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PSY 201 @ WOU

Applied psychology

The branch of psychology concerned with everyday, practical problems


Any overt (observable) response or activity by an organism


A theoretical orientation based on the premise that scientific psychology should study only observable behavior.

Clinical psychology

The branch of psychology concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of psychological problems and disorders.


The mental processes involved in acquiring knowledge.

Critical thinking

The use of cognitive skills and strategies that increase the probability of a desired outcome.


The widely shared customs, beliefs, values, norms, institutions, and other products of a community that are transmitted socially across generations


The premise that knowledge should be acquired through observation


the tendency to view one's own group as superior to others and as the standard for judging the worth of foreign ways

Evolutionary psychology

Theoretical perspective that examines behavioral processes in terms of their adaptive value for a species over the course of many generations.


A school of psychology based on the belief that psychology should investigate the function or purpose of consciousness, rather than its structure


A theoretical orientation that emphasizes the unique qualities of humans, especially their freedom and their potential for personal growth


Careful, systematic observation of one's own conscious experience

Natural selection

Principle stating that heritable characteristics that provide a survival reproductive advantage are more likely than alternative characteristics to be passed on to subsequent generations and thus come to be selected over time.

Positive psychology

Approach to psychology that uses theory and research to better understand the positive, adaptive, creative, and fulfilling aspects of human existence.


A branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of psychological problems and disorders.

Psychoanalytic theory

A theory developed by Freud that attempts to explain personality, motivation, and mental disorders by focusing on unconscious determinants of behavior.


The science that studies behavior and the physiological and cognitive processes that underlie it, and the profession that applies the accumulated knowledge of this science to practical problems.


A study system designed to promote effective reading by means of ve steps: survey, question, read, recite, and review.


A school of psychology based on the notion that the task of psychology is to analyze consciousness into its basic elements and to investigate how these elements are related.


The ability to use the characteristics and format of a cognitive test to maximize one's score.


A system of interrelated ideas that is used to explain a set of observations.


According to Freud, thoughts, memories, and desires that are well below the surface of conscious awareness but that nonetheless exert great inuence on behavior.

The notion that the subject matter of psychology should be the scientific study of conscious experience is MOST closely linked with:

Wilhelm Wundt.

The first woman to serve as president of the American Psychological Association was:

Mary Calkins.

The notion that unconscious motivations can influence our overt behavior is MOST consistent with the views of:

Sigmund Freud.

The school of psychology that suggests psychologists should study only what can be objectively observed is:


The notion that all behavior is fully governed by external stimuli is MOST consistent with:


he school of psychology that emphasizes the unique qualities of humans, and suggests that we have a drive for personal growth is:


During World War II, many academic psychologists were pressed into service, mainly as:


Which of the following would be LEAST likely to be studied by a cognitive psychologist?

Shaping behavior by reinforcement.

The tendency to view one's own group as superior to others and as the standard for judging the worth of foreign ways is called:


Dr. Somers studies psychological topics such as attitude formation and change and how groups influence people's behavior. Which of the following BEST categorizes Dr. Somers' research specialization?


The most widely practiced professional specialty in psychology is:

clinical psychology.

Which of the following approaches do researchers in psychology take to address the fact that our experiences of the world are highly subjective?

They consistently apply the scientific method

The idea that you should reward yourself for achieving study goals is based on the concept of:

behavior modification.

Research findings suggest that when students engage in attentive note taking, they are more likely to:

be able to identify and remember the most important points from a lecture.

Based on an evolutionary analysis of spatial skills, you should predict that Jill will be better than Jack at:

remembering locations.

According to Wilhelm Wundt, psychology's primary focus should be the scientific study of mental processes.


Functionalists relied heavily on the method of introspection to understand the nature and function of conscious processes.


A strict behaviorist would view nature as more important than nurture in determining an individual's observable responses to a given stimulus.


Until the 1950s and 1960s, the dominance of behaviorism discouraged the study of mental processes in psychology.


An individual who was ethnocentric would judge the value of foreign customs based on his or her own social values.


The evolutionary perspective suggests that, on average, males should outperform females on all aspects of visual-spatial ability.


Developmental psychologists generally focus on the study of interpersonal behavior and the role that social forces take in governing behavior.


Empiricism means scientists draw conclusions based on reasoning and logical inference.


