How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

555 terms

End of Year Review

absolute threshold
the minimum stimulation needed to detect a stimulus 50 percent of the time
in Piaget's theory, refers to changing an existing schema to incorporate new information that cannot be assimilated
acetylcholine (Ach)
neurotransmitter that enables learning and memory and also triggers muscle contraction
achievement motivation
a desire for significant accomplishment; for mastery of things, people, or ideas; and for attaining a high standard
achievement tests
measure a person's current knowledge
acoustic encoding
the processing of information into memory according to its sound
refers to the initial stage of conditioning in which the new response is established and gradually strengthened
action potential
a neural impulse generated by the movement of positively charged atoms in and out of channels in the axon's membrane
active listening
a nondirective technique of person-centered therapy, in which the listener echoes, restates, clarifies, but does not interpret, client's remarks
refers to the sharpness of vision
adaptation-level phenomenon
refers to our tendency to judge things relative to our prior experience
a compulsive craving for a drug despite adverse consequences and withdrawal symptoms
refers to the life stage from puberty to independent adulthood, denoted physically by a growth spurt and maturation of primary and secondary sex characteristics, cognitively by the onset of formal operational thought, and socially by the formation of identity
adrenal glands
produce epinephrine and norepinephrine, hormones that prepare the body to deal with emergencies or stress
aerobic exercise
any sustained activity such as running, swimming, or cycling that promotes heart and lung fitness and may help alleviate depression and anxiety
any physical or verbal behavior intended to hurt or destroy
a methodical, logical procedure that, while sometimes slow, guarantees success
Alpha waves
are the relatively slow brain waves characteristic of an awake, relaxed state
is unselfish regard for the welfare of others
Alzheimer's disease
a progressive and irreversible brain disorder caused by deterioration of neurons that produce acetylcholine. It is characterized by a gradual loss of memory, reasoning, language, and finally, physical functioning
the loss of memory
a type of stimulant and, as such speed up body functions and neural activity
part of the limbic system and influences the emotions of fear and aggression
Anorexia nervosa
an eating disorder, most common in adolescent females, in which a person restricts food intake to become significantly underweight and yet still feels fat
antisocial personality disorder
a personality disorder in which the person is aggressive, ruthless, and shows no sign of a conscience that would inhibit wrongdoing
anxiety disorders
involve distressing, persistent anxiety or maladaptive behaviors that reduce anxiety
an impairment of language as a result of damage to any of several cortical areas, including Broca's area and Wernicke's area
applied research
scientific study that aims to solve practical problems
aptitude tests
designed to predict future performance. They measure your capacity to learn new information, rather than measuring what you already know.
artificial intelligence (AI)
the science of designing and programming computers do to "intelligent" things and to simulate human thought process
in Piaget's theory, refers to interpreting a new experience in terms of an existing schema
association areas
located throughout the cortex, involved in higher mental functions, such as learning, remembering, and abstract thinking
associative learning
organisms learn that certain events occur together. Two variations of associative learning are classical conditioning and operant conditioning
is an emotional tie with another person, shown in young children by their seeking closeness to a caregiver and showing distress on separation
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
a psychological disorder characterized by one or more of three symptoms: extreme in attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity
personal beliefs and feelings that may predispose a person to respond in particular ways to objects, people, and events
attribution theory
deals with our casual explanations of behavior
refers to the sense of hearing
a disorder that appears in childhood and is marked by deficiencies in communication, social interaction, and theory of mind
automatic processing
refers to our unconscious encoding of incidental information such as space, time, and frequency, and of well -learned information
autonomic nervous system
the division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the glands and the muscles of internal organs and thereby controls internal functioning; it regulates the automatic behaviors necessary for survival
availability heuristic
based on estimating the probability of certain events in terms of how readily they come to mind
aversive conditioning
a form of counter conditioning in which an unpleasant state becomes associated with an unwanted behavior
of a neuron is the extension that sends impulses to other nerve cells or to muscles or glands
babbling stage
stage of speech development, which begins at 3 to 4 months, is characterized by the spontaneous utterance of speech sounds.
depressants, sometimes used to induce sleep or reduce anxiety
Basal metabolic rate
the body's base rate of energy expenditure when resting
basic research
pure science that aims to increase psychology's scientific knowledge base rather than to solve practical problems
basic trust
a sense that the world is predictable and trustworthy - a concept that infants form if their needs are met by responsive care giving
behavioral medicine
the interdisciplinary field that applies behavioral and medical knowledge to the treatment of disease and the promotion of health
behavior genetics
is the study of genetic and environmental influences on behavior
the view that psychology should be an objective science that studies only observable behaviors without reference to mental processes
behavior therapy
therapy that applies principles of operant or classical conditioning to the elimination of problem behaviors
belief bias
the tendency for a person's preexisting beliefs to distort his or her logical reasoning
belief perseverance
the tendency for people to cling to a particular belief even after the information that led to the formation of the belief is discredited
binocular cues
depth cues that depend on information from both eyes
refers to a system for electronically recording, amplifying, and feeding back information regarding a subtle physiological state
biological psychology
the study of links between biology and behavior
biological rhythms
periodic fluctuations in our bodies' physiological states, including annual variations in appetite, 90-minute sleep cycles, the 28-day menstrual cycle, an circadian rhythms
biopsychosocial approach
an integrated perspective that focuses on biological, psychological, and social-cultural levels of analysis for a given behavior or mental process
means having two poles, that two opposites qualities
bipolar disorder
the mood disorder in which a person alternates between depression and the euphoria of a manic state
blind spot
the region of the retina where the optic nerve leaves the eye. Because there are no rods or cones in this area, there is no vision here
bottom-up processing
analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works up to the brain's integration of sensory information
the oldest and innermost region of the brain, is an extension of the spinal cord and is the central core of the brain; its structures direct automatic survival functions
Broca's area
located in the left frontal lobe, is involved in controlling the motor ability to produce speech
Bulimia nervosa
an eating disorder characterized by episodes of overeating followed by vomiting, laxative use, fasting, or excessive exercise
bystander effect
the tendency of a person to be less likely to offer help to someone if there are other people present
Cannon-Bard theory
states that the subjective experience of an emotion occurs at the same time as the body's physical reaction
case study
an observation technique in which one person is studied in great depth, often with the intention of revealing universal principles
emotional release; according to the catharsis hypothesis, by expressing our anger, we can reduce it
central nervous system (CNS)
consists of the brain and spinal cord; it is located at the center, or internal core, of the body
processes sensory input and coordinates movement output and balance
cerebral cortex
a thin intricate covering of interconnected neural cells atop the cerebral hemispheres.
