Cultural psychology is the study of how cultures reflect and shape the psychological processes of their members. The main tenet of cultural psychology is that mind and culture are inseparable and mutually constitutive, meaning that people are shaped by their culture and their culture is shaped by them; as Richard Shweder, one of the major proponents of the field, writes, "Cultural psychology is the study of the way cultural traditions and social practices regulate and transform the human psyche, resulting less in psychic unity for humankind than in ethnic divergences in mind and emotion." Cultural psychology is confused with cross-cultural psychology. However, cultural psychology is distinct from cross-cultural psychology in that the cross-cultural psychologists use culture as a means of testing the universality of psychological processes rather than determining how local cultural practices shape psychological processes. So whereas a cross-cultural psychologist might ask whether Jean Piaget's stages of development are universal across a variety of cultures, a cultural psychologist would be interested in how the social practices of a particular set of cultures shape the development of cognitive processes in different ways.
Cultural psychology research informs several fields within psychology, including social psychology, cultural-historical psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology. However, the relativist perspective of cultural psychology, through which cultural psychologists compare thought patterns and behaviors within and across cultures, tends to clash with the universal perspectives common in most fields in psychology, which seek to qualify fundamental psychological truths that are consistent across all of humanity. According to Richard Shweder, there has been repeated failure to replicate Western psychology laboratory findings in non-Western settings. Therefore, a major goal of cultural psychology is to have many and varied cultures contribute to basic psychological theories in order to correct these theories so that they become more relevant to the predictions and explanations of all human behaviors, not just Western ones; this goal is shared by many of the scholars. In an attempt to show the interrelated interests of cultural and indigenous psychology, cultural psychologist Pradeep Chakkarath emphasizes that international mainstream psychology, as it has been exported to most regions of the world by the so-called West, is only one among many indigenous psychologies and therefore may not have enough intercultural expertise to claim, as it does, that its theories have universal validity.
The acronym W. E. I. R. D. Describes populations that are Western, Industrialized and Democratic, thus far, W. E. I. R. D. Populations have been vastly overrepresented in psychological research. Findings from psychology research utilizing W. E. I. R. D. Populations are labeled as universal theories and are inaccurately applied to other cultures. Recent research is showing that cultures differ in many areas, such as logical reasoning and social values; the evidence that basic cognitive and motivational processes vary across populations has become difficult to ignore. For example, many studies have shown that Americans and western Europeans rely on analytical reasoning strategies, which separate objects from their contexts to explain and predict behavior. Social psychologists refer to the "fundamental attribution error" or the tendency to explain people's behavior in terms of internal, inherent personality traits rather than external, situational considerations. Outside W. E. I. R. D. Cultures, this phenomenon is less prominent, as many non-W.
E. I. R. D. Populations tend to pay more attention to the context. Asians tend to reason holistically, for example by considering people's behavior in terms of their situation, yet many long-standing theories of how humans think rely on the prominence of analytical thought. By studying only W. E. I. R. D. Populations, psychologists fail to account for a substantial amount of diversity of the global population. Applying the findings from W. E. I. R. D. Populations to other populations can lead to a miscalculation of psychological theories and may hinder psychologists' abilities to isolate fundamental cultural characteristics. Mutual constitution is the notion that the society and the individual have an influencing effect on one another; because a society is composed of individuals, the behavior and actions of the individuals directly impact the society. In the same manner, society directly impacts the individual living within it; the values and ways of life a society exemplifies will have an immediate impact on the way an individual is shaped as a person.
