Guide To The Different Types Of Psychologists And What They Do

Psychology is a broad field of study applicable to every part of human life. This gives budding psychologists a number of specialties to pursue. In fact, it seems as if there is a subfield for every interest. We believe it is never too early to consider your academic and professional options. Listed below are some types of psychologists practicing their craft today and short descriptions of each. This is a great starting point for further investigation of professional psychology careers, but remember, you are not limited to the subfields on this list.

What Is a Psychologist?

While most of us think immediately of a therapist when we picture a psychologist, this is only one aspect of the field. Psychology is the study of the human mind, how it works, and how it influences behavior. Psychologists specialize in more than personal therapy. These professionals work with individuals, businesses, and other organizations focusing on mental health, but also employee selection, consumer behavior, government policies, learning disabilities, group behavior, and more.

Is There a Need for Psychologists?

As mental health becomes less stigmatized, and the use of psychology in such diverse fields as cross-cultural psychology and consumer behavior continues to become more recognized, the need for psychologists is increasing.

How to Become a Psychologist

First, major in Psychology in college. All Psychology students study the breadth of the field, to begin with, with more specialization possible as you progress. There are different requirements for each of the types of psychologists out there, but most require at least a Master’s degree after college. Investigate the field you want to pursue for more detail.

Types of Psychologists

Aviation Psychologists

Aviation psychologists work on flight crew behavior, airline safety, design training equipment, and use psychological techniques such as tests and interviews in-flight crew selection. The high-pressure work of piloting an airplane requires stable candidates with excellent coping skills, for example. Engineers often work with aviation psychologists to design airplane cabins and flight decks.

Biopsychologists

Biopsychologists, also known as biological psychologists or physiological psychologists, work on human behavior and the brain. These psychologists look to the neural root of human behaviors to understand the impact of biology on human actions, thoughts, and feelings. Biopsychologists also study the impact of brain injury and disease on behavior, which can lead to a new treatment, management, and prevention approaches.

Clinical Psychologists

Clinical psychologists are one of the most commonly encountered types of psychologists because they work in all areas of mental health. They work directly with people with mental illnesses and psychological conditions. In addition to diagnosing, clinical psychologists offer psychotherapy and overall treatment plans. Some specialize in particular areas, such as adult mental health or substance abuse issues.

Cognitive Psychologists

Cognitive psychologists study thinking itself, including the way the brain handles and uses information, from learning to memory to problem-solving to language. These mental health professionals may work with patients or engage in research. They often concentrate on subjects like language development or learning disabilities. Cognitive psychologists work in many healthcare settings and can offer practical approaches to improve decision making, enhance memory, or improve learning.

Community Psychologists

While many types of psychologists work directly with patients, community psychologists work on broader social and health issues affecting communities. They work with the public on education and prevention that will bring positive changes through action.

Comparative Psychologists

Comparative psychologists work with both humans and animals to gain insight into human psychology. They study the behavior of different species to understand the differences and similarities between human and animals. These professionals work from the basis that many aspects of psychology are universal across species, but not all. Pavlov’s famous experiment with dogs is just one example of comparative psychology research.

Consumer Psychologists

Consumer psychologists, also known as marketing psychologists, are one of the types of psychologists who work primarily with businesses. They use knowledge of consumer buying behavior, such as what gets consumers to make a purchase and how consumers respond to advertising, to improve marketing and design. They also research consumer emotions, decision-making, target demographics, and attitudes toward products and brands. They even create products to appeal to particular consumer groups.

Counseling Psychologists

Counseling psychologists, like clinical psychologists, work with individuals on mental health issues, such as stress, grief, substance abuse, depression, and related problems. These professionals may specialize, perhaps in behavioral problems or family counseling. Like clinical psychologists, counseling psychologists are licensed. Out of all the types of psychologists in the field, counseling psychologists are the most common.

