Chapter 1: Introduction and History of Psychology

Chapter 1: Introduction and History of Psychology

The scientific study of behavior and mental processes

Exm: We usue psychology everyday, analyzing others.

Empirical Approach
A study conducted via careful observations and scientifically based research


Erroneous assertions or practices set forth as being scientific psychology

Exm: Astrology, fortune telling, horoscopes, graphology, etc.

Confirmation Bias
The tendency to attend to evidence that compliments and confirms our beliefs or expectations, while ignoring evidence that does not

Exm: Hear the things we want to hear.

Experimental Psychologists
Psychologists who do research on basic psychological processes – as contrasted with applied psychologists; also called research psychologists


Teachers of Psychology
Psychologists whose priamary job is teaching

Exm: They typically teach in high schools, colleges, and universities; Mrs. Bento

Applied Psychologists
Psychologists who use the knowledge developed by experimental psychologists to solve human problems

Exm: They work in different places such as clinics, schools, airports, and factories.

A medical specialty dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders

Exm: Psychiatrists look at patients with a medical viewpoint.

A historical school of psychology devoted to uncovering the basic structures that make up mind and thought

Exm: Structuralists focused on the “elements” that made up the mind.

The process of reporting on one’s own conscious mental experiences

Exm: Describing your sensations to different stimuli.

A historical school of psychology that believed mental processes could best be understood in terms of their adaptive purpose and function

Exm: They believed the mental process was continually changing.

Gestalt Psychology
A historical school of psychology that sought to understand how the brain works by studying perception and perceptual learning

Exm: Instead of parts, they focused on the whole; opposite of Structuralists.

A historical school (as well as a modern perspective) that hyas sought to make psychology an objective science focused only on behavior – to the exclusion of mental processes

Exm: They argued that objective science of psychology should only deal with what you observe.

An approach to psychology based on Sigmund Freud’s assertions, which emphasize unconscious processes. The term is used to refer broadly to both Freud’s psychoanalytic theory and to his psychoanalytic treatment method

Exm: The psychoanalytic theory is quite an important idea in modern psychology.

Biological Veiw
The psychological perspective that searches for the causes of behavior in the functioning of genes, the brain and nervous system, and the endocrine (hormone) system

Exm: Puts emphasis on how brain activity and our composition has an impact on our behavior, personality, ablilities, and preferences.

The field devoted to understanding how the brain creates thoughts, feelings, motives, consciousness, memories, and other mental processes

Exm: This has led to discoveries of brain wave patterns.

Evolutionary Psychology
A relatively new specialty in psychology that sees behavior and mental processes in terms of their genetic adaptions for survival and reproduction

Exm: Suggests that human traits came from our ancestral past.

Developmental View
The psychological perspective emphasizing chnages that occur across the lifespan

Exm: Our genes and surroundings shape have an influence of who we become.

Cognitive View
The psychological perspective emphasizing mental processes, such as learning, memory, perception, and thinking, as forms of information processing

Exm: How we interpret our experiences has an effect on what we think and do.

Mental processes

Exm: Thinking, memory, perception, and senssation

Cognitive Neuroscience
An interdisciplinary field emphasizing brain activity as information processing

Exm: Involves cognitive psychology, neurology, biology, computer science, linguistics, and specialists from other fields interested in the connection between mental processes and the brain.

Clinical View
The psychological perspective emphasizing mental health and mental illness. Psychodynamic and humanistic psychology are variations on the clinical view

Exm: Those adhering to this view commonly practice counseling or psychotherapy.

Psychodynamic Psychology
A clinical viewpoint emphasizing the understanding of mental disorders in terms of unconscious needs, desires, memories, and conflicts

Exm: This view puts emphasis on treating mental disorders.

Humanistic Psychology
A clinical viewpoint emphasizing human ability, growth, potential, and free will

Exm: Puts emphasis on human nature such as human growth, potential, and ability.

Behavioral View
A psychological perspective that finds the source of our actions in environmental stimuli, rather than in inner mental processes

Exm: Rewards and punishments can have an effect on the way we act.

Sociocultural View
A psychological perspective emphasizing the importance of social interaction, social learning, and a cultural perspective

Exm: This view has been used to explore obedience, aggression, loving, and conformity.

A complex blend of language, beliefs, customs, values, and traditions developed by a group of people and shared with others in the same environment

Exm: Culture has a great influence on us.

Trait View
A psychological perspective that views behavior and personality as the products of enduring psychological characteristics

Exm: View common among psychologists why do mental testing.