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AP Psychology key terms Chapter 1+2 Vaughn 2008-2009


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a testable explanation for a set of facts or observations
the leader of the behavioral movement
cohort sequential study
a research methos in which a cross section of the population is chosen and then followed for a short period of time
ex post facto
research in which we choose subjects based on a pre-existing condtion
piecese of information especially information gathered by a researcher to be used in testing a hypothesis
a quasi- experimentalmethod in which questions are asked to subjects
the process of reporting on one's own concious mental experiences
a historical school of psychology devoted to uncovering the basic stuctures that make up mind and thought
a bar graph depicting a frequency distribution. The height of the bars indicates the frequency of a group of scores
dependent variable
the measured outcome of a study, the responses of the subjects in a study
the field devoted to understanding how the brain creates thoughts, feelings, motives, conciousness, memories, and other mental processes
Gestalt Psychology
a historical school of psychology that sought to understand how the brain works by studying perception and perceptual learning.
a kind of research in which the researcher controlls all conditions and directly manipulates the conditions, including the independent variable
Confirmation Bias
the tendency to attend to evidence that complements and confirms our beliefs or expectations, while ignoring evidence that does not
expectancy bias
the researcher allowing his or her expectations to affect the outcome of a study
Psychodynamic Psychology
a clinical viewpoint emphasizing the understanding of mental disorders in terms of unconcious needs, desires, memories, and conflicts
Biological View
the psychological perspective that searches for the causes of behavior in the functioning of genes, the brain, nervous system, and the endoctrine system (hormone)
naturalistic observation
a research method in which subjects are observed in their natural environment
Behavioral View
a psychological perspective that finds the source of our actions in environmental stimuli, rather that in inner mental processes
a relationship between variables in which changes in one variable are reflected in changes in the other variable
a historical school (as well as a modern perspective) that has sought to make psychology an objective science focuesed only on behavior- to the exclusion of mental processes
normal distribution
a bell shaped curve describing the spread of a characteristic throughout a population
random assignment
each subject of the sample has an equal likelihood of being chosen for the experimental group of an experiment
Empirical Approach
a study conducted via careful observationsand scientifically based research
operational definition
specific description of concepts involving the conditions of a scientific study
a statement predicting the outcome of a scientific study; a statement describing the relationship among variables in a study
founded structuralism
Cognitive Neuroscience
an interdiciplinary field emphasizing brain activity as information processing; involves cognitive psychology, neurology, biology, computer science, and other fields who are interseted in the connection between mental processes and the brain
constants that the experimenter places on the experiment to ensure that each subject has the exactsame conditions
pionered the psychoanalytic method
Teachers of Psychology
psychologists whose primary job is to teach, typically in high schools, colleges, and universities
random sample
a sample group of subjects selected by chance
Developmental View
the psychological perspective empahsizing changes that occur across the lifespan
mental processes, such as thinking, memory, sensation, and perception
random presentation
a process by which chance alone determines the order in which the stimulus is presented
inferential statistics
statistical techniques used to assess whether the results of a study are reliable or whether they might be simply the result of chance
a historical school of psychology that believed mental processes could be understood in terms of their adaptive purpose and function
frequency distribution
a summary chart showing how frequently each of the various scores in a set of data occurs
Experimental Psychologists
psychologists who do research on basic psychological processes
personal bias
the researcher allowing personal beliefs to affect the outcome of a study
a measure of central tendency for a distribution represented by the score that separates the upper half of the scores in a distribution from the lower half
the scientific study of behavior and mental processes
institutional animal care and use committee
a committee at each institution where research is conducted to review every experiment involving animals for ethics and methodology
refers to doing a study over to see whether the same results are obtained
representative sample
a sample obtained in such a way that it reflects the distribution of important variables in the larger population in which the researchers are interested
Scientific Method
a five step process for empirical investigation of a hypthesis under conditions designed to control biases and subjective judgements
cross-sectional study
a study in which a representative cross-section of the population is tested or surveyed at one specific time
the measure of central tendency most often used to describe a set of data calculated by adding all the scores and dividing them by the number of scores
standard deviation
a measure of variablity that indicates the average difference between the scores and their mean
longitudinal study
a type of study in which one group of subjects is followed and observed for an extended period of time
Trait View
a psychological perspcetive the views the behavior and personality as the products of enduring psychological charateristics
a medical specialty dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders
institutional review board
a committee at each institution where research is conducted to review every experiment for ethics and methodology
Applied Psychologists
psychologists who use the knowledge developed by experimental psychologists to solve human problems
William James
founded functionalism
Evolutionary Psychology
a relatively new specialty in psychology that sees behavior and mental preocesses in terms of their genetic adapatations for survival and reproduction
empirical investigation
an approach to research that relies on sensory experience and observation as research data
Humanistic Psychology
a clinical viewpoint emphasizing human ability, growth, potential, and free will
independent variable
a stimulus condition so named becasue the experimenter changes it of all other carefully controlled experimental conditions
an approach to psychology based on Sigmund Freud's assertions, which emphasize unconcious processes. The term is used to referbroadly both to Freud's psychoanalysis and to his psychoanalyctic treatment method
confounding or extraneous variables
variables that have an unwanted influence on the outcome of an experiement
significant difference
psychologists accept a difference between the groups as "real" when the probablility that it might be due to an atypical sample drawn by chance is less than 5 in 100 .05%
phony, unscientific psychology masquerading as the real thing
Clinical View
the psychological perspective emphasizing mental health and mental illness. Psychodynamic and humanistic psychologyare variations of this
descriptive statistics
statistical procedures used to describe characteristics and responses of groups of subjects
double blind study
an experimental procedure in which both researchers and participants are uninformed of the independent variable being administered
Socialcultural View
a psychological perspective emphasizing the importance of social interaction, social learning, and cultural perspective
correlational study
a type of research that is mainly statistical in nature. This helps determine the relationship between two variables
correlation coefficient
a number between -1 and +1 expressing the degree of relationship between two variables

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