The atmosphere that a society provides for the individual is a determining factor for how an individual will develop. Furthermore, mutual constitution is a cyclical model in which the society and the individual both influence one another. While cultural psychology is reliant on this model, societies fail to recognize this. Despite the overwhelming acceptance that people affect culture and culture affects people, societal systems tend to minimize the effect that people form on their communities. For example, mission statements of businesses and foundations attempt make promises regarding the environment and values that their establishment holds. However, these promises cannot be made in accordance with the mutually consisting theory without being upheld by all participants; the mission statement for the employees of Southwest Airlines, for example, makes th
Human factors and ergonomics
Human factors and ergonomics is the application of psychological and physiological principles to the design of products and systems. The goal of human factors is to reduce human error, increase productivity, enhance safety and comfort with a specific focus on the interaction between the human and the thing of interest, it is not changes or amendments to the work enviornment but encompases theory, methods and principles all applied in the field of ergonomics. The field is a combination of numerous disciplines, such as psychology, engineering, industrial design, anthropometry, interaction design, visual design, user experience, user interface design. In research, human factors employs the scientific method to study human behavior so that the resultant data may be applied to the four primary goals. In essence, it is the study of designing equipment and processes that fit the human body and its cognitive abilities; the two terms "human factors" and "ergonomics" are synonymous. The International Ergonomics Association defines ergonomics or human factors as follows: Ergonomics is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, the profession that applies theory, principles and methods to design to optimize human well-being and overall system performance.
Human factors is employed to fulfill the goals of occupational safety and productivity. It is relevant in the design of such things as safe furniture and easy-to-use interfaces to machines and equipment. Proper ergonomic design is necessary to prevent repetitive strain injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders, which can develop over time and can lead to long-term disability. Human factors and ergonomics is concerned with the "fit" between the user and environment or "fitting a person to a job", it accounts for the user's capabilities and limitations in seeking to ensure that tasks, functions and the environment suit that user. To assess the fit between a person and the used technology, human factors specialists or ergonomists consider the job being done and the demands on the user. Ergonomics draws on many disciplines in its study of humans and their environments, including anthropometry, mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, industrial design, information design, physiology, cognitive psychology and organizational psychology, space psychology.
The term ergonomics first entered the modern lexicon when Polish scientist Wojciech Jastrzębowski used the word in his 1857 article Rys ergonomji czyli nauki o pracy, opartej na prawdach poczerpniętych z Nauki Przyrody. The French scholar Jean-Gustave Courcelle-Seneuil without knowledge of Jastrzębowski's article, used the word with a different meaning in 1858; the introduction of the term to the English lexicon is attributed to British psychologist Hywel Murrell, at the 1949 meeting at the UK's Admiralty, which led to the foundation of The Ergonomics Society. He used it to encompass the studies in which he had been engaged during and after World War II; the expression human factors is a predominantly North American term, adopted to emphasize the application of the same methods to non-work-related situations. A "human factor" is a physical or cognitive property of an individual or social behavior specific to humans that may influence the functioning of technological systems; the terms "human factors" and "ergonomics" are synonymous.
Ergonomics comprise three main fields of research: physical and organizational ergonomics. There are many specializations within these broad categories. Specializations in the field of physical ergonomics may include visual ergonomics. Specializations within the field of cognitive ergonomics may include usability, human–computer interaction, user experience engineering; some specializations may cut across these domains: Environmental ergonomics is concerned with human interaction with the environment as characterized by climate, pressure, light. The emerging field of human factors in highway safety uses human factor principles to understand the actions and capabilities of road users – car and truck drivers, cyclists, etc. – and use this knowledge to design roads and streets to reduce traffic collisions. Driver error is listed as a contributing factor in 44% of fatal collisions in the United States, so a topic of particular interest is how road users gather and process information about the road and its environment, how to assist them to make the appropriate decision.
