AP-Psychology Vocab

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Abraham Maslow

Humanistic psychology; hierarchy of needs-needs at a lower level dominate an individual's motivation as long as they are unsatisfied; self-actualization, transcendence

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applied research

Scientific study that aims to solve practical problems as opposed to basic research

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Aristotle

Greek philosopher. A pupil of Plato, He developed theories of sensaton, perception, memory, ethics, etc. His approach defined science until the onset of empiricism.

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B. F. Skinner

Behaviorism; pioneer in operant conditioning; behavior is based on an organism's reinforcement history; worked with pigeons

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basic research

Pure science that aims to increase the scientific knowledge base as opposed to applied research

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behavioral approach

Psychology approach that studies observable behavior and its explanation by principles of learning and reinforcement

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biological approach

Psychology approach that studies the links between biological (including neuroscience and behavior genetics) and psychological processes

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biopsychosocial approach

Integrated modern approach that incorporates biological, psychological, and social-cultural levels of analysis

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Carl Rogers

1902-1987; Approach: humanistic; Contributions: founded person-centered therapy, theory that emphasizes the unique quality of humans especially their freedom and potential for personal growth, unconditional positive regard, fully functioning person

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Charles Darwin

English natural scientist who formulated a theory of evolution by natural selection (1809-1882) Evolutionary approach

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clinical psychology

Branch of psychology that studies, assesses, and treats people with psychological disorders

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cognitive approach

Psychology approach that studies the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicatin

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cognitive neuroscience

Interdisciplinary study of brain activity linked with cognition (including perception, thinking, memory, and language)

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counseling psychology

Branch of psychology that assists people with problems in living (often related to school, work, or marriage) and in achieving greater well-being

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developmental psychology

Branch of psychology that studies physical, cognitive, and social change throughout the life span

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educational psychology

Branch of psychology that studies how psychological processes affect and can enhance teaching and learning

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Edward Titchener

Introduced experimental psychology to the United States

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empiricism

Knowledge originates in experience and science should, therefore, rely on observation and experimentation

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evolutionary approach

Psychology approach that studies the roots of behavior and mental processes using the principles of natural selection

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experimental psychology

Study of behavior and thinking using the experimental method

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functionalism

School of psychology that focused on how our mental and behavioral processes function. How they enable us to adapt, survive and flourish. Associated with William James

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G. Stanley Hall

American psychologist who established the first psychology research laboratory in the United States and founded the American Psychological Association

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Gestalt Psychology

Psychological approach that emphasizes that we often perceive the whole rather than the sum of the parts

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human factors psychology

Branch of psychology that studies how people and machines interact and the design of safe and easily used machines and environments

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industrial-organizational (I/O) psychology

Branch of psychology that applies psychological concepts and methods to optimizing human behavior in workplaces

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Introspection

Method of self-observation in which participants report their thoughts and feelings

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Ivan Pavlov

Russian physiologist who observed conditioned salivary responses in dogs (1849-1936) (Behavioral approach)

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John B. Watson

Behaviorism; emphasis on external behaviors of people and their reactions on a given situation; famous for Little Albert study in which baby was taught to fear a white rat

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Margaret Floyd Washburn

First female PhD in psychology

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Mary Whiton Calkins

American psychologist who conducted research on memory, personality, and dreams; first woman president of the American Psychological Association.

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natural selection

The principle that, among the range of inherited trait variations, those contributing to reproduction and survival with most likely be passed on to succeeding generations

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personality psychology

Branch of psychology that studies an individual's characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling and acting

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Plato

Greek philosopher; first philosopher credited with studying how we obtain knowledge.

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psychiatry

Branch of medicine dealing with psychological disorders; practiced by physicians who often provide medical treatments as well as psychological therapy and can prescribe medications

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psychoanalytic approach

Psychology approach that studies how unconscious drives and conflicts influence behavior, and uses that information to treat people with psychological disorders (sometimes called psychodynamic)

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psychology

The science of behavior and mental processes

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psychometrics

Scientific study of the measurement of human abilities, attitudes, and traits

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Rene Descartes

French nativist philosopher; proponent of dualism; argued that "threads" within the body control movement, and that some behaviors occur without thought thus it was biology, not "spirits" behind sensations and behaviors.

