What is Psychology

Which of these is the most accurate definition of the discipline of psychology?
the science of behavior and mental processes
In the definition of psychology, the term mental processes refers to
internal, covert activities
Which topic would NOT be investigated by a psychologist if the definition of psychology were limited to “the science of behavior”?
thought processes students used while trying to answer this question
You are at a basketball game and the arena is packed; the crowd is evenly split between fans of the two teams. At one point, the referee makes a call. Half of the fans yell insults; the other half of the fans shout their approval. The event reminds you of the topic of today’s lecture in psychology class. What was the likely topic of the lecture?
The fans are showing bias and this is an important issue.
Steve is a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team. With little provocation, he will engage you in a debate about whether it is the greatest team in basketball. Steve may be demonstrating
Steve’s loyalty to his team will influence his debate.
The goals of psychology are to
describe, explain, predict, and control behavior
Mei was sent to the school psychologist to be tested. Based on her IQ scores it was decided that she would do well in the gifted child program. This is an example of which goal of psychology?
predicting behavior
In addition to describing and explaining mental processes and behavior, psychology also attempts to ________ these phenomena.
predict and control
A psychologist is interested in finding out why identical twins have different personalities. This psychologist is most interested in the goal of
A teacher tells the school psychologist that Kate is late to class, does not turn in her homework, squirms around a lot in her seat, and swings her feet constantly. This is an example of which goal of psychology?
describing behavior
The question “What is happening?” refers to which of the following goals in psychology?
Asking “what” means asking for a description.
The question “Why is it happening?” refers to which of the following goals in psychology?
Asking “why” calls for an explanation.
The question “When will it happen again?” refers to which of the following goals in psychology?
Prediction deals with future events.
Psychologists who give potential employees tests that determine what kind of job those employees might best perform are interested in the goal of
The test predicts behavior.
Description is to assessment as _________ is to prognosis.
A prognosis is a prediction of what will happen.
The question “How can it be changed?” refers to which of the following goals in psychology?
Control modifies behavior.
The general curiosity about why people think, feel, and behave the way they do
has always probably been with us.
Which of the following most accurately reflects the authors’ views about the influence of philosophy and physiology on present day psychology?
Both disciplines, philosophy and physiology, continue to influence psychology.
In 1879, in Leipzig, Germany, the first psychological laboratory was overseen by
Wilhelm Wundt
At the close of the nineteenth century, Gerhard is excited to find that he has been accepted for training in the psychology laboratory of Wilhelm Wundt. It is likely that Gerhard will be trained to
analyze how to break down his sensations into their most basic elements
The school of psychology called structuralism used a technique called _____, which involved reporting the contents of consciousness to study a person’s experiences.
This requires self-examination of the structure of the mind.
Participants in research early in psychology’s history might have been asked to view a chair and describe its color, shape, and texture and other aspects of their conscious experience. These individuals would have been using a method called _________.
objective introspection
In introspection you describe your conscious thoughts.
Objective introspection requires
reflection on the self.
Remember that introspection literally means “looking within.”
What is the best analogy for Wundt’s and Titchener’s mission for psychology?
a chart listing the basic chemical elements
They wanted to break down the mind into basic elements.
The structuralists were important in the history of psychology because they
examined consciousness and the structure of mental processes.
Which of the following terms do NOT belong together?
structuralism; observable behavior
Structuralism focuses on introspection, which is not observable.
Why was the perspective followed by Wilhelm Wundt and his followers called structuralism?
Their primary focus was on describing the structure of conscious experience.
Structure was key in the definition.
Which early school of psychology proposed that consciousness was made up of two types of elements, sensations and thoughts?
These two elements for the way that structuralism characterized human consciousness.
Who was an early proponent of functionalism?
William James
How our minds help us adapt to the world around us was a primary question addressed by which early movement of psychology?
The functionalists were interested in determining the purpose of human consciousness, or how it helped us with our everyday lives.