New terms are being generated all the time. For instance, "user trial engineer" may refer to a human factors professional who specializes in user trials. Although the names change, human factors professionals apply an understanding of human factors to the design of equipment and working methods to improve comfort, health and productivity. According to the International Ergonomics Association, within the discipline of ergonomics there exist domains of specialization. Physical ergonomics is concerned with human anatomy, some of the anthropometric and bio mechanical characteristics as they relate to physical activity. Physical ergonomic principles have been used in the design of both consumer and indu
Psychology is the science of behavior and mind. Psychology includes the study of conscious and unconscious phenomena, as well as feeling and thought, it is an academic discipline of immense scope. Psychologists seek an understanding of the emergent properties of brains, all the variety of phenomena linked to those emergent properties; as a social science it aims to understand individuals and groups by establishing general principles and researching specific cases. In this field, a professional practitioner or researcher is called a psychologist and can be classified as a social, behavioral, or cognitive scientist. Psychologists attempt to understand the role of mental functions in individual and social behavior, while exploring the physiological and biological processes that underlie cognitive functions and behaviors. Psychologists explore behavior and mental processes, including perception, attention, intelligence, motivation, brain functioning, personality; this extends to interaction between people, such as interpersonal relationships, including psychological resilience, family resilience, other areas.
Psychologists of diverse orientations consider the unconscious mind. Psychologists employ empirical methods to infer causal and correlational relationships between psychosocial variables. In addition, or in opposition, to employing empirical and deductive methods, some—especially clinical and counseling psychologists—at times rely upon symbolic interpretation and other inductive techniques. Psychology has been described as a "hub science" in that medicine tends to draw psychological research via neurology and psychiatry, whereas social sciences most draws directly from sub-disciplines within psychology. While psychological knowledge is applied to the assessment and treatment of mental health problems, it is directed towards understanding and solving problems in several spheres of human activity. By many accounts psychology aims to benefit society; the majority of psychologists are involved in some kind of therapeutic role, practicing in clinical, counseling, or school settings. Many do scientific research on a wide range of topics related to mental processes and behavior, work in university psychology departments or teach in other academic settings.
Some are employed in industrial and organizational settings, or in other areas such as human development and aging, sports and the media, as well as in forensic investigation and other aspects of law. The word psychology derives from Greek roots meaning study of soul; the Latin word psychologia was first used by the Croatian humanist and Latinist Marko Marulić in his book, Psichiologia de ratione animae humanae in the late 15th century or early 16th century. The earliest known reference to the word psychology in English was by Steven Blankaart in 1694 in The Physical Dictionary which refers to "Anatomy, which treats the Body, Psychology, which treats of the Soul."In 1890, William James defined psychology as "the science of mental life, both of its phenomena and their conditions". This definition enjoyed widespread currency for decades. However, this meaning was contested, notably by radical behaviorists such as John B. Watson, who in his 1913 manifesto defined the discipline of psychology as the acquisition of information useful to the control of behavior.
Since James defined it, the term more connotes techniques of scientific experimentation. Folk psychology refers to the understanding of ordinary people, as contrasted with that of psychology professionals; the ancient civilizations of Egypt, China and Persia all engaged in the philosophical study of psychology. In Ancient Egypt the Ebers Papyrus mentioned thought disorders. Historians note that Greek philosophers, including Thales and Aristotle, addressed the workings of the mind; as early as the 4th century BC, Greek physician Hippocrates theorized that mental disorders had physical rather than supernatural causes. In China, psychological understanding grew from the philosophical works of Laozi and Confucius, from the doctrines of Buddhism; this body of knowledge involves insights drawn from introspection and observation, as well as techniques for focused thinking and acting. It frames the universe as a division of, interaction between, physical reality and mental reality, with an emphasis on purifying the mind in order to increase virtue and power.
An ancient text known as The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine identifies the brain as the nexus of wisdom and sensation, includes theories of personality based on yin–yang balance, analyzes mental disorder in terms of physiological and social disequilibria. Chinese scholarship focused on the brain advanced in the Qing Dynasty with the work of Western-educated Fang Yizhi, Liu Zhi, Wang Qingren. Wang Qingren emphasized the importance of the brain as the center of the nervous system, linked mental disorder with brain diseases, investigated the causes of dreams and insomnia, advanced a theory of hemispheric lateralization in brain function. Distinctions in types of awareness appear in the ancient thought of India, influenced by Hinduism. A central idea of the Upanishads is the distinction between a person's transient mundane self and their eternal unchanging soul. Divergent Hindu doctrines, Buddhism, have challenged this hierarchy of selves, but have all emphasized the importance of reaching higher
Developmental psychology is the scientific study of how and why human beings change over the course of their life. Concerned with infants and children, the field has expanded to include adolescence, adult development and the entire lifespan. Developmental psychologists aim to explain how thinking and behaviors change throughout life; this field examines change across three major dimensions: physical development, cognitive development, socioemotional development. Within these three dimensions are a broad range of topics including motor skills, executive functions, moral understanding, language acquisition, social change, emotional development, self-concept, identity formation. Developmental psychology examines the influences of nature and nurture on the process of human development, processes of change in context and across time. Many researchers are interested in the interactions among personal characteristics, the individual's behavior, environmental factors, including the social context and the built environment.
