A.P. Psychology Perspectives and Contributors


Perspective focusing primarily on observable behavior to environmental stimuli and how it shapes one's actions and behavior.

Behavioral Contributors

John B. Watson, Ivan Pavlov, and B.F. Skinner

Biological (Behavioral Genetics)

Perspective focusing on physical aspects such as genetics and brain structures and how they affect one's behavior and personality.


Perspective focusing on how mental processes such as memory, thought, and problem solving are involved in acquiring knowledge.

Cognitive contributors

Jean piaget


Perspective focusing on how adaptive processes and natural selection develop one's behavior and traits, as well as their children's behaviors and traits.

Evolutionary contributers

David Buss and Charles Darwin's studies

Humanistic (Humanism)

Perspective focusing on the human qualities of freedom, potential growth, and motivation and how they affect one's personality and behavior.

Humanistic contributors

Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow


Perspective focusing on how both conscious (ego and superego) and unconscious (Id) drives affect behavior. (self-examination)

Psychodynamic contributors

Sigmund Freud


Perspective focusing on how personality and behavior vary across one's background culture and social situations.


View of each of the separate aspects of the consciousness and see how each are related to eachother (from a bottom-up perspective).

Structuralism contributors

Edward Titchener and Wilhem Wundt


View that psychology should primarily investigate the function of the function of the consciousness instead of its structure.

Functionalism contributors

William James

G. Stanley Hall

founded and became the first president of the APA (First president of the American Psychological Association)

Wilhelm Wundt

StructuralismFather of Modern PsychologyFirst Psychology Experiment and lab

Margaret Floy Washburn

First woman to be awarded a PhD in psychology2nd president of APA

William James

FunctionalismFather of American Psychologywrote Principles of Psychology

Charles Darwin

Evolutionary PerspectiveNatural Selection/ Evolution Principles in On the Origin of Species

Mary Whiton Calkins

First woman president of the APAdenied PhD because she was a womanmemory research

Dorothea Dix

advocate for the mentally illcreated first mental hospitals across US & Europe

Sigmund Freud

Psychoanalytic PerspectiveFather of Psychoanalysis (psychodynamic)Psychosexual StagesDream Analysis

Ivan Pavlov

Behavioral PerspectiveClassical Conditioning

B.F. Skinner

Behaviorism/ Behavioral PerspectiveOperant ConditioningSchedules of Reinforcement

John B. Watson

founder of Behaviorism/ Behavioral PerspectiveAversive Conditioning

Jean Piaget

Cognitive Perspective4 stages of child cognitive development

Carl Rogers

Humanistic PerspectiveClient Centered Therapy


the scientific study of behavior and mental processes

Which perspective most clearly focuses on how we learn observable responses?


Which perspective argues that human behavior develops in certain ways because it serves a useful purpose?


Which psychologist was most influential in shaping our understanding of cognitive development?

Jean Piaget

Which psychological approach is most concerned with the importance of the unconscious mind?


Which psychological approach is most concerned with the importance of encoding, storing, and retrieving information?


Psychology began with roots in __________________ and ___________________

philosophy and physiology

Which perspective is most relevant to understanding the impact of strokes and brain diseases on memory?


Which approach is most directly concerned with assessing the relative impact of both nature and nurture on our psychological traits?