613 terms

Myer's Psychology for AP* Vocabulary [All 14 Units]

Myer's Psychology for AP* Vocabulary [All 14 Units]

Terms in this set (...)

the view that knowledge originates in experience and that science should, therefore, rely and observation and experimentation.
an early school of psychology that used introspection to explore the elemental structure of the human mind
a school of psychology that focused on how our mental and behavioral processes function-how they enable us to adapt, survive and flourish
experimental psychology
the study of behavior and thinking using the experimental method
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 individual's potential for fostering personal growth
cognitive neuroscience
the interdisciplinary study of the brain activity linked with cognition (including perception, thinking, memory, and language)
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 variation, those contributing to reproduction and survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations.
levels of analysis
the differing complementary views, from biological to psychological to social-cultural, for analyzing any given phenomenon
biopsychological approach
an integrated approach that incorporates biological, psychological, and social-cultural levels of analysis
biological psychology
a branch of psychology that studies the links between biological (including neuroscience and behavior genetics) and psychological processes
evolutionary psychology
the study of the roots of behavior and mental processes using the principles of natural selection
psychodynamic psychology
a branch of psychology that studies how unconscious drives and conflicts influence behavior, and uses that information to treat people with psychological disorders.
behavioral psychology
the scientific study of observable behavior, and its explanation by principles of learning.
cognitive psychology
the scientific study of all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating.
social-cultural psychology
the study of how situations and cultures affect our behavior and thinking.
the scientific study of the measurement of human abilities, attitudes, and traits
basic research
pure science that aims to increase the scientific knowledge base.
developmental psychology
the scientific study of physical, cognitive, and social change throughout the life span
educational psychology
The study of how psychological processes affect and can enhance teaching and learning.
personality psychology
the study of individual's characteristics patter of thinking, feeling, and acting.
social psychology
The scientific study of how we think about, influence, and relate to one another.
applied research
scientific study that aims to solve practical problems.
industrial organization (I/O) psychology
the application of psychological concepts and methods to optimizing human behavior in workplaces.
human factors psychology
the study of how people and machines interact and the design of safe and easily used machines and environments.
counseling psychology
a branch of psychology that assists people with problems in living (often related to school, work, or marriage) and in achieving greater well-being.
clinical psychology
A branch of psychology that studies, assesses, and treats people with psychological disorders.
a branch of medicine dealing with psychological disorders; practiced by physicians who sometimes provide medical (for example, drug) treatments as well as psychological therapy.
a study method incorporating five steps: survey, question, read, rehearse, review.
hindsight bias
the tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it. (Also known as the I-knew-it-all-along phenomenon.)
critical thinking
thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions. Rather, it examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions.
an explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes observations and predicts behaviors or events.
a testable prediction, often implied by a theory.
operational definition
a statement of the procedures (operations) used to define research variables. For example, human intelligence may be operationally defined as what an intelligence test measures.
repeating the essence of a research study, usually with different participants in different situations, to see whether the basic finding extends to other participants and circumstances.
case study
an observation technique in which one person is studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles.
a technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes or behaviors of a particular group, usually by questioning a representative, random sample of the group.
all the cases in a group being studied, from which samples may be drawn. (Note: Except for national studies, this does not refer to a country's whole population.)
random sample
a sample that fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusion.
naturalistic observation
observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation.
a measure of the extent to which two factors vary together, and thus of how well either factor predicts the other.
correlation coefficient
a statistical index of the relationship between to things (from -1 to +1).
a graphed cluster of dots, each of which represents the values of two variables. The slop of the points suggests the direction of the relationship between the two variables. The amount of scatter suggests the strength of the correlation (little scatter indicates high correlation).
illusory correlation
the perception of a relationship where none exists.
a research method in which an investigator manipulates one or more factors (independent variables) to observe the effect on some behavior or mental process (the dependent variable). By random assignment of participants, the experimenter aims to control other relevant factors.
random assignment
assigning participants to experimental and control groups by chance, thus minimizing preexisting differences between those assigned to the different groups.
double-blind procedure
an experiment procedure in which both the research participants and the research staff are ignorant (blind) about whether the research participants have received the treatment or a placebo. Commonly used in drug-evaluation studies.
placebo effect
experimental results caused by expectations alone; any effect on behavior caused by the administration of an inert substance or condition, which the recipient assumes is an active agent.
experimental group
in an experiment, the group that is exposed to the treatment, that is, to one version of the independent variable.
control group
in an experiment, the group that is not exposed to the treatment; contrasts with the experimental group and serves as a comparison for evaluating the effect of the treatment.
independent variable
the experimental factor that is manipulated; the variable whose effect is being studied.
confounding variable
a factor other than the independent variable that might produce an effect in an experiment.
dependent variable
the outcome factor; the variable that may change in response to manipulations of the independent variable.
the most frequently occurring score(s) in a distribution.
the arithmetic average of a distribution, obtained by adding the scores and then dividing by the number of scores.
the middle score in a distribution; half the scores are above it and half are below it.
the difference between the highest and lower scores in a distribution.
standard deviation
a computed measure of how much scores vary around the mean score.
normal curve
a symmetrical, bell-shaped curve that describes the distribution of many types of data; most scores fall near the mean (68% fall within one standard deviation of it) and fewer and fewer near the extremes.
statistical significance
a statistical statement of how likely it is that an obtained result occurred by chance.
the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a group of people and transmitted form one generation to the next.
informed consent
an ethical principle that research participants be told enough to enable them to choose whether they wish to participate.
the postexperimental explanation for a study, including its purpose and any deceptions, to its participants.
biological psychology
a branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior.
a nerve cell; the basic building block of the nervous system.
sensory neurons
neurons that carry incoming information from the sensory receptors to the brain and spinal cord.
motor neurons
neurons that carry outgoing information from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles and glands.
neurons within the brain and spinal cord that communicate internally and intervene between sensory inputs and motor outputs.
the bushy, branching extensions of a neuron that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body.
the extension of a neuron, ending in branching terminal fivers through which messages pass to other neurons or to muscles or glands.
myelin sheath
a layer of fatty tissue segmentally encasing the fivers of many neurons; enables vastly greater transmission speed of neural impulses as the pulse hops from one node to the next.
action potential
a neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon.
the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse.
the junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron. The tiny gap at the junction is called the synaptic gap or synaptic cleft.
chemical messengers that cross the synaptic gaps between neurons. When released by the sending neuron, neurotransmitters travel across the synapse and bind to the receptor sites on the receiving neuron, thereby influencing whether that neuron will generate a neural impulse.
a neurotransmitter's reabsorption by the sending neuron.
