What is a psychologist? This question is straightforward for most people to answer. People believe that psychologists are somebody who works as psychotherapists after graduation. This answer is somewhat correct and may include some branches of psychology but is not pervasive. As we said before, psychology has different departments, some of which do not deal with occupational therapy. So this definition does not include all psychologists.
Each branch of science attracts scientists with two goals.
1. Science for knowing: Sometimes, we tend to a branch of knowledge to gain a deeper understanding of subjects by studying phenomena. People willing to this knowledge model seek to find the connections between phenomena. They make scientific findings through experiments and research and engage in scientific development. Psychologists in this field study human behavior and psychological methods in the university and laboratory environment. They want to know why we get depressed. Which treatment is more effective? What are the symptoms of anxiety disorder? And so on.
2. Science for practice: We utilize science in our everyday lives to satisfy our needs. In the applied part of knowledge, we seek the practical use of research. We want to use our awareness and enjoy its positive effects in life. Psychologists in this field seek to treat mental disorders, provide educational programs, provide parenting solutions, and the like.
In my view, it is better to say, “A psychologist is someone who is a psychology graduate and does research or therapy (can do both) in the field of psychology.”
This definition is comprehensive and encompasses psychologists of various disciplines. What people know as the definition of a psychologist is the definition of a clinical psychologist. A clinical psychologist is someone who researches, identifies, prevents, and treats mental disorders. Some psychologists are only interested in research and teaching. They teach students at the university or research to develop their knowledge of psychology. Other psychologists are more interested in therapeutic and applied work than research and are trying to identify disorders, prevent and treat them, and treat them. Among them are groups that do both research and treatment.
Tasks of a psychologist
- Investigating behavioral and mental patterns
- Identification of mental disorders
- Performing psychological tests
- Research in the field of psychology
- Activities in government organizations (prisons, courts, education, government welfare centers, etc.)
- Training in private hospitals and medical wards
The most common types of psychologists
1. Clinical psychologist
Clinical Psychologists work in the field of diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. They play an essential role in maintaining people’s mental health. These psychologists primarily work in public and private hospitals and treatment centers. But they are not doctors, meaning they are not allowed to prescribe medicine. Instead, they use psychotherapy to treat the disorder. These psychologists start their activities after completing their postgraduate studies and training courses. Although their main job is therapy, they also have academic and research work.
2. Counseling psychologist
Counseling Psychologists advise, guide, and solve people’s problems. The work of these psychologists is significantly different from that of clinical psychologists. Counseling psychologists deal with people who have milder problems than mental disorders. These psychologists provide counseling in various areas, including solving personal, family, and occupational issues, teaching life skills, parenting, marriage, and divorce.
3. Cognitive psychologist
Counseling psychologists advise, guide, and solve people’s problems. The work of these psychologists has an essential difference from clinical psychologists. The difference is that clinical psychologists deal with the treatment of severe mental disorders, but counselors are responsible for solving milder problems. Counseling psychologists solve personal, family, and job problems, teaching life skills, parenting methods, and marriage and divorce counseling.
4. Community psychologist
Community psychologists study and study the mental health of the community. They examine the relationship of individuals to their communities and the interaction of communities with individuals. Their goal is to educate the district, provide prevention programs and make positive changes at the individual and social levels.
Biopsychologists study the effects of the brain and nervous system on human behavior and the mind. This job is closely related to biology and neuroscience. They have at least a bachelor’s degree in psychology, but there are more job opportunities for those with a master’s or Ph.D. degree. Most of these specialists work on animal specimens in the laboratory to gain a better understanding of pathology in humans. But they may also analyze human samples. One of their most important tasks is studying drugs’ effects on the human body and mind. In addition to laboratory work, They work in universities and government investigation centers.
6. Industrial-organizational psychologists
These psychologists work in companies, organizations, and businesses. They have the highest income in the field of psychology. They use psychological principles in the workplace to increase the productivity and well-being of the workforce. They also identify suitable employees for the desired jobs. Another task of theirs is to help employees solve workplace challenges. Because job satisfaction plays a vital role in improving performance, these psychologists strive to address employee challenges and issues. They help companies and businesses develop employee training programs and provide managers with strategic plans.
