Research two career specializations and two professional organizations.
(NOTE: this assignment is due in Unit 2, but is introduced here so you can start working on it).
Copy and paste the assignment below and provide your answers below each section.
Read Careers in Psychology (in module 1). Choose two career specializations in different areas of psychology (research; physical and mental health; teaching and student services; social development; business and industry) and two professional organizations related to the career specializations. Complete the following assignment for each career specialization and professional organization:
1. Thoroughly research each career specialization from the reading and reputable online sources:
a. name the career specialization and area it is related to;
b. give a detailed description of the career specialization;
c. describe the education requirements for the career specialization including degrees, licensing, certification, etc.,
d. describe the specific job responsibilities for the career specialization,
e. identify the population of clients,
f. identify the work settings,
g. give the salary range including the source and year,
h. give the future job growth percentage for the career specialization,
2. Thoroughly research a professional organization related to each career specialization:
a. name the organization
b. identify the mission and general information about the organization,
c. list the membership types and fees,
d. describe three benefits of joining the organization
The assignment should be a minimum of 750 – 1000 words. Upload your assignment as a Word document (in Unit 2). Complete each section thoroughly and accurately. Include in-text citations that will connect to your sources’ factual points and include a reference page following APA (7th ed.) format.
Psychologists Conduct Research
Provide Health Care
Teach and Study Learning
Promote Community and Individual Well-Being
Advise Business, Industry, and Policymakers
Make a Difference in the WorlD!
table of contents What Is Psychology? ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| 1
Some of the Subfields in Psychology ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||4
The Job Outlook ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| 10
What Psychologists Do and Where They Do It |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||14
Psychologists Conduct Research ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||15
Psychologists Study Social Development||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||20
Psychologists Teach and Provide Services to Students |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||23
Psychologists Promote Physical and Mental Health |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| 25
Psychologists Study the Work Environment and Performance Issues ||||||||||||| 35
Getting Ready to Work in Psychology |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||41
APA Resources for Students ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||46
Learn More About Psychology @ www.apa.org
Copyright © 2011 by the American Psychological Association. This material
may be reproduced in whole or in part without fees or permission provided that
acknowledgment is given to the American Psychological Association. This material may
not be reprinted, translated, or distributed electronically without prior permission in
writing from the publisher. For permission, contact APA, Rights and Permissions, 750
First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242.
Available online at:
What is psychology?
W hy people do the things they do is an age-old question. However,
psychology—the science concerned with behavior, in both
human and nonhuman animals—first appeared in the 1870s.
Despite its youth, it is a broad discipline, essentially spanning
subject matter from biology to sociology. Psychologists have doctoral degrees.
They study the intersection of two critical relationships: one between brain
function and behavior, and another between the environment and behavior. As
scientists, psychologists follow scientific methods, using careful observation,
experimentation, and analysis. But psychologists also need to be creative in the
way they apply scientific findings.
Psychologists frequently are innovators, evolving new approaches from
established knowledge to meet the changing needs of people, organizations,
and societies. They develop theories and test them through their research. As
this research yields new information, these findings become part of the body of
knowledge that practitioners call on in their work with clients and patients, as
well as with organizations and communities. Psychology is a tremendously varied
field. Psychologists conduct both basic and applied research, serve as consultants
to communities and organizations, diagnose and treat people, and teach future
psychologists and those who will pursue other disciplines. They test intelligence
and personality. Many psychologists work as health care providers. They assess
behavioral and mental function and well-being, study how human beings relate
to each other and also to machines, and work to improve these relationships. And
because the United States is undergoing sizable change in its population makeup,
psychologists provide important knowledge and skills to help better understand
Many psychologists work independently and also team up with other
professionals—for example, with other scientists, physicians, lawyers, school
personnel, computer experts, engineers, policymakers, and managers—to
contribute to every area of society. Thus, we find them in laboratories, hospitals,
courtrooms, schools and universities, community health centers, prisons, and
Psychologists traditionally study both normal and abnormal functioning and
treat individuals with mental and emotional problems. They also concentrate on
behaviors that affect the mental and emotional health and mental functioning
of healthy human beings. For example, psychologists work with patients to help
What is Psychology?
2 3What is psychology?careers in psychology
them change behaviors that are having negative effects on their physical health.
They work with business executives, performers, and athletes to reduce stress
and improve performance. They advise lawyers on jury selection and collaborate
with educators on school reform. Immediately following a disaster, such as a
plane crash or bombing, psychologists help victims and bystanders recover from
the trauma, or shock, of the event. They team with law enforcement and public
health officials to analyze the causes of such events and prevent their recurrence.
