651 terms

AP Psychology Exam Review - REVISED

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cerebral cortex
wrinkled outer portion of brain; center for higher order brain functions such as thinking, planning, judgment; processes sensory information and directs movement
Aaron Beck
pioneer in Cognitive Therapy. Suggested negative beliefs cause depression.
abnormal behavior
Behavior characterized as atypical, socially unacceptable, distressing to the individual or others, maladaptive, and/or the result of distorted cognitions
abnormal psychology
The field of psychology concerned with the assessment, treatment, and prevention of maladaptive behavior
Abraham Maslow
humanistic psychology; hierarchy of needs-needs at a lower level dominate an individual's motivation as long as they are unsatisfied; self-actualization, transcendence
Absolute threshold
The statistically determined minimum level of stimulation necessary to excite a perceptual system.
Accommodation
According to Piaget, the process by which existing mental structures and behaviors are modified to adapt to new experiences
acetylcholine (ACh)
neurotransmitter that causes contraction of skeletal muscles; lack of Ach linked with Alzheimer's disease;
achievement test
test designed to determine a person's level of knowledge in a given subject area
action potential
an electrical current sent down the axon of a neuron and is initiated by the rapid reversal of the polarization of the cell membrane
actor-observer Effect
The tendency to attribute the behavior of others to dispositional causes but to attribute one's own behavior to situational causes.
adaptation
a trait or inherited characteristic that has increased in a population because it solved a problem of survival or reproduction
adolescence
The period of extending from the onset of puberty to early adulthood
adrenal glands
endocrine glands located above the kidney and secretes epinephrine and norepinephrine, which prepare the body for "fight or flight"
afferent neuron
nerve cell that sends messages to brain or spinal cord from other parts of the body; also called sensory neurons
ageism
Prejudice against the elderly and the resulting discrimination against them
agonist
chemical that mimics or facilitates the actions of a neurotransmitter
agoraphobia
anxiety disorder characterized by marked fear and avoidance of being alone in a place from which escape might be difficult or embarrassing
Albert Bandura
pioneer in observational learning (AKA social learning), stated that people profit from the mistakes/successes of others; Studies: Bobo Dolls-adults demonstrated 'appropriate' play with dolls, children mimicked play
Albert Ellis
pioneer in Rational-Emotive Therapy (RET), focuses on altering client's patterns of irrational thinking to reduce maladaptive behavior and emotions
Alfred Adler
neo-Freudian, psychodynamic; Contributions: inferiority complex, organ inferiority; Studies: birth order influences personality
Alfred Binet
pioneer in intelligence (IQ) tests, designed a test to identify slow learners in need of help-not applicable in the U.S. because it was too culture-bound (French)
algorithm
Procedure for solving a problem by implementing a set of rules over and over again until the solution is found.
all-or-none principle
the law that the neuron either fires at 100% or not at all
altruism
Behaviors that benefit other people and for which there is no discernable extrinsic reward, recognition, or appreciation.
Alzheimer's Disease
A chronic and progressive disorder of the brain that is the most common cause of degeneration dementia
amnesia
inability to remember information (typically, all events within a specific period), usually due to physiological trauma
amygdala
part of the limbic system; influences emotions such as aggression, fear, and self-protective behaviors
anal stage
Freud's second stage of personality development, from about age 2 to about age 3, during which children learn to control the immediate gratification they obtain through defecation and to become responsive to the demands of society.
androgynous
Having both stereotypically male and stereotypically female characteristics
Anna O.
Austrian-Jewish woman (real name: Bertha Pappenheim) diagnosed with hysteria, treated by Josef Breuer for severe cough, paralysis of the extremities on the right side of her body, and disturbances of vision, hearing, and speech, as well as hallucinations and loss of consciousness. Her treatment is regarded as marking the beginning of psychoanalysis.
anorexia nervosa
eating disorder most common in adolescent females characterized by weight less than 85% of normal, restricted eating, and unrealistic body image
antagonist
chemical that opposes the actions of a neurotransmitter
anterograde amnesia
loss of memory for events and experiences occurring from the time of an amnesia-causing event forward
antisocial personality disorder
Personality disorder characterized by egocentricity, and behavior that is irresponsible and that violates the rights of other people, a lack of guilt feelings, an inability to understand other people and a lack of fear of punishment.
anxiety
a generalized feeling of fear and apprehension that may be related to a particular situation or object and is often accompanied by increased physiological arousal.
aphasia
inability to understand or use language
approach-approach conflict
Conflict that results from having to choose between two attractive alternatives
approach-avoidance conflict
Conflict that results from having to choose an alternative that has both attractive and unappealing aspects
aptitude test
a test designed to predict a person's future performance
archetypes
In Jung's theory, the emotionally charged ideas and images that are rich in meaning and symbolism and exist within the collective unconscious.
Aristotle
Ancient Greek philosopher. Wrote "Peri Psyches" ("About the Mind").
arousal
Activation of the central nervous system, the autonomic nervous system, and the muscles and glands
assessment
Process of evaluating individual differences among human beings by means of tests interviews, observations, and recordings of physiological.
assimilation
According to Piaget, the process by which new ideas and experiences are absorbed and incorporated into existing mental structures and behaviors
association areas
areas of the cerebral cortex that are not involved in primary motor or sensory functions, rather, they are involved in higher mental processes such as thinking, planning, and communicating
attachment
The strong emotional tie that a person feels toward special other persons in his or her life
attitudes
Patterns of feelings and beliefs about other people, ideas, or objects that are based on a person's past experiences, shape his or her future behavior, and are evaluative in nature.
attributions
The process by which a person infers other people's motives or intensions by observing their behavior.
authoritarian parenting
style of parenting marked by emotional coldness, imposing rules and expecting obedience
authoritative parenting
parenting style characterized by emotional warmth, high standards for behavior, explanation and consistent enforcement of rules, and inclusion of children in decision making
autonomic nervous system
a division of the peripheral nervous system that regulates involuntary functions; made up of sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems
aversive conditioning
learning involving an unpleasant or harmful stimulus or reinforcer
aversive counterconditioning
A counterconditioning technique in which an aversive or noxious stimulus is paired with a stimulus with the undesirable behavior.
avoidance-avoidance conflict
Conflict that results from having to choose between two distasteful alternatives
axon
a single long, fiber that carries outgoing messages to other neurons, muscles, or glands
axon terminal
terminal button, synaptic knob; the structure at the end of an excellent terminal branch; houses the synaptic vesicles and neurotransmitters
B.F. Skinner
behaviorism; pioneer in operant conditioning; behavior is based on an organism's reinforcement history; worked with pigeons
Babinski reflex
Reflex in which a newborn fans out the toes when the sole of the foot is touched
behavior
an observable action
behavior therapy
A therapy that is based on the application of learning principles to human behavior and that focuses on changing overt behaviors rather than on understanding subjective feelings, unconscious processes, or motivations; also known as behavior modification.
behavioral genetics
study of hereditary influences and how it influences behavior and thinking
behaviorism
perspective that defines psychology as the study of behavior that is directly observable or through assessment instruments
binocular cues
depth cues that are based on two eyes
biofeedback
A process through which people receive information about the status of a physical system and use this feedback information to learn to control the activity of that system
bipolar disorder
mood disorder originally know as manic-depressive disorder because it is characterized by behavior that vacillates between two extremes; mania and depression.
blind spot
area on retina with no receptor cells (where optic nerve leaves the eye)
blood-brain barrier
A mechanism that prevents certain molecule from entering the brain but allows others to cross
body language
Communication of information through body positions and gestures.
bonding
Special process of emotional attachment that may occur between parents and babies in the minutes and hours immediately after birth
bottom-up processing
information processing that begins at the sensory receptors and works up to perception
brainstem
top of the spinal column
brightness
The lightness or darkness of reflected light, determined in large part by the light's intensity.
Broca's area
located in left frontal lobe; controls production of speech
bulimia nervosa
An eating disorder characterized by repeated episodes of binge eating (and a fear of not being able to stop eating) followed by purging
burnout
State of emotional and physical exhaustion, lowered productivity, and feelings of isolation, often caused by work-related pressures
bystander effect
Unwillingness to help exhibited by witnesses to an event, which increase when there are more observers.
