Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_271


Reductionism is one of the most important epistemological and methodological issues that arise when considering both the relationships between different levels of organization of matter and the links between different scientific disciplines (sociology, psychology, biology, physics, etc.). In the domain of psychology, reductionism is often linked with the mind-body problem. The issue of reductionism is also connected with the examination of research methods of psychology as a science, particularly the treatment of the analysis of psychological phenomena into their components as research strategy.


Reductionism is an epistemological and methodological stance which absolutizes the reduction of complex systems or problems to their simple components or elements. The term “reduction” originates from the Latin term “reducere” which meant to lead back, bring back, and restore. Reduction is a legitimate and useful method of scientific investigation of complex systems and...

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology Department, School of Social SciencesUniversity of CreteRethymnoGreece