Deutsch: Synthese / Español: síntesis / Português: síntese / Français: synthèse / Italiano: sintesi

Synthesis in psychology refers to the mental process of combining various elements of cognition, information, and experiences to form a coherent whole, new idea, or concept.


The concept of synthesis is crucial in understanding how individuals organize and interpret their sensory inputs and thoughts to create meaningful patterns or ideas. This cognitive process involves the integration of new information with existing knowledge, leading to the development of new insights or solutions. Synthesis is a higher-level mental function, closely related to creativity and problem-solving, enabling individuals to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena and to generate innovative responses to complex problems.

Application Areas

Synthesis is applied in various fields within psychology:

  • Cognitive psychology: Examines how people create mental models from sensory data and their previous knowledge.
  • Developmental psychology: Studies how synthesis skills evolve from childhood to adulthood, influencing learning and understanding.
  • Educational psychology: Focuses on enhancing teaching methods that foster synthesis in learning, helping students integrate information across different subjects.

Well-Known Examples

A well-known application of synthesis in psychology can be seen in the use of integrative psychotherapy, where therapists help clients synthesize conflicting parts of their personalities or experiences to achieve greater mental health and well-being. Another example is the synthesis of diverse theoretical perspectives within psychology to provide a more comprehensive understanding of human behavior, such as the biopsychosocial model, which integrates biological, psychological, and social factors.

Treatment and Risks

Understanding and facilitating synthesis can be therapeutic in educational and clinical settings:

  • Educational strategies that promote synthesis can enhance learning and comprehension, aiding students in developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • In psychotherapy, encouraging clients to synthesize their experiences and emotions can lead to breakthroughs in self-understanding and emotional healing.

Symptoms, Therapy, and Healing

  • Therapy Techniques: Techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and narrative therapy may involve tasks that encourage patients to synthesize conflicting thoughts or life events into a coherent story or understanding.
  • Healing Process: Improving synthesis skills can help in adapting to life changes, resolving psychological conflicts, and enhancing overall mental wellness.


Articles with 'Synthesis' in the title

  • Activation-synthesis hypothesis: Activation-synthesis hypothesis is an attempt to explain how random activity in lower brain centers results in the manufacture of relatively bizarre dreams by higher brain centers
  • Activationâ€"synthesis theory: Activationâ€"synthesis theory: Activation-synthesis theory refers to the theory that dreaming results from the cortical synthesis and interpretation of neural signals triggered by activity in the lower part of the brain


Synthesis in psychology is a fundamental cognitive process that involves combining different ideas, information, and experiences to form new, coherent understandings. It is essential in learning, creativity, and problem-solving and is instrumental in both educational and therapeutic contexts.