Cross-Cultural Psychologists

Cross-cultural psychologists investigate the way different cultures influence human behavior. They look at the way human behavior can be different between cultures, or how it can be similar. Cross-cultural psychologists investigate the difference in parenting approaches in individualist and collectivist cultures, for example, and how those differences affect later behavior.

Developmental Psychologists

Developmental psychologists are concerned with the way humans develop, from birth until death. Many focus on one period of life, such as old age or early childhood. This group of psychologists may assess children for developmental delays, research adolescent issues, or work with individuals on coping with developmental issues. Psychologists who work in this subfield might also focus on moral understanding, personality, language acquisition, motor skills, or identity formation.

Educational Psychologists

Educational psychologists are concerned directly with learning and education, focusing on how the learning process is affected by cognitive, emotional, and social factors. Applied work might include creating teaching and instructional strategies and materials. Research might focus on ADHD, gifted children, or the learning process.

Engineering Psychologists

Engineering psychologists work on enhancing human abilities through the work environment, technology, and equipment, such as healthcare equipment, cell phones, and cars. This is largely an applied field, where these professionals create practical solutions.

Environmental Psychologists

Environmental psychologists are concerned with people and their relationship with their surroundings, artificial or natural. Research in this subfield could include the human impact on the environment, while applied work might have an environmental psychologist shaping government policies.

Evolutionary Psychologists

Evolutionary psychologists investigate how psychological changes have affected human behavior during human evolution. This subfield holds that human psychological traits have adapted humans to survive over thousands of years.

Forensic Psychologists

Forensic psychologists work at the intersection of psychology and the law, which could include consulting on criminal or civil legal cases, providing therapy to crime victims, testifying in court, handling child custody evaluations, or assessing an offender’s risk of returning to crime. This subfield has become increasingly popular because of pop culture depictions of forensic psychologists; please note that these portrayals are inaccurate, and the reality is not so dramatic.

Health Psychologists

Health psychologists focus on the way psychology, behavior, and social groups influence health, from wellness to illness. Some professionals work directly with clients, through psychotherapy, coping skills, psychological assessment, and healthy behaviors. They focus on the whole person, considering behavior that might impact the medical problem, such as medication compliance, and the patient’s education, background, or economic status. Practitioners commonly work in medical settings.

Industrial-Organizational Psychologists

Industrial-Organizational Psychologists largely work on business concerns, by researching behavior in the workplace, focusing on worker productivity, assessing employees, and training. They might create training programs to reduce injuries and increase efficiency. They also are employed to assess a business organizationally and suggest ways to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase employee retention.

Military Psychologists

Military psychologists work in military settings and can provide therapy for military members and helping discharged soldiers adjust to civilian living. Others use their psychological knowledge for recruiting, training, and leadership, or researching aspects of military life.

Neuropsychologist

Neuropsychology considers the physical brain, both structure and function, as it relates to psychology and human behavior. A neuropsychologist might be called in if a patient has lesions in the brain to test the electrical activity in the brain or to assess whether a brain injury might cause behavioral problems.

Personality Psychologists

Personality psychologists investigate personality and the traits that affect human behavior. This broad topic can have practical applications, such as research into changing one’s personality, investigations of personality traits that might connect to specific health problems, or how personality affects decision making.

School Psychologists

School psychologists help school children cope with academic, social, emotional, and behavior problems at school. They provide support and advice to students and direct intervention when necessary. They can also help students create a plan to deal with their school difficulties. These professionals work with parents, teachers, and school staff to make sure that the school environment is supportive and safe.

Social Psychologists

Social psychologists investigate group behavior, including behavior in social environments and how individuals are influenced by groups. Other topics explored cover a broad range, from persuasion to prejudice. Social psychologists might use their knowledge to influence groups towards healthier behavior and productivity.

CONCLUSION

Studying psychology can be an exciting career path, with a multitude of possibilities and opportunities. If none of the types of psychologists listed above are quite what you want, just do some research. Somewhere in the psychology field, there is a place for you.

