Psychology Chapter One Terms

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Section 1

Question Answer
PsychologyThe scientific study of behavior and mental processes
PsychologistScientists who study behavior and mental processes
IntrospectionThe examination of ones own conscious activities
StructuralismAn early school of psychology that used introspection to determine the structure and most basic elements of the mind
FunctionalismAnd early school of psychology that focused on the function of thought processes, feeling and behaviors and how they help us adapt to the environment
Behaviorism The scientific study of observable behavior
Humanistic PsychologyAn approach suggesting that human nature is by and large positive and the human direction
Natural SelectionThe process through which inherited traits in a given population either increase in frequency because they are adaptive or decrease in frequency because they are maladaptive
Biopsychosocial PerspectiveExplains behavior through the interaction of biological, psychological and social factors
PseudopsychologyAn approach to explaining and predicting behavior and events that appears to be psychology, but has no empirical or objective evidence to support it
Critical ThinkingThe process of weighing various pieces of evidence, synthesizing them, and evaluating and determining the contributions of each
Scientific MethodThe process scientists use to conduct research, which includes a continuing cycle of exploration, critical thinking and systematic observation
ExperimentA controlled procedure that involves careful examination through the use of scientific observation or manipulation of variables
HypothesisA statement that can be used to test a prediction
TheorySynthesizes observations in order to explain phenomena and guide predictions to be tested through research
Operational DefinitionThe precise manner in which a variable of interest is defined and measured

Section 2

Question Answer
ReplicateTo repeat an experiment generally with a new sample and/or other change to the procedures, the goal of which is to provide further support for the findings of the first study
VariablesMeasurable characteristics that can vary over time or across people
PopulationAll members of an identified group about which a researcher is interested
SampleA subset of a population chosen for inclusion in an experiment
Random SampleA subset of the population chosen through a procedure that ensures all members of the population have an equally likely chance of being selected to participate in a study
Representative SampleA subgroup of a population selected so that its members have characteristics that closely reflect those of the population of interest
Informed ConsentAcknowledgment of study participants that they understand what their participation will entail
DebriefingSharing information with participants after their involvement in a study has ended, including the purpose of the study and the deception used in it
Institutional Review BoardA committee that reviews research proposals to protect the rights and welfare of all participants
Descriptive ResearchResearch methods that describe and explore behaviors , although the findings cannot definitively state the cause-and-effect relationships
Naturalistic ObservationA type of descriptive research that studies participants in their natural environment through systematic observation
Observer BiasErrors introduced into the recording of observations due to the researchers value system, expectations or attitudes
Case StudyA type of descriptive research that closely examines one individual or small group
Survey MethodA type of descriptive research that uses questionnaires or interviews to gather data
Correlation MethodA type of descriptive research examining the relationships among variables
CorrelationAn association or relationship between two or more variables
Correlation CoefficientThe statistical measure that indicates the strength and direction of the relationship between to variables

Section 3

Question Answer
Third VariableAn unaccounted for characteristic of participants or environment that explains changes in the variables of interest
Experimental MethodA type of research that manipulates a variable of interest to uncover cause-and-effect relationships
Random AssignmentThe process of appointing participants in a research study to the experimental or control groups, ensuring that every person has an equal chance of being assigned to either
Experimental GroupThe members of an experiment who are exposed to the treatment variable or manipulation by the researcher, represents the treatment group
Control GroupThe participants in an experiment who are not exposed to the treatment variable, this is the comparison group
PlaceboAn inert substance given to members of the control group; the fake treatment that has no benefit, but is administered as if it does
Independent VariableIn an experimental design, the variable manipulated by the researcher to determine its effect on the dependent variable
Dependent VariableIn an experimental design, the characteristic or response that is measured to determine the effect of the researchers manipulation
Extraneous VariableA variable in the environment or of the participants that could unintentionally influence the outcome of the study
Confounding Variable A type of extraneous variable that changes in sync with the independent variable, making it difficult to discern which one is causing the changes in the dependent variable
Double-Blind StudyThe type of study in which neither the researchers who are administering the independent variable nor the participants know what type of treatment is being given
Experimental BiasResearchers expectations that influence the outcome of a study
Positive PsychologyAn approach that focuses on the positive aspects of human beings, seeking to understand their strengths and uncover the roots of happiness, creativity, humor and so on

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