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Review key terms for the Final Exam


study of behavior and mental processes

Phineas Gage

his serious brain injury resulted in an interest in studying how the brain affects personality

classical conditioning

method of learning in which a neutral stimulus can be used to elicit a response that is usually a natural response to a stimulus


agents in our environment that cause arousal of one's mind and body

Broca's area

structure of the brain that enables us to speak


the "little brain" attached to the rear of the brainstem; it helps coordinate voluntary movement and balance

B.F. Skinner

pioneer of operant conditioning who believed that everything we do is determined by our past history of rewards and punishments. he is famous for use of his operant conditioning aparatus which he used to study schedules of reinforcement on pidgeons and rats.

Neurobiological approach

looks for genetic and organic reasons to explain behavior


a scanning device that can record the electrical activity of the brain and denote stages of sleep


chemicals that bridge the synaptic gap


basic unit of the nervous system


process of changing physical stimulus to neural stimulus


a conditioning process in which the reinforcer is removed and a conditioned response becomes independent of the conditioned stimulus


any agent that interferes with normal embryonic development: alcohol or thalidomide or X-rays or rubella are examples

object permanence

the awareness that things continue to exist even when not perceived

bipolar disorder

a mental disorder characterized by episodes of mania and depression

somatoform disorders

type of disorder that is characterized by complaints of physical symptoms that have no organic cause


drug that has been shown to be effective in the treatment of bipolar disorder


technique of severing the connections between the frontal lobe and the thalamus

concrete operational

Piaget's stage for children aged 7-11 that is characterized by increased logical thought and organization

hand washing

the most frequent compulsion that is exhibited in obsessive-compulsive disorder

scientific method

most important addition to psychology which allowed it to be considered a science


the task of adulthood, according to Erikson


Kohlberg's stage of moral development in which rewards and punishments dominate moral thinking

systematic desensitization

a technique used in behavior therapy to treat phobias and other behavior problems involving anxiety


a neural center that is located in the limbic system and helps process explicit memories for storage; research has found that this area of the brain is affected by Alzheimer's


what a person comes to expect from a stimulus


red/green, yellow/blue, black/white. Explains afterimages.


pertaining to memory; assisting the memory; N: device, such as as formula or rhyme, used as a mnemonic aid

episodic memory

memory of specific personal events and situations (episodes) tagged with information about time


irrational fear that can bring about panic attacks

Dorthea Day

activist in the United States that advocated for better treatment for the mentally ill

Type A Personality

A theory used to describe a person with a significant number of traits focused on urgency, impatience, success, and excessive competition.

Eros and Thanatos

according to Freud, the two unconscious sources of energy that supply fuel to the formation of personality


defense mechanism that offers self-justifying explanations in place of the real, more threatening, unconscious reasons for one's actions

behaviorist approach

approach that focuses on rewards and punishments


the ability to expand short term memory by linking ideas and concepts together

frontal lobe

part of the brain that distinguishes the human qualities that we have over animals

sequence of memory

sensory, short term, long term


a schedule where reinforcement happens after a varied number of responses

Wilhelm Wundt

set up the first laboratory to study behavior

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