Psychological disorders are clinically significant disturbances in a person’s thinking, behavior, and emotion regulation. They are often associated with significant distress in social interactions. This field also encompasses disorders characterized by an abnormality in biological processes. Psychological disorders are studied by psychiatrists and are commonly classified as mental illnesses.
Psychologists can also use their knowledge of behavioral science to explain and predict future behavior. However, these predictions often cannot be proven. Hence, psychologists must revisit their theories if they fail to explain certain behaviors. A classical example of this is the classical conditioning theory, which predicts that individuals will develop phobias when they associate them with a negative stimulus. Psychologists use this knowledge to understand human behavior and design interventions that help people cope with their anxiety and phobias.
Psychological tests use standardized procedures and are conducted under specific environmental conditions. These tests are designed to measure a representative sample of an individual’s behavior. The selection of appropriate tests requires clinical judgment and understanding of the individual being tested. They may also involve observations of the person’s interactions and behaviors. This information can be used to determine an individual’s capabilities and potential.
Cognitive psychology focuses on the human mind and its functions. It views human memory in three stages. It also uses experimental methods to investigate human behavior. This branch of psychology has several applications, including eyewitness testimony and cognitive therapy.