20 different types of psychologists and what they do (2023)

What are thedifferent types of psychologistsand what exactly do they do in the different branches of psychology? When people hear the term psychologist, many immediately picture a man or woman sitting in an office taking notes while a client sits passed out on a leather couch. Of course, there are many psychologists who engage in this type of research.speech therapy, but the people who work in thefield of psychologyalso do various other things.

Did you know that there are psychologists who study how people work and interact with tools in their environment? Or that some psychologists are inventing ways to slow global warming? Below is a list of someareas of expertiseand related tasks that comprise them.

flight psychologists

These psychologists study the behavior of pilots and other flight crew members. Flight psychologists also research flight safety, develop new training equipment and help select suitable personnel.

For example, an aviation psychologist may review or even develop psychological tests used to screen candidates for elite pilot positions. Due to the highly specialized and sensitive nature of the job, it is important to select candidates who are healthy, stable and able to handle intense pressure. Aviation psychologists use their psychological expertise to ensure only the best people are selected for these critical roles.

Aviation psychologists may also work with other professionals, including engineers and human factors psychologists, to design various aircraft components such as cabins or flight decks. By considering human psychology during the design process, flight psychologists can help ensure these products are developed with insight.Attention,Storage, and other features in mind.


These psychologists are also sometimes referred to as biological psychologists or physiological psychologists. They study and research about the brain and behavior. By studying the neural basis of behavior, biopsychologists are able to understand various biological factors that can influence how people think, feel, and act.

These types of psychologists can also study how brain disorders and injuries affect behavior. By better understanding how people are affected by such injuries and diseases, researchers can also find new ways to prevent, treat, and manage serious brain injuries and diseases.

Clinical Psychologists

Clinical PsychologistsAssess, diagnose and treat individuals with mental distress and mental illness. They also conduct psychotherapy and develop treatment plans.

Clinical psychologists often work in hospitals, psychiatric clinics, and private practices. They are trained in a variety of treatment techniques but may specialize in treating specific disorders or working with specific populations. For example, a clinical psychologist might specialize in an area such as substance abuse treatment,mental health of the child, adult mental health or geriatric mental health.

Although clinical psychologists generally work in medical settings, they are not physicians and, in most cases, cannot prescribe medication.

AccordinglyAmerican Association of Psychologists, clinical psychologists earn an average of $80.00 per year.

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cognitive psychologists

cognitive psychologistsexamine how people think, including issues such asdecision makingeTroubleshooting. This type of psychologist is interested in how the brain processes, learns, stores, recognizes, and uses information.

Cognitive psychologists can work in a variety of settings, including universities, research centers, rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, government agencies, and in private practice. Professionals in this field often perform a variety of roles, e.g. B. Conducting research and working with patients.

As in other areas of psychology, cognitive psychologists often specialize in a particular area, such as B. memory, language development, attention, problem solving or learning difficulties.

community psychologists

This type of psychologist conducts research on community health issues. They also try to educate the community and develop prevention programs. These professionals focus on driving positive change on an individual and community level.

You can find community psychologists working in a variety of settings at universities, government agencies, community organizations, and private companies as professors, consultants, policy advisers, program directors, and researchers.

Research in this area tends to be very action-oriented and focused on developing real-world solutions that can be immediately put into practice. Community psychologists work to solve social problems, promote health and well-being, and create policies that improve people's lives.

Comparative Psychologists

Comparative psychologists study the behavior of different species, particularly how animal and human behavior differ. Why study animals? Because while there are obviously major differences, it is believed that some things can apply to all species.

Therefore, studying the behavior and reactions of animals such as rats and dogs can also provide insights into human behavior. Such observations have proved important throughout much of the history of psychology.

Thorndike's work with cats,Pavlov's work with dogs, zSkinner's work with pigeonsare just a few examples of comparative psychology, where animal behavior can provide insight into human behavior.

Experimental psychologists (including comparative psychologists) earn an average of $92,000 per year, second only to institutional and organizational psychologists in terms of income.

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consumer psychologists

Also known as Marketing Psychologists, Consumer Research Psychologistsconsumer behaviorand develop marketing strategies to promote business. These types of psychologists are involved in helping companies better understand what drives consumers to buy products and services. They examine how buyers react to marketing messages, analyze decision-making strategies and examine the role that emotions play in purchasing decisions.

