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394 terms

AP Psychology Review

STUDY
PLAY
ablation
removal or destruction of brain tissue in a surgical procedure
absolute threshold
intensity level at which one can detect a stimulus 50% of the time
accommodation
the process of modifying a schema to account for new information; the process of the eyes lens changing shape in order to focus on distant or near objects
acetylcholine (ACh)
a neurotransmitter involved in learning, memory and muscle movement
need for achievement
desire for accomplishment, mastery of people, ideas, things, desire for reaching a high standard
achievement test
a test that assesses what one has learned
acquisition
a process in classical conditioning by which the association of a neutral stimulus with a natural stimulus is first established
action potential
the electrical process by which information is transmitted the length of an axon
activation synthesis
the idea that dreams are the result of the cerebral cortex interpreting and organizing random flashes of brain activity, originating in the lower brain structures, especially the pons
adrenal gland
source of the hormone norepinephrine which affects arousal
affective disorders
psychological disturbances of mood
need for affiliation
desire to associate with others, to be part of a group, to form close and intimate relationships
after image
an image that remains after a stimulus is removed, especially one in which the colors are reversed
agonists
drugs which mimic the activity of neurotransmitters
alcohol
the most frequently used and abused CNS depressant in most cultures; its use affects mood, judgment, cognition
all-or-nothing
description of the action of neurons when firing
alpha waves
seen when an individual is in a relaxed, unfocused, yet still awake state
amygdala
limbic system component associated with emotion, particularly fear and anger
anal stage
Freud's pychosexual period during which a child learns to control his bodily excretions
anorexia (nervosa)
an eating disorder in which one starves oneself even though significantly underweight
antagonist
drug which blocks the activity of neurotransmitters
anterograde amnesia
loss of memory for events that occur after the onset of the amnesia; eg, see in a boxer who suffers a severe blow to the head and loses memory for events after the blow
retrograde amnesia
loss of memory for events that occurred before the onset of amnesia; eg a soldier's forgetting events immediately before a shell burst nearby, injuring him
antisocial personality disorder
psychological disorder in which one demonstrates a lack of conscience
anvil
the middle of the three ossicles
aphasia
impairment of language usually caused by damage to the left hemisphere
arousal
condition in which the sympathetic nervous system is in control
artificial intelligence
a subdiscipline of computer science that attempts to simulate human thinking
assimilation
interpreting new experiences in terms of existing schema
association areas
areas of the cerebral cortex which have no specific motor or sensory repsonsibilities, but rather are involved in thinking, memory and judgment
associative learning
learning in which an organism learns that certain events occur together, such as my cat knowing that she will be fed when I get home from work
attachment
theory developed by Harlow; types include secure and insecure
attitude
a relatively enduring evaluation of a person or thing; Asch demonstrated that this doesn't always match one's behavior
attraction
feeling of being drawn toward another and desiring the company of a person
attribution theory
a way of explaining others' behavior by either one's disposition or one's situation
auditory canal
the area that sound waves pass through to reach the eardrum
authoritarian
style of parenting in which the parent creates strict rules for the child and the child has little or no input into determining the rules
autonomic nervous system
division of the nervous system that control the glands and organs; its divisions arouse or calm
autonomy vs. shame and doubt
Erikson's stage in which a toddler learns to exercise will and to do things independently; failure to do so causes shame and doubt
availability heuristic
this cognitive shortcut features the idea that events which are vividly in memory seem to be more common
axon
extension of the neuron which carries, via an action potential, information that will be sent on to other neurons, muscles or glands
babbling
stage of language development at about 4 months when an infant spontaneously utters nonsense sounds
basic research
scientific investigations intended to expand the knowledge base
applied research
scientific investigations intended to solve practical problems
behavioral
perspective on psychology that sees psychology as an objective science without reference to mental states
belief perseverance
situation in which one's beliefs continue despite the fact that the ground for the beliefs have been discredited
big 5 personality factors
openness to new experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism
binocular cues
retinal disparity and convergence which enable people to determine depth using both eyes
biological
perspective that stresses links between biology and behavior
bipolar cells
eye neurons that receive information from the retinal cells and distribute information to the ganglion cells
bipolar disorder
mood disorder in one experiences both manic and depressed episodes
blind spot
