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Barron's AP Psychology Flash Cards

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Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920)

History 1
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Gestalt psychologist

Argued against dividing human thought and behavior into discrete structures.

Gestalt psychology tried to examine a person's total experience because the way we experience the world is more than just an accumulation of various perceptual experiences.

Gestalt theorists demonstrated that the whole experience is often more than just the sum of the parts of the experience.
Believed he discovered the unconscious mind - a part of our mind over which we do not have conscious control that determines, in part, how we think and behave.

Proposed that we must examine the unconscious mind through dream analysis, word association, and other psychoanalytic therapy techniques if we are to truly understand human thought and behavior.

Has been criticized for being unscientific and creating unverifiable theories.
Declared that psychology must limit itself to observable phenomena, not unobservable concepts like the unconscious mind, if it is to be considered a science.

Wanted to establish behaviorism as the dominant paradigm of psychology.

Behaviorists maintain that psychologists should look at only behavior and causes of behavior - stimuli (environmental events) and responses (physical reactions) - and not concern themselves with describing elements of consciousness.
Expanded the basic ideas of behaviorism to include the idea of reinforcement and punishment - environmental stimuli that either encourage or discourage certain responses.

Helped establish and popularize the operant conditioning model of learning.

Skinner's intellectual influence lasted for decades.
The humanists, including theoriests Abraham Maslow (1908 - 1970) and Carl Rogers (1902 - 1987), stressed individual choice and free will. This contrasts with with the deterministic behaviorists who theorized that all behaviors are caused by past conditioning.

Humanists believe that we choose most of our behaviors and that these choices are guided by physiological, emotional, or spiritual needs.
Described by Sigmund Freud

Psychoanalysts believe that the unconscious mind - a part of our mind that we do not have conscious control over or access to - controls much of our thoughts and actions.

Psychoanalysts would look for impulses or memories pushed into the unconscious mind through repression.

Psychoanalysts think we must examine our unconscious mind through dream analysis, would association, and other psychoanalytic therapy techniques in order to understand human thought and behavior.
Evolutionary psychologists (also sometimes called sociobiologists) examine human thoughts and actions in terms of natural selection.

Natural selection in this context refers to the idea that some psychological traits might be advantageous for survival and that these traits would be passed down from the parents to the next generation.

Similar to (and in some ways a subset of ) the Biopsychology Perspective.