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History of Psychology


the scientific study of behavior and mental processes


any action that people can observe or measure

cognitive activities

private, unmeasurable mental processes such as dreams, perceptions, thoughts, and memories

psychological constructs

theoretical entities, or concepts, that enable one to discuss something that cannot be seen, touched, or measured directly

goals of psychology

observing, describing, explaining behavior, predicting, and controlling


the concept of right or good conduct


a statement that attempts to explain why something is the way it is and happens the way it does


a basic truth or law


a medical doctor who specializes in the treatment of psychological problems and who can prescribe medication for clients

basic research

research that is conducted for its own sake, that is, that has no immediate application


an examination of one's own thoughts and feelings


the theory that our understanding of the world occurs through ideas associated with similar sensory experiences and perceptions


the school of psychology, founded by Wilhelm Wundt, that maintains that conscious experience breaks down into objective sensations and subjective feelings

stream of consciousness

thought regarded as a flowing series of images and ideas running through the mind


the school of psychology, founded by William James, that emphasizes the purposes of behavior and mental processes and what they accomplish for the individual


the school of psychology, founded by Sigmund Freud, that emphasizes the importance of unconscious motives and internal conflicts as determinants of human behavior

psychodynamic thinking

the theory that most of what exists in an individual's mind is unconscious and consists of conflicting impulses, urges, and wishes


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

gestalt psychology

the school of psychology that emphasizes the tendency to organize perceptions of individual parts into meaningful wholes

biological perspective

the psychological perspective that emphasizes the influence of biology on behavior

evolutionary perspective

the theory that focuses on the evolution of behavior and mental processes

cognitive perspective

the perspective that emphasizes the role of thought processes in determining behavior

humanistic perspective

the psychological view that stresses the human capacity for self-fulfillment and the importance of consciousness, self-awareness,and the freedom to make choices

pschoanalytic perspective

the perspective that stresses the influences of unconscious forces on human behavior

learning perspective

the psychological perspective that emphasizes the effects of experience on behavior

social-learning theory

the theory that suggests that people can change their environments or create new ones

sociocultural perspective

in psychology, the perspective that focuses on the influences of ethnicity, gender, culture, and socio-economic status on behavior and mental processes

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