If an individual believed that why people think and feel as they do is more important than what they think and how they think, that individual would be a proponent of the ________approach to psychology.
If a functionalist from the 1870s were alive today, where would we most likely find him?
in a school, working to improve teaching methods
Which psychologist was the first African-American to receive a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Chicago in 1925?
Charles Henry Thompson
While Margaret Floy Washburn may have been the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in psychology in the United States (in 1894), the first African-American woman to do so was _________ in 1934 at the University of Minnesota.
Ruth Howard
Which noted African-American psychologist held a post as president of Shaw University in North Carolina and then president of Virginia State College?
Robert Prentiss Daniel
Which type of early psychologist believed that “the whole is more than the sum of its parts”?
The Gestaltists studied the perception of wholes.
“The whole is greater than the sum of the parts” is a statement associated with the perspective of
Gestalt psychologists
“The whole is greater than the sum of the parts” was the theme of the Gestaltists.
While on a visit to a large city, you observe several billboards in which a series of lights seems to move. Which perspective in psychology would most likely help you understand this phenomenon?
Gestalt psychology attempted to discover
the overall patterns of perceptions and thoughts.
Gestalt psychologists looked at larger wholes, rather than individual parts.
The early perspective called Gestalt psychology has evolved into the current perspective called
cognitive psychology
Gestalt psychology is now part of cognitive psychology, which focuses on perception as well as learning, memory, and thought processes.
The belief that the unconscious mind has an influence on one’s behavior is part of what early field of psychology?
What did Sigmund Freud consider as the key to understanding the nervous disorders he observed?
the unconscious mind
Freud’s entire theory centered on the unconscious.
The class is playing a game of Jeopardy! and it is your turn. “I’ll take Pioneers in Psychology for $50.” The revealed answer is “Focused on unconscious factors” Just before the buzzer sounds, what will you say?
“Who is Sigmund Freud?”
Freud stressed the importance of
early childhood experiences
Freud believed personality was formed in the first six years of life.
According to Freud, unconscious urges
attempt to surface and affect our behaviors..
Freud believed that unconscious urges could not stay completely unconscious indefinitely, and that they would be expressed in one way or another
The work of Freud was built around
a theory of personality that emphasizes unconscious motives and conflicts Unconscious motives and conflicts are the essential elements of psychoanalysis.
Which treatment approach did Sigmund Freud develop for treating his patients
It Psychoanalysis
Which type of psychologist would be most likely to argue that a criminal engages in unlawful behavior because he grew up around older boys who engaged in criminal activities?
theory focused on learned behavior.
John B. Watson believed that psychology should involve the study of
The school of behaviorism attempted to explain behavior by studying
how a specific stimulus evokes a specific response.
What advice might John B. Watson have offered to psychologists of his time?
Focus on observable behavior.
Which school of psychology questioned whether psychologists should study the mind?
Behaviorists believe that the science of psychology should focus only on directly observable and measurable behaviors.
The Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov discovered that
dogs would salivate to the sound of a bell due to a learned reflexive response called conditioning
Sallie noticed that when her alarm clock goes off in the morning her dog, Ruffles, is standing by her bed salivating. Every morning when Sallie wakes to the alarm, she immediately rolls out of bed and feeds Ruffles who very much enjoys his canned dog food. It is likely that
Sallie has conditioned Ruffles to salivate to the sound of her alarm clock
Pavlov’s research demonstrated that
involuntary reaction (salivation) could occur in response to an unrelated stimulus (sound of a bell)
Freud said phobias were ____________ whereas Watson said phobias were __________.
repressed conflicts; learned
Which pair of scientists shared the most similar views of behavior?
Ivan Pavlov and John B. Watson
Which founding contributors to psychology helped develop behaviorism?