"morphine within" - natural, opiatelike neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure.
nervous system
the body's speedy electrochemical communication network, consisting of all the nerve cells of the peripheral and central nervous systems.
central nervous system (CNS)
the brain and spinal cord.
peripheral nervous system (PNS)
the sensory and motor neurons that connect the central nervous system (CNS) to the rest of the body.
bundled axons that form neural cables connecting the central nervous system with muscles, glands, and sense of organs.
somatic nervous system
the division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the body'd skeletal muscles. Also called the skeletal nervous system.
autonomic nervous system
the part of the peripheral nervous system that controls the glands and the muscles of the internal organs (such as the heart). Its sympathetic division arouses; its parasympathetic division calms.
sympathetic nervous system
the division of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations.
parasympathetic nervous system
the division of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body, conserving its energy.
a simple automatic response to a sensory stimulus, such as the knee-jerk response.
endocrine system
the body's "slow" chemical communication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones into the blood stream.
chemical messengers that are manufactured buy the endocrine glands, travel through the bloodstream, and affect other tissues.
adrenal glands
a pair of endocrine glands that sit just above the kidneys and secrete hormones (epinephrine and norepinephrine) that help arouse the body in times of stress.
pituitary gland
the endocrine system's most influential gland. Under the influence of the hypothalamus, the pituitary regulates growth and controls other endocrine glands.
tissue destruction; a brain lesion is a naturally or experimentally caused destruction of brain tissue.
an amplified recording of the waves of electrical activity that sweep across the brain's surface. These waves are measured by electrodes placed on the scalp.
CT (computed tomography) scan
a series of X-ray photographs taken from different angles and combined by computer into a composite representation of a slice through the body. Also called CAT scan.
PET (positron emission tomography) scan
a visual display of brain activity that detects where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain performs a given task.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
a technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer-generated images of soft tissue. Shows brain anatomy.
fMRI (functional MRI)
a technique for revealing bloodflow and, therefore, brain activity by comparing successive MRI scans. Shows brain function.
the oldest part and central core of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord swells as it enters the skull; is responsible for automatic survival functions.
the base of the brainstem; controls heartbeat and breathing.
reticular formation
a nerve network in the brainstem that plays an important role in controlling arousal.
the brain's sensory switchboard, located on top of the brainstem; it directs messages to the sensory reviving areas in the cortex and transmits replies to the cerebellum and medulla.
the "little brain" at the rear of the brainstem; functions include processing sensory input and coordinating movement output and balance.
limbic system
doughnut-shaped neural system (including the hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus) located below the cerebral hemispheres; associated with emotions and drives.
two lima bean-sized neural clusters in the limbic system; linked to emotion.
a neural structure lying below the thalamus; it directs several maintenance activities (eating, drinking, body temperature), helps govern the endocrine system via the pituitary gland, and is linked to emotion and reward.
cerebral cortex
the intricate fabic of interconnected neural cells covering the cerebral hemispheres; the body's ultimate control and information-processing center.
glial cell
cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons.
frontal lobes
portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead; involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgements.
parietal lobes
portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear; receives sensory input for touch and body position.
occipital lobes
portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the back of the head; includes areas that receive information from the visual fields.
temporal lobes
portion of the cerebral cortex lying roughly above the ears; includes the auditory areas, each receiving information primarily from the opposite ear.
motor cortex
an area at the rear of the frontal lobes that controls voluntary movements.
sensory cortex
area at the front of the parietal lobes that registers and processes body touch and movement sensations.
association areas
areas of the cerebral cortex that are not involved in primary motor or sensory functions; rather, they are involved in higher mental functions such as learning, remembering, thinking , and speaking.
impairment of language, usually caused by left hemisphere damage either to Broca's area (impairing speaking) or to Wernicke's area (impairing understanding).
Broca's area
controls language expression - an area, usually in the left frontal lobe, that directs the muscle movements involved in speech.
Wernicke's area
controls language reception - a brain area involved in language comprehension and expression; usually in the left temporal lobes.
the brain's ability to change, especially during childhood, by reorganizing after damage or by building new pathways based on experience.
the formation of new neurons
corpus callosum
the large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carrying messages between them.
split brain
a condition resulting from surgery that isolates the brain's two hemispheres by cutting the fibers (mainly those of the corpus callosum connecting them).
our awareness of ourselves and our environment.
cognitive neuroscience
the interdisciplinary study of the brain activity linked with cognition (including perception, thinking, memory, and language).
dual processing
the principle that information is often simultaneously processed on separate conscious and unconscious tracks.
behavior genetics
the study of the relative power and limits of genetic and environmental influences on behavior.
every nongenetic influence, from prenatal nutrition to the people and things around us.
threadlike structures made of DNA molecules that contain the genes.
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)
a complex molecule containing the genetic information that makes up the chromosomes
the biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes; segments of DNA capable of synthesizing a protein.
the complete instructions for making an organism, consisting of all the genetic material in that organism's chromosomes.
identical twins
twins who develop from a single fertilized egg that splits in two, creating two genetically identical organisms.
fraternal twins
twins who develop from separate fertilized eggs. They are genetically no closer that brothers and sisters, but they share a fetal environment.
the proportion of variation among individuals that we can attribute to genes. This may vary, depending on the range of populations and environments studied.
the interplay that occurs when the effect of one factor (such as environment) depends on another factor (such as heredity).
molecular genetics
the subfield of biology that studies the molecular structure and functions of genes.
evolutionary psychology
the study of the evolution of behavior and the mind, using principles of natural selection.
natural selection
the principle that, among the range of inherited trait variations, those that lead to increased reproduction and survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations.
a random error in gene replication that leads to a change.
the faculty through which the external world is apprehended
the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information, enabling us to recognize meaningful objects and events
bottom-up processing
analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works up to the brain's integration of sensory information
top- down processing
information processing guided by higher-level mental processes, as when we construct perceptions drawing on our experience and expectations
selective attention
the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus, as in the cocktail party effect
inattentional blindness
failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere
change blindness
the tendency to fail to detect changes in any part of a scene to which we are not focusing our attention
the study of relationships between the physical characteristics of stimuli, such as their intensity, and our psychological experience of them
absolute threshold
the minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50 percent of the time
signal detection theory
A theory predicting how and when we detect the presence of a faint stimulus ("Signal") amid background stimulation ("Noise"). Assumes there is no single absolute threshold and detection depends partly on a person's experience, expectations, motivation, and level of fatigue.
below one's absolute threshold for conscious awareness
The activation, often unconsciously, of certain associations, thus predisposing one's perception, memory, or response
difference threshold
the minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50 percent of the time. We experience the difference threshold as a just noticeable difference. (Also called just noticeable difference or JND.)
Weber's law
The principle that, to be perceived as different, two stimuli must differ by a constant minimum percentage (rather than a constant amount)
sensory adaptation
diminished sensitivity as a consequence of constant stimulation
conversion of one form of energy into another. In sensation, the transforming of stimulus energies, such as sights, sounds, and smells, into neural impulses our brains can interpret.
The distance between crests of waves, such as those of the electromagnetic spectrum.
The dimension of color that is determined by the wavelength of light; what we know as the color names blue, green, and so forth.
the amount of energy in a light or sound wave, which we perceive as brightness or loudness, as determined by the wave's amplitude
the adjustable opening in the center of the eye through which light enters
a ring of muscle tissue that forms the colored portion of the eye around the pupil and controls the size of the pupil opening
the transparent structure behind the pupil that changes shape to help focus images on the retina
the light-sensitive inner surface of the eye, containing the receptor rods and cones plus layers of neurons that begin the processing of visual information
act or state of adjustment or adaptation, changes in shape of the occular lens for various focal distances
retinal receptors that detect black, white, and gray; necessary for peripheral and twilight vision, when cones don't respond
Retinal receptor cells that are concentrated near the center of the retina and that function in daylight or in well-lit conditions. The cones detect fine detail and give rise to color sensations.
optic nerve
the nerve that carries neural impulses from the eye to the brain
blind spot
the point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye, creating a blind spot because no receptor cells are located there
the central focal point in the retina, around which the eye's cones cluster
feature detectors
nerve cells in the brain that respond to specific features of the stimulus, such as shape, angle, or movement
parallel processing
The processing of several aspects of a problem simultaneously; the brain's natural mode of information processing for many functions, including vision. Contrasts with the step-by-step (serial) processing of most computers and of conscious problem solving.