Ongoing debates include biological essentialism vs. neuroplasticity and stages of development vs. dynamic systems of development. Developmental psychology involves a range of fields, such as educational psychology, child psychopathology, forensic developmental psychology, child development, cognitive psychology, ecological psychology, cultural psychology. Influential developmental psychologists from the 20th century include Urie Bronfenbrenner, Erik Erikson, Sigmund Freud, Jean Piaget, Barbara Rogoff, Esther Thelen, Lev Vygotsky. John B. Watson and Jean-Jacques Rousseau are cited as providing the foundations for modern developmental psychology. In the mid-18th century Jean Jacques Rousseau described three stages of development: infants and adolescence in Emile: Or, On Education. Rousseau's ideas were taken up by educators at the time, it focuses on how and why certain modifications throughout an individual’s life-cycle and human growth change over time. There are many theorists. For example, Erik Erikson developed a model of eight stages of psychological development.
He believed that humans developed in stages throughout their lifetimes and this would affect their behaviors In the late 19th century, psychologists familiar with the evolutionary theory of Darwin began seeking an evolutionary description of psychological development. James Mark Baldwin who wrote essays on topics that included Imitation: A Chapter in the Natural History of Consciousness and Mental Development in the Child and the Race: Methods and Processes. James Mark Baldwin was involved in the theory of developmental psychology. Sigmund Freud, whose concepts were developmental affected public perceptions. Sigmund Freud believed that we all had a conscious and unconscious level. In the conscious, we are aware of our mental process; the preconscious involves information that, though not in our thoughts, can be brought into consciousness. Lastly, the unconscious includes mental processes, he believed there is tension between the conscious and unconscious because the conscious tries to hold back what the unconscious tries to express.
To explain this he developed three personality structures: the id, superego. The id, the most primitive of the three, functions according to the pleasure principle: seek pleasure and avoid pain; the superego plays the moralizing role. Based on this, he proposed five universal stages of development, that each is characterized by the erogenous zone, the source of the child's psychosexual energy; the first is the oral stage. During the oral stage, "the libido is centered in a baby's mouth." The baby is able to suck. The second is the anal stage, from one to three years of age. During the anal stage, the child defecates from the anus and is fascinated with their defecation; the third is the phallic stage. During the phallic stage, the child is aware of their sexual organs; the fourth is the latency stage. During the latency stage, the child's sexual interests are repressed. Stage five is the genital stage. During the genital stage, puberty starts happening. Jean Piaget, a Swiss theorist, posited that children learn by constructing knowledge through hands-on experience.
He suggested that the adult's role in helping the child learn was to provide appropriate materials that the child can interact with and use to construct. He used Socratic questioning to get children to reflect on what they were doing, he tried to get them to see contradictions in their explanations. Piaget believed that intellectual development takes place through a series of stages, which he described in his theory on cognitive development; each stage consists of steps. He believed that these stages are not separate from one another, but rather that each stage builds on the previous one in a continuous learning process, he proposed four stages: sensorimotor, pre-operational, concrete operational, formal operational. Though he did not believe these stages occurred at any given age, many studies have determined when these co
Quantitative psychology is a field of scientific study that focuses on the mathematical modeling, research design and methodology, statistical analysis of human or animal psychological processes. It includes other devices for measuring human abilities. Quantitative psychologists develop and analyze a wide variety of research methods, including those of psychometrics, a field concerned with the theory and technique of psychological measurement. Psychologists have long contributed to statistical and mathematical analysis, quantitative psychology is now a specialty recognized by the American Psychological Association. Doctoral degrees are awarded in this field in a number of universities in Europe and North America, quantitative psychologists have been in high demand in industry and academia, their training in both social science and quantitative methodology provides a unique skill set for solving both applied and theoretical problems in a variety of areas. Quantitative psychology has its roots in early experimental psychology when, in the nineteenth century, the scientific method was first systematically applied to psychological phenomena.
