Week 6 Essay Assignment

o Review the material and deliverables from our Syllabus and Lessons.

o Essay should include title page, abstract, body (5-page minimum with sub-categories), summary/conclusion and reference page (at least three academic references), per APA guidelines.

o Please provide subcategories studied thus far for each of our career fields.

· Developmental Psychology

· Personality Psychology

· Biopsychology

· Perception Psychology

· Learning/Memory Psychology

· Psychopathology

· Industrial Organized Psychology

· Social Psychology

o For each of the career fields, please explain:

· What type of work is involved in each career field. Provide examples.

· The opportunities available within the fields

· Level of education one must achieve in each of these career fields

· Typical work setting. Provide examples.

· Average incomes

· Your biggest take-away learned from each career field

Please upload to the Week 6 assignment link as a Word formatted, .docx document.

In many card games, there is a trump card, the card or suit of cards that give the player the advantage. A degree in psychology is the trump card in the game of jobs and careers. Why? As the study of human behavior, psychology can inform all fields. What job does not involve some degree of involvement with people, even if the only person is yourself? 

    Remember, psychology is the scientific study of behavior-anything an animal or a person does, feels, or thinks. In other words, students of psychology learn about “how people work.”  Interpersonal skills, understanding how to work with people, enable success in career and personal life. Psychology students learn how to work with people and groups. They become aware of and sensitive to issues of culture, class, race and ethnicity. Psychology students also develop intrapersonal awareness or self-knowledge. They learn how to monitor and manage their own emotions and behavior.

    Trump card: several sub disciplines of psychology address the needs of business and industry. Degree holders in psychology work with owners, managers, and employees of business and organize work environments. Industrial psychology, organizational psychology, and human factors psychology are collectively sometimes referred to as work psychology.

    Industrial psychology studies how people behave in work settings. They employee a scientific approach toward the selection and placing of workers to ensure the maximum job satisfaction and productivity.  An Industrial psychologist is called on to create, validate and choose tests and interviews that prospective employees are asked to complete to determine whether they should be hired and where they should be placed. They determine the criteria or standards by which employees will be evaluated. Industrial psychology is they create applied in the training and development of employees. They create comprehensive employee assessment packages. Some companies have courses designed to ascertain if an employee is qualified or well suited for a job in a certain department or position. 

    Organizational psychologists study what factors contribute to job satisfaction and study factors associated with it, such as employee turnover, absenteeism, age, pay, motivation, and attitudes toward the organization.  They study leadership and how it contributes to the functioning of an organization. They create and continue to develop individual and group training programs.  The goal is to improve the leadership and communication skills of supervisors and managers.

    Human factors psychology is concerned with the interaction between people and their environments.  Recall the conflict of man versus machine/technology from Lit 101? Human factors psychologist is concerned with the interaction between people and machines.  They design work environments to optimize productivity, employee satisfaction, and safety, and limit stress, fatigue, and error. They play a part in national security by deterring future terrorist threats because they analyze and have tools to evaluate proposed changes in equipment, procedures, and regulations in the travel industry.

    It is easy to see how a degree in psychology on the bachelor’s level would prepare you to work in human resources.  Your course work will prepare you to recruit, place administer salaries and benefits, training and conduction research on employee needs and satisfaction. A career in human resources will require your interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. You must be flexible, patient and an excellent communicator.

    As a part of humanity, it becomes clearer with each passing day that it seems to be getting more and more difficult to get along with other humans.  Psychology is the study of how humans work so it helps in every single aspect of life where we must get along and play well with others. What causes social problems like interpersonal violence, prejudice, and stereotyping?  How do we change people’s attitudes?  And since psychologist study people and thinking patterns, they do a great job analyzing why people buy what they buy.

    Social psychology is the study of how people interact with each other and the social environment. Social psychologists study why we act the way we do or in a nutshell – personality. Consumer psychologists study how we process information and make decisions about purchasing products and services.  We have looked at the cards for a while, time to throw out some trump cards.

    A psychology degree is a trump card in the broad field of advertising.  Knowing how people think and how to influence their thinking is the basis of advertising. To prepare for a career in advertising, hone your communication, creative, and organizational skills.  You want to be sure and take courses in social psychology, consumer psychology, marketing, accounting, advertising, business management, communication, and design.

    Think of how your degree would be a trump card in real estate.  As a real estate agent, you must understand the neighborhoods and surrounding communities in which you sell property.  The most successful real estate agents apply psychological principles to their work. Effective sales techniques rely on an understanding of persuasion, and attitude formation and change, important social psychological principles used daily by real estate agents in their marketing, advertising, and client activities.