Cannon-Bard theory of emotion
conscious experience of emotion and physiological arousal occur at the same time
Carl Jung
neo-Freudian, analytic psychology; archetypes; collective unconscious; libido is all types of energy, not just sexual; dream studies/interpretation
Carl Rogers
humanistic psychology; Contributions: founded client-centered therapy, theory that emphasizes the unique quality of humans especially their freedom and potential for personal growth, unconditional positive regard,
Carol Gilligan
moral development studies to follow up Kohlberg. She studied girls and women and found that they did not score as high on his six stage scale because they focused more on relationships rather than laws and principles. Their reasoning was merely different, not better or worse
case study
a highly detailed description of a single individual or a vent
catatonic schizophrenia
Type of schizophrenia characterized either by displays of excited or violent motor activity or by stupor.
central nervous system
the brain and spinal cord
cerebellum
part of the brain that coordinates balance, movement, reflexes
Charles Darwin
biologist; developed theory of evolution; transmutation of species, natural selection, evolution by common descent; "The Origin of Species" catalogs his voyage on The Beagle
Charles Spearman
intelligence; found that specific mental talents were highly correlated, concluded that all cognitive abilities showed a common core which he labeled 'g' (general ability)
chromosome
threadlike structure within the nucleus of cells that contain genes
chunks
manageable and meaningful units of information organized in such a way that it can be easily encoded, stored, and retrieved
circadian rhythms
Internally generated patterns of body functions, including hormonal signals, sleep, blood pressure, and temperature regulation, which have approximately a 24-hour cycle and occur even in the absence of normal cues about whether it is day or night
Clark Hull
motivation theory, drive reduction; maintained that the goal of all motivated behavior is the reduction or alleviation of a drive state, mechanism through which reinforcement operates
classical conditioning
Conditioning process in which an originally neutral stimulus, by repeated pairing with a stimulus that normally elicits a response, comes to elicit a similar or even identical response; aka Pavlovian conditioning
client-centered therapy
An insight therapy, developed be Carl Rogers, that seeks to help people evaluate the world and themselves from their own perspective by providing them with a nondirective environment and unconditional positive regard; also known as person-centered therapy.
clinical psychologist
psychologist who treats people serious psychological problems or conducts research into the causes of behavior
cochlea
snail-shaped fluid-filled tube in the inner ear involved in transduction
cognitive dissonance
A state of mental discomfort arising from a discrepancy between two or more of a person's beliefs or between a person's beliefs and overt behavior.
cognitive psychology
perspective that focuses on the mental processes involved in perception, learning, memory, and thinking
cognitive-appraisal theory of emotion
our emotional experience depends on our interpretation of the situation we are in
cohort effect
observed group differences based on the era when people were born and grew up, exposing them to particular experiences that may affect the results of cross-sectional studies
collective unconscious
In Jung's theory, a shared storehouse of primitive ideas and images that reside in the unconscious and are inherited from one's ancestors.
color blindness
The inability to perceive different hues.
computerized axial tomography (CT scan)
creates a computerized image using x-rays passed through the brain
concept
Mental category used to classify an event or object according to some distinguishing property or feature.
concordance rate
The degree to which a condition or traits shared two or more individuals or groups
concrete operational stage
Piaget's thrid stage of cognitive development (lasting from approximately age 6 or 7 to age 11 or 12), during which the child develops the ability to understand constant factors in the environment, rules, and higher-order symbolic systems
conditioned response
Response elicited by a conditioned stimulus
conditioned stimulus
Neutral stimulus that, through repeated association with an unconditioned stimulus, begins to elicit a conditioned response
conditioning
Systematic procedure through which associations and responses to specific stimuli are learned
cones
photoreceptors that detect color and fine detail in bright-light conditions; not present in peripheral vision
conflict
The emotional state or condition that arises when a person must choose between two or more competing motives, behaviors, or impulses
conformity
People's tendency to change attitudes or behaviors so that they are consistent with those of other people or with social norms.
confounding variable
anything that causes a difference between the IV and the DV other than the independent variable
consciousness
The general state of being aware of and responsive to events in the environment, as well as one's own mental processes; also, Freud's level of mental life that consists of those experiences that we are aware of at any given time.
conservation
Ability to recognize that objects can e transformed in some way, visually or phycially, yet still be the same in number, weight, substance, or volume
control group
subjects and not exposed to a changing variable in an experiment
conventional level of moral development
morality based on fitting in to the norms of society
convergent thinking
In problem solving, the process of narrowing down choices and alternatives to arrive at a suitable answer.
convolutions
the folds in the cerebral cortex that increase the surface area of the brain
coping
Process by which a person takes some action to manage, master, tolerate, or reduce environmental or internal demands that cause or might cause stress and that tax the individual's inner resources
cornea
transparent covering of the eye
corpus callosum
large band of white neural fibers that connects to to brain hemispheres and carries messages between them; myelinated; involved in intelligence, consciousness, and self-awareness; does it reach full maturity until 20s
correlation coefficient
a number that expresses the degree and direction of the relationship between 2 variables, ranging from -1 to +1
correlational research
establish the relationship between two variables
counseling psychologist
psychologist who treats people with adjustment problems
counterconditioning
Process of reconditioning in which a person is taught a new, more adaptive response to a familiar stimulus.
creativity
A feature of thought and problem solving that includes the tendency to generate or recognize ideas considered to be high-quality, original, novel, and appropriate.
critical period
The time in to development of an organism when it is especially sensitive to certain environmental influences; outside of that period the same influences will have far less effect
cross-sectional studies
A type of research design that compares individuals of different ages to determine how they differ
cross-sectional study
A type of research design that compares individuals of different ages to determine how they differ on an important dimension
crystallized intelligence
learned knowledge and skills such as vocabulary, which tends to increase with age
Daniel Goleman
emotional intelligence
dark adaptation
The increase in sensitivity to light that occurs when the illumination level changes from high to low, causing chemicals in the rods and cones to regenerate and return to their inactive state.
Darley & Latane
social psychology; bystander apathy, diffusion of responsibility
David Rosenhan
did study in which healthy patients were admitted to psychiatric hospitals and diagnoses with schizophrenia; showed that once you are diagnosed with a disorder, the label, even when behavior indicates otherwise, is hard to overcome in a mental health setting
David Weschler
established an intelligence test especially for adults (WAIS); also WISC and WPPSI
debriefing
Informing participants about the true nature of an experiment after its completion
decay
loss of information from memory as a result of disuse and the passage of time
decision making
Assessing and choosing among alternatives.
declarative memory
memory for specific information
defense mechanism
An unconscious way of reducing anxiety by distorting perceptions of reality.
deindividuation
The process by which individuals lose their self-awareness and distinctive personality in the context of a group, which may lead them to engage in antinormative behavior.
delusions
False beliefs that are inconsistent with reality but are held in spite of evidence that disproves them.
demand characteristics
Elements of an experimental situation that might cause a participant to perceive the situation in a certain way or become aware of the purpose of the study and thus bias the participant to behave in a certain way, and in so doing, distort results.
dementia
Impairment of mental functioning and global cognitive abilities in otherwise alert individuals, causing memory loss and related symptoms and typically having a progressive nature
dendrites
branching extensions of neuron that receives messages from neighboring neurons
denial
Defense mechanism by which people refuse to accept reality.
dependence
The situation that occurs when the drug becomes part of the body's functioning and produces withdrawal symptoms when the drug is discontinued
dependent variable
the variable in a controlled experiment that is expected to change due to the manipulation of the independent variable
depressants (AKA sedative-hypnotics)
Any of a class of drugs that relax and calm a user and, in higher doses, induce sleep; also known as a depressant
depressive disorders
general category of mood disorders in which people show extreme and persistent sadness, despair, and loss of interest in life's usual activities.
descriptive statistics
general set of procedures used to summarize, condense, and describe sets of data
descriptive Studies
A type of research method that allows researchers to measure variables so that they can develop a description of a situation or phenomenon
developmental psychologist
studies psychological development across the lifespan
developmental psychology
The study of the lifelong, often age-related, processes of change in the physical, cognitive, moral, emotional, and social domains of functioning; such changes are rooted in biological mechanisms that are genetically controlled, as well as in social interactions
deviation IQ
A standard IQ test score whose mean and standard deviation remain constant for all ages
dichromats
People who can distinguish only two of the three basic colors.
difference threshold
minimum difference between any two stimuli that person can detect 50% of the time
discrimination
Behavior targeted at individuals or groups and intended to hold them apart and treat them differently.
disorganized schizophrenia
type of schizophrenia characterized by severely disturbed thought processes, frequent incoherence, disorganized behavior, and inappropriate affect.
displacement
Defense mechanism by which people divert sexual or aggressive feelings for one person onto another person.
dissociative amnesia
Dissociative disorder characterized by the sudden and extensive inability to recall important personal information, usually of a traumatic or stressful nature.
dissociative disorders
psychological disorders characterized by a sudden but temporary alteration in consciousness, identity, sensorimotor behavior, or memory
dissociative identity disorder
dissociative disorder characterized by the existence within an individual of two or more distinct personalities, each of which is dominant at different times and directs the individual's behavior at those times; commonly known as multiple personality disorder.
divergent thinking
In problem solving, the process of widening the range of possibilities and expanding the options for solutions.
