Major Fields In Psychology

Psychology is one the major subjects of study which is applied in many professions.  It is an academic and applied discipline which involves systematic and scientific study of the mental and behavioral functioning of humans and animals.  Psychology also draws a lot from symbolic interpretation and critical analysis of information. Psychology involves study of different phenomena like perception, cognition, emotion, motivation, behavior, personality, relationships, and others. Due to its application in different professionals and relationship with different disciplines, there are different fields of study in psychology.

Major Fields in psychology

The major fields of study in psychology include abnormal psychology, clinical psychology, comparative psychology, developmental psychology, educational psychology, industrial psychology, and social psychology (Hergenhahn, 2005). Each of these fields is clearly described below:

Abnormal psychology –

This field of psychology is involved with the study of behavior disorders in disturbed individual. There are different areas of study in the field mainly on personal disorders especially mental and behavioral disorders (Fox et al., 2009).

Clinical psychology –

This field relies on the understanding from developmental and abnormal psychology in diagnosing and treating mental disorders and other exhibited adjustment problems (Hergenhahn, 2005).  This field is closely related to medical field and both interact in different areas of learning.

Comparative psychology –

Comparative psychology looks into the differences and similarities in behavior of different animal species.  This field study in details the activities, needs, abilities and other aspects of animal species and consequently make a comparative analysis with human beings.  This field is related to evolution biology (Hergenhahn, 2005).

Developmental psychology –

Developmental psychology involves the study of emotions, intellectual, and the social changes in the lifespan of human beings (Hergenhahn, 2005). Development psychology is important in understand the cycle of human development from infancy to late adulthood.

Educational psychology –

This field of psychology deals with the field of education. It works to improve materials, teaching method, solving learners’ problems, and measuring the ability and the progress of students in education.  It may involve development of assessment tests, teaching methods, and investigation of student learning process (Hergenhahn, 2005).

Industrial psychology –

Industrial psychology involves the study of people at work (Fox et al., 2009).  This field of study investigates matters relating to work place interaction, employee motivation through rewarding and other strategies that motivate employees.  Psychologists in the field may also study personnel selection, leadership, and management issues. This field is also closely related to organizational psychology (Hergenhahn, 2005).

Social psychology –

Social psychology is a field that studies the social behavior of both individuals and groups.  This field lays more emphasis on how individual and group behavior is essentially affected by presence and the influence of others. Social psychologists mostly concentrate on the process of communication, political behavior, and the formation of individual attitudes (Hergenhahn, 2005).

The above are the main fields of psychology. However there are other fields of psychology which are related to the above fields.  These fields include: learning psychology which deal with how lasting images in individual behavior are influenced by experience, practice and training; motivation which deals with study of conscious and unconsciousness forces influence individual behavior; perception which study how organism become aware of their surrounding through sense; personality with deals with characteristics of individual persons; and physiological  which looks into relationship between behavior and boy structures (Dweck, 2007).

Field I am interested in

Among all these fields, I am more interested in industrial psychology. I have been interested in human resource management and I find that this field of psychology is more allied to human resource management. If I have to pursue a career as a human resource management, industrial psychology will come in hand as it will help me in understanding how to relate with employees. It will also assist me in understanding the most working strategies that can be used to motivate employees in order to increase their output. This field of psychology is therefore the most relevant to my aspirations to work as a human resource manager.


Psychology is a discipline that deals with mental and behavioral functioning of human beings. It is a wide discipline which is related to many other disciplines. The main fields of study in psychology include abnormal psychology, clinical psychology, comparative psychology, developmental psychology, educational psychology, industrial psychology, and social psychology. I am more interested in studying industrial psychology since I plan to pursue a career in human resource management.

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