Dodge the Burnout and Boredom!: How to Improve Your AP Score

AP exams are unlike anything high schoolers have been through before. We found the ultimate expert advice on how to get the best AP score in your class.

When it comes to improving your AP score, the struggle is very real.

For perhaps the first time in your academic life, you are experiencing pressure from every direction.

You have to study, you have to score well, and you know that you have to become an expert in your chosen subject — all on your own.

Well, we’re here to tell you not to fret.

You’ve got this!

We found you the best tips and tricks on the internet explicitly designed to help you score as high as possible on every AP exam you have coming up.

But first, let’s cover some of the basics.

Let’s Talk About Your AP Score

For starters:

It’s vital that you understand how your AP test will be scored.

After you take the test, you will earn a score of one through five — here’s what the scores mean:

  • 5: extreme qualification for college credit

  • 4: well qualified to earn a college credit

  • 3: qualified to earn a college credit

  • 2: you may qualify to earn a college credit

  • 1: you will not qualify for college credit

You can do it!

Around 13% of the people who take an AP test score a 5.

If you have a higher AP score, you will qualify for more credits than you would with a lower number.

Here’s the deal:

The only way to guarantee that you will qualify for college credit is to make sure you score a 3 or above.

The Many Benefits of a High AP Score

There are many benefits to nailing it on your AP exam aside from just earning credit towards your college classes.

old photo of Dr. Suess holding the book he wrote entitle "The Cat In the Hat"

“The more that you read, the more things you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”


Image via Al Ravenna, New York World-Telegram and the Sun staff photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 First, research shows that typically students who score a three or higher on their AP exams experience more academic success in coll​​ege over the kids who don’t partake in AP classes.

But that’s not all:

If you have a high AP score, you are also more likely to graduate from college on time — which could save you thousands of dollars.

AP scores are global!

If you are considering studying abroad, here’s what you need to know about your AP score: Qualifying AP scores can earn credit in nearly every university in the United States and Canada. Globally, over 100 other countries worldwide accept qualifying AP scores. And, In Europe and the UK, scoring a three or four will fulfill admission requirements.

Now:

You already know that you could earn college credits with a decent score, but what does that mean for you?

Well, it means:

  • Advanced placement in classes

  • Fulfilling requirements to graduate early

  • Skipping introductory or general-education classes

In summation, if you’re planning on going to college, you can save tons of time and money by scoring well on your AP exams.

You can do it!

Around 19 percent of the students that take an AP exam score a 4.

And, if you want to score a 3 or higher, you’re going to need to study your butt off.

Watch out for the Dreaded Burnout

Studies show that these days, students are burning out faster th​​an ever.

You might be burned out if you:

  • Keep getting sick

  • Procrastinate or feel overwhelmingly disinterested

  • Struggle with self-criticism or anxiety

  • Find yourself over-reacting to everything — even the small stuff

  • Are always exhausted

  • Are always distracted when you are eating

  • Feel numb or work to numb your feelings with drugs, alcohol, or food

  • Have trouble concentrating

  • Don’t feel like taking care of yourself anymore

  • Keep skipping school

  • Take out your frustrations on others

Does this sound like you?

Well, keep reading.

How to fight back against burnout

Now, if you just realized you’re feeling burned out lately, don’t worry — we found some ways you can deal wi​​th it.

Let’s dive in!

portrait of Jean Shinoda Bolen​

“When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.”


Image via Facebo​​ok

The “Avoiding Burnout” Toolbox

  • 1

    Get more rest: exhaustion can make you burn out faster

  • 2

    Say no to things you don’t have time for

  • 3

    Ask for help: talk to your friends, parents, teachers, or counselors

  • 4

    Eat healthy foods

  • 5

    Find an interest outside of your studies

  • 6

    Reward yourself for a job well done

  • 7

    Plan something fun

  • 8

    Set boundaries

  • 9

    Set aside time for something fun: no studying allowed

  • 10

    Get more exercise: a ten-minute walk can help improve your mood for two hours

But, that’s not all.

