5 Academic Disciplines That Use Psychology

By: Jenna Savage

As we’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, there are many psychology specializations that psychology majors can use to tailor their degree plans. However, students who are interested in studying psychology do not necessarily have to major in a psychology field. In fact, there are many other academic areas that utilize psychology to help students understand the way humans learn, develop, interact, and make decisions. Listed below are some academic majors that may not seem to have anything to do with psychology at first, but actually benefit from psychology study. In fact, some universities that offer the following programs may even require students to take psychology classes as part of their curriculum.

  1. International Business. International business programs primarily focus on operating businesses within a global environment. Students typically take classes in business administration and international management. However, some international business programs include psychology classes, because they can help broaden students’ knowledge of organizational development and employee management. Psychology classes may also help international business students learn to be sensitive to other cultures.
  2. Education. In the field of education, understanding how human beings develop and change over time is an essential part of learning how to foster learning. Psychology classes teach education students about cognition and the different ways that people can be motivated to learn. They can also help future teachers come up with accurate and fair assessments for their students.
  3. Human Resources. Human resource managers are responsible for overseeing a company’s employees. They are often tasked with the responsibility of training employees in areas like diversity and sensitivity. Many also participate in the hiring and termination processes for companies as well. In this field, psychology can help human resource managers understand employee behavior, and can also help shed insight into how to handle situations where employees are disgruntled and dissatisfied.
  4. Criminology. Criminology is the study of the cause and effect of criminal behavior. Criminology students also study the ways in which criminal actions impact society and influence laws. Within this field, psychology can help students gain insight into criminal thinking, abnormal psychology, and the effect of criminal behavior on victims.
  5. English Literature. Though the field of literature is broad, many literature students take at least one literary criticism class during their education. Literary criticism teaches students how to read different pieces of literature through interpretational lenses. Many literary criticism classes draw upon the theories of Freud, Jung, and other psychologists to help evaluate various books, poems, and short stories. Knowledge of psychology can therefore be extremely beneficial within the literary field.