are threadlike structure made of DNA molecules, which contain the genes. In conception, the 23 chromosomes in the egg are paired with the 23 chromosomes in the sperm
the memory technique of organizing material into familiar, meaningful units
circadian rhythm
any regular bodily rhythm such as body temperature and sleep-wakefulness, that follows a 24 hour cycle
classical conditioning
Pavlovian conditioning, a type of learning in which neural stimulus becomes capable of triggering a conditioned response after having become associated with an unconditional stimulus
client-centered therapy
a humanistic therapy developed by Rogers, in which growth and self-awareness are facilitated in an environment that offers genuineness, acceptance, and empathy
clinical psychology
the branch of psychology concerned with the study, assessment, and treatment of people with psychological disorders
the coiled, bony, fluid-filled tube of the inner ear where the transduction of sound waves into neural impulses occurs.
cochlear implant
is an electronic device that converts sounds into electrical signals that stimulate the auditory nerve
thinking, refers to the mental activity associated with processing, understanding, and communicating information
cognitive-behavior therapy
an integrated therapy that focuses on changing self-defeating thinking and unwanted behaviors
cognitive dissonance theory
refers to the theory that we act to reduce the psychological discomfort we experience when our behavior conflicts with what we think and feel, or more generally, when two of our thoughts conflict
cognitive map
a mental picture of one's environment
cognitive therapy
focuses on teaching people new and more adaptive ways of thinking and acting.
collective unconscious
Jung's concept of an inherited unconscious shared by all people and deriving from our species' theory
giving priority to the goals of one's group, and defining one's identity accordingly
color constancy
the perception that familiar objects have consistent color despite changes in illumination that shift the wavelengths they reflect
companionate love
refers to a deep, enduring, affectionate attachment
complementary and alternative medicine
a collection of health care remedies and treatments that have not been accepted by medical science or verified by controlled research trials
computer neural networks
computer circuits that simulate the brain's interconnected nerve cells and perform tasks such as learning to recognize visual patterns
a mental grouping similar objects, events, or people
concrete operational stage
lasting from about ages 6 or 7 to 11, children can think logically about concrete events and objects
conditional stimulus (CS)
an originally neutral stimulus that comes to trigger a CR after association with an unconditioned stimulus
conditioned reinforcers
stimuli that acquire their reinforcing power through their association with primary reinforcers
conditioned response (CR)
the learned response to a previously neutral conditioned stimulus, which results from the acquired association between the CS and US.
conduction hearing loss
refers to the hearing loss that results from damage in the mechanics of the outer or middle ear, which impairs the conduction of sound waves to the cochlea
confirmation bias
an obstacle to problem solving in which people tend to search for information that validates their preconceptions
a perceived incompatibility of actions, goals, or ideas between individuals or groups
the tendency to change one's thinking or behavior to coincide with a group standard
our awareness of ourselves and our environment
the principle that properties such as number, volume, and mass remain constant despite changes in the forms of objects; it is acquired during the concrete operational stage
content validity
a test is the extent to which it samples the behavior that is of interest
continuous reinforcement
the operant procedure of reinforcing the desired response every time it occurs.
control condition
of an experiment is one in which the treatment of interest, or independent variable, is withheld so that comparison to the experimental condition can be made up
a neuromuscular binocular depth cue based on the extent to which the eyes converge, or turn inward, when looking at near or distant objects.
refers to any effort to alleviate stress using emotional, cognitive, or behavioral methods
coronary heart disease
leading cause of death in North America, results from the clogging of the vessels that nourish the heart muscle
corpus callosum
the large band of neural fibers that links the right and left cerebral hemispheres. Without this band of nerve fibers, the two hemispheres could not interact.
a measure of the extent to which two factors vary together, and thus of how well either factors predicts the other
counseling psychology
the branch of psychology that helps people cope with challenges in their daily lives
counter conditioning
a category of behavior therapy in which new responses are classically conditioned to stimuli that elicit unwanted behaviors
refers to an ability to produce novel and valuable ideas
the behavior the test is designed to predict
critical period
limited time shortly after birth during which an organism must be exposed to certain experiences or influences if it is to develop properly
critical thinking
careful reasoning that examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions
cross-sectional study
people of different ages compared with one another
crystallized intelligence
refers to those aspects of intellectual ability, such as vocabulary and general knowledge, that reflect accumulated learning
the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next
defense mechanisms
are the ego's methods of unconsciously protecting itself against anxiety by distorting reality
refers to the loss of self-awareness and self-restraint that sometimes occurs in group situations that foster arousal and anonymity
Delta waves
large, slow brain waves associated with deep sleep
false beliefs that often are symptoms of psychotic disorders
of a neuron are the bushy, branching extensions that receive messages from other nerve cells and conduct impulses toward the cell body
dependent variable
of an experiment is the factor being measured by the investigator
psychoactive drugs, such as alcohol, opiates, and barbiturates, that reduce neural activity and slow body functions
depth perception
the ability to see objects in three dimensions although the images that strike the retina are two-dimensional; it allows us to judge distance
developmental psychology
the branch of psychology concerned with physical, cognitive, and social change throughout the life span
difference threshold
the minimum difference between two stimuli that a subject can detect 50 percent of the time
in classical conditioning refers to the ability to distinguish the CS from similar stimuli that do not signal a US.
