The minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50 percent of the time
adapting one's current understandings to incorporate new information
the process by which the eye's lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the retina
a neurotransmitter that enables learning and memory and also triggers muscle contraction.
a desire for significant accomplishment: for mastery of things, people or ideas; for attaining high standards
a neural impulse; a brief electrical chargetat travels down an axon. The action potential is generated by the movement of positively charged atmos in and out of channels in the axon's membrane.
the sharpness of vision
compulsive drug craving and use.
the transition period from childhood to adulthood, extending from puberty to independence
a pair of endocrine glands just above the kidneys. The adrenals secrete the hormones epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (non adrenaline), which help to arouse the body in times of stress.
the relatively slow brain waves of a relaxed, awake state.
a progressive and irreversibe brain disorder characterized by gradual deterioration of memory, reasoning, language, and, finally, physical functioning
drugs that stimulate neural activity, causing speeded-up body functions and associated energy and mood changes.
two lima bean-sized neural clusters that are components of the limbic system and are linked to emotion.
an eating disorder in which a normal weight person (usually an adolescent female) diets and becomes significantly (15 percent or more underweight), yet, still feeling fat, continues to starve
impairment of language, usually caused by a left hemisphere damage either to Broca's area (impairment speaking) or to Wernicke's area (impairing understanding)
interpreting one's new experience in terms of one's existing schemas
areas of the cerebral cortex that are not involved in primary motor or sensory functions; rather, they are involved in higher mental functions such as learning, remembering, thinking, and speaking.
an emotional tie with another person; shown in young children by their seeking closeness to the caregiver and showing distress on separation
the sense or act of hearing
a disorder that appears in childood and is marked by deficient communication, social interaction, and understanding of other's states of mind
Autonomic nervous system
the part of the peripheral nervous system that controls the glands and the muscles of the internal organs (such as the heart). Its sympathetic division arouses; its parasympathetic division calms.
the extension of a neuron, ending in branching terminal fibers, through which messages pass to other neurons or to muscles or glands.
drugs that depress the activity of the CNS, reducing anxiety but impairing memory and judgment.
basal metabolic rate
the body's resting rate of energy expenditure
according to Erik Erikson, a sense that the world is predictable and trustworthy; said to be formed during infancy by appropriate experiences with responsive caregivers
depth cues, such as retinal disparity and convergence, that depend on the use of two eyes
a branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior.
periodic physiological fluctuations.
the point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye " creating a ""blind"" spot because no receptor cells are located there
Analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works up the brain's integration of sensory information
the oldest part and central core of the brain, beginning whre the spinal cord swells as it enters the skull; the brainstem is responsible for automatic survival functions.
controls language expression- an area of the frontal lobe, usually in the left hemisphere, that directs muscle movements involved in speech.
an eating disorder characterized by overeating, usually of high calorie foods, followed by vomiting, laxative use, fasting, or excessive exercise
an observation technique in which one person is studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles.
Central nervous system
the brain and spinal cord
the "little brain" attached to the rear of the brainstem; its functions include processing sensory input and coordinating movement output and balance
the intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells that covers the cerebral hemispheres; the body's ultimate control and information processing center.
the biological clock; regular bodily rhythms (for example, of temperature and wakefulness) that occur on a 24-hour-cycle.
"A coiled, bony, fluid-filled tube in the inner ear through which sound waves trigger nerve impulses." bony fluid-filled tube in the inner ear through which sound waves trigger nerve impulses
a device for converting sounds into electrical signals and stimulating the auditory nerve through electrodes threaded into the cochlea
all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating
perceiving familiar objects as having consistent color even if changing illumination alters the wavelengths reflected by the object
concrete operational stage
in Piaget's theory, the stage of cognitive development (from about 6 or 7 to 11 years of age) during which children gain mental operations that enable them to think logically about concrete events
Conduction hearing loss
hearing loss caused by damage to the mechanical system that conducts sound waves to the cochlea
Retinal receptor cells that are concentrated near the center of the retina and that function in daylight or in well-lit conditions. The cones detect fine detail and give rise to color sensations
our awareness of ourselves and our enviroment.
the principle (which Piaget believed to be a part of concrete operational theory) that properties such as mass, volume, and number remain the same despite changes in the forms of objects
a binocular cue for perceiving depth; the extent to which the eyes converge inward when looking at an object
the large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carrying messages between them.
an optimal period shortly after birth when an organism's exposure to certain stimuli or experiences produces proper development
thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions. Rather, it examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions.
a study in which people of different ages are compared with one another
one's accumulated knowledge and verbal skills; tends to increase with age
the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next.
