Psychology is the scientific study of people's behaviour, performance, and mental operations that includes the conscious and unconscious aspects as well as feeling and thought of mind. According to the American Psychological Association, “psychology is the research of the mind, how it works, and how it affects behaviour. It embraces all aspects of the human experience, from the functions of the brain to the actions of nations, from child development to care for the aged."
It simply refers to the application of science to comprehend issues, treat mental health problems, and improve education, employment, and relationships. It aims at understanding individuals and groups by practising general principles and examining distinct problems related to mind. The person who studies & researches on the normal and abnormal mental health of his clients is known as a Psychologist. They strive to understand the emotional and social behaviour by studying, observing, and noting down how people are linked to one another and their surroundings.
Importance: Psychology has been playing a significant role in every individual’s life to remain happy and healthy mentally. It allows people to know more about the work of body and mind together. This study helps in decision-making and avoiding anxious situations. It can also help you to manage your time management, establish and achieve goals, and living effectively.
Branches of Psychology: To know deeply about psychology, one needs to understand the branches of psychology.
Every branch of psychology deals with the different purposes of it.
1- Clinical Psychology- Clinical psychology combines science, theory, and practice to understand, prophesy and reduce problems with adjustment, disability, and discomfort. It encourages adoption, adjustment, and personal growth. This medication-oriented branch of psychology deals with scientific methods of supervising psychological obstacles. A clinical psychologist focuses on the intellectual, emotional, biological, psychological, social, and behavioural aspects of an individual’s performance during a person's life, across diverging lifestyles and socioeconomic levels.
2- Cognitive psychology-Cognitive psychology examines the internal mental processes, such as problem-solving, thoughts, memory, learning, and language. It focuses on people’s thinking, understanding, communication, learning and discovering power. Cognitive psychologists examine how people procure, process, and collects information. Fundamentally, this branch of science involved the observation and problem-solving aptitude of the brain.
3- Developmental psychology-This is the scientific branch of psychology that deals with the systematic psychological development of human over the lifespan, also known as human development. Development psychology focuses on infants, young children, teenagers, adults, and older people. Various changes that took place under this psychology includes motor skills, problem-solving, moral understanding, acquiring language, emotions, personality, self-concept, and identity formation.
4- Evolutionary psychology-Evolutionary psychology attempts to explain how human behaviour (language, memory, perception) is affected by psychological adaptations during development. Generally, evolutionary psychology breaks down the walls between the common sub-disciplines of psychology. A precise account of psychological changes includes identifying perceptual input, cognitive processing, and developmental evolution. An evolutionary psychologist considers that several human mental and psychological traits are adaptive in nature and have enabled us to live over thousands of years.
5- Forensic psychology-Forensic psychology simply deals with utilizing psychology for criminal investigation, inquiry or law. The application of psychology involves assessing the psychological factors like lawmaking, law enforcement, the investigation of witnesses, and the treatment of the criminal. A forensic psychologist studies psychology as a science within the criminal prosecution system and civil courts. This type of psychology is also known as legal psychology which is similar to cognitive and clinical psychology and also involves a thorough understanding of the law.
6- Health psychology-Health psychology examines behaviour, biology, and social context that influences illness and health of humans. It is also called behavioural medicine or medical psychology. A health psychologist focuses on the person wholly and the influencing factors of their health status. These influencing factors include socioeconomic status, education, background, and behaviours that may have an impact on the disease, such as compliance with instructions and medication.
7- Neuropsychology-Neuropsychology studies the structure and function of the brain associated with its behaviours and psychological processes. Neuropsychology involves a condition of a human containing lesions in the brain and evaluations involving the recording of electrical activity in the brain.
A neuropsychological assessment is done to check whether a person is experiencing behavioural problems resulting in diagnosed brain injury, such as stroke.
8- Social psychology-Social psychology means the use of scientific techniques to understand how social influences impact human behaviour. It attempts to describe how feelings, behaviour, and thoughts are affected by the genuine, imagined or intended presence of other people.
This branch of psychology mainly focuses on the psychological aspects like group behaviour, social perception, nonverbal behaviour, conformity, aggression, prejudice, and leadership of individuals within a community environment. It is also known to as critical psychology.
To acquire this reputed designation, one needs to be very diligent and enthusiastic. Becoming a psychologist is not a tranquil job. It is really a challenging and demanding position. Only the skilled applicants with appropriate degree and capabilities are shortlisted for this post.
If an individual dreamt of becoming a psychologist, then he needs to go through the following steps:
To achieve such a desirable position, candidates need to start by acquiring a bachelor’s degree in psychology. A bachelor's degree will help you to develop an understanding of human learning, emotions, and behaviours. While pursuing the degree, it may include essential subjects like general psychology, experimental and developmental psychology, and statistics.
An individual having a hands-on experience of this certification while pursuing his degree may find it easier to get a job after graduation. If the candidates are interested in the developmental psychology course, they can seek knowledge by working with physically disabled kids or visiting mental health hospital or a clinic.
A master's degree will help a candidate to give him a broad introduction to the field of psychology. The successful graduates of this program usually seek jobs in education, government, human services, health care mental health care, and marketing/advertising etc.
One can use the electives to focus his study in a particular field. The college/institution that the applicant selects will play a significant role him to gain more and more knowledge and skills about psychology in a broader concept. Though the master’s degree, an individual will get to know about the best suitable branch of psychology for him.
In this step, candidates have to opt the best specialization for them while choosing the appropriate stream such as clinical psychology or counselling psychology, Research psychology or industrial-organizational psychology based on their interest.
Obtaining a doctoral degree in any field will help you to scale your career goals faster. PsyD is a professional degree which focuses on practice and clinical work. The PhD emphasizes more importance on experimental methods and research. A PsyD prepares the candidates for a career as a practising psychologist. Candidates with a doctoral degree can get numerous potential employment opportunities in schools and colleges, health care systems, government, nonprofit organizations, social service agencies, and market research firms.
The internship is now working as an essential part of any course. It is now necessary for the candidates to do an internship of at least six months from an organization relevant to their course. Having an internship experience is really beneficial for the students to get lucrative job opportunities. One will also get to know which speciality is appropriate for him. Internships which are done in clinical and counselling psychology sometimes require to be recognized by the reputed organization because jobs in mental health organization sometimes demand an approved internship.
In order to get a license from the authorized body, candidates need to pass a national level exam whereas in some colleges students need to submit a case study to a panel consisting of psychologists. Every state requires you to fill certain requirements before granting a license for the approval of the course.
Once the candidates complete their psychology degree and internship, they have been given innumerable job opportunities to get placed in the job of their interest. Generally, the
The discipline of psychology is quite different from others. There are various reputed career paths one can choose according to his skills, knowledge, and calibre. The salary package of an individual depends on a number of factors, such as years of experience, educational achievement, geographic location, qualifications, degree certificate, also the area of specialization.
In this rewarding field, the starting salary of the candidates can range between 2 lakhs to 6 lakhs per annum. Professional and skilled psychologists with master’s or doctoral degree are like M.Phil. and Ph.D. generally earns a handsome amount of money as his salary. One can get around 7 lakhs to beyond limits with these higher professional degrees. Candidates working in private organizations may have chances to earn more in the same field.
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