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PhD in Applied Psychology?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Merlin Coryell, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. Merlin Coryell

    Merlin Coryell B.S. Psychology 2+ Year Member

    May 26, 2008
    Albany, OR
    I believe I may be confused on some terminology here. I have heard the term Applied Psychology used for PsyD programs, however Portland State has a PhD in Applied Psych.

    Doing a bit of searching, it seems that other places use the term to describe a generalized program that touches a bit on all fields. So then is Applied the ultimate teaching field to get into, allowing those with a PhD in it to teach on varied specialty fields?

    Thanks for any info.
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  3. solar3000

    solar3000 2+ Year Member

    Feb 24, 2008
    I have those terms confused too. for example the "experimental psych" and the neurobio psych is the difference? they both seem the same to me. (and yes, i know what neurobiology is about)
  4. erg923

    erg923 Regional Clinical Officer, Cenpatico National 10+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    Louisville, KY
    I really don't know what a Ph.D in "Applied psychology" is, or what it would entail. However, historically "applied psychology" refers to the branches of psychology that seek to use psychological knowledge/insights and directly apply them towards various human problems. Generally, applied psychology is conceptualized as consisting of clinical/counseling psychology, forensic psychology, I/O psychology, and Human Factor psychology.

    Experimental psychology is the umbrella term for the branches of psychology that are, for lack of a better word, experimental in nature. They are not directly applied to clinical problems by the researcher. Some of the experimental branches of psychology one can specialize in are developmental, social, cognitive, cognitive neuroscience, animal learning, etc. Experimental psychologists will not be practitioners and will not attempt to apply their resesrch to real world patients or consumers in clinical settings themselves. However, in reality, almost all the different psychology branches are seeking to apply their theory or work to a larger framework so it can inform our understanding of human processes/problems/diseases. However, experimental psychology often (but not always) focuses more on understanding basic underlying processes in normal behavior. Understanding this, others can then further hypothesize what causes these processes to become abnormal. For example, researching the hypothalamus in rats isn't applied directly to any specific human problem, but in concert with other resesrch, it helps us to better understand the basics of functional neuroanatomy. Knowledge about functional neuroanatomy then helps inform the field of clinical neuroscience. Clinical neuroscience then implements and directly applies this acknowledge towards better understanding various neurologic and psychiatric diseases. The exception to this is "experimental psychopathology" which uses experimental methods and procedures to directly examine the factors, causes, and process involved in psychopathology.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
  5. paramour

    paramour 7+ Year Member

    Jan 16, 2007
    Per the APA, Applied Psychological Science. However, if you look at their listing of applied grad programs (which has actually expanded over the years but also appears to no longer be limited to degrees IN AP). Usually with advertised AP programs, you are able to take (and are sometimes required to take) courses from a number of different areas but you are also required to specialize in one particular area, effectively creating your program track (e.g., I/O, social, health, experimental).

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