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Psychology was officially recognized as a legitimate science in 1879. Since then, psychology has further evolved into smaller, more specific subsets of study. While there are many different branches of psychology, the most prominent include: abnormal, behavioral, cognitive, forensic, and developmental. While these branches have elements of similarity, the differences are quite notable. Abnormal psychology deals primarily with deviant or unusual behavior. Most diagnosable mental disorders fall under the heading of abnormal psychology. These include sexual dysfunction, depression, substance abuse, and eating disorders.
These disorders may be caused by internal factors, such as a chemical imbalance, or may be caused by external factors, such as trauma or abuse. While most branches of psychology deal exclusively with either internal or external factors, abnormal psychology is unique in that it deals with both.Behavioral psychology supposes that behavior is the direct result of environment and conditioning. Russian scientist Ivan Pavlov was instrumental in defining the term "conditioned response" in his work with dogs. Pavlov effectively demonstrated that a dog could be induced to salivate at the sound of a bell once it had been conditioned to associate the bell with food. Though behavioral psychology is still used in certain fields, its popularity has declined with the advent of cognitive psychology.Cognitive psychology deals with intrinsic factors such as memory, perception, and motivation. Whereas behavioral psychology is concerned with environmental factors, cognitive psychology is concerned with mental states and seeks to understand and refine the way that the human brain processes and synthesizes information. Forensic psychology is frequently used in legal settings, particularly for proving the mental competency of a defendant or a witness. While forensic psychologists may be trained in any field of psychology, their primary responsibility is to translate the language of psychology so that it may be understood in a court of law. Forensic psychologists must have a deep understanding of the justice system and how to apply psychology within those parameters.Developmental psychology looks at how humans grow and change throughout a lifetime and is concerned with social, emotional, and intellectual development. Although developmental psychology originally focused on infants and children, it has grown to encompass all life stages. This post is brought to you by Argosy University. Drawing upon our more than 30-year history of granting degrees in professional psychology, Argosy University has developed a curriculum that focuses on interpersonal skills and practical experience alongside academic learning. Because getting a degree is one thing. Succeeding, quite another. Sources:
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