0066-4308/95/0201-000 1 $05 .00 LUCE '22 '23 WHY SHOULD MATHEMATICS PLAY A ROLE IN PSYCHOLOGY? Structure, Pattern, and Process Mathematics studies structures and patterns described by systems of proposiÂ tions relating aspects of the entities in question. Deriving logically true stateÂ ments from sets of assumed statements (often called axioms), uncovering symmetries and patterns, and evolving and understanding general structures are the concerns of mathematicians. Mathematics becomes relevant to science whenever we uncover structure in what we are studying. One should not underestimate the difficulties in isolatÂ ing such structure and the even more difficult task of finding good ways Ito describe it. After all, it took several millennia-albeit with some fairly inactive periods lasting centuries-to get to our current elaborate understanding of physical structures and processes. As psychologists, we seek structure in aspects of human (and sometimes, animal) behavior. No one holds that all true statements we can make about a person's behavior are independent of each other. Some propositions surelly follow as a consequence of others. Otherwise, any prediction of behavior would be impossible, and obviously we continually predict the behavior of others. People count on others to behave in certain ways depending on the situation
Annual Review of Psychology – Annual Reviews
Published: Feb 1, 1995
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