the large, slow brain waves associated with deep sleep.
the bushy, branching extensions of a neuron that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body.
the outcome factor; the variable that may change in response to manipulations in the independent variable.
drugs (such as alcohol, barbiturates, and opiates) that reduce neural activity and slow body functions.
the ability to see objects in three dimensions although the images that strike the retina are two dimensional, allows us to judge distance
a branch of psychology that studies physical, cognitive, and social change throughout the life span
The minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50 percent of the time, We experience the difference threshold as a just noticeable difference. (also called just noticeable difference or jnd)
a split in consciousness, which allows some thoughts and behaviors to occur simultaneously with others.
a sequence of images, emotions, and thoughs passing through a sleeping person's mind. Dreams are notable for their hallucinatory imagery, discontinuities, and incongruities, and for the dreamer's delusional acceptance of the content and later difficulties remembering it.
drive reduction theory
the idea that a physiological need creates an aroused tension state (a drive) that motivates an organism to satisfy the need
the presumption that mind and body are two distinct entities that interact.
a synthetic stimulant and mild hallucinogen. Produces euphoria and social intimacy, but with short-term health risks and long term harm to serotonin-producing neurons and to mood and cognition.
in Piaget's theory, the preoperational child's difficulty in taking another's point of view
an amplified recordingof the waves of electrical activity that sweep across t brain's surface. The waves are measured by electrodes that are placed at the scalp
the developing human organism from about two weeks after fertilization through the second month
The body's "slow" chemical communication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream.
"morphine within" - natural, opiatelike neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure.
a sex hormone, secreted in greater amounts by females than by males. In nonhuman female animals, estrogen levels peak during ovulation, producing sexual receptivity
extrasensory perception (ESP)
the controversial claim that perception can occur apart from sensory input. Said to include telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition
False Consensus Effect
the tendency to overestimate the extent to which others share our beliefs and behaviors.
a condition also known as hyperopia in which faraway objects are seen more clearly than near objects because the image of near objects is focused behind the retina
nerve cells in the brain that respond to specific features of the stimulus such as shape angle or movement
fetal alcohol syndrome
physical and cognitive abnormalities in children caused by a pregnant woman's heavy drinking. In severe cases, symptoms include noticeable facial misproportions
The organization of the visual field into objects (the figures) that stand out from their surroundings (the ground)
a completely involved, focused state of consciousness, with diminished awareness of self and time, resulting from optimal engagement of one's skills
one's ability to reason speedily and abstractly; tends to decrease during late adulthood.
fMRI (functional MRI)
A technique for revealing bloodflow and, therefore, brain activity by comparing succesive MRI scans. MRI scans show brain anatomy; fMRI scans show brain function.
formal operational stage
in Piaget's theory, the stage of cognitive development (normally beginning at about age 12) during which people begin to think logically about abstract concepts
the central focal point in the retina around which the eye's cones cluster
The number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time (for example per second).
"In hearing, the theory that the rate of nerve impulses traveling up the auditory nerve matches the frequency of a tone, thus enabling us to sense its pitch." the theory that the rate of nerve impulses traveling up the auditory nerve matches the frequency of a tone thus enabling us to sense its pitch
the portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead; involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgements.
"the theory that the spinal cord contains a neurological ""gate"" that blocks pain signals or allows them to pass on to the brain. The ""gate"" is opened by the activity of pain signals traveling up small nerve fibers and is closed by activity in larger fibers or by information coming from the brain
an organized whole. Gestalt psychologist emphasize our tendency to integrate pieces of information into meaningful wholes
cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons.
the form of sugar that circulates in the blood and provides the major source of energy for body tissues. When its level is low, we feel hunger.
the perceptual tendency to organize stimuli into coherent groups
decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation. As infants gain familiarity with repeated exposure to visible stimulus, their interest wanes and they look away sooner.
false sensory pexperiences, such as seeing something in the absence of an external visual stimulus.
psychedelic ("mind manifesting") drugs, such as LSD, that distort perceptions and evoke sensory images in the absence of sensory input.
hierarchy of needs
Maslow's pyramid of human needs, beginning at the base with physiological needs that must first be satisfied before higher level safety needs and then psychological needs become active
the tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have seen it.
a tendency to maintain a balanced or constant internal state; the regulation of any aspect of body chemistry, such as blood glucose, around a particular level
chemical messengers, mostly those maufactured by the endocrine glands, that are produced in one tissue and affect another.
