The actual work performed by individual psychologists can vary dramatically although psychologists study the mind and behavior. Psychology is an enormously diverse field as you can imagine. Psychologists frequently specialize in a very specific area while they often apply their knowledge of the human mind and behavior in a wide variety of ways. There are many different types of specialty areas, and so the exact answer to the question "What does a psychologist do?" may depend largely on specialty area, employment sector and even geographic location. All the psychologists may work may work in a wide variety of settings, including schools, universities, hospitals, private clinics, government offices, corporations and small businesses. Primarily they work in one of two broad areas: research psychology or applied psychology. Research psychologists investigate physical, emotional, social, cognitive and biological bases of human thought and behavior. Often they may be employed by a business or government office or they conduct experiments and may work at a colleges or universities. Applied psychologists use their knowledge of human behavior to solve real world problems or help people overcome psychological distress. They also may work directly with patients in a health care setting, such as in a hospital, mental health clinic, school or private practice.

Nature of psychology

Other applied psychologists may work in government, industry, business or nonprofit settings. These professionals may also perform research, offer training, design products, create programs or provide psychological advice in addition to applying their knowledge of psychology directly. Often psychologists employed in research settings spend a great deal of time developing hypotheses and collecting data. Some psychologists might perform research using lab experiment, for example, while others might use naturalistic observation. Other methods commonly used include administering questionnaires, clinical studies, surveys and interviews. Clinicians are psychologists who assess, diagnose and treat mental illnesses. They frequently work in mental health centers, private or group practices or hospitals. There are also a number of sub-specialty areas within the area of clinical psychology. While others specialize in treating certain types of psychological disorders or a certain age group, some professionals are generalists and work with a wide range of clients. Some clinical psychologists might work in a hospital setting with individuals suffering from brain injuries or neurological conditions, for example. Other clinical psychologists might work in a mental health center to counsel individuals or families coping with stress, mental illness, substance abuse or personal problems. Usually these psychologists perform a wide range of tasks on a daily basis such as interviewing patients, conducting assessments, giving diagnostic tests, performing psychology and much more. Work settings can vary based on the specific population that a clinician is working with. Common work settings include hospitals, schools, universities, prisons, mental health clinics and private practices. Psychologists who work in the health sphere promote good health through health maintenance counseling programs designed to help people achieve goals, such as stopping smoking or losing weight. Neuropsychologists study the relation between the brain and behavior.