Involved in all aspects of our fast-paced world, psychologists must keep up with
what’s happening all around us. When you’re a psychologist, your education
As has long been true, opportunities in psychology for those with graduate
degrees will be more plentiful and at a higher level than for those with
undergraduate degrees. An undergraduate degree remains excellent preparation
for continued graduate work in psychology or in another field, such as business,
medicine, or computer science. Many employers are interested in the skills that
psychology majors bring to collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data and their
experience with statistics and experimental design.
Opportunities for people with advanced degrees in psychology are expanding
in number as well as in scope. The move toward preventing illness rather than
merely diagnosing and treating it requires people to learn how to make healthy
behavior a routine part of living. Indeed, many of the problems facing society
today are problems of behavior—for example, chronic health conditions or
disease, drug addiction, poor personal relationships, violence at home and in
the street, and the harm we do to our environment. Psychologists contribute
solutions to problems through careful collection of data, analysis of data, and
development of intervention strategies—in other words, by applying scientific
principles, the hallmark of psychology.
In addition, an aging America is leading to more research and practice
in adapting our homes and workplaces for older people. The promises of the
electronic revolution demand more user-friendly technologies and training.
More two-career families in the workplace spur employers to accommodate the
needs of families. Psychologists are helping to make the changes that are needed.
The diversity in America today calls for psychologists to develop and refine
treatments and approaches to meet the unique needs of different racial and
ethnic groups. Furthermore, research advances in learning and memory, and the
integration of physical and mental health care, make psychology more exciting
Most psychologists say they love their work. They cite the variety of daily
tasks and the flexibility of their schedules. They are thrilled by the exciting
changes taking place in the field—from adapting technology to benefit humans,
to working as part of primary health care teams. They are endeavoring to provide
answers to research questions in such diverse areas as prevention, perception,
and learning, and they are using new technology and knowledge to train the next
generation. It is an exciting time to be a psychologist.Most psychologists say they love their work. They cite the variety of daily tasks and the flexibility of their schedules. They are thrilled by the exciting changes taking place in the field—from adapting technology to benefit humans, to working as part of primary health care teams.
4 5careers in psychology subfields in psychology
P sychologists specialize in a host of different areas within the field and
identify themselves by many different labels. A sampling of those
focal areas is presented here to give you an idea of the breadth of
psychology’s scholarship and applications.
The field of psychology encompasses both research, through which we
learn fundamental things about human and nonhuman animal behavior, and
practice, through which that knowledge is applied to solving problems and
promoting healthy human development. In each of the subfields, there are
psychologists who work primarily as researchers, others who work primarily
as practitioners, and many who do both (scientist–practitioners). Indeed, one
of psychology’s most unique and important characteristics is its coupling of
science and practice, which stimulates the continual advancement of both.
Additionally, many psychologists teach psychology in academic institutions,
from high schools to graduate programs in universities.
Clinical psychologists assess and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral
disorders. These range from short-term crises, such as difficulties resulting
from adolescent conflicts, to more severe, chronic conditions, such as
schizophrenia. Some clinical psychologists treat specific problems exclusively,
such as phobias or clinical depression. Others focus on specific populations—
for instance, youths; familes or couples; ethnic minority groups; gay, lesbian,
bisexual, and transgender individuals; or older people. They also consult with
physicians on physical problems that have underlying psychological causes.
Cognitive and perceptual psychologists study human perception,
thinking, and memory. Cognitive psychologists are interested in questions
such as how the mind represents reality, how people learn, and how people
understand and produce language. Cognitive psychologists also study
reasoning, judgment, and decision making. Cognitive and perceptual
psychologists frequently collaborate with behavioral neuroscientists to
understand the biological bases of perception or cognition or with researchers
in other areas of psychology to better understand the cognitive biases in the
thinking of people with depression, for example.
Community psychologists work to strengthen the abilities of communities,
settings, organizations, and broader social systems to meet people’s needs.
They help people access resources and collaborate with others to improve
their lives and communities. Instead of helping individuals cope with negative
circumstances (e.g., trauma, poverty), community psychologists help empower
people to change those circumstances, prevent problems, and develop stronger
communities. Examples of community psychology interventions include
improving support for hurricane victims, partnering with neighborhoods to
prevent crime, collaborating with schools to prevent bullying, and helping
change policies to improve health outcomes. Community psychologists blend
research and practice, partnering with diverse citizens to plan and implement
community changes, advance social justice, and use research to inform and
evaluate this work.