Young-Helmhotz trichromatic
retina contains three diff color receptors (blue green red)
opponent-process theory
the theory that opposing retinal processes (red-green, yellow-blue, white-black) enable color vision. For example, some cells are stimulated by green and inhibited by red; others are stimulated by red and inhibited by green
the sense or act of hearing
The number of complete waves that pass a given point in a certain amount of time
a tone's highness or lowness; depends on frequency
middle ear
the chamber between the eardrum and cochlea containing three tiny bones (hammer, anvil, and stirrup) that concentrate the vibrations of the eardrum on the cochlea's oval window
The fluid-filled, coiled tunnel in the inner ear that contains the receptors for hearing.
inner ear
structures and liquids that relay sound waves to the auditory nerve fibers on a path to the brain for interpretation of sound
place theory
in hearing, the theory that links the pitch we hear with the place where the cochlea's membrane is stimulated
frequency theory
in hearing, the theory that the rate of nerve impulses traveling up the auditory nerve matches the frequency of a tone, thus enabling us to sense its pitch
conduction hearing loss
hearing loss caused by damage to the mechanical system that conducts sound waves to the cochlea
sensorieneural hearing loss
hearing impairment caused by lesions or dysfunction of the cochlea or auditory nerve
cochlear implant
a device for converting sounds into electrical signals and stimulating the auditory nerve through electrodes threaded into the cochlea
the system for sensing the position and movement of individual body parts
vestibular sense
a sensory system located in structures of the inner ear that registers the orientation of the head
gate-control theory
theory that spinal cord contains neurological gate that blocks pains signals or allows them to pass. gate is opened by activity of pain going up small nerve fibers & gate is closed by act of large fibers or by info coming from brain
sensory interaction
the principle that one sense may influence another, as when the smell of food influences its taste
an organized whole. Gestalt psychologists emphasized our tendency to integrate pieces of information into meaningful wholes.
figure ground
The organization of the visual field into objects (the figures) that stand out from their surroundings (the ground).
the perceptual tendency to organize stimuli into coherent groups
depth perception
the ability to see objects in three dimensions although the images that strike the retina are two-dimensional; allows us to judge distance
visual cliff
a laboratory device for testing depth perception in infants and young animals
binocular cues
depth cues, such as retinal disparity and convergence, that depend on the use of two eyes
retinal disparity
a binocular cue for perceiving depth; by comparing images from the two eyeballs, the brain computes distance - the greater the disparity (difference) between the two images, the close the object
monocular cues
depth cues, such as interposition and linear perspective, available to either eye alone
phi phenomenon
an illusion of movement created when two or more adjacent lights blink on and off in quick succession
perceptual consistency
The perceptual stability of the size, shape, and brightness, and color for familiar objects seen at varying distances, different angles, and under different lighting conditions.
color constancy
perceiving familiar objects as having consistent color, even if changing illumination alters the wavelengths reflected by the object
perceptual adaptation
in vision, the ability to adjust to an artificially displaced or even inverted visual field
perceptual set
a mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another
extrasensory perception
The controversial claim that perception can occur apart from sensory input. Said to include telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition.
the study of paranormal phenomena, including ESP and psychokinesis
our awareness of ourselves and our environment
Circadian rhythm
the biological clock; regular bodily rhythms (for example, of temperature and wakefulness) that occur on a 24-hour cycle
REM sleep
rapid eye movement sleep; a recurring sleep stage during which vivid dreams commonly occur. Also known as paradoxical sleep, because the muscles are relaxed (except for minor twitches) but other body systems are active
Alpha waves
the relatively slow brain waves of a relaxed, awake state
periodic, natural loss of consciousness--as distinct from unconsciousness resulting from a coma, general anesthesia, or hibernation
false sensory experiences, such as seeing something in the absence of an external visual stimulus
delta waves
the large, slow brain waves associated with deep sleep
NREM sleep
non-rapid eye movement sleep; encompasses all sleep stages except for REM sleep
recurring problems in falling or staying asleep
a sleep disorder characterized by uncontrollable sleep attacks. The sufferer may lapse directly into REM sleep, often at inopportune times
sleep apnea
a sleep disorder characterized by temporary cessations of breathing during sleep and repeated momentary awakenings
night terrors
a sleep disorder characterized by high arousal and an appearance of being terrified; unlike nightmares, night terrors occur during Stage 4 sleep, within two or three hours of falling asleep, and are seldom remembered
a sequence of images, emotions, and thoughts passing through a sleeping person's mind. ______ are notable for their hallucinatory imagery, discontinuities, and incongruities, and for the dreamer's delusional acceptance of the content and later difficulties remembering it.
manifest content
according to Freud, the remembered story line of a dream (as distinct from its latent, or hidden, content)
latent content
according to Freud, the underlying meaning of a dream (as distinct from its manifest content)
REM rebound
the tendency for REM sleep to increase following REM sleep deprivation (created by repeated awakenings during REM sleep)
a social interaction in which one person (the hypnotist) suggests to another (the subject) that certain perceptions, feelings, thoughts, or behaviors will spontaneously occur
posthypnotic suggestion
a suggestion, made during a hypnosis session, to be carried out after the subject is no longer hypnotized; used by some clincians to help control undesired symptoms and behaviors
a split in consciousness, which allows some thoughts and behaviors to occur simultaneously with others
psychoactive drug
a chemical substance that alters perceptions and moods
the diminishing effect with regular use of the same dose of a drug, requiring the user to take larger and larger doses before experiencing the drug's effect
the discomfort and distress that follow discontinuing the use of an addictive drug
physical dependence
a physiological need for a drug, marked by unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when the drug is discontinued
psychological dependence
a psychological need to use a drug, such as to relieve negative emotions
compulsive drug craving and use, despite adverse consequences
drugs (such as alcohol, barbiturates, and opiates) that reduce neural activity and slow body functions
drugs that depress the activity of the central nervous system, reducing anxiety but impairing memory and judgement
opium and its derivatives, such as morphine and heroin; they depress neural activity, temporarily lessening pain and anxiety
drugs (such as caffeine, nicotine, and the more powerful amphetamines, cocaine, and Ecstacy) that excite neural activity and speed up body functions
drugs that stimulate neural activity, causing speeded-up body functions and associated energy and mood changes
a powerfully addictive drug that stimulates the central nervous system, with speeded-up body functions and associated energy and mood changes; over time, appears to reduce baseline dopamine levels
Ecstacy (MDMA)
a synthetic stimulant and mild hallucinogen. Produces euphoria and social intimacy, but with short-term health risks and longer-term harm to serotonin-producing neurons and to mood and cognition
psychedelic ("mind-manifesting") drugs, such as LSD, that distort perceptions and evoke sensory images in the absence of sensory input
a powerful hallucinogenic drug; also known as acid (lysergic acid diethylamide)
near-death experience
an altered state of consciousness reported after a close brush with death (such as through cardiac arrest); often similar to drug-induced hallucinations
