The Scientific study of behavior and mental processes
3 Goals of Empiricism
1. measure and describe behaviors 2. to gather empirical evidence: information gained from direct observation and measurement 3. to gather data
Define "Research Method"
A systematic procedure for answering scientific questions
List 10 things a psychologist might research
Development, Learning, Personality, Sensation and Perception, Comparative, Cognitive, Biopsychyology, Gender, Social Cultural, Evolutionary
Define "Animal Model"
When and animals behavior is used to derive principles that may apply to human behavior
List and Define the 4 goals of psychology
1. Description and Behaviors- Naming and classifying various observable, measurable behaviors 2. Understanding- Being able to state the causes of Behavior 3. Prediction- Predicting behavior accurately 4. Control-altering conditions that influence behavior
Define "Critical Thinking"
Ability to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize information, often used in research
what are the 4 key principles of critical thinking
1. Few truths transcend the need for empirical testing 2. evidence varies in quality 3. authority or claimed expertise does not automatically make and idea true 4. critical thinking requires an open mind
Pseudo means "false". Any unfounded "System" that resembles psychology and is not based on scientific testing.
Give 4 examples of Pseudo-psychology
Palmistry, Phrenology, Graphology, Astrology
Define "The Barnum Effect"
Tendency to consider personal descriptions accurate if stated in general terms.
List 7 steps that help separate fact from fiction
1. Be Skeptical 2. Consider the source of information 3. Ask yourself, "Was there a control group?" 4. Look for errors in distinguishing between correlation and causation 5. Be sure to distinguish between observation and inference 6. Beware of oversimplifications, especially those motivated by monetary gain 7. Example is not proof!
Define "The Scientific Method"
Form of critical thinking based on careful measurement and controlled observation.
List the 6 basic elements of the scientific method
1. Observation 2. Defining a problem 3. Proposing a hypothesis 4. Gathering evidence/testing the hypothesis 5. Publishing results 6. Building a Theory
Define "Hypothesis testing"
Scientifically testing the predicted outcome of an experiment or and educated guess about the relationship between variables
Define "operational definition"
Defines a scientific concept by stating specific actions or procedures used to measure it
A system of ideas that interrelates facts and concepts, summarizes existing data, and predicts future observations
Explain the importance of Wihelm Wundt to the world of psychology
he was the "father" of psychology, his ideas were renamed "structuralism", they dealt with the structure of mental life
Explain the importance of William James in the world of psychology
Studied Functionalism, which is how the mind functions to help us adapt and survive, admired Darwin and his theory of natural selection
Define "Educational Psychology"
Study of learning, teaching, classroom dynamics, and related topics
Explain the history of "Behaviorism"
Studied by Watson and Skinner, studied the relationship between stimuli, and responses
Explain the history of "Cognitive Behaviorism"
Studied by Ellis and Bandura, studies how our thoughts influence our behavior
Explain the history of "Gestalt Psychology"
Studied by Wertheimer, and Perls. Studies thinking, learning, and perception in whole units, not by analyzing experiences into parts
Explain the importance of "Freud" in the world of psychology
Studied a Psychoanalytic Perspective, which consits of ideas such as, our behavior is largely influenced by unconscious wishes, thoughts, and desires, especially sex and aggression.
When threatening thoughts are unconsciously held out of awareness
Explain and list important names of "Neo-Freudians"
New or recent; some of Freud's students who broke away to promote their own theories. Key Names: Adler, Anna Freud, Horney, Jung, Rank, Erickson
Focuses on human experience, problems, potentials, and ideals, idea that each person has innate goodness and is able to make free choices Key Names: Rogers, and Maslow
Your perception of your own body, personality, and capabilities
Define "Self Evaluation"
Positive and negative feelings you have about yourself
Define "Frame of Reference"
Mental perspective used for interpreting events
Fully developing one's potential and becoming the best person possible
All of our behavior can be explained through physiological processes, uses brain scans to gather data.
