What Are the Different Fields in Psychology?

Some of the fields within psychology are clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, neuropsychology and social psychology. Branches of the discipline such as experimental psychology and psychometrics can apply to any of the other fields. For example, a research may practice experimental psychology within the field of cognitive psychology or use psychometrics in neuropsychology, Developmental, comparative and forensic psychology are also fields of psychology.

Clinical psychology focuses on the treatment of mental illness and behavior problems. Counseling or talk therapy is one of the main methods of treatment, so there is some overlap with counseling psychology, which deals more with individuals who may not be mentally ill but who are experiencing stress, grief or other personal problems. Psychology of personality is a closely related field that contributes theory to the practice of clinical and counseling psychology.

Cognitive psychology is the study of thinking and learning. Topics include attention, perception, motivation and memory. Problem solving and decision making are also part of cognitive psychology. The field intersects with developmental psychology in the study of how children learn as they grow and with comparative psychology for the topics of how different animals learn and think.

Neuropsychology examines the how the brain, nervous system and hormones function and their relationships to consciousness and behavior. Brain injuries and illnesses such as stroke and epilepsy are major topics. There is significant overlap with cognitive psychology in the study of how the brain mediates learning, memory and perception, and in how to recover functions after brain damage.

Social psychology is the study of how groups affect individuals' thoughts and behaviors. Crowd behavior, leadership, conformity and interpersonal attraction are some topics.