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WGU Psych Vocab
Terms in this set (156)
The creation of new cognitive schemas when objects, experiences, or other information does not fit with existing schemas.
The firing on a neuron. Occurs when the charge inside the neuron becomes more positive than the charge outside
Behavior that is unselfish and may even be detrimental but which benefits others.
The impairment of the ability to communicate either through oral or written discourse as a result of brain damage
Incorporating objects, experiences, or information into existing schemas
The phenomenon in learning that states we are better able to remember information if it is paired with something we are familiar with or otherwise stands out
An idea or belief about the etiology of a certain behavior
A rule of thumb stating that information more readily available in our memory is more important than information not as easily accessible
A type of behavioral treatment where an aversive stimuli is paired with a negative behavior in hopes that the behavior will change in the future to avoid the aversive stimuli.
The tail-like part of the neuron through which information exits the cell
As a way to avoid the placebo effect in research, this type of study is designed without the subject's knowledge of the anticipated results and sometimes even the nature of the study. The subjects are said to be 'blind' to the expected results
An aphasia associated with damage to the Broca's area of the brain, demonstrated by the impairment in producing understandable speech.
The main part of a neuron where the information is processed.
A young child's tendency to focus only on his or her own perspective of a specific object and a failure to understand that others may see things differently
The behavioral technique of pairing a naturally occurring stimulus and response chain with a different stimulus in order to produce a response which is not naturally occurring
Client Centered Therapy
A humanistic therapy based on Carl Roger's beliefs that an individual has an unlimited capacity for psychological growth and will continue to grow unless barriers are placed in the way
Power derived through the ability to punish
The process of receiving, processing, storing, and using information
The realization of contradictions in one's own attitudes and behaviors
The treatment approach based on the theory that our cognitions or thoughts control a large part of our behaviors and emotions. Therefore, changing the way we think can result in positive changes in the way we act and feel.
The physical act resulting from an obsession. Typically a compulsive act is done in an attempt to alleviate the discomfort created by an obsession.
The response in a stimulus-response chain that is not naturally occurring, but rather has been learned through its pairing with a naturally occurring chain.
The stimulus in a stimulus-response chain that is not naturally occurring, but rather has been learned through its pairing with a naturally occurring chain
The process of learning new behaviors or responses as a result of their consequences
The physiological changes in the brain associated with memory storage
The failure to store information in memory
Context Dependent Memory
The theory that information learned in a particular situation or place is better remembered when in that same situation or place
The group of subjects in an experiment that does not receive the independent variable
Statistical representation of a relationship between two or more variables which does not determine cause and effect.
The part of intelligence which involves the acquisition, as opposed to the use, of information
Theory which states that memory fades and/or disappears over time if it is not used or accessed
The part of long-term memory where factual information is stored, such as mathematical formulas, vocabulary, and life events
The variable in an experiment that is measured; the outcome of an experiment
The smallest change in perception which is noticeable at least 50% of the time
A separation from the self, with the most severe resulting in Dissociative Identity Disorder. Most of us experience this in very mild forms such as when we are driving long distance and lose time or find ourselves day dreaming longer than we thought
The ability to use previously gained information to debate or discuss issues which have no agreed upon definitive resolution
Double Blind Study
Research method in which both the subjects and the experimenter are unaware or 'blind' to the anticipated results
In Psychoanalytical theory, the part of the personality which maintains a balance between our impulses (id) and our conscience (superego).
A cognitive Psychologist who developed the concept of Rational-Emotive Therapy
Feelings about a situation, person, or objects that involves changes in physiological arousal and cognitions.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
The awareness of and ability to manage one's emotions in a healthy and productive manner
The transformation of information to be stored in memory
Subcategory of Declarative memory where information regarding life events are stored
Causal relationships of diseases; theories regarding how the specific disease or disorder began.
Research method using random assignment of subjects and the manipulation of variables in order to determine cause and effect
Errors in a research study due to the predisposed notions or beliefs of the experimenter
Power derived through advanced knowledge or experience in a particular subject
External Locus of Control
The belief that the environment has more control over life circumstances than the individual does
The reduction and eventual disappearance of a learned or conditioned response after it is no longer paired with the unconditioned stimulus-response chain
The desire or push to perform a certain behavior based on the potential external rewards that may be received as a result.
