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Studying the positions of the stars and planets in the belief that they influence the course of human affairs and natural occurrences on earth.


the school of psychology, founded by John Watson, that defines psychology as the scientific study of observable behavior


specialist who tries to explain behavior in terms of biological factors, such as electrical and chemical activities in the nervous system, the effects of drugs and hormones, genetics, and evolutionary pressures

Case Study

an in-depth study of a single person or group to reveal some universal principle

Clinical psychologist

a psychologist who specializes in the treatment of psychological and behavioral disturbances or who does research on such disturbances

Cognitive psychologist

Psychologists who study the mental processes underlying judgment, decision making, problem solving, imagining, and other aspects of human thought or cognition. Also called experimental psychologists

Comparative psychologist

Psychologist who study behavioral similarities and differences among animal species

Control group

the participants in an experiment who are not exposed to the independent variable


The existence of a consistent, systematic relationship between two events, measures, or variables

Correlational study

a nonexperimental study designed to measure the degree of relationship (if any) between two or more events, measures, or variables

Counseling psychologist

a psychologist who specializes in the treatment of milder emotional and behavioral disturbances


a mental health professional who specializes in helping people with problems not involving serious mental disorder; for example, marriage counselors, career counselors, or school counselors

Courtesy bias

the tendency of those being surveyed to provide responses that will please and/or not offend the interviewer, moderator, or other participants

Covert behavior


Cultural psychologist

Studies the ways in which culture affects human behavior.

Cultural relativity

The idea that behavior must be judged relative to the values of the culture in which it occurs.

Dependent variable

the variable whose value depends on the independent variable


the idea that all behavior has prior causes that would completely explain one's choices and actions if all such causes were known

Developmental psychologist

study the growth or development that takes place from the womb to death

Evolutionary psychologist

Investigate how our behavior is guided by patterns that evolved during the long history of humankind.


a deliberate manipulation of a variable to see if corresponding changes in behavior result, allowing the determination of cause-and-effect relationships

Experimental group

in a controlled experiment, the group subjected to a change in the independent variable

Extraneous variable

conditions or factors excluded from influencing the outcome of an experiment

Frame of reference

a system of assumptions and standards that sanction behavior and give it meaning

Free will

the idea that human beings are capable of freely making choices or decisions


The school of psychology concerned with how behavior and mental abilities help people adapt to their environments.

Gender psychologist

Studies differences between females and males.

Gestalt psychology

a school of psychology emphasizing the study of thinking, learning, and perception in whole units, not by analysis into parts


study of handwriting


An approach to psychology that focuses on human experience, problems, potentials, and ideals.

Independent variable

the variable in a controlled experiment that the experimenter directly and purposefully manipulates to see how the other variables under study will be affected


a method of self-observation in which participants report their thoughts and feelings

Learning theorist

Study of how and why learning occurs in humans and animals.

Observer bias

the tendency of an observer to distort observations or perceptions to match his or her expectations

Observer effect

changes in a person's behavior brought about by an awareness of being observed

overt behavior



False system that claims that lines on hands reveal personality traits and predict the future.

Personality theorist



Study of character as revealed by the shape of the head


an inert substance or condition that may be administered instead of a presumed active agent, such as a drug, to see if it triggers the effects believed to characterize the active agent

Placebo effect

Changes in behavior due to a participant's expectations that a drug (or other treatment) will have some effect.


the entire group of objects or individuals considered for a survey

Positive psychology

the study of human strengths, virtues, and effective functioning


any false and unscientific system of beliefs and practices that is offered as an explanation of behavior

Psychiatric social worker

a mental health professional trained to apply social science principles to help patients in clinics and hospitals


medical doctor who has specialized in treating psychological disorders


Freud's theory of personality that attributes thoughts and actions to unconscious motives and conflicts


a mental health professional (usually a medical doctor) trained to practice psychoanalysis

Psychodynamic theory

Freudian theory that unconscious forces, such as wishes and motives (often sexual) that influence behaviors


a person highly trained in the methods, factual knowledge, and theories of psychology


the scientific study of behavior and mental processes

Random assignment

a procedure that uses a random event to assign people to the experimental or control group

Representative sample

a small, randomly selected part of a larger population that accurately reflects characteristics of the whole population


an unconscious process that excludes unacceptable thoughts and feelings from awareness and memory

Research method

a systematic approach to answering scientific questions

Scientific observation

An empirical investigation structured to answer questions about the world in a systematic and intersubjective fashion (observations can be reliably confirmed by multiple observers)

Self image

Total subjective perception of one's body and personality (another term for self-concept).

Self actualization

The ongoing process of fully developing one's personal potential

Self evaluation

process of judging one's own performance or behavior

Self fulfilling prophecy

an expectation that causes you to act in ways that make that expectation come true.

Sensation and perception psychologist

Psychologist who discern the world through their senses

Social norms

Rules that define acceptable and expected behavior for members of a group.

Social psychologist

focus on social rules and roles, how groups affect attitudes and behavior and how each of us is affected by other people


agent of change in the internal or external environment that evokes a response


the school of thought concerned with analyzing sensations and personal experience into basic elements

Survey method

the use of public polling techniques to answer psychological questions


contents of the mind that are beyond awareness, especially impulses and desires not directly known to a person

Uncritical acceptance

The tendency to believe generally positive or flattering descriptions of oneself.

Psychoanalytic approach

originated with Sigmund Freud, who emphasized unconscious motivations and conflicts, and the importance of early childhood experiences.


early perspective in psychology associated with Wilhelm Wundt and Edward Titchener, in which the focus of study is the structure or basic elements of the mind


William James's school of thought that stressed the adaptive and survival value of behaviors

Gestalt Psychology

Study of human conciens cant be broken down into element because study of the mind as a whole is different than the sum of the parts.
Creator: Max Wertheimer

Humanistic Approach

Focuses on positive human qualities, capacity for self-actualization, free will. Developed in responce to Behaviorists & Psychodynamic approaches (Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow)


The view that psychology (1) should be an objective science and (2) emphasizes observabable behavior that can be objectively measured. Emerged from the pioneering work of Ivan Pavlov, John B. Watson, and B.F. Skinner.


Wilhelm Wundt's method of having trained observers report on their conscious, moment-to-moment reactions

The unconscious

According to Sigmund Freud, the unconscious contains thoughts, memories, and desires that are well below the surface of conscious awareness but nonetheless exert great influence on behavior.


according to Abraham Maslow, the ultimate psychological need that arises after basic physical and psychological needs are met and self-esteem is achieved; the motivation to fulfill one's potential

Father of Psychology

Wilhelm Wundt

The Animal Mind (Textbook)

Margaret Washburn's interest in animal psychology led her to write

First woman to be awarded a Ph. D. in psychology

Margaret Washburn in 1894

First African American female awarded a Ph.D in psychology?

Inez Beverly Prosser

Principles of Psychology

Written by William James and published in 1890. Took 12 yrs to write.

"Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own special world to bring them up in and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select....."

Qoute from John B. Watson

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