the dimension of color that is determined by the wavelength of light; what we know as the color names blue green and so forth
human factors psychology
a branch of psychology that explores how people and machines interact and how machines and physical environments can be adapted to human behaviors.
a social interaction in which one person (the hypnotist) suggests to another (the subject) that certain perceptions, feelings, thoughts, or behaviors will spontaneously occur.
a neural structure lying below (hypo) the thalamus; it directs several maintenance activities (eating, drinking, body temperature), helps govern the endocrine system pituitary gland, and is linked to emotion.
a testable prediction, often implied by a theory.
one's sense of self; according to Erikson, the adolescent's task is to solidify a sense of self by testing and integrating various roles
the process by which certain animals form attachments during a critical period very early in life
Failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere
a positive or negative environmental stimulus that motivates behavior
the experimental factor that is manipulated; the variable whose effect is being studied.
the application of psychological concepts and methods to optimizing human behavior in workplaces
the innermost part of the ear containing the cochlea semicircular canals and vestibular sacs
recurring problems in falling or staying asleep.
a complex behavior that is rigidly patterned throughout a species and is unlearned
the amount of energy in a light or sound wave which we perceive as brightness or loudness as determined by the wave's amplitude
Central nervous system neurons that internally communicate and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs.
in Erikson's theory, the ability to form close, loving relationships; a primary developmental task in late adolescence and early adulthood
a ring of muscle tissue that forms the colored portion of the eye around the pupil and controls the size of the pupil opening
The system for sensing the position and movement of individual body parts. This sense allows you to accurately touch your mouth nose and chin with your index finger with your eyes closed
according to Freud, the underlying meaning of a dream (as distinct from its manifest content). Freud believed that a dream's latent content functions as a safety valve.
the transparent structure behind the pupil that changes shape to help focus images on the retina
tissue destruction. A brain lesion is a naturally or experimentally caused destruction of brain tissue.
a doughnut-shaped system of neural structures at the border of the brain stem and cerebral hemispheres; associated with emotions such as fear and agression and drives such as those for food and sex. Includes the hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus.
research in which the same people are restudied and retested over a long period
a powerful hallucogenic drug; also known as acid (lysergic acid diethylamide).
according to Freud, the remembered story line of a dream (as distinct from its latent, or hidden, content).
biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior, relatively uninfluenced by experience
the arithmetic average of a distribution, obtained by adding the scores then dividing the number of scores.
the middle score in a distribution; half the scores are above it and half are below it.
the base of the brain stem; controls heartbeat and breathing.
the first menstrual period
the time of natural cessation of menstruation; also refers to the biological changes a woman experiences as her ability to reproduce declines
a powerfully addictive drug that stimulates the CNS, with speeded-up body functions and associated energy and mood changes; over time, appears to reduce baseline dopamine levels.
the chamber between the eardrum and cochlea containing three tiny bones (hammer anvil and stirrup) that concentrate the vibrations of the eardrum on the cochlea's oval window
the most frequently occurring score(s) in a distribution.
the presumption that mind and body are different aspects of the same thing.
distance cues, such as linear perspective and overlap, available to either eye alone.
a need or desire that energizes and directs behavior
an area in the rear of the frontal lobes that controls voluntary movements.
neurons that carry outgoing information from the central nervous system to the muscles and glands.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
a technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer generated images that distinguish among diferent types of soft tissue; allows us to see structures within the brain.
a layer of fatty tissue segmentally encasing the fibers of many neurons; enables vastly greater transmission speed of neural impulses as the impulse hops from one node to the next.
a sleep disorder characterized by uncontrollable sleep attacks. The sufferer may lapse directly into REM sleep, often at inopportune times.
an altered state of consciousness reported after a close brush with death (such as cardiac arrest); often similar to drug-induced hallucinations.
a condition also known as myopia in which nearby objects are seen more clearly than distant objects because distant objects focus in front of the retina
neural "cables" containing many axons. These bundled axons, which are part of the peripheral nervous system, connect the central nervous system with muscles, glands, and sense organs.
the body's speedy, electrocommunication system network, consisting of all the nerve cells of the peripheral and central nervous systems.
interconnected neural cells. With experience, networks can learn, as feedback strenghtens or inhibits connections that produce certain results. Computer simulations of neural networks show analogues learning.
a nerve cell; the basic building block of the nervous system.
chemical messengers that traverse the synaptic gaps between neurons. When released by the sending neuron, neurotransmitters travel across the synapse and bind to receptor sites on the receiving neuron, thereby infuencing whether that neuron will generate a neural impulse.
a sleep disorder characterized by high arousal and an appearance of being terrified; unlike nightmares, night terrors occur during stage 4 slee, within two or three hours of falling asleep, and are seldom remembered.
the awareness that things continue to exist even when not perceived
the portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the back of the head; inludes the visual areas, which receive visual information from the opposite visual field.
a statement of the procedures (operations) used to define research variables. For example, human intelligence may be operationally defined as what an intelligence test measures.
opium and its derivatives, such as morphine and heroin; they depress neural activity, temporarily lessening pain and anxiety.
