Powerful Geography



Main Topic: Human Geography
Secondary Topic: Environment and Society

Overview:  Psychologists study cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavior by observing, interpreting, and recording how people relate to one another and to their environments. They use their findings to help improve processes and behaviors. They seek to understand and explain thoughts, emotions, feelings, and behavior. They use techniques such as observation, assessment, and experimentation to develop theories about the beliefs and feelings that influence individuals. Psychologists often gather information and evaluate behavior through controlled laboratory experiments, psychoanalysis, or psychotherapy. They also may administer personality, performance, aptitude, or intelligence tests. They look for patterns of behavior or relationships between events, and they use this information when testing theories in their research or when treating patients.  The following are examples of types of psychologists:

Clinical psychologists assess, diagnose, and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Counseling psychologists help patients deal with and understand problems, including issues at home, at the workplace, or in their community.  Developmental psychologists study the psychological progress and development that take place throughout life. Forensic psychologists use psychological principles in the legal and criminal justice system to help judges, attorneys, and other legal specialists understand the psychological aspects of a particular case.  Industrial–organizational psychologists apply psychology to the workplace by using psychological principles and research methods to solve problems and improve the quality of worklife. Rehabilitation psychologists work with physically or developmentally disabled individuals. School psychologists apply psychological principles and techniques to education disorders and developmental disorders.

Geographic skills are important for psychologists.  Social processes and emotional and cognitive issues are quite often influenced by and vary by location.  The interaction between people and their different environments, and how that affects human behavior and wellness, is a geographical issue at its heart.  Psychologists could use geographic information systems (GIS), modeling software, and other computer programs to analyze and predict locational patterns of social and emotional well-being.

Geographers at work:  Health geographers, human geographers, social geographers, environmental geographers

Recommended College Courses:  Health geography, human geography, social geography, medical geography, environmental geography, geographic information science, physical geography

Skills:  Mapping and modeling, geographic information systems, computer and database systems, spatial analysis, map reading and interpretation

Occupation Group: Life, Physical, and Social Science

Learn more about Psychologists from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Labor:  https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm#tab-2

Written by Christopher Anderson