155 terms



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An early school of psychology that used introspection to explore the structural elements of the human mind.
the examination or observation of one's own mental and emotional processes.
A school of psychology that focused on how our mental and behavioral processes function-how they enable us to adapt, survive, and flourish.
The view that psychology (1) should be an objective science that (2) studies behavior without reference to mental processes. Most research psychologists today agree with (1) but not with (2)
Humanistic Psychology
Historically significant perspective that emphasized the growth potential of healthy people and the individuals potential for personal growth.
Cognitive Neuroscience
The inter-disciplinary study of the brain activity linked with cognition (including perception,thinking,memory,and language)
the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.
Sigmund Freud
The controversial ideas of this framed personality theorist and therapist have influenced humanity self-understanding.
Wilhelm Wundt
Wundt established the first psychology laboratory at the university of Leipzig, Germany.
Edward Bradford Titchener
Titchener used introspection to search for the minds structural elements.
William James and Mary Whiton Calkins
James, legendary teacher-writer, mentioned Calkins, who became a pioneering memory researcher and the first woman to be president of the American Psychological Association.
Margaret Floy Washburn
The first woman to receive a psychology Ph.D, Washburn synthesized animal behavior research in The Animal Mind.
John B. Watson and Rosalie Rayner
Working with Rayner, Watson championed psychology as the science of behavior and demonstrated conditioned responses on a baby who became famous as "Little Albert"
Conditioned Response
is a behavior that does not come naturally, but must be learned by the individual by pairing a neutral stimulus with a potent stimulus.
Neutral Stimulus
is a stimulus which initially produces no specific response other than focusing attention. In classical conditioning, when used together with an unconditioned stimulus, the neutral stimulus becomes a conditioned stimulus.
Potent stimulus
something that incites to action or exertion or quickens action, feeling, thought, etc.: The approval of others is a potent stimulus.
The science of behavior and mental processes.
Nature-Nurture issue
The longstanding controversy over the relative contributions that genes and experience make to the development of psychological traits and behaviors. Today's science sees traits and behaviors arising from the interaction of nature and nurture.
Natural Selection
The principle that among the range of inherited trait variations, those contributing to reproduction and survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations.
B.F Skinner
A leading behaviorist, Skinner rejected introspection and studied how consequences shape behavior.
Charles Darwin
Darwin argued that natural selection shapes behaviors as well as bodies.
How the body and brain enable emotions, memories, and sensory experiences.
How the natural selection of traits promoted the survival of genes.
Behavior genetics
How much of our genes and our environment influence our individual differences.
How behavior springs from unconscious drives and conflicts.
How we learn observable responses.
How behavior and thinking vary across situations and cultures.
Levels of analysis
The differing complementary views, from biological to psychological to social-cultural,for analyzing any given situation.
Biopsychosogical approach
An integrated approach that incorporates biological,psychological, and social-cultural levels of analysis.
Basic research
Pure science that aims to increase the scientific knowledge base.
Applied Research
Scientific study that aims to solve practical problems.
Counseling Psychology
A branch of psychology that assits people with problems in living (school,work,or marriage) and in achieving greater well-being.
A branch of medicine dealing with psychological disorders; practiced by physicians who sometimes provide medical treatments as well as psychological therapy.
When and how did psychological science begin?
Psychological science had its modern beginning with the first psychological laboratory, founded in 1879 by German philosopher and physiologist Wilhelm Wundt, and from later work of other scholars from several disciplines and many countries.
How did psychology continue to develop from the 1920s through today?
Having begun as a "science of mental life", psychology evolved in the 1920s into the "scientific study of observable behavior." After rediscovering the mind, psychology since the 1960s has been widely defined as the science of behavior and mental processes.
What is psychology's historic big issue?
Psychology's biggest and most enduring issue concerns the relative contributions and interplay between the influences of nature (genes) and nurture (all other influences from conception to death). Today's science emphasizes the interaction of genes and experiences in specific environment.
Hindsight Bias
The tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it. (Also known as the I-knew-It-all-along phenomenon.)
Empirical Approach
based on evidence. Empirical data is produced by experiment and observation.
