Psychology: Scientific Study Of Behavior And Mental Processes

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AP Psych: Module 1­17 Vocab Psychology

Scientific study of behavior and mental processes

Structuralis m Early of psychology, used introspection to explore elemental structure of the mind Empiricism

View that knowledge comes from exp. via senses, and that science flourishes thru observation and experimentse Functionalis m School of psychology that focuses on functions of mental and behavioral processes and how they enable organisms to adapt, survive, and flourish Humanistic psychology Perspective that focused on growth potential, used custom methods to study personality

Nature­nurtu Controversy over what genes and exp re issue contribute to dev of psychological traits and behaviors

Natural selection Principle that inherited trait variations that contribute to reproduction and survival will be passed on

Levels of analysis Complementary, differing views to analyze given phenomenons

Biopsychosocia l approach

Perspective that integrates bio, psych, and social­cultural views to analyze phenomenon

Basic research Pure science that increases scientific knowledge base

Applied research Scientific study that aims to solve practical problems

Counseling psychology Branch of psych that helps people with problems in living (school, marriage) and wellbeing

Clinical psychology Branch of psych that studies, assesses, and treats ppl w/ psych disorders Psychiatry

Branch of med that deals with psychological disorders using med treatments (drugs) and therapy

Hindsight bias

“I knew it all along” phenomenon, tendency to believe that one would have foreseen the outcome

Critical thinking Thinking that doesn’t blindly accept arguments and conclusions, examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evals evidence


Explanation w/ integrated set of principles that organizes and predicts observations


Testable prediction, usu. implied by theory Operational definition The procedures/ operations used to define research variables


Repeating a research study to see whether the finding is consistent across different events and ppl


Enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by large group of people down generations

Case study

Observation technique in which one person is studied in depth to reveal universal principles


Technique for finding self­reported attitudes/ behaviors of people in a sample False consensus effect

Tendency to overestimate extent to which others share our beliefs and behaviors Population

All cases in a group from which samples can be taken for study

Random sample Sample that represents population, since ea. member has equal chance of inclusion Naturalistic observation Observing and recording behaviors in natural situations w/out manipulating them


Measure of how much 2 factors vary together and how 1 predicts the other

Correlation coefficient Mathematical expression of relationship from ­1 to +1


Graphed cluster of dots that represents interaction btwn 2 variables

Illusory correlation Perception of a relationship when none exists


Research method in which investigator manipulates 1/more factors to observe effect on mental/ behavior processes

Double­blind procedures Experimental procedure in which research participants and research staff don’t know if received treatment is real/ placebo

Placebo effect Results brought about just by expectation, the effects on behavior caused by administration of inert substance/ condition that is assumed to be active

Experimental condition Condition of experiment that exposes participant to treatment
(independent variable)

Control condition Condition of experiment that contrasts with exp. condition; acts as comparison to evaluate treatment’s effect

Random assignment Randomly assigning