the defense mechanism in which a sexual or aggressive impulse is shifted to a more acceptable object other than the one that originally aroused the impulse
a split between different levels of consciousness, allowing a person to divide attention between two or more thoughts
dissociative disorders
involves a separation of conscious awareness from one's previous memories, thoughts, and feelings
dissociative identity disorder
a dissociative disorder in which a person exhibits two or more distinct and alternating personalities
dā€šj... vu
the false sense that you have already experienced a current situation
is a complex molecules containing the genetic information that makes up the chromosomes
double-blind procedure
an experimental procedure in which neither the experimenter nor the research participants are aware of which condition is in effect
Down Syndrome
a common cause of severe retardation and associated with physical disorders, usually the result of an extra chromosome in the person's genetic makeup
vivid sequences of images, emotions, and thoughts, the most vivid of which occur during REM sleep
drive-reduction theory
attempts to explain behavior as arising from physiological need that creates an aroused tension state (drive) that motivates an organism to satisfy the need
a short name for the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders, which provides a widely used system of classifying psychological disorders
the philosophical belief that the mind and body are distinct entities - the mind non-physical, the body physical
echoic memory
the momentary sensory memory of auditory stimuli, lasting about 3 or 4 seconds
eclectic approach
therapists are not locked into form of psychotherapy, but draw on whatever combination seems best suited to a client's needs
Ecstasy (MDMA)
classified as both a (synthetic) stimulant and a mild hallucinogen, produces a short-term euphoria by increasing serotonin levels in the brain
effortful processing
encoding that requires attention and some degree of conscious effort
the conscious division of personality that attempts to mediate between the demands of the id, the superego, and reality
in Piaget's theory, refers to the difficulty that preoperational children have in considering another's viewpoint
electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
a biomedical therapy often used to treat major depressive disorder, electric shock passed through the brain
electroencephalogram (EEG)
an amplified recording of the waves of electrical activity of the brain.
the developing prenatal organism from about 2 weeks through 2 months after conception
a response of the whole organism involving three components 1) physical arousal, 2) expressive behaviors, and 3) conscious experience
emotional intelligence
the ability to perceive, manage, understand, and use emotions
emotion-focused coping
involves reducing stress by avoiding or ignoring a stressor and attending to the emotional reactions it triggers
empirically derived test
one developed by testing many items to see which best distinguish between groups of interest
the twofold view that knowledge comes from experience via the senses (rather than being inborn), and observation and experimentation are the basis of science
the first step in memory; information is translated into some form that enables it to enter our memory system
endocrine system
the body's "slower" chemical communication system, consists of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream
natural, opiate like neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure
in behavior genetics it refers to every non genetic, or external, influence on your traits and behaviors
refers to the condition in which there is mutual giving and receiving between the partners in a relationship
a sex hormone secreted in greater amounts by females than by males. In mammals other than humans, estrogen levels peak during ovulation and trigger sexual receptivity
evolutionary psychology
the study of evolution of behavior and the mind, using the principles of natural selection
a research method in which a researcher directly manipulates one or more factors (independent variables) in order to observe their effect on some behavior or mental process
experimental condition
of an experiment is one in which participants are exposed to the independent variable being studied
explicit memories
memories of facts, including names, images, and events. They are also called declarative memories
external locus of control
the perception that one's fate is determined by forces not under personal control
refers to the weakening of a CR when the CS is no longer followed by the US; in operant conditioning extinction occurs when a response is no longer reinforced
extrasensory perception (ESP)
refers to the controversial claim that perception can occur without sensory input. Supposed ESP powers include telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition.
extrinsic motivation
the desire to perform a behavior in order to obtain a reward or avoid a punishment
factor analysis
a statistical procedure that identifies factors, or clusters of related items, that seem to define a common ability.
false consensus effect
the tendency to overestimate the extent to which others share our beliefs and behaviors
family therapy
views problem behavior as partially engendered by the client's family system and environment
a condition in which distant objects are seen clearly but nearby objects are blurred because light rays reflecting from them strike the retina before converging
feature detectors
located in the visual cortex of the brain, are nerve cells that selectively respond to specific visual features, such as movement, shape, or angle.
feel good
do-good phenomenon",the tendency of people to be helpful when they are in a good mood
fetal alcohol syndrome
refers to the physical and cognitive abnormalities that heavy drinking by a pregnant woman may cause in the developing child
the developing prenatal human from 9 weeks after conception to birth
figure ground
refers to the organization of the visual field into two parts: the figure, which stands out from its surroundings, and the surroundings, or background
an inability to approach a problem in a new way
fixed-interval schedule
one in which a response is reinforced after a specific time has elapsed
fixed-ratio schedule
in operant conditioning, one in which reinforcement is presented after a set number of responses
flashbulb memory
an unusually vivid memory of an emotionally important moment in one's life
a state of focused consciousness on a task that optimally engages a person's skills, often accompanied by a diminished awareness of self and time
fluid intelligence
refers to a person's ability to reason speedily and abstractly. Fluid intelligence tends to decline with age
fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging)
MRI scans taken less than a second apart are compared to reveal blood flow and, therefore, brain anatomy and function
foot-in-the-door phenomenon
the tendency for people who agree to a small request to comply later with a larger request
formal operational stage
in Piaget's theory, normally begins about age 12. During this stage people begin to think logically about abstract concepts
the retina's point of central focus. It contains only cones; therefore, images focused on the fovea are the clearest.
refers to the way an issue or question is posed. It can affect people's perception of the issue or answer to the question
fraternal twins
develop from two separate eggs fertilized by different sperm and therefore are no more genetically similar than ordinary siblings
free association
the Freudian technique in which the person is encouraged to say whatever comes to mind as a means of exploring the unconscious
the pitch of a sound is determined by the number of complete wavelengths that can pass a point in a given time.
frequency theory
presumes that the rate, or frequency, of nerve impulses in the auditory nerve matches the frequency of a tone, thus enabling us to sense its pitch
frontal lobes
located at the front of the brain, just behind the forehead, involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgments
frustration-aggression principle
states that aggression is triggered when people become angry because their efforts to achieve a goal have been blocked
functional fixedness
a type of fixation in which a person can think of things only in terms of their usual functions
Introduced by William James, the early school of psychology the emphasized how behavior and mental processes enable the organism to adapt, survive, and flourish.
