Psychology Subfields

Psychology involves the scientific investigation of the behavior and mental processes of both humans and animals. The field is vast, with numerous subfields of specialization. Some of those subfields are:

  • Industrial/Organizational Psychology – the study of work-related behaviors, employee motivation, and the impact of the physical environment on human performance.
  • Developmental Psychology – the study of changes that take place throughout the lifespan. It includes child, adolescent and adult development, as well as prenatal concerns and end-of-life issues.
  • Child Psychology – the study of child development. It is a more focused aspect of Developmental Psychology.
  • Clinical Psychology – focuses on assessing, diagnosing, and treating mental disorders, at-risk behavior, dysfunction, and psychological distress.
  • Counseling Psychology – focuses on assisting clients through life adjustment issues, and may also involve academic and/or career planning.
  • Social Psychology – the study of how a person’s thoughts, behaviors and feelings are affected by the presence of other people. It is closely related to sociology, although sociology tends to focus on group behavior, while social psychology tends to focus on individual’s behavior within a group.
  • Personality Psychology – the study of what makes an individual unique. It focuses on identifying the characteristics that differentiate one person from another, as well as commonalities in personality.
  • Cognitive Psychology – the study of how humans process information and how they analyze and use knowledge.
  • Forensic Psychology – the study of criminal behavior. Forensic psychologists assess those accused of a crime, provide expert opinions in criminal cases, and research the variables that cause people to engage in criminal behavior.

This is just a small list of the possible areas of study within the larger field of psychology!