How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

46 terms

Psychology's History & Approaches

Terms and concepts from Unit I in Myers for AP (2nd ed), concerning the historical roots of psychology, as well as historical and contemporary approaches to psychology.
STUDY
PLAY
Socrates & Plato
two philosophers from ancient Greece (teacher & student); believed knowledge to be innate and that the mind & body are distinct
Artistotle
Greek philosopher who emphasized observation as a source of knowledge; believed mind & body to be inseparable.
Rene Decartes
French philosopher who agreed with Socrates and Plato concerning the origins of knowledge and the separation between mind & body; speculated about how mind & body communicate
Francis Bacon
one of the founders of modern science; promoted use of scientific method & wrote about problems with (what was later known as) confirmation bias
John Locke
British political philosopher & author of "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding"; coined the phrase "blank slate" to describe the state of human knowledge at birth
empiricism
the view that (a) knowledge comes from experience via the senses, and (b) science flourishes through observation and experiment.
Wilhelm Wundt
German physiologist who founded psychology as a formal science; opened first psychology research laboratory in 1879
E.B. Titchener
Psychologist who developed structuralism and introspection; student of Wilhelm Wundt.
structuralism
an early school of psychology that used introspection to explore the elemental structure of the human mind
William James
founder of functionalism; studied how humans use their abilities to function in their environments; known for being an early teacher of psychology
Mary Whiton Calkins
first female president of the APA (1905); a student of William James; denied the PhD she earned from Harvard because of her sex (later, posthumously, it was granted to her)
Margaret Floy Washburn
First female to be awarded a PhD in psychology; 2nd president of the APA (1921)
functionalism
William James's school of thought that stressed the adaptive and survival value of behaviors
G. Stanley Hall
Founded the American Psychological Association (now largest organization of psychologists in the USA) and became first president
American Psychological Association (APA)
World's largest association of psychologists with around 152,000 members including scientists, educators, clinicians, consultants and students
psychology
the scientific study of behavior and mental processes
cognitive neuroscience
the interdisciplinary study of the brain activity linked with cognition (including perception, thinking, memory, and language)
nature-nurture issue
the longstanding controversy over the relative contributions that genes and experience make to the development of psychological traits and behaviors
biological perspective
the approach that views behavior from the perspective of the brain, the nervous system, genetics, and other biological functions
evolutionary perspective
the application of principles of evolution, including natural selection, to explain psychological processes and phenomena.
psychodynamic perspective
A branch of psychology that studies how internal conflicts and unconscious drives influence behavior, and uses that information to treat people with psychological disorders. (Influenced by Sigmund Freud's model of psychoanalysis)
behavioral perspective
perspective of psychology that sees psychology as an objective science without reference to mental states; sees behavior as the result of conditioning & reinforcement; dominant perspective from 1920s-1960s (a.k.a. the "learning" perspective)
cognitive perspective
A psychological approach that emphasizes mental processes in perception, memory, language, problem solving, and other areas of behavior
humanistic perspective
The approach that suggests that all individuals naturally strive to grow, develop, and be in control of their lives and behavior; influenced heavily by ideas of Rogers and Maslow
social-cultural perspective
approach that emphasizes how behavior and thinking vary across situations and cultures
basic research
pure research that aims to confirm an existing theory or to learn more about a concept or phenomenon
applied research
scientific study that aims to solve practical problems
psychiatrist
a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders; can prescribe medication
clinical psychologist
holds an advanced degree in psychology but is not a medical doctor; specializes in identifying and treating persons with mental illness, but does not prescribe medication
natural selection
A process in which individuals that have certain inherited traits tend to survive and reproduce at higher rates than other individuals because of those traits.
John Watson
American psychologist who founded behaviorism, emphasizing the study of observable behavior and rejecting the study of mental processes
Charles Darwin
Wrote "The Origin of Species" proposed idea of natural selection as primary means of species diversity. His influence appears in psychology's evolutionary perspective.
experimental psychology
the study of behavior and thinking using the experimental method
biopsychosocial approach
An integrated approach that incorporates biological, psychological, and social-cultural levels of analysis
levels of analysis
the differing complementary views, from biological to psychological to social-cultural, for analyzing any given phenomenon
psychometrics
the scientific study of the measurement of human abilities, attitudes, and traits; also sometimes called "quantitative psychology"
developmental psychology
A branch of psychology that studies physical, cognitive, and social change throughout the life span
educational psychology
the study of how psychological processes affect and can enhance teaching and learning
personality psychology
the study of an individual's characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling and acting
social psychology
The scientific study of how we think about, influence, and relate to one another
industrial-organizational psychology
application of psychological concepts and methods to optimizing human behavior in workplaces.
human factors psychology
A branch of psychology that explores how people and machines interact and how machines and physical environments can be made safe and easy to use
counseling psychology
A branch of psychology that assists people with problems in living (often related to school, work, or marriage) and in achieving greater well-being
positive psychology
the scientific study of optimal human functioning; aims to discover and promote strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive
community psychology
A branch of psychology that studies how people interact with their social environments and how social institutions affect individuals and groups
testing effect
enhanced memory after retrieving, rather than simply reading, information. Also sometimes referred to as a retrieval practice effect or test-enhanced learning.