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Sigmund Freud

Austrian neurologist who originated psychoanalysis (1856-1939)

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social psychology

Branch of psychology that studies how we think about, influence, and relate to one another

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socio-cultural approach

Psychology approach that studies how situations and cultures affect our behavior and thinking

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Socrates

Greek philosopher; socratic method of questioning.

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structuralism

Early school of psychology that used introspection to explore the structural elements of the human mind - associated with Wilhelm Wundt

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Wilhelm Wundt

German physiologist who founded psychology as a formal science; opened first psychology research laboratory in 1879. Known as the Father of Psychology. Developed structuralism. First to use instrospection.

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William James

Founder of functionalism; studied how humans use perception to function in our environment

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Hindsight Bias

The tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that you knew that all along

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Critical Thinking

Thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions. Rather, it examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions.

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Theory

An explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes and predicts observations

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Hypothesis

A testable prediction, often implied by a theory

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Operational Definition

A statement of the procedures used to define research variables. Ex: human intelligence -- what an intelligence test measures.

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Replication

Repeating the essence of a research study, usually with different participants in different situations, to see whether the basic finding extends to other participants and circumstances

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Case Study

An observation technique in which one person is studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles

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Survey

A technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes or behaviors of people, usually by questioning a representative, random sample of them

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Population

All the cases in a group, from which samples may be drawn for a study

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Random Sample

A sample that fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusion

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Naturalistic Observation

Observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation

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Correlation

A measure of the extent to which two factors vary together, and thus of how well either factor predicts the other. The correlation coefficient is the mathematical expression of the relationship, ranging from -1 to +1

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Correlation Coefficient

a statistical index of the relationship between two things (from -1 to +1)

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Scatter plot

A graphed cluster of dots, each of which represents the values of two variables. The slope of the points suggests the direction of the relationship between the two variables. The amount of scatter suggests the strength of the correlation

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Illusory Correlation

The perception of a relationship where none exists

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Experiment

A research method in which an investigator manipulates one or more factors (independent variables) to observe the effects on some behavior or mental process (the dependent variable). By random assignment of participants, the experimenter aims to control other relevant variable

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Random Assignment

Assigning participants to experimental and control conditions by chance ,thus minimizing preexisting differences between those assigned to the different groups

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Double Blind Procedure

An experimental procedure in which both the research participants and the research staff are ignorant about whether the research participants have received the treatment or a placebo. Commonly used in drug-evaluation studies

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Placebo Effect

any effect that seems to be a consequence of administering a placebo

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Experimental Group

in an experiment, the group that is exposed to the treatment, that is, to one version of the independent variable.

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Control Group

in an experiment, the group that is not exposed to the treatment; contrasts with the experimental group and serves as a comparison for evaluating the effect of the treatment.

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Independent Variable

The experimental factor that is manipulated--the variable whose effect is being studied

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Confounding Variable

a factor other than the independent variable that might produce an effect in an experiment.

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Dependent Variables

The outcome factor -- the variable that may change in response to manipulations of the independent variable

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Mode

The most frequently occurring score(s) in a distribution

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Mean

The arithmetic average of a distribution, obtaining by adding the scores and then dividing by the number of scores

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Median

The middle score in a distribution--half the scores are above it and half are below it

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Standard Deviations

A computed measure of how much scores vary around the mean score

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Normal Curve/distribution

a symmetrical, bell-shaped curve that describes the distribution of many types of data; most scores fall near the mean (68% fall within one standard deviation of it) and fewer near the extremes

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Statistical Significance

A statistical statement of how likely it is that an obtained result occurred by chance

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Culture

the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next

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Informed Consent

an ethical principle requiring that research participants be told enough to enable them to choose whether they wish to participate

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Debriefing

the post-experimental explanation of a study, including its purpose and any deceptions, to its participants

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Sample

items selected at random from a population and used to test hypotheses about the population

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Range

the difference between the highest and lowest scores in a distribution

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Inferential Statistics

numerical methods used to determine whether research data support a hypothesis or whether results were due to chance

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Placebo

experimental results caused by expectations alone; any effect on behavior caused by the administration of an inert substance or condition, which the recipient assumes is an active agent.

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biological psychology

a branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior.

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neuron

a nerve cell; the basic building block of the nervous system

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