Psychologist – Definition, Types and Work Area




Psychologist is a professional who studies the human mind and behavior, and uses their knowledge to help individuals and groups deal with emotional, mental, and behavioral problems.

They work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, schools, businesses, and private practices, and may specialize in areas such as clinical psychology, counseling psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, and more. Psychologists use various techniques and therapies to help their clients, including talk therapy, behavioral interventions, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. They may also conduct research to better understand human behavior and the underlying mechanisms that drive it.

Types of Psychologists

Following are some types of Psychologist:

  • Aviation Psychologists
  • Biopsychologists
  • Clinical Psychologists
  • Cognitive Psychologists
  • Community Psychologists
  • Comparative Psychologists
  • Consumer Psychologists
  • Counseling Psychologists
  • Cross-Cultural Psychologists
  • Developmental Psychologists
  • Educational Psychologists
  • Engineering Psychologists
  • Environmental Psychologists
  • Forensic Psychologists
  • Health Psychologists
  • Industrial-Organizational Psychologists
  • Military Psychologists
  • Personality Psychologists
  • School Psychologists
  • Social Psychologists

Aviation Psychologists

Psychologists who specialize in aviation are responsible for studying and researching a variety of topics that are relevant to flying. These may include human factors such as decision-making, stress, fatigue, and other psychological issues that can impact safety.

Aviation psychologists also work with pilots and other aviation personnel to help them cope with the challenges of their job and to improve their performance. In addition, they may conduct research on new technologies or procedures that could improve safety in the aviation industry.


Biopsychologists are scientists who study the biological basis of behavior and mental processes. Their work is important for understanding how the brain and nervous system work, how they affect behavior, and how to treat conditions that affect them.

Biopsychologists use a variety of methods to study the brain and behavior, including experiments, brain imaging, and animal studies. They often work with other scientists in fields such as psychology, psychiatry, neurology, and pharmacology.

Clinical Psychologists

Clinical psychologists are highly trained mental health professionals who diagnose, treat and help prevent psychological, emotional and behavioral issues. They are expert in using psychological principles and research to help people understand, cope and recover from their problems.

Clinical psychologists use a variety of assessment tools to gather information about their patients. They then use this information to develop treatment plans that may include individual or group therapy, family counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and other techniques.

Cognitive Psychologists

Cognitive psychologists are researchers who study the human mind and how it works. They use their findings to help people improve their cognitive abilities, such as memory, problem-solving, and critical thinking.

Cognitive psychology is a relatively new field of study that emerged in the early 20th century. Its founders were interested in understanding how the human mind processes information. They wanted to know how people learn, remember, and think.

Community Psychologists

Community psychologists are those who study psychological phenomena within a community setting. In many cases, community psychologists work with underserved populations to help address social issues and improve quality of life.

Community psychologists often take an ecological approach, which means they view individuals as products of their environment. This perspective takes into account the influence of family, friends, culture, socioeconomic status, and other factors on someone’s psychological well-being.

Comparative Psychologists

Psychologists who study the behavior of animals are called comparative psychologists. They compare the behavior of different species to learn about the evolutionary origins of human behavior. Comparative psychologists use a variety of methods, including experiments, observations, and surveys.

Animal behavior can tell us a lot about human behavior. For example, studies of animal communication can help us understand how human language evolved. And, research on animal cognition can help us understand how the human mind works. Comparative psychology is an important field because it helps us to better understand ourselves and our place in the world.

Consumer Psychologists

Psychologists who specialize in consumer behavior study how people choose what to buy and why they make those choices. They use their findings to help companies design better products and marketing campaigns.

Consumer psychologists often have degrees in psychology, marketing, or sociology. They use a variety of research methods, including surveys, interviews, and experiments.

By understanding how consumers think and behave, consumer psychologists can help businesses increase sales and improve customer satisfaction.

Counseling Psychologists

Counseling psychologists help people deal with and understand the psychological factors that affect their lives.

They are trained in both psychology and counseling. This allows them to treat a wide range of mental health issues.

Counseling psychologists often work with people who have depression, anxiety, and stress. They can also help with life transitions, such as divorce or job loss.

Cross-Cultural Psychologists

Cross-cultural psychologists are uniquely positioned to conduct this research, as they are trained in both psychology and anthropology.

They uses a variety of methods to study the psychological experience of individuals from different cultures. Cross-Cultural Psychologists may use surveys, interviews, or participant observation to collect data. They may also use qualitative or quantitative methods to analyze their data.

