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epistemology

n. the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature, origin, and limitations of knowledge. It is also concerned with the justification of truth claims. Mainly owing to the work of René Descartes, epistemology has been the dominant question in philosophy since the 17th century (see Cartesianism; Cartesian self; modernism). In psychology, interest in epistemology arises from two principal sources. First, as the study of the behavior of human beings, psychology has long had interest in the processes of knowledge acquisition and learning of all sorts. Second, as a science, psychology has an interest in the justification of its knowledge claims. In connection with this concern, most work on epistemology in psychology has concentrated on the scientific method and on the justification of scientifically derived knowledge claims. In general, the guiding epistemology of psychology has been empiricism, although some approaches to the subject, such as psychoanalysis, the developmental psychology of Jean Piaget, and the humanistic psychology of Carl Rogers, are heavily influenced by rationalism. —epistemological adj.

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Psychology term of the day

March 2nd 2024

affective psychosis

affective psychosis

a mood disorder accompanied by delusions or hallucinations (i.e., psychotic features). The mood disruption precedes the psychotic symptoms, and the psychotic symptoms only occur during a major depressive episode or a manic episode.