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the scientific study of behavior and mental processes; behavior meaning outward or overt actions and reactions

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 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

Gestalt psychology

early perspective in psychology focusing on perception and sensation, particularly the perception of patterns and whole figures; "The whole is greater than the sum of all parts."


the theory and therapy based on the work of Sigmund Freud


the science of behavior that focuses on observable behavior only

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 perspective

modern perspective that focuses on memory, intelligence, perception, problem solving, and learning

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

evolutionary perspective

perspective that focuses on the biological bases on universal mental characteristics that all humans share'; assumes that human behavior may have developed in certain directions


a medical doctor who has specialized in the diagnosed 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; has the broadest area of interests and functions

scientific method

system of gathering data so that bias and error in measurement are reduced; perceive the question, form hypothesis, test hypothesis, draw conclusions


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 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; main disadvantage is that it is not generalizable to other similar conditions; main advantage is the amount detail it provides

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; the smaller the stronger the relationship


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 the control group except the experimenter

double-blind study

study in which neither the experimenter nor the subjects know if the subjects are in the experimental or control group; control for the placebo effect and the experimenter effect

critical thinking

making reasoned judgments about claims; based on reason and logical evaluation


known as the "third force" in psychology; focuses on free will and self-actualization

mental processes

internal covert processes


diagnosis and treatment for less serious mental problems such as adjustment disorders

William Wundt

he believed that the mind was made up of thoughts, experiences, emotions, and other basic elements; he called this process objective introspection

Edward Titchener

he expanded Wundt's original ideas, calling it structuralism; believed that every experience could be broken down into its individual emotions and sensations

Margaret Washburn

one Titchener's students and was the 1st woman to receive a Ph.D. in psychology; publishes "The Animal Mind"

William James

a Harvard instructor who published "Principles of Psychology"; more interested in the importance of consciousness to everyday life rather than just the analysis of it, called functionalism; "survival of the fittest"

Mary Whiton Calkins

became the 1st female president of the American Psychological Society; denied a degree by Harvard because of sex

Max Werthheimer

believed in Gestalt psychology

John Watson

known as the Father of Behaviorism


the four goals that aim at uncovering the mysteries of human and animal behavior; description, explanation, prediction, and control

mental processes

refers to all the internal, covert activity of our minds, such as thinking, feeling, and remembering


involves observing a behavior and noting everything about it


a general explanation of a set of observations or facts


determining what will happen


the modification of some behavior

125 years

the time psychology has been around

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