Personality psychology is the study of how humans feel or think about their interactions with the world around them. Personality psychology is typically grouped with social psychology in academic departments, and the two disciplines may overlap in practice. However, personality psychology is more focused on the internal mechanisms in the human mind that influence behavior and thinking, while social psychology explores external social factors that influence thoughts and actions.
Working in this field, you may treat personality disorders, like narcissism and obsessive-compulsive disorder, or help businesses and organizations connect with people and be successful. Helping others can be satisfying work. On the other hand, treating patients with personality problems in a clinical or counseling setting can be difficult at times.
As fast as average employment growth is expected between 2012 and 2022 for several positions in this field. However, salaries for some professionals, like counselors and social workers, were lower than the national average in 2011, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Studying personality psychology can lead to several different careers. Compare common options below:
|Personality Psychologist||Mental Health Counselor||Clinical Social Worker|
|Career Overview||Personality psychologists study and treat personality issues in individuals and help organizations understand the human thought process.||Mental health counselors diagnose and treat patients with personality and mental health issues.||Clinical social workers help clients with personality and mental health disorders become active members of society.|
|Education Requirements||Doctoral degree for clinical and counseling work as well as research positions||Master's degree|
|Program Length||4 years of undergraduate education; about 2 additional years for a master's degree or 4-5 additional years for a doctoral degree||4 years of undergraduate education; 2 years of graduate school|
|Additional Training||Internship during graduate school||Supervised work or internship during graduate school|
|Certification and Licensing||License required for clinical and counseling work; optional certifications available||License required||License required for clinical work; some states may offer exemptions if hired for government agencies|
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