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Chapter 1

Key Terms

Behavior Everything we do that can be directly observed.
behavioral approach A psychological perspective emphasizing the scientific study of observable behavioral responses and their environmental determinants.
biological approach A psychological perspective that examines behavior and mental processes through a focus on the body, especially the brain and nervous system.
cognitive approach A psychological perspective that focuses on the mental processes involved in knowing: how we direct our attention, perceive, remember, think, and solve problems.
critical thinking The process of thinking reflectively and productively, as well as evaluating evidence.
evolutionary approach A psychological perspective that uses evolutionary ideas such as adaptation, reproduction, and "survival of the fittest" as the basis for explaining specific human behaviors.
Functionalism An early school of psychology that was concerned with the functions and purposes of the mind and behavior in individuals' adaptation to the environment.
humanistic approach A psychological perspective that emphasizes a person’s positive qualities, capacity for positive growth, and the freedom to choose any destiny.
mental processes The thoughts, feelings, and motives that each of us experiences privately but that cannot be observed directly.
natural selection An evolutionary process that favors organisms' traits or characteristics that are best adapted to reproduce and survive.
Neuroscience The scientific study of the structure, function, development, genetics, and biochemistry of the nervous system.
Positive psychology movement The push for a stronger emphasis on research involving the experiences that people value, the traits associated with optimal capacities for love and work, and positive group and civic values.
psychodynamic approach A psychological perspective emphasizing unconscious thought, the conflict between biological instincts and society's demands, and early family experiences.
psychology The scientific study of behavior and mental processes.
Psychopathology The study of mental illness.
science In psychology, the use of systematic methods to observe, describe, predict, and explain behavior.
sociocultural approach A psychological perspective that examines the ways in which the social and cultural environments influence behavior.
Structuralism An early school of psychology that attempted to identify the structures of the human mind.
Created by: Luckesm