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Chapter 1

PS102 Chapter 1: branches of psychology

Course Code
Eileen Wood

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Psychology Today
-psychology must be as diverse as the humans whose behaviour it attempts to explain
-brain-imaging studies have been used to test behavioural principles
-identify which areas of brain are activated when a behaviour if performed or when an outcome is
better/worse than expected
Branches of Psychology:
-three current branches are
1) academic psychology,
2) clinical and counselling psychology
-clinical, counselling, clinical neuropsychology
3) applied psychology
-the rest
-including school, rehabilitation, industrial/organizational, health, and forensic
-psychologists from all three branches share interest in mental processes and behaviour
They differ on:
-the amount of emphasis they each place on the psychology of individuals
-discovery of general principles of psychology
-and the application of psychological knowledge to groups of people
Academic Psychology:
-Wilhelm Wundt founded psychology as a discipline distinct from philosophy in 1879
-goal was to examine pure academic knowledge and human nature
-did not focus on how psychology can be applied or used outside laboratory
-branch involves research and instruction on a wide variety of psychological topics
-academic psychologists typically work at colleges and universities
-divide time between teaching and conducting research
-a developmental psychologist may teach courses on child development while also researching how
children think and behave
Applied Psychology:
-application of psychological principles to help solve practical problems in education, marketing and
other fields
-lawyers may consult with psychologists to help determine who to select for a jury or how to best
defend a client
-advertisers may consult with psychologists to conduct research to determine how best to market
products to teenagers
-sports psychology may provide guidance to athletes or teams, helping them overcome feelings of
anxiety or frustration or teaching them to focus their energy more effectively
Clinical and Counselling Psychology:
-help individuals to cope more effectively or to overcome abnormal functioning
-Canadian psychologists not able to prescribe drugs
-in New Mexico and Louisiana psychologists who receive special pharmacological training may
prescribe drugs
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