Learn behavioral psychology with online courses and programs
What is behavioral psychology?
Behavioral psychology operates on the belief that humans’ external environment determines their behavior. Through the lens of behaviorist theory, psychologists within this subset attempt to describe the relationship between stimulus and response. In other words, an external factor like a chill in the air may cause one person to put on a jacket, while it prompts another person to add cold medicine to their shopping list.
Behavioral psychologists combine specialized knowledge of cognitive psychology with a variety of social learning, emotional processing, and information processing theories, in order to help people better their lives.Footnote 1 By understanding how and why an individual takes a particular action, we can predict future behavior and adjust stimuli to achieve desired results.
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Behavioral psychology course curriculum
Learners who want to gain a foundational knowledge of behavioral psychology theories can take introductory courses which may cover the history of psychology, developmental psychology, and the stages of human development. Online courses can also provide opportunities to learn through behavioral psychology examples and case studies to solidify concepts. These can serve as a jumping-off point for learning about more niche topics, such as social attachment, biological bases of behavior, research methods, and applications of psychology.
If you are interested in learning general methods for self-betterment or understanding the science of everyday thinking, explore relevant courses through edX. Learning psychology principles can be beneficial for professionals in leadership roles across a variety of industries. Courses can provide guidance on leading high-performing teams, fostering empathy and emotional intelligence in the workplace, and bridging differences between colleagues.
edX offers a variety of learning opportunities, including specialized boot camps and full degree programs that enable you to earn a bachelor’s degree or pursue a master’s degree. You can earn a master’s in psychology or pursue master’s degrees in other fields such as education or even health care, where knowledge of behavioral psychology can come in handy in your field work.
Explore behavioral psychologist jobs
Behavioral psychology jobs vary in their requirements and responsibilities. Regardless of the title, it’s important that aspiring candidates have deep empathy and strong listening skills to best serve their clients. Some more common roles in the field include:
Behavioral counselor: advises individuals or families suffering from substance abuse, behavioral, or mental health disorders. If further intervention is required, behavioral counselors will refer clients to the appropriate specialists.Footnote 2
Social worker: provides navigational assistance to individuals, groups, or families experiencing challenges in their everyday lives. This role can be found within government, educational, and healthcare settings.Footnote 3
Family therapist: guides couples and families through cognitive and/or behavioral therapy techniques. They focus on how each person contributes to the family dynamic while allowing for individual treatment when appropriate.Footnote 4
Behavioral psychologist: uses their understanding of behavioral principles to observe, diagnose, and treat patients. They may conduct large-scale studies to test new theories, or work with individual clients in a clinical setting.Footnote 5
Psychiatric technician: assists individuals with mental illness or physical disability in conducting everyday tasks. Plans are tailored to clients’ abilities, cognitive function, and overall condition. Psychiatric technicians often work in a hospital or assisted living setting.Footnote 6
Each of these roles have different requirements to practice. For example, many social work positions require a master’s in social work to practice, while therapists may need a master’s in counseling. It is imperative that you research the educational and licensing requirements for any position that you hope to pursue before setting down a specific educational pathway. Once you have determined what educational credentials you will need, explore how online learning through edX can help you achieve your career goals.