You should study in different locations in a rotation; this will help you maintain your concentration by providing variety.


Consistent class attendance relates to higher grades


Anecdotal evidence

Personal stories about specific incidents and experiences.

Case study

An in-depth investigation of an individual subject.

Confounding of variables

A condition that exists whenever two variables are linked together in a way that makes it difcult to sort out their independent effects.

Control group

Subjects in a study who do not receive the special treatment given to the experimental group.


The extent to which two variables are related to each other.

Correlation coefcient

A numerical index of the degree of relationship between two variables.

Data collection techniques

Procedures for making empirical observations and measurements.

Dependent variable

In an experiment, the variable that is thought to be affected by the manipulation of the independent variable.

Descriptive statistics

Statistics that are used to organize and summarize data.

Double-blind procedure

A research strategy in which neither subjects nor experimenters know which subjects are in the experimental or control groups.


A research method in which the investigator manipulates a variable under carefully controlled conditions and observes whether any changes occur in a second variable as a result.

Experimental group

The subjects in a study who receive some special treatment in regard to the independent variable.

Experimenter bias

A phenomenon that occurs when a researcher's expectations or preferences about the outcome of a study inuence the results obtained.

Extraneous variables

Any variables other than the independent variable that seem likely to inuence the dependent variable in a specic study.


A tentative statement about the relationship between two or more variables.

Independent variable

In an experiment, a condition or event that an experimenter varies in order to see its impact on another variable.

Inferential statistics

Statistics that are used to interpret data and draw conclusions.

Internet-mediated research

Studies in which data collection occurs over the web.


A periodical that publishes technical and scholarly material, usually in a narrowly dened area of inquiry.


The arithmetic average of the scores in a distribution.


The score that falls exactly in the center of a distribution of scores.


The score that occurs most frequently in a distribution.

Operational denition

A denition that describes the actions or operations that will be made to measure or control a variable.


See Subjects.

Placebo effects

The fact that subjects' expectations can lead them to experience some change even though they receive an empty, fake, or ineffectual treatment.


The larger collection of animals or people from which a sample is drawn and that researchers want to generalize about.

Random assignment

The constitution of groups in a study such that all subjects have an equal chance of being assigned to any group or condition.


Occurs when a subject's behavior is altered by the presence of an observer.


The repetition of a study to see whether the earlier results are duplicated.

Research methods

Differing approaches to the manipulation and control of variables in empirical studies.

Response set

A tendency to respond to questions in a particular way that is unrelated to the content of the questions.


The collection of subjects selected for observation in an empirical study.

Sampling bias

A problem that occurs when a sample is not representative of the population from which it is drawn.

Social desirability bias

A tendency to give socially approved answers to questions about oneself.

Standard deviation

An index of the amount of variability in a set of data.

Statistical signicance

The condition that exists when the probability that the observed ndings are due to chance is very low.


The use of mathematics to organize, summarize, and interpret numerical data. See also Descriptive statistics, Inferential statistics.


The persons or animals whose behavior is systematically observed in a study.


A descriptive research method in which researchers use questionnaires or interviews to gather information about specic aspects of subjects' behavior.


A system of interrelated ideas that is used to explain a set of observations.


The extent to which the scores in a data set tend to vary from each other and from the mean.


Any measurable conditions, events, characteristics, or behaviors that are controlled or observed in a study.

Any measurable conditions, events, characteristics, or behaviors that are controlled or observed in a study.


If you believe that increasing levels of anxiety are associated with drug abuse, you have just formulated:


A researcher wants to see if a protein-enriched diet will enhance the maze-running performance of rats. One group of rats is fed the high-protein diet for the duration of the study; the other group continues to receive ordinary rat chow. In this experiment, the rats' maze-running performance is the:

dependent variable.

One of the disadvantages of the experimental method is:

the artificial, contrived situations in which experiments are often conducted.

If you interviewed a person over a period of time to understand that person to the greatest degree possible, you would be using the:

case study method of research.

The standard deviation is a measure of:

the amount of variability in a data set.

As interest rates increase, house sales decline, indicating

a negative correlation between the two variables.

Dr. Redding has found a correlation of +0.65 between snoring and weight. This indicates that:

overweight individuals tend to snore more than underweight individuals.

A sample is representative if:

its composition is similar to the composition of the population.

