There are many different areas of focus for psychologists, but they all have one thing in common — psychologists research cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behaviors and use their findings to improve the lives of their clients.
A few of the leading fields are industrial/organizational psychologists as well as clinical, counseling, and school psychologists. Industrial psychologists look at behavior within the workplace and determine how different aspects of the work environment affect and influence how we act and respond towards our workplace.
Most aspects of industrial psychology, from study to application, take place within a business environment. Researchers may study how people work together or how the work environment affects employee mood and behavior, amongst other topics. Employers may hire an expert in this field to come into the workplace and advise on areas that need improvement, such as job performance or employee health.
Often, psychologists focus on worker interaction and satisfaction because employees who work together well and are happy in their jobs can significantly strengthen a business or organization. Several studies have shown a positive link between boosting employee morale and increasing workplace performance. Psychologists try to get a feel for the relationship an employee has to both the work itself and to his or her manager and co-workers. They also may help create recruitment and training processes and programs as part of a human resources department.
Meanwhile, clinical, counseling, and school psychologists focus on areas outside the workplace. Clinical psychologists work in the medical field advising on the best treatment for patients. Counseling psychologists help by listening and responding to their patients to identify their strengths and resources to help them overcome and manage their problems. School psychologists focus their efforts on students, identifying ways to help students overcome education and developmental disorders as well as behavioral problems. They develop strategies to help students academically and counsel both students and families.
Throughout all these different areas, psychologists use experiments and data to build solutions and help improve the quality of life. From the workplace, to home life, schools, the criminal justice system, rehabilitation centers, and more, psychologists are in-demand individuals.
21st Century Skills required for this profession:
- Use data to analyze and explain behavior patterns
- Evaluate outside factors that may be influencing the situation
- Analyze multi-faceted scenarios
- Understand client needs
- Coordinate with rest of school/business to develop solutions to problems
- Empathize with patients
- Listen carefully to each detail of a situation
- Create questions designed to promote internal thinking and growth
- Develop more useful interview questions and surveys
- Create unique solutions to complex problems
- Develop methods for growth
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