Unit 1: Psychology’s history and approaches

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empiricism
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the view that knowledge originates in experience and that science should, therefore, rely on observation and experimentation
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structuralism
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an early school of psychology that used introspection to explore the structural elements of the human mind
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functionalism
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a school of psychology that focused on how our mental and behavioral processes function- how they enable us to adapt, survive, and flourish
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experimental psychology
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the study of behavior and thinking using the experimental method
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behaviorism
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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 now with (2)
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humanistic psychology
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historically significant perspective that emphasized the growth potential of healthy people and the individual’s potential for personal growth
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cognitive neuroscience
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the interdisciplinary study of the brain activity linked with cognition (including perception, thinking, memory, and language)
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psychology
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the science of behavior and mental processes
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nature-nurture issue
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the longstanding controversy over the relative contributions that genes and experience make to the development of psychological traits and behaviors. Today’s science sees traits and behaviors arising from the interaction of nature and nurture.
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natural selection
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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
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levels of analysis
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the differing complementary views, from biological to psychological to social-cultural, for analyzing any given phenomenon
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biophysical approach
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an integrated approach that incorporates biological, psychological, and social-cultural levels of analysis
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biological psychology
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a branch of psychology that studies the links between biological (including neuroscience and behavior genetics) and psychological processes
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evolutionary psychology
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the study of the roots of behavior and mental processes using the principles of natural selection
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psychodynamic psychology
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a branch of psychology that studies how unconscious drivers and conflicts influence behavior, and uses that information to treat people with psychological disorders
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behavioral psychology
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the scientific study of observable behavior, and its explanation by principles of learning
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cognitive psychology
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the scientific study of all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, and remembering, and communicating
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social-cultural psychology
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the study of how situations and cultures affect our behavior and thinking
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psychometrics
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the scientific study of the measurement of human abilities, attitudes, and traits
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basic research
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pure science that aims to increase the scientific knowledge base
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developmental psychology
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the scientific study of physical, cognitive, and social change throughout the life span
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educational psychology
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the study of how psychological processes affect and can enhance teaching and learning
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personality psychology
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the study of an individual’s characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting
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social psychology
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the scientific study of how we think about, influence, and relate to one another
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applied research
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scientific study that aims to solve practical problems
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industrial-organizational (I/O) psychology
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the application of psychological concepts and methods to optimizing human behavior in workplaces
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human factors psychology
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the study of how people and machines interact and the design of safe and easily used machines and environments
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counseling psychology
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a branch of psychology that assists people with problems in living (often related to school, work, or marriage) and in achieving greater well-being
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clinical psychology
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a branch of psychology that studies, assesses, and treats people with psychological disorders
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psychiatry
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a branch of medicine dealing with psychological disorders; practiced by physicians who often provide medical (for example, drug) treatments as well as psychological therapy
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SQ3R
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a study method incorporating five steps: Survey, Question, Read, Rehearse, Review
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How did psychology develop from its prescientific roots in early understandings of mind and body to the beginnings of modern science?
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Psychology traces it roots back through recorded history to India, China, the Middle East, and Europe. Buddha and Confucius focused on the powers and Aristotle pondered whether mind and body are connected or distinct, and whether human ideas are innate or result from experience. Descrates and Locke reengaged those ancient debates, with Locke offering his famous description of the mind as a “blank slate” on which experience writes. The ideas of Bacon and Locke contributed to the development of modern empiricism.
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What and how did modern psychological science begin?
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Psychological science had its modern beginning with the first psychological laboratory, founded in 1879 by German philosopher and physiologist Wilhelm Wundt, and from the later work of other scholars from several disciplines and many countries
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How did psychology continue to develop from the 1920a through today?
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Having begun as a “science of mental life,” psychology evolved in the 1920s into the “scientific study of observable behavior.” After rediscovering the mind, psychology since the 1960s has been widely defined as the science of behavior and mental processes.
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What is psychology’s historic big issue?
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Psychology’s biggest and most enduring issue concerns the relative contributions and interplay between the influences of nature(genes) and nurture (all other influences, from conception to death). Today’s science emphasizes the interaction of genes and experiences in scientific environments
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What are psychology’s levels of analysis and related perspectives?
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The biopsychosocial approach integrates information from the biological, psychological, and social-cultural levels of analysis. Psychologists study human behaviors and mental processes from many different perspectives (including the biological, evolutionary, psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, and social-cultural perspectives, and the historically influential humanistic approach)
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What are psychology’s main subfields?
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Psychology’s subfields encompass basic research (often done by biological, developmental, cognitive, educational, personality, and social psychologists), applied research (sometimes conducted by industrial-organizational and human factors psychologists), and clinical science and applications (the work of counseling psychologists and clinical psychologists). Psychometric psychologists study, assess, and treat (with psychotherapy) people with psychological disorders, but as medical doctors, they may prescribe drugs in addition to psychotherapy.
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How can psychological principles help you as a student?
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Research has shown that learning and memory are enhanced by active study. The SQ3R study method- survey, question, read rehearse, and review- applies the principles derived from this research
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Wilhelm Wundt
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established the first psychology laboratory at the University of Leipzig, Germany; did the first experiment with testing people’s reaction time

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