7. Developmental psychologists
Developmental psychologists study human development over a lifetime. They look at the various stages of development, including childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age, as separate stages. Their focus is more on childhood and adolescence. Their work can have research or therapeutic aspect.
8. Comparative Psychologist
Working on animals and studying their behavior is one of the tasks of Comparative Psychologists. They pay attention to the similarities and differences between human and animal behaviors. They also gain insight into human behavior by studying and analyzing the behaviors of animals (such as mice, cats, and dogs).
Edward Thorndike, Ivan Pavlov, and B.F Skinner were influential psychologists in this field who, by investigating animal behaviors, played an essential role in raising our awareness of human behavior.
9. Marketing Psychologist
Marketing Psychologists or Consumer Psychologists analyze consumer behavior and determine the marketing strategy for companies and organizations. By understanding the behavior and mindset of consumers, these psychologists are looking for ways to attract customers and increase sales. They assist companies and businesses evaluate customer behavior and producing products that are as attractive to them as possible. They can also improve customers’ attitudes towards brands.
They research how shoppers respond to marketing messages, analyze decision-making strategies, and examine emotions’ role in purchasing choices. This research uses surveys, observations, experimental groups, and analysis software.
10. Cross-Cultural Psychologists
They study cultural factors. They look at how people differ in different cultures and the impact of cultural dependence on individuals. The work of these psychologists contributes to our insights into human behavior. Their work is more of a research aspect.
11. Aviation Psychologists
You may be wondering what psychologists have to do with the aviation industry. You may have experienced stress when landing or taking off an airplane or feel this condition is dangerous. Pilots and flight attendants are in this situation every day. They are at risk for anxiety and other mental disorders; In the United States, airline flight crews have the fourth most dangerous and stressful job. Therefore, flight crews need professional help for prevention and treatment. Aviation psychologists study the behavior and mind of pilots, flight attendants, and passengers. The mental health of the flight crew is vital because if they have mental problems, t it may endanger the lives of the passengers. So airline security increases with aviation psychologists.
12. Educational psychologist
Educational Psychologists study how people teach and learn. They work as teachers, professors, or psychologists in educational and academic centers. They examine the effects of various individual, social, cognitive, and emotional factors on training to provide effective educational strategies and techniques. Helping children with unique learning problems and improving their conditions is one of these psychologists’ essential goals.
13. Health psychologists
Health psychologists seek to increase well-being and physical and mental health. They study the influence of cognitive, biological, and social factors on human health. Some of these psychologists work as therapists, and some as investigators. Their work is to provide treatment programs and teach coping methods to maintain physical and mental health. They also examine the mutual effects of psychological and physical factors on each other. Dealing with problems such as smoking cessation, fitness, and stress management is the duty of these people.
14. Engineering psychologists
You may be surprised to see these two words together. Engineering Psychologists play an essential role in industry and technology development. They seek to find ways to increase human capabilities by improving technologies, tools, machines, and the work environment. Their main task is to help the welfare of people by developing technology. They work primarily in companies and industries related to technology. One of these psychologists’ important works is designing and modifying tools such as mobile phones to meet people’s needs better.
15. Forensic psychologist
Forensic psychologists examine legal issues from a psychological point of view to help the courts and the judicial system administer justice. They look at the motivations of people in criminal cases. They also play an essential role in child custody, divorce, and sexual abuse cases. Helping victims of issues to solve problems is also part of their work.
16. Environmental psychologists
Environmental psychologists seek to improve the relationship between man and his environment. They should be called environmentalists and conservationists who work to preserve endangered species. Another activity of these people is to provide a solution to control global warming. These psychologists primarily work in governmental centers and protection organizations. The researches of these psychologists play an important role in human life. For example, they investigate why some people harm the environment or throw garbage in the city; And how can we change the behavior of these people? These psychologists do not only work in the office, but many of them work in parks, zoos, or natural environments.
