Find over 25,000 psychological definitions

general systems theory

an interdisciplinary conceptual framework focusing on the wholeness, pattern, relationship, hierarchical order, integration, and organization of phenomena. It was designed to move beyond the reductionistic and mechanistic tradition in science (see reductionism) and integrate the fragmented approaches and different classes of phenomena studied by contemporary science into an organized whole. In this framework, an entity or phenomenon should be viewed holistically as a set of elements interacting with one another (i.e., as a system), and the goal of general systems theory is to identify and understand the principles applicable to all systems. The impact of each element in a system depends on the role played by other elements in the system, and order arises from interaction among these elements. Also called systems theory. [formulated by Austrian biologist Ludwig von Bertalanffy (1901–1972)]

Browse dictionary by letter

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Psychology term of the day

May 30th 2024

behaviorally anchored rating scale (BARS)

Sorry, "behaviorally-anchored-rating-scale-bars" is not in the Dictionary of Psychology. Please report to APA if you believe this is an error.