Psychology Exam 1

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Empirical Approach

1 / 166

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Psychology

Chapters 1-4 and Prologue

167 Terms

1

Empirical Approach

an evidence based method that uses observation and experimentation; a scientific attitude with careful testing, will help us determine which ideas

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2

Critical Thinking

does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions; discerns hidden biases, examines assumptions, evaluates evidence

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3

Wilhelm Wundt

Creator of scientific method; first to use carefully measured observations and experiments in psychology

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4

2 Elements that Made Psychology a Science

1) carefully measured observations 2)experiments

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5

Structuralism

used introspection to explore structural elements of the mind; somewhat unreliable; “the science of mental life”

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6

Edward Titchner and Wilhelm Wundt

founder of Structuralism

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7

Functionalism

explored the function of human behaviors; influenced by Darwin

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8

William James

founder of Functionalism

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9

Behaviorism

dismissed introspection; believed science is rooted in observation only; what you cannot measure and observe you cannot study

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10

John B. Watson and BF Skinner

founders of Behaviorism

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11

Freudian/Psychoanalytic Psychology

emphasized the role of unconscious drives, wishes, and needs and the importance of childhood experiences

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12

Sigmund Freud

founder of Psychoanalytic psychology

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13

Humanistic Psychology

positive approach to psychology; focus on needs for love

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14

Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers

founders of Humanistic Psychology

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15

Cognitive Psychology

(study of) how we perceive, process, and remember information, helped by neuroscience

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16

Psychology

the science of behavioral and mental processes

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17

Evolutionary Psychology

nature; the study of how evolutionary principles help explain the origin and function of the human mind, traits, and behaviors

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18

Behavior Genetics

study of the relative power and limits of genetic and environmental influences on behavior; How our genes and our environment influence our individual differences; nurture

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19

Cross-Cultural Psychology

some aspects of psychology are the same across cultures and some aren’t

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20

Gender Psychology

study of the differences between genders

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21

Positive Psychology

uses scientific methods to explore the building of a “good life” that engages our skills and a “meaningful life” that points beyond ourselves

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22

Psychology’s three main levels of analysis

biology (deep), psychology (middle), environment (outer)

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23

Biology

deepest level of psychological analysis; genes, brain, neurotransmitters, survival reflexes, sensation

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24

Psychology

middle level of psychological analysis; thoughts, emotions, moods, choices, behaviors, traits, motivations, knowledge, perceptions

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25

Environment/Social-cultural

Outer level of psychological analysis; social influences, culture, education, relationships

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26

Neuroscience (general)

how the body and brain enable emotions, memories, and sensory experiences

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27

Evolution

how the natural selection of traits has promoted the survival of genes

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28

Psychoanalytic/Psychodynamic Psychology

How behavior springs from unconscious drives and conflicts

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29

Behavioral Psychology

how we learn observable responses to objects or situations

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30

Socio-cultural Psychology

How behavior and thinking vary across situations and cultures

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31

Hindsight Bias

believing after something happened that you could have predicted/did predict that event

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32

Overconfidence Error

overestimating our performance, rate of work, and skills

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33

Coincidence Error

mistakenly perceiving order in random events; thinking you can make predictions for a random series

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34

Scientific method

self-correcting process for evaluating ideas with observation and analysis

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35

Theory

the big picture; explains behaviors or events by offering ideas that organize observations; summarizes and simplifies

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36

Hypothesis

informed predictions; testable predictions that specify what results would support the theory and what results would disprove it

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37

Operational Definitions

how research variables are defined; must be precise and measurable

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38

Replication

final step of the scientific method; repeating the study to see if you can get the same results; bigger samples means greater chance of replication

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39

Descriptive Research

systematic, objective observation of people

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40

Strategies for Descriptive Research

case study, naturalistic observation, and surveys/interviews

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41

Case Study

examining one individual or small group in depth; can be unrepresentative information

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42

Naturalistic Observation

watching and not trying to change anything; unable to give cause, only can state observations

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43

Surveys and Interviews

gathering info through self-report; many cases, less depth; sample has to be representative of the population you are studying

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44

Random Sampling

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

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45

Correlation

when two traits or attributes are related to each other; a measure of the extent to which two factor vary together, and thus of how well either factor predicts the other

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46

Positive Correlation

when two variables change together in the same direction; as one increases so does the other; as one decreases the other also decreases

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47

Negative Correlation

when two variables change together in opposite directions; as one increases the other decreases and vice versa

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48

Correlation Coefficient

a statistical measure of the relationship between two variables (from −1.00 to +1.00)

