What is Applied Psychology?

What is Applied PsychologyA person who is thinking of earning a degree in psychology may want to know, “What is applied psychology?” There are many branches of psychology, and knowing what they are could help a person decide which optional courses to take for their degree or to choose a concentration within their major. Knowing what applied psychology is could also help a person plan their thesis, dissertation or research project.

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What Applied Psychology Is

Applied psychology is the use of scientific knowledge and methods of psychology for solving human and animal behavioral problems. The psychological principles and findings of research are applied to the human experience or the animal experience in a clinical environment. Before World War II, most of psychology was in academia, and there was not much human experience in everyday life. For example, psychological counseling and therapy were nowhere near as common as they are today. Applied psychology has brought this type of therapy as well as many other psychological practices into everyday life and out of the research environment.

Psychology Areas Encompassed By Applied Psychology

A lot of areas of academic psychology have been brought under the umbrella of applied psychology. Some of them include industrial and organizational psychology, clinical psychology and sports psychology. In industrial and organizational psychology, a psychologist enters a work environment, observes it, studies it and speaks with the people in it. In sports psychology, the psychologist observes team player interactions and interactions with coaches, associated staff and referees in order to make suggestions about improving team dynamics. Some of the other psychology areas of practice encompassed by applied psychology include school psychology, counseling psychology, medical psychology, and traffic psychology.

Other Aspects of Culture Encompassed By Applied Psychology

There are other aspects of culture that are also encompassed by applied psychology. Advertising is one of the biggest societal activities that is under the applied psychology umbrella. Marketing professionals consult with psychologists in order to create messages that are most likely to resonate with a target audience for a product or service. Another part of culture that is enveloped by applied psychology is sustainable development or “green” living. In this application of psychology, messaging is used in order to get people to change their behavior in a way that will benefit the planet, fellow humans and themselves.

Some Examples of Trends and Use of Applied Psychology

According to the American Psychological Association, applied psychology makes use of research skills that are relevant no matter what type of technology people can access. Technology is one of the biggest trends in applied psychology, and experts predict that it will continue to play a considerable role in all branches of applied psychology. An example of how technology affects applied psychology is cybersecurity. People are often seen as the weakest link in cybersecurity, and psychological principles can be applied to machine learning algorithms in order to make computers figure out where the vulnerabilities are in a network or a piece of software.

Most of psychology overlaps, and applied psychology is no exception. Familiarity with this concept allows a person to understand more about their future profession and facilitates the selection of an area of specialty. Knowing what applied psychology is could make it easier for a person to choose their career path.