Psychologist

A psychologist studies normal and abnormal mental states, cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavior by observing, interpreting, and recording how individuals relate to one another and to their environments.[1] To become a psychologist, a person often completes a graduate university degree in psychology, but in most jurisdictions, members of other behavioral professions (such as counselors and psychiatrists) can also evaluate, diagnose, treat, and study mental processes.[2]

EEG early studies edited
Psychologist David Lewis measures a subject's responses to a TV commercial in the early 1980s using a specially modified EEG device.

Professional practice

Psychologists can be seen as practicing within two general categories of psychology: applied psychology which includes "practitioners" or "professionals", and research-orientated psychology which includes "scientists", or "scholars". The training models endorsed by the American Psychological Association (APA) require that applied psychologists be trained as both researchers and practitioners,[3] and that they possess advanced degrees.

Psychologists typically have one of two degrees (PsyD or PhD). The PhD prepares a psychologist to conduct scientific research for a career in academia; whereas, the PsyD prepares for clinical practice (e.g. testing, psychotherapy). Both PsyD and PhD programs can prepare students to be licensed psychologists, and training in these types of programs prepares graduates to take state licensing exams.

Within the two main categories are many further types of psychologists as reflected by the 56 professional classifications recognized by the APA,[4] including clinical, counseling, and educational psychologists. Such professionals work with persons in a variety of therapeutic contexts. People often think of the discipline as involving only such clinical or counseling psychologists. While counseling and psychotherapy are common activities for psychologists, these applied fields are just two branches in the larger domain of psychology.[5] There are other classifications such as industrial, organizational and community psychologists, whose professionals mainly apply psychological research, theories, and techniques to "real-world" problems of business, industry, social benefit organizations, government,[6][7][8] and academia.

Clinical and counseling psychologists

Clinical and counseling psychologists can offer a range of professional services, including:[9]

  • Providing psychological treatment (psychotherapy)
  • Administering and interpreting psychological assessment and testing
  • Conducting psychological research
  • Teaching
  • Developing prevention programs
  • Consulting (especially with schools and businesses)
  • Program administration
  • Providing expert testimony (forensics)

In practice, clinical and counseling psychologists might work with individuals, couples, families, or groups in a variety of settings, including private practices, hospitals, mental health organizations, schools, businesses, and non-profit agencies.

Most clinical and counseling who engage in research and teaching do so within a college or university setting. Clinical and counseling psychologists may also choose to specialize in a particular field. Common areas of specialization, some of which can earn board certification, include:[10]

Clinical and counseling psychologists receive training in a number of psychological therapies, including behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, existential, psychodynamic, and systemic approaches, as well as in-depth training in psychological testing, and to some extent, neuropsychological testing.

Contrasted with psychiatrists

Although clinical and counseling psychologists and psychiatrists share the same fundamental aim—the alleviation of mental distress—their training, outlook, and methodologies are often different. Perhaps the most significant difference is that psychiatrists are licensed physicians, and, as such, psychiatrists are apt to use the medical model to assess mental health problems and to also employ psychotropic medications as a method of addressing mental health problems.[11]

Psychologists generally do not prescribe medication, although in some jurisdictions they do have prescription privileges. In five US states (New Mexico, Louisiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Idaho), psychologists with post-doctoral clinical psychopharmacology training have been granted prescriptive authority for mental health disorders.[12][13]

Clinical and counseling psychologists receive extensive training in psychological test administration, scoring, interpretation, and reporting, while psychiatrists are not trained in psychological testing. In addition, psychologists (particularly those from Ph.D. programs) spend several years in graduate school being trained to conduct behavioral research; their training includes research design and advanced statistical analysis. While this training is available for physicians via dual MD/Ph.D. programs, it is not typically included in standard medical education, although psychiatrists may develop research skills during their residency or a psychiatry fellowship (post-residency). Psychologists from Psy.D. programs tend to have more training and experience in clinical practice (e.g. psychotherapy, testing) than those from Ph.D. programs.

Psychiatrists, as licensed physicians, have been trained more intensively in other areas, such as internal medicine and neurology, and may bring this knowledge to bear in identifying and treating medical or neurological conditions that present with primarily psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, or paranoia, e.g., hypothyroidism presenting with depressive symptoms, or pulmonary embolism with significant apprehension and anxiety.[14]

Licensing and regulations

Australia

In Australia, the psychology profession, and the use of the title "psychologist", is regulated by an Act of Parliament, the Health Practitioner Regulation (Administrative Arrangements) National Law Act 2008, following an agreement between state and territorial governments. Under this national law, registration of psychologists is administered by the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA).[15] Before July 2010, the professional registration of psychologists was governed by various state and territorial Psychology Registration Boards.[16] The Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) oversees education standards for the profession.

The minimum requirements for general registration in psychology, including the right to use the title "psychologist", are an APAC approved four-year degree in psychology followed by either a two-year master's program or two years of practice supervised by a registered psychologist.[17][18] There is also a '5 + 1' registration pathway, including a four-year APAC approved degree followed by one year of postgraduate study and one year of supervised practice.[19][20] Endorsement within a specific area of practice (e.g. clinical neuropsychology, clinical, community, counselling, educational and developmental, forensic, health, organisational or sport and exercise) requires additional qualifications.[21] These notations are not "specialist" titles (Western Australian psychologists could use "specialist" in their titles during a three-year transitional period from 17 October 2010 to 17 October 2013).[22][23][24]

Membership with Australian Psychological Society (APS) differs from registration as a psychologist. The standard route to full membership (MAPS) of the APS usually requires four years of APAC-accredited undergraduate study, plus a master's or doctorate in psychology from an accredited institution. An alternate route is available for academics and practitioners who have gained appropriate experience and made a substantial contribution to the field of psychology.