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49

Experimentation

the ONLY way to determine causation; manipulating one factor to determine its effect on some behavior or mental process

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50

Random Assignment

randomly assigning participants to control/experimental groups; how you control all variables except the one you’re manipulating

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51

Experimental Group

group that receives the treatment

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52

Control Group

group that does not receive the treatment

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53

Placebo Effect

experimental effects caused by expectations alone

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54

Independent Variable

the variable manipulated by the experimenter

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55

Dependent Variable

the outcome factor; changes when the other variable is manipulated

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56

Three Types of Research

Descriptive, Correlational, Experimental

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57

Mode

the most common value

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58

Mean

the average of all of the values; sometimes outliers skew this data

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59

median

the number in the middle; half of the values are below and half are above; 50th percentile

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60

Range

the gap between the lowest and highest value

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61

Standard Deviation

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

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62

Normal Curve

a symmetrical, bell-shaped curve that describes the distribution of many types of data; most scores fall near the mean

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63

statistical significance

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

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64

reliability

the extent to which a test yields consistent results, as assessed by the consistency of scores on two halves of the test, on alternative forms of the test, or on retesting

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65

Neuron

atoms of the mind; nerve cells

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66

Dendrites

receive messages from other cells/neurons

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67

Axon

passes messages away from the cell body to other neurons, muscles, or glands; terminal branches of this form junctions with other cells

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68

Meyelin sheath

covers the axon and improves speed of neural impulses; doesn’t fully develop until 25 years old

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69

Action Potential

a neural impulse that travels down an axon and toward axon terminals like a wave; the inflow of positive ions when a neuron fires

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70

Glial cells

support, nourish, and protect neurons and assist neural transmission

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71

excitatory signal

tells neuron “Fire!”

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72

inhibitory signal

tells neuron “Don’t fire!”

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73

Synaptic gap

small gap at the junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron

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74

Synapse

the junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron

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75

Neurotransmitters

chemical messengers that cross the synaptic gap between neurons; when released by the sending neuron, they travel across the synapse and bind to receptor sites on the receiving neuron, thereby influencing whether that neuron will generate a neural impulse

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76

reuptake

the process in which excess neurotransmitters are reabsorbed by the sending neuron

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77

Dopamine

neurotransmitter that influences movement, learning, attention, and emotion; oversupply linked to schizophrenia

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78

Serotonin

neurotransmitter that affects mood, hunger, sleep, and arousal; undersupply linked to depression

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79

Endorphins

neurotransmitters that influence the perception of pain or pleasure; overuse of opiates can reduce body’s ability to produce this naturally

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80

Agonist Molecule

molecule that mimics the shape of a neurotransmitter, fills the receptor site, and activates it

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81

Antagonist Molecule

blocks the neurotransmitter from filling the receptor site; decreases neurotransmitters action; example is histamine that blocks the body from producing histamine

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82

Central Nervous System

the brain and the spinal cord

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83

Peripheral Nervous System

“the Rest” of the nervous system; extends to all areas of the body

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84

Sensory Neurons

carry messages IN from the body’s tissues and receptors to the CNS for processing

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85

Motor Neurons

carry instructions OUT to the body’s tissues

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86

Interneurons

process info BETWEEN sensory input and motor output; found in the brain and spinal cord

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87

Autonomic

the part of the peripheral nervous system that controls the self-regulated actions glands and the muscles of the internal organs (such as the heart)

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88

Somatic

part of the peripheral nervous system that controls voluntary movements of skeletal muscles

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89

sympathetic nervous system

part of the autonomic nervous system; arouses the body, mobilizing its energy; fight or flight

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90

parasympathetic nervous system

part of the autonomic nervous system; calms the body and conserves its energy; rest and digest

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91

Neural Networks

work groups or clusters of neurons that work together; these form and strengthen with experience

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92

Interneurons

neurons in the brain and spinal cord that sometimes react without instruction; like jerking your hand away from a hot stove

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93

The Endocrine System

the body’s “slow” chemical communication system; glands and fat tissue that secrete hormones into the bloodstream

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94

Adrenal Glands

produce hormones such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol

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95

Pituitary Gland

“master gland”; regulates other glands; produces growth hormone (especially during sleep) and oxytocin (the bonding hormone)

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96

Older Brain Structures

less complex; coordinates the body

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97

Limbic System

border system; manages emotions and connects thought to body; contains the amygdala, hypothalamus, and hippocampus

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98

Cortex

the outer covering of the brain; integrates information

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99

Medulla

base of the brainstem; controls heartbeat and breathing

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100

Pons

part of the brainstem above the medulla; helps coordinate automatic and unconscious movements and control sleep

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