Counseling psychologists help people recognize their strengths and
resources to cope with everyday problems and serious adversity. They do
counseling/psychotherapy, teaching, and scientific research with individuals
of all ages, families, and organizations (e.g., schools, hospitals, businesses).
Counseling psychologists help people understand and take action on career and
work problems, they pay attention to how problems and people differ across
the life span, and they have great respect for the influence of differences among
people (such as race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability status) on
psychological well-being. They believe that behavior is affected by many things,
including qualities of the individual (e.g., psychological, physical, or spiritual
factors) and factors in the person’s environment (e.g., family, society, and
Developmental psychologists study the psychological development of
the human being that takes place throughout life. Until recently, the primary
focus was on childhood and adolescence, the most formative years. But as life
expectancy in this country approaches 80 years, developmental psychologists
are becoming increasingly interested in aging, especially in researching and
developing ways to help older people stay as independent as possible.
Educational psychologists concentrate on how effective teaching and
learning take place. They consider a variety of factors, such as human abilities,
student motivation, and the effect on the classroom of the diverse races,
ethnicities, and cultures that make up America.
soMe of the subfielDs in Psychology
6 7careers in psychology subfields in psychology
Engineering psychologists conduct research on how people work best with
machines. For example, how can a computer be designed to prevent fatigue and
eye strain in people? What arrangement of an assembly line makes production
most efficient? What is a reasonable workload? Most engineering psychologists
work in industry, but some are employed by the government, particularly the
Department of Defense. They are often known as human factors specialists.
Environmental psychologists study the dynamics of person–environment
interactions. They define the term environment very broadly, including all that
is natural on the planet as well as built environments, social settings, cultural
groups, and informational environments. They examine behavior evolving at
various scales and from various processes (e.g., localization, globalization).
They have a broad and inherently multidisciplinary focus. They recognize
the need to be problem oriented, coordinating as needed with researchers
and practitioners in the other fields of psychology, in related disciplines (e.g.,
sociology, anthropology, biology, ecology), as well as in the design fields
(e.g., regional, urban, and community planning; landscape architecture;
architecture; and engineering).
Environmental psychologists explore such issues as common property
resource management, the effect of environmental stress on human
effectiveness and well-being, the characteristics of restorative environments,
and human information processing. They also foster conservation behavior,
helping people to craft durable behavioral responses to emerging biophysical
Evolutionary psychologists study how evolutionary principles such as
mutation, adaptation, and selective fitness influence human thought, feeling,
and behavior. Because of their focus on genetically shaped behaviors that
influence an organism’s chances of survival, evolutionary psychologists study
mating, aggression, helping behavior, and communication. Evolutionary
psychologists are particularly interested in paradoxes and problems of
evolution. For example, some behaviors that were highly adaptive in our
evolutionary past may no longer be adaptive in the modern world.
Experimental psychologists are interested in a wide range of psychological
phenomena, including cognitive processes, comparative psychology (cross-
species comparisons), and learning and conditioning. They study both
human and nonhuman animals with respect to their abilities to detect what is
happening in a particular environment and to acquire and maintain responses
to what is happening.
Experimental psychologists work with the empirical method (collecting
data) and the manipulation of variables within the laboratory as a way of
understanding certain phenomena and advancing scientific knowledge. In
addition to working in academic settings, experimental psychologists work in
places as diverse as manufacturing settings, zoos, and engineering firms.
Forensic psychologists apply psychological principles to legal issues. Their
expertise is often essential within the judicial system. They can, for example,
help a judge decide which parent should have custody of a child or evaluate
a defendant’s mental competence to stand trial. Forensic psychologists also
conduct research on jury behavior or eyewitness testimony. Some forensic
psychologists are trained in both psychology and the law.
Health psychologists specialize in how biological, psychological, and social
factors affect health and illness. They study how patients handle illness, why
some people don’t follow medical advice, and the most effective ways to control
pain or change poor health habits. They also develop health care strategies that
foster emotional and physical well-being.
Health psychologists team up with other health care professionals in
independent practice and in hospitals to provide patients with complete health
care. They educate health care professionals about psychological problems
that arise from the pain and stress of illness and about symptoms that may
seem to be physical in origin but actually have psychological causes. They
also investigate issues that affect a large segment of society and develop and
implement programs to deal with these problems. Examples include teenage
pregnancy, substance abuse, risky sexual behaviors, smoking, lack of exercise,
and poor diet.