Restrictions apply to all individuals using the title "psychologist" in all states and territories of Australia. However, the terms "psychotherapist", "social worker", and "counselor" are currently self-regulated, with several organizations campaigning for government regulation.[25]

Belgium

Since 1933, the title "psychologist" has been protected by law in Belgium. It can only be used by people who are on the National Government Commission list. The minimum requirement is the completion of five years of university training in psychology (master's degree or equivalent). The title of "psychotherapist" is not legally protected. As of 2016, Belgian law recognizes the clinical psychologist as an autonomous health profession. It reserves the practice of psychotherapy to medical doctors, clinical psychologists and clinical orthopedagogists.[26]

Finland

In Finland, the title "psychologist" is protected by law. The restriction for psychologists (licensed professionals) is governed by National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Finland) (Valvira).[27] It takes 330 ECTS-credits (about six years) to complete the university studies (master's degree). There are about 6,200 licensed psychologists in Finland.[28]

Germany

In Germany, the use of the title Diplom-Psychologe (Dipl.-Psych.) is restricted by law, and a practitioner is legally required to hold the corresponding academic title, which is comparable to a higher M.Sc. degree and requires at least five years of training at a university. Originally, a diploma degree in psychology awarded in Germany included the subject of clinical psychology. With the Bologna-reform, this degree was replaced by a master's degree. The academic degree of Diplom-Psychologe or M.Sc. (Psychologie) does not include a psychotherapeutic qualification, which requires three to five years of additional training. The psychotherapeutic training combines in-depth theoretical knowledge with supervised patient care and self-reflection units. After having completed the training requirements, psychologists take a state-run exam, which, upon successful completion (Approbation), confers the official title of "psychological psychotherapist" (Psychologischer Psychotherapeut).[29] After many years of inter-professional political controversy, non-physician psychotherapy was given an adequate legal foundation through the creation of two new academic healthcare professions.[30]

Greece

Since 1979, the title "psychologist" has been protected by law in Greece. It can only be used by people who hold a relevant license to practice as a psychologist. The minimum requirement is the completion of university training in psychology at a Greek university, or at a university recognized by the Greek authorities.[31]

The Netherlands

In the Netherlands, the title of "psychologist"[32] is not restricted by law. The Dutch professional association of psychologists (NIP), using trademark law, posited its own title "Psychologist NIP" (Psycholoog NIP). This title is granted exclusively to holders of a master's degree in psychology after a year of postgraduate experience. The titles "psychotherapist" (psychotherapeut) and "healthcare psychologist" (gz-psycholoog for gezondheidszorgpsycholoog) are restricted through the Individual Healthcare Professions Act (wet BIG) to those who have followed further postgraduate (PsyD/DPsych or licentiate level) training. The use of the titles "clinical psychologist" (klinisch psycholoog) and "clinical neuropsychologist" (klinisch neuropsycholoog) are reserved for those who have followed specialist post-licentiate training.

New Zealand

In New Zealand, the use of the title "psychologist" is restricted by law. Prior to 2004, only the title "registered psychologist" was restricted to people qualified and registered as such. However, with the proclamation of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act, in 2003, the use of the title "psychologist" was limited to practitioners registered with the New Zealand Psychologists Board. The titles "clinical psychologist", "counseling psychologist", "educational psychologist", "intern psychologist", and "trainee psychologist" are similarly protected.[33] This is to protect the public by providing assurance that the title-holder is registered and therefore qualified and competent to practice, and can be held accountable. The legislation does not include an exemption clause for any class of practitioner (e.g., academics, or government employees).

South Africa

Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela
South African psychologist Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela.

In South Africa,[34] psychologists are qualified in either clinical, counseling, educational, organizational, or research psychology. To become qualified, one must complete a recognized master's degree in Psychology, an appropriate practicum at a recognized training institution,[35] and take an examination set by the Professional Board for Psychology.[36] Registration with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA)[37] is required and includes a Continuing Professional Development component. The practicum usually involves a full year internship, and in some specializations, the HPCSA requires completion of an additional year of community service. The master's program consists of a seminar, coursework-based theoretical and practical training, a dissertation of limited scope, and is (in most cases) two years in duration. Prior to enrolling in the master's program, the student studies psychology for three years as an undergraduate (B.A. or B.Sc., and, for organizational psychology, also B.Com.), followed by an additional postgraduate honours degree in psychology; see List of universities in South Africa. Qualification thus requires at least five years of study and at least one internship. The undergraduate B.Psyc. is a four-year program integrating theory and practical training, and—with the required examination set by the Professional Board for Psychology—is sufficient for practice as a psychometrist or counselor.[38]

Sweden

In Sweden, the title "psychologist" is restricted by law. It can only be used after receiving a license from the government. The basic requirements are a completed five-year specialized course in psychology (the equivalent of a master's degree) and twelve months of practice under supervision. All other uses are banned, though often challenged.

The title "Psychotherapist" is governed by similar rules, but the basic educational demands require another one-and-a-half years (spread out over three years) in a specialized course in psychotherapy (courses vary regarding theory), in addition to an academic-level degree within a field concerning the treatment of people (psychologist, social worker, psychiatrist).

