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Am Psychol. 2002 May;57(5):341-51.

Bridging psychology and biology. The analysis of individuals in groups.

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Department of Psychology, Harvard University, 830 William James Hall, 33 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.


Biological systems are particularly prone to variation, and the authors argue that such variation must be regarded as important data in its own right. The authors describe a method in which individual differences are studied within the framework of a general theory of the population as a whole and illustrate how this method can be used to address three types of issues: the nature of the mechanisms that give rise to a specific ability, such as mental imagery; the role of psychological or biological mediators of environmental challenges, such as the biological bases for differences in dispositional mood; and the existence of processes that have nonadditive effects with behavioral and physiological variables, such as factors that modulate the response to stress and its effects on the immune response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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