Watson and Pavlov
Suppose you were a graduate student studying for a Ph.D. in psychology in the 1920s. Your advisor was strongly influenced by John B. Watson. Which of the following might your advisor consider an acceptable choice for your research?
an analysis of how specific behaviors are acquired
The psychodynamic perspective was based on the work of
Professor Wenches approaches questions about human behavior from a perspective that emphasizes unconscious processes within the individual, such as inner forces or conflicts. It is most likely that she accepts which of the following psychological approaches?
psychodynamic approach
Who claimed that behavior is affected by reinforcement?
B. F. Skinner
You attend a lecture by a psychologist who uses terms such as free will and self-actualization. Which psychological perspective is most consistent with the points the psychologist presented?
This perspective suggests people have many choices.
Self-actualization was part of which of the following perspectives?
Humanists talk about self-actualization.
Which perspective focuses on free will and self-actualization?
Humanist theory focuses on free will and self-actualization.
Humanist Abraham Maslow suggests that when people self-actualize they
develop to their fullest potential.
When a person has become everything they are capable of, they have become self-actualized according to Maslow.
In the early part of the past century, psychologists who broke down thought processes into their basic elements and analyzed them were called structuralists. What term might we use to describe psychologists with similar interests today?
The cognitive perspective focuses on breaking down thought processes.
Cognitive neuroscientists can examine the brain with _____________ and _____________.
Both are discussed in the book and used by cognitive neuroscientists.
Josh has been participating in a clinical study by a cognitive neuroscientist. It is likely that his brain is being studied to explore _________________.
all of the above
All options to be studied by a cognitive neuroscientist.
emerging field of brain imagery in cognitive neuroscience has developed methods, such as MRI, to examine _________________.
images of the living brain
MRI and PET take images of a living brain for analysis.
If you are interested in how patterns, beliefs, and customs influence behavior, you are interested in the __________ perspective.
This approach focuses on social environment.
Samantha just had her purse stolen while walking down Fifth Avenue in New York City, which is a very busy part of Manhattan. She screamed loudly, and several people looked in her direction, but nobody stopped walking or made an attempt to help. She immediately broke down in tears and trembled for 10 minutes until she could walk to her car. This is an example of _________________.
bystander effect
This example would support this concept as nobody immediately helped despite being a heavily populated area.
Jeff’s car broke down and smoke started rising from the engine. He felt lucky to have broken down while parked in the center of town during lunch when many people were outside and could help. However, 30 minutes has passed and despite the heavily populated area, nobody has offered assistance. This is an example of the


bystander effect
This example would support the example because of the principle of diffusion of responsibility.
In studying the bystander effect, a researcher is interested in looking at differences between prison guards in China and the United Kingdom. The researcher is taking a _________________ in this cross cultural study.
sociocultural perspective
The researcher is looking at cultures from a sociocultural perspective.
Darley and Latané (1968) believe that the presence of other people in a distressing situation decreased the likelihood that they would receive help due to _________________.
diffusion of responsibility
When others are around, individuals have been found to believe that help is not needed and that another person will help.
Shorey (2001) found that the brutal death of a Somolian prisoner in a Canadian military facility could have been prevented. One reason the beating was not stopped was the _________________.
bystander effect
This would support the example because of the principle of diffusion of responsibility.
Professor Beverly approaches questions about human behavior from a perspective that emphasizes bodily events and chemicals, such as hormones, associated with behavior. It is most likely that she accepts which of the following psychological approaches?
The biopsychological perspective looks at the relationship between body chemistry and behavior.
Dr. Mosher is a psychologist who tries to understand how people select their mates. She must be a(n) ___________________ .
evolutionary psychologist
Evolutionary psychologists look at how human mate selection evolved.
Evolutionary psychology might suggest that certain cognitive strategies and goals are built into the brain because
they help humans adapt to their natural environment.
Adaptation and survival are the basic tenets of evolutionary theory.
Dr. Jones probably agrees with the ________ theory of psychology, since he contends that humans are intelligent species due to the fact that intelligence gives us an advantage in the natural world.