the major active ingredient in marijuana; triggers a variety of effects, including mild hallucinations
a relatively permanent change in an organism's behavior due to experience
an organism's decreasing response to a stimulus with repeated exposure to it
associative learning
learning that certain events occur together. the events may be two stimuli (as in classical conditioning) or a response and its consequences (as in operant conditioning)
classical conditioning
a type of learning in which one learns to link two or more stimuli and anticipate events
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 (2)
unconditioned response
in classical conditioning, the unlearned, naturally occurring response to the unconditioned stimulus, such as salivation when food is in the mouth
unconditioned stimulus
in classical conditioning, a stimulus that unconditionally-naturally and automatically-triggers a response
conditioned response
in classical conditioning, the learned response to a previously neutral stimulus
conditioned stimulus
in classical conditioning, an originally irrelevant stimulus that, after association with an unconditioned stimulus, comes to trigger a conditioned response
in classical conditioning, the initial stage, when one links a neutral stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral stimulus begins triggering the conditioned resposne. in operant conditioning, the strengthening of a reinforced response
higher-order conditioning
a procedure in which the conditioned stimulus in one conditioning experience is paired with a new neutral stimulus, creating a second (often weaker) conditioned stimulus
the diminishing of a conditioned response; occurs in classical conditioning when an unconditioned stimulus does not follow a conditioned stimulus; occurs in operant conditioning when a response is no longer reinforced
spontaneous recovery
the reappearance, after a pause, of an extinguished conditioned response
the tendency, once a response has been conditioned, for a stimuli similar to the conditioned stimulus to elicit similar responses
in classical conditioning, the learned ability to distinguish between a conditioned stimulus and stimuli that do not signal an unconditioned stimulus
learned helplessness
the hopelessness and passive resignation an animal or human learns when unable to avoid repeated aversive events
respondent behavior
behavior that occurs as an automatic response to some stimulus
operant conditioning
a type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by a reinforcer or diminished if followed by a punisher
operant behavior
behavior that operates on the environment, producing consequences
law of effect
Thorndike's principle that behaviors followed by favorable consequences become more likely, and that behavior followed by unfavorable consequences become less likely
operant chamber
in operant conditioning research, a chamber (also known as a Skinner box) containing a bar or key that an animal can manipulate to obtain a food or water reinforcer; attached devices record the animal;s rate of bar pressing or key pecking
an operant conditioning procedure in which reinforcers guide behavior toward closer and closer approximations of the desired behavior
discriminative stimulus
in operant conditioning, a stimulus that elicits a response after association with reinforcement (in contrast to related stimuli not associated with reinforcement)
in operant conditioning, any event that strengthens the behavior it follows
positive reinforcement
increasing behaviors by presenting positive stimuli, such as food; any stimulus that, when presented after a response, strengthens the response
negative reinforcement
increasing behaviors by stopping or reducing negative stimuli, such as shock; any stimulus that, when removed after a response, strengthens the response (NOT punishment)
primary reinforcer
an innately reinforcing stimulus, such as one that satisfies a biological need
conditioned reinforcer
a stimulus that gains its reinforcing power through its association with a primary reinforcer; also known as a secondary reinforcer
continuous reinforcement
reinforcing the desired response every time it occurs
partial (intermittent) reinforcement
reinforcing a response only part of the time; results in slower acquisition of s response but much greater resistance to extinction than does continuous reinorcement
fixed-ratio schedule
in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified number of responses
variable-ratio schedule
in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response after an unpredictable number of responses
fixed-interval schedule
in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified time has elapsed
variable-interval schedule
in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals
an event that decreases the behavior that it follows
cognitive map
a mental representation of the layout of one's environment. for example, after exploring a maze, rats act as if they have learned this
latent learning
learning that occurs but is not apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate it
a sudden and often novel realization of the solution to a problem
intrinsic motivation
a desire to perform a behavior effectively for its own sake
extrinsic motivation
a desire to perform a behavior to receive promised rewards or avoid threatened punishment
a system for electronically recording, amplifying, and feeding back information regarding a subtle psychological state, such as blood pressure or muscle tension
observational learning
learning by observing others; also called social learning
the process of observing and imitating a specific behavior
mirror neurons
frontal lobe neurons that fire when performing certain actions or when observing another doing so; the brain's mirroring of another;s action may enable imitation and empathy
prosocial behavior
positive, constructive, helpful behavior; the opposite of antisocial behavior
the persistence of learning over time through the storage and retrieval of information
the processing of information into the memory system
the retention of encoded information over time
the process of getting information out of memory storage
sensory memory
the immediate, very brief recording of sensory information in the memory system
short-term memory
activated memory that holds a few items briefly before the information is stored or forgotten
long-term memory
the relatively permanent and limitless storehouse of the memory system; includes knowledge, skills, and experiences
working memory
a newer understanding of short-term memory that focuses on conscious, active processing of incoming auditory and visual-spatial information, and of information retrieved from long-term memory
parallel processing
the processing of many aspects of a problem simultaneously; the brain's natural mode of information processing for many functions. Contrasts with the step-by-step (serial) processing of most computers and of conscious problem solving.
automatic processing
unconscious encoding of incidental information, such as space time, and frequency, and of well-learned information, such as word meanings.
effortful processing
encoding that requires attention and conscious effort.
the conscious repetition of information, either to maintain it in consciousness or to encode it for storage.
spacing effect
the tendency for distributed study of practice to yield better long-term retention that is achieved through massed study or practice.
serial position effect
our tendency to recall best the last and first items in a list.
visual encoding
the encoding of picture images
acoustic encoding
the encoding of sound, especially the sound of words
semantic encoding
the encoding of meaning, including the meaning of words
mental pictures; a powerful aid to effortful processing, especially when combined with semantic encoding
memory aids, especially those techniques that use vivid imagery and organizational devices
organizing items into familiar, manageable units; often occurs automatically
iconic memory
a momentary sensory memory of visual stimuli; a photographic or picture-image memory lasting no more than a few tenths of a second
echoic memory
a momentary sensory memory of auditory stimuli; if attention is elsewhere, sounds and words can still be recalled within 3 or 4 seconds
long-term potentiation
an increase in a synapse's firing potential after brief, rapid stimulation. Believed to be a neural basis for learning and memory.
