The Psychology Taxonomy: Applied Psychology

Here is it, the final part of the taxonomy which will introduce the applied aspects of psychology, otherwise known as professional psychology. These fields are born because of growing demand for psychology professionals in the workplace instead of pure interest or academic inclinations of graduates. All of them are taught at postgraduate level.   

Experimental and Research Psychology

Much more convenient to begin with this as experimental psychology and research are born from academic psychology and they cover basically any work done in research. This is technically academic psychology at a graduate level where research is the core component regardless of the field one is interested in, or one’s methodological orientation (quantitative or qualitative). Umbrella category for all forms of psychology work done within research institutions.

Counseling and Clinical Psychology

The most well known fields of applied psychology. Back to their roots, counseling psychology deals with clients who have trouble making decisions, while clinical psychology deal with clients with abnormal tendencies or suffer from mental disorders. Over time, counseling and clinical psychology have grown and overlapped with each other and could be seen as one and the same in terms of coverage. Both fields learn counseling techniques and forms of psychotherapy, along with psychological diagnostics.

Note that counseling psychology=/=counseling.    

Clinical Neuropsychology

Clinical neuropsychology studies on how to apply neuropsychological knowledge with aims to treat mental disorders through assessment and intervention. Understanding the relationship between the nervous system and behavior makes the bulk of this field.


A highly specialized field of study, Psychoneuroimmunology studies the interactions between psychological processes and the neuroimmune systems (taken word by word from Wikipedia). Mental states and the immune system have a bidirectional relationship (where they influence each other) and being in a healthy state of mind can help in recovering from biological illness, which this field seeks to take advantage of.

Medical Psychology

Medical psychology is related to medicine in the same way that clinical psychology is related to psychiatry, a cross of clinical psychology and health psychology plus knowledge on medications, that is meant for work in general healthcare settings to assists medical doctors and patients. Some would see it as clinical psychology in a physiological treatment setting, meaning it deals with medical patients that aren’t necessarily mentally ill and helps them to adopt healthy living habits.

Applied Developmental Psychology: Child /Geriatric Psychology

Developmental psychology when applied are often focused on improving life quality in two phases of life: childhood and old age. Child psychology and geriatric psychology deal with the development and behaviors and work out treatments that can help with developmental disorders of children and the elderly respectively.

School Psychology

School psychology is about applying psychology theories on learning, behavior, and mental health in a school environment. The objective is to ensure the healthy growth of students academically and as a person through creating a conducive and supportive learning environment for students.

Educational Psychology

Educational psychology is born from the need of psychological experts in educational administrations. Educational psychology applies theories of learning and cognition into the planning of educational policies and school materials. Educational psychology shares the same goals as school psychology, but aims to serve a bigger population in general, while school psychology aims to serve one or two schools specifically and can deal with students individually.

Community Psychology

Community psychology involves the application of social psychology into improving the living quality of a specific group of individuals, or community. This is done by understanding the relationship of an individual to the community and the dynamics within, especially reciprocation.

Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Also called the psychology of the workplace, this field deals with human behavior at the workplace and is one of the more demanded psychology professions. This field aims to improve the performance of an organization through improving the performance, satisfaction, safety, health and well-being of its workers. This field also covers managerial aspects such as public relations and human resource.

Consumer Psychology

Sometimes known as the psychology of marketing, consumer psychology studies the decision making processes of consumers and take advantage of it by implementing suitable marketing methods for businesses.

Military Psychology

The application of psychology theories into military strategy and decision making, which try to understand and predict movements of armed forces (both allied and adversarial) and civilian.

Political Psychology

Political psychology studies politics from a psychological perspective, including voting behaviors, public opinions, approval ratings, conflicts and resolution, and foreign policy decisions. 

Sport Psychology

Sport psychology is an interdisciplinary field consisting of psychology, physiology, kinesiology, and biomechanics, which studies the interrelationship between athletic performance and psychological factors.

Health Psychology

Health psychology generally studies the psychological processes of health, illness, and healthcare, including how behaviors and culture can have an effect on one’s health. 

Occupational Health Psychology

When health psychology is applied to the workplace, it becomes the intersection of health psychology and I/O psychology known as OHP, which is concerned about the safety and health of employees at the workplace.

Human Factors, Ergonomics, and Engineering Psychology

This field comes under many names: human factor psychology, engineering psychology, environmental psychology etc, but they share a similar interest on the interaction between the individual and the environment, be it natural, social, built or informational. The study aims to apply primarily cognitive psychology into living and working environments and devices to improve the functioning of people in a variety of manners.

Media Psychology

While modern psychology discusses about media a lot, there isn’t a very defined pathway for so-called media psychology which primarily discusses the role of the human mind in media, our behavior to media as a stimulus, and solving media-related issues from a psychological perspective. .

Traffic Psychology

An example of a subdiscipline under human factors psychology, traffic psychology studies behavior of road users and the underlying cognitive processes. It application involves devising new traffic policies, road accidents countermeasures, and shaping desirable driving behavior.

Legal Psychology

Legal psychology is one of the intersections between psychology and law, where psychologists are directly involved in legislation, through conducting psychology research on feasibility of legislature, most notably eyewitness testimony.

Correctional Psychology

Correctional psychology is applied in correctional facilities. It has a strong emphasis on psychotherapy and focuses on applying psychotherapy to help offenders undergo rehab and reintegration into society.

Forensic and Criminal Psychology

Forensic psychology and criminal psychology deals with the judiciary and law enforcement rather than the legislation.

Forensic psychology emphasizes on handling the aftermath of crime or civil offense, and handles a larger variety of people, from offenders and victims to the witnesses and attorneys. Psychotherapy and psychological testing plays a huge part in determining the mental status of defendants as to whether they are competent enough to stand trial or give testimony.  

Criminal psychology focuses on criminal profiling and determining the motives of a crime. The study specifically focuses on studying criminal thoughts and reconstructing the psychological factors leading to the crime.

i am finally done with most of the work regarding The Psychology Taxonomy. This has been rather exhausting and pushed my prior understanding of the fields and careers to the next level. Since I think I have more or less finished on showing readers the scope and potential of studying psychology, my other posts in PsychSeeing Level Zero will be oriented around discussions of careers in psychology.

Otherwise, it is time to move up to Level One for introductory psychology which aims to help students through freshman year:)  


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