17. Military psychologist
Military psychologists, as their name suggests, work in military locations. They focus more on the problems and mental disorders of soldiers and soldiers. Treating the mental conditions of soldiers, solving emotional problems, and helping veterans return to civilian life is part of the vital work of these psychologists. Their work is not only treating soldiers but also present in other parts of the army. For example, we can mention the psychological assessment for hiring and the formulation of programs to eliminate stress, decision-making, and efficient behavior.
18. Child psychologist
As the name suggests, Child Psychologists work on children. They are more commonly known as child therapists and seek to treat children’s mental disorders. But some also conduct scientific research on children’s behavior and problems as investigators.
19. Personality psychologists
Personality Psychologists examine personality and the impact of individual characteristics on people’s lives. They comprehend the reasons for behavior in various situations by studying personality structure and how it is formed. The importance of their work is the treatment of personality disorders. Those with personality disorders need unique treatments. So these specialists have the task of researching, recognizing, preventing, and treating personality diseases.
20. School psychologists
School psychologists help students cope with problems in the home and school. As you know, personal, family, and social issues harm the quality of learning and education. On the other hand, if the educational system is not favorable, the quality of children’s learning will drop dramatically. As a result, these psychologists help school principals, teachers, families, and their children so that students study in a favorable educational environment. Some of these psychologists work as teachers in schools.
21. Social psychologists
Social psychologists seek to comprehend and investigate human social behavior. They examine various subjects such as interpersonal relationships, attitudes and opinions, communication, and aggression. They focus on how humans understand and interact with each other. Therefore, They work in private and public research or academic centers.
22. Political psychologist
These psychologists primarily seek to facilitate the work of politicians and cooperate with governments and government organizations. They investigate the behavior of people in interaction with politics and political performance. A psychologist can formulate the speech of a president or presidential candidate in such a way that the people will welcome it. It can also help politicians about the social consequences of important country decisions and people’s reactions to political choices.
23. Web Psychologist
Web Psychologists deal with the Internet, websites, and social networks. They study human behavior in interaction with the Internet and websites. The importance of their work becomes evident when we know that they can have a direct and significant effect on digital marketing, sales increase, audience attraction, behavior analysis, and audience orientation. They bring the principles of psychology to the Internet and web and conduct research and development using analytical and evaluation tools.
How can you become a psychologist?
To work as a psychologist, you must complete your university education and acquire a professional qualification to work in this field. Studying psychology is done for four years at the bachelor’s level in the university. After completing 4 to 6 years of graduate studies, a person receives a doctorate in psychology, and during this period, he must also spend a year of full-time internship. In some countries, including the United States, national and state exams are required, and you may work under supervision for a year. Suppose you want to be a professional psychologist. In that case, you must constantly keep your knowledge up to date, so it is necessary to continuously increase your knowledge through scientific journals, participate in conferences, and be aware of scientific developments.
People also ask (FAQ)
A psychologist is someone who has graduated in the field of psychology and does research or therapy.
They primarily work in universities, research centers, medical centers, hospitals, prisons, nursing homes, and other public or private centers.
Since there are dozens of branches of psychology, we also have dozens of psychologists who work in various fields. Including clinical psychologists, industrial and organizational psychologists, general psychologists, political psychologists, etc., is explained in this article.
It depends on the academic position and the type of activity. So a psychologist who works in a public or governmental institution has a different income than someone who works in a private clinic. Also, the salaries of researchers and therapists are different. They have a good income in some countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom.
Unlike psychiatrists, psychologists are not doctors, but that does not mean they are not therapists. Instead, it means that they don’t use the medical model for treatment and do not prescribe medicine.
They are not allowed to prescribe psychiatric medicine, but in some countries, these people can legally prescribe medication. In America, psychologists are permitted only in some states (Iowa, New Mexico, Illinois, Louisiana, and Idaho).
A psychiatrist is a doctor, but a psychologist is not a doctor. It means that to treat mental disorders, psychologists should provide psychotherapy, and psychiatrists should provide drug therapy and medical treatments.