- experimental psychology
the branch of psychology dealing with the study of emotional and mental activity, as learning, in humans and other animals by means of experimental methods.[1875-80]
* * *Branch or type of psychology concerned with employing empirical principles and procedures in the study of psychological phenomena.The experimental psychologist seeks to carry out tests under controlled conditions in order to discover an unknown effect or law, to examine or establish a hypothesis, or to illustrate a known law. The areas of study that rely most heavily on the experimental method include those of sensation and perception, learning and memory, motivation, and physiological psychology. Experimental approaches are also used in child psychology, clinical psychology, educational psychology, and social psychology.
* * *a method of studying psychological phenomena and processes. The experimental method in psychology attempts to account for the activities of animals (including humans) and the functional organization of mental processes by manipulating variables that may give rise to behaviour; it is primarily concerned with discovering laws that describe manipulable relationships. The term generally connotes all areas of psychology that use the experimental method.These areas include the study of sensation and perception, learning and memory, motivation, and biological psychology. There are experimental branches in many other areas, however, including child psychology, clinical psychology, educational psychology, and social psychology. Usually the experimental psychologist deals with normal, intact organisms; in biological psychology, however, studies are often conducted with organisms modified by surgery, radiation, drug treatment, or long-standing deprivations of various kinds or with organisms that naturally present organic abnormalities or emotional disorders. See also psychophysics.
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