fundamental attribution error
our tendency to underestimate the impact of situations and to overestimate the impact of personal dispositions upon the behavior of others
gate-control theory
maintains that a "gate" in the spinal cord determines whether pain signals are permitted to reach the brain
refers to the biological and social characteristics by which people define male and female
gender identity
one's personal sense of being male or female
gender role
a set of expected behaviors for males and females
gender schema theory
children acquire a cultural concept of what it means to be female or male and adjust their behavior accordingly
gender typing
the acquisition of a traditional feminine or masculine gender role
general adaptation syndrome (GAS)
the three-stage sequence of bodily reaction to stress outlined by Hans Selye
general intelligence
according to Spearman and others, is a general factor that underlies each of the more specific mental abilities identified through factor analysis
refers to the tendency, once a response has been conditioned, for stimuli similar to the original CS to evoke a CR
generalized anxiety disorder
the person is continually tense, apprehensive, and in a state of autonomic nervous system arousal for no apparent reason
the biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes; they are segments of the DNA molecules capable of synthesizing a protein
the complete set of genetic instructions for making an organism
means "organized whole". The Gestalt psychologists emphasized our tendency to integrate pieces of information into meaningful wholes
glial cells
of the brain guide neural connections, provide nutrients and insulating myelin, and help remove excess ions and neurotransmitters
or blood sugar, the major source of energy for the body's tissues. Elevating the level of glucose in the body will reduce hunger
a system of rules that enables us to communicate with and understand others
GRIT(Graduated and Reciprocated Initiatives in Tension-Reduction)
a strategy of conflict resolution based on the defusing effect that conciliatory gestures can have on parties in conflict
the perceptual tendency to organize stimuli into coherent groups.
group polarization
refers to the enhancement of a group's prevailing tendencies through discussion, which often has the effect of accentuating the group's differences from other groups
refers to the unrealistic thought processes and decision making that occur within groups when the desire for group harmony becomes paramount
is decreasing responsiveness to a stimulus that is repeatedly presented
false sensory experiments that occur without any sensory stimulus
psychoactive drugs, such as LSD and marijuana, that distort perception and evoke sensory images in the absence of sensory input
health psychology
a subfield of psychology that studies how health and illness are influenced by emotions, stress, personality, life-style and other psychological factors
the proportion of variation among individuals in a trait that is attributable to genetic factors
any problem-solving strategy based on rules of thumb
hierarchy of needs
proposes that human motives may be ranked from the basic, physiological level through higher-level needs for safety, love, esteem, and self-actualization; until they are satisfied, the more basic needs are more compelling than the higher-level ones
hindsight bias
refers to the tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it; also called the I-knew-it-all-along phenomenon
a neural region within the limbic system that is important in the processing of explicit memories for storage
refers to the body's tendency to maintain a balanced or constant internal state
chemical messengers, mostly those manufactured by the endocrine glands, that are produced in one tissue and circulate through the bloodstream to their target tissues, on which they have specific effects
human factors psychology
explores how people and machines interact and how machines and physical environments can be adapted to human behaviors and thus to increase safety and productivity
Humanistic psychology
the branch of psychology that emphasizes the growth potential of healthy people
a social interaction in which one person (the hypnotist) suggests to another (the subject) that certain perceptions, feelings, thoughts and behaviors will spontaneously occur.
part of the limbic system, regulates hunger, thirst, body temperature, and sex
a testable prediction, often implied by a theory; testing the hypothesis helps scientists to test the theory
iconic memory
the visual sensory memory consisting of a perfect photographic memory which lasts no more than a few tenths of a second
the unconscious system of personality, consisting of basic sexual and aggressive drives, that supplies psychic energy to personality
identical twins
develop from a single fertilized egg that splits in two and therefore are genetically identical
the process by which the child's superego develops and incorporates the parents' values
one's sense of self, is the primary task of adolescence
refers to mental pictures and can be an important aid to effortful processing
implicit memories
memories of skills, preferences, and dispositions. These memories are evidently processed, not by the hippocampus, but by a more primitive part of the brain, the cerebellum.
the process by which certain animals form attachments during a limited critical period early in life
positive or negative environmental stimuli that motivate behavior
independent variable
of an experiment is the factor being manipulated and tested by the investigator
giving priority to personal goals over group goals and defining one's identity in terms of personal attributes rather than group identification
industrial-organizational (I/O) psychology
a subfield of psychology that studies and advises on issues relating to optimizing behavior in workplaces
informational social influence
results when one goes along with a group when one is unsure or lacks information
refers to the people and groups with whom we share a common identity
in-group bias
the tendency to favor one's own group
inner ear
contains the semicircular canals and the cochlea, which includes the receptors that transduce sound energy into neural impulses
a sudden and often novel realization of the solution to a problem
a sleep disorder in which the person regularly has difficulty in falling or staying asleep
a complex behavior that is rigidly patterned throughout a species and is unlearned
the ability to learn from experience, solve problems, and use knowledge to adapt to new situations
intelligence quotient (IQ)
defined originally as the ratio of mental age to chronological age multiplied by 100.
intelligence tests
measure people's mental aptitudes and compare them to others' through numerical scores
of light and sound is determined by the amplitude of the waves and is experienced as brightness and loudness, respectively
intentional blindness
a perceptual error in which we fail to see a visible object when our attention is directed elsewhere
internal locus of control
is the perception that, to a great extent, one controls one's own destiny
the neurons of the central nervous system that link the sensory and motor neurons in the transmission of sensory inputs and motor outputs
the psychoanalytic term for the analyst's helping the client to understand resistances and other aspects of behavior, so that the client may gain deeper insights
the ability to establish close, loving relationships, the primary task of late adolescent and early adulthood
intrinsic motivation
the desire to perform a behavior for its own sake, rather than for some external reason, and to be effective
a ring of muscle tissue that forms the colored part of the eye that controls the diameter of the pupil
James-Lange theory
states that emotional experiences are based on an awareness of the body's responses to emotion-arousing stimuli; a stimulus triggers the body's responses that in turn trigger the experienced emotion.