Define "Positive Psychology"
Study of human strengths, virtues, and optimal behavior
Focus on importance of social and cultural contexts influencing our behavior
Study thoughts, memory, expectations, perceptions, and other mental processes
Explain "Cultural Awareness"
Many thoughts and behaviors are influenced by our culture, Psychologists need to be aware of the impact cultural diversity may have on our behaviors, what is acceptable in one culture might not be on another
Define "Cultural Relativity"
Behavior must be judged relative to the values of the culture in which it occurs, associated with cultural awareness
Define "Social Norms"
Rules that define acceptable and expected behavior for members of various groups, associated with cultural awareness
Explain the profession of a "clinical psychologist"
They treat more severe psychological problems or do research on mental disorders
Explain the profession of a "counseling psychologist"
They treat milder problems, such as work or school troubles
Explain the profession of a "psychiatrist"
MD, usually use medications to treat problems, generally do not have extensive training in providing "talk" therapy
Explain the profession of a "psychoanalyst"
They Receive additional training post-PhD or MD t an institute for psychoanalysis
Explain the profession of a "psychiatric social worker"
Mental health professional who applies social science principles to help people in clinics and hospitals.
Explain the profession of a "Counselor"
An adviser who helps solve problems with marriage, school, and so on.
Explain the 3 jobs of conducting an experiment
1. Directly vary a condition you might think affects behavior 2. Create two or more groups of subjects, alike in all ways except the condition you are varying 3. Record whether varying the condition has any effect on behavior.
Any Conditions that can change, and might affect an experiment's outcome.
Define "Independent Variable"
Condition(s) altered by the experimenter; experimenter sets their size, amount, or value; these are suspected causes for behavioral differences
Define "Dependent Variable"
Demonstrates effects that independent variables have on behavior.
Define "Extraneous Variables"
Conditions that a researcher wants to prevent from affecting the outcomes of the experiment.
Define "experimental group"
The group of subjects that gets exposed to the independent variable.
Define "control group"
The group of subjects that gets all conditions EXCEPT the independent variable
Define "Random Assignment"
Subject has an equal chance of being in either the experimental or control group.
Define "statistically significant"
Results gained would occur very rarely by chance alone.
Study of results of other studies
Define and Explain "Placebo"
-A fake pill, or injection -Placebos alter our expectations about our own emotional and physical reactions
Explain the "Placebo Effect"
Changes in behavior that result from believe that one has ingested a drug.
Define "Single-Blind Experiment"
Only the subjects have no idea whether they get real treatment or placebo
Define "Double-Blind Experiment"
The subjects AND the experimenters have no idea whether the subjects get real treatment or placebo.
Define "Experimenter Effects"
Changes in behavior caused by th unintended influence of the experimenter
Define "Self-fulfilling prophecy"
A prediction that leads people to act in way to make the prediction come true.
Define "Naturalistic Observation"
Observing a person or an animal in the environment in which they/it live(s)
Define "Observer Effect"
Changes in subject's behavior caused by an awareness of being observed
Define "Observer Bias"
Occurs when the observers see what they expect to see or record only selected details.
Define "Anthropomorphic Fallacy"
Attributing human thoughts, feelings, or motives to animals, especially as a way of explaining their behavior.
Define "Correlational Studies"
Studies designed to measure the degree of a relationship between two or more events, measures, or variables.
Explain "Coefficient of Correlation"
Statistic ranging from -1 to 1; the sign indicates the direction of the relationship, the closer the statistic is to -1 or 1 the stronger the relationship
Define "Positive Correlation"
Increases in one variable are matched by increases in the other variable.
Define "Negative Correlation"
Increases in one variable are matched by decreases in the other variable.
List the 3 types of Clinical Methods
Case study, natural clinical tests, survey method
Define "Case Study"
In-depth focus on all aspects of a single person
Define "Natural Clinical Tests"
Natural events such as accidents that provide psychological data
Define "survey method"
Using public polling techniques to answer psychological questions
List 2 types of sampling
Representative Sample, Internet Surveys
Define "Representative Sample"
Small group that accurately reflects a larger population.