A statistical technique used to determine the number of components in a set of data. These components are then named according to their characteristics allowing a researcher to break down information into statistical groups
In Freud's theory of psychosexual development, the failure to complete a stage successfully which results in a continuation of that stage into later adulthood
Fixed Interval Schedule
A schedule in which the reinforcement is presented after a specific period of time
Fixed Ratio Schedule
A schedule in which the reinforcement is presented after a specific number of responses.
The phenomenon in memory which states that we tend to remember information better if it is repeated
often referred to as the father of clinical psychology. His extensive theory of personality development (psychoanalytical theory) is the cornerstone for modern psychological thought, and consists of (1) the psychosexual stages of development, (2) the structural model of personality (id, ego, superego), and (3) levels of consciousness (conscious, subconscious, and unconscious). See Psychoanalysis
A behavioral technique used to treat phobias in which the client is presented with the feared stimulus until the associated anxiety disapears
The part of intelligence which involves the use, as opposed to the acquisition, of information
Presenting information either positively or negatively in order to change the influence is has on an individual or group.
The psychoanalytic technique of allowing a patient to talk without direction or input in order to analyze current issues of the client
The lobe at the front of the brain associated with movement, speech, and impulsive behavior.
Fundamental Attribution Error
The tendency to over estimate the internal attributes of another person's actions
The tendency to associate stimuli, and therefore respond similarly to, due to their closeness on some variable such as size, shape, color, or meaning
The tendency for members of a cohesive group to make more extreme decisions due to the lack of opposing views.
The tendency for members of a cohesive group to reach decisions without weighing all the facts, especially those contradicting the majority opinion.
Sense of taste.
The tendency to assign generally positive or generally negative traits to a person after observing one specific positive or negative trait, respectively
A rule of thumb based on experience used to make decisions
Hierarchy of Needs
Maslow's Theory of Motivation which states that we must achieve lower level needs, such as food, shelter, and safety before we can achieve higher level needs, such as belonging, esteem, and self-actualization
Higher Order Conditioning
Pairing a second conditioned stimulus with the first conditioned stimulus in order to produce a second conditioned response
A theoretical view of human nature which stresses a positive view of human nature and the strong belief in psychological homeostasis
Treatment focused on increasing awareness of one's self concept
A prediction about the relationship between two or more variables
In Psychoanalytical theory, the part of the personality which contains our primitive impulses such as sex, anger, and hunger
Expressing contradictory behavior when describing or experiencing an emotion (e.g., smiling when discussing something sad; laughing when talking about the death of a loved one).
The variable in an experiment that is manipulated or compared
Decision making process in which ideas are processed from the specific to the general.
Occurring without learning, inborn.
The understanding of a relationship between current thoughts, feelings, and/or behaviors and where these originated or how they are maintained
Internal Locus of Control
The belief that an individual has more control over life circumstances than the environment does.
The ability to adapt to one's environment.
Intelligence Quotient [IQ]
The scores achieved on psychological tests aimed at quantifying intellectual ability.
The motivation or desire to do something based on the enjoyment of the behavior itself rather than relying on or requiring external reinforcement.
The tendency to focus energy inward resulting in decreased social interaction.
Learning that occurs without apparent reinforcement but is not demonstrated until such time as reinforcement occurs.
Locus of Control
A belief about the amount of control a person has over situations in their life.
Long Term Memory
Relatively permanent memory.
A method of determining an average where the sum of the scores are divided by the number of scores
Measure of Central Tendency
An average (see Mean, Median, and/or Mode)
A method of determining an average by using the score that falls in the middle of the distribution.
A method of determining an average by using the score(s) which occurs most frequently.
A research method where the subject(s) is(are) observed without interruption under normal or natural circumstances
A correlation where as one variable increases, the other decreases
A chemical found in animals that plays a role in our behavior, cognitions, and emotions
A frightening dream occurring in REM sleep
A subsystem within Long term memory which consists of skills we acquire through repetition and practice (e.g., dance, playing the piano, driving a car)
A graphical interpretation of a population that is 'bell shaped' as it has the highest frequency in the middle and this frequency diminishes the farther you get from the center on either end.
The understanding that objects exist even when they are not directly observed
A generic term for the psychological procedures used to measure personality which rely on measurable or objective techniques such as the MMPI-2 and WAIS-III.
