Psychology

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Structuralism
An early school of psychology that used introspection to explore the structural elements of the human mind.
Functionalism
A school of psychology that focused on how our mental and behavioral processes function-how they enable us to adapt, survive, and flourish.
Behaviorism
The view that psychology (1) should be an objective science that (2) studies behavior without reference to mental processes. Most research psychologists today agree with (1) but not with (2)
Humanistic Psychology
Historically significant perspective that emphasized the growth potential of healthy people and the individuals potential for personal growth.
Cognition
the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.
Sigmund Freud
The controversial ideas of this framed personality theorist and therapist have influenced humanity self-understanding.
Wilhelm Wundt
Wundt established the first psychology laboratory at the university of Leipzig, Germany.
Conditioned Response
is a behavior that does not come naturally, but must be learned by the individual by pairing a neutral stimulus with a potent stimulus.
Neutral Stimulus
is a stimulus which initially produces no specific response other than focusing attention. In classical conditioning, when used together with an unconditioned stimulus, the neutral stimulus becomes a conditioned stimulus.
Psychology
The science of behavior and mental processes.
Nature-Nurture issue
The longstanding controversy over the relative contributions that genes and experience make to the development of psychological traits and behaviors. Today's science sees traits and behaviors arising from the interaction of nature and nurture.
Natural Selection
The principle that among the range of inherited trait variations, those contributing to reproduction and survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations.
Charles Darwin
Darwin argued that natural selection shapes behaviors as well as bodies.
Evolutionary
How the natural selection of traits promoted the survival of genes.
Psychodynamic
How behavior springs from unconscious drives and conflicts.
Behavioral
How we learn observable responses.
Social-cultural
How behavior and thinking vary across situations and cultures.
Case study
An observation technique in which one person is studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles.
Naturalistic Observation
Observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation.
Control group
is composed of participants who do not receive the experimental treatment. When conducting an experiment, these people are randomly selected to be in this group. They also closely resemble the participants who are in the experimental group, or the individuals who receive the treatment.
Neuron
a specialized cell transmitting nerve impulses; a nerve cell.
Sensory Neurons
Neurons that carry incoming information from sensory receptors to the brain and spinal cord.
Nervous system
the network of nerve cells and fibers that transmits nerve impulses between parts of the body.
Central Nervous System
the complex of nerve tissues that controls the activities of the body. In vertebrates it comprises the brain and spinal cord.
Peripheral nervous system
the nervous system outside the brain and spinal cord.
Somatic Nervous System
deals with our voluntary control of muscles and our five senses.
Autonomic Nervous System
the part of the nervous system responsible for control of the bodily functions not consciously directed, such as breathing, the heartbeat, and digestive processes.
Electroencephalogram (EEG)
is a recording of the electrical waves of activity that occur in the brain, and across its surface. Electrodes are placed on different areas of a person's scalp, filled with a conductive gel, and then plugged into a recording device.
Positron emission tomography
which is similar to the MRI, is a scanning method that enables psychologists and doctors to study the brain (or any other living tissue) without surgery. PET scans use radioactive glucose (instead of a strong magnetic field) to help study activity and locate structures in the body.
fMRI (functional MRI)
is a functional neuroimaging procedure using MRI technology that measures brain activity by detecting changes associated with blood flow.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
is a brain imaging technique that detects magnetic changes in the brain's blood flow patterns.
Medulla
is a section of the brain located in the brainstem which is responsible for automatic functions like breathing, blood pressure, circulation and heart functions, and digestion. It is also the area responsible for many reflexes like swallowing, vomiting, coughing, and sneezing.
Limbic System
a complex system of nerves and networks in the brain, involving several areas near the edge of the cortex concerned with instinct and mood. It controls the basic emotions (fear, pleasure, anger) and drives (hunger, sex, dominance, care of offspring).
Hypothalamus
The area of the brain that secretes substances that influence pituitary and other gland function and is involved in the control of body temperature, hunger, thirst, and other processes that regulate body equilibrium.
Frontal lobes
each of the paired lobes of the brain lying immediately behind the forehead, including areas concerned with behavior, learning, personality, and voluntary movement.
Pariental
portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear; receives sensory input for touch and body position.
Occiputal
portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the back of the head; includes areas that receive information from the visual fields.
Temporal Lobes
each of the paired lobes of the brain lying beneath the temples, including areas concerned with the understanding of speech.
Split brain
a condition resulting from surgery that isolates the brains two hemispheres by cutting the fibers connecting them.
Circadian Rhythm
Often referred to as the "body clock", the circadian rhythm is a 24-hour cycle that tells our bodies when to sleep and regulates many other physiological processes. This internal body clock is affected by environmental cues, like sunlight and temperature.
REM sleep
is the stage of sleep associated with quick, darting eye movements, the paralysis of major voluntary muscles, increased and irregular heart rate and breathing, and a high level of brain activity (comparable to brain activity when awake).
Narcolepsy
a condition characterized by an extreme tendency to fall asleep whenever in relaxing surroundings.
Sleep apnea
is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person's breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times. This means the brain -- and the rest of the body -- may not get enough oxygen.
Gestalt Psychology
the study of perception and behavior from the standpoint of an individual's response to configurational wholes with stress on the uniformity of psychological and physiological events and rejection of analysis into discrete events of stimulus, percept, and response.
What are the four main goals of psychology?
Description, Explanation, Prediction, and Control

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