Careers in Psychology

An Experimental career

Experimental psychologists are a diverse group of psychologists who conduct research, and often teach, about a variety of basic behavioral processes. These processes include learning, sensation, perception, human performance, motivation, memory, language, statistical analysis, thinking and communication, and the physiological processes underlying behaviors such as eating, reading, and problem solving. Experimental Psychologists study the basic behavioral processes by which humans take in, store, retrieve, express, and apply knowledge. In order to do so, they work with human beings and with animals such as rats, monkeys and pigeons. Much experimental study is done in the areas of learning, physiological psychology (the relationship of behavior to physiological processes) or comparative psychology (sometimes called animal psychology). When experiments are carried out on animals, psychologists usually do so because the animals' environments can be more carefully controlled or because of ethical concerns.

Experimental psychologists tend to work in academic settings, teaching courses and supervising students' research as well as conducting their own. Institutions, businesses, industries and governments also employ experimental psychologists. In order to have mobility and advancement in this area of psychology, a research-oriented doctoral degree is usually needed.