Industrial/organizational (I/O) psychologists apply psychological
principles and research methods to the workplace in the interest of improving
productivity, health, and the quality of work life. Many serve as human
resources specialists, helping organizations with staffing, training, and
employee development. They may provide employers with testing and other
valid selection procedures in their hiring and promotion processes. Others
work as management consultants in such areas as strategic planning, quality
management, and coping with organizational change.
Neuropsychologists (and behavioral neuropsychologists) explore the
relationships between brain systems and behavior. For example, behavioral
neuropsychologists may study the way the brain creates and stores memories,
8 9careers in psychology subfields in psychology
or how various diseases and injuries of the brain affect emotion, perception,
and behavior. They design tasks to study normal brain functions with imaging
techniques such as positron emission tomography (PET), single photon
emission computed tomography (SPECT), and functional magnetic resonance
Clinical neuropsychologists also assess and treat people. And with the
dramatic increase in the number of survivors of traumatic brain injury,
neuropsychologists are working with health care teams to help brain-injured
people resume productive lives.
Quantitative and measurement psychologists focus on methods and
techniques for designing experiments and analyzing psychological data. Some
develop new methods for performing analyses; others create research strategies
to assess the effect of social and educational programs and psychological
treatment. They develop and evaluate mathematical models for psychological
tests. They also propose methods for evaluating the quality and fairness of the
Rehabilitation psychologists work with stroke and accident victims, people
with intellectual disabilities, and those with developmental disabilities caused
by such conditions as cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and autism. They help clients
adapt to their situation and improve their lives, and they frequently work with
other health care professionals. They deal with issues of personal adjustment,
interpersonal relations, the work world, and pain management.
Rehabilitation psychologists are also involved in public health programs to
prevent disabilities, including those caused by violence and substance abuse.
And they testify in court as expert witnesses about the causes and effects of a
disability and a person’s rehabilitation needs.
School psychologists are engaged in the delivery of comprehensive
psychological services to children, adolescents, and families in schools and
other applied settings. They assess and counsel students, consult with parents
and school staff, and conduct behavioral interventions when appropriate. Most
school districts employ psychologists full time.
Social psychologists study how a person’s mental life and behavior are
shaped by interactions with other people. They are interested in all aspects of
interpersonal relationships, including both individual and group influences,
and seek ways to improve such interactions. For example, their research helps
us understand how people form attitudes toward others and, when these are
harmful—as in the case of prejudice—provides insight into ways to change
Social psychologists are found in a variety of settings, from academic
institutions (where they teach and conduct research), to advertising agencies
(where they study consumer attitudes and preferences), to businesses
and government agencies (where they help with a variety of problems in
organization and management).
Sport psychologists help athletes refine their focus on competition goals,
become more motivated, and learn to deal with the anxiety and fear of failure
that often accompany competition. The field is growing as sports of all kinds
become more competitive and attract younger children.
10 11careers in psychology the Job outlook
the Job outlook
P sychology graduates generally report being pleased that what they
studied in school has helped prepare them for both life and work.
As a woman who opened her own business shortly after earning
a baccalaureate in psychology stated, “After all, psychology is the
business of life.” Although the majority of those with bachelor’s degrees in
psychology work in areas other than psychology, they continue to be excited by
the changes taking place in the field that relate to what they are now doing.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, 2011) expects that opportunities in
psychology will continue to grow over the next decade. “Job prospects should be
the best for people who have a doctoral degree from a leading university in . . . [a]
field such as clinical, counseling, or health, and those with a specialist or doctoral
degree in school psychology. . . . Employment will grow because of increased
demand for psychological services in schools, hospitals, social service agencies,
mental health centers, substance abuse treatment clinics, consulting firms, and
private companies.” The push to place health service provider psychologists in
community health clinics and as core participants in health care practices will
provide opportunities. Psychologists are also needed to work with an aging
population and one that is diversifying rapidly.
According to the BLS (2011), “the demand for school psychologists will be
driven by a growing awareness of how students’ mental health and behavioral
problems, such as bullying, affect learning. School psychologists will be needed
for general student counseling on a variety of other issues, including working
with students with disabilities or with special needs, tackling drug abuse, and
consulting and managing personal crisis.”
Although psychologists may compete with providers from other disciplines
such as psychiatry, clinical nursing, social work, and counseling, “clinical
psychologists will continue to be needed to help with the rising health care costs
associated with unhealthy lifestyles, such as smoking, alcoholism, and obesity,
which have made prevention and treatment more critical. There also will be
increased need for psychologists to work with returning veterans” (BLS, 2011).
The BLS also states that “industrial-organizational psychologists can help
employers understand their organization
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