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FIELD AND BRANCHES OF

PSYCHOLOGY
MAJOR FIELDS OF PSYCHOLOGY
BRANCHES OF PSYCHOLOGY

FIELDS OF PSYCHOLOGY
Broad areas of orientation in psychology which
underlie particular perspective. These are:
Cognitive psychology: A field that deals with
the way human being processes, combines and
organizes information in the mind which help
to solve problems, memorize, understand,
interpret and create information.
Psychodynamic: studies the causes of
behavior within the workings of personality.
It emphasizes the role of unconscious past
processes and unresolved conflicts from the
past.

Humanistic psychology: It emphasizes:


free will, freedom and choice;
innate tendencies toward growth;
the role of internal personality
processes;
the importance of conscious motives.
Behaviorism: It focuses on the role of
external environment (events, peoples
actions, objects) in shaping and
governing human actions.

BRANCHES/SUB-FIELDS
OF PSYCHOLOGY
Psychology is divided in to many

branches.
Divisions are caused by differences of:
Methods
Aspects of behavior to be studied
Objectives
Interest, training and background of
psychologist.

Branches of Psychology
Some of the important branches of
psychology for our course are:
Developmental psychology
Personality psychology
Social psychology
Industrial /organizational psychology
Clinical and counseling psychology
Experimental and physiological
psychology
Educational psychology

Developmental
psychology

It studies:
how human being grows and
changes through the life span.
domains of development; physical
and motor, intellectual, personal,
emotional, moral and social.
sequences and rate of maturation,
size and ability in relation to age.

Personality
Farres &
Chaplin;1997:9),
a pattern of
characteristic
thoughts, feelings and
behaviors that
distinguishes one
person from another
and that persists over
time and situations.

The definition
suggests that
personality is
made up of:
combination of
characteristics
and behavior.
uniqueness of
characteristics
consistency

Personality psychology
Examples of these traits: thinking,

feeling, acting, believing, self control,


individual organization of behavior,
interpersonal relationship skills and
others.
Personality psychology studies human
differences, factors that make the
differences and development.
Understanding of personality is based on
many perspectives; psychoanalytic, social
learning, behavioral, humanistic,
cognitive.

Social psychology
It studies:
How the behavior of a person or a group
influences the behavior of another person
or group.
how people learn attitude and emotions,
skills, actions, new perceptions, new ways
of speaking and of living with others.
These behaviors are learnt through
interaction, communication and
interpersonal relationships.

Social psychology
In school setting children learn new
behavior, perceptions, beliefs,
thoughts, actions and attitude as a
result of interaction and
communication with teachers and
other children.

Industrial/Organizational
psychology
It studies:
behavior of workers at working places;
industries, companies, institutions or at any
working situation.
various aspects of behavior in relation to
work interest, efficiency, satisfaction,
diligence and commitment leading to
maximum production and profit.
causes of low production as related to
human behavior.

Industrial/Organizational
psychology
Social, personal and counseling needs of

workers, supervision and training needs


workers level of motivation, morale,
working schedules, working routines as
related to their attitudes and values.
how conflicts affect commitment and
diligence of workers and how to resolve
them.

Clinical and Counseling


psychology
Clinical psychology
It deals with behavior problems,
emotional disorders and behavior that
indicate that the person is abnormal.
Specialists in this area are medical
doctors but they use psychotherapy
in treating abnormal behavior.
Psychotherapy: a procedure of
treating abnormal behavior using
interview techniques.

Examples of abnormal behavior


Phobic disorder: irrational fear of
objects or situations, fear of water,
animals, insects, darkness or rain.
Clinical
psychology
Mood
disorders:
depression;
sadness, discouragement, loss of joy,
loneliness, loss of appetite, dizziness.
If this situation persists for a long
time it leads to inability to function in
life.

Counseling psychology
It deals with helping people to

make decision about life; work,


education or marriage. This is
applied in institutions, schools or in
society.
Clinical and counseling psychology
are interrelated. They tackled
almost the same problems and use
the same methods but differ in
degree of severity.

Experimental and
Physiological
Experimental:
psychology
Experimental method is used in

understanding behavior, for example


perception, sensations, memory, learning.
studies basic causes of behavior, biological
and social, that cut across different species.
formulate theories that can be applied in
other situations.
Examples; closeness & attachment, pain
and avoidance

Physiological psychology
It studies biological basis of
behavior, the function of the body
and behavior. Example the causes
of anger, brain and memory,
secretion of hormones and
emotional arousal, genes and
behavior patterns.

Educational psychology
Educational Psychology is an applied

branch of psychology because it applies


knowledge of general psychology in
teaching and learning.
Every branch of psychology contributes
something in Educational psychology.
Understanding the scope of other
branches of psychology is important for
the teacher.

Linkage between Educational


psychology and other branches of
psychology

Bibliography
Coon, D 91988); Essentials of Psychology:

Exploration and Application. West Publishing. St.


Paul.
Durojaiye, M. O. (1976); An Introduction to
Educational Psychology; Evans Brothers, London.
Elliott, S et al (2000); Educational Psychology:
Effective Teaching, Effective Learning; McGraw
Hill, Boston.
Gutkin, T & Reynolds, C (1990): The Handbook of
School Psychology (2nd Edition). Wiley: New York
Kegan J &Segal,J (1995): Psychology: An
Introduction, Harcout, NewYok

Malim, T & Birch, A (1998); Introductory

Psychology; Palgrave, New York.


Papalia, D et al (2001); Human
Development (eighth edition); McGraw Hill,
Boston.
Passer, M & Smith, R (2001); Psychology:
Frontiers and Applications, McGraw Hill
Boston.
Phares, E.J and Chaplin, W. F (1997):
Introduction to Personality (4th Edition).
Longman: New York.
Vander Zanden, J. W (1997); Psychology (6th
Edition) Boston McGraw Hill.

Testing Questions
1. The school head teacher has been able to
resolve conflicts among teachers, the action that
has made the school to have a maximum
learning environment. Which one of the following
branches of psychology has been applied?
Developmental psychology
B. Industrial/organizational psychology
C. Social psychology
D. Clinical psychology
A.

2. Educational Psychology is concerned with:


Studying growth and development of children
B. Finding ways of facilitating teaching and learning
C. Classifying children according to their behaviour
D. Treating people suffering with emotional disorders
A.

3. Explain how you can apply psychology

in choosing and using:


a) Learning materials
b) Managing classroom during teaching