Critical Thinking
Thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions. Rather, it examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence,and assesses conclusions.
Operational definition
A statement of the procedures (operations) used to define research variables. For example, human intelligence may be operationally defined as what an intelligence test measures.
Case study
An observation technique in which one person is studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles.
Random Sample
A sample that fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusion.
Naturalistic Observation
Observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation.
Correlation Coefficient
A statistical index of the relationship between two things (from -1 to +1).
A graphed cluster of dots, each of which represents the values of two variables. The slope of the points suggests the direction of the relationship between the two variables. The amount of scatter suggests the strength of the correlation.
not consistent or having a fixed pattern; liable to change.
Illusory correlation
is the phenomenon of perceiving a relationship between variables (typically people, events, or behaviors) even when no such relationship exists.
Double-blind procedure
An experimental procedure in which both of the research participants and the research staff are ignorant (blind) about whether the research participants have received the treatment or a placebo. Commonly used in drug-evaluation studies.
a fake treatment, an inactive substance like sugar, distilled water, or saline solution -- can sometimes improve a patient's condition simply because the person has the expectation that it will be helpful.
Experimental group
is the group in an experiment that receives the variable being tested. One variable is tested at a time. The experimental group is compared to a control group, which does not receive the test variable. In this way, experimental groups are used to find answers in an experiment.
independent variable
experiment that is manipulated or changed. For example, in an experiment looking at the effects of studying on test scores, studying would be the independent variable.
Control group
is composed of participants who do not receive the experimental treatment. When conducting an experiment, these people are randomly selected to be in this group. They also closely resemble the participants who are in the experimental group, or the individuals who receive the treatment.
Dependent Variable
is the variable that is being measured in an experiment. For example, in a study looking at how tutoring impacts test scores, the dependent variable would be the participants' test scores.
The arithmetic average of a distribution, obtained by adding the scores and then dividing by the number of scores.
The middle score in a distribution; half the scores are above it and half are below it.
The frequently occurring scores in a distribution.
The difference between the highest and lowest scores in a distribution.
Standard Deviation
A computer measure of how much scores vary around the mean score.
Normal Curve
A symmetrical, bell-shaped curve that describes the distribution of many types of data; most scores fall near the mean and fewer and fewer near the extremes.
Statistical Significance
A statistical statement of how likely it is that an obtained result occurred by chance.
a specialized cell transmitting nerve impulses; a nerve cell.
Sensory Neurons
Neurons that carry incoming information from sensory receptors to the brain and spinal cord.
a neuron that transmits impulses between other neurons, especially as part of a reflex arc.
a short branched extension of a nerve cell, along which impulses received from other cells at synapses are transmitted to the cell body.
the long threadlike part of a nerve cell along which impulses are conducted from the cell body to other cells.
a mixture of proteins and phospholipids forming a whitish insulating sheath around many nerve fibers, increasing the speed at which impulses are conducted.
Action potential
threshold in a neuron is the point of depolarization at which the neuron fires, transmitting information to another neuron. Psychologists use the concept of action potential threshold to explain how neurons send information to each other.
The level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse.
The junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron. The tiny gap at this junction is called the synaptic gap or the synaptic cleft.
is a chemical messenger that carries, boosts, and modulates signals between neurons and other cells in the body. In most cases, a neurotransmitter is released from the axon terminal after an action potential has reached the synapse.
A neurotransmitters re-absorption by the sending neuron.
Nervous system
the network of nerve cells and fibers that transmits nerve impulses between parts of the body.
Central Nervous System
the complex of nerve tissues that controls the activities of the body. In vertebrates it comprises the brain and spinal cord.
Peripheral nervous system
the nervous system outside the brain and spinal cord.
Somatic Nervous System
deals with our voluntary control of muscles and our five senses.
Autonomic Nervous System
the part of the nervous system responsible for control of the bodily functions not consciously directed, such as breathing, the heartbeat, and digestive processes.
Sympathetic Nervous System
The division of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations.
Parasympathetic Nervous system
The division of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body, conserving its energy.
