definitions psych exam 1

  1. What is psychology?
    the scientific study of behavior and mental processes
  2. what is the scientific method?
    the orderly and systematic procedures that researchers follow as that identify a problem, research the problem, collect and analyze data, draw conclusions and communicate their findings
  3. what is a theory
    a general principle proposed to explain how a number of separate facts are related
  4. what is replication?
    the process of repeating a study to verify research findings
  5. what are the goals of psychology?
    description, explanation, prediction, influence
  6. what is a hypothesis?
    a testable prediction about the conditions under which a particular behavior or mental process may occur
  7. explain structuralism
    proposed by Wundt

    the first formal school of thought in psychology aimed at analyzing the basic elements of consciousness mental experience
  8. explain functionalism
    an early school of psychology that was concerned with how humans and animals use mental processes in adapting to their environment
  9. explain behaviorism
    the school of psychology that views observable measurable behavior as the appropriate subject matter for psychology and emphasizes the key role of environment as a determinant of behavior
  10. define psychoanalysis
    term Freud used for both his theory of personality and his therapy for the treatment os psychological disorders; the unconscious is the primary focus of psychoanalytic theory.
  11. what is humanistic psychology?
    the school os psychology that focuses on the uniqueness of human beings and their capacity for growth and psychological health
  12. define cognitive psychology
    school of psychology that sees humans as active participants in their environment; studies mental processes such as memory, problem solving, reasoning , decision making, perception, language, and other forms of cognition
  13. what is Gesalt psychology?
    the school that emphasizes that individuals perceive objects and patterns as whole units and that the perceived whole is more than the sum of its parts
  14. what is information-processing theory?
    an approach to the study of mental structures and processes that uses the computer as a model for human thinking
  15. what is evolutionary psychology?
    school os psychology that studies how humans have adapted the behaviors required for survival in the face of environmental pressures over the long course of evolution
  16. what is biological psychology
    school of psychology that looks for links between specific behaviors and equally specific biological processes that often help explain individual differences
  17. what is neuroscience
    interdisciplinary fiels that combines the work os psychologists, biologists, biochemists, medical researchers, and others in the study of the nervous system
  18. what is the sociocultural approach?
    the view that social and cultural factors may be just as powerful as evolutionary and phsyiological factors in affecting behavior and mental processing and that these factors must be understood when interpreting the behavior of others
  19. what are psychological perspectives
    general points of view used for explaining people's behavior and thinking, whether normal or abnormal
  20. descriptive research methods
    research method that yield descriptions of behavior
  21. what is naturalistic observation
    descriptive research method in which researchers observe and record behavior in its natural setting, without attempting to influence or control it
  22. what is labratory observation
    a descriptive research method in which behavior is studied in a laboratory setting
  23. what is a case study
    a descriptive research method in which a single individual or small number of persons are studied in great depth
  24. what is a survey
    a descriptive research method in which researchers use interviews and or questionnaires to father information about the attitudes, beliefs, experiences or behaviors of a group of people
  25. what is a population
    the group from which a sample is selected
  26. what is a sample
    a part of a population that is studied to reach conclusions about the entire population
  27. what is a representative sample
    a sample that mirrors the population of interest; includes important subgroups that are found in the population
  28. correlational method
    a research method used to establish the degree of correlation between two characteristics, events, or behaviors
  29. correlation coefficient
    a numerical value that indicates the strength and direction of the relationship two variables; ranges from +1.00 to -1.00
  30. what is the experimental method?
    only research method that can be used to identify cause-effect relationships between two or more variables
  31. define a variable
    any condition or factor that can be manipulated, controlled, or measured
  32. what is an independent variable?
    factor or condition that is intentionally manipulated to determine whether it causes any change in another behavior or condition
  33. what is a dependent variable?
    the factors or condition that is measured at the end of an experiment and is presumed to change as a result of the manipulations of the independent variable
  34. what is an experimental group?
    the group that is exposed to an independent variable
  35. what is a control group?
    a group similar to the experimental group that is exposed to the same experimental environment but is not given the treatment; used for the purpose of comparison
  36. what are confounding variables?
    factors of conditions other than the independent variable that are not equivalent across groups and could cause differences among the groups with respect to the dependent variable
  37. what is selection bias?
    assignment of participants to experimental or control groups in a way that systematic difference among the groups are clear the beginning of the experiment
  38. random assignment
    process of selecting participants for experimental and control groups by using a chance procedure to guarantee that each participant has an equal probability of being assigned to any of the groups
  39. what is the placebo effect
    a phenomenon that occurs in an experiment when a participants response to a treatment is due to their expectations about the treatment rather than to the treatment itself
  40. what is a placebo?
    a harmless substance given to the control group in an experiment as a control for the placebo effect
  41. what is experimenter bias?
    phenomenon that occurs when researchers preconceived notions or expectations in some way influence participants' behavior and/or the researcher's interpretation of the results
  42. what is the double-blind technique
    a procedure in which neither the participants nor the experimenter knows who is in the experimental and control groups until after the data has been collected; a control for experimenter bias
  43. what is generalizability?
    the degree to which a study's findings can be applied to the general population
Card Set
definitions psych exam 1
definitions for psych exam 1