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Everything You Need To Know About Biopsychologist - 2021

Biopsychologist
9 Months Ago 47 Reads 5 min read

Biopsychology is a branch of psychology that analyzes the effect of the brain, neurotransmitters, and other aspects of our biology on our behavior, thoughts, and feelings. This field of psychology is often known by many names including biopsychology, physiological psychology, behavioral neuroscience, and psychobiology. 

Biopsychologists often observe how biological processes interact with emotions, cognitions, and other mental processes. The field of biopsychology deals with many other fields including comparative psychology and evolutionary psychology. 

Plus, study normal, injured, and poorly developed brain functions. They are trained to conduct laboratory and field research with humans and animals, to teach and apply biobehavioral knowledge to problems in a wide variety of settings.

According to a report, all psychologists can expect to see a 19% growth in employment opportunities from 2014 to 2024. If you are a graduate psychology student looking for a job option beyond a traditional career path in psychology, you can become a biopsychologist.

What Biopsychologists do?

A Biopsychologist understands the relationship between the brain and the nervous system and their relationship to behavior. First, this field is an interdisciplinary field that analyzes behavior from psychological, pharmacological, neurophysiological, endocrinological, immunological, developmental, and ecological perspectives.

They research the biological processes of human and animal behavior. These works are done at colleges, universities in research-based or academic positions, or in the private sector conducting research for places like pharmaceutical companies. Research might be diverse based on topics such as brain development, interactions between different bodily systems and the brain, and biological causes of motivation.

They also conduct studies to determine the effects of specific drugs or interventions on behavior. Biological psychologists who have only obtained a master's degree may be able to work as research assistants. Some biological work as clinical psychotherapists because they integrate the study of counseling psychology into their graduate programs.

(Recommendation: Why does India Need Psychologists?)

How to Become a Biopsychologist?

How to Become a Biopsychologist

You will usually need at least a bachelor's degree in psychology to become a Biopsychologist. This program lasts approximately four years and introduces students to the relationship between the brain’s biological make-up and the psychological profile of the individual.

After completing the bachelor's degree program, students should prepare for a master of arts in psychology for two years. This includes lectures in brain chemicals and behavior, theories of personality, biology and human behavior, and the aging process and psychology.

They should also prepare to obtain a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology. It is research-intensive, and students engage in active experimental laboratory research that assesses biological and chemical variables of personality, behavior, and personality disorders.

Career Opportunities in Biopsychology

If you are interested in a career in the field of biopsychology, you have a few different options. Some people entering this type of field choose to work in research, where they can work in a university, drug company, government agency, or other industry. Others work to help patients who have experienced some type of brain damage or illness that impacts their behavior and functioning.

The following are some of the career specializations related to biopsychology:

Behavioral neuroscientist: Analyzes how the brain, nervous system, and other organs affect behavior.

Cognitive neuroscientist: Examines brain activity and researches how people think, learn, and solve problems.

Comparative psychologist Observes the behavior of different species and compares them to each other and humans.

Evolutionary psychologist: Examines evolutionary grounds of behavior.

Neurologist: Treats patients with damage or disease that affects the brain and nervous system.

What types of skills are needed to become a biopsychologist?

  1. An interest in continuing education is needed for a great biopsychologist as he continues with new research and other developments in the world of psychology.
  2. Good communication skill is a key for a great biopsychologist to work in both an academic and research-based setting.
  3. A biopsychologist must be able to write and read clearly for multiple audiences to disseminate information.
  4. He must be a critical thinker to come to sound conclusions with the ability to solve problems using analytical skills.
  5. He must have strong research skills to gather and understand data and must be able to notice people's actions and expressions.
  6. He must be patient in working with others and lengthy procedures. The mind works on its own time and takes a high degree of patience to understand its intricacies

Where do biopsychologists work? 

Where do biopsychologists work

Most Psychologists work in universities and colleges, often as professors. Many work in research laboratories such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Some work in the pharmaceutical industry with drug and alcohol treatment facilities. There are some who work for exploring animal behavior in zoos and parks.

Research methods used by biopsychologists:

Biopsychology is helping people understand the many unknown functions of the human brain. They often study patients with extremely rare neurological diseases. 

They use electro-encephalograms (EEGs), which are a safe and painless way to study sleep diseases
CAT( Computerised Axial Tomography), and PET (Positron Emission Tomography) is used to understand the further function of the brain.

Conclusion:

Biopsychology has allowed researchers to understand how the brain and nervous system affect human behavior. They study not only the functioning of the brain but also study how brain disease and injuries affect behavior, feelings, and thoughts. However, also able to come up with new ways of treating potential problems that may arise.

Finally, I would say they are trained to conduct laboratory and field research with humans and animals, applying biodiversity knowledge to problems in a wide variety of settings.

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