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38 Cards in this Set

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  • Back


a scientific study of behavior and mental processing of humans


directly observable action .e.g. whistling

mental processes

not directly observable e.g. thinking of a movie to watch

why is psychology a scientific study

because it follows a scientific research method

scientific method

the systematic approach to planning, conducting and reporting research

empirical evidence

empirical evidence is data that can be meausred


hypothesis in research, a testable prediction of the relationship between two or more events or characteristics

independent variable

the variable in an experiment which the researcher manipulates (or changes) in order to assess its effects on participant responses (IV)

dependent variable

the variable in an experiment the researcher chooses to measure in order to assess the effects of the independent variable

extraneous variable

any variable, apart from the independent variable, that can cause a change in the dependent variable and therefore affect the results of an experiment in an unwanted way.

differences between a psychologist and a psychiatrist

- psychologist isn't medically trained

- psychiatrist can prescribe medication

- psychiatrist can hospitalize patients without consent.


wherever possible, participants must be appropriately informed of what the study is about and the reason it is being conducted.

informed consent

the participants must willingly consent to partake in all steps of the experiment being conducted.

no harm to participants

the experimenter is response for ensuring that the well-being of research participants is the main concern and that participants are not placed at risk of injury or harm in any way

voluntary participation

the experimenter must try to ensure that participants voluntarily consent to be involved in the study

withdrawal rights

the experimenter must inform participants of the nature of the study and that they are free to participate, decline to participate, or to withdraw from a study at any time should they choose


when it is necessary for scientific reasons to conduct a study without fully informing participants.

2 main purposes of ethical guidelines

the experimenter is responsible for ensuring that the well-being of research participants is the main concern and that participants are not placed at risk of injury or harm in any way,


the entire group of research interest from which a sample is drawn


a smaller group of research participants selected from a larger group (population) of research interest.

counselling psychologist

help people deal with all kinds of personal and relationship problems

sports psychologist

help athletes achieve peak performance and develop personal well-being

clinical psychologist

administer psychological testing, refer to other experts, conduct emotional and vocational counselling of students; detect and treat learning disabilities

forensic psychologist

study problems of crime and crime prevention, rehabilitation programs in prisons and courtroom dynamics

steps in psychological research

1. identification of the research topic

2. construct a hypothesis

3. design the method

4. collect the data

5. analyzing the data

6. interpreting the data

7. report the researchfinding

biological approach

a contemporary perspective or approach in psychology that focuses on the biological influences on behavior and mental processes. including the brain and the rest of the nervous system, immune system and genetics

behavioural approach

a perspective or approach in psychology that focuses on understanding and explaining how behavior is learned and molded by experience. also called behaviorism

cognitive approach

a contemporary perspective or approach in psychology that focuses on how we acquire, process, remember and use information about ourselves and the world around us

visual perception process

- reception

- transduction

- transmission

- selection

- organisation

- interpretation


eye sense stimulus


changes it so brain can understand it


sends it to the visual cortex


aspects selected of simtulus


grouping of elements to form a whole


we tend to separate the important aspects of the figure from the surroundings (background).


proximity is the grouping of elements that are close to each other to form an overall pattern or figure


we perceive an object as a whole, despite it being activity incomplete


when the elements of a stimulus or pattern have similar features (size, shape, colour) we tend to group them together