just-world phenomenon
a manifestation of the commonly held belief that good is rewarded and evil is punished
the sense of the position and movement of the parts of the body
refers to spoken, written, or gestured words and how we combine them to communicate meaning
latent content
in Freud's theory of dreaming, the underlying but censored meaning of a dream
latent learning
learning that occurs in the absence of reinforcement but only becomes apparent when there is an incentive to demonstrate it
law of effect
E.L. Thorndike proposed; states that behaviors followed by favorable consequences are likely to recur, and that behaviors followed by unfavorable consequences become less likely
learned helplessness
the passive resignation and perceived lack of control that a person or animal develops from repeated exposure to inescapable aversive events
any relatively permanent change in an organism's behavior due to experience
the transparent structure of the eye behind the pupil that changes shape to focus images on the retina
destruction of tissue
Levels of analysis
Psychologists analyze behavior and mental processes from differing complementary views
limbic system
doughnut-shaped neural system, is associated with emotions such as fear and aggression and basic physiological drives
linguistic relativity
Benjamin Whorf's hypothesis that language determines the way we think
an antidepressant drug that is commonly used to stabilize the manic-depressive mood swings of the bipolar disorder
once used to control violent patients, a form of psychosurgery in which the nerves linking the emotion centers of the brain to the frontal lobes are severed
longitudinal study
the same people are tested and retested over a period of years
long-term memory
the relatively permanent and unlimited capacity memory system into which information from short-term memory may pass
long-term potentiation (LTP)
an increase in a synapse's firing potential following brief, rapid stimulation.
(lysergic acid diethylamide) a powerful hallucinogen capable of producing vivid false perceptions and disorganization of though processes
two types of blood cells of the immune system that fight bacterial infections (B lymphocytes) and viruses, cancer cells, and foreign substances in the body
major depressive disorder
the mood disorder that occurs when a person exhibits the lethargy, feelings of worthlessness, or loss of interest in family, friends, and activities characteristic of depression for more than a two-week period and have no discernible reason
the wildly optimistic, euphoric, hyperactive state that alternates with depression in the bipolar disorder
manifest content
in Freud's theory of dreaming, the remembered story line
refers to the biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior and are relatively uninfluenced by experience or other environmental factors
medical model
holds that psychological disorders are illnesses that can be diagnosed, treated, and in most cases, using traditional methods of medicine and psychiatry
located in the brainstem, controls breathing and heartbeat
the persistence of learning over time via the storage and retrieval of information
memory aid
to dissociate is to separate or pull apart, a person becomes dissociated from his or her memories and identity
the first menstrual period
the cessation of menstruation and typically occurs in the early fifties. It also refers to the biological and psychological changes experienced during a woman's years of declining ability to reproduce
mental age
a concept introduced by Binet, the chronological age that most typically corresponds to a given level of performance
mental retardation
two criteria that designate this are an IQ below 70 and difficulty adapting to the normal demands of independent living
mental set
refers to the tendency to continue applying a particular problem-solving strategy even when it is no longer helpful
mere exposure effect
refers to the fact that repeated exposure to an unfamiliar stimulus increases our liking of it
a procedure for statistically combining the results of many different research studies
a powerfully addictive stimulant that speeds up body functions and is associated with energy and mood changes
middle ear
the chamber between the eardrum and cochlea containing the three bones (hammar, anvil, and stirrup) that concentrate the eardrum's vibrations on the cochlea's oval window)
Minnesota Personality Inventory (MMPI)
most widely used personality inventory
mirror neurons
found in the brain's frontal lobe, may be the neural basis for observational learning
misinformation effect
the tendency of eyewitnesses to an event to incorporate misleading information about the event into their memories
memory aides which often use visual imagery
the process of watching and then imitating a specific behavior and is thus an important means through which observational learning occurs
molecular genetics
the subfield of biology that seeks to identify the specific genes that influence specific human traits and behaviors
the philosophical belief that the mind and body are different aspects of the same thing
monocular cues
depth cues that depend on information from both eyes
mood-congruent memory
the tendency to recall experiences that are consistent with our current mood
mood disorders
characterized by emotional extremes
the smallest units of language that convey meaning
a need or desire that energizes and directs behavior
motor cortex
located at the back of the frontal lobe, controls voluntary movement
motor neurons
carry information and instructions for action from the central nervous system to muscles and glands
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer-generated images that show brain structures more clearly
random errors in gene replication that are the source of genetic diversity within a species
myelin sheath
a layer of fatty tissue that segmentally covers many axons and helps speed neural impulses
a sleep disorder in which the victim suffers sudden, uncontrollable sleep attacks, often characterized by entry directly into REM
naturalistic observation
involves observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation
Natural selection
the principle that those traits of a species that contribute to reproduction and survival are most likely to be passed on to succeeding generations
nature-nurture issue
is the controversy over the relative contributions that genes (nature) and experience (nurture) make to the development of psychological traits and behaviors
near-death experience
an altered state of consciousness that has been reported by some people who have had a close brush with death
a condition in which nearby objects are seen clearly but distant objects are blurred because light rays reflecting from them converge in front of the retina
negative reinforcement
strengthens a response by removing an aversive stimulus after that response
bundles of neural axons, which are part of the PNS, that connect the central nervous system with muscles, glands, and sense organs
nervous system
the speedy, electrochemical communication system, consisting of all the nerve cells in the peripheral and central nervous systems
neural networks
interconnected neural cells, the specific connections of which are strengthened as learning occurs
or nerve cell, the basic building block of the nervous system
neuron threshold
the level of stimulation that must be exceeded in order for the neuron to fire, or generate an electrical impulse
chemicals that are released into synaptic gaps and so transmit neural messages from neuron to neuron
night terrors
a person experiences episodes of high arousal with apparent terror, usually occur during Stage 4 sleep.
normal curve
a bell-shaped curve that represents the distribution (frequency of occurrence) of many physical and psychological attributes
normative social influence
refers to the pressure on individuals to conform in order to avoid rejection or gain social approval
understood social prescriptions, or rules, for accepted and expected behaviors
object permanence
which develops during the sensorimotor stage, is the awareness that things do not cease to exist when not perceived
observational learning
learning by watching and imitating the behavior of others
obsessive-compulsive disorder
an anxiety disorder in which the person experiences uncontrollable and repetitive thoughts (obsessions) and actions (compulsions)
occipital lobes
located at the back and base of the brain, contain the visual cortex, which receives information from the eyes
Oedipus complex
center on sexual attraction to the mother and resentment of the father.
