The Science of Psychology: An Appreciative View, 2nd Edition (King)

Chapter 1: What Is Psychology?

Key Terms

psychology  The scientific study of behavior and mental processes.
science  The use of systematic methods to observe the natural world, including human behavior, and to draw conclusions.
behavior  Everything we do that can be directly observed.
mental processes  The thoughts, feelings, and motives that each of us experiences privately but that cannot be observed directly.
critical thinking  The process of reflecting deeply and actively, asking questions, and evaluating the evidence.
empirical method  Gaining knowledge through the observation of events, the collection of data, and logical reasoning.
positive psychology  A branch of psychology that emphasizes human strengths.
structuralism  Wundt's approach to discovering the basic elements, or structures, of mental processes; so called because of its focus on identifying the structures of the human mind.
functionalism  James's approach to mental processes, emphasizing the functions and purposes of the mind and behavior in the individual's adaptation to the environment.
natural selection  Darwin's principle of an evolutionary process in which organisms that are best adapted to their environment will survive and produce off spring.
biological approach  An approach to psychology focusing on the body, especially the brain and nervous system.
neuroscience  The scientific study of the structure, function, development, genetics, and biochemistry of the nervous system, emphasizing that the brain and nervous system are central to understanding behavior, thought, and emotion.
behavioral approach  An approach to psychology emphasizing the scientific study of observable behavioral responses and their environmental determinants.
psychodynamic approach  An approach to psychology emphasizing unconscious thought, the conflict between biological drives (such as the drive for sex) and society's demands, and early childhood family experiences.
humanistic approach  An approach to psychology emphasizing a person's positive qualities, the capacity for positive growth, and the freedom to choose any destiny.
cognitive approach  An approach to psychology emphasizing the mental processes involved in knowing: how we direct our attention, perceive, remember, think, and solve problems.
evolutionary approach  An approach to psychology centered on evolutionary ideas such as adaptation, reproduction, and natural selection as the basis for explaining specific human behaviors.
sociocultural approach  An approach to psychology that examines the ways in which social and cultural environments influence behavior.
psychopathology  The scientific study of psychological disorders and the development of diagnostic categories and treatments for those disorders.
King: The Science of Psychology, 2nd Edition
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