Psychology is an exceptionally broad topic, with numerous branches that explore very specific areas of the mind, brain and behavior. Learn more about some of the major specialty areas within psychology in these basic introductions, and then explore some of the major topics of interest for each branch of psychology.
Biopsychology is sometimes referred to as physiological psychology or biological psychology. Biopsychologists study how the brain, neurotransmitters and other biological process impact how we think and behave. They often use high-tech brain imaging tools such as MRI's and PET scans to analyze the human brain.
Developmental psychology is the area that explores the emotional, physical and psychological growth of people across the entire lifespan, from conception to death. Some developmental psychologists explore broad areas of growth and change, but many specialize in a particular age range such as childhood, adulthood or old age.
Behavioral psychology, also known as behaviorism, is a theory of learning based upon the idea that all behaviors are acquired through conditioning. Behaviorism was once a dominant school of thought during the early half of the twentieth century. Today, many techniques from behavioral psychology are often used in therapy and education.
Cognitive psychology is the branch of psychology that focuses on internal states, such as motivation, problem-solving, decision-making, thinking and attention. Cognitive psychology has many practical applications. For example, cognitive principles are often used in the creation of educational curricula and software design.