one-word stage
between 1 and 2 years of age children speak mostly in single words
operant behavior
behavior that operates on the environment, producing consequences
operant chamber
an experimental chamber for the operant conditioning of an animal such as a pigeon or rate. The controlled environment enables the investigator to present visual or auditory stimuli, delivery reinforcement or punishment, and precisely measure simple responses such as bar presses or key pecking.
operant conditioning
a type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by a reinforce or diminished if followed by a punisher
operational definition
a precise statement of the procedures (operations) used to define research variables
depressants derived from the opium poppy, such as opium, morphine, and heroin; they reduce neural activity and temporarily lessen pain and anxiety
opponent-process theory
maintains that color vision depends on pairs of opposing retinal processes (red-green, yellow-blue, and white-black).
optic nerve
comprised of the axons of retinal ganglion cells - carries neural impulses from the eye to the brain
organizational psychology
a subfield of industrial-organizational psychology that explores how work environments and management styles affect worker motivation, satisfaction, and productivity
refers to the people and groups that are excluded from our in-group
refers to the tendency to overestimate the accuracy of one's beliefs and judgments
panic disorder
an episode of intense dread accompanied by chest pain, dizziness, or choking.
parallel processing
information processing in which several aspects of a stimulus, such as light or sound, are processed simultaneously
the study of ESP, psycho kinesis, and other paranormal forms of interaction between the individual and the environment
parasympathetic nervous system
the division of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body, conserving its energy
parietal lobes
situated between the frontal and occipital lobes, contain sensory cortex
partial (intermittent) reinforcement
the operant procedure of reinforcing a response intermittently
passionate love
refers to an aroused state of intense positive absorption in another persons, especially at the beginning of a relationship
the process by which we select, organize, and interpret sensory information
perceptual adaptation
refers to our ability to adjust to an artificially displaced or even inverted visual field.
perceptual constance
the perception that objects have consistent lightness, color, shape, and size, even as illumination and retinal images change
perceptual set
a mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another
peripheral nervous system (PNS)
includes the sensory and motor neurons that connect the central nervous system to the body's sense receptors, muscles, and glands; it is at the periphery of the body relative to the brain and spinal cord
personal control
refers to a person's sense of controlling the environment
an individual's characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling and acting
personality disorders
characterized by inflexible and enduring maladaptive character traits that impair social functioning
personality inventories
associated with the trait perspective, are questionnaires used to assess personality traits
personnel psychology
a subfield of industrial-organizational psychology that applies psychological methods and principles to the selection and evaluation of workers
PET (positron emission tomography) scan
measures the levels of activity of different areas of the brain by tracing their consumption of a radioactive form of glucose, the brain's fuel
phi phenomenon
an illusion of movement created when two or more adjacent lights blink on and off in succession
an anxiety disorder in which a person has a persistent, irrational fear and avoidance of a specific object or situation
the smallest units of sounds in a language that are distinctive for speakers of the language
physical dependence
a physiological need for a drug that is indicated by the presence of withdrawal symptoms when the drug is not taken
pituitary gland
under the influence of the hypothalamus, regulates growth and controls other endocrine glands; sometimes called the "master gland"
placebo effect
occurs when the results of an experiment are caused by a participant's expectations about what is really going on
place theory
states that we hear different pitches because sound waves of various frequencies trigger activity at different places on the cochlea's basilar membrane
the brain's capacity for modification, as evidenced by brain reorganization following damage (especially in children)
or lie detector, is a device that measures several of the physiological responses accompanying emotion
consists of all the members of a group being studied
positive psychology
focusing on positive emotions, character virtues such as creativity and compassion, and healthy families and neighborhoods
positive reinforcement
strengthens a response by presenting a typically pleasurable stimulus after that response
posthypnotic suggestion
a suggestion made during a hypnosis session that is to be carried out when the subject is no longer hypnotized
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
an anxiety disorder characterized by haunting memories, nightmares, social withdrawal, jumpy anxiety and/or insomnia lasting four weeks or more following a traumatic experience
predictive validity
the extent to which a test predicts the behavior it is designed to predict
an unjustifiable and usually negative attitude toward a group and its members
preoperational stage
in Piaget's theory, lasts from about 2 to 6 or 7 years of age. During this stage, language development is rapid, but the child is unable to understand the mental operations of concrete logic
primary reinforcers
are inborn and do not depend on learning
primary sex characteristics
the body structures (ovaries, testes, and external genitalia) that enable reproduction
the activation, often unconscious, of a web of associations in memory in order to retrieve a specific memory
proactive interference
the disruptive effect of something you already have learned on your efforts to learn or recall new information
problem-focused coping
involves reducing stress by directly changing a stressor or how we interact with it
the unconscious attribution of one's own unacceptable feelings, attitudes, or desires to others
projective tests
such as the TAT and Rorschach, present ambiguous stimuli onto which people supposedly project their own inner feelings
prosocial behavior
the opposite of antisocial behavior, positive, helpful, and constructive and is subject to the same principles of observational learning as is undesirable behavior, such as aggression
the best example of a particular category
the branch of medicine concerned with the physical diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders
psychoactive drugs
which include stimulants, depressants, and hallucinogens - are chemical substances that alter mood and perception.
refers to the treatment of psychological disorders by seeking to expose and interpret the tensions within a patient's unconscious, using methods such as free association
psychological dependence
psychological need to use a drug is referred
psychological disorder
behavior must be deviant, distressful, and dysfunctional
the scientific study of behavior and mental processes
the study of effects of drugs on mind and behavior
the study of relationships between the physical characteristics of stimuli and our psychological experience of them
psycho physiological illness
any genuine illness such as hypertension and some headaches that is apparently linked to stress rather than caused by a physical disorder
psychosexual stages
developmental periods children pass through during which the id's pleasure-seeking energies are focused on different erogenous zones
a biomedical therapy that attempts to change behavior by removing or destroying brain tissue.
