Types of psychologists (and what functions they perform)May 21, 2019
A neuropsychologist is a professional dedicated to neuropsychology.
To be able to work in this field, it is necessary to have a Bachelor’s or Bachelor’s degree in psychology, as well as a postgraduate degree in that specialty.
Occasionally, clinical psychologists or experimental psychologists usually occupy these positions, since many neuropsychologists are dedicated to research.
In the applied field, they can work, for example, in the cognitive, behavioral and emotional rehabilitation of a patient with brain damage, or in early diagnosis and intervention in dementia.
The social psychologists study and work on human behavior and psychological factors affecting social, community or group setting.
They are interested in aspects such as interpersonal, intergroup and intergroup relations. They are also interested in topics such as culture, prejudices or attitudes towards other individuals, and develop programs for groups, for excluded minorities, for disadvantaged groups, among others.
Here, professionals dedicated to the study of political psychology and cultural psychology can also be included, and it is also normal to find in this category people trained in anthropology and gender studies.
Organizational and work psychologists
The organizational and work psychologists apply psychological methods and principles in work and organizational environment.
Their tasks are varied, but they usually work in the departments of personnel selection, training, occupational health or development. They also participate in performance evaluations or studies to know the level of consumer satisfaction. In addition, in the work environment, psychological variables such as motivation or leadership are especially important.
Forensic and criminalist psychologists
The forensic psychologists apply psychological principles to legal aspects . Your experience is essential in the court. They can, for example, help the judge decide which parent should keep custody of a child by providing useful information or assessing the mental competence of a defendant during a trial.
Forensic psychologists are not the same as criminal psychologists. To better understand the difference between both fields of application of psychology, we invite you to read our article: “Differences between Criminal Psychology and Forensic Psychology”.
Although the work of the sports psychologist is not known by many individuals, few doubt the importance of psychological factors in sports performance. Sports psychologists work with athletes, the coach, the team and the entire organization to maximize the potential of the team or athlete.
Some of the psychological variables that are worked on are: self-efficacy, attention, motivation, activation level or stress. But they also work interpersonal relationships of athletes, the influence of the environment or communication.
The sexologists are specialized professionals in diagnosing and treating psychological disorders that affect intimate relationships of individuals (eg, erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation).
They are also responsible for educating patients on aspects related to a healthy sexuality.
Other fields of application
But this does not end here, because there are professionals in psychology who are dedicated to smaller fields of application: traffic psychology and road safety, marketing psychology, applied psychology to video games, psychology applied to nutrition, psychology of groups , canine psychology, coaching …
In short, psychology is an area that has obvious connections with any economic, social and medical area, and it is for this reason that the profession of psychologist can find very varied specializations and applications.
Beyond the types of psychologists
We must bear in mind that, regardless of how we classify the different types of psychologists, all of them exercise a fundamentally equal task: the study of behavior and mental processes and the application of these new knowledge in areas such as clinical psychology, education, etc.
That is to say, that everyone, from their different areas of action, helps to better understand who we are and how we can change.