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Community Psychologists have the unique job of studying, researching, understanding, and analyzing the relationships of people with their immediate and broader communities. They try to understand the reasoning behind community issues, how people interact with their communities, and how people behave and act with others within their community. A relatively new discipline, community psychology is important in understanding community mental health and well-being.
Cognitive neuroscientists examine and understand brain functions and how they relate to behavior and development. Their primary job responsibility is to study and conduct research on how and why humans think and behave the way they do. They combine science and psychological knowledge to try and understand how behavior and actions are controlled by neural activity and functions.
Clinical psychologists are the psychologists in charge of analyzing, identifying, treating, and preventing mental disorders and issues. Don’t mistake them for medical doctors as they can’t prescribe medical treatment in most of the country, instead they work in private practice, or state-run hospitals, or an academic environment and study psychological disorders such as schizophrenia and depression. Their job is to help their patients identify, understand, and treat both common and serious mental disorders.
Child psychologists are responsible for studying, analyzing, and diagnosing the mental, social, and emotional development and behavior of children from birth through adolescence. Some of the things that child psychologists study include genetics, personality and brain development, social maturation, and language development. They are also charged with helping identify, prevent, and treat social, emotional, and developmental issues that inevitably arise in children.
Forensic Psychologists are the intermediaries between the field of psychology and the justice system because they are responsible for applying psychology to the field of justice, criminal investigation, and law. Forensic psychologists are called upon during legal disputes like custody battles, insurance hearings, and other types of lawsuits. They investigate reports, evaluate the behavior of both parties, and determine mental competency of defendants.
Educational Psychologists have the unenviable job of studying and understanding how people are capable of learning in educational settings, the efficacy of certain educational methods, and the effectiveness of the instructional process. They help identify gifted and disabled learners and try to drill down to the root of the problem in hopes of identifying and treating issues in the early stages. Educational psychologists take a proactive rather than reactive approach to the job and use their research to improve educational experiences for people of all learning styles.
The primary function of developmental psychologists is to study and understand human social and emotional growth and development over the course of time. Developmental psychologists are often asked to evaluate and diagnose patients with developmental disabilities, understand the origin and problems with language development, and work with people of all ages and personalities to pinpoint their developmental obstacles and successes.
Counseling psychologists focus on the emotional, social, educational, and developmental behavior on people and use that research to help encourage and facilitate more successful personal and interpersonal behavior. Counseling psychologists do everything from consulting work for government agencies and large schools to individual and group therapy for those suffering from substance abuse, anxiety disorders, and many others.
Consumer psychologists study and analyze how thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, ideas, and impulses impact people’s behavior as consumers. They study how and why people use, buy, and experience certain products and then they draw psychologically-based conclusions surrounding consumer behavior, trends, and patterns. Consumer psychologists often look at factors such as decision-making, impulse control, and social and cultural influences when examining consumer behavior.
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