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The view that knowledge originates in experience and that science should, therefore, rely on observation and experimentation.

A way of knowing that uses personal (sensory) experience (observation) as the means of deciding what is true about behavior


An early school of psychology that used introspection to explore the structural elements of the human mind.

An approach to psychology based on the idea that conscious experience can be broken down into its basic underlying components.


A school of psychology that focused on how our mental and behavioral processes function- how they enabled us to adapt, survive, and flourish.

A psychology based on the assumption that all mental process are useful to an organism in adapting to the environment.

Experiemental psychology

The study of behavior and thinking using the experimental method.

A psychologist who studies sensation, perceptions, learning, motivation, and emotion in carefully controlled labratory conditions

Psychoanalytic perspective

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

From Freud's theory which proposes that childhood sexuality and unconscious motivations influence personality

Humanistic psychology

Historically significant perspective that emphasized the growth potential of healthy people and the individual's potential for personal growth.

A theoretical view of human nature which stresses a positive view of human nature and the strong belief in psychological homeostasis.

Cognitive perspective

A psychological approach that emphasizes mental processes in perception, memory, language, problem solving, and other areas of behavior

How we encode, process, store, and retrieve information


The science of behavior and mental processes.

The scientific study of behavior and mental processes

Wilhelm Wundt

Established the first psychology laboratory at the University of Leipzig, Germany.

Considered the Father of modern psychology; study of mental processes, introspection, and self-exam; established the first psychology laboratory in Germany

William James

Legendary teacher-writer, mentored Mary Whiton Calkins

1842-1910; Field: functionalism; Contributions: studied how humans use perception to function in our environment; Studies: Pragmatism, The Meaning of Truth

Mary Whiton Calkins

Mentored by William James, who became a pioneering memory researcher and the first woman to be president of the American Psychological Association.

American psychologist who conducted research on memory, personality, and dreams; first woman president of the American Psychological Association

Margaret Floy Washburn

The first woman to receive a psychology Ph.D., who synthesized animal behavior research in the Animal Mind.

1871-1939 American psychologist who was the first woman to earn a doctorate in psychology in the United States; published research on mental processes in animals.

Sigmund Freud

The controversial ideas of this famed personality theorist and therapist have influenced humanity's self-understanding.

1856-1939; Field: psychoanalytic, personality; Contributions: id/ego/superego, reality and pleasure principles, ego ideal, defense mechanisms (expanded by Anna Freud), psychoanalysis, transference

John B. Watson

1878-1958 American psychologist who founded behaviorism, emphasizing the study of observable behavior and rejecting the study of mental processes.

Developed behaviorism-rooted human behavior not in nature but in nurture.

B.F. Skinner

A leading behaviorist, who rejected introspection and studied how consequences shape behavior

1904-1990; Field: behavioral; Contributions: created techniques to manipulate the consequences of an organism's behavior in order to observe the effects of subsequent behavior; Studies: Skinner box

E.B. Titchener

Used introspection to search for the mind's structural elements.

E.B. Titchener was a British psychologist who studied under Wilhelm Wundt. Titchener is best known for creating his version of psychology that described the structure of the mind; structuralism.


The longstanding controversy over the relative contributions that genes and experience make to the development of psychological traits and behaviors.

Refers to the debate about whether development is primarily influenced by nature or 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.

A natural process resulting in the evolution of organisms best adapted to the environment

Gestalt perspective

This theoretical perspective focuses on studying the "whole" experience of the individual rather than breaking down human experiences into pieces.
Wolfgang Kohler and Fritz Perls are associated with this perspective

Biopsychosocial approach

An integrated approach that incorporates biological, psychological, and social-cultural levels of analysis.

Assumes that biological, socio-cultural, and psychological factors combine and interact to produce psychological disorders.

Biological psychology

A branch of psychology that studies the links between biological (including neuroscience and behavior and genetics) and psychological processes.

Focus on biological, or bodily structures, systems and activities that are associated with behaviour and mental processe

Charles Darwin

Argued that natural selection shapes behaviors as well as bodies.

