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Psyc 101
Introduction to psychology
28
Psychology
02/17/2010

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Term
Psychology
Definition
The scientific study of behavior and mental processes
Term
Structuralism
Definition
Wundt's approach, which focuses on uncovering the fundamental mental components of consciousness, thinking, and other kinds of mental states and activities.
Term
Introspection
Definition
A procedure used to study the structure of the mind in which subjects are asked to describe in detail what they are experiencing when they are exposed to a stimulus.
Term
Functionalism
Definition
An early approach to psychology that concentrated on what the mind does-the functions of mental activity-and the role of behavior in allowing people to adapt to their environment.
Term
Gestalt psychology
Definition
An approach to psychology that focuses on the organization of perception and thinking in a "whole" sense rather than on the individual elements of perception.
Term
Neuroscience perspective
Definition
The approach that views behavior from perspective of the brain, the nervous system, and other biological functions
Term
Cognitive perspective
Definition
The approach that focuses on how people think, understand, and know about the world.
Term
Humanistic perspective
Definition
The approach that suggests that all individuals naturally strive to grow, develop, and be in control of their lives and behavior.
Term
Free Will
Definition
The idea that behavior is caused primarily by choices that are made freely by the individual.
Term
Determinism
Definition
The idea that people's behavior is produced primarily by factors outside of their willful control.
Term
Scientific Method
Definition
The approach through which psychologists systematically acquire knowledge and understanding about behavior and other phenomena of interest.
Term
Theories
Definition
Broad explanations and predictions concerning phenomena of interest.
Term
Hypothesis
Definition
A prediction, stemming from a theory, stated in a way that allows it to be tested.
Term
Operational definition
Definition
The translation of a hypothesis into specific, testable procedures that can be measured and observed.
Term
Archival research
Definition
Research in which existing data, such as census documents, college records, and newspaper clippings, are examined to test a hypothesis.
Term
Naturalistic observation
Definition
Research in which an investigator simply observes some naturally occurring behavior and does not make a change in the situation.
Term
Survey Research
Definition
Research in which people chosen to represent a larger population are asked a series of questions about their behavior, thoughts, or attitudes.
Term
Case study
Definition
An in-depth, intensive investigation of an individual or small group of people.
Term
Variable
Definition
Behaviors, events, or other characteristics that can change, or vary, in some way.
Term
Correlational research
Definition
Research in which the relationship between two sets of variables is examined to determine whether they are associated, or "correlated."
Term
Independent variable
Definition
The variable that is manipulated by an experimenter.
Term
Dependent variable
Definition
The variable that is measured and is expected to change as a result of changes caused by the experimenter's manipulation of the independent variable.
Term
Random assignment to condition
Definition
A procedure in which participants are assigned to different experimental groups or "conditions" on the basis of chance and chance alone.
Term
Significant outcome
Definition
Meaningful results that make it possible for researchers to feel confident that they have confirmed their hypotheses.
Term
Replicated research
Definition
Research that is repeated, sometimes using other procedures, settings, and groups, of participants, to increase confidence in prior findings.
Term
Informed consent
Definition
A document signed by participants affirming that they have been told the basic outlines of the study and are aware of what their participation will involve.
Term
Experimental bias
Definition
Factors that distort how the independent variable affects the dependent variable in an experiment.
Term
Placebo
Definition
A false treatment, such as a pill, "drug," or other substance, without any significant chemical properties or active ingredient.