Different Branches of Psychology that You Can Specialize in

Monday, 29 August 2022

Most people believe that there is only one type of psychology, but the truth is that psychology has different branches, each of them with different characteristics and features. Keep on reading to find out more about some of the different branches of psychology. 

Psychology is one of the most popular careers that exist today. According to the American Psychological Association and the National Center for Education Statistics, between 2016 and 2017, psychology was one of the main careers with the greatest number of students, with 116,861 students. 

At the same time, the American Psychological Association defines psychology as “the scientific study of the mind and behavior” It is one of the most popular sciences in the world. Psychology studies how the mind works and how people behave in their everyday lives. Psychologists treat their patients with specific treatments through psychotherapy, helping the patient feel better about their emotions and feelings, and expecting a behavioural change. 

Different from what people might think, not all psychologists follow the same treatment and the same point of view. Several branches of psychology vary according to their characteristics and their approaches. In this article, we will show you some of the most popular branches of psychology and the different characteristics and approaches of each of them. 

You might also be interested in Interesting Facts about the Degree in Psychology

Branches of Psychology

  • Behavioural Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Social Psychology 

Behavioural Psychology

This type of psychology is one of the first approaches that has ever been used. It is based on the concept of “all behaviours are acquired from conditioning." That is to say that all human behaviours stem from situations in which we live in our environment. This branch of psychology is in charge of studying human behaviour and how it changes according to the environment. It studies how the interactions with the environment determine behaviour. 

Clinical Psychology 

This branch of psychology is in charge of studying,  diagnosing, and treating emotional and behavioural problems in the patient, such as mental illnesses, drug addiction, family conflicts, alcoholism, delinquency, and more. Clinical psychology combines different treatments to make the patient feel more at peace with himself. 

Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive psychology is one of the most famous branches of psychology. This type of psychology is in charge of studying internal mental processes such as memory, attention, perception, problem-solving, decision-making, and thinking through different scientific methods. In practice, this type of psychology help patients change the way in which they behave and make important decisions in their lives. 

Developmental Psychology 

This branch of psychology is in charge of studying how, why, and to what extent a person changes throughout her life. Developmental psychology focuses on explaining the growth, changes, and development of a person’s life during her childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. A professional in developmental psychology examines how and why somebody’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviours change over time. 


We could say that neuropsychology is a mixture of neuroscience, which is the study of the brain and the nervous system, and psychology, which is the study of emotions, behaviours, and perceptions of a person. In other words, neuropsychology focuses on the study of how the nervous system influences a person’s behaviour. 

Social Psychology

This type of psychology focuses on how people’s behaviours, thoughts, feelings, and reactions are influenced by the presence or behaviours of others. This branch of psychology is used to study and benefit other large-scale social problems that affect all of society.  Baron, Byrne, and Suls define social psychology as 'the scientific field that seeks to understand the nature and causes of individual behavior in social situations'. 

All in all, psychology is one of the most popular careers in the world. In fact, psychology itself has different branches with different definitions and characteristics. Some of these branches are behavioural psychology, clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, neuropsychology, and social psychology. 

Studying psychology can offer students the possibility of understanding the people that surrounds them and helping them with any issues or problems they may have. To study any of these branches of psychology, you must get an undergraduate degree in psychology first, so that you can get a specialization in any of these branches. 

In Australia, you can get a degree in psychology in: 

You can find more information about these and other degrees by filling in the form on this site. 

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