5 Unique Subfields of Psychology

subfields of psychology

Psychology: Unique Yet Important Subfields Today

  • Developmental Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Experimental Psychology
  • Industrial Psychology

In times long past, psychology was but a mere novel concept. Today, it is an incredibly important and very well established science. To that end, as the field has grown and matured, so too has the number of various subfields of psychology that exist within it. What are some of those very important yet uniquely adapted subfields in psychology practice today? Here are five such specialties within the science.

Related Resource: 20 Most Affordable Doctoral Programs in Psychology

Developmental Psychology

Developmental psychology studies the depths of the very complex processes of human growth and development. While the mind and personality are subject to complex evolution as they grow, so too is the body and its own effects back onto the mind and personality. Like many of the other subfields of psychology, we’ve come to know that there is plenty more which we do not yet know when it comes to human development. This, in turn, only furthers the demand for progress and workers in this area.

Health Psychology

The effects of community elements, environmental elements, and general experience on overall health and illness rates are very real. It is, however, still largely a curiosity to science in their inner-workings. Health psychology is the branch dedicated to this phenomenon and the untangling of its secrets. While many mysteries do remain here, it is very well known that action can be taken to offset and shield against detrimental effects caused by less than perfect environs and experiences.


Neuropsychology is also a rapidly growing field. In this branch of psychology, experts seek to understand the actual connection between the physical brain and body. It seeks to understand:

  • human behavior
  • how a person thinks
  • how a person feels

It is an exploration into the connection between physical and mental described by WebMd experts as a field that “looks at how the health of your brain affects your thinking skills and behavior.”

Experimental Psychology

As its name suggests, the experimental branch of psychology deals almost exclusively with:

  • experimentation and the design of tests
  • observations processes
  • the analysis of outcomes

Nearly all of psychology was, at one time, experimental, but now this designation only fits a portion of the whole of the science. While some experimental work today is done by private practices, much is done within the research facilities of colleges and universities.

Industrial Psychology

Industrial psychology, also referred to as organizational psychology, industrial-organizational psychology, or IO-Psych, is simply the study of how people behave in a work setting. Many industrial psychologists are hired each year by companies seeking to better manage and understand their respective workforces. Psychology Today shares the fact that, according to the experts, this is generally the highest-paying branch in all of psychology.

Other Subfields

The field of psychology has many sub fields. Along with those previous listed, there are many other interesting subfields of psychology. Some include:

  • clinical psychology
  • school psychology
  • cognitive psychology
  • educational psychology
  • counseling psychology
  • abnormal psychology
  • social psychology
  • comparative psychology
  • forensic psychology
  • sports psychology
  • human psychology
  • personality psychology
  • biological psychology
  • organizational psychology

Types of Psychologists

There are many types of psychologists. They study a wide range of topics ranging from mental processes to animal behavior. Psychological research areas include a broad range from researching educational interventions for those with learning disabilities to mood disorders. Some types of psychologists include:

  • developmental psychologists
  • school psychologists
  • health psychologists
  • cognitive psychologists
  • educational psychologists
  • experimental psychologists
  • counseling psychologists
  • forensic psychologists
  • organizational psychologists
  • public service psychologists
  • social psychologists


Psychology is certainly a wide and seemingly ever-expanding science. This results in a field lush with unique and specialized goals, focuses, and psychology subfields for nearly any kind of worker or vocational interest. This fields of psychology list represents much of the action taking place in the science right now.

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