    Public relations is a field that specializes in communicating information to the public. Specialists in this field anticipate, analyze, and interpret public opinions about organizations to influence an organizations future decisions and business practices.

To access summary information about the work of psychologists specializing in Industrial/Organizational psychology a psychology specialty area of study and practice concerned with the relationships between people and their work environments, worker  retention, satisfaction and productivity, click these links.

Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Industrial/ Organizational Psychology


To access summary information about the work of Social Psychologists, whose research and professional practice expertise is in the impact of social environments and thoughts, feelings and behavior, click these links.

Social Psychology Careers

Frequently Asked Questions about Social Psychology

Week 6 Lesson

    Experimental Psychology is viewed more as a methodological approach to psychology, rather than as a subject. In the past Experimental psychologists basically conducted research, wrote and published articles, worked in academic settings, where they would teach classes on memory, learning, consciousness, etc. Lately, they focus on topics, such as motivation and social psychology.  would study multiple topics, which includes an extensive range. Some examples of topics studied include memory, language, communication, perception, motivation, and learning.

     Wilhelm Wundt is responsible for Experimental Psychology emerging as an academic discipline, during the 19th century. In 1879, he founded the Institute for Experimental Psychology at the University of Leipzig, in Germany. Some of the earlier experimental psychologists include Herman Ebbinghaus and Edward Titchener, who used introspection, as an experimental method.

     There are a variety of career opportunities at the undergraduate level. However, most positions will be entry level, with few responsibilities. The majority of the responsibilities will be clerical, supervised activities, and data input. A graduate degree will provide more career opportunities, with increased autonomy and responsibility. Geographic location and region is a significant factor, regarding job availability and salaries.

     Let’s discuss a few of the job opportunities with a Bachelor’s degree. One example of a career is Insurance Underwriter. Psychology majors possess a rock-solid liberal arts background, savvy computer skills, quantitative abilities. The role of an insurance underwriter is to assess the risk of loss, appropriate premium rate, and then to write the insurance policy. The services are provided to individuals and companies. The employment outlook for underwriters is not robust. The expectation is that the job will slowly decline through 2018 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010). In 2011, the median salary for an assistant underwriter was $38,041, life insurance planners were $42,882, and $45,828 for property and casualty planners (, 2011).

     Two similar careers requiring a Bachelor’s degree are Computer Programmer and Computer Support Specialist. Computer programmers are responsible for writing computer instructions. They also test and debug computer systems to maintain functionality. The average entry-level programmer’s salary was $54,074, in 2011 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010). A Computer Support Specialist tasks include providing technical assistance to users of hardware, software, and computer systems. They address inquiries from users; determine and solve problems; which may involve installing, modifying, cleaning, and repairing computer hardware and software, systems. US News and World Report (2010) has given Computer Support Specialists a rating of a top occupation. Psychology majors’ skills with computers, interpersonal skills, and communication skills are valuable, with careers involving computer support. The median salary for a help-desk technician is $45,497 and for a technical support analyst the median salary is $49,195 (, 2011).

     The graduate degree offers more advance career opportunities. One example of a career opportunity is an Operations Research Analyst. Operations research or management science takes a scientific approach, when analyzing problems. The Operations Research Analyst uses mathematics, statistics, and computer science to quantify situations and make appropriate decisions. The median salary for an Operations Research Analyst was $69,000 in 2008 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010). A career as a Financial Analyst uses the extensive background of statistics, provided by a graduate education in experimental psychology, quantitative psychology, and cognitive psychology. They provide services to financial organizations, such as banks, insurance companies, pension, and mutual funds. In 2008, the median yearly salary of Financial Analysts was $73,150 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010).

     Forensic or Legal Psychology has become more familiar, in recent years, due to several popular television shows, such as Criminal Minds and Profile. Forensic Psychology merges or integrates psychology and law. Forensic Psychology applies clinical psychology to a forensic setting. The clinical skills are involved in assessment, treatment, and evaluation to a forensic (crime) setting. A forensic psychologist is would be any psychologist, who works in the legal system. The psychologist is more likely to be trained, as a graduate-level clinical or counseling psychologist.