These professionals help companies develop marketing messages, identify target audiences, create products that appeal to specific consumers, and learn how attitudes toward brands and products are forming and changing. They accomplish these tasks through the use of market research, experimentation,naturalistic observationsand consumer focus groups.

counseling psychologists

counseling psychologistsoffer psychotherapy for people with mental disorders, behavioral problems, emotional difficulties, stress and related problems. These professionals share many similarities with clinical psychologists.

Consulting psychologists earn an average of $85,000 per year. Like clinical psychologists, they deliverpsychotherapyand can legally identify themselves as licensed psychologists.

Intercultural Psychologists

Intercultural PsychologistsObserve how people differ between cultures and how cultural affiliations influence behavior. They often explore how different aspects of behavior can be universal or different across cultures.

For example, intercultural psychologists can study howparenting stylesdistinguish betweencollectivist culturesagainstindividualistic culturesand how these educational differences affect adult behavior.

developmental psychologists

developmental psychologistsExplore human development throughout life. Some focus on a specific time period, such asearly childhood, adolescence, adulthood or old age. These professionals may perform tasks such as assessing children with a developmental delay or disability, investigating issues related to aging, and investigating language acquisition.

Some developmental psychologists can focus on research and improve our understanding of developmental issues that may arise throughout life. Other professionals can do applied work with clients who need help addressing developmental issues.

educational psychologists

These psychologists study how people learn and the educational process. This may involve the development of teaching strategies and teaching techniques. Some educational psychologists study giftedness or learning disabilities.

This type of psychologist studies how social, cognitive, and emotional factors affect the learning process. Some professionals in this field specialize in identifying and solving potential problems that can interfere with children's learning. Others specialize in research into the learning process, while others focus on creating instructional materials that maximize learning outcomes.

Educational psychologists make an average of $75,000 a year, slightly less than the average ($79,010) for all psychology jobs, theUS Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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engineering psychologists

engineering psychologistsfocus on finding ways to improve human skills through the improvement of machines, equipment, technology and work environments. While some focus on more basic research, it is generally a very applied field. Engineering psychologists work to solve real-world problems and create solutions that may have practical applications in everyday life.

Engineering psychologists can be tasked with developing technology that can be used in the healthcare industry to help patients recover faster. They also help in the development and advancement of products that people use every day, including cell phones and automobiles.

environmental psychologists

Environmental psychologists study the relationship between people and their environment, including natural environments and created environments. This could include working on conservation projects, helping protect endangered species and exploring ways to curb global warming.

These professionals can work as researchers to study the impact that people have on their environment. Some environmental psychologists also work in government to help shape environmental policy.

Forensic Psychologists

forensic psychologistsFocus on the relationship between psychology and law. This may include acting as a criminal or civil litigation counselor, conducting custody reviews and providing psychotherapeutic services to crime victims.

Thanks to popular depictions in films and television shows, interest in this field has grown tremendously in recent years. While these pop culture depictions often portray the forensic psychologist as a detective working to catch criminals, actual forensic psychologists typically perform functions such as evaluating juvenile and adult offenders for risk of recidivism, working with witnesses for children who Judgment assessment and professional help. testimony in court.

health psychologists

health psychologistsfocus on how psychology, biology, social groups, and behavior affect well-being, illness, and overall health. They work with clients to maximize well-being and improve mental and physical health.

Some professionals in this field conduct clinical work in which they evaluate and treat patients seeking help with various health problems. This may include providing psychotherapy, conducting various psychological assessments, teaching people various coping techniques, and educating clients about healthy behaviors.

Industrial and organizational psychologists

I-O PsychologenStudying behavior in the workplace, selecting the best employees for specific tasks and increasing labor productivity. An I-O psychologist can use their knowledge of psychological principles to design assessments to screen candidates for specific jobs.

You may also be tasked with developing training programs for existing employees to increase knowledge, maximize efficiency and minimize injuries. I-O psychologists are also often asked to evaluate companies at the organizational level and look for new ways to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and increase employee satisfaction and retention.

Industrial and organizational psychologists are the highest-paid specialist category, earning an average of $125,000 per year.

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military psychologists

Military psychologists practice psychology in a military setting. This can include things like treating soldiers with mental illness or emotional distress, researching various aspects of military life, and helping soldiers transition back into civilian life.

