Opportunities abound for those seeking careers in psychology with the desire to help those who’ve suffered trauma, abuse, or have simply had difficult and identity-skewing situations. Social work and school counseling are two areas where training in psychology can be used. Other psychologists prefer to do clinical work or research. Regardless of the end work, most begin by seeking a bachelor’s degree in psychology and often a master’s degree or doctorate in a social services specialty area. After a degree is achieved, state or national licensing is typically pursued.
- What to Do in Undergrad & Beyond: This resource page, put together by noted psychologist and Professor Margaret A. Lloyd, gives advice on how to plan undergraduate training, grad school, and post-graduate moves in order to excel in the psychology field. Lloyd also links to job searching resources.
- Career Guides: This online set of career guides by the American Psychological Association gives tips for high school students and college students who are pursuing careers in psychology.
- What to Do With a B.S. in Psychology: This webpage explains the opportunities that abound for those with bachelor degrees in psychology.
- Licensing: On this page, the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards links to licensing resources and requirements for all states.
Different Types of Psychology
There are more than a dozen different types of psychology. Developmental, educational, environmental, and experimental are just a few of the subspecialties. The most well-known type of psychology is clinical psychology which involves working in hospitals, treatment centers, and other clinical settings to address emotional and mental disorders. Counseling psychology, also quite common, involves guiding people in dealing with everyday problems.
- Health Psychology: This overview details how psychology merges with the study of disease and physical wellness.
- Community Psychology: This website gives a detailed introduction to the specialty area of community psychology which involves the treatment of social and mental problems that widely affect communities.
- Neuropsychology: This website is dedicated to neuropsychology which looks at how the physical nature of the brain impacts a person’s emotions and psyche
- Geropsychology: This specialty field looks at the psychological problems of senior citizens.
- Clinical Psychology: This site includes a written overview and video explaining clinical psychology.
Environment Behavior Relationships
While psychology examines a person’s relationship to self and others, it can also study a person’s relationship to the environment in which they exist. People have conscious and subconscious responses to natural or contrived surroundings. For example, certain environments might engender impulsivity, addictions, shyness, or aggression. The area of study that examines these responses is formally known as environment-behavior psychology, or simply environmental psychology.
- Basics of the Environment-Behavior Dynamic: Article defines and explains the practical applications of environmental psychology.
- Environmental Expert: Dr. Michael Young, of the University of Minnesota, makes a living by studying people’s responses to changing environments. Most recently, according to this faculty page, he has studied how people respond in video game environments.
- Lists of Common Topics in Environment-Behavior Psychology: This list, found in an online encyclopedia of psychology, identifies categories of study in this division of psychology.
- Elements of Environment-Related Behavior: This webpage explains how environmental responses are studied. For example, a psychologist discerns what attracts a person’s attention in the environment and how they cope if stress is triggered by what they see.
Psychologists stay abreast of professional news and developments by joining organizations. Organizations like the American Psychological Association and the International Society of Political Psychology help professionals build peer relationships. Many of these groups host symposiums and conventions to disseminate information on the latest research or theories. Others use monthly or annual newsletters and journals.
- Organization List: A list of links to various professional l associations, including the American Psychological Association. Includes background and history.
- Association for Psychological Science: This site contains psychology-related news articles and convention information, along with an employment network.
- Association for Research in Personality: This is the webpage for a professional group that specifically studies personality disorders.
- Global Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology: The group highlighted on this website examines psychological contrasts and similarities among people from diverse backgrounds.
- International Society of Political Psychology: This is the site for a non-profit group that studies the intersection of politics and psychology.
Paradigms and Theories
In psychology, a paradigm refers to a framework for thinking and analyzing issues. A paradigm might also be called a theory or model. Certain paradigms can shift the entire field of psychology, creating a new standard for practicing. This was the case when Sigmund Freud created his theory Psychoanalysis.
- The Psychoanalytic Paradigm: This site details Freud’s view that behavior stems from a war between the conscious and the subconscious.
- The Biological Paradigm: This page explains the theory of behavior being shaped by heredity, genies, and brain chemistry.
- The Diathesis-stress Paradigm: This page examines the theory of people acting in response to stress whether they are consciously aware of it or not.
- The Existential Paradigm: This page discusses the theory of existentialism that suggests people behave according free will, socialization, and how well they have self-actualized.
- The Behavioral Paradigm: This paradigm is anchored on the premise that people’s behavior is a result of conditioning and modeling.
People & History
Many key thinkers have shaped psychology over the centuries. Plato contributed moral theories of psychology. Aristotle postulated that a person had a soul that was separate from the body. Freud theorized that the mind and self-identity consisted of the id, ego, and super-ego. Pavlov is noted for his dog and bell experiments that shaped the idea that behavior was conditioned.
- Plato: This site contains a bio of Plato
- Aristotle: Biography of the philosopher Aristotle can be found here.
- Freud: The life of Freud is detailed on this encyclopedic site.
- Pavlov: This site contains a biography of Evan Pavlov.
- Jung: Carl Jung’s work is summarized on this site.
Professional publications allow scholars to publish research and write articles about new practices and approaches in the field of psychology. Many annals are published monthly, although others are released only two or three times yearly. Most publications focus on a specific area of psychology, such as educational psychology or experimental psychology. Online websites offer archives, although sometimes for a fee.
- Applied Cognitive Psychology: This site contains current and archive issues of Applied Cognitive Psychology.
- Contemporary Educational Psychology: This publication is designed to help psychologist working in schools.
- Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking: The truth about pet food – who regulates it? What’s really in it? Where does it come from?
- Journal of Experimental Analysis of Behavior: This journal details the results of behavioral experiments.
- Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams: This journal is dedicated to dissecting the symbolism found in dreams.
Many other resources exist for psychology students and professionals. Conferences and conventions exist as major events that bring together both novices and veterans in the field of psychology. Books, available online or in libraries, can be a resource for study and research. Historical timelines trace the grand events in the evolution of psychology.
- Psychology Books: A resource for psychology books is available on this site.
- Library of Psychology Videos: A collection of psychology videos can be watched online at this site.
- List of Major Psychology Conferences: A list of annual psychology conferences and conventions.
- Psychology Timeline: This timeline traces the history of psychology from 387 B.C. onward.