    The job opportunities offered with a bachelor’s degree include police officer, correctional officer, probation/parole officer, and forensic science technician. Let’s look at the job of a forensic science technician. They work closely with law enforce agencies investigating crime scenes and analyzing crime scene evidence. The median salary in 2006 was $49,857 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010). Forensic Science is a growing field and job growth is predicted. The primary disadvantage of this career is job stress, resulting from law enforcement tasks, high caseloads, and exposure to evidence, which extremely disturbing, emotionally.

     An individual with a Graduate degree have numerous opportunities, in both psychology and law. Clinicians provide a variety of services, such as completing forensic assessments, providing offenders with treatment, and assisting law enforcement officers. The area of Correctional Psychology is focused on the prison population. This area of Forensic Psychology is expected to grow, due to the increasing prison population. Master’s-level psychology holders in clinical and counseling psychology provide treatment for offenders. In 2009, the median salary was $45,000 (Finno & Kohout, 2010). Doctorate-level psychology holders are involved in the rehabilitative aspects of the offender. They develop specialized programs for the offenders and then evaluate their effectiveness. The starting salary for doctorate-level graduates is $62,000 (U.S. Office of Personnel Management, n.d.)

     A Forensic Examiner conducts forensic examinations. In criminal cases, they may be tasked with determining the offender’s ability and competence to stand trial. They are also involved in noncriminal cases. Some of the noncriminal forms of involvement include child custody evaluations and personal injury assessments. To qualify to conduct forensic evaluations, the individual must be trained in psychological assessment. Many Forensic Examiners work in private practice and state institutions, such as secure facilities, which includes community-based mental health centers and hospitals.

For summary information about the work of Experimental Psychologists, click these links.

Degrees in Experimental Psychology

Careers and Education in Experimental Psychology

Experimental Psychology – You Tube

For summary information about the work of Forensic Psychologists, click these links.

Degrees in Forensic Psychology

Careers and Education in Experimental Psychology

What is a Forensic Psychologist? YouTube

  Week 3 is packed full with information about two popular career paths in Psychology.  This week we will be discussing clinical and counseling psychology. Our discussion is designed to help students understand why clinical psychology and counseling psychology (along with school psychology) comprise the largest percent of psychology doctoral graduates. According to the American Psychological Association Center for Workforce Studies (2008), 61 percent of students obtaining doctorate degrees in Psychology are in the subfields of clinical, counseling, and school psychology.

  The motivating factor for pursuing training and education in these subfields is a desire to help individuals. Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychology are fields, which provide the specialized skills and training needed to help individuals who are coping with mental illness, emotional or behavioral challenges, and a host of psychological issues. Let’s review what a Clinical and Counseling Psychologist do. We will discuss the areas of employment and opportunities available to both and how they differ in training and specialized skills.

     Clinical Psychology is a broader branch of psychology, than Counseling Psychology. The focus of a Clinical Psychologist is the diagnosis and treatment of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. They assist individuals with dealing with some of the most common disorders, such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and eating disorders. You may be wondering if clinical and counseling psychologists perform the same tasks? Let’s examine this question together.

  Clinical psychology combines science, theory, along with practice to provide explanations and understanding to predict and address psychological problems and the accompanying distress. The main objective is to promote healthy human development and well-being. Counseling psychologists have a similar objective of working to alleviate or reduce distress associated with emotional or behavioral difficulties caused by psychological problems. A major difference between clinical and counseling psychologists is that counseling psychology’s focus is on assisting individuals improve their well-being throughout their lifespan. Their attention is centered on emotional, social, vocational, developmental, organizational, and health concerns.

  The ways Clinical psychologists endeavor to assist people is by attempting to reduce distress and provide assistance to improve their emotional and psychological functioning. The assistance is provided in a by variety of activities, such as assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. Additionally, clinical psychologists participate in consultations and conduct research, with the objective of better understanding human behavior.

    When we consider Counseling psychologists, they are also concerned and involved in reducing distress and providing assistance to improve individuals emotional and psychological functioning. However; their focus encompasses the entire lifespan, which includes emotional, social, vocational, health-related, developmental, and organizational matters. They are more interested in the following: (a)normal functioning and not severely disturbed functioning, (b) positive mental health, involving the individual’s strengths and assets, (c) limited or brief counseling interventions, (d) emphasizes personal and environmental interactions together and not as separate entities, and (e) highlights educational/career development, along with vocational environments. environments.