There’s more.

Expert Tips on How to Fight Back Against the Boredom Monster

Burning out isn’t the only thing that will hurt your AP score.

Can you guess what is?

I’ll help you.

Boredom is another silent killer.

Yes, boredom. No matter how much you love the subject you’re studying; everyone gets bored or sleepy after a while.

Luckily, we managed to find some expert advice on how to deal with the boredom monster when it attacks:

Studies show that exercise is more beneficial to your academic success than you might think.

“It is remarkable how one’s wits are sharpened by physical exercise.”


First, exercise increases serotonin production, which will help you feel less anxious and depressed.

Secondly, and most importantly, we know that exercise also helps i​​mprove concentration, alertness, motivation, memory, and learning ability.

So, the experts say that a short 30-minute cardiovascular workout is most effective for the best results — and the best part is that you will notice the effects immediately.

You can do it!

25% of the people who take an AP exam score a 3.

However, not everyone is the same.

Perhaps you’re saying to yourself:

“There is no way I can do that.”

It’s OK!

If you aren’t capable of a workout like that, just do what you can to get that heart rate up for as long as possible.

It’s that simple.

A few more tips for beating boredom into submission

Exercise isn’t the only way to kick boredom in the butt.

Here are a few more t​​ips:

You might be burned out if you:

  • Limit your sessions: study for 30 minutes, then take a 10-minute break

  • Don’t focus too hard on results: concentrate on the process and the subject your tackling at that moment

  • Vary your setting: try to study in different areas like the library, a book store, or a cafe

  • Go outside

  • Reward your inner child: treat yourself for getting through that rough spot

Do you think you can do those?

Now Let’s Talk About How to Supercharge Your Study Habits

We get it. Maybe those suggestions just aren’t quite right.

Don’t worry!

Exercise isn’t the only way to boost your learning potential.

We found several more scientifica​​lly proven way to supercharge your study habits.

Some of these are easier than you think!

      No cramming

a female student looking outside while inside the classroom

Image via Pex​​els

You already know that studying for short bursts of time with little breaks is a great way to beat boredom.

However, you also need to remember to spread out studying your subject as well — this means no cramming.

Can you believe it?

Everyone crams, right?

“Learning is not the product of teaching. Learning is the product of the activity of learners.”


Well as it turns out, cramming isn’t all that beneficial.

See, if you cram for your exam, your brain will only store the information in its short-term data banks.

On the other hand, if you study for your AP exam spread out over as much time as possible, you will commit the information to your long-term memory.

Once the information exists in the long-term memory section of your brain, it will be there forever.

So, change it up and give this no-cramming rule a try!

      Teaching someone else

group of girls studying

Image via Pixabay

Studies overwhelmingly s​​how that if you teach someone else what you’re learning — it will help you learn the information yourself.

Here’s how it works:

If you read the material with the intention of teaching it to someone else, you actively understand and store the information in your memory.

Pro tip!

Studies show that if you read through the exam before you take it, that could help your score.

Whereas, if you read the information passively, that’s how your brain remembers it.

      Test yourself

a man looking at the notes posted on the whiteboard

Image via ​Pexels

Next, we understand that the test itself is the true stressor in your life right now.

However, there are a ton of practice AP tests out there — and you truly want to boost your AP score, you will take as many of them as possible.

Research shows that testing yourself will help you:

  • Ease test anxiety

  • Show areas of weakness

  • Learn/recall the information more proficiently

Reading the material is all well and good.

You can do it!

In 2018, 21.2 percent of the people that took the AP psychology exam scored a 5.

It’s essential, though, that you can recall that information when you’re going to need it, and a practice test is the only way to know for sure.

Once you’ve got a few practice tests licked, your confidence will be flying sky high!

      AP practice tests

We know, what you’re wondering:

“Where can I find some of these practice tests?”