DNA
deoxyribonucleic acid; genetic formation in a double-helix; can replicate or reproduce itself; made of genes
dominant genes
member of a gene terror that controls the appearance of a certain trait
dopamine
neurotransmitter that influences voluntary movement, attention, alertness; lack of dopamine linked with Parkinson's disease; too much is linked with schizophrenia
double bind
a situation in which an individual is given two different and inconsistent messages.
double-blind procedure
A research technique in which neither the experimenter nor the participants know who is in the control and experimental groups.
dream analysis
Psychoanalytic technique in which a patient's dreams are described in detail and interpreted so as to provide insight into the individual's unconscious motivations.
drive
an internal aroused condition that directs an organism to satisfy a physiological need
drive theory (aka, drive-reduction theory)
an explanation of behavior that assumes that an organism is motivated to act because of a need to attain, reestablish, or maintain some goal that helps with survival
drug
Any chemical substance that, in small amounts, alters biological or cognitive processes or both
dualism
seeing mind and body as two different things that interact
eclectic
use of techniques and ideas from a variety of approaches
educational psychologist
focuses on how effective teaching and learning take place
Edward Titchener
Student of Wilhelm Wundt; founder of Structuralist school of psychology.
Edward Thorndike
behaviorism; Law of Effect-relationship between behavior and consequence
EEG (electroencephalogram)
shows brain's electrical activity by positioning electrodes over the scalp
efferent neuron
nerve cell that send messages from brain and spinal cord to other parts of body; also called motor neurons
ego
In Freud's theory, the part of personality that seeks to satisfy instinctual needs in accordance with reality.
egocentrism
Inability to perceive a situation or event except in relation to oneself; also know as self-centeredness
elaboration likelihood model
Theory suggesting that there are two routes to attitude change: the central route, which focuses on thoughtful consideration of an argument for change, and the peripheral route, which focuses on less careful, more emotional, and even superficial evaluation.
elaborative rehearsal
rehearsal involving repletion and analysis, in which a stimulus may be associated with (linked to) other information and further processed
electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
A treatment for severe mental illness in which an electric current is briefly applied to the head in order to produce a generalized seizure.
electroencephalogram (EEG)
Graphical record of brain-wave activity obtained through electrodes placed on the scalp and forehead
electromagnetic radiation
The entire spectrum of waves initiated by the movement of charged particles.
Elizabeth Kübler-Ross
developmental psychology; wrote "On Death and Dying": 5 stages the terminally ill go through when facing death (1. denial, 2. anger, 3. bargaining, 4. depression, 5. acceptance)
Elizabeth Loftus
cognition and memory; studied repressed memories and false memories; showed how easily memories could be changed and falsely created by techniques such as leading questions and illustrating the inaccuracy in eyewitness testimony
embryo
The prenatal organism from the 5th through the 49th day after conception
emotion
A subjective response, usually accompanied by a physiological change, which is interpreted n a particular way by the individual and often leads to a change in behavior
emotional intelligence
the ability to perceive, express, understand, and regulate emotions
empiricism
the view that knowledge should be acquired through observation and often an experiment
encoding
organizing sensory information so it can be processed by the nervous system
encoding specificity principle
retrieval cues that match original information work better
endocrine system
glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream, which regulate body and behavioral processes
endorphins
chemical similar to opiates that relieves pain; may induce feelings of pleasure
epinephrine
adrenaline; activates a sympathetic nervous system by making the heart beat faster, stopping digestion, enlarging pupils, sending sugar into the bloodstream, preparing a blood clot faster
episodic memory
memory of specific personal events and situations (episodes) tagged with information about time
Erik Erikson
neo-Freudian, humanistic; 8 psychosocial stages of development: theory shows how people evolve through the life span. Each stage is marked by a psychological crisis that involves confronting "Who am I?"
ESP
the controversial claim that sensation can occur apart from sensory input
ethics
rules of proper and acceptable conduct that investigators use to guide psychological research
ethnocentrism
tendency to believe that one's own group is the standard, the reference point by which other people and groups should be judged
evolutionary psychology
perspective that seeks to explain and predict behaviors by analyzing how the human brain developed over time, how it functions, and how input from the environment affects human behaviors
ex post facto study
a type of design that contrasts groups of people who differ on some variable of interest to the researcher
excitatory neurotransmitter
chemical secreted at terminal button that causes the neuron on the other side of the synapse to fire
excitement phase
the first phase of the sexual response cycle during which there are increases in heart rate blood pressure and respiration
expectancy theories
Explanations of behavior that focus on people's expectations about reaching a goal and their need for achievement as energizing factors
experimental
A design in which researchers manipulate an independent variable and measure a dependent variable to determine a cause-and-effect relationship
experimental group
in an experiment, the group of participants to whom a treatment is given
experimenter bias
expectation of the person conducting an experiment which may be affect the outcome
explicit memory
conscious memory that a person is aware of
extinction (classical conditioning)
The procedure of withholding the unconditioned stimulus and presenting the conditioned stimulus alone, which gradually reduces the probability of the conditioned response
extinction (operant conditioning)
The process by which the probability of an organism's emitting a response is reduced when reinforcement no longer follows the response
extrinsic motivation
Motivation supplied by rewards that come from the external environment
factor analysis
Statistical procedure designed to discover the independent elements (factors) in any set of data
family studies
studies of hereditability on the assumption that if a gene influences a certain trait, close relatives should be more similar on that trait in distant relative
family therapy
A type of therapy in which two or more people who are committed to one another's well-being are treated at once, in and effort to change the ways the interact.
fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
group of abnormalities that occur in the babies of mothers who drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy
fetus
The prenatal organism from the 8th week after conception until birth
fixation
An excessive attachment to some person or object that was appropriate only at an earlier stage of development
fixed-interval schedule
A reinforcement schedule in which a reinforcer (reward) is delivered after a specified interval of time, provided that the required response occurs at least once in the interval
fixed-ratio schedule
A reinforcement schedule in which a reinforcer(reward) is delivered after a specified number of responses has occurred
flashbulb memories
detailed memory for events surrounding a dramatic event that is vivid and remembered with confidence
fluid intelligence
cognitive abilities requiring speed or rapid learning that tends to diminish with age
forebrain
top of the brain which includes the thalamus, hypothalamus, and cerebral cortex; responsible for emotional regulation, complex thought, memory aspect of personality
forebrain
largest, most complicated, and most advanced of the three divisions of the brain; comprises the thalamus, hypothalamus, limbic system, basal ganglia, corpus callosum, and cortex
forensic psychologist
applies psychological concepts to legal issues
formal operational stage
Piaget's fourth and final stage of cognitive development (beginning at about age 12), during which the individual can think hypothetically, can consider future possibilites, and can use deductive logic
fovea
small area of retina where image is focused
fraternal twins
twins from two separate fertilized eggs (zygotes); share half of the same genes
free association
Psychoanalytic technique in which a person is asked to report to the therapist his or her thoughts and feelings as they occur, regardless of how trivial, illogical, or objectionable their content may appear.
frequency
number of wavelengths that pass a point in a given amount of time; determines hue of light and the pitch of a sound
frontal lobes
control emotional behaviors, make decisions, carry out plans; speech (Broca's area); controls movement of muscles
fulfillment
In Roger's theory of personality, an inborn tendency directing people toward actualizing their essential nature and thus attaining their potential.
functional fixedness
Inability to see that an object can have a function other than its stated or usual one.
functional MRI (fMRI)
shows brain activity at higher reolution than PET scan when changes in oxygen concentration in neurons alters its magnetic qualities
functionalism
school of psychological thought that was concerned with how and why the conscious mind works
fundamental attribution error
The tendency to attribute other people's behavior to dispositional (internal) causes rather than situational (external) causes.