United Kingdom

In the UK, "registered psychologist" and "practitioner psychologist" are protected titles.[39] The title of "neuropsychologist" is not protected.[39] In addition, the following specialist titles are also protected by law: "clinical psychologist", "counselling psychologist", "educational psychologist", "forensic psychologist", "health psychologist", "occupational psychologist" and "sport and exercise psychologist".[40] The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) is the statutory regulator for practitioner psychologists in the UK. In the UK, the use of the title "chartered psychologist" is also protected by statutory regulation, but that title simply means that the psychologist is a chartered member of the British Psychological Society, but is not necessarily registered with the HCPC. However, it is an offense for someone who is not in the appropriate section of the HCPC register to provide psychological services.[41] The requirement to register as a clinical, counseling, or educational psychologist is a professional doctorate (and in the case of the latter two the British Psychological Society's Professional Qualification, which meets the standards of a professional doctorate).[42] The title of "psychologist", by itself, is not protected.[39] The British Psychological Society is working with the HCPC to ensure that the title of "neuropsychologist" is regulated as a specialist title for practitioner psychologists.

In the UK, clinical psychologists undertake a doctorate in Clinical Psychology (D.Clin.Psych., Clin.Psy.D., or similar), which has both clinical and research components. This is a three-year full-time salaried program provided by thirty centers across the UK, sponsored by the National Health Service (NHS). These clinical-psychology doctoral degrees are accredited by the British Psychological Society and the HCPC. Entry into these programs is highly competitive and requires at least a three-year undergraduate degree in psychology, plus some form of experience, usually in either the NHS, as an assistant psychologist, or in academia, as a Research Assistant.[43][44] More information about the path to training in the UK can be found at the central clearing house for clinical psychology training applications, and at www.ClinPsy.org.uk, where questions can be answered on the forum run by qualified UK clinical psychologists.

Employment

As of December 2012, in the United Kingdom, there are 19,000 practitioner psychologists registered[45] across seven categories: clinical psychologist, counseling psychologist, educational psychologist, forensic psychologist, health psychologist, occupational psychologist, sport and exercise psychologist. At least 9,500 of these are clinical psychologists,[46] which is the largest group of psychologists in clinical settings such as the NHS. Around 2,000 are educational psychologists.[47]

United States and Canada

Regulation

A professional in the U.S. or Canada must hold a graduate degree in psychology (MA, Psy.D., Ed.D., or Ph.D.), or have a state license to use the title psychologist.[48][49] The exception to this is the profession of school psychology, which most states certify or license separately or under different requirements than healthcare provider psychologists. The most commonly recognized psychology professionals are clinical and counseling psychologists, who provide psychotherapy, or administer and interpret psychological tests. Requirements vary state-by-state for academics in psychology, as well as for government employees.

Psychologists in the United States campaigned for legislative changes to enable specially trained psychologists to prescribe psychiatric medicine. Legislation in Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Illinois has granted those who complete an additional master's degree program in psychopharmacology permission to prescribe medications for mental and emotional disorders.[50] As of 2019, Louisiana is the only state where the licensing and regulation of the practice of psychology by medical psychologists (MPs) is regulated by a medical board (the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners) rather than a board of psychologists.[51] While other states have pursued prescriptive privileges, they have not succeeded. Similar legislation in the states of Hawaii and Oregon passed through their respective legislative bodies, but in each case the legislation was vetoed by the state's governor.[50]

In 1989, the U.S Department of Defense was directed to create the Psychopharmacology Demonstration Project (PDP). By 1997, ten psychologists were trained in psychopharmacology and granted the ability to prescribe psychiatric medications.[52]

In the United States and Canada, full membership in the American Psychological Association requires doctoral training (except in some Canadian provinces, such as Alberta, where a master's degree is sufficient).[a] The minimal requirement for full membership can be waived in circumstances where there is evidence that significant contribution or performance in the field of psychology has been made. Associate membership requires at least two years of postgraduate studies in psychology or an approved related discipline.[53]

Sample Curriculum for MA in Clinical Psychology in the U.S.
State Required School Required Electives

Chemical Dependency: 3
Human Sexuality: 2
Child Abuse: 2
Domestic Violence: 2
Aging: 2
Ethics & Law: 3
Psychological Testing: 3
Psychopharmacology: 3

Process and Psychotherapy: 4
Personality Theory: 6
Cross-Cultural: 3
Comparative Theories: 6
Psychology and Society: 2
Systems Theory & Family: 5
Assessing and Planning: 3
Brief Therapy: 2
Group and Couples Treatment: 6
Applied Therapeutic Techniques: 9
Developmental Psych and pathology: 9

Gay and Lesbian Issues: 2
ADHD: 1
Crisis Intervention: 2
Cognitive/Behavioral: 2
Existential Psychology: 2
Clinical Intervention with Adolescents: 2
Narratives of Women's Lives: 2

Where subject is required by both the state and the school, it is shown under the school's required column. Similar courses have been lumped together, for example, "Group Treatment Techniques" and "Couples Counseling" were combined, their units added together and called "Group and Couples Treatment"—just to keep the table of manageable size.

Schooling

Penn campus 2
The University of Pennsylvania was the first institution to offer formal education in clinical psychology. in U.S.