Some military psychologists focus on conducting psychotherapy in various branches of the military, while others apply their knowledge of the human mind and behavior to recruitment, stress management, training, decision-making, and leadership.

personality psychologists

Personality psychologists study various aspects of personality and how individual traits affect a person's life and behavior. Researchers in the field of personality psychology are interested in a variety of topics that can be applied in everyday life.

For example, you can study how personalities form andif it can be changed. They can also examine whether certain personality traits are related to certain illnesses or disorders, how personality affects people's decisions, and the many factors that contribute to personality development.

school psychologists

school psychologistshelp children deal with emotional, academic, social and behavioral problems at school. Professionals working in this field of psychology play an important role in the educational system, often working with parents, teachers, students, and other school staff to ensure the learning environment is healthy, safe, supportive, and productive.

Children struggling with any type of problem, whether behavioral, emotional, or academic, can work with a school psychologist to develop an effective plan for coping with the difficulty. School psychologists offer direct intervention or behavior management when needed, or simply offer support and counseling to students who need someone to talk to.

social psychologists

social psychologistsexamines group behavior, including how people behave in social situations and how groups influence individual behavior. A social psychologist can study a wide range of issues, includingIdeas,Prejudice, communication, interpersonal relationships,Aggression, zconviction.

For some practitioners, this primarily means conducting basic research aimed at improving our understanding of social behavior. In other cases, social psychologists use their skills and knowledge to influence human behavior to promote healthier and more productive groups.

Social psychologists can expect to earn an average of $85,000 per year. They can earn even more if they are employed by a public or government body.

A word from Verywell

As you can see from these brief descriptions, there are many types of psychology and psychologists that focus on a variety of human behaviors. If you are considering a career in psychology, you must determine which psychology career option is right for you.

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How many types of psychologists are there? ›

Eight types of psychology to consider a career in include: abnormal, biopsychology, social, cognitive, developmental, personality, forensic and industrial-organizational.

What are some types of psychologists? ›

  • Clinical neuropsychologists.
  • Clinical psychologists.
  • Community psychologists.
  • Counselling psychologists.
  • Educational and developmental psychologists.
  • Forensic psychologists.
  • Health psychologists.
  • Organisational psychologists.

What are psychologists and what they do? ›

A psychologist is a mental health professional who uses psychological evaluations and talk therapy to help people learn to better cope with life and relationship issues and mental health conditions.

What do 20 psychologists learn? ›

Psychology 20 Course Description:

Major topics include memory, learning, intelligence, motivation, dreams, gender, group psychology, psychic phenomena and dysfunctional social behaviours.

What are the 16 branches of psychology? ›

16 specializations in psychology
  • Biopsychology. ...
  • Clinical psychology. ...
  • Cognitive psychology. ...
  • Counseling psychology. ...
  • Developmental psychology. ...
  • Environmental psychology. ...
  • Forensic psychology. ...
  • Neuropsychology.
Oct 8, 2021

What are the 10 types of human behavior? ›

The ten “types” are the Perceiver of Pain, the Ostraciser, the Tamer of Terror, the Beholder, the Aggressor, the Tribalist, the Nurturer, the Romancer, the Rescuer and the Kinsman.

Who is the most popular psychologist? ›

Sigmund Freud – Freud is perhaps the most well-known psychologist in history. He explored the personality and human psyche as it relates to the id, the ego and the superego.

What are the most common psychologist? ›

The most common types of psychologists include:
  • Clinical Psychologists. ...
  • Counseling Psychologists. ...
  • Cognitive Neuropsychologists. ...
  • Educational Psychologists. ...
  • Industrial-Organizational Psychologists. ...
  • Military Psychologists.
Jan 23, 2023

What are the 4 main types of psychology? ›

Psychology includes four major areas: clinical psychology (counseling for mental and behavioral health), cognitive psychology (the study of the mental processes), behavioral psychology (understanding behavior through different types of conditioning), and biopsychology (research on the brain, behavior, and evolution).

What do military psychologists do? ›

Clinical and counseling military psychologists are responsible for assessing, diagnosing, and treating military personnel with mental or emotional disorders. They may be charged with trying to discover the extent of emotional trauma, for instance, and recommending a course of treatments.

What type of psychologist works with depression? ›

Like psychologists, clinical psychiatrists study, diagnose, and treat mental health conditions, like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and others.

What 4 things do psychologists do? ›

The four goals of psychology are to describe, explain, predict, and control behavior and mental processes.

