Subdisciplines of Psychology

Behavioral neuroscience studies the links among brain, mind, and behavior. It cuts across the disciplines and subdisciplines of psychology.

Biological psychology examines the relationship between bodily systems and chemicals and their influence on behavior and thought. There is a great deal of overlap between neuroscience and biological psychology. Biological psychology is an older term that is slowly being replaced by behavioral neuroscience.

Cognitive psychology is the study of how we perceive, learn, and remember, and how we learn and use language, and how we solve problems. Experimental psychologists do research on cognition and learning by conducting laboratory experiments to address their research questions.

Developmental psychology examines all aspects of human growth and change from conception until death and shows stability across the lifespan. Child psychologists, adolescent psychologists, and life-span psychologists are in this category.

Health psychologists explore the role of psychological factors in physical health and illness. Topics studied range from studies of how stress is linked to illness to research on the role of social factors in how people interact with health care professionals.

Physiological psychology focuses on the biological basis of behavior, cognition, and emotion. Neuropsychology, biological psychology, and behavioral genetics are fields in physiological psychology.

Personality psychologists study the relatively permanent traits of characteristics that render some consistency to behavior. They try to determine what makes people unique as well as the consistencies in behavior across time and situations. These traits include sociability, emotional stability, and self-esteem.


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