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psychological science

the study of mind, brain, and behavior


all the knowledge and values shared by a society

nature/nurture debate

the arguments concerning whether psychological characteristics are biologically innate or acquired through education, experience, and culture

mind/body problem

The issue of how the mind is related to the brain and body.


mind and body are a unified whole

idealistic monism

Theory that reality consists of a single essence or substance which is essentially mental or spiritual in nature

materialistic monism

only matter (the body) exists


seeing mind and body as two different things that interact


chemicals that transmit information from one neuron to another

genetic code/ human genome

blue print for human body, scientists have used this to discover links between genes & behavior

evolutionary theory

in psychological science, a theory that emphasizes the inherited, adaptive value of behavior and mental activity throughout the history of a species


any trait that aids the chances of chances of survival and reproduction of an organism. traits that increase an organism's fitness & ability to reproduce.

natural selection

process by which individuals that are better suited to their environment survive and reproduce most successfully; also called survival of the fittest

biological level of analysis

research dealing with the physical body and how it contributes to mind and behavior

individual levels of analysis

personality, perceptions, activities choices

cultural level of analysis

How different cultures shape the thoughts, feelings, and actions of the people in them


a method of self-observation in which participants report their thoughts and feelings; developed by Wundt, also founded modern experimental Psychology


An early school of psychology that used introspection to explore the structural elements of the human mind, developed by Titchner


a psychology based on the assumption that all mental process are useful to an organism in adapting to the environment, william James

stream of consciousness

a narrative technique that presents thoughts as if they were coming directly from a charcters mind

Gestalt theory

a theory based on the idea that the whole of personal experience is different from simply the sum of its constituent elements


mental process that operate below the level of conscious awareness


Freud's theory of personality that attributes thoughts and actions to unconscious motives and conflicts


an approach to psychology that emphasizes observable measurable behavior

cognitive psychology

perspective that focuses on the mental processes involved in perception, learning, memory, and thinking

cognitive neuroscience

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

social psychology

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

amiable skepticism

wariness of new scientific findings--carefully weighing the evidence in deciding what to believe

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