AP Psych Intro

Structuralism
An early school of psychology that used introspection to explore the structural elements of the human mind.
Functionalism
A school of psychology that focused on how our mental and behavioral processes function- how they enable us to adapt, survive, and flourish.
Behaviorism
The view that psychology: 1. should be an objective science that 2. studies behavior without reference to mental processes. Most research psychologists today agree with 1. but not with 2.
Humanistic Psychology
Historically significant perspective that emphasized the growth potential of healthy people and the individual’s potential for personal growth.
Cognitive Neuroscience
The interdisciplinary study of the brain activity linked with cognition(individual perception, thinking, memory, and language.
Psychology
The science of behavior and mental processes.
Nature-Nurture issue
The longstanding controversy over the relative contributions that genes and experience make to the development of the psychological traits and behaviors. Today’s science sees traits and behaviors arising from the interaction of nature and nurture.
Natural Selection
The 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
The differing complementary views, from biological to psychological to social-cultural, for analyzing any given phenomenon.
Biospychosocial approach
An integrated approach that incorporates biological, psychological, and social-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.
Counseling psychological
A branch of psychology that assists people with problems in living (often related to school, work, or marriage) and in achieving greater well-being.
Clinical Psychological
A branch of psychology that studies, assesses, and treats people with psychological disorders.
Psychiatry
A branch of medicine dealing with psychological disorders; practiced by physicians who sometimes provide medical (for example: drug) treatments as well as psychological therapy.
Psychological Disorders
Patterns of behavior or mental processes that are connected with emotional distress or significant impairment of functioning.
Theory
A formulation of relationships underlaying observed events.
Variable
A condition that is measured or controlled in a scientific study. A variable can vary in a measurable manner.
Pure research
Research conducted without concern for immediate applications.
Consultation
The provision of professional advice or services.
Psychotherapy
The systematic application of psychological knowledge to the treatment of problem behaviors.
Behavior Therapy
Application of principles of learning to the direct modification of problem behaviors.
Stereotype
A fixed, conventional idea about a group.
Introspection
An object approach to describing one’s mental content.
Structuralism
The school of psychology that argues that the mind consists of three basic elements-sensations, feelings, and images-that combine to form experience.
Objective
Of known or perceived objects rather than existing only in the mind; real.
Subjective
Of the mind, personal; determined by thoughts and feelings rather than by external objects.
Functionalism
The school of psychology that emphasizes the uses or functions of the mind rather than the elements of experience.
Habit
A response to a stimulus that becomes automatic with repetition.
Reinforcement
A stimulus that follows a response and increases the frequency of the response.
Gestalt Psychology
The school of psychology that emphasizes the tendency to organize perceptions into whole and to integrate separate stimuli into meaningful patterns.
Insight
In Gestalt psychology, the sudden reorganization of perceptions, allowing the sudden solution to a problem.
Psychoanalysis
The school of psychology that emphasizes the importance of unconscious motives and conflicts as determinants of human behavior.
Psychodynamic
Proposes that the motion of underlying forces of personality determines our thoughts, feelings and behavior.
Cognitive
How we encode, process, store, and retrieve information.
Humanism
The philosophy and school of psychology that asserts that people are conscious self-aware and capable of free choice, self-fulfillment and ethical behavior.
Existentialism
The view that people are completely free and responsible for their own behavior.
Neoanalysts
Contemporary followers of Freud who focus less on the roles of unconscious impulses and more on conscious choice and self direction.
Social-Cognitive Theory
A school of psychology in the behaviorist tradition that includes cognitive factors in the explanation and prediction of behavior.
Sociocultural Perspective
The view that focuses on the roles of ethnicity, gender, culture and socioeconomic status in behavior and mental process.
Ethnic Group
A group characterized by common features such as cultural heritage, history, race and language.
Gender
The state of being female or being male.