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What are the branches of psychology/definitions

Psychology is a branch of science that studies and analyzes the behavior and mental processes of both individuals and groups, and that encompasses all aspects of the human experience. This study and analysis is done through different approaches, which may be coincident in certain aspects and contradictory in others. Such approaches can overlap and in some cases influence each other. They can even become incompatible, generating a wide variety of perspectives, each with its own theories and methodologies. What are the branches of psychology?

Psychology addresses concepts such as perception, attention, emotion, motivation, intelligence, thought, personality and consciousness among many other concepts, and tries to give answers to questions related to human behavior through methods qualitative and quantitative research.

The currents or approaches that move the study of psychology are known as schools, of which there are six that, due to their relevance and impact, are considered the main ones, so we will present them below.

1. Main areas of psychology

Here are six of the most influential schools in the field of psychology:

  • Psychoanalysis : Quoting Dr. Carlos Mario Aslan «is a scientific discipline that studies, investigates and describes the human soul: how it is formed, how it develops, how it is structured and how it works. All this in its so-called “normal” or healthy aspects. And also how he gets sick … and how he gets cured. » All this is achieved through a method of investigation of the human psyche that addresses the unconscious.
  • Behaviorism : Its name is derived from the noun “conduct”, since it consists of the objective and natural experimental study of behavior. The principle that governs the study is that of an external stimulus as the cause of a response.
  • Cognitivism (cognitive psychology): It focuses on the study of the mental processes involved in knowledge such as perception, memory and learning, among others.
  • Humanism : It is a current based on two tendencies: phenomenology (what we perceive as real is reality) and existentialism (The search for the reason for existence). Phenomenology and existentialism merge to give the human being intention, which is what drives him to action. What are the branches of psychology?
  • Functionalism : It is a philosophical and psychological current that considers the mental life and behavior of an individual based on their adaptation to the environment.
  • Systemic psychology : Born as a tool to help family groups with a member suffering from a severe illness, such as a complicated psychopathology. Its objective is to make an exhaustive study of the relationship and communication within a group in which there is interaction. And because of its success in this environment, it quickly expanded.

Each of these schools have direct or indirect influence on the branches of psychology today . And each approach provides the tools necessary to tackle a problem and try to come up with a solution.

2. Different branches of psychology

The application of psychology is very broad, as is the variation of behaviors in humans. So it is not easy, nor do we pretend to cover the entire spectrum of psychology applications in a few short lines. But we will give you a good summary of the branches of psychology .

Here is a list of some of the different areas of study and practical applications of psychology, as well as a brief overview of the study they cover.


Psychology studies the mental functions most common to all human beings , among which we have: perception, attention and consciousness, motivation, emotion, volition (will), learning, cognition, memory and knowledge, language, thought, personality, resolution of problems and logic, one of these mental functions itself being a particular area of ​​study. What are the branches of psychology?

When we talk about clinical and health psychology, it refers to the study of the internal processes of the mind and the study of mental disorders . Through it, the evaluation, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of people with mental disorders of some kind are carried out. There are several schools for this branch of psychology, such as the psychoanalyst, behaviorist, constructivist, and Gestalt, among others.

Clinical psychology has specializations, such as sexology , which seeks to help the individual to solve problems related to their sexuality from a psychological perspective.


The foundation of educational psychology is to study how focused human learning occurs in study centers . Its objective is to study the processes of change that arise in people as a consequence of their relationship with formal and non-formal educational institutions.


The objective of family psychology is to study families as a system in which behaviors, emotional responses and communication patterns among all members of the family group are analyzed , always seeking to help improve relationships between couples or problems of parents with children, as well as in cases of addiction or psychological illness of any of its members.


Labor psychology or organizational psychology is a science belonging to psychology that studies human behavior in the context of work from an individual, group and organizational perspective, to improve performance and productivity, as well as promote personal development and the quality of employee life.

The psychology of the consumer becomes a derivative of organizational psychology, which seeks to understand the behavior of consumers in order to create attractive products and services to customers.


The purpose of Social Psychology is the study of how people’s thoughts, behaviors, and feelings are influenced by other people . Study social phenomena with the aim of discovering the laws that govern coexistence. It seeks to investigate social organizations in order to discover patterns of behavior of individuals, of the roles and of the situations that influence their behavior. What are the branches of psychology?

The community psychology is a derivative of social psychology and aims to research and intervention of problems affecting specific and collective communities of people.


This branch of psychology aims to assist the process of administration of justice in court, which involves the application of psychology for criminal investigation and psychological evaluation of possible offenders for their subsequent defense and explanation in court.


This is a clinical specialty in which neurology and psychology converge, which consists of the study of the effects that an injury , abnormal functioning or damage to the structures of the central nervous system causes on cognitive, emotional, psychological and mental processes. individual behavior.


It is the branch of psychology that studies the behavioral and psychological changes of people throughout their lives, beginning at their conception and ending at their death, in all types of environment, to try to predict behaviors based on the relationship between the subject and the environments and the differences between them. What are the branches of psychology?

The child psychology is a branch of psychology that studies development theories of mind development framed in the period of childhood.


Psychophysiology, or cognitive neuroscience, is the branch of psychology that studies the physiological bases of psychological processes. Or what is the same, study the relationship between biological processes and behavior . It basically focuses on the study of the circulatory system and the nervous system.


It is the branch of psychology that is responsible for studying human behavior before, during and after a sporting activity in relation to certain parameters such as: motivation, personality, levels of aggressiveness and anxiety, and the dynamics of group in team sports, with the aim of maximizing the mental capacities of each athlete, such as their attention, concentration and control over their emotions, among others.


This branch of psychology deals with the study of social problems, leaving aside the individual to focus on the community . Work within this area encompasses the promotion of mental health and community development, researching and working on areas such as education, social assessments, policy development, etc.

As you can see, there is a lot to study in the field of psychology. And what we have presented to you is not all there is. But it is a good start so that you have a good idea of ​​everything that is behind this science. What are the branches of psychology?

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