Universität Mannheim / Sowi / Home / english / Psychology / Psychology Subjects

Psychology - Subjects Offered by the Department

Cognitive Psychology: Cognitive Psychology deals with the structural characteristics and the underlying cognitive processes of a variety psychological functions, such as Perception, Psychomotility, Learning, Memory, Thinking, Emotions, Motivation, Language and Language Comprehension.

Personality Psychology and Individual Differences: This area focuses on the psychological differences between people especially regarding intelligence and personality. 

Research Methods: In the area of Research Methods fundamental methodological concepts and statistical procedures are conveyed. These include the Philosophy of Science, designing, executing and analysing empirical experiments as well as constructing and applying assessment procedures.

Social Psychology: Social Psychology looks at the "human as a social being". Theories and models try to explain e.g. how the individual views his own self-worth in group settings, how social groups are perceived, how interpersonal attraction takes place and how opinions change in a group context. Findings in Social Psychology are also applied to a range of social issues, such as coping with stress, the effects of gender stereotypes and group processes in organisations.

Developmental Psychology: Developmental Psychology deals with changes in human behaviour across the life-span. Concepts include cognitive development, development of sensorimotor functions and changes in personality structure. Important theories also pertain to the various developmental stages, such as childhood, youth, adulthood and old age. Developmental research aims to optimise developmental conditions and prevent developmental disorders.

Biological Psychology: The subject of Biological Psychology conveys concepts and theories that aim to explain the biological and neurophysiological basis of psychological processes and human behaviour. Topics include neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, edocrinology and immunology. The subject area also examines the neuropsychological basis of perception, learning, memory, speech, thought, activation, emotion, motivation, sleeping and dreaming. It also deals with general biological topics such as genetics, evolution, ontogenesis of the brain, as well as psychopharmacology.

Cognitive Psychology: Cognitive psychology deals with the development, simulation and experimental examination of theories regarding cognitive functions. Topics include mechanisms in object recognition, control of visual and auditive attention, explicit and implicit memory performance, mental representation and mental manipulation of verbal and imaginal information etc. Psychology of thinking and psycholinguistics also belongs to the area of cognitive psychology.

Applied Subjects

Clinical Psychology: Clinical Psychology deals with the nature and development of mental disorders, including assessment, therapy, preventative methods and rehabilitation. It looks at the biological, social and developmental underpinnings of mental disorders as well as the participating cognitve and emotional factors that also influence other diseases, e.g. neurological disorders, cancer, chronic heart conditions. Research aims to find out what behavioural and experiential disfunctioning tells us about "normal behaviour" and which key factors play a part in disorders (e.g.  malfunctioning information processing in anxiety disorders). Further research areas include finding out how and why disorders develop (e.g. bio-psycho-social model) and how these can be treated, e.g. through psychotheraypy or family counselling.

Industrial and Organizational Psychology: IO-Psychology strives to study human behaviour and experiencing in an organizational context. The organizational structure and human behaviour are viewed as interrelating dynamically. Research is based on a single person or a group context, and looks at either task demands or organisational structure. Typical research areas in IO-Psychology include: personal conditions of behaviour and achievement, assessment of occupational qualification and achievement, human resource development, group-oriented interventional techniques, the meaning and effect of working, analysis and evaluation of occupations, design of occupational environments, core concepts in organizations, organizational assessment, interventions in organizations, Organizations and the environment etc.

Educational Psychology: Educational Psychology examines human behaviour and experiencing in educational settings. Education is viewed as relating not only to children and young people, but also to adults and elderly people. The most important educational institutions are schools, families and occupational training measures. Educational Psychology can be defined as a science that examines and optimizes external factors that play a role in behavioural changes and experiencing across the life span. One of the most important disciplines within the field of Educational Psychology is the Psychology of learning, which includes the acquisition of knowledge, abilities and attitudes as well as motivation. It also looks at the institutional, organisational and social conditions that influence educational processes. Based upon these findings it seeks to optimize learning surroundings and strives to prevent dysfunctional development.

Consumer Psychology: Consumer Psychology explores the experiencing and behaviour of individuals, groups and organisations in their role as consumer and supplier. It also looks at how experiencing and behaviour depend upon how advertisment measures are designed. Research is mainly market-oriented and looks at the experiencing and behaviour of consumers and the psychological consequences of advertisement measures.