There are a number of U.S. schools offering accredited programs in clinical psychology resulting in a master's degree. Such programs can range from forty-eight to eighty-four units, most often taking two to three years to complete after the undergraduate degree. Training usually emphasizes theory and treatment over research, quite often with a focus on school, or couples and family counseling. Similar to doctoral programs, master's level students usually must fulfill time in a clinical practicum under supervision; some programs also require a minimum amount of personal psychotherapy.[54] While many graduates from master's level training go on to doctoral psychology programs, a large number also go directly into practice—often as a licensed professional counselor (LPC), marriage and family therapist (MFT), or other similar licensed practice.

There is stiff competition to gain acceptance into clinical and counseling psychology doctoral programs (acceptance rates of 2-5% are not uncommon). Clinical and Counseling psychologists in the U.S. undergo many years of graduate training—usually five to seven years after the bachelor's degree—to gain demonstrable competence and experience. Licensure as a psychologist takes an additional one to two years post Ph.D./Psy.D. (licensure requires 3,000 hours of supervised training), depending on the state. Today in America, about half of all clinical and counseling psychology graduate students are being trained in Ph.D. programs that emphasize research and are conducted by universities—with the other half in Psy.D. programs, which have more focus on practice (similar to professional degrees for medicine and law).[55] Both types of doctoral programs (Ph.D. and Psy.D.) envision practicing clinical and counseling psychology in a research-based, scientifically valid manner, and most are accredited by the American Psychological Association.[56]

APA accreditation[57] is very important for U.S. clinical, counseling, and school psychology programs because graduating from a non-accredited doctoral program may adversely affect employment prospects and present a hurdle for becoming licensed in some jurisdictions.[58][59][60][61]

Doctorate (Ph.D. and Psy.D.) programs usually involve some variation on the following 5 to 7 year, 90-120 unit curriculum:

  • Bases of behavior—biological, cognitive-affective and cultural-social
  • Individual differences—personality, lifespan development, psychopathology
  • History and systems—development of psychological theories, practices and scientific knowledge
  • Clinical practice—diagnostics, psychological assessment, psychotherapeutic interventions, psychopharmacology, ethical and legal issues
  • Coursework in statistics and research design
  • Clinical experience
    • Practicum—usually three or four years of working with clients under supervision in a clinical setting. Most practicum placements begin in either the first or second year of doctoral training
    • Doctoral internship—usually an intensive one or two-year placement in a clinical setting
  • Dissertation—Ph.D. programs usually require original quantitative empirical research, while Psy.D. dissertations involve original quantitative or qualitative research, theoretical scholarship, program evaluation or development, critical literature analysis or clinical application and analysis. The dissertation typically takes 2-3 years to complete.
  • Specialized electives—many programs offer sets of elective courses for specializations, such as health, child, family, community or neuropsychology
  • Personal psychotherapy—many programs require students to undertake a certain number of hours of personal psychotherapy (with a non-faculty therapist) although in recent years this requirement has become less frequent.
  • Comprehensive exams or master's thesis: A thesis can involve original data collection and is distinct from a dissertation

Licensure

The practice of clinical and counseling psychology requires a license in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and many other countries. Although each of the U.S. states is different in terms of requirements and licenses (see [62] and [63] for examples), there are three common requirements:[64]

  1. Graduation from an accredited school with the appropriate degree
  2. Completion of supervised clinical experience
  3. Passing a written examination and, in some states, an oral examination

All U.S. state, and Canada provincial, licensing boards are members of the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) which created and maintains the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). Many states require other examinations in addition to the EPPP, such as a jurisprudence (i.e. mental health law) examination or an oral examination.[64] Most states also require a certain number of continuing education credits per year in order to renew a license. Licensees can obtain this through various means, such as taking audited classes and attending approved workshops.

There are professions whose scope of practice overlaps with the practice of psychology (particularly with respect to providing psychotherapy) and for which a license is required.

  • Psychologist. To practice with the title of "psychologist", in almost all cases a doctorate degree is required (a PhD or PsyD in the U.S.). Normally, after the degree, the practitioner must fulfill a certain number of supervised postdoctoral hours ranging from 1,500-3,000 (usually taking one to two years), and passing the EPPP and any other state or provincial exams.[65]
  • Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT). An MFT license requires a doctorate or master's degree. In addition, it usually involves two years of post-degree clinical experience under supervision, and licensure requires passing a written exam, commonly the National Examination for Marriage and Family Therapists, which is maintained by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. In addition, most states require an oral exam. MFTs, as the title implies, work mostly with families and couples, addressing a wide range of common psychological problems.[66] Some jurisdictions have exemptions that let someone practice marriage and family therapy without meeting the requirements for a license. That is, they offer a license but do not require that marriage and family therapists obtain one.[67]
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Similar to the MFT, the LPC license requires a master's or doctorate degree, a minimum number of hours of supervised clinical experience in a pre-doc practicum, and the passing of the National Counselor Exam. Similar licenses are the Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC), and Clinical Counselor in Mental Health (CCMH). In some states, after passing the exam, a temporary LPC license is awarded and the clinician may begin the normal 3000-hour supervised internship leading to the full license allowing to practice as a counselor or psychotherapist, usually under the supervision of a licensed psychologist.[68] Some jurisdictions have exemptions that allow counseling to practice without meeting the requirements for a license. That is, they offer a license but do not require that counselors obtain one.[67]
  • Licensed Psychological Associate (LPA) Twenty-six states offer a master's-only license, a common one being the LPA, which allows for the therapist to either practice independently, or, more commonly, under the supervision of a licensed psychologist, depending on the state.[69] Common requirements are two to four years of post-master's supervised clinical experience and passing a Psychological Associates Examination. Other titles for this level of licensing include psychological technician (Alabama), psychological assistant (California), licensed clinical psychotherapist (Kansas), licensed psychological practitioner (Minnesota), licensed behavioral practitioner (Oklahoma), licensed psychological associate (North Carolina) or psychological examiner (Tennessee).
  • Licensed behavior analysts
Licensed behavior analysts are licensed in five states to provide services for clients with substance abuse, developmental disabilities, and mental illness. This profession draws on the evidence base of applied behavior analysis and the philosophy of behaviorism. Behavior analysts have at least a master's degree in behavior analysis or in a mental health related discipline, as well as having taken at least five core courses in applied behavior analysis. Many behavior analysts have a doctorate. Most programs have a formalized internship program, and several programs are offered online. Most practitioners have passed the examination offered by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board.[1] The model licensing act for behavior analysts can be found at the Association for Behavior Analysis International's website.