Define "Internet Surveys"
Web-based research, low cost and can reach many people.
Define "Courtesy Bias"
A tendency to give polite or socially desirable answers
List 2 types of Statistics in Psychology
Descriptive statistics, and Inferential statistics
Define "Descriptive Statistics"
Summarize numbers so they become more meaningful and easier to communicate to other people
Define "Inferential Statistics"
Used for making decisions, for generalizing from small samples, and for drawing conclusions.
Define "Graphical Statistics"
Presenting numbers pictorially, usually in a graph, so they are easier to visualize
Define "Frequency Distribution"
A Table that divides an entire range of scores into a series of equal classes and then records the number of scores that fall into each class
A graph of a frequency distribution; scores are represented by vertical bars
Define "Frequency Polygon"
Number of scores in each class is represented by points on a line
List the 3 different Measures of Central Tendency
the Mean, Median, and Mode
Add all the scores for each group and then divide the total number of scores
Arrange scores from highest to lowest and then select the score that falls in the middle.
Identifies the most frequently occurring score in a group
List th 2 different Measures of Variability
Range, and Standard Deviation
Difference between the highest and lowest scores
Define "Standard Deviation"
Index of how much a typical score differs from the mean of a group of scores
A number that indicates how many standard deviations above or below the mean a score is.
Define "Normal Curve"
Bell-shaped curve, With a large number of scores in the middle and very few extremely high and low scores
Systematic relationship between two variables, measures, or events.
Define "Scatter Diagram"
Simplest way to visualize correlation; graph that plots intersection of paired measures
List 3 Utilization of Correlation
1. Correlations help us identify relationships that are worth knowing 2. Correlations are valuable for making predictions 3. If a correlation exists, the two variables are related
Entire set of subjects, objects, or events of interest, impossible or impractical to obtain
Smaller cross sections of a population.
Define "Statistical Significance"
Degree to which an event is unlikely to have occurred by chance alone
List the parts of the Neuron
Soma, Axon, Axon terminals, and Dendrites
Cell body; body of the neuron. receives messages and sends messages down axon
A fiber that carries information away from the cell body of a neuron
Define "Axon Terminals"
Branches that link the dendrites and somas of other neurons
Receive messages from other neurons.
Define "Resting Potential"
Electrical charge of an inactive neuron
Trigger point for a neuron's firing
Define "Action Potential"
Define "Ion Channels"
Tiny openings through the axon membrane
Define "negative after-potential"
A drop in electrical charge below the resting potential
Microscopic space between two neurons over which messages pass.
Define "Saltatory Conduction"
Process by which nerve impulses conducted down the axons of neurons coated with myelin jump from gap to gap in the myelin layer
A fatty layer coating some axons
Chemicals that alter activity in neurons; brain chemicals
Define "Receptor Site"
Area on the surface of neurons and other cells that is sensitive to neurotransmitters or hormones
List and Explain the 3 types of neurotransmitters
1. Acetylcholine- Activates muscles 2. Dopamine- Muscle control 3. Serotonin- Mood and Appetite control
What do Neural Regulators consist of?
They regulate activity of other neurons
They relieve pain and stress; similar to endorphins
They are released by pituitary gland; also help to relieve pain
Capacity of our brains to change in response to experience.
List the 2 Neural Networks
1.Central Nervous system 2. Peripheral nervous system
Define "Central Nervous System"
Brain and spinal cord
Define "Peripheral Nervous system"
All parts of the nervous system outside of the brain and spinal cord
Thin layer of cells wrapped around axons outside brain and spinal cord
What are the 2 divisions of the peripheral nervous system?
The somatic system, and the autonomic system
Define "Somatic System"
Carries messages to and from skeletal muscles and sense organs
Define "Autonomic System"
Serves internal organs and glands; controls automatic functions such as heart rate and digestion pressure.
What are the 2 divisions of the Autonomic Nervous System?
Part of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body, emergency system
Part of the autonomic nervous system that quiets the body, most active after an emotional event