flashbulb memory
a clear memory of an emotionally significant moment or event
the loss of memory
implicit memory
retention independent of conscious recollection. (nondeclarative or procedural memory)
explicit memory
memory of facts and experiences that one can consciously know and "declare" (declarative memory)
a neural center that is located in the limbic system; helps process explicit memories for storage
a measure of memory in which the person must retrieve information learned earlier, as on a fill-in-the-blank test
a measure of memory in which the person need only identify items previously learned, as on a multiple-choice test
a measure of memory that assesses the amount of time saved when learning material for a second time
the activation, often unconsciously, of particular associations in memroy
deja vu
the eerie sense that"I've experienced this before." Cues from the current situation may subconsciously trigger retrieval of an earlier experience
mood-congruent memory
the tendency to recall experiences that are consistent with one's current good or bad mood
proactive interference
the disruptive effect of prior learning on the recall of new information
retroactive interference
the disruptive effect of new learning on the recall fo old information
the psychoanalytic theory, the basis defense mechanism that banishes from consciousness anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories
misinformation effect
incorporating misleading information into one's memory of an event
source amnesia
attributing to the wrong source an event we have experiences, heard about, read about, or imagined (source misattribution) the heart of many false memories
the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating
a mental grouping of similar objects, events, ideas, or people
a mental image or best example of a category. provides a quick and easy method for sorting items into categories
a methodical, logical rule or procedure that guarantees solving a particular problems. contrasts with the usually speedier - but also more error-prone-use of heuristics
a simple thinking strategy that often allows us to make judgements and solve problems efficiently; usually speedier but also more error-prone than algorithms
a sudden and often novel realization of the solution to a problem; it contrasts with strategy-based solutions
the ability to produce novel and valuable ideas
confirmation bias
a tendency to search for information that supports our preconceptions and to ignore or distort contradictory evidence
the inability to see a problem from a new perspective, by employing a different mental set
mental set
a tendency to approach a problem in one particular way, often a way that has been successful in the past
functional fixedness
the tendency to think of things only in terms of their usual functions; an impediment to problem solving
representativeness heuristic
judging the likelihood o things in terms of how well they seem to represent, or math, particular prototypes; may lead us to ignore other relevant information
availability heuristic
estimating the likelihood of events based on their availability in memory; if instances come readily to mind (perhaps because of their vividness), we presume such events are common
the tendency to be more confident than correct-to overestimate the accuracy of our beliefs and judgements
belief perseverance
clinging to one's initial conceptions after the basis on which they were formed has been discredited
an effortless, immediate, automatic feeling or thought, as contrasted with explicit, conscious reasoning
the way an issue is posed; can affect decisions and judgements
our spoken, written, or signed words and the ways we combine them to communicate meaning
in language, the smallest distinctive sound unit
in a language, the smallest unit that carries meaning; may be a word or a part of a word (such as a prefix)
in a language, a system of rules that enables us to communicate with and understand others
the set of rules by which we derive meaning from morphemes, words, and sentences in a given language; also the study of meaning
the rules for combing words into grammatically sensible sentences in a given language
babbling stage
beginning at about 4 months, the stage of speech development in which the infant spontaneously utters various sounds at first unrelated to the household language
one-word stage
the stage in speech development, from about age 1 to 2, during which a child speaks mostly in single words
two-word stage
beginning about age 2, the stage in speech development during which a child speaks mostly two-word statements
telegraphic speech
early speech stage in which a child speaks like a telegram -
go car"- using mostly nouns and verbs
linguistic determinism
Whorf's hypothesis that language determines the way we think
a need or desire that energizes and directs behavior
a complex behavior that is rigidly patterned throughout a species and is unlearned
drive-reduction theory
the idea that a physiological need creates an aroused tension state (a drive) that motivates an organism to satisfy the need
a tendency to maintain a balanced or constant internal state; the regulation of any aspect of body chemistry, such as blood glucose, around a particular level
a positive or negative environmental stimulus that motivates behavior
hierarchy of neds
Maslow's pyramid of human needs, beginning at the base with physiological needs that must first be satisfied before higher-level safety needs and then psychological needs become active
the form of sugar that circulates in the blood and provides the major source of energy for body tissues; when its level is low, we feel hunger
set point
the point at which an individual's "weight thermostat" is supposedly set; when the body falls below this weight, an increase in hunger and a lowered metabolic rate my act to restore the lost weight
basal metabolic rate
the body's resting rate of energy expendenture
anorexia nervosa
an eating disorder in which a person (usually an adolescent female) diets and becomes significantly (15% or more) underweight, yet, still feeling fat, continues to starve
bulimia nervosa
an eating disorder characterized by episodes of overeating, usually of high-calorie foods, followed by vomiting, laxative use, fasting, or excessive exercise
binge-eating disorder
significant binge-eating episodes, followed by distress, disgust, or guilt, but without the compensatory purging, fasting, or excessive exercise that marks bulimia nervosa
sexual response cycle
the four stages of sexual responding described by Masters and Jonson - excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution
refractory period
a resting period after orgasm, during which a man cannot achieve another orgasm
sex hormones, such as estradiol, secreted in greater amounts by females than by males and contributing to female sex characteritics; in nonhuman female mammals, estrogen levels peak during ovulation, promoting sexual receptivity
the most important of the male sex hormones; both males and females have it, but the additional testosterone in males stimulates the growth of the male sex organs in the fetus and the development of the male sex characteristics during puberty
sexual orientation
an enduring sexual attraction toward members of either one's own sex (homosexual orientation) or the other sex (heterosexual orientation)
a response of the whole organism, involving (1) physiological arousal, (2) expressive behaviors, and (3) conscious experience
James-Lange theory
the theory that our experience of emotion is our awareness of our physiological responses to emotion-arousing stimuli
Cannon-Bard theory
the theory that an emotion-arousing stimulus simultaneously triggers (1) physiological responses and (2) the subjective experience of emotion
two-factor theory
the Schachter-Singer theory that to experience emotion one must (1) be physically aroused and (2) cognitively label the arousal
a machine, commonly used in attempts to detect lies, that measures several of the physiological responses accompanying emotion (such as perspiration and cardiovascular and breathing changes).