Employment

Comparison of mental health professionals in USA
Occupation Degree Common Licenses Prescription Privilege Ave. 2004
Income (USD)
Clinical Psychologist PhD/PsyD Psychologist Mostly no $75,000
Counseling Psychologist (Doctorate) PhD/PsyD Psychologist No $65,000
Counseling Psychologist (Master's) MA/MS/MC MFT/LPC/LPA No $49,000
School Psychologist PhD, EdD Psychologist No $78,000
Psychiatrist MD/DO Psychiatrist Yes $145,600
Clinical Social Worker PhD/MSW LCSW No $36,170
Psychiatric Nurse PhD/MSN/BSN APRN/PMHN No $53,450
Psychiatric and mental health Nurse Practitioner DNP/MSN MHNP Yes (Varies by state) $75,711
Expressive/Art Therapist MA ATR No $45,000

In the United States, of 170,200 jobs for psychologists, 152,000 are employed in clinical, counseling, and school positions; 2,300 are employed in industrial-organizational positions, and 15,900 are in "all other" positions.

The median salary in the U.S., in 2012, for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists was USD$69,280 and the median salary for organizational psychologists was USD$83,580.[1][76]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ APA membership is not a requirement for licensure in any of the 50 states. This fact should not be confused with APA accreditation of graduate psychology programs and clinical internships.

References

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American Psychologist

American Psychologist is the official peer-reviewed academic journal of the American Psychological Association. The journal publishes timely high-impact articles of broad interest. Papers include empirical reports and scholarly reviews covering science, practice, education, and policy. Current editor-in-chief is Anne E. Kazak, PhD, ABPP.

Behaviorism

Behaviorism (or behaviourism) is a systematic approach to understanding the behavior of humans and other animals. It assumes that all behaviors are either reflexes produced by a response to certain stimuli in the environment, or a consequence of that individual's history, including especially reinforcement and punishment, together with the individual's current motivational state and controlling stimuli. Although behaviorists generally accept the important role of inheritance in determining behavior, they focus primarily on environmental factors.

Behaviorism combines elements of philosophy, methodology, and psychological theory. It emerged in the late nineteenth century as a reaction to depth psychology and other traditional forms of psychology, which often had difficulty making predictions that could be tested experimentally. The earliest derivatives of Behaviorism can be traced back to the late 19th century where Edward Thorndike pioneered the law of effect, a process that involved strengthening behavior through the use of reinforcement.

During the first half of the twentieth century, John B. Watson devised methodological behaviorism, which rejected introspective methods and sought to understand behavior by only measuring observable behaviors and events. It was not until the 1930s that B. F. Skinner suggested that private events—including thoughts and feelings—should be subjected to the same controlling variables as observable behavior, which became the basis for his philosophy called "radical behaviorism." While Watson and Ivan Pavlov investigated the stimulus-response procedures of classical conditioning, Skinner assessed the controlling nature of consequences and also its potential effect on the antecedents (or discriminative stimuli) that strengthens behavior; the technique became known as operant conditioning.

Skinner's radical behaviorism has been highly successful experimentally, revealing new phenomena with new methods, but Skinner’s dismissal of theory limited its development. Theoretical behaviorism recognized that a historical system, an organism, has a state as well as sensitivity to stimuli and the ability to emit responses. Indeed, Skinner himself acknowledged the possibility of what he called “latent” responses in humans, even though he neglected to extend this idea to rats and pigeons. Latent responses constitute a repertoire, from which operant reinforcement can select.

The application of radical behaviorism—known as applied behavior analysis—is used in a variety of settings, including, for example, organizational behavior management, to the treatment of mental disorders, such as autism and substance abuse. In addition, while behaviorism and cognitive schools of psychological thought may not agree theoretically, they have complemented each other in cognitive-behavior therapies, which have demonstrated utility in treating certain pathologies, including simple phobias, PTSD, and mood disorders.

Clinical psychology

Clinical psychology is an integration of science, theory, and clinical knowledge for the purpose of understanding, preventing, and relieving psychologically-based distress or dysfunction and to promote subjective well-being and personal development. Central to its practice are psychological assessment, clinical formulation, and psychotherapy, although clinical psychologists also engage in research, teaching, consultation, forensic testimony, and program development and administration. In many countries, clinical psychology is a regulated mental health profession.

