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Flashcards in psychology Deck (130)
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Edward Titchener

Founders of Psychology
Edward Titchener and Structuralism – student of Wundt
●professor at Cornell University
●developed approach called structuralism—involving introspection (describing what you hear smell see ect)and studying basic components of conscious experiences
●Focused on basic sensory and perceptual processes
●measured reaction times
●criticized for relying on introspection
The First Major Psychological Schools:



Sigmund Freud and Psychoanalysis
personality theory and form of psychotherapy that emphasizes the role of unconscious factors in personality and behavior


Sigmund Freud

●Austrian physician – not a psychologist
●Challenge to structuralism and functionalism
●Started school of thought called psychoanalysis
●Behavior and personality influenced by unconscious conflicts
●Emphasized sexual and aggressive nature of unconscious processes
●Powerful influence on later theories of psychology



School of psychology and theoretical viewpoint that emphasizes the study of observable behaviors, especially as they pertain to the process of learning●Promoted in the U.S. by John Watson in 1913
●The goal of the behaviorists was to discover the fundamental principles of learning—how behavior is acquired and modified in response to environmental influences and experiences.


Bf skinner

●Skinner believed that psychology should restrict itself to studying outwardly observable behaviors that could be measured and verified in compelling experimental demonstrations. Rats and pigeons were the preferred subjects.
●Started with the work of Ivan Pavlov – Russian physiologist
●Demonstrated that dogs could learn to associate a neutral stimulus, such as the sound of a bell, with an automatic behavior, such as reflexively salivating to food
●Promoted in the U.S. by John Watson in 1913
●The goal of the behaviorists was to discover the fundamental principles of learning—how behavior is acquired and modified in response to environmental influences and experiences.



emphasizes each person’s unique potential for psychological growth and self-direction


Carl Rogers

Humanistic Psychology 1950s
●Emphasized the person’s conscious experiences, unique potential for psychological growth and self-direction, self-determination, free will, and the importance of choice in human behavior


Biological perspective

Emphasizes studying the physical bases of human and animal behaviors including the nervous system immune system and genetics and neuroscience


Psychodynamic Perspective

●Based originally on Freud’s work
●Emphasis on unconscious processes and early experience
●Current psychologists with this perspective may or may follow Freud or psychoanalytic principles


Behavioral Perspective

Based on Watson, Pavlov, and Skinner
●Study of how behavior is acquired and modified through experience and environment
●Mental health professionals may emphasize the behavioral perspective in explaining and treating psychological disorders


Humanistic Perspective

Based on Maslow and Rogers
●Focuses on personal growth, interpersonal relationships, and self-concept
●Humanistic perspective is often emphasized among psychologists working in the mental health field


Positive Psychology Perspective

●Based on Seligman and others
●Studies contributors to optimal functioning that counterbalances traditional emphasis on problems and disorders
●Topics under the umbrella of positive psychology include personal happiness, optimism, creativity, resilience, character strengths, and wisdom


Cognitive prospective

Focuses on mental process, memory, perception, language, problem solving, and thinking
●Based on using computers as a model for human mental processing


Cross culture prospective

Emerged in the 1980s
●Emphasizes diversity of behavior across cultures and the fact that many earlier findings were not universal
●Prime example is the study of social loafing
●Important cultural terms:
●Ethnocentrism—the belief that one’s own culture or ethnic group is superior to all others, and the related tendency to use one’s own culture as a standard by which to judge other cultures
●Individualistic cultures—those that emphasize the needs and goals of the individual over the needs and goals of the group
●Collectivistic culture—those that emphasize the needs and goals of the group over the needs and goals of the individual


Evolutionary prospective

Applies the principles of evolution to explain psychological processes
●Most adaptive characteristics are perpetuated through natural selection
●David Buss (2008): “An evolved psychological mechanism exists in the form that it does because it solved a specific problem of survival or reproduction recurrently over evolutionary history.”
●One must keep in mind the total time scale of human evolution vs. the development of civilization


Glial cells

Support cells that assist neurons by providing structural support nutrition and removal of cell wastes and manufacture myelin


Myelin sheath

A white fatty covering wrapped around the axons of some neurons that increase their communication speed


Action potential

A brief electrical impulse by which information is transmitted along the axon of a neuron


Stimulus threshold

The minimum level of stimulation required to activate a particular neuron


Resting potential

State in which a neuron is prepared to activate and communication its message if it receives sufficient stimulation



Carries information to other neurons muscles and glands


Nodes of ranvier

Gaps in the myelin sheath



Tentacles that receive information from other neurons and sensory receptors


All or none lAw

The principal that either a neuron is sufficiently stimulated and an action potential occurs or a neuron is not sufficiently stimulated and an action potential does not occur



The point of communication between two neurons


Synaptic gap

The tiny space between the axon terminal of one neuron and the dendrite of an adjoining neuron


Correlational study

A research strategy that allows the precise calculation of how strongly related two factors are to each other.


Correlation Coefficient

Numerical indication of magnitude and direction of the relationship between two variables


Experimental group or experimental condition

••Group of participants who are exposed to all experimental conditions, including the independent variable.


Random assignment

All participants have an equal chance of being assigned to any of the experimental groups or conditions.

••Random assignment helps ensure that any potential differences among the participants are spread out evenly across all experimental conditions.