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69 Cards in this Set

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The scientific study of behavior and mental processes

4 goals of psychology

1. What is happening?

2. Why is it happening?

3. When will it happen again? (prediction)

4.) How can it be changed? (control)

Pseudo psychology




phrenology- bumps on skull indicate something about a person

palmistry-reading palms

astrology- stars, personality

Wilhelm Wundt

father of psychology, started first ever psychology department and objective introspection

objective introspection

the process of objectively examining and measuring one's own thoughts and mental activities

G. Stanley Hall

first ever psychologist in the United States, started first psychology lab in the United States at John Hopkins

Edward Titchener

leader of structuralism


focus on the structure of the mind, belief that it could be broken down into components


careful, systematic observations of one's own conscious experience

William James

leader of functionalism


focus on how the mind allows people to function in the world

Max Wetheimer

founder of Gestalt psychology

Gestalt psychology

"whole is greater than the sum of its parts", people naturally seek pattern and structure

Sigmund Freud

founder of psychoanalysis

concept of unconscious mind

unconscious process influencing behavior


if one is restricted freedom, psychologically one wants to take it back (ex.) plaque demonstration)


the theory and therapy based on the work of Sigmund Freud, basis for psychotherapy


Russian physiologist, who showed stimulus-response relationship

John B. Watson

leader of Behaviorism, believed psychology should only study observable behaviors


the science of psychology that focuses on observable behavior only

Little Albert Study

proved that fears can be learned, i.e., behaviors can be learned, results of stimulus-response relationships

Mary Cover Jones

graduate student of Watson, Little Peter Study, added conditioning to reverse phobia

Nature vs. Nurture debate

person's psychology attributed to nature (biology, genetics) or to nurture (environment, etc.)

*behaviorists believed it was more about nurture and had a focus on stimulus-response relationships

psychodynamic perspective

modern version of psychoanalysis that is more focused on the development of a sense of self and the discovery of motivations behind a person's behavior other than sexual motivations

B.F. Skinner

behaviorist, behavior is determined by environment, things that earn positive responses are repeated, free will is an illusion (ex. window worship demonstration)

operant conditioning

behavioral responses that are followed by pleasurable consequences are strengthened, reinforced

Abraham Maslow & Carl Rogers

leaders of humanism


people have free-will, the freedom to choose their own destiny, and strive for self-actualization

(intrinsic rewards exist too)


the achievement of one's full potential

Piaget, Chromsky, Simon

leaders of cognition


Chromsky- language

Simon- problem solving

cognitive psychology

* mental process involved in acquiring knowledge, what are you thinking v. what are you doing

modern perspective that focuses on memory, intelligence, perception, problem solving, and learning

cognitive neuroscience

includes the physical workings of the brain

sociocultural perspective

interplay between social psychology and cultural psychology

social psychology

how we relate to and are influenced by other people

cultural psychology

study of role of cultural norms

James Olds

biopsychologist, electrical stimulation of the brain evokes emotional responses in animals

Roger Sperry

biopsychologist, left and right brain specialization


the study of behavior as a result of events in the body

Buss, Daly, & Wilson, Cosmides & Tooby

studied natural selection of mating preferences, jealousy, aggression, sexual behavior, language, decision making, personality, and development

evolutionary psychology

behavioral patterns in terms of evolutionary significance, natural selection occurs for behavioral as well as physical characteristics

scientific method

system of gathering data so that error and bias is reduced

steps in the scientific method

1. perceiving the question

2. forming a hypothesis

3. testing the hypothesis

4. drawing conclusions

5. reporting results

descriptive methods

leads to formation of testable hypotheses, investigate the answers to research questions

naturalistic observation

watching animals or humans behave in normal environment

advantages- realistic picture of behavior

disadvantages- observer effect, observer bias

observer effect

people who know they are being watched will not behave normally

participant observation

researcher using a one-way mirror or become participants in a group

observer bias

tendency of an observer to see what is expected

blind observers

people who do not know what the research question is

laboratory observation

watching animals or humans behave in a laboratory setting

advantages: control over environment, specialized equipment, creation of situation

disadvantage: may lead to artificial behavior

case study

study of one individual in great detail

advantage: great detail

disadvantage: cannot be applied to others easily


researchers will ask a series of questions about the topic under study

advantages: data from a large number of people

study covert behavior

disadvantages: have to ensure representative sample

people are not always accurate (courtesy bias)

representative sample

randomly selected sample of subjects from a larger population of subjects


the entire group in which the researcher is interested in


a measure of the relationship between any two variables


anything that can change or vary

correlation coefficient

-1<r<1, can predict strength and direction of relationship

positive, related in same direction

negative, related in opposite direction


researchers deliberately manipulate (or change in some purposeful way) the variable they think is causing some behavior while holding all other variables that might interfere with the experiment's result constant and unchanging

operational definition

definition of a variable of interest that allows it to be directly measured, needs to be offered with abstract and concrete details

independent variable

variable in an experiment that is manipulated by experiment

dependent variable

variable that is the outcome, measurable


confounding variables

everything else that is variable

experimental group

subjects subjected to independent variable

control group

not subjected to independent variable, controls for confounding variables

random assignment

process of assigning subjects to experimental or control groups randomly, controls for confounding variables

placebo effect

expectations can influence behavior

single-blind study

subjects do not know if they are in experimental or control (reduces placebo)

experimenter effect

tendency of experimenter's expectations for a study to unintentionally influence the results of the study

double-blind study

neither the experimenter nor the subjects knows if subjects are in experimental or control group (reduces placebo effect and experimenter effect)

quasiexperimental designs

to get around factors like age, technically not considered true experiments