We’ve got you covered.

Here are some excellent links to pages with a ton of free practice tests.

      Get some sleep

a teenage boy sleeping

Image via Pexel​​s

Another way to boost your AP score is to get plenty of rest.

In addition to combating burnout and boredom, getting plenty of sleep has a significant impact on what you’re brain will be able to recall.

Here’s how it works:

When you sleep, your brain goes through physical changes.

portrait of writer, Audrey Niffenegger

“Sleep is my lover now, my forgetting, my opiate, my oblivion.”

Audrey Niffe​​negger – The Time Traveler’s Wife

Image by Michael Strong, CC BY-SA​​ 3.0, via Wikimedi​​a Commons

After your brain intakes information during the day, it grows new​​ connections and pathways after you fall into a deep sleep later on — which commits the information to memory.

If you aren’t sleeping well, however, your brain won’t have a chance to perform that essential function, and that won’t help your AP score one bit.

      No more all-nighters

Regardless of what Hollywood might lead you to believe, all-nighters are not an effective way to make sure you nail it on your AP exam.

Pro tip:

The mind/body connection is a strong one. Experts say that striking a powerful pose, hands on hips, AKA the Wonder Woman pose before the test helps you face it like the superhero you are.

Sadly, in the real world, missing out on a night’s sleep will inhibit your brain’s ability to process and store information.

As a matter of fact:

Res​​earch shows that skipping out on sleep could cut your ability to recall the information you learned by up to 40 percent.

How Music Can Help You Turn Things Up

Next, we have great news for music lovers.

According to research, listening to music while you study is incredibly beneficial for more reasons than one.

Look:

First, according to the University of Ma​​ryland, listening to music helps students with stress and test anxiety feel better.

Secondly, other studies found that music helps in overall performance and even with pain management.

Most importantly, though, let’s talk about what music will do for your brain’s ability to learn.

You can do it!

In 2018, 13.4 percent of the people that took the AP chemistry exam scored a 5.

According to a study out of Stanford, “Music moves the brain to pay attention.”

Interestingly enough, by using classical music,  the stu​​dy found that:

“Music engages the areas of the brain involved with paying attention, making predictions, and updating the events in memory.” 


Check out the video below of what Mozart does to someone’s brain:

But that’s not all.

It turns out that music is also an incredibly influential factor when it comes to memory and cognitive functions.

Check out this video:

As you can see, when it comes to memorization and recall, music is your friend.

Tips Specifically for Boosting Your AP Score

By now, you realize that your upcoming AP test is unlike any exam you have taken before.

So, we checked in with the experts to see what you can do to specifically help you improve your score on your upcoming AP exams.

Wnat to know what they say?

Keep reading.

      Make a study schedule

First, whether you are taking one or several AP classes, make a study schedule.

Most students find that starting to study for the final AP exams around three months out is the most effective strategy — but you should figure out what works for you.

Check out the video below:

To come up with the most effective plan, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How many weeks/days/months away are the exams?

  • What time of day do you feel the most focused?

  • How much time each week/day/month can you devote to studying for each exam?

  • When will you do the work? (for example, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 5 p.m. study for AP psych)

      Start with older material

Did you know the order of the material matters?

It does!

When you sit down to review for your AP exams, experts say to start with the old material first.

Refreshing your memory consistently is the best way to make sure you recall the information you need.

You can do it!

In 2018, 30.2 percent of the people that took the AP physics exam C (mechanics) scored a 5.

Keep the AP exam in mind as you approach new material

Next, as you go through the school year, approach all your new material with the AP test in mind.

It’s easier than you think.

When you take an AP class, you can’t just forget the material once you’re graded on it the first time.

As you learn new material in your AP subjects, make notes about what you’re up to.

Pro tip:

Not all music is created equal when it comes to learning. Experts find that instrumental music like classical, ambient hip-hop, and electronica help the most.

