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Psych Ch 1 Vocab

The Science of Psychology

QuestionAnswer
psychology the scientific study of behavior and mental processes
scientific method an approach to knowledge that relies on collecting data, generating a theory to explain the data, producing testable hypotheses based on the theory, and testing these hypotheses empirically
theory systematic explanation of a phenomenon; it organizes known facts, allows us to predict new facts, and permits us to exercise a degree of control over the phenomenon
hypotheses specific, testable predictions derived from a theory
structuralism school of psychology that stressed the basic units of experience and the combination in which they occur
functionalist theory theory of mental life and behavior that is concerned with how an organism uses its perceptual abilities to function in its environment
psychodynamic theories personality theories contending that behavior results from psychological forces that interact within the individual, often outside conscious awareness
behaviorism school of psychology that studies only observable and measurable behavior
Gestalt psychology school of psychology that studies how people perceive and experience objects as whole patterns
humanistic psychology school of psychology that emphasizes nonverbal experience and altered states of consciousness as a means of realizing one's full human potential
cognitive psychology school of psychology devoted to the study of mental processes in the broadest sense
evolutionary psychology an approach to, and subfield of, psychology that is concerned with the evolutionary origins of behaviore and mental processes, their adaptive values, and the purposes they continue to serve
positive psychology an emerging field of psych that focuses on positive experiences, including subjective well-being, self-determination, the relationship between positive emotions and physical health, and the factors that allow indivs, communities, societies to flourish
gender the psychological and social meanings attached to being biologically male or female; often used interchangeably with one's biological makeup or sex
gender stereotypes general beliefs about characteristics that are presumed to be typical of each sex
gender roles behaviors that we expect each gender to engage in
sexual orientation refers to the directions of one's sexual interest toward members of the same sex, other sex, or both sexes
race a subpopulation of a species, defined according to an identifiable characteristic (e.g. geographic location, skin color, hair texture, genes, facial features)
ethnic group a category of people who have migrated to another country but still see themselves as distinctive because of a common background
culture the tangible goods and the values, attitudes, and beliefs that are passed from one generation to another
empirical evidence information derived from systematic, objective observation
naturalistic observation research method involving the systematic study of animal or human behavior in natural settings rather than in the laboratory
observer bias expectations or biases of the observer that might distort or influence his or her interpretation of what was actually observed
case study intensive description and analysis of a single individual or just a few individuals
survey researh research technique in which questionnaires or interviews are administered to a selected group of people
correlational research research technique based on the naturally occuring relationship between two or more variables
experimental method a research technique in which an investigator deliberately manipulates selected events or circumstances and then measures the effects of those manipulations on subsequent behavior
participants individuals whose reactions or responses are observed in an experiment
independent variable in an experiment, the variable that is manipulated to test its effects on the other, dependent variable
dependent variable in an experiment, the variable that is measured to see how it is changed by manipulations in the independent variable
experimental group in a controlled experiment, the group subjected to a change in the independent variable
control group in a controlled experiment, the group not subjected to a change in the independent variable; used for comparison with the experimental group
experimenter bias expectations by the experimenter that might influence the results of an experiment or its interpretation
sample selection of cases from a larger population
random sample sample in which each potential participant has an equal chance of being selected
representative sample sample carefully chosen so that the characterisitcs of the participants corresponds closely to the characteristics of the larger population
Created by: Jenn Gallo Jenn Gallo on 2010-04-20



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