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Psychology Study Guide for Exam 1


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The scientific study of behavior and the mind.
A specific testable prediction, often derived from a theory.
Control Group
Research participants not exposed to an independent variable.
Operational Definition
A concrete definition of a research variable in terms of the procedures needed to control and measure it.
Experimental Group
Research participants exposed to an independent variable.
The process of repeating a study to see if the results are reliable enough to be duplicated.
False Consensus Effect
The tendency to overestimate the extent to which others share our beliefs and behaviors.
Random Sample
A method of selection in which everyone has an equal chance of being chosen.
Independent Variable
Any variable that the researcher manipulates in an experiment.
Dependent Variable
A variable that is being measured in an experiment.
An inert substance or condition that may be administered instead of a presumed active agent, such as a drug, to see if it triggers the effects believed to characterize the active agent.
Placebo Effect
The curative effect of an inactive treatment that results simply from the patient's belief in its theraputic value.
Hindsight Bias
The tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it. The "I knew it all along" phenomemon.
The arithmetic average of a distribution. Obtained by adding the scores and then dividing by the number of scores.
The middle score in a distribution. Half the scores are above it and half are below it.
Critical Thinking
Thinking that does not blindly accept arugments and conclusions. Examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence.
Correlational Research Method
A method used to determine the extent to which two factors vary together and how well either factor predicts the other.
Experimental Research Method
An investigator manipulates one or more factors (independent variables) to observe their effect on some behavior or mental process (dependent variable) while controlling other relevant factors by random assignment of subjects.
What are the steps of the scientific method?
1. Develop a theory.
2. Formulate a hypothesis.
3. Provide operational definitions.
4. Design a study.
5. Collect the data.
6. Analyze the results.
7. Draw conclusions.
What are the three enduring issues in psychology?
1. Heredity vs. Environment
2. Stability vs. Change
3. Irrationality vs. Rationality
Who founded the first psychology lab in 1879?
Wilhelm Wundt
Who wrote the first psychology textbook in 1890?
William James
Who developed a method of therapy called psychoanalysis that focused on the unconscious determinants of behavior?
Sigmund Freud
Psychological perspective founded in 1913 by John Watson.
Which psychologist focused on the role of reinforcement in 1953?
B.F. Skinner
What type of psychology expanded the concept of behavior to include thoughts, feelings, and states of consciousness?
Cognitive Psychology
What are the two sub-fields within psychology?
1. Basic Research- A pure science that seeks to increase the scientific knowledge base.
2. Applied Research- Applying scientific knowledge to solve practical problems.
What are the APA guidelines for the ethical treatment of human subjects?
1. Informed consent, right to refuse.
2. Minimal risk- no more than the amount in daily life.
3. Debriefing- Purposes and deceptive procedures explained.
What are the APA guidelines for the ethical treatment of animal subjects?
1. Researchers must ensure appropriate consideration of the animal's comfort, health, and humane treatment.
2. Animals may not be subjected to pain , stress, or privation when an alternate procedure is available.
Behavioral Neuroscience
Examines the links between neural activity in the brain and behavior.
Behavioral Genetics
Examines the effects of genes on psychological makeup and behavior.
A school of thought that defines psychology as the scientific study of observable behavior.
A general term that refers to mental processes such as thinking, knowing, and remembering.
Social Psychology
The study of how individuals think, feel, and behave in social situations.

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