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Terms in this set (79)
Breaking our inner world into component pieces.
They beak things down into questions, observations, etc.
Focused on the adaptive nature of mental processes.
Levels of Analysis
• Biological Influences
○ Natural selection of adaptive traits
• Psychological Influences
○ Learned fears and other learned expectations
○ Emotional responses
• Social-cultural Influences
Presence of others
Nature vs Nurture
Taking any aspect of the human experience and ask how a person behaves based on how they are born or the way they were raised.
What is normal?
The normal distribution. It is based on the normal curve
1. The act or an instance of making a conscious choice or decision
2. The power or faculty of choosing; the will.
What is "Consciousness"
1. The state or condition of being conscious
2. A sense of ones personal or collective identity, including the attitudes, beliefs, and sensitivities.
How do psychologists ask and answer questions?
○ A theory is an explanation
• Research Observations
Good Scientific Principles
• Manipulation of variables- causality
• Good sampling- generalization
• Converging evidence- confidence
The tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that we would have forseen it. (I knew it all along phenomenom)
In our judgment results partly from our bias to seek information that confirms them.
A theory is an explanation that integrates
principles and organizes and predicts
behavior or events.
For example, low self‐esteem contributes to
A hypothesis is a testable prediction, often
prompted by a theory, to enable us to
accept, reject or revise the theory.
People with low self‐esteem are apt to feel
A technique in which one person is studied in
depth to reveal underlying behavioral principles.
Methods for describing behaviors
• Useful for generating theories
• Cannot make causal inferences based on
d i i h d
Summary: Descriptive Methods
A technique for ascertaining the self‐reported
attitudes, opinions or behaviors of people
usually done by questioning a representative,
random sample of people.
Observing and recording the behavior of animals
in the wild and recording self‐seating patterns in a
multiracial school lunch room constitute
is a factor manipulated
by the experimenter. The effect of this variable is the focus of the study
is a factor that may change
in response to an independent variable. In
psychology, it is usually a behavior or a mental
science vs pseudoscience
○ Must be falsified
○ Casual statements must involve the manipulation of independent variable.
Looks for confirmation evidence of a theory.
The body's information system is built from
billions of interconnected cells
Interconnected neurons form networks in the
brain. Theses networks are complex and modify
with growth and experience.
A brief electrical charge
that travels down an axon
and is generated by the
movement of positively
charged atoms in and out
of of channels channels inin the the axon s axon's
Each neuron receives excitatory and inhibitory signals
from many neurons. When the excitatory signals minus
the inhibitory signals exceed a minimum intensity
(threshold) the neuron fires an action potential.
ACTION POTENTIAL PROPERTIES
All‐or‐None Response: A strong stimulus can
trigger more neurons to fire, and to fire more
often, but it does not affect the action potential's
strength or speed.
(chemicals) released from the sending neuron travel across the synapse and bind to receptor sites on the receiving neuron.
basic life functions
emotion, motivation, learning/memory
perception, language, reasoning,
spatial navigation (everything else!)
the base of the brainstem that controls heartbeat and breathing.
is a nerve network in the brainstem that plays an important role in controlling arousal.
is the brain's sensory switchboard,located on top of the brainstem. It directs messages to the sensory
areas in the cortex.
The "little brain"attached to the rear of the brainstem. It helps coordinate voluntary movements and
THE LIMBIC SYSTEM
The Limbic System is a system of neural structures at the border of the brainstem and cerebrum associated
THE LIMBIC SYSTEM
with emotions such as
fear, aggression and
drives for food and sex.
Consists oftwo lima bean‐sized neuralclusters linked to the emotions of fear and anger
The Hippocampi are two semicircular structures involved in forming new memories.
Lies below the thalamus. It directs
several maintenance activities like eating eating, drinking, body temperature, and control of emotions. It helps govern the endocrine system via the pituitary gland
Definition: The idea that one cortical region has
Problems: In reality many regions are involved in
most functions (especially higher level ones) and
most regions are involved in multiple functions
LATERALITY: WHAT WE BELIEVE
Right Side Movement
Right Visual Field Sight
Music (in experts)
Left Side Movement
Left Visual Field Sight
Theory of Mind
Music (in novices)
SPLITTING THE BRAIN
A procedure in which the two hemispheres of the
brain are isolated by cutting the connecting fibers
(mainly those of the corpus callosum) between them.
About 10% of people are left handed
About 30% of LH have "atypical"
Multiple causes of LH
Lack of laterality or reverse laterality
An awareness of ourselves (our thoughts) and the
CONSCIOUS AND SUBCONSCIOUS
Dual Processing and the Two-Track Mind.
At any one time, we are being bombarded by
Information/distractions come from the external
world as well as from our internal world (inner
voice voice thoughts etc ) , thoughts, etc.)
We use attention to "select" which pieces of the
world will make it into our conscious awareness
Attentional processes can be intentional (focus on
the road, or class) or automatic (when someone
says your name)
Cocktail party phenomenon
A form of inattentional blindness. Between 66 and
75 percent of individuals won't notice dramatic
changes in their environments depending on
where their attention is placed.
The default network
A switch from attending to your outside world to
attending to your inside world.
