Citation: Huitt, W. (1999). Psychology. Educational Psychology Interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University. Retrieved [date] from

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Psychology is generally defined as "the scientific study of the mind and behavior" or "the scientific study of behavior and mental processes." As a behavioral science psychology can be distinguished from sociology (the scientific study of groups and institutions) and anthropology (the scientific study of human beings, language, and culture). Psychology has its roots in philosophy ( the critical study of fundamental beliefs and the basis of those beliefs) and biology (the scientific study of living organisms). Many of the topics studied in modern psychology are closely linked to these other disciplines. For example, sociology investigates issues in attitudes and discrimination; anthropology studies personality and spirituality; philosophy examines critical thinking, artificial intelligence and consciousness; biology provides research in neuroscience and behavioral genetics.

As a science psychology has a set of methods for inquiry and a subsequent knowledge base derived from applying the methodology to topics of interest. Most of the current methods stem from procedures of research design and statistical analysis that assume linearity (the relationship among variables is constant over the range of all variables) and reductionism (the whole is equal to the sum of the parts).

A competing paradigm holds that an individual should be considered as a system where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. That is, the organization of the parts into the whole adds something that was not there before. Taking way the organization destroys something vital about the organism. This "system's" view provides the foundation used in the development of materials at this site.

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