  Clinical and Counseling Psychologists work in a variety of settings. Many of the employment environments overlap and shared by both. The majority of clinical psychologists are in private practice (39%). The next largest employment area is the academic /university setting, which comprises 22%. The remaining areas and their percentages include: hospitals (7%), outpatient and community mental health clinics (6%), medical schools (8%), Veterans Administrative (VA facilities) comprise 3%. A cluster of additional settings, making up 15%, includes correctional/prison facilities, family services, and rehabilitation centers (Norcross, Karpiak, &Santoro, 2005).

   The settings which many counseling psychologists work in include the following: university and academic settings (15%), private practice (14%), mental health centers/community-based (15%), medical/hospital settings (10%), and 5% in VA facilities (Neimeyer, Bowman, and Steward, 2001). Many counseling clinicians are employed in family services, health maintenance organizations(HMO’s), penal/corrections environments, business firms, and rehabilitation centers.

  We would be remiss if we did not note that some mental health training does not have psychology as the disciplinary root.  There are programs for marriage and family therapy (MFT), rehabilitation, social work, and addiction counseling, which are pursued by students. Students may decide to pursue a doctoral degree; however, a terminal master’s degree (M.S. or M.A.) is the most common. Many states require licensure as a mental health professional, in order to provide counseling or clinical services. Two examples of licensure as a mental health professional are Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).

  Let’s look at service opportunities for bachelor’s degree holders in psychology.  Human services workers occupy a range of positions, not limited to but including social service worker, case management aide, social work assistant, community support worker, mental health aide, community outreach worker, life skills counselor, youth worker, psychological aide, client advocate, and gerontology aide. These positions can be categorized as paraprofessional positions because they are supportive of the roles and responsibilities of a psychologist.

  Services provided by human services workers are both direct and indirect to clients. Their responsibilities include reviewing and assessing clients’ needs and their eligibility for services. Then they assist clients obtain the needed services, such as food stamps, Medicaid, housing, etc. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010). When working in a community setting, the human service worker helps clients by providing counseling, assisting with daily living skills, and organization of group activities. Human services workers, in clinical settings, such as psychiatric hospitals or outpatient clinics, support patients’ participation in their treatment plans, help with daily living skills, effective communication, and promote social functioning. The median salary of human services workers in 2008 was $27,280 with a peak salary of approximately $43,510 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010).

 Entry –level social worker positions often can be obtained with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Social workers’ objective is to assist people improve their lives through counseling and identifying needed resources. Social workers work in multiple settings, such as hospitals, schools, community mental health centers, social service agencies, and courts and correctional institutions. Salaries for social workers tend to be moderate, with a median yearly salary in the upper-thirties, about $39,530 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010).

  The majority of counseling professions require graduate degrees for employment, substance abuse counselors are an exception. Substance abuse counselors often are the primary therapist assisting a client with alcohol or drug dependence and abuse. The median salary in 2008 for a substance abuse counselor was $37,030 per year, with half being paid between $29,410 and $47,290 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010).

   Career options and financial prospects in clinical-and counseling –related careers expand dramatically with a graduate degree in psychology. Regarding training, results of empirical research suggest that there are few differences in clinical psychology PH. D, Psy.D, and counseling psychology Ph.D. programs. To understand the difference and opportunities for graduate programs, doctoral degrees, and the time that must be invested, please read pages 28-32 of our textbook. A primary benefit of a graduate degree in clinical or counseling psychology is the flexibility to pursue career opportunities that match one’s own interests, skills and abilities. In 2008, the median salary of all clinical and counseling psychologists was $64,140, with half earning between $48,700 and $82,800 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010).

To access information about the work of psychologists specializing in learning and memory, two sub-specialties within the specialty area cognitive psychology, within the larger field, click these links.

Careers in Cognitive Psychology

Career as a Cognitive Psychologist

 Cognitive Psychologist Career: Job Outlook and Salary Profile

Your Brain is You: Learning and Memory (Part 5 of 6)

 To access information about what psychologists specializing in the study and treatment of psychopathology do, click these links.

What Psychotherapists Do

Careers in Clinical Psychology

Clinical Psychologist Careers, Educational Requirements and Salaries

Careers in Clinical Psychology – YouTube

Careers in Psychology: History of Counseling Psychology

Before we start to consolidate and review information we discussed, in the previous six (6) weeks, I wanted to discuss an additional topic. School psychology is a highly relevant subspecialty considering the challenges facing students, teachers, parents and school administrators today. The training, expertise, and specialized training provided by school psychologists is instrumental in addressing the challenges to result in the best and most effective outcomes. Historically, the school counselor dealt with the problems and issues of the students. When school counseling was initiated in the early 20th century; however, many of the complex issues experienced by today’s students such as bullying, homelessness, and fragmented families, were rare (Bain, 2012).  The complexity of today’s challenges, within school systems, requires collaboration between school counselors and school psychologists to increase favorable outcomes (Zambrano, Villarreal-Castro, & Sullivan, 2012).