Notable contributions included E. H. Weber's studies of tactile sensitivity, Fechner's development and use of the psychophysical methods, Helmholtz's research on vision and audition beginning after 1850. Wilhelm Wundt is called the "founder of experimental psychology", because he called himself a psychologist and opened a psychological laboratory in 1879 where many researchers came to study; the work of these and many others helped put to rest the assertion, by theorists such as Immanuel Kant, that psychology could not become a science because precise experiments on the human mind were impossible. Intelligence testing has long been an important branch of quantitative psychology; the nineteenth-century English statistician Francis Galton, a pioneer in psychometrics, was the first to create a standardized test of intelligence, he was among the first to apply statistical methods to the study of human differences and their inheritance. He came to believe that intelligence is determined by heredity, he hypothesized that other measures such as the speed of reflexes, muscle strength, head size are correlated with intelligence.
He established the world's first mental testing center in 1882 in the following year he published his observations and theories in "Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development". Statistical methods are the quantitative tools most used by psychologists. Pearson introduced the chi-squared test; the 1900–1920 period saw the t-test, the ANOVA and a non-parametric correlation coefficient. A large number of tests were developed in the latter half of the 20th century. Popular techniques are recent. In 1946, psychologist Stanley Smith Stevens organized levels of measurement into four scales: Nominal, Ordinal and Interval in a paper, still cited. Jacob Cohen, a New York University professor of psychology, analyzed quantitative methods involving statistical power and effect size, which helped to lay foundations for current statistical meta-analysis and the methods of estimation statistics, he gave his name to Cohen's kappa and Cohen's d. In 1990, an influential paper titled "Graduate Training in Statistics and Measurement in Psychology" was published in the American Psychologist journal.
This article discussed the need for increased and up-to-date training in quantitative methods for psychology graduate programs in the United States. Training for quantitative psychology can begin informally at the undergraduate level. Many graduate schools recommend that students have some coursework in psychology and complete the full college sequence of calculus and a course in linear algebra. Quantitative coursework in other fields such as economics and research methods and statistics courses for psychology majors are helpful. However, students without all these courses have been accepted if other aspects of their application show promise; some schools offer formal minors in areas related to quantitative psychology. For example, the University of Kansas offers a minor in "Social and Behavioral Sciences Methodology" that provides advanced training in research methodology, applied data analysis, practical research experience relevant to quantitative psychology. Coursework in computer science is useful.
Mastery of an object-oriented programming language or learning to write code in SPSS or R is useful for the type of data analysis performed in graduate school. Quantitative psychologists may possess a master's degree. Due to its interdisciplinary nature and depending on the research focus of the university, these programs may be housed in a school's college of education or in their psychology department. Programs that focus in educational research and psychometrics are part of education or educational psychology departments; these programs may therefore have different names mentioning "research methods" or "quantitative methods", such as the "Research and Evaluation Methodology" Ph. D from the University of Florida or the "Quantitative Methods" degree at the University of Pennsylvania. However, some universities may have separate programs in their two colleges. For example, the University of Washington has a "Quantitative psychology" degree in their psychology department and a separate "Measurement & Statistics" Ph.