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid)
neurotransmitter that inhibits firing of neurons; linked with Huntington's disease
gate control theory
pain is only experienced in the pain messages can pass through a gate in the spinal cord on their route to the brain
gender
A socially and culturally constructed set of distinctions between masculine and feminine sets of behaviors that is promoted and expected by society
gender identity
A person's sense of being male or female
gender stereotype
A fixed, overly simple, sometimes incorrect idea about traits, attitudes, and behaviors of males or females
gene
a DNA segment on a chromosome that controls transmission of traits
generalized anxiety disorder
An anxiety disorder characterized by persistent anxiety occurring on more days than not for at least 6 months, sometimes with increased activity of the autonomic nervous system, apprehension, excessive muscle tension, and difficulty in concentrating
genetics
study of how traits are transmitted from one generation to the next
genital stage
Freud's last stage of personality development, from the onset of puberty through adulthood, during which the sexual conflicts of childhood resurface (at puberty) and are often resolved during adolescence).
genotype
an individual's genetic make-up
Gestalt psychology
school of psychological thought that argued that behavior cannot be studied in parts but must be viewed a s whole
glial cells
supportive cells of nervous system that guide growth of new neurons; forms myelin sheath; holds neuron in place; provides nourishment and removes waste
gonads
reproductive glands-male, testes; female, ovaries
Gordon Allport
trait theory of personality; 3 levels of traits: cardinal, central, and secondary
grammar
The linguistic description of how a language functions, especially the rules and patterns used for generating appropriate and comprehensible sentences.
grasping reflex
Reflex that causes a newborn to grasp vigorously any object touching the palm or fingers or placed in the hand
group polarization
Shifts or exaggeration in group members' attitudes or behavior as a result of group discussion.
group therapy
Psychotherapeutic process in which several people meet as a group with a therapist to receive psychological help.
groupthink
The tendency of people in a group to seek concurrence with one another when reaching a decision, rather than effectively evaluating options.
gustation
sense of taste
habituation
decreased responsiveness with repeated presentation of the same stimulus
hallucinogens (AKA psychedelic drugs)
Consciousness-altering drugs that affect moods, thoughts, memory, judgment, and perception and that are consumed for the purpose of producing those results
halo effect
The tendency for one characteristic of an individual to influence a tester's evaluation of other characteristics
Hans Eysenck
personality theorist; asserted that personality is largely determined by genes, used introversion/extroversion
Harry Harlow
development, contact comfort, attachment; experimented with baby rhesus monkeys and presented them with cloth or wire "mothers;" showed that the monkeys became attached to the cloth mothers because of contact comfort
health psychology
Subfield concerned with the use of psychological ideas and principles to enhance health, prevent illness, diagnose and treat disease, and improve rehabilitation
Henry Murray
personality assessment; created the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) with Christina Morgan, stated that the need to achieve varied in strength in different people and influenced their tendency to approach and evaluate their own performances
heritability
the proportion of variation among individuals that is due to genetic causes
Herman von Helmholtz
Theorist who both aided in the development of the trichromatic theory of color perception and Place theory of pitch perception.
Hermann Ebbinghaus
the first person to study memory scientifically and systematically; used nonsense syllables and recorded how many times he had to study a list to remember it well
Hermann Rorschach
developed one of the first projective tests, the Inkblot test which consists of 10 standardized inkblots where the subject tells a story, the observer then derives aspects of the personality from the subject's commentary
heuristics
Sets of strategies, rather than strict rules, that act as guidelines for discovery-oriented problem solving.
higher-order conditioning
Process by which a neutral stimulus takes on conditioned properties through pairing with a conditioned stimulus
hindbrain
the most primitive of the three functional divisions of the brain, which includes the cerebellum, Pons, and medulla; responsible for involuntary processes: blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, breathing, sleep cycles
hippocampus
part of the limbic system and is involved in learning and forming new long-term memories
Holmes & Rahe
stress and coping; used "social readjustment scale" to measure stress
homeostasis
Maintenance of a constant state of inner stability or balance
hormone
chemical that carries messages that travel through the bloodstream to help regulate bodily functions
Howard Gardner
devised theory of multiple intelligences: logical-mathematic, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, intrapersonal, linguistic, musical, interpersonal, naturalistic
hue
The psychological property of light referred to as color, determined by the wavelengths of reflected light.
human genome
30,000 genes needed to build a human
humanistic psychology
perspective that emphasizes the uniqueness of the individual and the idea that humans have free will
humanistic theory
An explanation of behavior that emphasizes the entirety of life rather than individual components of behavior and focuses on human dignity, individual choice, and self-worth
hypnosis
state with deep relaxation and heightened suggestibility
hypothalamus
area of the brain that is part of the limbic system and regulates behaviors such as, eating, drinking, sexual behaviors, motivation; also body temperature
hypothesis
a tentative statement or idea expressing a causal relationship between two events or variables that is to be evaluated in a research study
id
In Freud's theory, the source of a person's instinctual energy, which works mainly on the pleasure principle.
ideal self
In Roger's theory of personality, the self a person would ideally like to be.
identical twins
twins from a single fertilized egg (zygote) with the same genetic makeup; also called monozygotic (MZ) twins
imagery
the creation or re-creation of a mental picture of a sensory or perceptual experience
imaginary audience
A cognitive distortion experienced by adolescents, in which they see themselves as always "on stage" with an audience watching
implicit memory
memory a person is not aware of possessing
impression formation
The process by which a person uses behavior and appearance of others to form attitudes about them.
independent variable
the variable in a controlled experiment that the experimenter directly and purposefully manipulates to see how the other variables under study will be affected
industrial/organizational psychologist
applies psychological principles to the workplace to improve productivity and the quality of work life
inferential statistics
procedures used to draw conclusions about larger populations from small samples of data
informed consent
the agreement of participants to take part in an experiment and their acknowledgement that they understand the nature of their participation in the research, and have been fully informed about the general nature of the research, its goals, and methods
inhibitory neurotransmitter
chemical secreted at terminal button that prevents (or reduces ability of) the neuron on the other side of the synapse from firing
insight therapy
Any therapy that attempts to discover relationships between unconscious motivations and current abnormal behavior.
insomnia
Problems in going to sleep or maintaining sleep
instinct
inherited, automatic species-specific behaviors
insulin
hormone backpacks in the regulation of blood sugar by acting in the utilization of carbohydrates; released by pancreas; too much-hypoglycemia, too little-diabetes
intelligence
The overall capacity of an individual to act purposefully, to think rationally, and to deal effectively with the environment
interference
the suppression of one bit of information by another
interneurons
nerve cell that transmits messages between sensory and motor neurons
intimacy
A state of being or feeling in which each person in a relationship is willing to self-disclose and to express important feelings and information to the other person.
intrinsic motivation
Motivation that leads to behaviors engaged in for no apparent reward except the pleasure and satisfaction of the activity itself
introspection
a person's description and analysis of what he or she is thinking and feeling or what he or she has just thought about
iris
colored part of the eye that regulates size of pupil
Ivan Pavlov
discovered classical conditioning; trained dogs to salivate at the ringing of a bell
James-Lange theory of emotion
conscious experience of emnotion results from one's awareness of physiological arousal
Jean Piaget
cognitive psychology; created a 4-stage theory of cognitive development, said that two basic processes work in tandem to achieve cognitive growth (assimilation and accommodation)
John Garcia
Researched taste aversion. Showed that when rats ate a novel substance before being nauseated by a drug or radiation, they developed a conditioned taste aversion for the substance.
John Locke
17th century English philosopher. Wrote that the mind was a "blank slate" or "tabula rasa"; that is, people are born without innate ideas. We are completely shaped by our environment .
