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Chapter One vocabulary of Psychology, 3rd edition (Pearson).


The scientific study of behavior and mental processes.

objective introspection

The process of examining and measuring one's own thoughts and mental activities.


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


Early perspective in psychology associated with William James, in which the focus of study is how the mind allows people to adapt, live, work, and play. Influenced by Darwin. How our behaviors function allow people to adapt to their environments.

Gestalt psychology

Early perspective in psychology focusing on perception and sensation, particularly the perception of patterns and whole figures.


The theory and therapy based on the work of Sigmund Freud. Focused on early childhood and the unconscious mind.


John Watson. The science of behavior that focuses on observable behavior only. Stimulus response theory.

Psychodynamic Perspective

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

Cognitive Psychology

An approach to psychology that emphasizes internal mental processes

Cognitive Neuroscience

Study of the physical changes in the brain and nervous system during thinking.

Sociocultural Perspective

Perspective that focuses on the relationship between social behavior and culture.

Biopsychological Perspective

Perspective that attributes human and animal behavior to biological events occurring in the body, such as genetic influences, hormones, and the activity of the nervous system

Evolutionary Perspective

Perspective that focuses on the biological bases of universal mental characteristics that all humans share.


A medical doctor who has specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders


Either a psychiatrist or a psychologist who has special training in the theories of Sigmund Freud and his method of psychoanalysis.

Psychiatric Social Worker

A social worker with some training in therapy methods who focuses on the environmental conditions that can have an impact on mental disorders, such as poverty, overcrowding, stress, and drug abuse.


A professional with an academic degree and specialized training in one or more areas of psychology.

Scientific method

System of gathering data so that bias and error in measurement are reduced.


Tentative explanation of a phenomenon based on observations.


In research, repeating a study or experiment to see if the same results will be obtained in an effort to demonstrate reliability of results.

Observer effect

tendency of people or animals to behave differently from normal when they know they are being observed.

Participant observation

a naturalistic observation in which the observer becomes a participant in the group being observed.

Observer bias

Tendency of observers to see what they expect to see.

Case study

Study of one individual in great detail.

Representative sample

Randomly selected sample of subjects from a larger population of subjects.


The entire group of people or animals in which the researcher is interested.


A measure of the relationship between two variables.

Correlation Coefficient

A number derived from the formula for measuring a correlation and indicating the strength and direction of a correlation.


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

Operational Definition

Definition of a variable of interest that allows it to be directly measured.

Independent variable

Variable in an experiment that is manipulated by the experimenter.

Dependent variable

Variable in an experiment that represents the measurable response or behavior of the subjects in the experiment.

Experimental Group

Subjects in an experiment who are subjected to the independent variable.

Control Group

Subjects in an experiment who are not subjected to the independent variable and who may receive a placebo treatment.

Random Assignment

Process of assigning subjects to the experimental or control groups randomly, so that each subject has an equal chance of being in either group.

Placebo Effect

The phenomenon in which the expectations of the participants in a study can influence their behavior.

Experimenter Effect

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

Single-blind Study

Study in which the subjects do not know if they are in the experimental or control group.

Double-blind Study

Study in which neither the experimenter nor the subjects know if the subjects are in the experimental or control group.

Critical Thinking

Making reasoned judgments about claims.


Systems of explaining human behavior that are not based on or consistent with scientific evidence.

Rene Descartes

Dualist "I think therefore I am." Mind and body come together in the penial gland


Nativist (heredity provides us with knowledge and gives us the ability to reason) and Dualist.


Philosophical Empiricist. All knowledge is acquired through experience.

Wilhelm Wundt

Use of scientific method. Wrote the first psychology textbook and first research lab at University of Leipzig in 1879.

Margaret Washburn

first woman to receive a PhD in psychology. Author of Animal Mind

Psychoanalytic Theory

unconscious conflicts determine behavior and personality.

Ivan Pavlov

discovers conditioned reflexes.

Mary Whiton Calkins

the first female president of the American Psychological Association.


Carl Rodgers and Abraham Maslow. Free will. Is studies the human growth potential of an individual. Know as the "Third Force"


SQ3R. Survey, Question, Read, Rehearse, Review

Hindsight Bias

"I knew it all along" phenomenon.

Scientific Attitude

Skepticism, Humility, Curiosity

The Scientific Method

1. Perceive 2. Hypothesize 3. Test 4. Draw Conclusions 5. Report, Revise, Replicate

Descriptive Method

Uses case studies, surveys and naturalistic observation

Naturalistic Observation

people watching. Gives lack of control.

Laboratory Observation

People watching in a artificial controlled environment... a lab

Bystandar Effect

results in diffusion of responsibility

Cognitive Perspective

Focuses on memory, intelligence, perception, thought processes, problem solving, language, and learning

Critical Thinking

making reasoned judgements

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