The findings of cross-cultural psychologists can be used to improve our understanding of human behavior and improve the effectiveness of psychological interventions for people from all cultures.

Developmental Psychologists

Developmental psychologists study how people grow, change, and mature. They research everything from physical changes that occur during adolescence to psychological changes that happen throughout a lifespan. Developmental psychologists often work in research settings, government agencies, colleges and universities, and hospitals.

Educational Psychologists

Educational psychologists are experts in the field of human development and learning. They use their knowledge to help children succeed in school and in life.

Educational Psychologists work with students, teachers, and families to identify learning difficulties and develop strategies to overcome them. They also conduct research on topics such as memory, motivation, and emotional development.

Engineering Psychologists

An engineering psychologist studies how people interact with technology and equipment. They use this information to design products that are safe and easy to use.

Engineering Psychologists work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, factories, and office buildings. They may also work for government agencies or consulting firms.

Environmental Psychologists

Environmental psychologists study how humans interact with their surroundings. They use their findings to help design better environments, whether that means office buildings, urban neighborhoods, or natural landscapes.

Most of us spend the majority of our time indoors, so it’s important to make sure those spaces are comfortable and conducive to productivity. Environmental psychologists take things like lighting, temperature, and noise into account when making recommendations about workplace design.

Forensic Psychologists

Forensic psychologists are experts in the field of psychology who use their knowledge to help solve crimes. They work with police, lawyers, and judges to provide psychological insight into criminal cases.

Forensic psychologists often work with victims and witnesses of crime to help them cope with the trauma and give them the best chance of providing accurate testimony. They also work with offenders to understand why they committed their crimes and whether they are likely to reoffend.

Health Psychologists

Health psychologists are mental health professionals who focus on how psychological factors affect health and well-being. They work to promote healthy behavior, prevent illness, and help people manage chronic health conditions.

Health psychologists use a biopsychosocial model of health, which means they consider biological, psychological, and social factors when studying health and well-being. This approach allows them to develop a more comprehensive understanding of why people do or do not engage in healthy behaviors.

Industrial-Organizational Psychologists

Industrial-organizational psychologists are experts in human behavior in the workplace. They apply psychological principles and research to identify, select, train, assess, and develop employees. They also design work systems and organizational structures to promote employee productivity and satisfaction.

Industrial-organizational psychologists use their knowledge of human behavior to help organizations achieve their goals. They work with businesses, government agencies, and non-profit organizations to improve the quality of work life for employees and to make organizations more effective.

Military Psychologists

Military psychologists play an important role in the lives of soldiers and their families. They help soldiers deal with the stresses of combat and deployments, as well as the challenges of readjusting to life at home.

Military psychologists also provide support to families dealing with a loved one’s deployment. They can help family members understand what their loved one is going through and how to best support them.

Personality Psychologists

Psychologists who study personality are called personality psychologists. They explore questions such as how personalities develop and what causes people to behave the way they do.

Personality psychologists use a variety of methods to study personality, including surveys, experiments, and observations of people’s behavior. They often use the Five Factor Model of personality, which includes five broad dimensions of personality: neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.

School Psychologists

School Psychologists work with students, families, and school staff to create a supportive learning environment for all students. They use their training in psychology to help students with academic, social, and emotional problems. School psychologists are also involved in creating school-wide programs to prevent violence and bullying.

Social Psychologists

A social psychologist is someone who studies how people interact with each other and how these interactions affect our thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Social psychologists use scientific methods to study human behavior in social contexts.

Social psychologists are interested in a wide range of topics, including leadership, conformity, prejudice, and aggression. They work in a variety of settings, including universities, government agencies, businesses, and non-profit organizations.

What Do Psychologists Do

They perform a variety of tasks, depending on their specialization and work setting. Here are some common activities that psychologists may engage in:

  • Conducting research: Psychologists design and carry out experiments and studies to investigate topics such as cognitive processes, social behavior, and mental disorders.
  • Assessing patients: Psychologists may use various assessment tools, such as tests and interviews, to diagnose and evaluate mental and emotional disorders.
  • Developing treatment plans: Based on their assessments, psychologists may create treatment plans that involve counseling, therapy, or other interventions to help their patients.
  • Providing therapy: Psychologists may work one-on-one with patients, in couples or family therapy, or in group therapy settings to help people overcome mental and emotional challenges.
  • Teaching: Some psychologists may work in academic settings, teaching and conducting research on topics related to psychology.
  • Consulting: Psychologists may provide consulting services to businesses, organizations, or government agencies to help improve employee morale, productivity, and mental health.
  • Advocating for patients: Psychologists may work to advocate for the rights and needs of their patients in various settings, such as in legal cases or in public policy debates.

