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Final

Definitions of Psychology Terms for the exam


Department
PSYCHOLOGY
Course Code
PSYC-1000
Professor
Introto Psych
Study Guide
Final

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Psychology Definitions
Prologue: The Story of Psychology
Psychology: scientific study of behaviour and mental processes
Empiricism: view that a) knowledge comes from experience via the senses and b)
science flourishes through observation and experiment
Structuralism: an early school of psychology that used introspection to explore
the elemental structure of the human mind
Functionalism: a school of psychology that focused on how mental and
behavioural processes function – how they enable the organism to adapt, survive,
and flourish
Humanistic psychology: historically significant perspective that emphasized the
growth potential of healthy people; used personalized methods to study personality
in hopes of fostering personal growth
Nature-nurture issue: longstanding controversy over the relative contributions
that genes and experience make to the development of psychological traits and
behaviours
Natural selection: principle that among the range of inherited trait variations
those contributing to reproduction and survival will most likely be passed on to
succeeding generations
Levels of analysis: differing complementary views, from biological to
psychological to socio-cultural, for analyzing any given phenomenon
Biopsychosocial approach: integrated perspective that incorporates biological,
psychological and socio-cultural levels of analysis
Basic research: pure science that aims to increase the scientific knowledge base
Applied research: scientific study that aims to solve practical problems
Counselling psychology: assists people with problems in living (often related to
school, work or marriage) and in achieving greater well being
Clinical psychology: a branch of psychology that studies, assesses, and treats
people with psychological disorders
Psychiatry: branch of medicine dealing with psychological disorders; practised by
physicians who sometimes provide medical (drugs, etc.) treatments as well as
psychological therapy

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Chapter 1: Thinking Critically w/ Psych Science
Hindsight bias: tendency to believe after learning an outcome, that one would
have foreseen it. (I knew it all along phenomenon)
Critical thinking: thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions.
Rather it examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence and
assesses conclusions
Theory: explanation using integrated set of principles that organizes and predicts
observations
Hypothesis: testable prediction, often implied by theory
Operational def’n: statement of the procedures used to define research variables.
For ex., human intelligence may be operationally defined as what an intelligence
test measures
Replication: repeating the essence of a research study, usually with different
participants in different situations, to see whether the basic finding extends to other
participants and circumstances
Case study: observation technique where one person is studied in depth in hopes
of revealing universal principles
Survey: technique for ascertaining the self reported attitudes or behaviours of
people, usually by questioning a representative random sample of them
False consensus effect: tendency to overestimate the extent to which others
share our beliefs and behaviours
Population: all the cases in a group from which samples may be drawn for a study
(does not refer to country’s whole pop.)
Random sample: fairly represents a population because each member has an
equal chance of inclusion
Naturalistic observation: observing and recording in naturally occurring
situations without trying to manipulate or control the sitch
Correlation: a measure of the extent to which two factors vary together and thus
of how well either factor predicts the other
Scatterplot: a graphed cluster of dots, each of which represents the value of two
variables. The slope of which suggests the direction of the relationship between the
two variables. Amount of scatter suggest strength of correlation

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Illusory correlation: perception of a relationship where none exists
Double-blind procedure: both the research participants and the staff are ignorant
(blind) about whether the participants have received a placebo or the treatment.
Commonly used in drug evaluation studies
Experimental condition: condition of an experiment that exposes participants to
the treatment, that is, to one version of the independent variable
Control condition: condition that contrasts with the experimental condition and
serves as a comparison for evaluating effects of treatment
Independent variable: experimental factor that is manipulated; the variable
whose effect is being studied
Dependent variable: the outcome factor; variable that may change in response to
manipulations of the independent variable
Mode: most frequently occurring scores in a distribution
Mean: the arithmetic average of a distribution obtained by adding the scores and
then diving by number of scores
Median: the middle score in a distribution; half scores above, half scores below
Range: difference between the highest and the lowest scores in a distribution
Standard deviation: computed measure of how much scores vary around the
mean score
Statistical significance: statistical statement of how likely it is that an obtained
result occurred by chance
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