The field is generally considered to have begun in 1896 with the opening of the first psychological clinic at the University of Pennsylvania by Lightner Witmer. In the first half of the 20th century, clinical psychology was focused on psychological assessment, with little attention given to treatment. This changed after the 1940s when World War II resulted in the need for a large increase in the number of trained clinicians. Since that time, three main educational models have developed in the USA—the Ph.D. Clinical Science model (heavily focused on research), the Ph.D. science-practitioner model (integrating research and practice), and the Psy.D. practitioner-scholar model (focusing on clinical practice). In the UK and the Republic of Ireland the Clinical Psychology Doctorate falls between the latter two of these models, whilst in much of mainland Europe the training is at masters level and predominantly psychotherapeutic. Clinical psychologists are expert in providing psychotherapy, and generally train within four primary theoretical orientations—psychodynamic, humanistic, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and systems or family therapy.

Cognitive psychology

Cognitive psychology is the scientific study of mental processes such as "attention, language use, memory, perception, problem solving, creativity, and thinking". Much of the work derived from cognitive psychology has been integrated into various other modern disciplines such as Cognitive Science and of psychological study, including educational psychology, social psychology, personality psychology, abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, linguistics, and economics.

Colin Cooper (psychologist)

Colin Cooper is a British psychologist and was a senior lecturer in the School of Psychology at Queen's University Belfast until 2012, when he took early retirement and moved to Picton, Ontario, Canada. Cooper also devised the multiple-choice IQ tests for the BBC television programme Test the Nation. Among the questions, Cooper said that he had managed to "sneak in a few things that interested me", including questions "exploring the link between intelligence and genetics, height and the number of accidents they have had."

Comparative psychology

Comparative psychology refers to the scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of non-human animals, especially as these relate to the phylogenetic history, adaptive significance, and development of behavior. Research in this area addresses many different issues, uses many different methods and explores the behavior of many different species from insects to primates.Comparative psychology is sometimes assumed to emphasize cross-species comparisons, including those between humans and animals. However, some researchers feel that direct comparisons should not be the sole focus of comparative psychology and that intense focus on a single organism to understand its behavior is just as desirable; if not more so. Donald Dewsbury reviewed the works of several psychologists and their definitions and concluded that the object of comparative psychology is to establish principles of generality focusing on both proximate and ultimate causation. Using a comparative approach to behavior allows one to evaluate the target behavior from four different, complementary perspectives, developed by Niko Tinbergen. First, one may ask how pervasive the behavior is across species (i.e. how common is the behavior between animal species?). Second, one may ask how the behavior contributes to the lifetime reproductive success of the individuals demonstrating the behavior (i.e. does the behavior result in animals producing more offspring than animals not displaying the behavior)? Theories addressing the ultimate causes of behavior are based on the answers to these two questions.

Third, what mechanisms are involved in the behavior (i.e. what physiological, behavioral, and environmental components are necessary and sufficient for the generation of the behavior)? Fourth, a researcher may ask about the development of the behavior within an individual (i.e. what maturational, learning, social experiences must an individual undergo in order to demonstrate a behavior)? Theories addressing the proximate causes of behavior are based on answers to these two questions. For more details see Tinbergen's four questions.

Counseling psychology

Counseling psychology is a psychological specialty that encompasses research and applied work in several broad domains: counseling process and outcome; supervision and training; career development and counseling; and prevention and health. Some unifying themes among counseling psychologists include a focus on assets and strengths, person–environment interactions, educational and career development, brief interactions, and a focus on intact personalities.

Developmental psychology

Developmental psychology is the scientific study of how and why human beings change over the course of their life. Originally concerned with infants and children, the field has expanded to include adolescence, adult development, aging, and the entire lifespan. Developmental psychologists aim to explain how thinking, feeling, and behaviors change throughout life. This field examines change across three major dimensions: physical development, cognitive development, and socioemotional development. Within these three dimensions are a broad range of topics including motor skills, executive functions, moral understanding, language acquisition, social change, personality, emotional development, self-concept, and identity formation.

Developmental psychology examines the influences of nature and nurture on the process of human development, and processes of change in context and across time. Many researchers are interested in the interactions among personal characteristics, the individual's behavior, and environmental factors, including the social context and the built environment. Ongoing debates include biological essentialism vs. neuroplasticity and stages of development vs. dynamic systems of development.

Developmental psychology involves a range of fields, such as educational psychology, child psychopathology, forensic developmental psychology, child development, cognitive psychology, ecological psychology, and cultural psychology. Influential developmental psychologists from the 20th century include Urie Bronfenbrenner, Erik Erikson, Sigmund Freud, Jean Piaget, Barbara Rogoff, Esther Thelen, and Lev Vygotsky.

Experimental psychology

Experimental psychology refers to work done by those who apply experimental methods to psychological study and the processes that underlie it. Experimental psychologists employ human participants and animal subjects to study a great many topics, including (among others) sensation & perception, memory, cognition, learning, motivation, emotion; developmental processes, social psychology, and the neural substrates of all of these.

Forensic psychology

Forensic psychology is the intersection between psychology and the justice system. It involves understanding fundamental legal principles, particularly with regard to expert witness testimony and the specific content area of concern (e.g., competence to stand trial, child custody and visitation, or workplace discrimination), as well as relevant jurisdictional considerations (e.g., in the United States, the definition of insanity in criminal trials differs from state to state) in order to be able to interact appropriately with judges, attorneys, and other legal professionals. An important aspect of forensic psychology is the ability to testify in court as an expert witness, reformulating psychological findings into the legal language of the courtroom, providing information to legal personnel in a way that can be understood. Further, in order to be a credible witness, the forensic psychologist must understand the philosophy, rules, and standards of the judicial system. Primarily, they must understand the adversarial system. There are also rules about hearsay evidence and most importantly, the exclusionary rule. Lack of a firm grasp of these procedures will result in the forensic psychologist losing credibility in the courtroom.