What do forensic psychologists do? ›

Forensic Research Psychologists carry out their research in a variety of areas, including studying criminal history and questioning suspects, victims, and other people related to a crime. They also study the situations surrounding a particular crime as well as the age group that is most related to that crime.

What is the highest paid psychologist? ›

Psychiatrist positions are by far the highest-paying jobs for psychology majors. The average salary is $217,798, according to PayScale.

What is General Psychology 20? ›

General Psychology 20 (3 credits, Print) provides a general background in psychology, including its history and the principles of learning and thinking. Topics include stress and aggression, influence of small groups, status of roles, neurosis and psychosis.

What is personal psychology 20? ›

This introductory psychology course is designed to help students develop: an explanation of human intelligence – what it means, how it is measured and multiple intelligences. an understanding of personality theories and personality inventories.

What do 1010 psychologists learn? ›

Topics include research methods, neurophysiology, states of consciousness, learning, memory, theories of personality, motivation, social psychology, and abnormal behavior.

What is psychology class 11? ›

Keeping this in view, psychology is defined formally as a science which studies mental processes, experiences and behaviour in different contexts. In doing so, it uses methods of biological and social sciences to obtain data systematically.

What are the 7 major schools of thought in psychology? ›

Schools of Psychology: Main Schools of Thought
  • Structuralism.
  • Functionalism.
  • Gestalt Psychology.
  • Behaviorism.
  • Psychoanalysis.
  • Humanism.
  • Cognitive Psychology.

What are the 4 most common Behavioural styles? ›

There are four major behavioral styles: analytical, amiable, driver and expressive.

What are the 5 types of social behavior? ›

Social behavior characterizes the interactions that occur among individuals. These can be aggressive, mutualistic, cooperative, altruistic, and parental.

What are the 3 behaviors in psychology? ›

Three fundamental types of behaviour can be distinguished: the purely practical, the theoretical-practical, and the purely theoretical. These three types of behaviour have three different reasons: the first a determining reason, the second a motivating reason, and the third a supporting reason.

Are most psychologist male or female? ›

64.8% of all psychologists are women, while 35.2% are men. The average age of an employed psychologist is 46 years old. The most common ethnicity of psychologists is White (75.9%), followed by Hispanic or Latino (10.8%), Black or African American (5.1%) and Asian (4.2%).

Who is the most famous female psychologist? ›

  • #5: Anna Freud (1895–1982)
  • #4: Mary Ainsworth (1913–1999)
  • #3: Margaret Floy Washburn (1871–1939)
  • #2: Karen Horney (1885-1952)
  • #1: Melanie Klein (1882–1960)
  • The Future (of psychology) Is Female.
Mar 22, 2022

What is the name of a child psychologist? ›

A number of notable 20th-century psychologists—among them Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein, and Freud's daughter, Anna Freud—dealt with child development chiefly from the psychoanalytic point of view. Perhaps the greatest direct influence on modern child psychology was Jean Piaget of Switzerland.

Who was the first psychologist? ›

Wilhelm Wundt (1832–1920) was a German scientist who was the first person to be referred to as a psychologist. His famous book entitled Principles of Physiological Psychology was published in 1873.

What do social psychologist do? ›

Social psychologists study interpersonal and group dynamics and social challenges, such as prejudice, implicit bias, bullying, criminal activity and substance abuse. They research social interactions and the factors that influence them, such as group behavior, attitudes, public perceptions and leadership.

How many applied branches of psychology are there? ›

The four major perspectives are psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, existential-humanistic, and systems or family therapy.

What are the branches of psychology that belong to 21st century? ›

  • Clinical & Abnormal Psychology.
  • Cognitive Science.
  • Developmental Psychology.
  • Educational Psychology.
  • Organizational Psychology.
  • Psychological Research & Experimental Design.
  • Social Psychology.

How many branches of psychology are there APA? ›

APA's 54 divisions are interest groups organized by members. Some represent subdisciplines of psychology (e.g., experimental, social or clinical) while others focus on topical areas such as aging, ethnic minorities or trauma.

What is the most popular branch of psychology? ›

Clinical psychologist have training in the diagnosis, assessment, treatment and prevention of mental illnesses. This is the largest and most popular employment area in psychology. Clinical psychologists are employed in hospitals, mental health centers, and in private practice.


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