John Watson
behaviorism; emphasis on external behaviors of people and their reactions on a given situation; famous for Little Albert study in which baby was taught to fear a white rat
just noticeable difference (JND)
experience of the difference threshold
Karen Horney
neo-Freudian, psychodynamic; criticized Freud, stated that personality is molded by current fears and impulses, rather than being determined solely by childhood experiences and instincts, neurotic trends; concept of "basic anxiety"
Karl Wernicke
"Wernicke's area"; discovered area of left temporal lobe that involved language understanding: person damaged in this area uses correct words but they do not make sense
kinesthesis
body sense that provides information about the position and movement of individual parts of the body
language
A system of symbols, usually words, that convey meaning and a set of rules for combining symbols to generate an infinite number of messages.
latency stage
Freud's fourth stage of personality development, from about age 7 until puberty, during which sexual urges are inactive.
latent content
The deeper meaning of a dream, usually involving symbolism hidden meaning, and repressed or obscured ideas and wishes
latent learning
Learning that occurs in the absence of direct reinforcement and that is not necessarily demonstrated through observable behavior
law of effect
behaviors followed by pleasant consequences are strengthened while behaviors followed by unpleasant consequences are weakened (Thorndike)
Lawrence Kohlberg
moral development; presented boys moral dilemmas and studied their responses and reasoning processes in making moral decisions. Most famous moral dilemma is "Heinz" who has an ill wife and cannot afford the medication. Should he steal the medication and why?
learned helplessness
the behavior of giving up or not responding, exhibited by people and animals exposed to negative consequences or punishment over which they feel they have no control.
learning
Relatively permanent change in an organism that occurs as a result of experiences in the environment
lens
structure behind pupil that changes shape to focus light rays onto the retina
Leon Festinger
social cognition, cognitive dissonance; Study Basics: Studied and demonstrated cognitive dissonance
Lev Vygotsky
child development; investigated how culture & interpersonal communication guide development; zone of proximal development; play research
levels-of-processing approach
brain encodes information in different ways or on different levels; deeper processing leads to deeper memory
libido
In Freud's theory, the instinctual (and sexual) life force that, working on the pleasure principle and seeking immediate gratification, energizes the id.
light
The small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to the human eye.
limbic system
a donut ring-shaped of loosely connected structures located in the forebrain between the central core and cerebral hemispheres; consists of: septum, cingulate gyrus, endowments, hypothalamus, and to campus, and amygdala; associated with emotions and memories
linguistics
The study of language, including speech sounds, meaning, and grammar.
Little Albert
subject in John Watson's experiment, proved classical conditioning principles, especially the generalization of fear
logic
The system of principles of reasoning used to reach valid conclusions or make inferences.
longitudinal study
A research method that focuses on a specific group of individuals at different ages to examine changes that have occurred over time
long-term memory
storage mechanism that keeps a relatively permanent record of memory
lucid dream
Dream in which the dreamer is aware of dreaming while it is happening
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
creates a computerized image using a magnetic field and pulses of radio waves
mainstreaming
Practice of placing children with special needs in regular classroom settings, with the support of professionals who provide special education services
maintenance rehearsal
repetitive review of information with little or no interpretation
major depressive disorder
Depressive disorder characterized by loss of interest in almost all of life's usual activities; a sad, hopeless, or discourage mood, sleep disturbance; loss of appetite; loss of energy; and feelings of unworthiness and guilt.
manifest content
The overt story line, characters, and setting of a dream-the obvious, clearly discernible events of the dream
Masters & Johnson
motivation; human sexual response—studied how both men and women respond to and in relation to sexual behavior
mean
the arithmetic average of a set of scores
means-ends analysis
Heuristic procedure in which the problem solver compares the current situation with the desired goal to determine the most efficient way to get from one to the other.
measure of central tendency
a descriptive statistic that tells which result or score best represents an entire set of scores (e.g., mean, median, and mode)
median
the measure of central tendency that is the data point with 50% of the scores above it and 50% below it
medulla (also medulla oblongata)
part of the brain which controls living functions such as breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature
memory
the ability to recall past events, images, ideas, or previously learned information or skills; the storage system that allows a person to retain and retrieve previously learned information
memory span
the number of items a person can reproduce from short-term memory, usually consisting of one or two chunks
menarche
first menstrual period
menopause
the cessation of the ability to reproduce
mental retardation
Below-average intellectual functioning, as measured on an IQ test, accompanied by substantial limitations in functioning that originate before age 8
midbrain
the middle division of brain responsible for hearing and sight; location where pain is registered; includes temporal lobe, occipital lobe, and most of the parietal lobe
midbrain
the second level of the three organizational structures of the brain that receives signals from other parts of the brain or spinal cord and either relays the information to other parts of the brain or causes the body to act immediately; involved in movement
mode
the most frequently occurring score in a set of data
model
an analogy or a perspective that uses a structure from one field to help scientists describe data in another field
monism
seeing mind and body as different aspects of the same thing
monochromats
People who cannot perceive any color, usually because their retinas lack cones.
monocular cues
depth cues that are based on one eye
moral development
growth in the ability to tell right from wrong, control impulses, and act ethically
Moro reflex
Reflex in which a newborn strectches out the arms and legs and cries in response to a loud noise or an abrupt change in the environment
morpheme
A basic unit of meaning in a language.
motivated forgetting
occurs when frightening, traumatic events are forgotten because people want to forget them
motivation
any internal condition, although usually an internal one, that initates, activates, or maintains an organism's goal directed behavior
motive
a need or want that causes someone to act
motor neurons
efferent neurons; neurons that carry messages from spinal cord/brain to muscles and glands
mutation
unexpected changes in the gene replication process that are not always evident in phenotype and create unusual and sometimes harmful characteristics of body or behavior
myelin sheath
a white, fatty covering of the axon which speeds transmission of message
myopic
Able to see clearly things that are close but having trouble seeing objects at a distance; nearsighted.
natural selection
the principle that those characteristics and behaviors that help organisms adapt, be fit, and survive will be passed on to successive generations, because flexible, fit individuals have a greater chance of reproduction
naturalistic observation
A descriptive research method in which researchers study behavior in its natural context.
nature
a person's inherited traits, determined by genetics
nature-nurture controversy
deals with the extent to which heredity and the environment each influence behavior
need
State of physiological imbalance usually accompanied by arousal
need for achievement
A social need that directs a person to strive constantly for excellence and success
negative reinforcement
Removal of a stimulus after a particular response to increase the likelihood that the response will recur
nerve
bundles of axons
nervous system
the structures and organs that facilitate electrical and chemical communication in the body and allow all behavior and mental processes to take place
neural plasticity
Ability of the brain to change their experience, both structurally and chemically
neurogenesis
production of new brain cells; November 1988: cancer patients proved that new neurons grew until the end of life
neuron
individual cells that are the smallest unit of the nervous system; it has three functions: receive information, process it, send to rest of body
neuropsychologist
concerned with the relationship between brain/nervous system and behavior
neuroscience
study of the brain and nervous system; overlaps with psychobiology
neurotransmitters
chemical messengers released by terminal buttons into the synapse
Noam Chomsky
language development; disagreed with Skinner about language acquisition, stated there is an infinite # of sentences in a language, humans have an inborn native ability to develop language
nonconscious
the level of consciousness devoted to processes completely unavailable to conscious awareness (e.g., fingernails growing)
non-rapid eye movement sleep
Four distinct stages of sleep during which no rapid eye movements occur.
nonverbal communication
The communication of information by cues or actions that include gestures, tone of voice, vocal inflections, and facial expressions.
norepinephrine
noradrenaline; chemical which is excitatory, similar to adrenaline, and affects arousal and memory; raises blood pressure by causing blood vessels to become constricted, but also carried by bloodstream to the anterior pituitary which relaxes ACTH thus prolonging stress response
Normal curve
A bell-shaped graphic representation of data showing what percentage of the population falls under each part of the curve
normal distribution
approximate distribution of scores expected when a sample is taken from a large population, drawn as a frequency polygon that often takes the form of a bell-shaped curve, called the normal curve
norms
The scores and corresponding percentile ranks of a large and representative sample of individuals from the population for which a test was designed
nurture
a person's experiences in the environment
obedience
Compliance with the orders of another person or group of people.
object permanence
The realization of infants that objects continue to exist even when they are out of sight
observational learning theory
Theory that suggests that organisms learn new responses by observing the behavior of a model and then imitating it; aka. Social learning theory
observer bias
expectations of an observer which may distort an authentic observation
obsessive-compulsive disorder
Anxiety disorder characterized by persistent and uncontrollable thoughts and irrational beliefs that cause the performance of compulsive rituals that interfere with daily life.
occipital lobes
primary area for processing visual information
oedipus complex
Feelings of rivalry with the parent of the same sex and sexual desire for the parent of the other sex, occurring during the phallic stage and ultimately resolved through identification with the parent of the same sex.
olfaction
sense of smell
operant conditioning
Conditioning in which an increase or decrease in the probability that a behavior will recur is affected by the delivery of reinforcement or punishment as a consequence of the behavior;
operational definition
a definition of a variable in terms of the set of methods or procedures used to measure or study that variable
opiates (AKA narcotics)
Drugs derived from the opium poppy, including opium, morphine, and heroin
Opponent-process theory of color vision
Visual theory, proposed by Herring, that color is coded by stimulation of three types of paired receptors; each pair of receptors is assumed to operate in an antagonist way so that stimulation by a given wavelength produces excitation (increased firing) in one receptor of the pair and also inhibits the other receptor.
opponent-process theory of emotion
following a strong emotion, an opposing emotion counters the first emotion, lessening the experience of that emotion; on repeated occasions, the opposing emotion becomes stronger
optic chiasm
Point at which half of the optic nerve fibers from each eye cross over and connect to the other side of the brain.
optic nerve
carries impulses from the eye to the brain
oral stage
Freud's first stage of personality development, from birth to about age 2, during which the instincts of infants are focused on the mouth as the primary pleasure center.
orgasm phase
the third phase of the sexual response cycle, during which autonomic nervous system activity reaches its peak and muscle contractions occur in spasms throughout the body, but especially in the genital area
overjustification effect
Decrease in likelihood that an intrinsically motivated task, after having been extrinsically rewarded, will be performed when the reward is no longer given.