A pair of endocrine glands just above the kidneys.
Pituitary gland
the major endocrine gland. A pea-sized body attached to the base of the brain, the pituitary is important in controlling growth and development and the functioning of the other endocrine glands.
The body's "slow" chemical communication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream.
a region in an organ or tissue that has suffered damage through injury or disease, such as a wound, ulcer, abscess, tumor, etc.
Electroencephalogram (EEG)
is a recording of the electrical waves of activity that occur in the brain, and across its surface. Electrodes are placed on different areas of a person's scalp, filled with a conductive gel, and then plugged into a recording device.
Positron emission tomography
which is similar to the MRI, is a scanning method that enables psychologists and doctors to study the brain (or any other living tissue) without surgery. PET scans use radioactive glucose (instead of a strong magnetic field) to help study activity and locate structures in the body.
fMRI (functional MRI)
is a functional neuroimaging procedure using MRI technology that measures brain activity by detecting changes associated with blood flow.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
is a brain imaging technique that detects magnetic changes in the brain's blood flow patterns.
controls the flow of messages between the brain and the rest of the body, and it also controls basic body functions such as breathing, swallowing, heart rate, blood pressure, consciousness, and whether one is awake or sleepy. The brain stem consists of the midbrain, pons, and medulla oblongata.
is a section of the brain located in the brainstem which is responsible for automatic functions like breathing, blood pressure, circulation and heart functions, and digestion. It is also the area responsible for many reflexes like swallowing, vomiting, coughing, and sneezing.
Reticular Formation
is a portion of the brain that is located in the central core of the brain stem. It passes through the medulla, pons, and stops in the midbrain. Its functions can be classified into 4 categories: motor control, sensory control, visceral control, and control of consciousness. It controls arousal.
Limbic System
a complex system of nerves and networks in the brain, involving several areas near the edge of the cortex concerned with instinct and mood. It controls the basic emotions (fear, pleasure, anger) and drives (hunger, sex, dominance, care of offspring).
a roughly almond-shaped mass of gray matter inside each cerebral hemisphere, involved with the experiencing of emotions.
The area of the brain that secretes substances that influence pituitary and other gland function and is involved in the control of body temperature, hunger, thirst, and other processes that regulate body equilibrium.
Cerebral Cortex
is the most important part of our brain (at least in the field of psychology) because it is what makes us human. The cerebral cortex (sometimes referred to as called "gray matter", is actually densely packed neurons. Its the information processing center.
Glial Cells (glia)
surround neurons and provide support for and insulation between them. Glial cells are the most abundant cell types in the central nervous system. Types of glial cells include oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, ependymal cells, Schwann cells, microglia, and satellite cells.
Frontal lobes
each of the paired lobes of the brain lying immediately behind the forehead, including areas concerned with behavior, learning, personality, and voluntary movement.
portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear; receives sensory input for touch and body position.
portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the back of the head; includes areas that receive information from the visual fields.
Temporal Lobes
each of the paired lobes of the brain lying beneath the temples, including areas concerned with the understanding of speech.
Motor Cortex
an area at the rear of the frontal lobes that controls voluntary movements.
Sensory cortex
is an umbrella term that encompasses all the senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell.
Association areas
a region of the cortex of the brain that connects sensory and motor areas, and that is thought to be concerned with higher mental activities.
The brains ability to change, especially during childhood, by reorganizing after damage or by building new pathways based on experience.
Corpus Callosum
a broad band of nerve fibers joining the two hemispheres of the brain.
Split brain
a condition resulting from surgery that isolates the brains two hemispheres by cutting the fibers connecting them.
the formation of new neurons.
Cognitive Neuroscience
The interdisciplinary study of the brain activity linked with cognition (including perception,thinking,memory, and language).
Dual Processing
the principle that information is often simultaneously processed on separate conscious and unconscious tracks.
Selective attention
The focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus.
Inattentional blindness
failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere.
Change blindness
failing to notice changes in the environment.
Circadian Rhythm
Often referred to as the "body clock", the circadian rhythm is a 24-hour cycle that tells our bodies when to sleep and regulates many other physiological processes. This internal body clock is affected by environmental cues, like sunlight and temperature.