A social interaction in which one person (the
hypnotist) suggests to another (the subject) that certain
perceptions, feelings, thoughts, or behaviors will spontaneouslyoccur
1. Social Influence Theory:
Hypnotic subjects may
simply be imaginative
actors playing a social
Courtesy of role.
2. Divided Consciousness
Theory: Hypnosis is a
special state of
A chemical substance that alters perceptions
and mood (affects consciousness).
DEPENDENCE & ADDICTION
Continued use of a psychoactive drug produces tolerance. With repeated exposure to a drug, the drug's effect lessens. Thus it takes greater quantities to get the desired effect
Upon stopping use of a drug
(after addiction), users may experience the
undesirable effects of withdrawal.
Absence of a drug may lead to a
feeling of physical pain, intense cravings
(physical dependence), and negative emotions
5 SLEEP STAGES
Each stage of sleep has different physiological
characteristics and presumably different
AWAKE BUT RELAXED
When an individual closes his eyes but remains
awake, his brain activity slows down to a large
amplitude and slow, regular alpha waves (9‐14
cps). A meditating person exhibits an alpha brain
SLEEP STAGES 1‐2
During early, light sleep (stages 1‐2) the brain
enters a high‐amplitude, slow, regular wave form
called theta waves (5‐8 cps). A person who is
daydreaming shows theta activity
SLEEP STAGES 3‐4
During deepest sleep (stages 3‐4), brain activity
slows down. There are large‐amplitude, slow
delta waves (1.5‐4 cps).
After reaching the deepest sleep stage (4), the
sleep cycle starts moving backward towards stage
1. Although still asleep, the brain engages in low‐
amplitude, fast and regular beta waves (15‐40 cps)
much like awake‐aroused state.
why we sleep
We spend one‐third of our lives sleeping. individual individual is sleep deprived, immune function and concentration deteriorates and the risk of accidents increases.
Sleep Protects: Sleeping in the darkness when
predators loomed about kept our ancestors out
of harm's way.
2. Sleep Helps us Recover: Sleep helps restore
and repair brain tissue.
3. Sleep Helps us Remember: Sleep restores and
rebuilds our fading memories.
4. Sleep may play a role in the growth process:
During sleep, the pituitary gland releases
growth hormone. Older people release less of
this hormone and sleep less. Babies sleep a lot!
Insomnia: A persistent inability to fall
2. Narcolepsy: Overpowering urge to fall
aslleep thhat may occur whil hile talki lking or
3. Sleep apnea: Failure to breathe when
SLEEP DISORDERS in Children
Night terrors: The sudden arousal from sleep
with intense fear accompanied by
physiological physiological reactions reactions (e g (e.g., rapid rapid heart heart rate rate,
perspiration) which occur during Stage 4 sleep.
Sleepwalking: A Stage 4 disorder which is
usually harmless and unrecalled the next day.
Sleeptalking: A condition that runs in families,
WHY WE DREAM
1.Wish Fulfillment: Sigmund Freud suggested
that dreams provide a psychic safety valve to
discharge unacceptable feelings. The dream's
manifest (apparent) content may also have
symbolic meanings (latent content) that signify
our unacceptable feelings.
2. Information Processing: Dreams may help sift,
sort, and fix a day's experiences in our
Why we dream
Physiological Function: Dreams provide the sleeping brain with periodic stimulation to develop and preserve neural pathways. Neural networks of newborns are quickly developing; therefore, they need more sleep.
WHy we dream
4.Activation‐Synthesis Theory: Suggests that the
brain engages in a lot of random neural
activity. Dreams make sense of this activity.
5. Cognitive Development: Some researchers
argue that we dream as a part of brain
maturation and cognitive development.
Sensation versus Perception
• Sensation ‐ Detection of physical energy
from the environment and converting into
a neural signal
• Perception ‐ Selection, organization, and
interpretation of sensory information
Analysis of the stimulus begins with the sense
receptors and works up to the level of the brain
Information processing guided by higher‐level
mental processes as we construct perceptions,
drawing on our experience and expectations.
A study of the relationship between physical
characteristics of stimuli and our psychological
experience with them.
The first step in sensation. The transformation of
physical energy (sights, sounds, smells) into neural
Minimum stimulation needed to detect a
particular stimulus 50% of the time.
Minimum difference a person can detect between two
stimuli (50% of the time), also known as "Just Noticeable
• Weber‐Fechner Law ((book calls it Weber's Law)) states
that JND varies proportionately with the intensity of the
Gibson and Walk (1960) suggested that human
infants (crawling age) have______.
newborn animals show _______.
Types of Depth Cues
• Retinal disparity‐ Images from the two eyes differ. The
further away something is the more similar the two pictures
will be on the retina.
• Relative size
• Relative height
• Linear convergence (perspective)
• Light and shadow
Linear Perspective: Parallel lines, such as railroad
tracks, appear to converge in the distance. The
more the lines converge, the greater their
The sense of touch is a mix of four distinct skin
senses—pressure, warmth, cold, and pain.v
The Body Senses
Proprioception: Where your body is in space
Kinesthetics: Where your body is with respect to
Smell and Memories
The brain region for smell (in red) is closely connected with the brain regions involved 36 regions involved with memory (limbic system). That is why strong memories are made through the sense of smell.
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