The sense of smell.
Learning that occurs due to the manipulation of the possible consequences
The process of organizing and using information that is received through the senses
Parenting style consisting of very few rules and allowing children to make most decisions and control their own behavior.
The deliberate attempt to influence the thoughts, feelings or behaviors of another.
An intense fear of a specific object or situation. Most of us consider ourselves to have phobias, but to be diagnosable, the fear must significantly restrict our way of life.
The ability of the brain, especially in our younger years to compensate for damage
The entire group to which research is hoping to generalize (e.g., males, adults, U.S. citizens).
A correlation where as one variable increases, the other also increases, or as one decreases so does the other.
The tendency to remember the first bit of information in a series due to increased rehearsal.
A reinforcer that meets our basic needs such as food or water.
In Psychoanalytic Theory, the defense mechanism whereby we transfer or project our feelings about one person onto another.
Break from reality, usually identified by hallucinations, delusions, and/or disorientation
Assigning subjects to experimental groups based on chance
A group of subjects representing the population who are selected through chance
Rational Emotive Therapy
A Cognitive Therapy based on Albert Ellis' theory that cognitions control our emotions and behaviors; therefore, changing the way we think about things will affect the way we feel and the way we behave
A defense mechanism where unacceptable impulses are converted to their opposite
The tendency to remember the last bit of information due to the shorter time available for forgetting.
Tendency to fill in the gaps in our memory and often believe these represent true memories
Power given to an individual due to respect and/or desire to be similar to that individual
Anything that follows a behavior that increases the chances of that behavior occurring again
A defense mechanism where one reverts to an earlier stage of development
A statistical measure of a tests consistency, or ability to result in similar scores if given repeatedly
The process of bringing material out of long term memory and into consciousness
Power derived through an ability to offer rewards
A humanistic Psychologist who developed Client-Centered Therapy
The cognitive structure utilized to make sense of the world.
A reinforcer other than one which meets our basic needs such as food or water (e.g., intellectual stimulation, money, praise).
Errors in the selection and placement of subjects into groups that results in differences between groups which could effect the results of an experiment
One's belief in his or her own ability.
Self Serving Bias
The tendency to assign internal attributes to successes and external factors to failures
The part of declarative memory that stores general information such as names and facts
Information brought in through the senses
The brief storage of information brought in through the senses; typically only lasts up to a few seconds
Gradually molding a specific response by reinforcing responses that come close to the desired response
Short Term Memory
The stage of memory where information is stored for up to 30 seconds prior to either being forgotten or transferred to long term memory
Skinner, B. F
Considered the father of behavioral therapy. He once stated that with the ability to control a child's environment, he could raise a child to become anything he wanted.
The effect of other's presence on one's performance. Typically we perform simple or well-learned tasks better in front of others and difficult or novel tasks worse.
A statistical formula used to determine the amount of difference expected from one score to the next.
State Dependent Memory
The theory that information learned in a particular state of mind (e.g., depressed, happy, somber) is more easily recalled when in that same state of mind.
Anything in the environment to which one responds.
The process of saving information in long term memory
Anything, internal or external, which applies psychological pressure on an individual
A defense mechanism where undesired or unacceptable impulses are transformed into behaviors which are accepted by society
In Psychoanalytical theory, the part of the personality that represents the conscience.
Aristotle's theory of reasoning where two true statements are followed by a single logical conclusion
A treatment technique where the client is exposed to gradually increasing anxiety provoking stimuli while relaxing; the goal is for the client to eventually confront a phobia or fear without the previously associated anxiety
The sense of touch.
Intense feelings directed toward the therapist that many clients experience in the process of therapy
Unconditional Positive Regard
The nonjudgmental empathy and respect for another person
The response in a stimulus-response chain that is naturally occurring as opposed to learned.
The stimulus in a stimulus-response chain that is naturally occurring as opposed to learned
Statistical technique used to determine if a test is actually measuring what it is intended to measure
Any factor which has the potential to influence another factor in a research study
Variable Interval Schedule
A schedule in which the reinforcement is presented after a varying amount of time
Variable Ratio Schedule
A schedule in which the reinforcement is presented after a varying number of responses
Aphasia resulting from damage to the Wernicke's area of the frontal lobe. Affects written and spoken language.
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