The Palgrave Encyclopedia of the Possible

Living Edition
| Editors: Vlad Petre Glăveanu (Editor-in-Chief), Vlad Petre Glăveanu

The Possible in Psychology

Living reference work entry


As the science that studies the mental functioning, behavioral expression and contextual embeddedness of human beings, psychology is well equipped to deal with questions related to the possible and, more specifically, to human possibility (and impossibility). This entry examines seven main branches – general psychology, developmental psychology, individual differences, social psychology, clinical psychology, organizational psychology, and educational psychology – and focuses on: a) how the notion of the possible and associated concepts are employed by key theories; b) what the consequences of focusing on human possibility – and its inter-play with impossibility – are for our understanding of psychology’s sub-disciplines; and c) what new questions we could raise and studies we could conduct that would place psychology at the heart of the emerging field of possibility studies. The aim is to offer a prospective look at old psychological questions, one that integrates agency, indeterminacy, multiplicity, and the future into our concerns, research, and practice.


Psychology Human possibility Developmental psychology Individual differences Social psychology Clinical psychology Organizational psychology Educational psychology 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology and CounselingWebster University GenevaGenevaSwitzerland
  2. 2.Centre for the Science of Learning and TechnologyUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

Section editors and affiliations

  • Sergio Agnoli
    • 1
  1. 1.Marconi Institute for CreativityUniversity of BolognaSasso Marconi (BO)Italy