Experimental Psychologist Career Information, Jobs, Degrees & Training Programs

Research psychologists, commonly known as experimental psychologists, specialize in human learning, behavior, and thinking. To conduct experiments, they evaluate human and animal behavior. Among the areas where they specialize include neurology, perceptual processes, sensation, the consequences of drug abuse, thought, memory retention, learning, motivation, and attention. These professionals also specialize in physical brain dysfunctions to develop memory loss treatments.

Research psychologists conduct experiments with humans and animals in controlled settings to minimize errors that could lead to misinterpretations. Research is usually conducted at universities, non-profits, government agencies, and research labs. Research psychologists conducting research at universities also typically teach classes.

Training and Education

Research psychologists usually hold master's degrees in research psychology or related fields. However, those specializing in research typically obtain doctorate degrees in research psychology. Most universities offering these types of doctorate degree programs list a master's degree in psychology as a perquisite for admission.

Research psychologists employed by consulting and private research firms, or practicing privately, are required to satisfy state licensing requirements where they reside. Each state has different requirements, but all states mandate that applicants pass a test. Certain states require that licensed research psychologists enroll in continuing education classes.

Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects job growth for psychologists to increase by 12 percent through 2018. It will be driven by increased demand for new research and counseling services. You'll have better job prospects if you hold a doctorate degree.

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