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Psychology Overview - Specialty Areas - Preparation - Day In The Life - Earnings - Employment - Career Path Forecast - Professional Organizations -
Overview PowerPoint - Overview Podcast 


Psychologists study mental processes and human behavior by observing, interpreting, and recording how people and other animals relate to one another and the environment. To do this, psychologists often look for patterns that will help them understand and predict behavior using scientific methods, principles, or procedures to test their ideas. Through such research studies, psychologists have learned much that can help increase understanding between individuals, groups, organizations, institutions, nations, and cultures.

Like other social scientists, psychologists formulate theories, or hypotheses, which are possible explanations for what they observe. But unlike other social science disciplines, psychologists often concentrate on individual behavior and, specifically, in the beliefs and feelings that influence a personís actions.
Research methods vary with the topic which they study, but by and large, the chief techniques used are observation, assessment, and experimentation.

Psychologists sometimes gather information and evaluate behavior through controlled laboratory experiments, hypnosis, biofeedback, psychoanalysis, or psychotherapy, or by administering personality, performance, aptitude, or intelligence tests. Other methods include interviews, questionnaires, clinical studies, surveys, and observation -- looking for cause-and-effect relationships between events and for broad patterns of behavior.

Research in psychology seeks to understand and explain thought, emotion, feelings, or behavior. The research findings of psychologists have greatly increased our understanding of why people and animals behave as they do. For example, psychologists have discovered how personality develops and how to promote healthy development. They have gained knowledge of how to diagnose and treat alcoholism and substance abuse, how to help people change bad habits and conduct, and how to help students learn. They understand the conditions that can make workers more productive. Insights provided by psychologists can help people function better as individuals, friends, family members, and workers.

Psychologists may perform a variety of duties in a vast number of industries. For example, those working in health service fields may provide mental healthcare in hospitals, clinics, schools, or private settings. Psychologists employed in applied settings, such as business, industry, government, or nonprofit organizations, may provide training, conduct research, design organizational systems, and act as advocates for psychology.

Psychology Resources

Online

Overview:
Overview of the work of Psychologists
Specialty Areas:
Areas of focus
Preparation:
Programs, Degree Fields
Day in the Life:
Specialty Areas, the Workplace
Earnings:
Salary Ranges
Employment:
Statistics, Employment Options
Career Path Forecast:
Predictions for Psychologists
Professional Organizations:
Resources, Networking, Support
Podcast:
Overview of the work of Psychologists
Internet Resources:
American Board of Professional Psychology
American Psychological Association
National Association of School Psychologists

Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 


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