Pancreas
organ lying between the stomach and small intestine; regulates blood sugar by secreting to regulating hormones insulin and glucagon
panic attack
Anxiety disorders characterized as acute anxiety, accompanied by sharp increases in autonomic nervous system arousal, that is not triggered by a specific event.
parallel processing
simultaneously analyzing different elements of sensory information, such as color, brightness, shape, etc.
paranoid schizophrenia
type of schizophrenia characterized by hallucinations and delusions of persecution or grandeur (or both), and sometimes irrational jealousy.
parasympathetic nervous system
a branch of the autonomic nervous system that maintains normal body functions; it calms the body after sympathetic stimulation
parietal lobes
processes sensory information including touch, temperature, and pain from other body parts
participant
an individual who takes part in an experiment and whose behavior is observed as part of the data collection process
percentile score
the percentage of scores at or below a certain score
perception
Process by which an organism selects and interprets sensory input so that it acquires meaning.
peripheral nervous system
division that connects the central nervous system to the rest of the body; includes all sensory and motor neurons; divided into somatic nervous system and autonomic nervous system
personal fable
A cognitive distortion experienced by adolescents, in which they believe they are so special and unique that other people cannot understand them and risky behaviors will not harm them
personality
A pattern of relatively permanent traits, dispositions, or characteristics that give some consistency to people's behavior.
personality disorders
psychological disorders characterized by inflexible and longstanding maladaptive behaviors that typically cause stress and/or social or occupational problems.
phallic stage
Freud's third stage of personality development, from about age 4 through age 7, during which children obtain gratification primarily from the genitals.
phenotype
the expression of genes
Phillip Zimbardo
social psychology; Stanford Prison Study; college students were randomly assigned to roles of prisoners or guards in a study that looked at who social situations influence behavior; showed that peoples' behavior depends to a large extent on the roles they are asked to play
Phineas Gage
Vermont railroad worker who survived a severe brain injury that changed his personality and behavior; his accident gave information on the brain and which parts are involved with emotional reasoning
phobic disorders
Anxiety disorders characterized by excessive and irrational fear of, and consequent attempted avoidance of, specific objects or situations.
phoneme
A basic or minimum unit of sound in a language.
phonology
The study of the patterns and distributions of speech sounds in a language and the tacit rules for their pronunciation.
photoreceptors
The light-sensitive cells in the retina- the rods and cones.
pineal gland
endocrine gland that produces melatonin that helps regulate sleep/wake cycle
pitch
the highness or lowness of a sound
pituitary gland
endocrine gland that produces a large amount of hormones; it regulates growth and helps control other endocrine glands; located on underside of brain; sometimes called the "master gland"
placebo
typically a pill that is used as a control in the experiment; a sugar pill
placebo effect
A nonspecific improvement that occurs as a result of a person's expectations of change rather than as a direct result of any specific therapeutic treatment.
placenta
A mass of tissue that is attached to the wall f the uterus and connected to the developing fetus by the umbilical cord; it supplies nutrients and eliminates waste products
plateau phase
the second phase of the sexual response cycle, during which physical arousal continues to increase as the partners bodies prepare for orgasm
polarization
when the neuron is at rest; condition of neuron when the inside of the neuron is negatively charged relative to the outside of Enron; is necessary to generate the neuron signal in release of this polarization
pons
part of the brain involved in sleep/wake cycles; also connects cerebellum and medulla to the cerebral cortex
population
all of the individuals in the group to which a study applies
positive psychology
in emerging Theo psychology that focuses on positive experiences; includes subjective well-being, self-determination, the relationship between positive emotions and physical health, and the factors that allow individuals, communities, and societies to boorish
positive reinforcement
Presentation of a stimulus after a particular response in order to increase the likelihood that the response will recur
positron emission tomography (PET scan)
shows brain activity when radioactively tagged glucose rushes to active neurons
postconventional level of moral development
morality based on one's own individual moral principles (i.e., conscience)
posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Psychological disorder that may become evident after a person has undergone extreme stress caused by some type of disaster; common symptoms include vivid, intrusive recollections or reexperiences of the traumatic event and occasional lapses of normal consciousness
preconscious
Freud's level of the mind that contains those experiences that are not currently conscious but may become so with varying degrees of difficulty.
preconventional level of moral development
morality based on consequences to self
prejudice
Negative evaluation of an entire group of people, typically based on unfavorable (and often wrong) stereotypes about groups.
Premack principle
commonly occurring behavior can reinforce a less frequent behavior
prenatal development
period of development from conception until birth
preoperational stage
Piaget's second stage of cognitive development (lasting from about age 2 to age 6 or 7), during which the child begins to represent the world symbolically
prevalence
the percentage of a population displaying a disorder during any specified period.
primacy effect
the more accurate recall of items presented at the beginning of a series
primary punisher
Any stimulus or event that is naturally painful or unpleasant to an organism
primary reinforcer
Reinforcer that has survival value for an organism; this value does not have to be learned
proactive interference
previously learned information interferes with the ability to learn new information
problem solving
The behavior of individuals when confronted with a situation or task that requires insight or determination of some unknown elements.
procedural memory
memory for skills, including perceptual, motor, and cognitive skills required to complete tasks
projection
Defense mechanism by which people attribute their own undesirable traits to others.
projective tests
Devices or instruments used to assess personality, in which examinees are shown a standard set of ambiguous stimuli and asked to respond to the stimuli in their own way.
prosocial behavior
Behavior that benefits someone else or society but that generally offers no obvious benefit to the person performing it and may even involve some personal risk or sacrifice.
prototype
An abstraction, an idealized pattern of an object or idea that is stored in memory and used to decide whether similar objects or ideas are members of the same class of items.
pseudoscience
an unscientific system which pretends to discover psychological information that his means are unscientific or deliberately fraudulent
psychiatrist
a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders
psychoactive drug
A drug that alters behavior, thought, or perception by altering biochemical reactions in the nervous system, thereby affecting consciousness
psychoanalysis
A lengthy insight therapy that was developed by Freud and aims at uncovering conflicts and unconscious impulses through special techniques, including free association, dream analysis, and transference.
psychoanalyst
one who uses psychoanalysis to treat psychological problems
psychoanalytic
perspective developed by freud, which assumes that psychological problems are the result of anxiety resulting from unresolved conflicts and forces of which a person might be unaware
psychobiology
study that focuses on biological foundations of behavior and mental processes; overlaps with neuroscience
Psychodynamic therapy
Therapy that uses approaches or techniques derived from Freud, but that rejects or modifies some elements of Freud's theory.
