What are the 10 branches of psychology?

In this brief guide we are going to answer the question ‘’What are the 10 branches of psychology?’’ We will highlight the main branches of psychology, their job opportunities and the importance of the role of the psychologist in each of them. 

What are the 10 branches of psychology?

It’s quite common to think that psychologists are dedicated to solving certain types of personal problems of “patients”. Behavioral problems, such as alcohol addiction; emotional, such as the pain caused by the death of a loved one, or related to pathologies also treated from psychiatry.

Ultimately, psychology is, for a good part of the population, the practice of performing psychotherapy, when it does not only have to do with couches, hypnosis and psychoanalysis in general.

However, if we stop to examine more carefully what psychology is and what it has been throughout history, we will realize that the fields and fields in which it can be applied are much broader than it seems suggest the iconic image of Sigmund Freud providing psychotherapy services. 

In fact, psychology can have as many facets as there are human activities.

That is what means that there is not just one psychology, but many branches of psychology that are oriented to different fields of application and different objectives. Psychology consisting of conducting psychotherapy with patients is thus just one of the many specialties that exist within the science of behavior.

So, if you want to know what the different branches of psychology are and their job opportunities, it will be good for you to read what comes next.

1.        Clinical and health psychology

This is one of the most well-known branches of psychology, if not the most, and consists of research and intervention focused on more or less severe psychological problems that affect people’s quality of life.

If the psychological disorders have to do with mental disorders, clinical psychologists will work together with other health professionals in the diagnosis, prognosis, intervention and control of the psychological disorders.

People who belong to this specialty of psychology offer a service called psychotherapy and whose form, approach and procedures can vary greatly, depending on the psychological orientation that one has and the tools that are available.

As a consequence, not all health psychologists work in the same way or have the same training, although they may be included within the category of mental health professionals.

2.        Educational and developmental psychology

Almost all branches of psychology focus their attention to learning processes, but the specialization in educational psychology directs all their attention towards them. 

The objective of this branch is to apply techniques and strategies to make learning take place in the most satisfactory way possible, ensuring that there is a good fit between learners and teachers.

Furthermore, educational psychology understands the concept “education” in its broadest sense. It does not have to do only with what young people do in school, but it applies to all areas in which learning plays a leading role, whether in training courses for workers or within families and communities that must adapt to a new situation.

Developmental psychology is closely related to educational psychology and they are often seen as one and the same. However, the first is more oriented to behavioral changes that have to do with the maturational development of people and their passage through the different stages of growth, from childhood to old age.

This is used from educational psychology to establish criteria that allow knowing what are the capacities and learning limits of people, depending on what stage of development they are in. For example, the fact that a girl is five years old makes it possible to assume that she will not be able to learn content that requires the use of a fairly elaborate formal logic.

3.        Industrial-organizational psychology 

Industrial-organizational psychology has to do with research and intervention on workers, aiming to find strategies to make their performance level optimal taking into account the needs of each one of them and those of the organization as a whole. It’s, therefore, the application of psychology to the world of work.

This branch of psychology refers to the discipline of human resources, characterized by being involved in all those processes that affect the employees of an organization, these being: selection of personnel, training of workers … Thus, human resources are in charge of managing organizations at the worker (employee) level.

One of its facets, for example, is aimed at what makes each of the workers, individually, perform well in their job, either intervening on the tools that each person has, studying their strengths and weaknesses, conducting ergonomic studies to check whether or not they work comfortably, etc.

The other facet of this specialty of psychology, is oriented to the work dynamics and the relationships between the people that make up the organization, and therefore has to do with the work environment, leadership studies, resolution conflicts of interest, creating effective communication flows, etc. This is organizational psychology.

This is the branch of psychology that usually has a greater job opportunity, and therefore it’s usually a highly valued professional option. Within it, the selection of personnel tends to be the one that creates the most jobs.

4.        Marketing and consumer psychology

The psychology of marketing is born from the psychology of organizations, in the sense that it’s oriented to cover the productive needs of companies. In this case, these needs consist in providing an outlet for the products or services that are offered, making the potential demand for these be directed to the company’s offer.

In short, of all the branches of psychology, this specialization focuses on research aimed at creating attractive services and products for the client. Therefore, it takes part in the creation of the marketing plan, the publicity and the design of the product.

Among the most valuable assets of marketing and consumer psychology is neuromarketing, which applies neuroscience techniques to see how potential customers or consumers respond to advertising pieces, packaging designs, etc.

Advertising psychologists can also play an important role in these design processes depending on the way in which they interpret the reading of brain activation patterns, the monitoring of the movement of the gaze in front of an advertising poster, etc.

5.        Sports psychology

The branch of sport psychology aims to implement strategies to make the psychological and physical performance of athletes lead them to improve their results, both with regard to their individual performance and that involving their cooperation and coordination with other people on your team.

The objective is to make the psychological dynamics, the strategies learned and the emotional state in which the athlete is, lead him to find himself in an optimal situation to make the most of his abilities.

Psychologists who choose this branch intervene in many of the processes that are approached from clinical and educational psychology, such as the follow-up of self-instructions, the development of a good self-esteem and self-image, the resolution of conflicts, the habits they have to do with communication during sports sessions, etc.

6.        Social psychology

This is one of the most interesting branches of psychology, since it places special emphasis on the dimension of the collective, the relationships between people in a context. Thus, social psychology is oriented to investigate the way in which the presence of other people (whether real or imagined) affects the mental processes of the individual.

It’s, therefore, a specialization that, although it belongs to psychology, is closer to sociology than the other branches. In addition, being one of the great areas of psychology, it can have an important role in the rest of the branches of this discipline: in organizational psychology, in educational psychology, etc.

7.        Neuropsychology

The nervous system is the base of operations for everything that has to do with our behavior, our emotions and feelings and our ability to think and communicate, so it’s normal that one of the branches of psychology is oriented towards neurosciences.

Neuropsychology is a specialization halfway between neurology and psychology, and its reason for being is the study of mental processes and the functioning of the brain when there is some alteration in it.

Neuropsychology is especially useful in the study of brain injuries, malformations, dysfunctions and diseases that affect the functioning of the nervous system.

Thus, people who choose this specialization from among all branches of psychology will be able to study the relationships between mental (and behavioral) processes and what happens in the brain, to draw conclusions that allow a diagnosis to be made, prognosis, treatment and control of symptoms.

8.        Forensic psychology

This specialty is oriented to cover needs that appear within the judicial system. A forensic psychologist collects, analyzes and presents psychological evidence that will be taken into account in legal proceedings.

For example, you can evaluate a researched person to examine the possibility that they have mental disorders, or you can provide evidence that supports the hypothesis that a person has false memories.

Unlike what happens during psychotherapy, in which information related to the behavior of a specific person is also collected and analyzed, in the forensic psychological evaluation the interests of the psychologist or psychologist and those of the person examined do not coincide.

In fact, among the tasks of the forensic psychologist is to explore the possibility that the examined person is lying to assert a version of the facts that benefits him.

In addition to all this, the branch of forensic psychology is related to the creation of psychological profiles of criminals to help in search and capture tasks.

9.        Sexology

The specialization of sexology within the field of psychology has to do with the application of psychology to the resolution of sexuality problems. It’s a branch of psychology derived from clinical and health psychology but which is oriented to treatments on the sexual life of patients.

Although the psychology of the field of sexology is especially useful in treating sexual dysfunctions, it can also play a very important role in improving the sexual life of people without any such disorder.

10.   Community psychology

Community psychology can be understood as a derivative of social psychology oriented towards research and intervention on problems that affect specific communities and localized groups of people.

Its objective is to generate both material changes in the context of these people and new dynamics of relationships between them that allow their quality of life and decision-making capacity to improve.

In addition, the research and intervention strategies of community psychologists promote the participation of community members throughout the process.

FAQS: What are the 10 branches of psychology?

What are the branches of psychology?

Among some branches of psychology, we will mention:

Clinical psychology. 
Cognitive psychology.
Developmental psychology.
Evolutionary psychology.
Forensic psychology.
Health psychology. 
Occupational psychology.

What are the 3 branches of psychology?

The Three Forces of Psychology are the major schools of psychology that led the paradigms of American psychology: behaviorism, psychoanalysis, and humanistic psychology.

What is the best branch of psychology?

The highest paid branch of psychology is Industrial-organizational Psychology, and why not? They ensure that companies work optimally and that means more money.

What are the 7 types of psychology?

Biological psychology. 
Learning (Behavioral) psychology.
Cognitive psychology. 
Social-cultural psychology. .
Psychodynamic psychology. 
Humanistic psychology. 
Evolutionary psychology.

How many branches of psychology are there?

There are many branches of psychology, in general, many are specific but depend on some other. We could say that there are approximately 15 branches.

In this brief guide we answered the question ‘’What are the 10 branches of psychology?’’ We highlighted the main branches of psychology, their job opportunities and the importance of the role of the psychologist in each of them. 

If you have any comments or questions please let us know!


How Different Branches of Psychology Study the Brain and Behavior. Retrieved October 16, 2020, from Verywell Mind website: https://www.verywellmind.com/major-branches-of-psychology-4139786

‌Ritchie, P. L. J., & Grenier, J. (2009). Branches of psychology. PSYCHOLOGY–Volume I, 62.