Behavioral Theories: the history of psychology is the history of a field struggling to define itself as a separate and unique scientific discipline. (Hockenbury, 3) While the roots of psychology date back to the philosophers of Ancient Greece, it wasn’t until 1879, when German psychologist Wilhelm Wundt created the first laboratory completely devoted to the study of psychology. (Kleinman, 7)
The history (of the study of behavior) is built upon the theories and discoveries of successive generations, with many of the older theories remaining relevant to contemporary psychologists. The behaviorists felt that it was impossible to study mental processes objectively, but found it relatively easy to observe and measure behavior. (Collin, 10) Editor’s note - behaviorism, cognitivism, and psychoanalytic theory are considered ‘grand theories of psychology.’ This means they are comprehensive theories which have traditionally inspired and directed psychologists’ thinking. Psychology's grand theories also refer to 'psychology schools' and 'psychology therapies’ and behavioral theories are also referred to as ‘psychology theories.’
Behaviorism: grand theory of human development that studies observable behavior. Describes the laws and processes by which behavior is learned. (Berger, 38) School of psychology and theoretical viewpoint that emphasizes the study of observable behaviors, especially as they pertain to the process of "learning." Rejected the emphasis on “consciousness” promoted by structuralism and functionalism. Also flatly rejected ”Freudian” notions about unconscious influences. (Hockenbury, 7-8) Insists that only observable behavior should form the object of study, as this can be witnessed, described, and measured in objective terms. (Collin, 340) Editor’s note - developed by John Watson and later championed by B.F. Skinner. Also referred to as 'behavior theory.'
Behaviorist: a person who believes in behaviorism. (Marshall, 11/3/2011)
Cognitivism: grand theory of human development that focuses on changes in how people think over time. According to this theory, our thoughts shape our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. (Berger, 43) Focuses on the mental processes involved in learning and knowing, and how the mind actively organizes experiences. (Collin, 340) Emphasizes the importance of "observational learning," conscious cognitive processes, social experiences, “self-efficacy” beliefs, and “reciprocal determinism.” (Hockenbury, 416) Editor's note - developed by Albert Bandura. Also referred to as ‘cognitive theory,' ‘cognitive objectivism’ and 'social cognitivism.’
Cognitivist: a person who believes in cognitivism. (Marshall, 11/3/2011) Also referred to as ‘cognitivist objectivist.’
Reciprocal Determinism: a model that explains human functioning and personality as caused by the interaction of behavior, cognitive, and environmental factors. (Hockenbury, 416)
Emergent Theories of Psychology: theories that bring together information from many disciplines in addition to psychology and that are becoming comprehensive and systematic in their interpretations of development. (Berger, 34)
Evolutionary Psychology: the application of principles of "evolution," including "natural selection," to explain psychological processes and phenomena. (Hockenbury, 11) Some cognitive psychologists have claimed that … we inherit certain psychological characteristics they are also subject to the same sort of natural selection as our physical characteristics. (Collin, 211)
Functionalism: the view that mental processes and behaviors of living organisms help them adapt to their environments. (Schunk, 22) Concerned with investigating the adaptive functions of the mind in relation to its environment. (Collin, 341) Early school of psychology that emphasized studying the purpose, or function, of behavior and mental experiences. Functionalists also examined how psychology could be applied to areas such as "education," child rearing, and the work environment. (Hockenbury, 5) Editor's note - developed by William James.
Humanistic Psychology: school of psychology and theoretical viewpoint that emphasizes each person’s unique potential for psychological growth and self-direction. (Hockenbury, 9) Approach that emphasizes the importance of free will and self-actualization in determining good mental health. (Collin, 341) View that emphasizes the importance of psychological and “cognitive" factors in motivation, especially the notion that people are motivated to realize their personal potential. (Hockenbury, 302) A paradigm/philosophy/pedagogical approach that believes learning is viewed as a personal act to fulfill one's potential. Key proponents include Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, Malcolm Knowles. (LearningTheories, 17) Editor's note - developed by Craig Rogers.
Conditional Positive Regard: the sense that you will be valued and loved only if you behave in a way that is acceptable to to others. (Hockenbury, 414) Also referred to as ‘conditional love.’
Unconditional Positive Regard: the sense that you will be valued and loved even if you don’t conform to the standards and expectations of others. (Hockenbury, 414) Also referred to as ‘unconditional love.’
Jung’s Theory: people are motivated by a more general ‘psychological energy’ that pushes them to achieve psychological growth, self-realization, ‘psychic wholeness’ and harmony. (Hockenbury, 407) Jung believed every person’s purpose in life was to have his or her conscious and unconscious become fully integrated, so that they could become their ‘true self.’ (Kleinman, 134) Editor's note - developed by Carl Jung.