D in their college of education. Oth
Neuropsychology is the study and characterization of the behavioral modifications that follow a neurological trauma or condition. It is both an experimental and clinical field of psychology that aims to understand how behavior and cognition are influenced by brain functioning and is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of behavioral and cognitive effects of neurological disorders. Whereas classical neurology focuses on the pathology of the nervous system and classical psychology is divorced from it, neuropsychology seeks to discover how the brain correlates with the mind through the study of neurological patients, it thus shares concerns with neuropsychiatry and with behavioral neurology in general. The term neuropsychology has been applied to lesion studies in animals, it has been applied in efforts to record electrical activity from individual cells in higher primates. In practice, neuropsychologists tend to work in research settings, clinical settings, or forensic settings or industry.
Neuropsychology is a new discipline within the field of psychology. The first textbook defining the field, Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology, was published by Kolb and Whishaw in 1980. However, the history of its development can be traced back to the Third Dynasty in ancient Egypt even earlier. There is much debate as to. For many centuries, the brain was thought useless and was discarded during burial processes and autopsies; as the field of medicine developed its understanding of human anatomy and physiology, different theories were developed as to why the body functioned the way it did. Many times, bodily functions were approached from a religious point of view and abnormalities were blamed on bad spirits and the gods; the brain has not always been considered the center of the functioning body. It has taken hundreds of years to develop our understanding of the brain and how it affects our behaviors. In ancient Egypt, writings on medicine date from the time of the priest Imhotep, they took a more scientific approach to medicine and disease, describing the brain, trauma and remedies for reference for future physicians.
Despite this, Egyptians saw the heart not the brain as the seat of the soul. Aristotle reinforced this focus on the heart, he believed the heart to be in control of mental processes, looked on the brain, due to its inert nature, as a mechanism for cooling the heat generated by the heart. He drew his conclusions based on the empirical study of animals, he found that while their brains were cold to the touch and that such contact did not trigger any movements, the heart was warm and active and slowing dependent on mood. Such beliefs were upheld by many for years to come, persisting through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period until they began to falter in the 17th Century due to further research; the influence of Aristotle in the development of neuropsychology is evident within language used in modern day, since we "follow our hearts" and "learn by the heart". Hippocrates looked upon the brain as the seat of the soul, he drew a connection between the brain and behaviors of the body saying "The brain exercises the greatest power in the man".
Apart from moving the focus from the heart as the "seat of the soul" to the brain, Hippocrates did not go into much detail about its actual functioning. However, by switching the attention of the medical community to the brain, the doors were opened to a more scientific discovery of the organ responsible for our behaviors. For years to come, scientists were inspired to explore the functions of the body and to find concrete explanations for both normal and abnormal behaviors. Scientific discovery led them to believe that there were natural and organically occurring reasons to explain various functions of the body, it could all be traced back to the brain. Over the years, science would continue to expand and the mysteries of the world would begin to make sense, or at least be looked at in a different way. Hippocrates introduced man to the concept of the mind –, seen as a separate function apart from the actual brain organ. Philosopher René Descartes expanded upon this idea and is most known by his work on the mind-body problem.
Descartes' ideas were looked upon as overly philosophical and lacking in sufficient scientific background. Descartes focused much of his anatomical experimentation on the brain, paying specific attention to the pineal gland – which he argued was the actual "seat of the soul". Still rooted in a spiritual outlook towards the scientific world, the body was said to be mortal, the soul immortal; the pineal gland was thought to be the place at which the mind would interact with the mortal and machine-like body. At the time, Descartes was convinced the mind had control over the behaviors of the body – but that the body could have influence over the mind, referred to as dualism; this idea that the mind had control over the body, but man's body could resist or influence other behaviors was a major turning point in the way many physiologists would look at the brain. The capabilities of the mind were observed to do much more than react, but to be rational and function in organized, thoughtful ways – much more complex than he thought the animal world to be.
