AP Psych

Critical Thinking

thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions. Rather, it examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions.


the idea that knowledge comes from experience, and that observation and experimentation enable scientific knowledge


an early school of psychology that used introspection to explore the elemental structure of the human mind


the process of looking inward in an attempt to directly observe one's own psychological processes


an early school of thought promoted by James and influenced by Darwin; explored how mental and behavioral processes function—how they enable the organism to adapt, survive, and flourish


the view that psychology (1) should be an objective science that (2) studies behavior without reference to mental processes. Most research psychologists today agree with (1) but not with (2).

humanistic psychology

a history

Cognitive Psychology

the study of mental processes, such as occur when we perceive, learn, remember, think, communicate, and solve problems.

Cognitive Nueroscience

the interdisciplinary study of the brain activity linked with cognition (including perception, thinking, memory, and language)


the science of behavior and mental processes

Natural Selection

the principle that inherited traits that better enable an organism to survive and reproduce in a particular environment will (in competition with other trait variations) most likely be passed on to succeeding generations

nature-nurture issue

the longstanding controversy over the relative contributions that genes and experience make to the development of psychological traits and behaviors. Today's science sees traits and behaviors arising from the interaction of nature and nurture

evolutionary psychology

the study of the evolution of behavior and the mind, using principles of natural selection

behavior genetics

the study of the relative power and limits of genetic and environmental influences on behavior


the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, values, and traditions shared by a group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next

positive pyschology

the scientific study of human flourishing, with the goals of discovering and promoting strengths and virtues that help individuals and communities to thrive

biopyschosocial approach

an integrated approach that incorporates biological, psychological, and social-cultural levels of analysis

behavioral psychology

the scientific study of observable behavior, and its explanation by principles of learning

biological psychology

the scientific study of the links between biological and psychological processes

psychodynamic psychology

a branch of psychology that studies how unconscious drives and conflicts influence behavior, and uses that information to treat people with psychological disorders

social-cultural psychology

the study of how situations and cultures affect our behavior and thinking

testing effect

enhanced memory after retrieving, rather than simply rereading, information


a study method incorporating five steps: Survey, Question, Read, Retrieve, Review


the scientific study of the measurement of human abilities, attitudes, and traits

basic research

pure science that aims to increase the scientific knowledge base

Develpmental Psychology

a branch of psychology that studies physical, cognitive, and social change throughout the life span

educational psychology

the study of how psychological processes affect and can enhance teaching and learning

personality psychology

the study of an individual's characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting

social psychology

the scientific study of how we think about, influence, and relate to one another

applied research

scientific study that aims to solve practical problems

industrial-organizational (I/O) psychology

the application of psychological concepts and methods to optimizing human behavior in workplaces

human factors psychology

a field of psychology allied with I/O psychology that explores how people and machines interact and how machines and physical environments can be made safe and easy to use

conseling psychology

a branch of psychology that assists people with problems in living and in achieving greater well-being

clinical psychology

a branch of psychology that studies, assesses, and treats people with psychological disorders


a branch of medicine dealing with psychological disorders; practiced by physicians who sometimes provide medical (for example, drug) treatments as well as psychological therapy

community psychology

a branch of psychology that studies how people interact with their social environments and how social institutions affect individuals and groups