Psycholinguistics
The study of how language is acquired, perceived, understood, and produced.
psychologist
professional who studies behavior and uses behavioral principles in scientific research or in applied settings
psychology
the scientific study of behavior and mental processes
psychophysics
Subfield of psychology that focuses on the relationship between physical stimuli and people's conscious experiences of them.
psychosurgery
Brain surgery used in the past to alleviate symptoms of serious mental disorders.
psychotherapy
The treatment of emotional or behavior problems through psychological techniques.
psychotic
suffering from a gross impairment in reality testing that interferes with the ability to meet the ordinary demands of life.
puberty
The period during which the reproductive system matures; it begins with an increase in the production of sex hormones, which signals the end of childhood
punishment
Process of presenting an undesirable or noxious stimulus, or removing a desirable stimulus, to decrease the probability that a preceding response will recur
pupil
small opeing in iris that is smaller in bright light and larger in darkness
random sample
selection of a part of the population without reason; participation is by chance
range
the spread between the highest and the lowest scores in a distribution
rational-emotive therapy
A cognitive behavior therapy that emphasizes the importance of logical, rational thought processes.
rationalization
Defense mechanism by which people reinterpret undesirable feelings or behaviors in terms that make them appear acceptable.
raw score
A test score that has not been transformed or converted in any way
Raymond Cattell
intelligence: fluid & crystal intelligence; personality testing: 16 Personality Factors (16PF personality test)
reaction formation
Defense mechanism by which people behave in a way opposite to what their true but anxiety-provoking feelings would dictate.
Reasoning
The purposeful process by which a person generates logical and coherent ideas, evaluates situations, and reaches conclusions.
recency effect
the more accurate recall of items presented at the end of a series
receptive fields
Areas of the retina that, when stimulated, produce a change in the firing of cells in the visual system.
receptor site
a location on a receptor neurons which is like a key to a lock (with a specific nerve transmitter); allows for orderly pathways
recessive gene
member of the gene terror that controls the appearance of a certain trait only if it is paired with the same gene
reflex
Automatic behavior that occurs involuntarily in response to a stimulus and without prior learning and usually shows little variability from instance to instance
refractory period
after firing when a neuron will not fire again no matter how strong the incoming message may be
regression
A return to a prior stage after a person has progressed through the various stages of development; caused by anxiety.
rehearsal
process of repeatedly verbalizing, thinking about, or otherwise acting on or transforming information in order to keep that information active in memory
reinforcer
Any event that increases the probability of a recurrence of the response that preceded it
reliability
Ability of a test to yield very similar scores for the same individual over repeated testings
REM (rapid eye movement) sleep
sleep stage when the eyes move about, during which vivid dreams occur; brain very active but skeletal muscles paralyzed
René Descartes
17t century French philosopher. Famously known for writing "cogito ergo sum" ("I think, therefore I am"). Wrote about concept of dualism.
replication
the repetition of an experiment to test the validity of its conclusion
Representative sample
A sample that reflects the characteristics of the population from which it is drawn
repression
Defense mechanism by which anxiety-provoking thoughts and feelings are forced to the unconscious.
Residual type of schizophrenia
a schizophrenic disorder in which the person exhibits inappropriate affect, illogical thinking, and/or eccentric behavior but seems generally in touch with reality.
resilience
The extent to which people are flexible and respond adaptively to external or internal demands
resistance
In psychoanalysis, an unwillingness to cooperate, which a patient signals by showing a reluctance to provide the therapist with information or to help the therapist understand or interpret a situation.
resolution phase
the fourth phase of the sexual response cycle, following orgasm, during which the body returns to its resting, or normal state
response bias
preconceived notions of a person answering [a survey] which may alter the experiments purpose
resting potential
when a neuron is in polarization; more negative ions are inside the neuron cell membrane with a positive ions on the outside, causing a small electrical charge; release of this charge generates a neuron's impulse (signal/message)
reticular formation
netlike system of neurons that weaves through limbic system and plays an important role in attention, arousal, and alert functions; arouses and alerts higher parts of the brain; anesthetics work by temporary shutting off RF system
retina
light-sensitive surface on back of eye containing rods and cones
retrieval
process by which stored information is recovered from memory
retroactive interference
newly learned information interferes with the ability to recall previously learned information
retrograde amnesia
loss of memory of events and experiences that preceded an amnesia-causing event
Robert Sternberg
intelligence; devised the Triarchic Theory of Intelligence (academic problem-solving, practical, and creative); also Triarchic Theory of Love
rods
photoreceptors that detect black, white, and gray, and movement; used for vision in dim light
rooting reflex
Reflex that causes a newborn to turn the head toward a light touch on lips or cheek
saccades
Rapid voluntary movements of the eyes.
sample
a group of participants who are assumed to be representative of the population about which an inference is being made
saturation
The depth and richness of a hue determined by determined by the homogeneity of the wavelengths contained in the reflected light; also known as purity.
Schachter-Singer theory of emotion
we determine our emotion based on our physiological arousal, then label that emotion according to our explanation for that arousal
schema
a conceptual framework that organizes information and allows a person to make sense of the world
schizophrenic disorders
a group of psychological disorders characterized by a lack of reality testing and by deterioration of social and intellectual functioning and personality beginning before age 45 and lasting at least 6 months
school psychologist
assesses and counsels students, consults with educators and parents, and performs behavioral intervention when necessary
science
way of getting knowledge about the world based on observation
scientific method
in psychology, the techniques used to discover knowledge about human behavior and mental processes
secondary punisher
Any neutral stimulus that initially has no intrinsic negative value for an organism but acquires punishing qualities when linked with a primary punisher
secondary reinforcer
Any neutral stimulus that initially has no intrinsic value for an organism but that becomes rewarding when linked with a primary reinforcer
secondary sex characteristics
The genetically determined physical features that differentiate the sexes but are not directly involved with reproduction
selective attention
focused awareness of only a limited amount of all you are capable of experiencing
self
In Roger's theory of personality, the perception an individual has of himself or herself and of his or her relationships to other people and to various aspects of life.
self-actualization
the human need to fulfill one's potential
self-efficacy
The belief that a person can successfully engage in and execute a specific behavior
self-fulfilling prophecy
when a researcher's expectations unknowingly create a situation that affects the results
self-perception Theory
Approach to attitude formation that assumes that people infer their attitudes and emotional states from their behavior.
self-serving bias
People's tendency to ascribe their positive behaviors to their own internal traits, but their failures and shortcomings to external, situational factors.
Selye's General Adaptation Syndrome
three-stage process which describes the body's reaction to stress: 1) alarm reaction, 2) resistance, 3) exahaustion
semantic memory
memory of ideas, rules, words, and general concepts about the world
semantics
The analysis of the meaning of language, especially of individual words.
sensation
Process in which the sense organs' receptor cells are stimulated and relay initial information to higher brain centers for further processing.
sensorimotor stage
The first of Piaget's four stages of cognitive development (covering roughly the first 2 years of life), during which the child develops some motoer coordination skills and a memory for past events
sensory adaptation
temporary decrease in sensitivity to a stimulus that occurs when stimulation is unchanging
sensory memory
performs initial encoding; provides brief storage; also called sensory register
sensory neurons
afferent neurons; neurons that carry messages from sensory organs to the brain and spinal cords
serotonin
neurotransmitter that affects sleep, arousal, mood, appetite; lack of it is linked with depression
set point
preset natural body weight, determined by the number of fat cells in the body
shaping
positively reinforcing closer and closer approximation of a desired behavior to teach a new behavior
short-term storage
holds information for processing; fragile; also called short term memory or working memory
signal detection theory
Theory that holds that an observer's perception depends not only on the intensity of a stimulus but also on the observer's motivation, the criteria he or she sets for determining that a signal is present, and on the background noise.
significant difference
in an experiment, a difference that is unlikely to have occurred because of chance alone and is inferred to be most likely due to the systematic manipulations of variables by the researcher
size constancy
Ability of the visual perceptual system to recognize that an object remains constant in size regardless of its distance from the observer or the size of its image on the retina.
Skinner Box
Named for its developer, B.F. Skinner, a box that contains a responding mechanism and a device capable of delivering a consequence to an animal in the box whenever it makes the desired response
social cognition
The process of analyzing and interpreting events, other people, oneself, and the world in general.
social facilitation
Change in behavior that occurs when people believe they are in the presence of other people.
social influence
The ways people alter the attitudes or behaviors of others, either directly or indirectly.
social interest
In Adler's theory, a feeling of openness with all humanity.
social loafing
Decrease in effort and productivity that occurs when an individual works in a group instead of alone.
social need
An aroused condition that directs people to behave in ways that allow them to feel good about themselves and others and to establish and maintain relationships
social phobia
Anxiety disorder characterized by fear of, and desire to avoid, situations in which the person might be exposed to scrutiny by others and might behave in an embarrassing or humiliating way.
social psychology
The scientific study of how people think about, interact with, influence, and are influenced by the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of other people.
sociobiology
A discipline based on the premise that even day-to-day behaviors are determined by the process of natural selection - that social behaviors that contribute to the survival of a species are passed on via the genes from one generation to the next.
sociocultural psychology
perspective concerned with how cultural differences affect behavior
Socrates
Ancient Greek philosopher. Promoted introspection by saying, "Know thyself."