A forensic psychologist can be trained in clinical, social, organizational, or any other branch of psychology.Generally, a forensic psychologist is designated as an expert in a specific field of study. The number of areas of expertise in which a forensic psychologist qualifies as an expert increases with experience and reputation. Forensic neuropsychologists are generally asked to appear as expert witnesses in court to discuss cases that involve issues with the brain or brain damage. They may also deal with issues of whether a person is legally competent to stand trial.

Questions asked by the court of a forensic psychologist are generally not questions regarding psychology but are legal questions and the response must be in language the court understands. For example, a forensic psychologist is frequently appointed by the court to assess a defendant's competence to stand trial. The court also frequently appoints a forensic psychologist to assess the state of mind of the defendant at the time of the offense. This is referred to as an evaluation of the defendant's sanity or insanity (which relates to criminal responsibility) at the time of the offense. These are not primarily psychological questions but rather legal ones. Thus, a forensic psychologist must be able to translate psychological information into a legal framework.Forensic psychologists may be called on to provide sentencing recommendations, treatment recommendations, or any other information the judge requests, such as information regarding mitigating factors, assessment of future risk, and evaluation of witness credibility. Forensic psychology also involves training and evaluating police or other law enforcement personnel, providing law enforcement with criminal profiles, and in other ways working with police departments. Forensic psychologists may work with any party and in criminal or family law. In the United States, they may also help with jury selection.

Health psychology

Health psychology is the study of psychological and behavioral processes in health, illness, and healthcare. It is concerned with understanding how psychological, behavioral, and cultural factors contribute to physical health and illness. Psychological factors can affect health directly. For example, chronically occurring environmental stressors affecting the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis, cumulatively, can harm health. Behavioral factors can also affect a person's health. For example, certain behaviors can, over time, harm (smoking or consuming excessive amounts of alcohol) or enhance health (engaging in exercise). Health psychologists take a biopsychosocial approach. In other words, health psychologists understand health to be the product not only of biological processes (e.g., a virus, tumor, etc.) but also of psychological (e.g., thoughts and beliefs), behavioral (e.g., habits), and social processes (e.g., socioeconomic status and ethnicity).By understanding psychological factors that influence health, and constructively applying that knowledge, health psychologists can improve health by working directly with individual patients or indirectly in large-scale public health programs. In addition, health psychologists can help train other healthcare professionals (e.g., physicians and nurses) to take advantage of the knowledge the discipline has generated, when treating patients. Health psychologists work in a variety of settings: alongside other medical professionals in hospitals and clinics, in public health departments working on large-scale behavior change and health promotion programs, and in universities and medical schools where they teach and conduct research.

Although its early beginnings can be traced to the field of clinical psychology, four different divisions within health psychology and one related field, occupational health psychology (OHP), have developed over time. The four divisions include clinical health psychology, public health psychology, community health psychology, and critical health psychology. Professional organizations for the field of health psychology include Division 38 of the American Psychological Association (APA), the Division of Health Psychology of the British Psychological Society (BPS), and the European Health Psychology Society. Advanced credentialing in the US as a clinical health psychologist is provided through the American Board of Professional Psychology.

Industrial and organizational psychology

Industrial and organizational psychology (I/O psychology), which is also known as occupational psychology, organizational psychology, and work and organizational psychology, is an applied discipline within psychology. I/O psychology is the science of human behaviour relating to work and applies psychological theories and principles to organizations and individuals in their places of work as well as the individual's work-life more generally. I/O psychologists are trained in the scientist–practitioner model. They contribute to an organization's success by improving the performance, motivation, job satisfaction, and occupational safety and health as well as the overall health and well-being of its employees. An I/O psychologist conducts research on employee behaviours and attitudes, and how these can be improved through hiring practices, training programs, feedback, and management systems.As of 2018, I/O psychology is one of the 16 recognized specialties by the American Psychological Association (APA) in the United States. It is represented by Division 14 of the APA, and was formally known as the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP). In the United Kingdom, industrial and organizational psychologists are referred to as occupational psychologists. Occupational psychology in the UK is one of nine 'protected titles' within the profession "practitioner psychologist" regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council. In the UK, graduate programs in psychology, including occupational psychology, are accredited by the British Psychological Society.

In Australia, the title organizational psychologist is protected by law, and regulated by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Organizational psychology is one of nine areas of specialist endorsement for psychology practice in Australia.In Europe someone with a specialist EuroPsy Certificate in Work and Organisational Psychology is a fully qualified psychologist and an expert in the work psychology field. Industrial and organizational psychologists reaching the EuroPsy standard are recorded in the Register of European Psychologists and industrial and organizational psychology is one of the three main psychology specializations in Europe.

In South Africa, industrial psychology is a registration category for the profession of psychologist as regulated by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).

John B. Watson

John Broadus Watson (January 9, 1878 – September 25, 1958) was an American psychologist who established the psychological school of behaviorism. Watson promoted a change in psychology through his address Psychology as the Behaviorist Views it, which was given at Columbia University in 1913. Through his behaviorist approach, Watson conducted research on animal behavior, child rearing, and advertising. In addition, he conducted the controversial "Little Albert" experiment and the Kerplunk experiment. Watson popularized the use of the scientific theory with behaviorism. He was also editor of Psychological Review from 1910 to 1915. A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Watson as the 17th most cited psychologist of the 20th century.

