Chapter 1: Definitions

PSYCHOLOGY the scientific study of behaviour and mental processes
SCIENTIFIC METHOD relies on collecting data, generating a theory to explain, producing testable hypothesis based on the theory and then testing those hypotheses empirically
THEORY

Systematic explanation-organizes facts, must predict new facts, permits a degree of control over phenomenon

Hypothesis Specific testable predictions derived from theory
STRUCTURALISM: stresses basic units of experience and the combinations in which they occur
FUNCTIONALISM explores how an organism uses perceptual abilities to function in its environment
PSYCHODYNAMIC THEORY behaviour results from psychological factors the interact within the individual, often outside conscious awareness
HUMANIST PSYCHOLOGY emphasizes nonverbal experience and altered states of consciousness as a means of realizing full human potential
COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY devoted to study of mental processes in the broadest sense
EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY- approach/subfield of psychology concerned with evolutionary origins of behaviour and mental processes, their adaptive value and the purposes they continue to serve
GENDER psychological and social meanings attached to being biologically male or female
CULTURE tangible goods and values, attitudes, behaviours, and beliefs passed from one generation to the next
RACE subpopulation of a species defined according to an identifiable characteristic (geographic location,skin colour, hair texture, genes, facial features (not considered a valid scientific concept because of movement genetic mixtures)
NATURALISTIC OBSERVATION systematic study of animal or human behaviour in natural setting rather than lab
CASE STUDY intensive description and analysis of a single individual or a few individuals
CORRELATIONAL RESEARCH research based on the naturally occurring relationship between two or more variables
EXPERIMENTAL METHOD investigator deliberately manipulates selected events or circumstances and measures the effects of those manipulations on subsequent behaviour
SUBJECT individuals whose responses/behaviours are observed in experiment
INDEPENDENT VARIABLE the variable that is being manipulated to test itŐs effects on the other dependent variables
DEPENDENT VARIABLE the variable that is measured to see how it is changed by manipulations in the independent variable
EXPERIMENTAL GROUP group subjected to change in independent variable
CONTROL GROUP group not subjected to change in independent variable;used for comparison
EXPERIMENTAL BIAS expectations by experimenter that might influence the results of an experiment or its interpretation
RANDOM SAMPLE sample where each potential participant has a equal chance of being selected
REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLE carefully chosen so characteristics of participants correspond closely to the characteristics of the larger population
   

 

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