A psychologist studies how we think, feel and behave from a scientific viewpoint and applies this knowledge to help people understand, explain and change their behaviour.
Psychologists engage in research, practice and teaching across a wide range of topics having to do with how people think, feel and behave. Their work can involve individuals, groups, families and as well as larger organizations in government and industry. Here are some of the kinds of topics towards which psychologists focus their research and practice:
- mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, phobias, etc.,
- neurological, genetic, psychological and social determinants of behaviour,
- the perception and management of pain,
- psychological factors and problems associated with physical conditions and disease (e.g. diabetes, heart disease, stroke),
- psychological factors and management of terminal illnesses such as cancer,
- cognitive functions such as learning, memory, problem solving, intellectual ability and performance,
- developmental and behavioural abilities and problems across the lifespan,
- addictions and substance use and abuse (e.g. smoking, alcohol, drugs),
- stress, anger and other aspects of lifestyle management,
- the application of psychological factors and issues to work such as motivation, leadership, productivity, marketing, healthy workplaces, ergonomics,
- marital and family relationships and problems,
- psychological factors necessary to maintaining wellness and preventing disease,
- social and cultural behaviour and attitudes, the relationship between the individual and the many groups of which he or she is part (e.g. work, family, society),
- the role and impact of psychological factors on performance at work, recreation and sport.