What Skills Must a Psychologist Have

To be a successful psychologist, there are several key skills and qualities that are essential. These include:

  • Empathy: Psychologists must be able to understand and relate to their clients’ experiences and emotions, and show compassion and support.
  • Active Listening: It’s important for psychologists to be able to actively listen to their clients, paying attention to their verbal and nonverbal cues.
  • Communication Skills: Psychologists must be able to communicate clearly and effectively with their clients, colleagues, and other healthcare professionals.
  • Analytical Thinking: Psychologists must be able to analyze and interpret data from assessments and research studies to diagnose mental disorders and develop treatment plans.
  • Problem-Solving Skills: Psychologists must be able to identify problems and develop effective solutions to help their clients overcome mental and emotional challenges.
  • Flexibility: Psychologists must be able to adapt to changing situations and adjust their treatment plans accordingly.
  • Patience: It’s important for psychologists to have patience and persistence when working with clients, as progress may take time.
  • Ethics: Psychologists must adhere to ethical guidelines and principles when working with clients and conducting research.
  • Cultural Competence: Psychologists must have an understanding and appreciation of different cultures and backgrounds, and be able to work with clients from diverse populations.

Where Psychologists Work

Psychologists work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Private Practice: Many psychologists work in private practice, either as a solo practitioner or as part of a group practice.
  • Hospitals and Clinics: Psychologists work in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities, providing mental health services to patients.
  • Schools and Universities: Psychologists work in schools and universities, providing counseling services to students, conducting research, and teaching courses in psychology.
  • Government Agencies: Psychologists work in government agencies, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Defense, providing mental health services to military personnel and veterans.
  • Nonprofit Organizations: Psychologists work in nonprofit organizations, providing mental health services to underserved populations, such as those with low income or limited access to healthcare.
  • Corporations and Businesses: Psychologists work in corporations and businesses, providing employee assistance programs, conducting research on consumer behavior, and offering leadership development programs.
  • Legal Settings: Psychologists work in legal settings, such as in family court or criminal court, providing expert witness testimony or conducting forensic evaluations.

How to Become A Psychologist

o become a psychologist, here are the general steps you would need to take:

  • Earn a Bachelor’s Degree: The first step towards becoming a psychologist is to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field. This typically takes four years of full-time study.
  • Earn a Master’s Degree (Optional): Some career paths in psychology may require a master’s degree, which typically takes two additional years of full-time study.
  • Earn a Doctoral Degree: A doctoral degree is typically required to become a licensed psychologist. This can be a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology, which usually takes four to six years of full-time study.
  • Complete an Internship: Before becoming licensed, you will need to complete a supervised internship in a clinical setting, which typically takes one to two years.
  • Pass Licensure Exams: After completing your education and internship, you will need to pass a licensure exam to become a licensed psychologist in your state.
  • Gain Work Experience: After becoming licensed, psychologists can gain work experience in a variety of settings, such as private practice, hospitals, schools, or government agencies.

Famous Psychologist in History

PsychologistEraSignificant Work
Sigmund Freud19th-20th c.Psychoanalysis
B.F. Skinner20th c.Behaviorism
Carl Jung20th c.Analytical Psychology
Abraham Maslow20th c.Humanistic Psychology, Hierarchy of Needs
Ivan Pavlov19th-20th c.Classical Conditioning
Jean Piaget20th c.Developmental Psychology, Cognitive Development
Erik Erikson20th c.Psychosocial Development
Lev Vygotsky20th c.Sociocultural Theory, Zone of Proximal Development
William James19th-20th c.Functionalism
Mary Ainsworth20th c.Attachment Theory
Albert Bandura20th c.Social Learning Theory
Carl Rogers20th c.Client-Centered Therapy, Humanistic Psychology
Noam Chomsky20th-21st c.Linguistics, Cognitive Psychology
Elizabeth Loftus20th-21st c.Memory Research, Eyewitness Testimony
Daniel Kahneman20th-21st c.Behavioral Economics, Decision Making

About the author

Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer