Psychology 1000 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Philosophical Perspectives, Empiricism, Gestalt Psychology

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Psychology Exam Review
Chapter 1 Definitions:
Applied Research: research involving the application of scientific knowledge to solve practical
problems (often applies basic research to specific events)
Basic Research: research designed to obtain knowledge for own personal sake
Behavior Genetics: the scientific study of the role of genetic inheritance in behavior
Behavior Modification: therapeutic procedures that used to modify behavior by the reinforcement or
inhibiting effect of its own consequences (conditioning)
Behavioral Neuroscience: the study of the brain processes and functions that cause certain behaviors,
emotions, thoughts, and sensory experiences
Behavioral Perspective: a view based on the idea that the environment and learning experiences have
shaped our behaviour
Behaviourism: school of psychology that emphasizes on the influence of the environment and experience on
behaviour. Also supports the idea that psychology is observable behaviour. (major figures include Watson
and Skinner)
Biological Perspective: a view based on the idea that one’s biology shapes behaviour (ie genetics,
biochemical function such as hormones, and brain functions)
Biopsychology: a field of psychology that focuses on the biological influences on behaviour
British Empiricism: school of psychology that proposed that all contents of the mind were gained through
experiences and senses, children are born with a blank slate. This lead to the development of behaviourism.
(major figure is John Locke)
Clinical Psychology: the study and treatment of mental disorders
Cognitive Behaviourism: an idea that the environment influences our behaviour by influencing our
thoughts and providing us with information, and these cognitive processes allow us to control our
behaviour (cognitive approach to behaviourism) **cognitive = mental processes
Cognitive Neuroscience: the study of brain activity as people engage in cognitive tasks
Cognitive Perspective: view based on the idea that humans are simply information processers and problem
solvers. Focuses on the idea that mental processes influence behaviour
Cognitive Psychology: a field of psychology that studies mental processes
Cultural Psychology: a field of psychology that studies how culture is transmitted to a society’s members
Culture: values, beliefs, traditions that are shared by a group and past on to next generations
Developmental Psychology: field of psychology that examines how our biological, physical, psychological
and behavioural process develop of many years
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Evolutionary Psychology: field of psychology that studies how evolutionary processes (natural selection)
have lead to adaptive psychological mechanisms and social behaviour (aggression, motherly)
Experimental Psychology: field of psychology that studies learning, perception, sensory systems and
motivational states
Functionalism: school of psychology that focused on the functions of consciousness and behaviour that
helps organisms satisfy needs and adapt to environment
Gestalt Psychology: school of psychology that focused on the natural tendency to organize perceptual
elements into wholes. “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”
Humanistic Perspective: view that focuses on how personal freedom, choice and self-actualization effect
behaviour
IndustrialOrganizational Psychology: field of psychology that examines people’s behaviour in the
workplace
Interaction: the idea that the presence of one factor may influence the other causal factors
Levels of Analysis: an approach to analyzing behavioural phenomena and their causal factors in terms of
biological, psychological, and environmental factors
Mind-Body dualism: philosophical position that the mind is a nonphysical, spiritual entity that does not
follow the physical laws the body does and cannot be thought of as a physical process. The body and mind are
separate entities. (major figure: Descartes)
Monism: philosophical position that the mind can be reduced to a physical entity within the brain. The mind
and body are one
Natural Selection: evolutionary process that involves the inheritance of traits that will increase the
likelihood of survival. These traits are favourable therefore past on and will become more prominent within a
population over time
Neurotransmitters: chemical substances that are released into the synapse, bind to receptors of an adjacent
axon and then produce a excitatory or inhibitory reaction
Norms: test scores previously derived, presently used to examine an individual’s test scores
Personality Psychology: field of psychology that studies human personality
Perspectives: a personal, or subjective view from different areas used to study behaviour and its causes (ie a
view from the biological side)
Positive Psychology Movement: the study of human strengths, fulfillment, and optimal living
Psychoanalysis: the analysis of internal unconscious forces (Freud was a psychoanalyzer)
Psychodynamic Perspective: view that focuses on the influences of the role of unconscious impulses and
defenses on behaviour. (major figure: Freud)
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Psychology: scientific study of behaviour and its causes (goals include: predicting, understanding, describing,
and controlling) -study of behaviour and the mind
Self-actualization: the inborn tendency to strive towards one’s full potential
Social Psychology: field of psychology that examines people’s thoughts, feelings and behaviour with respect
to the social world
Sociobiology: a theory pertaining to evolution; emphasizes the role of human’s social behaviour adaptations
to maintain one’s genes within the gene pool (parents risk life for children)
Sociocultural Perspective: view that emphasizes the role of cultures and the social environment on
differences in human behaviour
Structuralism: school of psychology that attempted to study the mind by breaking it down into its
components. (major figure: Wundt and James)
Chapter 1 Brief Summary:
- The mind refers to internal states and processes and cannot be directly seen so to be inferred from
observable, measurable responses
- The primary goals of psychology are to describe, explain, predict, and influence behaviour to enhance
human welfare
- Several perspectives have been developed to shape psychology, each views behaviour differently and
focuses of different causes and behaviour
- Psychology’s roots lie in philosophy, and natural science (biology and medicine)
- Behaviourists such as Watson and Skinner believed that psychology should only study observable stimuli
and responses, and that behaviour could be controlled by controlling the environment
- There are 3 levels of analysis that organize factors that influence behaviour: environmental, psychological
and biological
- 3 philosophical perspectives:
o nativism: knowledge is innate (inherited)
o empiricism: knowledge gained through experience and senses
o rationalism: knowledge gained through logic and reasoning
- Gall proposed that bumps in the skull were related to that section of the brain being most used
o Localized brain regions for behaviour
- Flourens proposed that the entire brain worked as one
- Darwin stated that there was nothing special about human brains so we could use animals to study human
behaviour
- Wundt opened the first psychology lab
o Structuralism-- used introspection: to look within (ie breaking down into components)
- Freud proposed that mental disorders were caused by the unconscious fight between the inner aggression
and sexual urges and the defense mechanism
- Psychiatrists:
o MD, training in treating mental disorders, can prescribe drugs
- Psychologists:
o PhD (6 yrs post BA), cannot prescribe drugs
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Document Summary

Applied research: research involving the application of scientific knowledge to solve practical problems (often applies basic research to specific events) Basic research: research designed to obtain knowledge for own personal sake. Behavior genetics: the scientific study of the role of genetic inheritance in behavior. Behavior modification: therapeutic procedures that used to modify behavior by the reinforcement or inhibiting effect of its own consequences (conditioning) Behavioral neuroscience: the study of the brain processes and functions that cause certain behaviors, emotions, thoughts, and sensory experiences. Behavioral perspective: a view based on the idea that the environment and learning experiences have shaped our behaviour. Behaviourism: school of psychology that emphasizes on the influence of the environment and experience on behaviour. Also supports the idea that psychology is observable behaviour. (major figures include watson and skinner) Biological perspective: a view based on the idea that one"s biology shapes behaviour (ie genetics, biochemical function such as hormones, and brain functions)

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