ave you ever wanted to learn how the human mind works? Perhaps you’ve noticed a particular behaviour and wondered what causes it. Psychology is a field of science that looks at human behaviour in a variety of different aspects, all of which help to develop the understanding of how one fits within their environment. It also happens to be a growing field all over the world.
Branches of psychology
One of the greatest things about psychology is that the possibilities are endless. With so many disciplines with the wider field of study there is no end to what can be researched. It also means that psychology can cater to anyone’s interests.
Some of these divisions of psychology include biological, cognitive, developmental, educational and social. Biological psychology looks at the application of biological science in relation to human behaviour. In cognitive psychology, the brain is understood in the same way as a computer processor and looks at the processes behind memory, language and other such attributes.
The psychology that seeks to understand the changes throughout the course of a human lifetime is known as developmental psychology. This is used to explore the various factors that lead to the development of an individual from conception to death.
Educational psychology works alongside its developmental counterpart, as it attempts to identify the best practices for learning at all stages of life.
Social psychology is the study of individual human behaviour in relation to the social world. Despite their differences, they are all linked in some way – and often rely on the others to help with the advancement of their own discipline. This further reiterates the uniqueness of the field, and how easily one can grow and expand along with their own interests and career goals.
Applying knowledge in practice
Understanding psychology in terms of theoretical practices is only one way to study this field. But, there is more to psychology than just theories and concepts. The field of psychology focuses on both research and clinical passed applications. Research in psychology can take form in many ways – from surveys and questionnaires to field experiments and everything in between. This is where many of the findings used in the clinical component of psychology are developed.
Research also allows psychologists to understand human behaviour from a number of perspectives, as well as building off previously determined knowledge. And better yet, this is one of few fields where the research and practical application are so tightly linked.
If research isn’t your thing, there is always the practical aspect of psychology. Working with patients, businesses and organisations, or with government agencies is the best way to take the theoretical components of psychology and apply them to real-world scenarios. This can also encompass treating patients with mental illness, or even diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It can also lead to social change in both a workplace setting, or in the development of policies related to any number of social issues.
Psychological principles can also be used in other settings, since many of the skill sets acquired are transferable to other industries or even other disciplines. This means with even a basic understanding of psychology, you can benefit.
A dynamic career awaits
Psychology has changed significantly over the years – from a belief that behaviour was strictly the result of one’s environment, to many other factors, such as upbringing, genetics, and the stages of development. It is also one of the leading sources of advocacy for some of the top challenges facing the world today. Whether it is attempting to mitigate the stigma and provide a more welcoming environment for those living with mental illness, building models to help alleviate the stresses that result from surviving a natural disaster in the face of climate change, or advocating for the rights of gender equality, for example, there are so many aspects to explore within the wider field of psychology.
At the end of the day, finding a career that is exciting, ever-changing, and meaningful can be difficult to come by. But a career in psychology offers all of these things. Whether you are in a lab, classroom or office, the possibilities for an exciting career are at your fingertips.
Don’t let your current job or location get in the way of finding the career of your dreams and instead start a programme that allows you to do both, no matter where you are. Learn about the history of psychology, the key concepts and many other aspects of the field and set your sights on a career in one of the fastest developing fields.
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