Banks, William P. Department of Psychology, Pomona College, Claremont, California.
Last reviewed:August 2019
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The study of human behavior and mental processes. Psychology is the scientific field that deals with the functions of the mind (brain) [see illustration] and the behavior of an individual in relation to its environment. Psychology is distinguished from similar fields of research and applied science by the unit of analysis, which is the individual. However, some psychological studies stretch this definition. For example, a study of group problem-solving may compare groups of different types; in this case, the group is the unit of analysis. However, a psychological theory will still explain the effects by processes that apply at the level of individuals in a group. See also: Brain; Environment; Personality theory; Problem solving (psychology)
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