facial feedback
the effect of facial expressions on experienced emotions, as when a facial expression of anger or happiness intensifies feelings of anger or happiness
emotional release; the catharsis hypothesis maintains that "releasing" aggressive energy (through action or fantasy) relieves aggressive urges
feel-good, do-good phenomenon
people's tendency to be helpful when already in a good mood
self-perceived happiness or satisfaction with life; used along measures of objective well-being (for example, physical and economic indicators) to evaluate people's quality of life
adaptation-level phenomenon
our tendency to form judgments (of sounds, of lights, of income) relative to a neutral level defined by our prior experience
relative deprivation
the perception that we are worse off relative to those with whom we compare ourselves
behavioral medicine
an interdisciplinary field that integrates behavioral and medical knowledge and applies that knowledge to health and disease
health psychology
a subfield of psychology that provides psychology's contribution to behavioral medicine
the process by which we perceive and respond to certain events, called stressors, that we appraise as threatening or challenging
general adaptation syndrome (GAS)
Selye's concept of the body's adaptive response to stress in three phases - alarm, resistance, exhaustion
coronary heart disease
the clogging of the vessels that nourish the heart muscle; the leading cause of death in North America
Type A
Friedman and Rosenman's term for competitive, hard-driving, impatient, verbally aggressive, and anger-prone people
Type B
Friedman and Rosenman's term for easygoing, relaxed people
psychophysiological illness
literally, "mind-body" illness; any stress-related physical illness, such as hypertension and some headaches
the study of how psychological, neural, and endocrine processes together affect the immune system and resulting health
the two types of white blood cells that are part of the body's immune system: B lymphocytes form in the bone marrow and release antibodies that fight bacterial infections; T lymphocytes form in the thymus and other lymphatic tissue and attack cancer cells, viruses, and foreign substances
developmental psychology
a branch of psychology that studies physical, cognitive, and social change throughout the life span
the fertilized egg; it enters a 2-week period of rapid cell division and develops into an embryo
the developing human organism from about 2 weeks after fertilization through the second month
the developing human organism from 9 weeks after conception to birth
agents, such as chemicals and viruses, that can reach the embryo or fetus during prenatal development and cause harm
fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
physical and cognitive abnormalities in children caused by a pregnant woman's heavy drinking; in severe cases, symptoms include noticeable facial misproportions
decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation; as infants gain familiarity with repeated exposure to a visual stimulus, their interest wanes and they look away sooner
biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior, relatively uninfluenced by experience
all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and commnicating
a concept or framework that organizes and interprets information
interpreting our new experiences in terms of our existing schemas
adapting our current understandings (schemas) to incorporate new information
sensorimotor stage
in Piaget's theory, the stage (from birth to about 2 years of age) during which infants know the world mostly in terms of their sensory impressions and motor acitvities
object permanence
the awareness that things continue to exist even when not perceived
preoperational stage
in Piaget's theory, the stage (from about 2 to 6 or 7 years of age) during which a child learns to use language but does not yet comprehend the mental operations of concrete logic
the principle (which Piaget believed to be a part of concrete operational reasoning) that properties such as mass, volume, and number remain the same despite changes in the forms of objects
in Piaget's theory, the preoperational child's difficulty taking another's point of view
theory of mind
people's ideas about their own and others' mental states -- about their feelings, perceptions, and thoughts, and the behaviors these might predict
concrete operational stage
in Piaget's theory, the stage of cognitive development (from about 6 or 7 to 11 years of age) during which children gain the mental operations that enable them to think logically about concrete events
formal operational stage
in Piaget's theory, the stage of cognitive development (normally beginning about age 12) during which people begin to think logically about abstract concepts
a disorder that appears in childhood and is marked by deficient communication, social interaction, and understanding of others' states of minds
stranger anxiety
the fear of strangers that infants commonly display, beginning by about 8 months of age
an emotional tie with another person; shown in young children by their seeking closeness to the caregiver and showing distress on separation
critical period
an optimal period shortly after birth when an organism's exposure to certain stimuli or experience produces proper development
the process by which certain animals form attachments during a critical period very early in life
a person's characteristic emotional reactivity and intensity
basic trust
according to Erik Erikson, a sense that the world is predictable and trustworthy; said to be formed during infancy by appropriate experiences with responsive caregivers
our understanding and evaluation of who we are
in psychology, the biologically and socially influenced characteristics by which people define male and female
physical or verbal behavior intended to hurt someone
X chromosome
the sex chromosome found in both men and women; females have two & males have one; one from each parent produces a female child
Y chromosome
the sex chromosome found only in males; when paired with an X chromosome from the mother, it produces a male child
the most important of the male sex hormones; both males & females have it, but the additional amount in males stimulates the growth of the male sex organs in the fetus and the development of male sex characteristics during puberty
a set of expectations (norms) about a social position, defining how those in the position ought to behave
gender role
a set of expected behavior for males or for females
gender identity
our sense of being male or female
gender typing
the acquisition of a traditional masculine or feminine role
social learning theory
the theory that we learn social behavior by observing and imitating and by being rewarded or punished
the transition period from childhood to adulthood, extending from puberty to independence
the period of sexual maturation, during which a person becomes capable of reproducing
primary sex characteristics
the body structures (ovaries, testes, and external genitalia) that make sexual reproduction possible)
secondary sex characteristics
nonreproductive sexual characteristics, such as female breasts and hips, male voice quality, and body hair
the first menstrual period
our sense of self; according to Erikson, the adolescent's task is to solidify a sense of self by testing and integrating various roles
social identity
the "we" aspect of our self-concept; the part of our answer to "Who am I?" that comes from our group memberships
in Erikson's theory, the ability to form close, loving relationships; a primary developmental task in late adolescence and early adulthood
emerging adulthood
for some people on modern cultures, a period from the late teens to mid-twenties bridging the gap between adolescent dependence and full independence and responsible adulthood
the time of natural cessation of menstruation; also refers to the biological changes a woman experiences as her ability to reproduce declines
cross-sectional study
a study in which people of different ages are compared with one another
longitudinal study
research in which the same people are restudied and retested over a long period
crystallized intelligence
our accumulated knowledge and verbal skills; tends to increase with age
fluid intelligence
our ability to reason speedily and abstractly; tends to decrease during late adulthood
social clock
the culturally preferred timing of social events such as marriage, parenthood, and retirement
an individual's characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting.
free association
in psychoanalysis, a method of exploring the unconscious in which the person relaxes and says whatever comes to mind, no matter how trivial or embarrassing.
Freud's theory of personality that attributes thoughts and actions to unconscious motives and conflicts; the techniques used in treating psychological disorders by seeking to expose and interpret unconscious tensions.
according to Freud, a reservoir of mostly unacceptable thoughts, wishes, feelings, and memories. According to contemporary psychologists, information processing of which we are unaware.
a reservoir of unconscious psychic energy that, according to Freud, strives to satisfy basic sexual and aggressive drives. the id operates on the pleasure principle, demanding immediate gratification.
the largely conscious, "executive" part of personality that, according to Freud, mediates among the demands of the id, superego, and reality. The ego operates on the reality principle, satisfying the id's desires in ways that will realistically bring pleasure rather than pain.
the part of personality that, according to Freud, represents internalized ideals and provides standards for judgement (the conscience) and for future aspirations.
psychosexual stages
the childhood stages of development (oral, anal, phallic, latency, genital) during which, according to Freud, the id's pleasure-seeking energies focus on distinct erogenous zones.
Oedipus complex
according to Freud, a boy's sexual desires toward his mother and feelings of jealousy and hatred for the rival father.
the process by which, according to Freud, children incorporate their parents' values into their developing superegos.
according to Freud, a lingering focus of pleasure-seeking energies at an earlier psychosexual stage, in which conflicts were unresolved.
defense mechanisms
in psychoanalytic theory, the ego's protective methods of reducing anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality.
in psychoanalytic theory, the basic defense mechanism that banishes anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories from consciousness.
psychoanalytic defense mechanism in which an individual faced with anxiety retreats to a more infantile psychosexual stage, where some psychic energy remains fixated.
reaction formation
psychoanalytic defense mechanism by which the ego unconsciously switches unacceptable impulses into their opposites, Thus, people may express feelings that are opposite of their anxiety-arousing unconscious feelings.
psychoanalytic defense mechanism by which people disguise their own threatening impulses by attributing them to others.
psychoanalytic defense mechanism that offers self-justifying explanations in place of the real, more threatening, unconscious reasons for one's actions.
psychoanalytic defense mechanism that shifts sexual or aggressive impulses toward a more acceptable or less threatening object of person, as when redirecting anger toward a safer outlet.
psychoanalytic defense mechanism by which people re-channel their unacceptable impulses into socially approved activities.
psychoanalytic defense mechanism by which people refuse to believe or even to perceive painful realities.
collective unconscious
Carl Jung's concept of a shared, inherited reservoir of memory traces form our species' history.
projective test
a personality test, such as the Rorschach or TAT, that provides ambiguous stimuli designed to trigger projection of one'es inner dynamics.
Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
a projective test in which people express their inner feelings and interests through the stories they make up about ambiguous scenes.