Let’s start by discussing what school psychology is and what is needed to become a school psychologist. School psychology is very different from other specializations in psychology. The areas of interest for school psychologists are children, adolescents, and students, along with the education processes. School psychologists are trained in both psychology and education. The primary goal of the school psychologist is to assist students to maximize their education and the academic experience. Their range of interest encompasses not solely academics, but also includes the social, behavioral, emotional, and personal factors, which affect students and their families.

The school systems today are operating with a higher level of accountability. At a time when resources are limited, the school system must meet the needs of the increasing number of their students experiencing academic and mental challenges (Zambrano et al., 2012). An approach to delivering the services to students has been developed called Response to Intervention (RTI), involving both the school counselor and school psychologist (Zambrano et al., 2012).

The collaboration of the school counselor and school psychologist, using RTI, maximizes outcomes and is multifaceted. There is less duplicating of services by counselors and psychologists when they work together. Because of their collaboration, early intervention and prevention actions can be implemented. Because of the professional collaboration, the RTI approach can be implemented and used to the student’s advantage within the school system. Initiating the RTI approach allows school counselors and school psychologists to learn from each other. Lastly, students in graduate programs for school counseling and school psychology become familiar with the common areas of their training (Zambrano et al., 2012).

School psychology has some overlap with clinical and counseling psychology, regarding the tasks and job responsibilities. Consistent with their title and credential as a school psychologist, most of their time, attention, and expertise are centered on schools. They may also be employees at clinics, such as those based in the community, medical centers, prisons, juvenile detention centers, universities, or in private practice (Kuther & Morgan, 2013).

When considering society today and the many issues and situations confronting students, their families, and school systems, the need for school psychologists is evident. The assessments and treatment they provide to students, especially in the kindergarten to 12th (K-12) setting is priceless. Children enter the school system with multiple concerns, which the teachers and school administrators have neither the time nor training to address. Some of the issues and challenges dealt with by school psychologists are psychological, developmental, family structure, and school related, which the school counselor lacks the education, training, and expertise to effectively address.

A review of several challenges for students today clearly highlights the need for school psychologists. A major problem in schools is creating a safe and positive atmosphere in the schools, which will facilitate learning and academic growth. In this regard, school psychologists can work to decrease or prevent bullying, aid the victims of bullying and the perpetrator. Oftentimes, the parents or parent need guidance in how to assist their child, who is involved in school bullying. School psychologists are outstanding advocates for improving and strengthening the relationship between the school and families of the students.

Research has demonstrated bullying is associated with aggression. Schools endeavor to maintain a violence-free environment and preventing bullying is an integral aspect of their objective. The results of bullying to the victim can directly impact their school performance. Bullying is responsible for reduced levels of emotional/psychological well-being, inability to make social adjustments, psychological issues, and physical/medical problems (Jacobsen & Bauman, 2007). The behavior is considered bullying when the following aspects are present: the intention is to inflict harm, repeated behavior, and a clear difference in power between the bully and their victim (Jacobsen & Bauman, 2007).

The services and assistance provided to families become especially important when they have children with special needs or developmental delays. School psychologists can help the family understand their child’s challenges and guide the parents or parent through the specialized education procedures. They are also instrumental in ensuring the family is in touch with services provided by the community. The need for assistance provided by school psychologists increases when considering the number of single parent homes and divorce rates.

In addition to direct contact with students, teachers, families, and school administrators, School psychologists spend time researching and creating developmental programs in schools’ settings. They evaluate the effectiveness of their services and treatments and how to successfully implement educational changes and restructuring (Kuther & Morgan, 2013). The salaries for school psychologists in primary and secondary schools are comparable to counseling and clinical Psychologists. In 2008, the median salary was $65,710 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010). 

Now, let’s review some highlights from Week 1 to Week 4. Our discussion in Week 1 was focused on developmental Psychology. We discussed how we go through multiple changes and stages throughout our lifetime. Developmental psychologists study these changes in development and human growth, over the lifespan. Several notable developmental psychologists include Jacques Rousseau and Erik Erikson. The concerns of developmental psychologists go beyond how individuals grow, develop, and change,

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