part of readers.Sometimes the debate comes from within psychology, for example between laboratory-orientedresearchers and practitioners such as clinicians. In recent years, and particularly in the U.S., therehas been increasing debate about the nature of therapeutic effectiveness and about the relevanceof empirically examining psychotherapeutic strategies.PracticeSome observers perceive a gap between scientific theory and its application—in particular, theapplication of unsupported or unsound clinical practices.Critics say there has been an increasein the number of mental health training programs that do not instill scientific competence.Oneskeptic asserts that practices, such as "facilitated communication for infantile autism"; memory-recovery techniques including body work; and other therapies, such as rebirthing andreparenting, may be dubious or even dangerous, despite their popularity.In 1984, AllenNeuringer made a similar point[vague]regarding the experimental analysis of behavior.Ethical standardsCurrent ethical standards of psychology would not permit some studies to be conducted today.These human studies would violate the Ethics Code of the American Psychological Association,the Canadian Code of Conduct for Research Involving Humans, and the Belmont Report.Current ethical guidelines state that using non-human animals for scientific purposes is onlyacceptable when the harm (physical or psychological) done to animals is outweighed by thebenefits of the research.Keeping this in mind, psychologists can use on animals researchtechniques that could not be used on humans.An experiment by Stanley Milgram raised questions about the ethics of scientificexperimentation because of the extreme emotional stress suffered by the participants. Itmeasured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructedthem to perform acts that conflicted with their personal conscience.Harry Harlow drew condemnation for his "pit of despair" experiments on rhesus macaquemonkeys at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in the 1970s.The aim of theresearch was to produce an animal model of clinical depression. Harlow also devisedwhat he called a "rape rack", to which the female isolates were tied in normal monkeymating posture.In 1974, American literary critic Wayne C. Booth wrote that, "HarryHarlow and his colleagues go on torturing their nonhuman primates decade after decade,invariably proving what we all knew in advance—that social creatures can be destroyedby destroying their social ties." He writes that Harlow made no mention of the criticismof the morality of his work.University psychology departments have ethics committees dedicated to the rights and well-being of research subjects. Researchers in psychology must gain approval of their research
projects before conducting any experiment to protect the interests of human participants andlaboratory animals.Systemic biasIn 1959 statistician Theodore Sterling examined the results of psychological studies anddiscovered that 97% of them supported their initial hypotheses, implying a possible publicationbias.Similarly, Fanelli (2010)found that 91.5% of psychiatry/psychology studiesconfirmed the effects they were looking for, and concluded that the odds of this happening (apositive result) was around five times higher than in fields such as space- or geosciences. Fanelliargues that this is because researchers in "softer" sciences have fewer constraints to theirconscious and unconscious biases.In 2010, a group of researchers reported a systemic bias in psychology studies towards WEIRD("western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic") subjects.Although only 1/8 peopleworldwide fall into the WEIRD classification, the researchers claimed that 60–90% ofpsychology studies are performed on WEIRD subjects. The article gave examples of results thatdiffer significantly between WEIRD subjects and tribal cultures, including the Müller-Lyerillusion.See alsoPsychology portalMind and Brain portalPhilosophy portalPsychology at Wikipedia booksGroup psychotherapyList of psychologistsList of psychology organizationsList of important publications in psychologyMedia psychologyPhilosophy of psychologySocial workReferences1. ^ "How does the APA define "psychology"?". Retrieved 15 November 2011.2. ^ "Definition of "Psychology (APAs Index Page)"". Retrieved 20 December 2011.3. ^ Fernald LD (2008). Psychology: Six perspectives (pp. 12–15). Thousand Oaks, CA:Sage Publications.4. ^ Hockenbury & Hockenbury. Psychology. Worth Publishers, 2010.
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Textbooks from WikibooksPsychology at the Open Directory ProjectPsychology, an external wikiAmerican Psychological AssociationAssociation for Psychological ScienceDiscovering Psychology. (2001). The History of Psychology:Contemporary FoundationsThe Florida State University PSYCHOLOGY.(2011).HISTORY[show]vtePsychology[show]vteNeuroscience[show]vteAllied health professions[show]vteSocial sciencesThis article is in the category Neuroscience, but no reliable sources are cited to verify itsinclusion.Please help by adding references that support its inclusion, or remove the category link ifnone exist. (July 2012)Categories: