What are the 20 branches of psychology?

Psychology aims to understand the faculties of the mind and how it regulates behavior and other human experiences. Therefore, to make it easier to study the conscious and unconscious phenomena of the brain and behavior, psychology is divided into different branches. If you want to know what are the 20 branches of psychology, keep reading this article.

What are the 20 branches of psychology?

The 20 branches of psychology are the following in alphabetical order:

  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Behavior Psychology
  • Biopsychology
  • Child Psychology
  • Clinical psychology
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Counseling psychology
  • Cross-cultural psychology
  • Developmental psychology
  • Educational psychology
  • Evolutionary Psychology
  • Experimental l psychology
  • Forensic psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Military Psychology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Organizational psychology
  • Personality psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Sports Psychology

The branches of psychology essentially addresses in this subject article are those whose establishments and applications are particularly relevant to work with informed activities toward development sustainability in different fields of life. 

Psychology is continuously advancing and new fields and branches keep on arising. Every particular study adds to how we might interpret a wide range of mental variables that impact our identity, the way we act, and our thought processes. It is critical to recollect that no single branch of psychology is more significant or better than some other.

What is psychology?

Psychology came from the Greek words, psyche, which means mind, soul, or spirit, and ‘logos’, to study. Psychology is the branch of science that deals with the scientific study of the mind, its inner workings, and its effect on behavior.

According to the American Psychological Association APA, psychology encompasses a wide range of studies on how the brain functions from child development to care for the elderly and all other aspects of human experience. 

In the ancient civilizations of Greece, Egypt, India, Persia, and China, Psychology has been around for thousands of years now. The fascination of philosophers and scholars alike about the faculties of the brain and how it affects one identity is one of the reasons why it has been studied. 

For example, Plato, an ancient Greek philosopher, suggested that the brain is the center of all mental processes in 387 BCE. Another early study of psychology happened in 980 AD by a famous Muslim doctor named Avicenna who studied and treated poor memory, epilepsy, and nightmares. 

The very first hospital where psychiatric conditions were treated is said to have been built in medieval times by Islamic doctors. Mental health advocate Philippe Pinel suggested a more humane treatment of patients in 1793.

In Germany, Wilhelm Wundt cemented psychology as an independent scientific study in 1793. Under the leadership of G. Stanley Hall,  the American Psychological Association (APA) was founded in 1890.

Other known philosophers and scientists in the early development of psychology are William James who published a book entitled Principles of Psychology, Hermann Abbingaus who was the first psychologist to study memory extensively, Ivan Pavlov who introduced the concept of “conditioning”, and the very famous Sigmund Freud who used interpretive methods to understand the mind.

Other significant psychologists are E. B Titchener and John Dewey who dedicated their studies to answer the question “What is consciousness?”

One expansive practice of psychology is established in philosophical regions of the humanities. In numerous studies around the world, the groundwork of psychology has become natural science-centered.

It is commonly accepted that psychology is no longer just a discipline in the field of humanities. Especially in modern psychology where the usual adherence is scientific-based, it follows a rigorous concept, methodology, and accurate dissemination of knowledge

Psychology can be a natural science or social science or both depending on the varying branch orientation and their emphasis of study; whether it is natural, social, or applied psychology. 

Branches of Psychology

Abnormal Psychology – is the science that studies abnormal or atypical behavior in humans in the clinical context.

Behavior Psychology – a school of thought also known as behaviorism, is the systematic study of the connection of the mind to the observable behavior and the factors that affect it like the environment.

Biopsychology – an interdisciplinary of biology and psychology that applies the aspects of our biology, for example, neurotransmitters and genetics, to analyze how the brain and nervous system affect behavior. 

Child Psychology – also known as child development, is the study of psychological, social, and emotional processes and development that children go through.

Clinical psychology – is the branch of psychology that provides treatment, therapy, and medication to people who suffer from mental health disorders and other abnormal behavior.

Cognitive psychology – is a branch of psychology that focuses on the faculties of the brain such as memory, problem-solving, decision-making, motivation, and many more.

Counseling psychology – is like clinical psychology but gives more emphasis on providing treatments to patients.

Cross-cultural psychology – looks at how culture affects how humans think and behave and how different they are from one another.

Developmental psychology – studies how people can develop, grow, and adapt at different stages of their life span and why these changes are happening

Educational psychology – focuses on how people learn and perpetuate knowledge. It includes methods, concepts, and processes of teaching and individual retention.

Evolutionary Psychology – examines the psychological aspect of evolution.

Experimental Psychology – applies the scientific method to study psychological processes.

Forensic psychology – provides psychological specialty in legal areas.

Health Psychology – centers on how psychology, biology, and society affects health and illnesses.

Military Psychology – explores psychological factors in promoting the overall well-being of people in the military.

Neuropsychology – is a specialty field within clinical psychology dedicated to understanding human cognition and behavior concerning the brain and nervous system. 

Organizational psychology – also known as industrial psychology aims to address psychological factors that affect recruitment, training, and retention.

Personality psychology – is an encompassing field of psychology that refers to differences in attitudes, thoughts, characteristics, feelings, and behaviors of each individual.

Social Psychology – is the scientific study of the construction of people’s thoughts, feelings, goals, values, and intentions within the social context.

Sports Psychology – uses psychology proficiently to address the performance and well-being of athletes


Psychology aims to investigate the mental, conative, subliminal, cognizant, and understood or unequivocal faculties of behavior. As an area of study with its underlying foundations in every other discipline, there are a few parts of Psychology that are exceptional mixes of various subjects, for example, Science, Crime, Education, Health, Development, and so on.

Psychology’s development as a science as well as an application of it has created fascination in moral issues and guidelines with suggestions for all branches, fields of exploration, and applications.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): what are the 20 branches of psychology?

Who is the father of psychology?

Wilhelm Wundt is identified as the father of psychology.

What is the oldest branch of psychology?

Psychoanalysis is one of the oldest branches of psychology from the work of Sigmund Freud who believed that unconscious forces influenced people.

What are the 2 types of human behavior?

The two types of human behavior are voluntary (occurs naturally) and involuntary (walking, speaking, writing) behavior.


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Hilgard, E. R. (1953). Introduction to psychology.

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Main Branches of Philosophy: Metaphysics, Axiology, Logic. Retrieved from https://leverageedu.com/blog/branches-of-philosophy/

The Major Branches of Psychology. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/major-branches-of-psychology-4139786

What Are The 20 Different Branches Of Psychology? | OptimistMinds. Retrieved from https://optimistminds.com/what-are-the-20-different-branches-of-psychology/