Medical psychology

Medical psychology is the application of psychological principles to the practice of medicine, and is clearly comprehensive rather than primarily drug-oriented, for both physical and mental disorders. The specialty of Medical Psychology and the National Alliance of Professional Psychology Providers (www.nappp.org) has been instrumental in advocacy and professional publications in increasing the awareness of Governmental Agencies, Scientific Societies, and the World Health Associations about the limited effect of "medication only approaches" to mental disorders and many related chronic physical disorders. A Medical Psychologist is a specialist who holds board certification in Medical Psychology from the American Board of Medical Psychology (www.amphome.org) and approved by the national psychology practitioner association in psychology(www.nappp.org). A specialist in Medical Psychology holds a doctoral degree in one of the clinical specialties in psychology, has done post doctoral graduate or approved didactic training in biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences and physical disease with behavioral and lifestyle components, and has completed a supervised residency providing advanced clinical diagnoses, prescribing or collaborating on medication and psychological treatment interventions in a comprehensive treatment plan, and they have passed one of the acceptable national written examinations, and supplied reviewed work product, and passed an Oral Examination. Medical psychologists are prepared to provide leadership and active roles in primary care and specialty healthcare facilities or consultation services essential for these facilities. A psychopharmacologist is very different from a Medical Psychologist, though one state uses confusing language in its laws.

The American Society for the Advancement of Pharmacotherapy defines medical psychology (an affiliate of the American Psychological Association) as "that branch of psychology integrating somatic and psychotherapeutic modalities into the management of mental illness and emotional, cognitive, behavioral and substance use disorders".

A medical psychologist who holds prescriptive authority for specific psychiatric medications and other pharmaceutical drugs must first obtain specific qualifications in Psychopharmacology. A trained medical psychologist, or psychopharmacologist who has prescriptive authority is equated with a mid-level provider who has the authority to prescribe psychotropic medication such as antidepressants for neurotic disorders. However, a medical psychologist does not automatically equate with a psychologist who has the authority to prescribe medication. In fact, most medical psychologists do not prescribe medication and do not have the authority to do so.Medical psychologists apply psychological theories, scientific psychological findings, and techniques of psychotherapy, behavior modification, cognitive, interpersonal, family, and life-style therapy to improve the psychological and physical health of the patient. Psychologists with post doctoral specialty training as medical psychologists are the practitioners with refined skills in clinical psychology, health psychology, behavioral medicine, psychopharmacology, and medical science. Highly qualified and post graduate specialized doctors are trained for service in primary care centers, hospitals, residential care centers, and long-term care facilities and in multidisciplinary collaboration and team treatment.

Michael Posner (psychologist)

Michael I. Posner (; born September 12, 1936) is an American psychologist, the editor of numerous cognitive and neuroscience compilations, and an eminent researcher in the field of attention. He is currently an emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Oregon (Department of Psychology, Institute of Cognitive and Decision Sciences), and an adjunct professor at the Weill Medical College in New York (Sackler Institute). A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Posner as the 56th most cited psychologist of the 20th century.

School psychology

School psychology is a field that applies principles of educational psychology, developmental psychology, clinical psychology, community psychology, and applied behavior analysis to meet children's and adolescents' behavioral health and learning needs in a collaborative manner with educators and parents. School psychologists are educated in psychology, child and adolescent development, child and adolescent psychopathology, education, family and parenting practices, learning theories, and personality theories. They are knowledgeable about effective instruction and effective schools. They are trained to carry out psychological testing and psychoeducational assessment, counseling, and consultation, and in the ethical, legal and administrative codes of their profession.

Scientist

A scientist is someone who conducts scientific research to advance knowledge in an area of interest.In classical antiquity, there was no real ancient analog of a modern scientist. Instead, philosophers engaged in the philosophical study of nature called natural philosophy, a precursor of natural science. It was not until the 19th century that the term scientist came into regular use after it was coined by the theologian, philosopher, and historian of science William Whewell in 1833. The term 'scientist' was first coined by him for Mary Somerville, partly because the term "man of science", more custom at that time, was clearly inappropriate here.In modern times, many scientists have advanced degrees in an area of science and pursue careers in various sectors of the economy such as academia, industry, government, and nonprofit environments.

Sport psychology

Sport psychology is an interdisciplinary science that draws on knowledge from many related fields including biomechanics, physiology, kinesiology and psychology. It involves the study of how psychological factors affect performance and how participation in sport and exercise affect psychological and physical factors. Sport psychologists teach cognitive and behavioral strategies to athletes in order to improve their experience and performance in sports. In addition to instruction and training of psychological skills for performance improvement, applied sport psychology may include work with athletes, coaches, and parents regarding injury, rehabilitation, communication, team building, and career transitions.

Systems psychology

Systems psychology is a branch of both theoretical psychology and applied psychology that studies human behaviour and experience in complex systems. It is inspired by systems theory and systems thinking, and based on the theoretical work of Roger Barker, Gregory Bateson, Humberto Maturana and others. Groups and individuals are considered as systems in homeostasis. Alternative terms here are "systemic psychology", "systems behavior", and "systems-based psychology".

Basic psychology
Applied psychology
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