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What is the work of psychologists, what types are there, and what do they do?

Despite many considering psychology an intangible and unserious science, in reality, it is a complex and multifaceted discipline. So, what is the work of psychologists, what types are there, and what do they do? Today, I will tell you exactly about that.

There are several main directions in psychological practice, each of which studies the mind and behavior of humans.

Clinical psychologists

Clinical psychology involves the assessment and treatment of mental disorders as well as behavioral and psychological issues. This field combines science, theory, and practice.

Clinical psychologists study intellectual, emotional, biological, psychological, social, and behavioral aspects of human activity across different cultures and socioeconomic levels.

Although they are primarily focused on the assessment and treatment of mental disorders, many clinical psychologists also conduct research, teach, consult, develop programs, and conduct forensic evaluations.

Cognitive psychologists

Cognitive psychology is the scientific study of the mind as an information processor.

The work of cognitive psychologists involves constructing cognitive models of information processing that occur in the human mind, including perception, attention, language, memory, and thinking.

In simpler terms, they study how people acquire, process, and store information in their minds. Some even call cognitive psychologists “intellectual researchers.”

These specialists work in hospitals, psychiatric clinics, and other medical institutions, as well as in universities and research centers.

Developmental psychologists

Developmental psychology is concerned with the study of human growth and development. This can include physical, cognitive, emotional, intellectual, and social changes and milestones.

By studying these developmental changes, psychologists gain a better understanding of how individuals change and grow at different stages of their lives.

This branch of psychology explores any psychological factors that can be studied throughout a person’s entire life, including motor skills, problem-solving, moral principles, language acquisition, emotions, self-esteem, and identity formation.

A developmental psychologist typically specializes in a specific age group or stage of human development. For example, a child psychologist may determine if a child has developmental delays, while someone working with older adults may advise on strategies to improve quality of life in later years.

Evolutionary psychologists

Evolutionary psychologists attempt to reconstruct the problems our ancestors faced in their primitive environments and the methods they employed to solve these specific problems.

Based on this data, this branch of psychology then identifies common behavioral roots of our ancestors and how these common roots manifest today in widely dispersed cultures across the planet.

Typically, evolutionary psychologists work with individuals and groups who seek to change their undesirable behaviors.

Significant contributions to the development of evolutionary psychology come from research in related fields such as history, biology, and anthropology.

Forensic psychologists

The use of psychology in criminal investigations and legal disputes involves the work of forensic psychologists, which entails assessing the criminal motives of offenders and understanding what threat, if any, these individuals may pose to society in the future.

The assessment and testimonies of forensic psychologists assist judges and jurors in making decisions.

In addition to psychology itself, a forensic psychologist must have a good understanding of criminal law to interact with judges, attorneys, and lawyers. They must also possess a certain lexicon to provide psychological findings and data in legal language in reports and in the courtroom.

Medical psychologists

Medical psychology, also known as behavioral medicine, explores how behavior, biology, and social status influence human health.

While a physician treats the illness, a medical psychologist pays more attention to the patient, learning about their socioeconomic status and background, behaviors that may affect the illness, and the biological causes of the disease.

The goal of a medical psychologist is to improve the overall health of the patient by analyzing the illness in the context of biopsychosocial (biological, psychological, and social) factors.


The primary goal of neuropsychology is to understand specific psychological processes and behavior from the perspective of brain structure and function.

Neuropsychologists often study brain injuries or diseases that affect cognitive functions and human behavior.

These specialists help doctors understand how brain dysfunctions occur and what happens when they do.

Neuropsychology is scientific in its approach and shares with cognitive psychology the notion of information processing in the brain.

Industrial psychologists

Industrial psychology, also known as occupational or organizational psychology, studies people’s behavior at work or during training. Specifically, it investigates how individuals and groups behave in the workplace.

The work of industrial psychologists involves using psychological research methods to solve problems and improve the quality of work.

They study workplace productivity, management styles, employee performance, as well as gaining an understanding of the morale of individual workers, companies, or organizations as a whole.

Striving to enhance efficiency, effectiveness, and job satisfaction in workplaces, industrial psychologists collaborate with management, assisting in employment policy planning, conducting assessments and training sessions, and developing future work plans.

Social psychologists

Social psychology uses scientific methods to understand and explain how the actual, imagined, or implied presence of other people influences our feelings, behavior, and thoughts.

Social psychologists study human behavior in groups, social perception, nonverbal communication, conformity, aggression, prejudice, and leadership, which are key to understanding social behavior.

What is the work of psychologists as consultants?

Psychologists as consultants are professionals who provide psychological services to individuals and organizations. They may work with clients individually or in groups, providing counseling, assessments, conducting training sessions, etc.

Psychologists as consultants use their problem-solving skills to help clients develop plans and strategies to overcome psychological difficulties in their personal or professional lives.

They can work online or offline and have a wide range of employment opportunities, including:

  • Assessing clients’ mental and physical health using psychological testing methods, including personality tests and cognitive ability tests.
  • Providing counseling services to individuals or groups, such as children, adolescents, adults, the elderly, families, couples, or friends.
  • Providing psychotherapy to clients to help them cope with emotional difficulties or resolve issues in their lives.
  • Conducting research in areas such as child development or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD);
  • Assessing the effectiveness of applied techniques by regularly conducting tests during treatment sessions.
  • Providing psychological services to businesses to improve employee productivity or enhance the work environment.
  • Conducting forensic evaluations of patients involved in legal proceedings, such as criminal cases or child custody disputes.
  • Consulting with attorneys on cases involving psychological issues.

Additionally, companies often hire сonsulting psychologists to implement employee assistance programs that help employees cope with issues such as workplace conflicts, stress, depression, substance abuse, family problems, etc.

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