During its journey of more than a hundred years, psychology as a field of enquiry has grown in many directions. In contemporary times, a number of specialized fields with focused area of application have developed. The emergence of different fields in psychology indicates the importance and relevance of these areas in our daily life.

  1. Abnormal Psychology: This branch of psychology tries to describe, assess, predict and control those categories of behaviours which are considered as unusual and non-normative. It also deals with various categories of psychological disorders which affect the mental health of the individual. It assesses abnormality in the individual through standardized psycho-diagnostic tools and suggests problem specific treatment.

  2. Cognitive Psychology: It deals with acquisition, storage, transformation and application of information the individual uses to understand and interpret events happening around him or her.

  3. Clinical and Counseling Psychology: Clinical psychology is primarily concerned with diagnosis and treatment of various psychological disorders. A clinical psychologist is trained in psychotherapeutic techniques which are used to treat people suffering from psychological disorders. They are employed in hospitals and clinics dealing with mental health problems. The counseling psychologist deals with mild problems pertaining to adjustment in social and emotional life, and provides specialized services to deal with marital problems, stress oriented problems and career choice.

  4. Educational Psychology: This field of psychology is mainly concerned with academic performance. It studies the role of various factors which influence learning processes in classroom setting. It focuses on assessing the aptitude, skills and intellectual potential of the students and evaluating their performance. An educational psychologist also helps students to overcome learning difficulties.

  5. Environmental Psychology: This field is concerned with the study of interaction between physical environment and human behaviour. It studies the impact of noise, heat, humidity, pollution and crowding on human performance. It also focuses on the impact of physical environment on psychological health of individuals.

  6. Health Psychology: This field focuses on the impact of various psychological factors (e.g. stress) on the onset progress and treatment of illness. It also deals with various life style diseases such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

  7. Organizational Psychology: This field is concerned with application of psychological principles and models to study the selection and performance of employees in organizational settings. It also studies the concepts of leadership, motivation, job satisfaction and performance appraisal.

  8. Developmental Psychology: This field is concerned with the study of various physical and psychological factors which influence the systematic changes which the individual experiences across the different stages of life.

Emerging Fields

In addition to these fields, a number of new areas have emerged. Some of these fields are sports psychology, military psychology, aviation psychology, forensic psychology, peace psychology, neuropsychology, political psychology, feminist psychology and positive psychology.