Later on, you will want to have noted both the essential points in each lesson as well as the areas in which you struggled.

      Don’t rely too heavily on your teacher

portrait of Nelson Mandela

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” 


Library of the London School of Economics and Political Science [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons

Now, you already know that your AP course is unlike anything you have done before.

It stands to reason, then, that preparing for the AP test is also a new experience for you.

For what may be the first time in your school career, you can’t count on your teacher to deliver all the essential information.

It’s your teacher’s job to ensure you have your information for the school year.

However, no teacher has the time to cover everything on the AP test; and counting on them to do so will hurt your overall score.

This calls for reinforcements.

      Invest in an AP prep book

The good news is:

You aren’t entirely on your own when it comes to learning everything you need to know for a fantastic AP score.

First, there are a ton of AP prep books like this one on the market these days covering every subject you can think of.

You definitely want to get yourself a prep book for the AP subjects you’re studying this year.

In addition to essential information on your AP subject, sometimes those prep books will have practice tests in them as well.

She Scored a 5 on Her AP Psych Exam – Here’s How

Now, we have heard enough from adult experts, let’s hear from some students going through the process.

Check out the video below:

As you can see, she used a few of the ideas we are talking about today to study for her exam.

Not taking the AP psychology exam?

No problem!

Handy Memorization Techniques

Anyone who has ever studied anything knows that no matter how hard we try not to, sometimes learning comes down to straight memorization.

Luckily:

We found some interesting techniques to help you memorize all that stuff easily.

Check out this video:

But that’s not all, there’s more!

The Link Method

First, we have the link method.

Check out the video below:

It seems simple enough.

You just create links between what you already know and what you want to remember.

Bam!

The Story Method

Check out this one!

The video below to learn about the Story Method for memorization:

Like the Link Method, the Story Method for memorization creates a pathway for remembering more stuff than you can imagine.

Neat!

The Loci Method

Next, instead of a story, the Loci Method for memorization uses physical items and locations to help you remember.

Check out the video below:

Feeling overwhelmed?

Don’t worry!

You don’t have to learn all of these techniques — we simply want to give you as many options as possible.

Mind Mapping Technique

Finally, we round out this list of memorization techniques with the Mind Mapping Technique.

You’re going to want to see this one.

Check out the video below:

But, wait, there’s more, we even found music designed to help you memorize your stuff more effectively.

Music for memorization

And, another:

Check out this video of music for memorization:

There are a ton of videos like these on YouTube, just search for, “memorization music.”

It’s Test Time

Finally!

Now that we have covered how to study leading up to it let’s talk about the week of the exam.

So, lets get down to business.

Top foods to eat on the day of the test:

  • Fish to get those Omega-3’s
  • Dark fruits and veggies: berries, apples, beans, artichokes
  • Complex carbohydrates: whole grains, fresh fruit, beans or legumes
  • A quality protein: eggs, lean meat, low-fat milk, or soy
  • Water: you need to be adequately hydrated to get 100 percent performance out of that brilliant brain of yours]
  • Hopefully, you have given yourself plenty of time for studying, so the final week should be as relaxed as possible.

    Here are some pro-tips for exam time:

    • The night before: get a good night’s sleep

    • Don’t study right before the test

    • Stay calm

    • Don’t engage in negative talk with your peers before the exam (for example, “I am so nervous right now.”)

    • Ask the instructor for a scrap piece of paper for mind-mapping/math

    • Don’t pay any attention to the students that finish before you

    • Make sure you read through the exam in full before you start

    • Read the instructions on the test carefully before you begin

    Easy enough, right?

    You’re Going to Nail It

    Congratulations, you have just taken the bull by the horns, and you are more prepared than ever to get the highest AP score possible.

    Just remember:

    Give yourself plenty of time.

    If you follow the simple steps we laid out for you here, starting with a study schedule, you will find you’re capable of more than you ever imagined.

    Featured Image: CC0 via Pexels