Archetypes: in Jung’s theory, the inherited mental images of universal human instincts, themes, and preoccupations that are the main components of the collective unconscious. (Hockenbury, 408) Jung believed that the archetypes are layers of inherited memory, and they constitute the entirety of the human experience. (Collin, 105)
Collective Unconscious: in Jung’s theory, the hypothesized part of the unconscious mind that is inherited from previous generations and that contains universally shared ancestral experiences and ideas. (Hockenbury, 407)
Extroverts: personality type that turns its attention toward the outside world. (Hockenbury, 408)
Introverts: personality type that focuses attention inward. (Hockenbury, 408)
Rationalism: the idea that knowledge derives from reason without recourse to the senses. Can be traced to Plato, who distinguished knowledge acquired via the senses, from that gained by reason. (Schunk, 5)
Structuralism: early school of psychology that emphasized studying the most basic components, or ‘structures,’ of “conscious” experiences. Held that even our most complex conscious experiences could be broken down into elemental structures, or component parts, of sensations and feelings. In the end, the methods and goals of structuralism were simply too limited to accommodate the rapidly expanding interests of the field of psychology. (Hockenbury, 4-5) Editor's note - developed by Edward Titchener.
Psychoanalytic Theory: a grand theory of human development that holds that irrational, unconscious drives and motives, often originating in childhood, underlie human behavior. (Berger, 35) Developed by Sigmund Freud. Freud believed that human behavior was motivated by unconscious conflicts that were almost always sexual or aggressive in nature. Also form of psychotherapy that emphasizes the role of unconscious factors in personality and behavior. (Hockenbury, 7) Also referred to as ‘contemporary psychoanalysis.’
Dream Analysis: the content of dreams is analyzed for disguised or symbolic wishes, meanings, and motivations. (Hockenbury, 551) Also referred to as ‘dream interpretation.'
Eros: in Freud’s theory, the self-preservation or life instinct, reflected in the expression of basic biological urges that perpetuate the existence of the individual and the species. (Hockenbury, 401)
Free Association: therapeutic mechanism that emphasizes the resolution of unconscious conflicts. Requires the patient to rapidly respond to a list of trigger words with the first word that comes to mind. (Bamford, 11/1/10)
Freudian Defense Mechanisms: the denials, repressions, confabulations (imaginary experiences) and other forms of self-delusion that govern our daily lives. (Ramachandran, 134) Also referred to as ‘ego defense mechanisms.’
Displacement: emotional impulses redirected to a substitute object or person, usually one less threatening or dangerous. (Hockenbury, 403)
Sublimation: (re-channeling) sexual urges into nonsexual activities. Does not take place on a single occasion. Demands a continuous expenditure of effort. (Hockenbury, 403)
Projection: the attribution of one’s own unacceptable urges or qualities to others. (Hockenbury, 403)
Rationalization: justifying one’s actions or feelings with socially acceptable explanations rather than consciously acknowledging one’s true motives or desires. (Hockenbury, 403)
Reaction Formation: thinking or behaving in a way that is the extreme opposite of urges or impulses (perceived to be unacceptable). (Hockenbury, 403) Editor's note - occurs when a person feels an urge to do or say something and then actually does or says something that is effectively the opposite of what they really want.
Regression: retreating to a behavior pattern characteristic of an earlier stage of development. (Hockenbury, 403)
Repression: the exclusion from consciousness of anxiety-producing thoughts, feelings, or impulses. Pushed out of conscious awareness into the unconscious. Most fundamental defense mechanism. (Hockenbury, 403)
Freudian Personality Structures: according to Freud, 'psychological energy' evolves to form three basic structures of personality - the "id," the "ego," and the "superego." (Hockenbury, 401)
Ego: in Freud’s theory, the ‘partly conscious’ rational component of personality that regulates thoughts and behavior and is most in touch with the demands of the external world. (Hockenbury, 401)
Id: in Freud’s theory, the completely unconscious, irrational component of personality that seeks immediate satisfaction of instinctual urges and dies; ruled by the “pleasure principal.” (Hockenbury, 401)
Superego: in Freud’s theory, the partly conscious, self-evaluative, moralistic component of personality that is formed through the internalization of parental and societal rules. (Hockenbury, 402)
Freudian Psychosexual Stages: in Freud’s theory, age-developmental periods in which the child’s sexual urges are focused on different areas of the body and are expressed through the activities associated with those areas. Includes the oral (birth to 1 year), anal (ages 1 to 3), phallic (3 to 6), latency (7 to 11), and genital (adolescence) stages. (Hockenbury, 404)
Libido: in Freud’s theory, the psychological and emotional ‘energy’ associated with expressions of sexuality. (Hockenbury, 401) Also referred to as 'sex drive.'
Oedipus Complex: in Freud’s theory, a child’s unconscious sexual desire for the opposite-sex parent, usually accompanied by hostile feelings toward the same-sex parent. (Hockenbury, 404)
Pleasure Principle: in Freud’s theory, the motive to obtain pleasure and avoid tension or discomfort; the most fundamental human motive and the guiding principle of the id. (Hockenbury, 401)
Reality Principle: in Freud’s theory, the capacity to accommodate external demands by postponing gratification until the appropriate time or circumstances exist. (Hockenbury, 401)
Resistance: a patient’s unconscious attempts to block the revelation of repressed memories and conflicts. (Hockenbury, 551) The patient resists recovery and deliberately undermines the therapeutic process. (Bamford, 11/1/10)
Thanatos: in Freud’s theory, the death instinct, reflected in aggressive, destructive, and self-destructive actions. (Hockenbury, 401)
Transference: the process by which emotions and desires originally associated with a significant person in the patient’s life, such as a parent, are unconsciously transferred to the psychoanalyst. (Hockenbury, 551)