Psychology Exam Study Guide
Psychology began as the science of mental life.
Wundt focused on inner sensations, images,
James engaged in introspective examination of the stream of consciousness and
Freud emphasized the ways emotional responses to childhood experiences and
our unconscious thought processes affect behavior.
Thus, until the 1920s, psychology was
defined as “the science of mental life.”
From the 1920s into the 1960s, American psychologists, initially led by John B. Watson and
later by B. F. Skinner, dismissed introspection and redefined psychology as “the scientific
study of observable behavior.”
Humanistic psychology was a softer, 1960s response to Freudian psychology and to
behaviorism, which Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow found too mechanistic.
calling up childhood memories or focusing on learned behaviors, Rogers and Maslow both
emphasized the importance of current environmental influences on our growth potential, and
the importance of meeting our needs for love and acceptance.
In the 1960s, psychology began to recapture its initial interest in mental processes through the
studies of how our mind processes and retains information.
This cognitive revolution
supported earlier psychologists’ ideas about the importance of internal thought processes, but
expanded those ideas to explore scientifically the ways we perceive, process, and remember
To encompass psychology’s concern with observable behavior and with inner thoughts and
feelings, today we define psychology as the scientific study of behavior and mental processes.
Neurotransmitters and Their Functions
Examples of Malfunctions
Enables muscle action, learning,
With Alzheimer’s disease. Ach-
producing neurons deteriorate.
Influences movement, learning,
attention, and emotion.
Excess dopamine receptor
activity linked to schizophrenia.
Starved of dopamine, the brain
produces the tremors and
decreased mobility of
Affects mood, hunger, sleep,
Undersupply linked to
depression; Prozac and some
other antidepressant drugs raise