The theory that opposing retinal processes (red-green yellow-blue white-black) enable color vision. For example some cells are stimulated by green and inhibited by red; others are stimulated by red and inhibited by green
the nerve that carries neural impulses from the eye to the brain
a subfield of I/O psychology that examines organizational influences on worker satisfaction and productivity and facilitates organized change
The processing of several aspects of a problem simultaneously; the brain's natural mode of information processing for many functions, including visions. Contrasts with the step-by-step (serial) processing of most computers and of conscious problem solving.
the study of paranormal phenomena, including ESP and psycho kinesis
Parasympathetic nervous system
the division of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body, conserving its energy.
the portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear; receives sensory input for touch and body position.
The process of organizing and interpreting sensory information, enabling us to recognize meaningful objects and events
in vision the ability to adjust to an artificially displaced or even inverted visual field
perceiving objects as unchanging (having consistent lightness, color, shape, and size) even as illumination and retinal images change
a mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another
Peripheral nervous system (PNS)
the sensory and motor neurons that connect the central nervous system (CNS) to the rest of the body.
a subfield of I/O psychology that focuses on employee recruitment, selection, placement, training, appraisal, and development
PET (positron emission tomography) scan
a visual display of brain activity that detects where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain performs a given task.
an illusion of movement created when two or more adjacent lights blink on and off in succession
a physiological need for a drug, marked by unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when the drug I discontinued.
a tone's experienced highness or lowness; depends on frequency
the endocrine system's most influential gland. Under the influence of the hypothalamus, the pituitary regulate growth and controls other endocrine glands.
"In hearing, the theory that links the pitch we hear with the place where the cochlea's membrane is stimulated." the theory that links the pitch we hear with the place where the cochlea's membrane is stimulated
the brain's caoacity for modification, as evident in brain reorganization following damage (especially in children) and in experiments on the effects of experience on brain development.
all the cases in a group, from which samples may be drawn for a study.
a suggestion, made during a hypnosis session, to be carried out after the suspect is no longer hypnotized; used by some clinicians to help control undesired symptoms and behaviors.
in Piaget's theory, the stage (from about 2 to 6 or 7 years of age) during which a child learns language but does not yet comprehend the mental operations of concrete logic
primary sex characteristics
the body structures (ovaries, testes, and external genitalia) that make sexual reproduction possible
The activation, often unconsciously, of certain associations, thus predisposing one's perception, memory, or response
a chemical substance that alters perceptions and moods.
a psychological need to use a drug, such as to relieve negative emotions.
The study of relationships between the physical characteristics of stimuli, such as their intensity, and our psychological experience of them
the period of sexual maturation, during which a person becomes capable of reproducing
the adjustable opening in the center of the eye through which light enters
assigning participants to experimental and control conditions by choice, thus minimizing preexisting differences between those assigned to the different groups.
the difference between the highest and lowest scores in a distribution.
a simple, automatic, inborn response to a sensory stimulus, such as the knee-jerk response.
a resting period after orgasm, during which a man cannot achieve another orgasm
the tendency for REM sleep to increase following REM sleep deprivation (created by repeated awakenings during REM sleep).
rapid eye movement sleep, a recurring sleep stage during which vivid dreams commonly occur. Also known as paradoxical sleep, because the muscles are relaxed (except for minor twitches) but other body systems are active.
repeating the essence of a research study, usually with different participants in different situations, to see whether the basic finding extends to other participants and circumstances.
a nerve network in the brain stem that plays an important role in controlling arousal.
the light-sensitive inner surface of the eye containing the receptor rods and cones plus layers of neurons that begin the processing of visual information
a binocular cue for perceiving depth: By comparing images from the two eyeballs, the brain computes distance- the greater the disparity (difference) between the two images, the closer the object.
retinal receptors that detect black white and gray; necessary for peripheral and twilight vision when cones don't respond
a baby's tendency, when touched on the cheek, to turn toward the touch, open the mouth, and search for the nipple
a concept or framework that organizes and interprets information
secondary sex characteristics
nonreproductive sexual characteristics, such as female breasts and hips, male voice quality, and body hair
the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus.
