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The BGSU Department of Psychology offers six areas of specialization. Students are not required to specialize but may choose to do so if any area is of particular relevance to their career interests.
Neuroscientists work with animals and use a variety of techniques to understand how the brain works. Behavioral neuroscientists study the brain mechanisms that are involved in attention, emotions, learning, memory, and social behavior.
Depending on their graduate training, clinical psychologists typically provide therapy to those with emotional or psychological distress. Clinical psychologists often choose to work with specific populations of clients – for example, children, criminals, people undergoing drug rehabilitation, or patients with heart disease, to name a few.
Cognitive scientists study mental processes via psychology, computer science, linguistics, neuroscience, philosophy, and other fields. Recent applications of this field include human/computer interfaces, computerized speech recognition devices, and computerized artificial intelligence (AI).
Developmental psychologists are interested in how people change throughout the lifespan, taking into consideration biological, cognitive, emotional, social, and cultural factors. Traditionally this field has focused on childhood and adolescence but as life expectancies have increased, developmental psychologists have become increasingly interested in adulthood and aging as well.
Industrial-organizational (I-O) psychologists apply psychological principles to the workplace and address issues such as employee productivity and satisfaction, staff development, talent management, candidate recruiting and screening, and the work-life balance.
Social psychologists study the dynamics of social relationships within groups and within society as a whole. Areas of interest include diversity and discrimination, gender, interpersonal relations, violence and conflict resolution, social activism, group dynamics, and social influence and persuasion.