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Branches of Psychology


Psychology is one of the most diverse disciplines encompassing the study of behavior and mind, including all aspects of human experience and how the mind influences behavior through its actions. Because psychology embraces all aspects of the human mind and experience, cognitive development, forensic and developmental psychology and therefore, there are unlimited branches of psychology. While there is no way of classifying the various branches of psychology, such as clinical, cognitive, developmental, forensic psychology, and occupational psychology, among other disciplines, this paper discusses three great branches based on grand theorists. For instance, the paper discusses Basic Science psychology, human psychology, professional psychology, and occupational psychology. To foster the essential understanding of behaviorism, psychoanalysis, and humanistic psychology: Each branch of psychology addresses various issues from diverse perspectives. Nonetheless, despite diverse perspectives, all the major branches of psychology share a common goal of exploring human thoughts and feelings because human behavior is varied.

Basic Science psychology /Abnormal psychology

According to Griffin (2019), basic science psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on cognitive behavior. The basic science of psychology focuses on abnormal behavior, with includes emotional acts, thoughts, and behavioral patterns .mental behavior is the primary entity in this branch of psychology, whereby behaviorism is a matter of concern. Under behavioral psychology, strategic conditioning dictates that all behaviors are acquired via conditioning. Under behaviorism, the behaviors are learned through either operant and classical conditioning, critical in behavior modification or learning behavior in human beings. Behavioral psychology dictates that the environment shapes human behavior to align in a given direction. This branch of psychology is relevant for mental healthcare practitioners to assert that human behaviors are learned through external stimulators that warrant a behavioral reaction. Cognitive behavior is the primary entity in this branch of psychology, whereby behaviorism is a matter of concern. Therefore, behaviorism focuses on understanding the implication of the social environment in influencing thoughts, behaviors, and feelings.

Behavioral psychology has been further sub dived into various disciplines. For instance, behavioral therapy focuses on behaviors, mental challenges, and implications. According to Beaglehole (2015), behavioral therapy utilizes reinforcement and modeling to alter behaviors. Similarly, cognitive behavioral therapy is a psychological treatment that seeks to enable patients to recognize negative thoughts and feelings and explore how emotions affect actions. Therefore within the basic science of psychology, there are tenants and sub-branches.

Cognitive psychology

This branch of psychology deals with understanding the internal process of the mental stature of the human brain. The cognitive branches of psychology enable the development of new strategic aspects of enabling people to overcome various psychological challenges. According to Beaglehole (2015), it focuses on using information processing to evaluate how a mind works. While the brain and mind can be described as computers as far as information processing is concerned, cognitive psychology explores various fronts of the mental informational process. For instance, it includes the use of language, environment perception, and how people react to information. According to Chaudhary & Sriram (2020), the branch of cognitive psychology is significant in enabling psychologists and scientists to learn and understand how the human brain works. For example, studying how information is processed in the brain provides important information on perception and general informational processing. Similarly, the cognitive branches of psychology enable the development of new strategic aspects to overcome various psychological challenges. For instance, by understanding the cognitive nature of the internal human brain, it is easy for professionals to devise solutions for persons with attention deficits to enhance their concentration and focus by recognizing that focus and attention are primarily limited and selective resources.

Cognitive psychology is broad, diverse, and applicable to various aspects of human life. Other cognitive psychology tenants include decision-making, critical thinking, language acquisition, and visual and speech perception. Consequently, as the brain develops over time, the thematic change in mental aspects has been fundamental in ensuring that there are developed approaches to mental health. Initially, the mental treatment models involved psychoanalytic and behavioral implications. Rational and cognitive therapy treatment methods have been developed due to intensive research. Another branch of cognitive psychology is motor linguistics, creativity, reasoning, and perception as the major components of brain processing.

Professional Psychology

While it might be regarded as professional psychology, clinical psychology is encompassed in the assessment and treating mental illness and various psychiatric disorders. Clinical psychologists are essentially not medics but practitioners with a wide range of techniques to undertake various diagnostic aspects of clinical. At the same time, educational psychology cans one of the branches of professional psychology. Other sub-branches of professional psychology would also include industrial–organizational psychology, which applies the principles of the workplace environment and the social impacts on the well-being of the employees. This facet focuses on human capability and seeks to improve the interaction of the work environment to reduce harm while promoting safety and accuracy.

Furthermore, personality psychology can be categorized as a sub-branch of professional psychology. According to Griffin (2019), personality psychology deals with studying human patterns of thoughts and feelings, which makes an individual unique. Freud’s psychoanalytic development attributes personality psychology as a result of the interaction of social experiences that contribute to developing and changing mental formation and growth.


Griffin, M. F. (2019). The roots and branches of psychology: Historical and contemporary views on human nature and psychology.

Beaglehole, E. (2015). Property: A study in social psychology. Psychology Press.

Chaudhary, N., & Sriram, S. (2020). Psychology in the “backyards of the world”: Experiences from India. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 51(2), 113-133.


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