Placebos are used in research to control for:

the subjects' expectations about treatment.

The tendency for survey subjects to provide answers that place them in a favorable light is referred to as

socially desirable responding.

The fact that many times researchers unintentionally influence the outcome of their studies implies the existence of:

experimenter bias.

The abstract of a journal article provides:

a concise summary of the entire article.

Individuals who think critically do not rely on anecdotal evidence because this type of evidence:

can be distorted by reporting biases.

Most scientists hope that ultimately the information they gather will be of some practical value to solve everyday problems.


A tentative statement about the relationship between two or more variables is called a theory.


The second step in the research method is the making of the empirical observations and measurements.


The greatest advantage that the scientific method has over logical reasoning or common sense is that it results in cause-and-effect explanations.


Descriptive/correlational research methods broaden the scope of phenomena that psychologists are able to study.


Because additional statistical manipulations can be performed on it, in general, the most useful measure of central tendency is the mean.


Research findings that are statistically significant may have no theoretical or practical significance.


The best way to reduce the risk of experimenter bias is to use a double-blind research procedure.


The American Psychological Association has developed a set of ethical guidelines for research that apply to both animal and human research participants.


Most psychological journal articles include an abstract, an introduction, methods, results and discussion section and a list of bibliographic references.


Absolute refractory period

The minimum length of time after an action potential during which another action potential cannot begin.

Action potential

A brief change in a neuron's electrical charge.


An inherited characteristic that increased in a population (through natural selection) because it helped solve a problem of survival or reproduction during the time it emerged.

Adoption studies

Research studies that assess hereditary inuence by examining the resemblance between adopted children and both their biological and their adoptive parents.

Afferent nerve bers

Axons that carry information inward to the central nervous system from the periphery of the body.


A chemical that mimics the action of a neurotransmitter.


A chemical that opposes the action of a neurotransmitter.

Autonomic nervous system (ANS)

The system of nerves that connect to the heart, blood vessels, smooth muscles, and glands.


A long, thin ber that transmits signals away from the neuron cell body to other neurons, or to muscles or glands.

Central nervous system (CNS)

The brain and the spinal cord.

Cerebral cortex

The convoluted outer layer of the cerebrum.

Cerebral hemispheres

The right and left halves of the cerebrum.

Cerebrospinal uid (CSF)

A solution that lls the hollow cavities (ventricles) of the brain and circulates around the brain and spinal cord.


Threadlike strands of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) molecules that carry genetic information.

Corpus callosum

The structure that connects the two cerebral hemispheres.

Critical period

A limited time span in the development of an organism when it is optimal for certain capacities to emerge because the organism is especially responsive to certain experiences.


Branchlike parts of a neuron that are specialized to receive information.

Dominant gene

A gene that is expressed when paired genes are heterozygous (different).

Efferent nerve bers

Axons that carry information outward from the central nervous system to the periphery of the body.

Electrical stimulation of the brain (ESB)

Sending a weak electric current into a brain structure to stimulate (activate) it.

Electroencephalograph (EEG)

A device that monitors the electrical activity of the brain over time by means of recording electrodes attached to the surface of the scalp.

Endocrine system

A group of glands that secrete chemicals into the bloodstream that help control bodily functioning.


The entire family of internally produced chemicals that resemble opiates in structure and effects.

Family studies

Scientic studies in which researchers assess hereditary inuence by examining blood relatives to see how much they resemble each other on a specic trait.


The reproductive success (number of descendants) of an individual organism relative to the average reproductive success of the population.


The largest and most complicated region of the brain, encompassing a variety of structures, including the thalamus, hypothalamus, limbic system, and cerebrum.

Fraternal (dizygotic) twins

Twins that result when two eggs are fertilized simultaneously by different sperm cells, forming two separate zygotes. Also called Dizygotic twins.


DNA segments that serve as the key functional units in hereditary transmission.

Genetic mapping

The process of determining the location and chemical sequence of specic genes on specic chromosomes.


A person's genetic makeup.


Cells found throughout the nervous system that provide various types of support for neurons.

Heterozygous condition

The situation that occurs when two genes in a specic pair are different.


The part of the brain that includes the cerebellum and two structures found in the lower part of the brainstem: the medulla and the pons.

Homozygous condition

The situation that occurs when two genes in a specic pair are the same.


The chemical substances released by the endocrine glands.

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