AP Psychology - Unit 1 Terms & Concepts

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Empiricism

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111 Terms

1

Empiricism

The view that knowledge originates in experience and that science should, therefore, rely on observation and experimentation.

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Structuralism

Early school of thought promoted by Wundt and Titchener; used introspection to reveal the structure of the human mind.

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Functionalism

Early school of thought promoted by James and influenced by Darwin; explored how mental and behavioral processes function—how they enable the organism to adapt, survive, and flourish.

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Experimental psychology

The study of behavior and thinking using the experimental method.

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Cognitive Psychology

the study of mental processes such as attention, language use, memory, perception, problem solving, creativity, and thinking

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Behaviorism

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

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Humanistic psychology

A historically significant perspective that emphasized the growth potential of healthy people.

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Psychology

The science of behavior and mental processes.

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Nature-Nurture Issue

The longstanding controversy over the relative contributions that genes and experience make to the development of psychological traits and behaviors.

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Natural selection

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

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Biopsychosocial approach

An integrated approach that incorporates biological, psychological, and social-cultural levels of analysis.

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Evolutionary psychology

The study of the evolution of behavior and mind, using principles of natural selection.

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Psychodynamic/psychoanalytic psychology

A branch of psychology that studies how unconscious drives/conflicts and early childhood experiences influence behavior, and uses that information to treat people with psychological disorders.

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Social-cultural psychology

The study of how situations and cultures affect our behavior and thinking.

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Clinical psychology

A branch of psychology that studies, assesses, and treats people with psychological disorders.

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Psychiatry

A branch of medicine dealing with psychological disorders; practiced by physicians who sometimes provide medical (for example, drug) treatments as well as psychological therapy.

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operational definition

a carefully worded statement of the exact procedures (operations) used in a research study. For example, human intelligence may be operationally defined as what an intelligence test measures.

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replication

repeating the essence of a research study

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case study

a descriptive technique in which one individual or group is studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles.

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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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survey

self-reported attitudes or behaviors of a particular group, usually by questioning a representative, random sample of the group.

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population

all those in a group being studied, from which samples may be drawn.

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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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correlation

a measure of the extent to which two variables change together, and thus of how well either variable predicts the other.

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correlation coefficient

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

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scatterplot

a graphed cluster of dots, each of which represents the values of two variables. The amount of scatter suggests the strength of the correlation (little scatter indicates high 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 effect on some behavior or mental process (the dependent variable). By random assignment of participants, the experimenter aims to control other relevant variables.

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experimental group

in an experiment, the group exposed to the treatment

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control group

in an experiment, the group not exposed to the treatment

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random assignment

assigning participants to experimental and control groups by chance, thus minimizing preexisting differences between 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 (blind) about whether the research participants have received the treatment or a placebo.

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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 variable

the outcome factor; the variable that may change in response to manipulations of the independent variable.

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validity

the extent to which a test measures or predicts what it is supposed to.

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descriptive statistics

numerical data used to measure and describe characteristics of groups. Includes measures of central tendency and measures of variation.

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Mode

the most frequently occurring score(s) in a distribution

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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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skewed distribution

a representation of scores that lack symmetry around their average value

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41

standard deviation

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

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normal curve (normal distribution)

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

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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45

Wilhelm Wundt

established the first psychology laboratory

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Stanley Hall

1st president of APA

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William James

founder of functionalism; first psych lab in America

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Mary Calkins

First female president of the APA

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Margaret Floy Washburn

first woman to earn a Ph.D. in psychology

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B.F. Skinner

Behaviorist that developed the theory of operant conditioning by training pigeons and rats

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Carl Rogers

Humanisic; self-concept and unconditional positive regard drive personality

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Ivan Pavlov

discovered classical conditioning; trained dogs to salivate at the ringing of a bell

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Jean Piaget

cognitive development in children

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Charles Darwin

English natural scientist who formulated a theory of evolution by natural selection

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Level of Analysis

the differing complementary views, from biological to psychological to social-cultural, for analyzing any given phenomenon

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Biological Psychology

a branch of psychology that studies the links between biological (including neuroscience and behavior genetics) and psychological processes

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Behavioral psychology

the scientific study of observable behavior, and its explanation by principles of learning

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Psychometrics

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

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Basic Research

Pure science/data that aims to increase the scientific knowledge base

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Developmental Psychology

the scientific study of physical, cognitive, and social change throughout the life span

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Educational Psychology

the study of how psychological processes affect and can enhance teaching and learning

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Personality Psychology

the study of an individual’s characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting

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Social Psychology

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

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Applied Research

scientific study that aims to solve practical problems

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Industrial-Organizational Psychology

the application of psychological concepts and methods to optimizing human behavior in workplaces

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Human Factors Psychology

the study of how people and machines interact and the design of safe and easily used machines and environments

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Counseling Psychology

a branch of psychology that assists people with problems in living and in achieving greater well-being

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Psychiatrists

Can council patients and CAN prescribe medicine

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Psychologists

can council patients and CAN’T prescribe medicine

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Aristotle

One of the earliest philosophers of psychology; a pupil of Plato’s

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Plato

One of the earliest philosophers of psychology; teacher to Aristotle

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Positive Psychology

the scientific study of optimal human functioning; aims to discover and promote strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive

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Community Psychology

a branch of psychology that studies how people interact with their social environments and how social institutions affect individuals and groups

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hypothesis

a testable prediction, often implied by a theory

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mean

arithmetic average

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range

distance between highest and lowest scores in a set of data

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informed consent

required for an experiment; participants must know all risks, be able to stop the experiment at any time, and only be decepted if absolutely necessary

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debriefing

required for an experiment; after a study, researchers must fully explain its purpose and methods to participants

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sample

a random portion of the population you are studying

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positive correlation

two variables rise and fall together

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negative correlation

variables are related inversely; as one rises, the other falls

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ethics in human research

experiments must obtain informed consent, protect participants from harm/discomfort, maintain confidentiality, and debrief them after

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Sigmund Freud

founder of psychoanalysis

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John B. Watson

founder of behaviorism

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sociocultural perspective

a psychological approach that emphasizes social and cultural influences on behavior such as race, sex, and culture

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histogram

a bar graph depicting a frequency distribution

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prescientific psychology

based on contemplation, logic, and discussion; a philosophical (thinking about thinking) approach that studied how the mind works, how body/mind are connected, and nature vs. nurture

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Rene Descartes

founder/believer of dualism; dissected lots of animals

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John Locke

believed everyone is born a tabula rasa (blank slate - nurture); believed in empiricism

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Francis Bacon

earliest believer in empiricism

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Abraham Maslow

created the hierarchy of needs

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Edward Titchener

a structuralist; wanted to understand basic elements of the mind

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Dorothea Dix

advocated for the mentally ill

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G. Stanley Hall

first: psych lab in U.S., prez of APA, psych PhD in U.S.

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95

DSM5

current Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of mental disorders; published by American Psychiatric Association; the standard for diagnosing disorders

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overconfidence

the tendency to overestimate our abilities

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hindsight bias

the tendency to believe after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it

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scientific method

a method in which scientists form hypotheses from theories, conduct research, and then refine theories

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reliability

the consistency of a measurement

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validity

the accuracy of a measurement

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