Psychology: The scientific study study of behaviour and mental processes.
Scientific observation:An empirical investigation structured to answer questions about the world in a
systematic inter subjective fashion. (Observations can be reliably confirmed by multiple observers).
Research Method:Asystematic approach to answering scientific questions.
Description: In scientific research, the process of naming and classifying.
Understanding: In psychology, understanding is achieved when the causes of a behavior can be stated.
Prediction:An ability to accurately forecast behavior.
Control:Altering conditions that influence behavior.
Critical thinking (in psychology):A type of reflection involving the support of beliefs through scientific
explanation and observation.
Pseudopsychology: Any false and unscientific system of beliefs and practices that is offered as an
explanation of behavior.
Superstition: Unfounded belief held without evidence or in spite of falsifying evidence.
UncriticalAcceptance: The tendency to believe claims because they seem true or because it would be
nice if they were true.
Confirmation Bias: The Tendency to remember or notice information that fits one's expectations but to
Barnum effect: The tendency to consider a personal description accurate if it is stated in very general
Scientific method: A form of critical thinking based on careful measurement and controlled
Hypothesis:Astatement of the predicted outcome of an experiment or an educated guess about the
relationship between variables.
Operational definition: Defining a scientific concept by stating the specific actions or procedures used
to measure it. For example. “hunger” might be defined as “the number of hours of food deprivation”.
Theory: Asystem of ideas designed to interrelate concepts and facts in a way that summarizes existing
data predicts future observations.
Stimulus:Any physical energy sensed by an organism.
Introspection: to look within; to examine one's own thoughts, feelings, or sensations. Structuralism: The school of thought concerned with analyzing sensations and personal experience into
Functionalism: The school of psychology concerned with how behavior and mental abilities help
people adapt to either environments
Natural selection: Darwin's theory that evolution favors those plants and animals best suited to their
Behaviorism: The school of psychology that emphasizes the study of overt, observable behavior.
Response:Any muscular action, glandular activity, or other identifiable aspects of behavior.
Cognitive behaviorism:An approach that combines behavioral principles with cognition (perception,
thinking, anticipation) to explain behavior
Gestalt psychology: A school of psychology emphasizing the study of thinking, learning, and
perception in whole units, not by analysis into parts.
Unconscious: contents of the mind that are beyond awareness, especially impulses and desires not
directly known to a person.
Repression: The unconscious process by which memories, thoughts or impulses are held out of
Psychoanalysis:AFreudian approach to psychotherapy emphasizing the exploration unconscious
Neo-Freudian:Apsychologist who accepts the broad features of Freud's theory but has revised the
theory to fit his or her own concepts.
Psychodynamic theory:Any theory of behavior that emphasizes internal conflicts, motives, and
Humanism: An approach to psychology that focuses on human experience, problems, potentials, and
Determinism: The idea that all behavior has prior causes that would completely explain one's choices
and actions if all such causes were known.
Free will: The idea that human beings are capable of freely making choices or decisions.
Self-actualization: the ongoing process of fully developing one's personal potential.
Gender bias in research:A tendency for females and female issues to be underrepresented in research,
psychological or otherwise.
Biological perspective: The attempt to explain behavior in terms of underlying biological principles. Neuroscience: The broader field of biopsychologists and others who study the brain and nervous
system, such as biologists and biochemists.
Evolutionary psychology: The study of how human evolution and genetics might explain our current
Psychological perspective: The traditional view that behavior is shaped by psychological processes
occurring at the level of the individual.
Positive psychology: the study of human strengths, virtues, and effective functioning.
Sociocultural perspective: The focus on the importance of social and cultural contexts in influencing
the behavior of individuals.
Cultural relativity: The idea that behavior must be judged relative to the values of the culture in which
Social norms: Rules that define acceptable and expected behavior for members of a group.
Psychologist:Aperson highly trained in the methods, factual knowledge, and theories of psychology.
Animal Model: In research, an animal whose behavior is used to derive principles that may apply to
Clinical psychologist:A psychologist who specializes