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Introduction and Overview
Educational Psychology has a rich and varied history. In 1903 E. L. Thorndike published the first edition of Educational Psychology in which he described educational psychologists as "middlemen mediating between the science of psychology and the art of teaching". In some ways the study of Educational Psychology is deceptively simple, it is the application of psychological principles to the domain of teaching and learning. However, the breadth of knowledge an individual must possess to do this proficiently is staggering, and becoming more so every day.
Educational Psychology is a combination or overlapping of two separate fields of study. The first is psychology, which can be defined as the scientific study of the mind and behavior (or behavior and mental processes), especially as it relates to individual human beings. Note that it is the scientific study of mind or mental processes (covert or internal) as well as behavior (overt or external). People who study psychological phenomena are not necessarily limited to the study of human beings (a large body of research relating to animals has been developed) nor are they limited to only studying individuals. However, when studying groups of individuals, the focus is generally on how individuals perform within the group rather than the study of the group as a whole. Scientists who study animals and people in terms of group- and institutional-behavior generally align themselves with sociology while individuals who focus on human culture and belief systems generally align themselves with anthropology.
The second field of study with which educational psychology aligns itself is education or more specifically schooling, as defined above. That is, the primary focus of this subdiscipline of psychology is the scientific study of mind and behavior (or mental processes and behavior) in the context of formally socializing and developing the potential of...
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