“Topics and questions in psychology can be looked at in a number of different ways. Each perspective helps contribute a new level of understanding to a topic. Some of the major perspectives in psychology include:
Imagine, for example, that psychologists are trying to understand the different factors that contribute to bullying. One researcher might take a biological perspective and look at the role of genetics and the brain. Another might take a behavioral perspective and look at how bullying behaviors are reinforced by the environment. Another might take a social perspective and analyze the impact of group pressure.
No single perspective is right. Each contributes to how we understand a topic and allows researchers to analyze the myriad influences that contribute to certain actions. Then, they can come up with multi-faceted solutions to combat problematic actions and encourage better outcomes and healthier behaviors.
Psychology Has Subfields
In addition to many different perspectives, there are many branches of psychology. Psychologists often opt to specialize in a particular area. Some of the biggest subfields within psychology are clinical psychology, personality psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, and social psychology.
The type of psychologist that you need may depend upon the type of problem you are facing. If you are experiencing emotional or psychological symptoms, you might need a clinical or counseling psychologist. If you have a question about whether your child is developing normally, then you might want to ask a developmental psychologist.
Some psychologists work in the field of mental health, treating patients experiencing psychiatric disorders and psychological distress. Subfields such as clinical, counseling, and health psychology are focused on helping people with mental and physical health issues.
Other psychologists work in applied subfields, such as forensic psychology and industrial-organizational psychology, to solve real-world problems. Still other psychologists focus their work on research to contribute to our understanding of the human mind and behavior. Such psychologists may specialize in a particular area such as development, social behavior, cognition, or personality.”