Rorschach inkblot test
the most widely used projective test, a set of 10 inkblots, designed by Hermann Rorschach; seeks to identify people's inner feelings by analyzing their interpretations of the blots.
terror-management theory
a theory of death-related anxiety; explores people' emotional and behavioral responses to reminders of their impending death.
according to Maslow, one of the ultimate psychological needs that arises after basic physical and psychological needs are met self-esteem is achieved; the motivation to fulfill one's potential.
unconditional positive regard
according to Rogers, an attitude of total acceptance toward another person.
all our thoughts and feeling about ourselves, in answer to the question, "Who am I?"
a characteristic pattern of behavior or a disposition to feel and act, as assessed by self-report inventories and peer reports.
personality inventory
a questionnaire (often with true-false or agree-disagree items) on which people respond to items designed to gauge a wide range of feelings and behaviors; used to assess selected personality traits.
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)
the most widely researched and clinically used of all personality tests. Originally developed to identify emotional disorders (still considered its most appropriate use), this test is now used for many other screening purposes.
empirically derived test
a test (such as the MMPI) developed by testing a pool of items and then selecting those that discriminate between groups.
social-cognitive perspective
views behavior as influenced by the interaction between people's traits (including their thinking) and their social context.
reciprocal determinism
the interacting influences of behavior, internal cognition, and environment.
personal control
the extent to which people perceive control over their environment rather that feeling helpless.
external locus of control
the perception that chance or outside forces beyond your personal control determine your fate.
internal locus of control
the perception that you control your own fate.
positive psychology
the scientific study of optimal human functioning; aims to discover and promote strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive.
in contemporary psychology, assumed to be the center of personality, the organizer of our thoughts, feelings, and actions.
spotlight effect
overestimating others' noticing and evaluating our appearance, performance, and blunder (as if we presume a spotlight shine on us).
one's feelings of high or low self worth
self-serving bias
a readiness to perceive oneself favorably.
giving priority to one's own goals over group goals and defining one's identity in therms of personal attributes rather than group identifications.
giving priority to the goals of one's group (often one's extended family or work group) and defining one's identity accordingly.
intelligence test
a method for assessing an individual's mental aptitudes and comparing them with those of others, using numerical scores.
mental quality consisting of the ability to learn from experience, solve problems, and use knowledge to adapt to new situations.
general intelligence
a general intelligence factor that, according to Spearman and others, underlies specific mental abilities and is therefore measured by every task on an intelligence test.
factor analysis
a statistical procedure that identifies clusters of related items (called factors) on a test; used to identify different dimensions of performance that underlie a person's total score.
savant syndrome
a condition in which a person otherwise limited in mental ability has an exceptional specific skill, such as in computation or drawing.
emotional intelligence
the ability to perceive, understand, manage, and use emotions.
mental age
a measure of intelligence test performance devised by Binet; the chronological age that most typically corresponds to a given level of performance. Thus, a child who does as well as the average 8-year-old is said to have a mental age of 8.
the widely used American revision (by Terman at Stanford University) of Binet's original intelligence test.
intelligence quotient (IQ)
defined originally as the ratio of mental age (ma) to chronological age (ca) multiplied by 100 (thus, IQ=ma/ca x 100). On contemporary intelligence test, the average performance for a given age is assigned a score of 100.
achievement tests
tests designed to assess what a person has learned.
aptitude tests
tests designed to predict a person's future performance; aptitude is the capacity to learn
Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS)
the most widely used intelligence test; contains verbal and performance (nonverbal) subtests.
defining meaningful scores by comparison with the performance of a pretested group.
normal curve
the symmetrical, bell-shaped curve that describes the distribution of many physical and psychological attributes; most scores fall near the average, and fewer and fewer scores lie near the extremes.
the extent to which a test yields consistent results, as assessed by the consistency of scores on two halves of the test, or on retesting.
the extent to which a test measures or predicts what it is supposed to.
content validity
the extent to which a test samples the behavior that is of interest.
predictive validity
the success with which a test predicts the behavior it is designed to predict; it is assessed by computing the correlation between test scores and the criterion behavior. (Also called criterion-related validity).
intellectual disability
(formerly referred to as mental retardation) a condition of limited mental ability, indicated by an intelligence score of 70 or below and difficulty in adapting to the demands of life; varies from mild to profound.
Down syndrome
a condition of intellectual disability and associated physical disorders caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21.
stereotype threat
a self-confirming concern that one will be evaluated based on a negative stereotype.
Psychological Disorder
Deviant, distressful, and dysfunctional patterns of thoughts, feelings, or behaviors.
Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
A psychological disorder marked by the appearance by age 7 of one or more of three key symptoms: extreme inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
Medical Model
The concept that diseases have physical causes that can be diagnosed, treated, and, in most cases, cured, often through treatment in a hospital.
A classification system that describes the features used to diagnose each recognized mental disorder and indicates how the disorder can be distinguished from other, similar problems.
Anxiety Disorders
Psychological disorders characterized by distressing, persistent anxiety or maladaptive behaviors that reduce anxiety.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
An anxiety disorder in which a person is continually tense, apprehensive, and in a state of autonomic nervous system arousal.
Panic Disorder
An anxiety disorder marked by unpredictable minutes-long episodes of intense dread in which a person experiences terror and accompanying chest pain, choking, or other frightening sensations.
An anxiety disorder marked by a persistent, irrational fear and avoidance of a specific object or situation.
Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD)
An anxiety disorder characterized by unwanted repetitive thoughts and/ or actions.
Somatoform Disorder
Psychological disorder in which the symptoms take a bodily form without apparent physical cause.
Conversion Disorder
A rare somatoform disorder in which a person experiences very specific genuine physical symptoms for which no physiological basis can be found.
A somatoform disorder involving excessive concern about health and disease.
Dissociative Disorders
Disorders in which conscious awareness becomes separated from previous memories, thoughts, and feelings.
Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)
A rare dissociative disorder in which a person exhibits two or more distinct and alternating personalities. Also called multiple personality disorder.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
An anxiety disorder characterized by haunting memories, nightmares, social withdrawal, jumpy anxiety, and/or insomnia that lingers for four weeks or more after a traumatic experience.
Post-Traumatic Growth
Positive psychological changes as a result of struggling with extremely challenging circumstances and life crises.
Mood Disorders
Psychological disorders characterized by emotional extremes.
Major Depressive Disorder
A mood disorder in which a person experiences, in the absence of drugs or a medical condition, two or more weeks of significantly depressed moods, feelings of worthlessness, and diminished interest or pleasure in most activities.
A mood disorder marked by a hyperactive, wildly optimistic state.
Bipolar Disorder
A mood disorder in which the person alternates between the hopelessness and lethargy of depression and the overexcited state of mania.
A group of severe disorders characterized by disorganized and delusional thinking, disturbed perceptions, and inappropriate emotions and actions.
False beliefs, often of persecution or grandeur, that may accompany psychotic disorders.
Personality Disorders
Psychological disorders characterized by inflexible and enduring behavior patterns that impair social functioning.