an emotionally charged, confiding interaction between a trained therapist and someone who suffers from psychological difficulties
the early adolescent period of sexual maturation, during which a person becomes capable of reproduction
the presentation of an aversive stimulus, such as shock, which decreases the behavior it follows
the adjustable opening in the eye through which light enters
random assignment
the procedure of assigning participants to the experimental and control conditions by chance in order to minimize preexisting differences between those assigned to the different groups
random sample
is one that is representative because every member of the population has an equal chance of being included
the defense mechanism in which one devises self-justifying but incorrect reasons for one's behavior
reaction formula
the defense mechanism in which the ego converts unacceptable impulses into their opposites
a measure of retention in which the person must remember, with few retrieval cues, information learned earlier
reciprocal determinism
according to the social-cognitive perspective, personality is shaped through or the interaction between personality and environmental factors
a measure of retention in which one need only identify, rather than recall, previously learned information
a simple, automatic, inborn response to a sensory stimulus; it is governed by a very simple neural pathway
refractory period
a resting period after orgasm, during which a male cannot be aroused to another orgasm
the defense mechanism in which a person faced with anxiety reverts to a less mature pattern of behavior
regression toward the mean
the tendency for unusual events (such as emotions) to return toward their average state
the conscious, effortful repetition of information that you are trying either to maintain in consciousness or to encode for storage
any event that strengthens the behavior it follows
relative deprivation
the perception that we are worse off relative to those with whom we compare ourselves
also a measure of retention in that the less time it takes to relearn information, the more that information has been retained
is the extent to which a test produces consistent results
REM rebound
is the tendency for REM sleep to increase following REM sleep deprivation
REM sleep
the sleep stage in which the brain and eyes are active, the muscles are relaxed, and vivid dreaming occurs
the process of repeating an experiment, often with different participants and in different situations, to see whether the basic finding generalizes to other people and circumstances
representativeness heuristic
the tendency to judge the likelihood of things in terms of how well they conform to one's prototypes
an example of motivated forgetting in that painful and unacceptable memories are prevented from entering consciousness
the psychoanalytic term for the blocking from consciousness of anxiety-provoking memories
respondent behavior
that which occurs as an automatic response to some stimulus
reticular formation
part of the brainstem, a nerve network that plays an important role in controlling arousal
the light-sensitive, multilayered inner surface of the eye that contains the rods and cones as well as neurons that form the beginning of the optic nerve
retinal disparity
refers to the differences between the images received by the left eye and the right eye as a result of viewing the world from slightly different angles
the process of bringing to consciousness information from memory storage
retroactive interference
the disruptive effect of something recently learned on old knowledge
rods and cones
visual receptors that transduce light neural impulses. The rods are concentrated in the periphery of the retina, the cones in the fovea.
a cluster of prescribed behaviors expected of those who occupy a particular social position
rooting reflex
the newborn's tendency, when his or her cheek is stroked, to orient toward the touch, open the mouth, and search for the nipple
Rorschach inkblot test
the most widely used projective test, consist of 10 inkblots that people are asked to interpret
savant syndrome
a person how has a very low intelligence score, yet possesses one exceptional ability, for example, in music or drawing
scapegoat theory
proposes that prejudice provides an outlet for anger by finding someone to blame
scatter plot
a depiction of the relationship between two variables by means of a graphed cluster of dots
in Piaget's theory of cognitive development, mental concepts or frameworks that organize and interpret information
refers to the group of severe disorders whose symptoms may include disorganized and delusional thinking, inappropriate emotions and actions, and disturbed perceptions
secondary sex characteristics
the nonreproductive sexual characteristics, for example, female breasts, male voice quality, and body hair
selective attention
the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus out of all of those that we are capable of experiencing
describes the process of fulfilling one's potential and becoming spontaneous, loving, creative, and self-accepting.
self concept
a person's sense of identity and personal worth
refers to a person's sharing intimate feelings with another
refers to an individual's sense of self worth
self-fulfilling prophecy
occurs when our expectations of how people will behave cause us to treat them in ways that elicit such behaviors
self-serving bias
the tendency to perceive oneself favorably
semantic encoding
the processing of information into memory according to its meaning
the aspect of grammar that specifies the rules used to derive meaning from morphemes, words, and sentences
the process by which we detect physical energy from the environment and encode it as neural signals
sensorimotor stage
in Piaget's theory, lasts from birth to about age 2. During this stage, infants gain knowledge of the world through their senses and their motor activities
sensorineual hearing loss
is hearing loss caused by damage to the auditory receptors of the cochlea or to the auditory nerve due to disease, aging, or prolonged exposure to ear-splitting noise
sensory adaptation
refers to the decreased sensitivity that occurs with continued exposure to an unchanging stimulus
sensory cortex
located at the front of the parietal lobes, just behind the motor cortex. It registers and processes body touch and movement sensations.
sensory interaction
the principle that one sense may influence another
sensory memory
the immediate, initial recording of sensory information in the memory system
sensory neurons
carry information from the sense receptors to the central nervous system for processing
serial position effect
the tendency for items at the beginning and end of a list to be more easily retained than those in the middle
set point
an individual's regulated weight level, which is maintained by adjusting food intake and energy output.