REM sleep
is the stage of sleep associated with quick, darting eye movements, the paralysis of major voluntary muscles, increased and irregular heart rate and breathing, and a high level of brain activity (comparable to brain activity when awake).
Alpha waves
are a type of brain wave that occur when a person is relaxed, but still awake.
Delta waves
the large, slow brain waves associated with deep sleep.
a condition characterized by an extreme tendency to fall asleep whenever in relaxing surroundings.
Sleep apnea
is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person's breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times. This means the brain -- and the rest of the body -- may not get enough oxygen.
Manifest Content
according to Freud, the remembered story line of a dream (as distinct from its latent, or hidden content).
Latent content
according to freud, the underlying meaning of a dream (from manifest content).
Who wrote the textbook "Principles of Psychology"?
William James
What was William James' theory in psychology?
was a philosophy opposing the prevailing structuralism of psychology of the late 19th century. Edward Titchener, the main structuralist, gave psychology its first definition as a science of the study of mental experience, of consciousness, to be studied by trained introspection.
What is the name of the psychological theory that allows people to adapt to their surroundings in the real world?
What is the theory in psychology that believes that "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts"?
Gestalt Psychology
Gestalt Psychology
the study of perception and behavior from the standpoint of an individual's response to configurational wholes with stress on the uniformity of psychological and physiological events and rejection of analysis into discrete events of stimulus, percept, and response.
What theory is Gestalt Psychology a part of currently?
Cognitive Psychology
What does the theory of psychoanalysis focus on?
The Unconcious
According to psychoanalysis, when is the personality developed?
Within the first 6 years of life
What current theory of psychology was based off of psychoanalysis?
What was the study done under John Watson's watch that had to do with fear?
Little Albert
Who created the theory of behaviorism?
John Watson
What theory focuses on learned behaviors and was based on Pavlov's experiment?
What was Edward Titchener's area of specialization?
What was William James's area of specialization?
What is the first criteria for critical thinking?
There are very few truths that do not need to be tested.
Which of the seven modern perspectives focuses on the way people act when they are alone vs when they're with family, friends, classmates, etc.?
Sociocultural Perspective
Which of the seven modern perspectives focuses on the part biological processes play on the mind?
Biopsychological Perspective
Which of the seven modern perspectives focuses on the biological bases for universal mental characteristics that all humans share?
Evolutionary Perspective
Which of the seven modern perspectives focuses on people's abilities to direct their own lives, have free will, and strive for self-actualization?
Humanistic Perspective
Which of the seven modern perspectives stemmed from Watson's behaviorism but was taken over by BF Skinner?
Behavioral Perspective
Which of the seven modern perspectives stemmed from Freud's psychoanalysis?
Psychodynamic Perspective
What main goal of psychology involves changing a behavior from an undesirable one to a desirable one?
What are the four main goals of psychology?
Description, Explanation, Prediction, and Control
What does a double-blind experiment control?
The Experimenter Effect
What is the measure of the relationship between two variables?
What are the strongest correlation coefficients you can have?
1 and -1
All-or-none response
a neuron's reaction of either firing with a full-strength response or not firing.
social neuroscientist
these people study processes such as attachment and attitudes
cognitive neuroscientist
these people explore biological foundations of consciousness, perception, memory, and language
Voluntary Movement
is the expression of thought through action. Virtually all areas of the central nervous system are involved in this process. The main flow of information may begin in cognitive cortical areas in the frontal lobe, or in sensory cortical areas in the occipital, parietal and temporal lobes.
Absolute refractory period
The period during which a neuron lies dormant after an action potential has been completed.
Absolute threshold
The minimum amount of stimulation needed for a person to detect the stimulus 50 percent of the time.
The process by which the shape of an eye's lens adjusts to focus light from objects nearby or far away. Also: the modification of a schema as new information is incorporated.
A neurotransmitter involved in muscle movement, attention, arousal, memory, and emotion.
Achievement motive
An impulse to master challenges and reach a high standard of excellence.

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