1809-1882; Field: geology, biology; Contributions: transmutation of species, natural selection, evolution by common descent; Studies: "The Origin of Species" catalogs his voyage on the Beagle

Evolutionary perspective

Focuses on how nature selects traits that promote the perpetuation of one's genetic makeup

Adaptive organisms survive and transmit their genes to future generations

Psychodynamic psychology

A branch of psychology that studies how unconscious drives and conflicts influenced behavior, and uses that information to treat people with psychological disorders.

How behavior springs from unconscious drives and conflicts

Behavioral perspective

An approach to the study of psychology that focuses on the role of learning in explaining observable behavior.

How we learn observable responses

Cognitive psychology

An approach to psychology that emphasizes internal mental processes

Combined behaviorist methods and studying behavior with a focus on information processing by the mind.

Social-cultural perspective

The study of how situation and cultures affect our behavior and thinking.

How behavior and thinking vary across situations and cultures.

Psychometric psychology

The scientific study of the measurement of human abilities, attitudes, and traits.
design and evaluate tests of mental abilities and personalities

Measures someone's behavior somehow to make draw conclusions about their state.

Basic Research

Pure science that aims to increase the scientific knowledge base.

Exploration of the causes and consequences of a social problem

Developmental Psychology

The scientific study of physical, cognitive, and social change throughout the life span.

Examines moral, social, emotional, and cognitive development throughout a persona entire life.

Educational psychology

The study of how psychological processes affect and can enhance teaching and learning.

It deals with topics related to children and young adults. It evaluates teaching methods, new instructional methods, etc.

Personality psychology

The study of an individual's characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting.

Focuses on the study of human personality and develop tests to measure personality

Social psychology

The scientific study of how we think about, influence, and relate to one another.

Study of how people's thoughts, feelings, and actions are affected by others.

applied research

Scientific study that aims to solve practical problems.

An attempt to develop new or improved products

Industrial-organizational psychology

The application of psychological concepts and methods to optimizing human behavior in workplaces.

Examines people's behavior in the workplace.

Human factors psychology

The study of how people and machines interact and the design of safe and easily used machines and environments.

Designing optimum work environment

Counseling psychology

A branch of psychology that assists people wiht problems in living (often related ot school, work, or marriage) and in achieving greater well-being.

Help people cope with crises and challenges to improve social and personal functioning

Clinical psychology

A branch of medicine dealing with psychological disorders: practiced by physicians who often provide medical (for example, drug) treatments as well as psychological therapy.

A subfield of psychology that focuses on the study and treatment of mental disorders

neuroscience perspective

The approach that studies behavior from the perspective of the biological functions of the brain, the nervous system, and other body systems.

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

Ivan Pavlo

Pioneered the study of learning, was a Russian physiologist.,

Described process of classical conditioning after famous experiments with dogs

Jean Piaget

1896-1980; Field: cognition; Contributions: created a 4-stage theory of cognitive development, said that two basic processes work in tandem to achieve cognitive growth (assimilation and accommodation)

A cognitive psychologists who focused on child development studies.

Carl Rogers

1902-1987; Field: humanistic; Contributions: founded person-centered therapy, theory that emphasizes the unique quality of humans especially their freedom and potential for personal growth, unconditional positive regard, fully functioning person

Developed "client-centered" therapy

Dorthea Dix

Study the mentally ill/ she went around and revealed to the public the cruel things they do to the mentally ill.

Dedicated to improving conditions for the mentally ill. led movement to build new mental hospitals and improve existing ones

G. Standley Hall

one of first psychologists to describe adolescence, believed tension between biological maturity and social dependence creates period of storm and stress

Studied psychology of children, and the importance of their adolescent years.


A branch of medicine dealing with psychological disorders; practiced by physicians who often provide medical (for example, drug) treatments as well as psychological therapy.

Medicince dealing with the mind and its diseases

Behavior genetics

the study of the relative power and limits of genetic and environmental influences on behavior.

How much our genes and environment influence our individual differences.

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