a sense of one's identity and personal worth
The process by which our sensory receptors and nervous system receive and represent stimulus energies from our environment
in Piaget's stage, the stage (from birth to about 2 years of age) during which infants know the world mostly in terms of their sensory impressions and motor activities
Sensorineural hearing loss
hearing loss caused by damage to the cochlea's receptor cells or to the auditory nerves; also called nerve deafness
Diminished sensitivity as a consequence of constant stimulation
the area at the front of the parietal lobes that registers and processes body touch and movement sensations.
the principle that one sense may influence another as when the smell of food influences its taste
neurons that carry incoming information from the sense receptors to the central nervous system.
the point at which an individual's "weight thermostat" is supposedly set. When the body falls below this weight, an increase in hunger and a lowered metabolic rate may act to restore the lost weight
a problem that consistently impairs sexual arousal or functioning
an enduring sexual attraction toward members of either one's own sex (homosexual orientation) or the other sex (heterosexual orientation)
sexual response cycle
the four stages of sexual responding described by Masters and Johnson- excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution
Signal detection theory
A theory predicting how and when we detect the presence of a faint stimulus ("signal") amid background stimulation ("noise"). Assumes there is no single absolute threshold and that detection depends partly on a person's experience, expectations, motivation, and level of fatigue
periodic, neural, reversible loss of consciousness- as distinct from unconsciousness resulting from a coma, general anesthesia, or hibernation.
a sleep disorder characterized by temporary cessations of breathing during sleep and repeated momentary awakenings.
the culturally preferred timing of social events such as marriage, parethood, and retirement
group oriented leadership that builds teamwork, mediates conflict, and offers support
Somatic nervous system
the division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the body's skeletal muscles.Also called the skeletal nervous system.
a condition in which the two hemispheres of the brain are isolated by cutting the connecting fibers (mainly those of the corpus callosum) between them.
a computed measure of how much scores vary around the mean score.
a statistical statement of how likely it is that an obtained result occurred by chance.
drugs (such as caffeine, nicotene, and the more powerful amphetamines, cocaine, and Ecstasy) that excite neural activity and speed up body functions.
the fear of strangers that infants commonly display, beginning at about 8 months of age
interview process that asks the same job relevant questions of all applicants, each of whom is rated on established scales
Below one's absolute threshold for conscious awareness
a technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes or behaviors of people, usually by questioning a representative, random sample of them.
Sympathetic nervous system
the division of the autonomic nervous system that arouse the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations.
the junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or the cell body of the receiving neuron. The tiny gap at this junction is called the synaptic gap or cleft.
goal-oriented leadership that sets standards, organizes work, and focuses attention on goals
the portion of the cerebral cortex lying roughly above the ears; includes the auditory areas, each of which receives auditory information primarily from the opposite sex.
agents, such as chemicals and viruses, that can reach the embryo or fetus during prenatal development and cause harm.
the most important of the male sex hormones. Both males and females have it, but the additional testosterone in males stimulates the growth of the male sex organs in the fetus and the development of the male sex characteristics during puberty.
the brain's sensory switchboard, located on the top of the rainstem; it directs messages to the sensory receiving areas in the cortex and transmits replies to the cerebellum and medulla.
the major active ingredient in marijuana; triggers a variety of effects, including mild hallucinations.
an explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes and predicts observations.
theory of mind
people's ideas about their own and others' mental states- about their feelings, perceptions, and thoughts and the behaior these might predict
the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse.
the diminishing effect with regular use of the same dose of a drug, requiring the user to take larger and larger doses to before experiencing the drug's effect.
Information processing guided by higher-level mental processes, as when we construct perceptions drawing on our experience and expectations
Conversion of one form of energy into another. In sensation, the transforming stimulus energies, such as sights, sounds, and smells, into neural impulses our brains can interpret
The sense of body movement and position including the sense of balance. This also lets you know if your body is in a horizontal or vertical position
the tendency for vision to dominate the other senses
a laboratory device for testing depth in infants and young animals
The distance from the peak of one light or sound wave to the peak of the next. Electromagnetic wavelengths vary from the short blips of cosmic rays to the long pulses of radio transmission
The principle that, to be perceived as different, two stimuli must differ by a constant minimum percentage (rather than a constant amount)
controls language reception- a brain area involved in language comprehension and expression; usually in the left temperal lobe.
the discomfort and distress that follow discontinuing the use of an addictive drug.
Young-Helmholtz trichromatic (three-color) theory
the theory that the retina contains three different color receptors—one most sensitive to red one to green one to blue—which when stimulated in combination can produce the perception of any color