These ideas, although disregarded by many
A psychiatric medication is a licensed psychoactive drug taken to exert an effect on the chemical makeup of the brain and nervous system. Thus, these medications are used to treat mental illnesses. Prescribed in psychiatric settings, these medications are made of synthetic chemical compounds. Since the mid-20th century, such medications have been leading treatments for a broad range of mental disorders and have decreased the need for long-term hospitalization, therefore lowering the cost of mental health care; the recidivism or rehospitalization of the mentally ill is at a high rate in many countries and the reasons for the relapses are under research. Several significant psychiatric drugs were developed in the mid-20th century. In 1948, lithium was first used as a psychiatric medicine. One of the most important discoveries was chlorpromazine, an antipsychotic, first given to a patient in 1952. In the same decade, Julius Axelrod carried out research into the interaction of neurotransmitters, which provided a foundation for the development of further drugs.
The popularity of these drugs have increased since with millions prescribed annually. The introduction of these drugs brought profound changes to the treatment of mental illness, it meant that more patients could be treated without the need for confinement in a psychiatric hospital. It was one of the key reasons why many countries moved towards deinstitutionalization, closing many of these hospitals so that patients could be treated at home, in general hospitals and smaller facilities. Use of physical restraints such as straitjackets declined; as of 2013, the 10 most prescribed psychiatric drugs by number of prescriptions were alprazolam, citalopram, lorazepam, escitalopram, bupropion XL, venlafaxine XR. Psychiatric medications are prescription medications, requiring a prescription from a physician, such as a psychiatrist, or a psychiatric nurse practitioner, PMHNP, before they can be obtained; some U. S. states and territories, following the creation of the prescriptive authority for psychologists movement, have granted prescriptive privileges to clinical psychologists who have undergone additional specialised education and training in medical psychology.
In addition to the familiar dosage in pill form, psychiatric medications are evolving into more novel methods of drug delivery. New technologies include transdermal, transmucosal and suppository supplements. Psychopharmacology studies a wide range of substances with various types of psychoactive properties; the professional and commercial fields of pharmacology and psychopharmacology do not focus on psychedelic or recreational drugs, so the majority of studies are conducted on psychiatric medication. While studies are conducted on all psychoactive drugs by both fields, psychopharmacology focuses on psychoactive and chemical interactions within the brain. Physicians who research psychiatric medications are psychopharmacologists, specialists in the field of psychopharmacology. Psychiatric medications carry risk for adverse effects; the occurrence of adverse effects can reduce drug compliance. Some adverse effects can be treated symptomatically by using adjunct medications such as anticholinergics.
Some rebound or withdrawal adverse effects, such as the possibility of a sudden or severe emergence or re-emergence of psychosis in antipsychotic withdrawal, may appear when the drugs are discontinued, or discontinued too rapidly. While clinical trials of psychiatric medications, like other medications test medicines separately, there is a practice in psychiatry to use polypharmacy in combinations of medicines that have never been tested together in clinical trials, it is argued that this presents a risk of adverse effects brain damage, in real-life mixed medication psychiatry that are not visible in the clinical trials of one medicine at a time. Outside clinical trials, there is evidence for an increase in mortality when psychiatric patients are transferred to polypharmacy with an increased number of medications being mixed. There are six main groups of psychiatric medications. Antidepressants, which treat disparate disorders such as clinical depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders and borderline personality disorder.
Antipsychotics, which treat psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia and psychotic symptoms occurring in the context of other disorders such as mood disorders. Anxiolytics, which treat anxiety disorders. Depressants, which are used as hypnotics and anesthetics. Mood stabilizers, which treat bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder. Stimulants, which treat disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity narcolepsy. Antidepressants are drugs used to treat clinical depression, they are often used for anxiety and other disorders. Most antidepressants will hinder the breakdown of both. A used class of antidepressants are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which act on serotonin transporters in the brain to increase levels of serotonin in the synaptic cleft. SSRIs will take 3–5 weeks to have a noticeable effect, as the regulation of receptors in the brain adapts. There are multiple classes of antidepressants. Another type of antidepressant is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, thought to block the action of Monoamine oxidase, an enzyme that breaks down serotonin and norepinephrine.