Solomon Asch
conformity; showed that social pressure can make a person say something that is obviously incorrect ; in a famous study in which participants were shown cards with lines of different lengths and were asked to say which line matched the line on the first card in length
somatic nervous system
division of peripheral nervous system; controls voluntary actions
sound localization
the process by which the location of sound is determined
specific phobia
Anxiety disorder characterized by irrational and persistent fear of a particular object or situation, along with a compelling desire to avoid it.
spinal cord
portion of the CNS that carries messages to the PNS; connects brain to the rest of the body
split brain patients
people whose corpus callosum has been surgically severed
spontaneous recovery
Recurrence of an extinguished conditioned response, usually following a rest period
sports psychologist
helps athletes improve their focus, increase motivation, and deal with anxiety and fear of failure
standard deviation
a descriptive statistic that measures the variability of data from the mean of the sample
standard score
a score that expresses an individual's position relative to the mean, based on the standard deviation
standardization
Process of developing uniform procedures for administering and scoring a test and for establishing norms
Stanford-Binet intelligence tests
constructed by Lewis Terman, originally used ratio IQ (MA/CA x 100); now based on deviation from mean
Stanley Milgram
obedience to authority; had participants administer what they believed were dangerous electrical shocks to other participants; wanted to see if Germans were an aberration or if all people were capable of committing evil actions
Stanley Schachter
emotion; stated that in order to experience emotions, a person must be physically aroused and know the emotion before you experience it
state-dependent learning
the tendency to recall information learned while in a particular physiological state most accurately when one is in that physiological state again
statistics
branch of mathematics that deals with collecting, classifying, and analyzing data
stereotypes
Fixed, overly simple and often erroneous ideas about traits, attitudes, and behaviors of groups of people; stereotypes assume that all members of a given group are alike.
stimulant
A drug that increases alertness, reduces fatigue, and elevates mood
stimulus discrimination
Process by which an organism learns to respond only to a specific stimulus and not to other stimuli
stimulus generalization
Process by which a conditioned response becomes associated with a stimulus that is similar but not identical to the original conditioned stimulus
storage
the process of maintaining or keeping information readily available; the locations where information is held
stress
A nonspecific, emotional response to real or imagined challenges or threats; a result of a cognitive appraisal by the individual
stressor
An environmental stimulus that affects an organism in physically or psychologically injurious ways, usually producing anxiety, tension, and physiological arousal
structuralism
school of psychological thought that considered the structure and elements of conscious experience to be the proper subject matter of psychology
sublimation
Defense mechanism by which people redirect socially unacceptable impulses toward acceptable goals.
subliminal perception
Perception below the threshold of awareness.
substance abuser
A person who overuses and relies on drugs to deal with everyday life
sucking reflex
Reflex that causes a newborn to make sucking motions when a finger or nipple if placed in the mouth
superego
In Freud's theory, the moral aspect of mental functioning comprising the ego ideal (what a person would ideally like to be) and the conscience and taught by parents and society.
superstitious behavior
Behavior learned through coincidental association with reinforcement
survey
One of the descriptive methods of research; it requires construction of a set of questions to administer to a group of participants
survey research
the measurement of public opinion through the use of sampling and questioning
sympathetic nervous system
a branch of the autonomic nervous system and prepares the body for quick action in emergencies; "fight or flight"
symptom substitution
The appearance of one overt symptom to replace another that has been eliminated by treatment.
synapse
the space between two neurons where neurotransmitters are secreted by terminal buttons and received by dendrites
synaptic vesicles
tiny oval-shaped sacs in a terminal of one neuron; assist in transferring mineral impulse from one neuron to another neuron by releasing specific neurotransmitters
syntax
The way words and groups of words combine to form phrases, clauses, and sentences.
systematic desensitization
A three-stage counterconditioning procedure in which people are taught to relax when confronting stimuli that forming elicited anxiety.
temperament
Early-emerging and long-lasting individual differences in disposition and in the intensity and especially the quality of emotional reactions
temporal lobes
main area for hearing, understanding language (Wernicke's area), understanding music; smell
teratogen
Substance that can produce developmental malformations (birth defects) during the prenatal period
terminal buttons (axon terminals)
ends of axons that secrete neurotransmitters
thalamus
motor sensory relay center for four of the five senses; and with a brain stem and composed of two egg-shaped structures; integrates in shades incoming sensory signals; Mnemonic-"don't smell the llamas because the llamas smell bad"
thanatology
The study of the psychological and medical aspects of death and dying
theory
a collection of interrelated ideas and facts put forward to describe, explain, and predict behavior and mental processes
thyroid gland
located in neck; regulates metabolism by secreting thyroxine
timbre
the quality of a sound determined by the purity of a waveform
token economy
An operant conditioning procedure in which individuals who display appropriate behavior receive tokens that they can exchange for desirable items or activities.
tolerance
The characteristic of requiring higher and higher doses of a drug to produce the same effect.
top-down processing
information processing guided by pre-existing knowledge or expectations to construct perceptions
trait
Any readily identifiable stable quality that characterizes how an individual differs from other individuals.
transduction
Process by which a perceptual system analyzes stimuli and converts them into electrical impulses; also known as coding.
transference
Psychoanalytic phenomenon in which a therapist becomes the object of a patient's emotional attitudes about an important person in the patient's life, such as a parent.
triarchic theory of intelligence
Robert Sternberg's theory that describes intelligence as having analytic, creative and practical dimensions
trichromatic theory
Visual theory, stated by Young and Helmholtz that all colors can be made by mixing the three basic colors: red, green, and blue; a.k.a the Young-Helmholtz theory.
trichromats
People who can perceive all three primary colors and thus can distinguish any hue.
twin studies
studies as identical and rhetorical twins to determine relative influence of heredity and environment on human behavior
Type A behavior
Behavior pattern characterized by competitiveness, impatience, hostility, and constant efforts to do more in less time
Type B behavior
Behavior pattern exhibited by people who are calmer, more patient, and less hurried than Type A individuals
types
Personality categories in which broad collections of traits are loosely tied together and interrelated.
unconditioned response
Unlearned or involuntary response to an unconditioned stimulus
unconditioned stimulus
Stimulus that normally produces a measurable involuntary response
unconscious
Freud's level of mental life that consists of mental activities beyond people's normal awareness.
unconscious
level of consciousness that includes unacceptable feelings, wishes, and thoughts not directly available to conscious awareness
undifferentiated schizophrenia
a schizophrenic disorder that is characterized by a mixture of symptoms and does not meet the diagnostic criteria of any one type.
validity
Ability of a test to measure what it is supposed to measure and to predict what it is supposed to predict
variability
the extent to which scores differ from one another
variable
a condition or characteristic of a situation or a person that is subject to change (it varies) within or across situations or individuals
variable-interval schedule
A reinforcement schedule in which a reinforcer (reward) is delivered after predetermined but varying amounts of time, provided that the required response occurs at least once after each interval
variable-ratio schedule
A reinforcement schedule in which a reinforcer (reward) is delivered after a predetermined but variable number of responses has occurred
vestibular sense
body sense of equilibrium and balance
visual acuity
sharpness of vision
visual cortex
The most important area of the brain's occipital lobe, which receives and further processes information from the lateral geniculate nucleus; also known as the striate cortex.
Von Restorff effect
occurs when recall is better for a distinctive item, even if it occurs in the middle of a list
vulnerability
A person's diminished ability to deal with demanding life events.
Wechsler intelligence tests
three age individual IQ tests: WPPSI (children), WISC (children), WAIS (adults)
Wernicke's area
located in left temporal lobe; plays role in understanding language and making meaningful sentences
Wilhelm Wundt
structuralism; in 1879 founded first psychology laboratory in world at University of Leipzig; introspection, basic units of experience
William James
founder of functionalism; studied how humans use perception to function in our environment
withdrawal symptoms
The Reaction experienced when a substance abuser stops using a drug with dependence properties
working memory
Temporarily holds current or recent information for immediate or short-term use; Information is maintained for 20-30 seconds while active processing (e.g., rehearsal) takes place
zone of proximal development
the range between the level at which a child can solve a problem working alone with difficulty, and the level at which a child can solve a problem with the assistance of adults or children with more skill
zygote
A fertilized egg