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Thinking Critically with Psychological Science


the scientific study of behavior and mental processes; "the science of mental health"

Wilhelm Wundt

german physiologist who founded psychology as a formal science; opened first psychology research laboratory in 1879

Sigmund Freud

austrian physician whose work focused on the unconscious causes of behavior and personality formation; founded psychoanalysis

Margaret Floy Washburn

First Woman to receive PHD in psychology from Cornell in 1894


focusing on inner sensations, images, and feelings


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

Emphasized the importance of current environment influences on our growth potential and the importance of meeting our needs for love and acceptance.

cognitive neuroscience

the interdisciplinary study of the brain activity linked with cognition (including perception, thinking, memory, and language)

Early psychology was seen as a mix of what two things?

physiology and philosophy

nature vs. nurture

the question involves which has more impact on our development; the traits we inherit or the environment that we live in

John B. Watson

founded behaviorism, "Little Albert"

B.F. Skinner

rejected introspection and studied how consequences shape behavior


how the body and brain enable emotions, memories, and sensory experiences

evolutionary psychology

the study of the evolution of behavior and the mind, using principles of natural selection.

behavior genetics

How much our genes and our environment influence our individual differences


How behavior springs from unconscious drives and conflicts

behavioral psychology

how we learn observable responses

cognitive psychology

how we encode, process, store, and retrieve information


how behavior and thinking vary across situations and culture

What is the main difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

psychiatrists are more likely to attend medical school and prescribe medication

A psychologist treating emotionally troubled adolescents at a local mental health agencey is most likely to be a...

clinical psychologist

nature is to nurture as

biology is to experience

hindsight bias

the tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it. "Out of sight, out of mind"

What three attitudes make modern science possible?

curiosity, skepticism, and humility

critical thinking

thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions. Rather, it examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions.

Studyings the three attitudes means that scientists...

are willing to ask questions and to reject claims that cannot be verified by research

case study

an observation technique in which one person is studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles

naturalistic observation

observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation


a measure of the extent to which two factors vary together, and thus of how well either factor predicts the other. The correlation coefficient is the mathematical expression of the relationship, ranging from -1 to +1

illusory correlation

the perception of a relationship where none exists

double blind procedure

participants are uninformed about what treatment, if any, they are receiving and the research assistants are uninformed about which participants get which treatment

placebo effect

experimental results caused by expectations alone; any effect on behavior caused by the administration of an inert substance or condition, which is assumed to be an active agent.

The laboratory environment is designed to...

re-create psychological forces under controlled conditions

The case study is a research method in which...

a single individual is studied in great depth

Wilhelm Wundt's laboratory work involved experimental studies of

reactions to sensory stimulation

Studying people of all races and cultures is most helpful for

discerning human similarities and differences

Mrs. Alfieri believes that her husband's angry outbursts against her result from his unconscious hatred of his own mother. Mrs. Alfieri is looking at her husband's behavior from a(n) ________ perspective


Which perspective would suggest that the facial expressions associated with the emotions of lust and rage are inherited?


Who was the American philosopher who authored a textbook in 1890 for the emerging discipline of psychology?


In its early years, psychology focused on the study of ________, but from the 1920s into the 1960s, American psychologists emphasized the study of ________.

mental life; observable behavior

John Watson is to Wilhelm Wundt as ________ is to ________.

observable behavior; inner sensations

Behaviorists dismissed the value of


The placebo effect best illustrates the impact of ________ on feelings and behaviors

positive expectations

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