Psychology can seem like an interesting field, especially as you learn more about complex human behavior. Unfortunately, the field can seem limited, especially since most people only think about clinical psychology. You may be surprised that psychology is a diverse field with plenty of non-clinical career options.
Psychometrics involves the development of psychological tests and measures that may be used in the clinical setting. Since many different measures of traits exist and are in development, psychometrics is related to other aspects of psychology like cognitive, education, and personality psychology. Psychological tests are developed by finding correlations between certain measures and traits. For example, traits such as narcissism, deceit, and selfishness are often correlated with high scores in psychopathy. Based on this information, clinicians may give a patient a test to see how they score on psychopathy or other antisocial characteristics, which may dictate their approach to treatment. Psychometricians may be found in setting where they administer tests, but they often work in research aiming to find better methods of testing.
Experimental psychology is the study of experimental methods in psychology. Since experimental methods relate to every aspect of psychology, you will find experimental psychologists that have an emphasis in almost every branch of psychology like neuropsychology, developmental psychology, and community psychology. Experimental psychologists generally engage in research; although, many of them also teach at the post-secondary level and supervise undergraduate and graduate students in their lab.
Psychologists in this area are well-versed in experimental, quasi-experimental, and qualitative methods. They also know how to use different statistical methods to organize data and reach conclusions about their hypothesis. Due to their advanced knowledge of quantitative and research methods, experimental psychologists may also be found doing medical research in areas such as sleep medicine and neurology.
Human Factors Psychology
Human factors psychology is an interesting hybrid of psychology and elements of engineering. Their goal is to find better ways of merging the human element with machines. For example, some human factors psychologists study medical simulation. They work closely with engineers and medical professionals to devise technology that can help future physicians and surgeons through simulated medical procedures. Human factors psychologists may be found in government and private agencies, such as mobile phone developers. Their input helps make better phones based on how people interact with such technology.
If you are interested in psychology but find clinical psychology is not for you, it does not mean there are no other avenues to pursue. Psychology is a diverse field and psychologists can be found in almost any setting. Visit a career center to learn more about the options available to you.