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Mathematical Psychology

  1. Adele Diederich

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0532

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Diederich, A. 2010. Mathematical Psychology. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.

Author Information

  1. Jacobs University Bremen, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Mathematical psychology applies mathematical and statistical methods, formal logic, and computer simulation to investigate psychological phenomena. It aims at building mathematical models in a variety of fields such as learning and memory, perception, and decision making, and at developing quantitative methods and measurement theory to describe behavior. The goal is to find regularities and principles that govern a set of phenomenona. Mathematical modeling has several advantages. First, it forces researchers to give precise definitions and to make clear statements. This requires a high degree of abstraction, because assumptions about underlying processes, relations, and connections between certain aspects of behavior, interactions between experimental variables, and so on are all mapped onto mathematical objects and operations. The language of mathematics minimizes the risk of making contradictory statements in the theory.