Antisocial Personality Disorder
A personality disorder in which the person (usually a man) exhibits a lack of conscience for wrongdoing, even toward friends and family members; may be aggressive and ruthless or a clever con artist.
eclectic approach
an approach to psychotherapy that, depending on the client's problems, uses techniques from various forms of therapy
treatment involving psychological techniques; consists of interactions between a trained therapist and someone seeking to overcome psychological difficulties or achieve personal growth
Sigmond Freud's therapeutic technique. Freud believed the patient's free associations, resistances, dreams, and transferences and the therapists interpretations of them released previously repressed feelings, allowing the patient to gain self-insight
in psychoanalysis, the blocking from consciousness of anxiety laden material
in psychoanalysis, the analyst's noting supposed dream meanings, resistances, and other significant behaviors and events in order to promote insight
in psychoanalysis, the patient's transfer to the analyst of emotions linked with other relationships (such as love or hatred for a parent)
psychodynamic therapy
therapy deriving from the psychoanalytic tradition that views individuals as responding to unconscious forces and childhood experiences, and that seeks to enhance self-insight
insight therapies
a variety of therapies that aim to improve psychological functioning by increasing the client's awareness of underlying motives and defenses
client centered therapy
a humanistic therapy, developed by Carl Rogers, in which the therapist uses techniques such as active listening within a genuine, accepting, empathic environment to facilitate client's growth. Also called person-centered therapy.
active listening
empathic listening in which the listener echoes, restates, and clarifies. A feature of Rogers' client centered therapy
unconditional positive regard
a caring, accepting, nonjudgmental attitude, which Carl Rogers believed would help clients to develop self-awareness and self-acceptance
behavior therapy
therapy that applies learning principles to the elimination of unwanted behaviors
a behavior therapy procedure that uses classical conditioning to evoke new responses to stimuli that are triggering unwanted behaviors; includes exposure therapies and aversive conditioning
exposure therapies
behavioral techniques, such as systematic desensitization, that treat anxieties by exposing people (in imagination or actualitiy) to the things they fear or avoid
systematic desensitization
a type of exposure therapy that associates a pleasant relaxed state with gradually increasing anxiety-triggering stimuli. Commonly used to treat phobias
virtual reality exposure therapy
an anxiety treatment that progressively exposes people to simulations of their greatest fears such as airplane flying, spiders, or public speaking
aversive conditioning
a type of counterconditioning that associates an unpleasant states (such as nausea) with an unwanted behavior (such as drinking)
token economy
an operant conditioning procedure in which people earn a token of some sort or exhibiting a desired behavior and can later exchange the tokens for various privileges or treats
cognitive therapy
therapy that teaches people new, more adaptive ways of thinking and acting; based on the assumption that thoughts intervene between events and our emotional reactions
Aaron Beck
sought to reverse patient's catastrophizing beliefs about themselves, their situations and futures using cognitive therapy
Donald Meichenbaum
offered stress inoculation training: teaching people to restructure their thinking in stressful situations
cognitive behavioral therapy
a popular integrative therapy that combines cognitive therapy with behavior therapy
family therapy
therapy that treats the family as a system. Views an individual's unwanted behaviors as influenced by or directed at other family members
regression toward the mean
the tendency for extreme or unusual scores to regress toward their average
a procedure for statistically combining the results of many different research studies
evidence based practice
clinical decision-making that integrates the best available research with clinical expertise and patient characteristics and preferences
biomedical therapy
prescribed medications or medical procedures that act directly on the patient's nervous system
the study of the effects of drugs on mind and behavior
antipsychotic drugs
drugs used to treat schizophrenia and other forms of severe thought disorder
tardive dyskinesia
involuntary movements of the facial muscles, tongue, and limbs; a possible neurotoxic side effect of long-term use of antipsychotic drugs that target certain dopamine receptors
antianxiety drugs
drugs used to control anxiety and agitation
antidepressant drugs
drugs used to treat depression; also increasingly prescribed for anxiety. Different types work by altering the availability of various neurotransmitters
electroconvulsive therapy
a biomedical therapy for severely depressed patients in which a brief electric current is sent through the brain of an aenesthetized patient
repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation
the application of repeated pulses of magnetic energy to the brain; used to stimulate or suppress brain activity
surgery that removes or destroys brain tissue in an effort to change behavior
invented by Egas Moniz, a now-rare psychosurgical procedure once used to calm uncontrollably emotional or violent patients. The procedure cut the nerves connecting the frontal loves to the emotion-controlling centers of the inner brain
the personal strength that helps most people cope with stress and recover from adversity and even trauma
social psychology
scientific study of how we think about, influence, and relate to one another
attribution theory
theory that we explain someone's behavior by crediting either the situation or the person's disposition
fundamental attribution error
the tendency for observes, when analyzing another's behavior, to underestimate the impact of the situation and to overestimate the impact of personal disposition
feelings, often influenced by our beliefs, that predispose us to response in a particular way to objects, people, and events
central route of persuasion
attitude change in which interested people focus on the actual argument and respond with favorable thoughts
peripheral route of persuasion
attitude change in which people are influenced by incidental cues
foot in the door technique
the tendency for people who have agreed to a small request to comply later with a larger request
set of expectations (norms) about a social position that define how those in the position ought to behave
cognitive dissonance theory
theory that we act to reduce the discomfort we feel when two of our thoughts are inconsistent; change our attitudes rather than our behaviors
adjusting one's behavior/thinking to coincide with a group standard
normative social influence
influence resulting from a person's desire to gain approval or avoid disapproval
informative social influence
influence resulting from one's willingness to accept others' opinions about reality
social facilitation
stronger responses on simple/well-learned tasks in the presence of others
social loafing
tendency for people in a group to exert less effort toward attaining a common goal than when by themselves
the loss of self-awareness and self-restraint occurring in group situations that foster arousal or anonymity
group polarization
tendency of group members to move to an extreme position after discussing an issue as a group
the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, values, and traditions shared by a group of people and transmitted through generations
understood rule for accepted/expected behavior
personal space
the buffer-zone we like to maintain around our bodies
an unjustifiable attitude toward a group and its members; generally involved stereotyped beliefs
generalized belief about a group of people
unjustifiable negative behavior toward a group and its members
us; people with whom we share a common identity
them; those perceived as different or apart from our ingroup
ingroup bias
tendency to favor our own group
scapegoat theory
the theory that prejudice offers an outlet for anger by providing someone to blame
other race effect
the tendency to recall faced of one's own race more accurately than faces of another race
just world phenomenon
tendency for people to believe the world is just and that people therefore get what they deserve and deserve what they get
any physical/verbal behavior intended to hurt or destroy
frustration-aggression principle
the principle that frustration, the blocking of an attempt to achieve some goal, creates anger which can generate aggression
mere-exposure effect
the phenomenon that repeated exposure to novel stimuli increases liking of them
passionate love
an aroused state of intense positive absorption in another, usually present at the beginning of a love relationship
companionate love
the deep affectionate attachment we feel for those with whom our lives are intertwined
a condition in which people receive from a relationship is proportional to what they give to it
revealing intimate aspects of oneself to others
unselfish regard for the welfare of others
bystander effect
tendency for any given bystander to be less likely
social exchange theory
theory that our social behavior is an exchange process; the aim of which is to maximize benefits and minimize costs
reciprocity norm
an expectation that people will help, not hurt, those who have helped them
social-responsibility norm
an expectation that people will help those dependent upon them
a perceived incompatibility of actions, goals, or ideas
mirror-image perceptions
mutual views often held by conflicting people, as when each side sees itself as ethical and peaceful and views the other side as evil and aggressive
self-fulfilling prophecy
an expectation that causes you to act in ways that make that expectation come true
superordinate goals
shared goals that override differences among people and require their cooperation
strategy designed to decrease international tensions
social trap
a situation in which the conflicting parties, by each rationally pursuing their self-interest, become caught in mutually destructive behavior