sexual disorder
a problem - such as erectile disorder, premature ejaculation, and orgasmic disorder - that consistently impairs sexual arousal or functioning
sexual orientation
refers to a person's enduring attraction to members of either the same or the opposite gender
sexual response cycle
described by Masters and Johnson consists of four stages of bodily reaction: excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution
the operant conditioning procedure for establishing a new response by reinforcing successive approximations of the desired behavior
short-term memory
conscious memory, which can hold about seven items for a short time; also called working memory
signal detection theory
explains precisely how and when we detect the presence of a faint stimulus (signal)
the natural, periodic, reversible loss of consciousness, on which the body and mind depend for healthy functioning
sleep apnea
a sleep disorder in which the person ceases breathing while asleep, briefly arouses to gasp for air, falls back asleep and repeats this cycle throughout the night
social clock
refers to the culturally preferred timing of social events, such as leaving home, marrying, having children, and retiring
social-cognitive perspective
behavior is the result of interactions between people and their social context
social exchange theory
states that our social behavior revolves around exchanges, in which we try to minimize our costs and maximize our benefits
social facilitation
the improvement in performance of simple or well-learned tasks that occurs when other people are present
social leadership
group-oriented leadership that builds teamwork, mediates conflict, and offers support
social learning theory
people learn social behavior (such as gender roles) by observing and imitating and by being rewarded or punished
social loafing
the tendency for individual effort to be diminished when one is part of a group working toward common goals
social psychology
the scientific study of how we think about, influence, and relate to one another
social trap
a situation in which conflicting parties become caught up in mutually harmful behavior as they pursue their perceived best interests
somatic nervous system
the division of the peripheral nervous system that enables voluntary control of the skeletal muscles; also called the skeletal nervous system
source amnesia
refers to misattributing an event to the wrong source - the heart of many false memories
spacing effect
the tendency for distributed practice to yield better long-term retention than massed practice, or cramming
split brain
a condition in which the major connections between the two cerebral hemispheres (the corpus callosum) are severed, literally resulting in a split brain
spontaneous recovery
the reappearance of an extinguished CR after a rest period
spotlight effect
the tendency of people to overestimate the extent to which other people are noticing and evaluating them
the process of defining meaningful scores by comparison with a pretested standardization group
Lewis Terman's widely used revision of Binet's original intelligence test
generalized (often over generalized) belief about a group of people
stereotype threat
the phenomenon in which a person's concern that he or she will be evaluated based on a negative stereotype is actually followed by lower performance
psychoactive drugs, such as caffeine, nicotine, amphetamines, and cocaine, that excite neural activity and speed up body functions
the passive process by which encoded information is maintained over time
stranger anxiety
the fear of strangers that infants begin to display at about 8 months of age
refers to the process by which people perceive and react to stressors, or to events they perceive as threatening or challenging
Introduced by Edward Bradford Titchener, the early school of psychology that used self-reflection (introspection) to examine the elemental structure of the mind
structured interview
one in which an interviewer asks the same job-relevant questions of all interviewees, who are then rated on established evaluation scales
subjective well-being
refers to a person's sense of satisfaction with his or her life
a stimulus that is below the absolute threshold for conscious awareness
the division of personality that contains the conscience and develops by incorporating the perceived moral standards of society
super ordinate goals
mutual goals that require the cooperation of individuals or groups otherwise in conflict
a technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes or behaviors of a representative, random sample of people
sympathetic nervous system
the division of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations
the junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron. The tiny gap at this injunction is called the synaptic gap or cleft.
the aspect of grammar specifying the rules for combining words into grammatical sentences
systematic desensitization
a type of counter conditioning in which a state of relaxation is classically conditioned to a hierarchy of gradually increasing anxiety-provoking stimuli
task leadership
goal-oriented leadership that set standards, organizes work, and focuses attention on goals
telegraphic speech
the economical, telegram-like speech of children in the two-word stage
refers to a person's characteristic emotional reactivity and intensity
temporal lobes
located on the sides of the brain, contain the auditory areas, which receive information from the ears
any drugs, viruses, or other substances that cross the mother's placenta and can harm the developing embryo or fetus
terror-management theory
our deeply rooted fear of death causes us to act in ways that enhance our self-esteem and to adhere more strongly to worldwide views that provide answers to questions about the meaning of life
the principal male sex hormone. During prenatal development, testosterone stimulates the development of the external male sex organs.
located atop the brainstem, routes incoming messages to the appropriate cortical centers and transmits replies to the medulla and cerebellum
the major active ingredient in marijuana, classified as a mild hallucinogen
Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
is a projective test that consists of ambiguous pictures about which people are asked to make up stories
an explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes and predicts behaviors or events
theory of mind
our ideas bout our own and others' thoughts, feelings and perceptions and the behaviors these might predict
token economy
an operant conditioning procedure in which desirable behaviors are promoted in people by rewarding them with tokens, or secondary reinforcers, which can be exchanged for privileges or treats
the diminishing of a psychoactive drug's effect that occurs with repeated use, requiring progressively larger doses in order to produce the same effect
top-down processing
informational processing guided by higher-level mental processes
people's characteristic patterns of behavior
refers to the process by which receptor cells in the eye, ear, skin and nose convert stimulus energies into neural impulses
the psychoanalytic term for a patient's redirecting to the analyst emotions from other relationships
two-factor theory
emotion proposes that emotions have two ingredients: physical arousal and a cognitive label
two-word stage
beginning about age 2, children speak mostly in two-word sentences
Type A personality
Friedman and Rosenman's term for the coronary-prone behavior patterns of competitive, hard-driving, impatient, verbally aggressive and anger-prone people
Type B personality
Friedman and Roseman's term for the coronary-resistant behavior pattern of easygoing, relaxed people
unconditional positive regard
according to Rogers, an attitude of total acceptance and one of the three conditions essential to a "growth promoting "climate
unconditioned response (UR)
the unlearned, involuntary response to the unconditioned stimulus
unconditioned stimulus (US)
the stimulus that naturally and automatically triggers the reflexive unconditioned response
the repository of mostly unacceptable thoughts, wishes, feelings, and memories
the degree to which a test measures or predicts what it is supposed to
variable-interval schedule
one in which responses are reinforced after varying intervals of time
variable-ration schedule
in operant conditioning, one in which reinforcement is presented after a varying number of responses
vestibular sense
the sense of the body movement and position, including the sense of balance
visual capture
the tendency for vision to dominate the other senses
visual cliff
a laboratory device for testing depth perception, especially in infants and young animals.
visual encoding
the use of imagery to process information into memory
refers to the distance from the peak of one light (or sound) wave to the next, gives rise to the perceptual experiences of hue, or color, in vision and pitch in sound
Weber's law
states that the just noticeable difference between two stimuli is a constant minimum proportion of the stimulus
Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS)
the most widely used intelligence test. It is individually administered, contains 11 subtests, and yields separate verbal and performance intelligence scores, as well as an overall intelligence score.
Wernicke's area
located in the left temporal lobe, is involved in language comprehension and expression
refers to the discomfort and distress that follow the discontinued use of addictive drugs
X chromosome
the sex chromosome found in both men and women. Females inherit an X chromosome from each parent.
Y chromosome
the sex chromosome found only in men. Males inherit an X chromosome from their mothers and a Y chromosome from their fathers.
Young-Helmholtz trichromatic (three color) theory
maintains that the retina contains red-green-, and blue sensitive color receptors that in combination can produce the perception of any color.
the fertilized egg, that is, the cluster of cells formed during conception by the union of sperm and egg