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36 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Psychology Definition

The scientific study of mental processes and behaviors


concentrated on what the mind does and how behavior functions

-asked what role behavior played in allowing people to adapt to their environments


focused on uncovering the fundamental components of perception, consciousness, thinking, emotions, and other kinds of mental states and activities


when presented with an stimulus, asked to describe in as much detail as possible what they were experiencing

Gestalt psychology

emphasizes how perception is organized. Instead of considering individual parts that make up thinking, gestalt psychologists study how individual elements are considered together as a whole.

psychodynamic perspective

believes behavior is motivated by inner, unconscious forces over which a person has little control

neuroscience perspective

views behavior from the perspective of biological functioning

cognitive perspective

examines how people understand and think about the world

behavioral perspective

focuses on observable behavior

Humanistic perspective

contends that people can control their behavior and that they can naturally try to reach their full potential

Double-blind experiment

Where both the participant and the researcher don't know who received the placebo and who received the other variable

single-blind experiment

where the participant doesn't know whether or not they received the placebo or not, but the researcher knows.

random assignment

when individuals are randomly assigned in an experiment to receive the placebo or be given the actual medication/variable.

Scientific method

1. identifying questions of interest

2.formulating an explanation

3.carrying out research to validate or refute the explanation

4. communicate the findings


a prediction stated in a way that allows it to be tested.

-stem from theories


broad explanations and predictions concerning phenomena of interest

Operational Definition

the translation of a hypothesis into specific, testable procedures that can be measured or observed

Archival Research

Existing documents such as census data, etc. is used to form a hypothesis

Naturalistic Observation

observes behavior naturally without manipulating anything

Survey Research

a sample of people is used to represent the entire population is asked a series of questions about their behaviors, thoughts, or attitudes

Case study

in depth, intensive investigation of a single individual or small group

-used to gain understanding or people in general

correlational research

two sets of variables are examined to determine whether they are associated or "correlated"

-correlation can range from +1.0 to -1.0


behaviors, events, or other characteristics that can change or vary in some way


the researcher examines the relationship between two or more variables by deliberately changing one variable in a controlled situation and observing the effects of that change on other aspects of that situation

experimental manipulation

the change that the researcher deliberately makes in an experiment


the manipulation implemented by the experimenter, and the other group will receive no treatment or another treatment

experimental group

group that receives treatment

control group

group that receives no treatment

independent variable

variable that is manipulated by the experimenter

dependent variable

the variable that is measured in the experiment

random assignment to condition

a procedure in which participants are assigned to different experimental groups or "conditions" on the basis of chance and chance alone

significant outcome

meaningful results that make it possible for researchers to feel confident that they have confirmed their hypothesis

replicated research

research that is repeated, sometimes using other procedures, settings, and groups of participants to increase confidence in prior findings

informed consent

a document signed by participants affirming that they have been told the basic outlines of the study and are aware of what their participation will involve

experimental bias

factors that distort how the independent variable affects the dependent variable in an experiment


a false treatment, such as a pill or drug that does not have any active ingredients