Survival advantage is a basic premise of evolutionary psychology.
Which of the following statements is correct?
A psychologist has no medical training.
Psychologists do not go to medical school; they go to graduate school.
The majority of psychologists work in
four-year colleges and universities
Approximately 34 percent of psychologists work in colleges and universities.
According to present research on psychologists, thirty-four percent are in the ________________ subfield of psychology.
According to the present research on psychologists, the three most popular work settings are __________, __________, and __________.
universities and four year colleges; self-employed; private for-profit
These are the three most popular
There are several subfields of psychology according to the present research. The three largest subfields of psychology are __________, __________, and __________.
Clinical, Counseling, and Developmental
These are the three largest
What is one similarity shared by clinical psychologists and psychiatrists?
They diagnose and treat people experiencing behavioral and emotional problems.
Clinical psychologists and psychiatrists both diagnose and treat problems.
Dr. Braunz has been treating a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She decides to write a prescription for Ritalin. Given this information, it is most likely that Dr. Braunz is a _________________.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors and can write prescriptions.
A person who has suffered a major stroke and is now experiencing severe personality problems because of the damage would BEST be advised to see a _____________.
A psychiatrist has a medical degree, and the problem appears to be a medical one.
Vido has a master’s degree and is interested in working on the causes of poverty. What type of professional is Vido most likely to become?
psychiatric social worker
A psychiatric social worker usually has a master’s in social work and focuses on social issues, such as poverty.
Sandi is a single mother living in a project in a poor section of the city. She has addiction issues and just lost custody of her three children. What type of psychologist is most likely to get involved in Sandi’s situation?
psychiatric social worker
A psychiatric social worker works with people in conditions of poverty or other types of environmental situations leading to mental disorder.
The class is playing a game of Jeopardy! and it is your turn. “I’ll take Specialties in Psychology for $300.” The revealed answer is “These psychological professionals work with situations in which environmental conditions may have an impact on mental health.” Just before the buzzer sounds, what will you say?
“What is a psychiatric social worker?”
Psychiatric social workers work with people in conditions of poverty or other types of environmental situations leading to mental disorder.
The term ___________________________ refers to a mental health professional who generally has at least an M.S.W. and who typically treats individual dysfunction and family problems but may also deal with other problems such as addiction or abuse.
psychiatric social worker
Psychiatric social workers deal with other problems such as addiction or abuse.
On a television talk show an actor describes the symptoms of anxiety he has been experiencing. He reports that the severity of the symptoms has decreased since he has been taking a drug prescribed by his therapist back in Hollywood. You conclude that the actor’s therapist is probably a _________________.
Prescribing drugs is usually done by a psychiatrist (except in some states).
________________ is a system used for reducing bias and error in the measurement of data.
The scientific method
The scientific method systematically controls variables reducing bias and error.
The first step in any scientific investigation is _______________.
perceiving the question
This is the first step in any scientific investigation.
“Children who watch violent cartoons will become more aggressive.” According to the scientific method, this statement is most likely a ____________.
This statement is an educated guess about the effects of violent cartoons.
Perceiving the question is the first step in a scientific investigation. This step is derived from which goal of psychology?
The question comes from observing a situation and asking “What is happening?” This is a description.
Forming a hypothesis is the second step in a scientific investigation. This step is derived from which goal of psychology?
Forming a hypothesis attempts to explain the question you are asking.
Testing a hypothesis is the third step in a scientific investigation. This step is derived from which goal of psychology?
Testing a hypothesis attempts to explain the question you are asking.
Sally proposes the idea that one’s sexual history prior to marriage may be linked to whether one ends up getting divorced. This best represents which step of the scientific method?
forming a hypothesis
Forming a hypothesis involves making an educated guess as to the answer to a research question.
The tendency to look for information that supports one’s own belief is called _____.
confirmation bias
Confirmation bias is the tendency to look for information that supports one’s own belief.