Some Lesser Known Fields of Psychology

Some Lesser Known Fields of Psychology


All of us are very familiar with the fields of clinical psychology, counselling psychology and their specific areas of intervention. The fields of forensic psychology, school psychology, educational psychology etc., may also ring a bell to some of you. You may also conveniently guess how psychology works entangled with education, criminology, and forensic sciences. But have you ever thought about how it comes to use in fields of engineering, aviation, environment etc.? How do you think they work intertwined with each other? While many of us are fully aware of the major fields of psychology, we may not pay heed to the fact psychology is much more than that. Through this article, let us dig further deep into the lesser famous areas that it has been coupled with.

1. Aviation Psychology

Also called Aerospace / Aviation Psychology studies the psychological aspects of aviation. It is utilized in increasing the efficiency of the personnel-selecting process undertaken by aeroplane companies, identifying the possible psychological aspects hidden in aeroplane accidents and much more. It was previously under the purview of clinical psychology and now has expanded to include and comprehend the psychological nuances of passengers and even aviation staff. They are further responsible for selecting and training these personnel making them psychologically capable of handling the unforeseen circumstances that may come.

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This field of psychology may also look into providing mental health care to people whose family members have died due to aeroplane crashes and also may take up investigative work aiding authorities to understand the behaviours of pilots, crew members and even the passengers on flight while something unfortunate may happen. To enter the field of aviation psychology, one must have completed at least a bachelor’s degree, ideally in psychology. They may also pursue a master’s degree, specializing ideally, in aviation psychology, which is offered by some universities and colleges around the world. A master’s degree in the field of human factors psychology would also adequately equip the students to become aviation psychologists.

2. Engineering Psychology

Another applied subfield of psychology which interfaces with technology. It focuses on understanding and improving technology, equipment etc to enhance human behavior. It tries to comprehend human strengths and weaknesses while trying to use the information in developing equipment or adapting technology on these lines. The field of engineering psychology arose as a question of concern during the 1st and 2nd World Wars. The earliest applications of the field answered many military concerns and helped develop weapons that would minimize human error. They also try and improve the existing technology or innovate new equipment keeping in mind the needs of the disabled individuals.

These professionals are mostly employed in diverse areas in both private and public sectors. Just like any other field, the individual will require at least a master’s degree in any of the related fields like human factors psychology, ergonomics, usability engineering etc., to professionally enter the discipline and they mostly go on to pursue a PhD specializing in engineering psychology. The American Psychological Association has identified that this area of speciality is of growing importance in our society due to its increase in the usage of technological devices, and would provide many opportunities for its professionals to comprehend and work with the interaction between humans and their devices.

3. Consumer Psychology

As elaborated by the American Psychological Association, consumer psychology focuses on comprehending consumer behaviour through theoretical approaches. The field is often considered a subfield of industrial-organizational psychology. The field tries to study how consumers choose different products and businesses, the thought processes and emotions behind consumer behaviour, their motivation to choose one product over another etc. Consumer psychologists frequently devote a lot of effort to studying more about what makes consumers tick since businesses need to understand their customers to create products and marketing strategies that appeal to their target demographic.

Consumer psychologists may specialize in social marketing, which is the study of how messages and ideas circulate among groups. Obtaining information on a product or a significant public health message may be of interest to researchers. Consumer psychologists study consumer behaviour through research projects. These experts frequently use questionnaires, focus groups, phone surveys, direct observations, and experiments in their study. A master’s or PhD in a consumer psychology-related field is required for those who wish to work in more senior roles or as university instructors. Marketing, consumer studies, industrial-organizational psychology, and generalpsychology are some examples of these degree programs.

4. Psycholinguistic

The study of the relationship between linguistic and psychological elements is known as psycholinguistics or psychology of language. The field primarily studies the psychological and neurological processes that enable people to learn, use, comprehend, and produce language. In other words, it studies the mechanisms through which language is processed and represented in the mind and brain. Early attempts at psycholinguistics were made in the domains of philosophy and education, mostly because they were housed in departments other than the applied sciences (e.g., cohesive data on the functioning of the human brain).

To better understand how the mind and brain process language, researchers now draw on fields like biology, neurology, cognitive science, linguistics, and information science. Researchers in the multidisciplinary field of psycholinguistics come from a range of backgrounds, including psychology, cognitive science, linguistics, neuroscience etc. Psycholinguists investigate how individuals learn and acquire language and their processes are divided into 4 major categories: language acquisition, language comprehension, language production, and second language acquisition.

These career options mentioned ought not to be considered as the hotspots of today by any means. Any choice of career made by an individual must completely depend upon their interest, academic background, long-term goals in life and last but not least their passion and dreams.

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