Experimental Psychology

Experimental psychology is a branch of psychology which uses scientific methods of investigation in order to study the varied responses of individuals to stimuli in controlled environments and settings. These professionals typically work in a variety of settings and collaborate with other professionals to increase understanding of human behavior.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in experimental psychology, you will need a doctoral degree. To enter into this program you will first need to get an undergraduate degree in psychology followed by a master’s degree in experimental psychology. You will also need to undertake training.

To learn more about experimental psychology as a career, read on.

What does an experimental psychologist do?

Experimental psychology is a sub-field of psychology which focuses on using scientific methods to understand human responses. Data is collected and research is performed in order to understand what causes people to act the way that they do.

An experimental psychologist is a professional that works in a wide variety of settings including the government, research facilities, universities, as well as healthcare settings.

The research that experimental psychologists carry out is invaluable. The area of research that they choose to dedicate their time to will depend upon their educational background and specific interests. Experimental psychologists provide their research to a wide variety of professionals across a number of fields who use the information to improve learning and teaching methods, create more inclusive and safe workplaces, and promote healthy development.

Experimental psychology is a field which is primarily concerned with research and teaching. Therefore, professionals in this field are typically found working in academia or research.

How do you become an experimental psychologist?

In order to become an experimental psychologist, you will first need to earn a doctoral degree in experimental psychology and become licensed. It is a profession which requires educational qualifications up to the doctoral level alongside additional training and licensure.

In general, the steps to becoming an experimental psychologist are as follows:

Steps to become an experimental psychologist:

1. Get an undergraduate degree in psychology
2. Get a master’s degree in experimental psychology
3. Get a Ph.D. in clinical psychology with a specialization in experimental psychology
4. Get relevant training and experience in a healthcare setting

Master’s degree in experimental psychology

The Master of Science (M.S.) degree in experimental psychology will give students a strong academic foundation in all of the concepts and theories involved in experimental psychology. Students will learn the relevant skills they need in research methodology and scientific inquiry in order to enter this field. The knowledge that students will gain in this program will enable them to apply for a doctoral program in experimental psychology.

Degree Duration Some of the courses offered
M.S. in Experimental Psychology 2 years
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Research Methods in Experimental Psychology
  • Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Psychological Quantitative Methods
  • History and Systems in Experimental Psychology

Ph.D. in experimental psychology

A doctoral degree in experimental psychology is essential in order to practice in this field. This degree not only prepares you to practice experimental psychology, it also opens doors to teaching and research. Within this program, students may also have the option to focus on a specific concentration such as affective neuroscience, behavioral genetics, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, or developmental disorders.

As part of the Ph.D. program, students will have to take part in training and also complete a dissertation under the guidance of a faculty supervisor. Generally, the curriculum can be adjusted around a specific focus area for the student.

Degree Duration Some of the courses offered
Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology 2-4 years
  • Social cognition
  • Behavior analysis   
  • Health and social psychology
  • Sensory systems


Job Prospects and Salary

Experimental psychologists are part of the larger field of psychology. According to data from 2009 from the American Psychology Association (APA) the annual salary that doctoral level experimental psychologists made was between $76,090 and $116,343.The precise amount you make will depend on a variety of factors including the setting in which you work.

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), psychologists, in 2015 made an annual median salary of $72,580. Job growth in this profession between 2012-24 is expected to be quite substantial at 19%.



Ask your Question

* All Fields are Required
Call Now(877) 721-2529