The field of psychology is mainly associated with psychological therapy and clinical psychology. However, the discipline includes many other important disciplines such as social, industrial, organizational, developmental, and cognitive psychology. Each of these disciplines opens up new career avenues for the psychology major, even at lower level degrees. For example, you might not be interested in studying all the way up to master’s in order to open your own psychology practice right away.

The Different Areas of Psychological Study

Clinical psychology is perhaps the most famous area of psychology. It deals with psychological disorders, how they develop, their various features, and their assessment and treatment. For the most part, your career in clinical psychology will be determined by your degree. At the graduate level, you can practice as a clinical psychologist, while at the medical level, you can practice as a psychiatrist. The main difference between these two career paths is that psychiatrists will focus more on the physiological element of a mental illness, and their training allows them to prescribe psychotropic medication during treatment. Meanwhile, a clinical psychologist will focus more on the inner thoughts and feelings of a patient and how well they are manifested in the client’s environment. You also have counseling psychologists, who are trained to work with individuals that have various issues in different aspects of their lives. These individuals may range from being well-adjusted to moderately maladjusted, and often have developmental, educational, vocational, social, or emotional concerns.

Other areas of psychological study include:

  • Neuroscience: This discipline focuses on the anatomical and physiological foundations of behavior, emotion, and thought.
  • Social psychology: Here, the focus is on human behavior and how it relates to and is affected by other people. While studying this discipline, you will encounter concepts such as self-esteem, identity, the self, social cognition and perception, and group behavior.
  • Developmental psychology: As the name suggests, developmental psychology focuses on the development of the mind and human behavior from the moment of birth. The discipline is subdivided into two main areas of study: cognitive development (the study of perception and language) and social development (which includes the study of the personality, moral system, and emotional development of the patient).
  • Cognitive psychology: This discipline has a fairly large area of study, which includes motor control, language, creativity, problem solving, intelligence, reasoning, memory, sensation, perception, information processing, and other aspects of mental function.
  • Industrial/organizational psychology: The focus here is on human behavior in the work setting, and it includes the study of the factors that lead to work satisfaction and motivation, optimal personnel selection, personnel training, and leadership.

How Difficult is it to Become a Psychology Major?

The coursework for the psychology major is not that much more difficult than the average coursework for any given degree. You will learn about the social, cognitive, and biological mechanisms that influence behaviors, and you will study and discuss various textbooks and scientific articles on the subject. You will also be expected to write papers and reports in the American Psychological Association format, style, and notation. One aspect of the major that may seem difficult to some involves the use of mathematics in the form of statistics and quantitative analysis. Other more technical areas will include the study of experimental design, research methods, and critical analysis. The coursework will also contain plenty of practical programs that will help you understand how to design and conduct psychological experiments.

Interested in Finding Out More About Becoming a Psychology Major in Chicago?

As a psychology major, you could have a very exciting, secure, and lucrative career ahead of you in several sectors and industries. If you would like to know more about the requirements, benefits, and expectations you will have when attending Robert Morris University, contact us today.