point in the retinal where the optic nerve leaves the retina so there are no rods or cones there
bottom-up processing
analysis that begins with sensory receptors and works its way up to the brain's integration of sensory information
hemispheres
we have two, right and left, and some brain functions seem to centered in one or the other
brainstem
oldest part of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord swells upon entering the skull; controls fundamental survival processes like heartrate and breathing
bulimia
eating disorder characterized by excessive eating followed by purging
bystander effect
the tendency to not offer help when needed if others are present who do not offer help
Cannon-Baird
theory of emotion that says that a stimulus causes simultaneously psyiological arousal and the subjective experience of an emotion
case study
scientific investigation in which a single subject is studied in great detail
CAT scan
a method of creating static images of the brain through computerized axial tomography
catatonic
a form of schizophrenia in which the patient has muscle immobility and does not move
catharsis
release of aggressive energy through activity or fantasy
Central Nervous System
consists of the brain and the spinal cord
cerebellum
brain structure that controls well-learned motor activities like riding a bike
cerebral cortex
the fabric of interconnecting cells that blankets the brain hemispheres; the brain's center for information processing and control
chaining
using operant conditioning to teach a complex response by linking together less complex skills
chunking
organizing units of information into manageable units such as memorizing a phone number as three groups of information 248-555-1212
circadian rhythm
the daily biological rhythms that occur in a 24-hour period
classical conditioning
method of learning in which a neutral stimulus can be used to elicit a response that is usually a natural response to a stimulus
client-centered therapy
developed by Carl Rogers, this humanistic therapy includes unconditional positive regard
clinical
this type of psychologist studies, assesses and treats those with psychological disorders
cochlea
this coiled structure in the inner ear is fluid-filled and in it the energy from sound waves stimulate hair cells
cognitive dissonance theory
this says that we will suffer discomfort and act to change the situation when our thoughts and actions seem to be inconsistent
cognitive
perspective on psychology that stresses the importance of mental activities associated with thinking, remembering, etc
cognitive therapy
treatment for psychological disorders that centers on changing self-defeating thinking
collective unconscious
Jung's theory that we all share an inherited memory that contains our culture's most basic elements
color blindness
a variety of disorders marked by inability to distinguish some or all colors
collectivist
this adjective describes cultures in which the individual is less important than the group
concrete operations
Piaget's stage in which children learn such concepts as conservation and mathematical transformations; about 7 - 11 years of age
concurrent validity
the extent to which two measures of the same trait or ability agree
conditioned response
in classical conditioning, the response elicited by the conditioned stimulus
conditioning
generally, learning in which certain experiences make certain behaviors more or less likely; there are two forms of this
conduction
one type of hearing impairment caused by mechanical problems in the ear structures
cones
neurons in the retina that are responsible for color vision
confirmation bias
a tendency to search for information that supports one's preconceptions
conformity
adjusting behavior to meet a group's standard
confounding variable
extraneous factor that interferes with the action of the independent variable on the dependent variable
consciousness
one's awareness of one's environment and oneself.
consummate love
includes passion, intimacy and committment
control group
subjects in an experiment who do not receive application of the independent variable but are measured nonetheless for the dependent variable
convergent thinking
a type of critical thinking in which one evaluates existing possible solutions to a problem to choose the best one
cornea
the transparent outer covering of the eye
corpus callosum
the fibers that connect the right and left hemispheres, enabling them to communicate
correlation
the degree of relationship between two variables
correlation coefficient
a positive one near 1.0 indicates two variable are positively related; a negative number indicates a negative relationship; zero indicates no relationship
cross-sectional
type of study that measures a variable across several age groups at the same time
debriefing
giving participants in a research study a complete explanation of the study after the study is completed
defense mechanisms
Freud's processes by which individuals express uncomfortable emotions in disguised ways
deindividuation
when an individual seems to lose himself or herself in the group's identity
deinstitutionalization
moving people with psychological or developmental disabilities from highly structured institutions to home- or community-based settings
delta waves
largest brain waves, associated with deep, dreamless sleep
delusion
irrational, highly improbable belief
dendrite
a branch off the cell body of a neuron that receives new information from other neurons
denial
a defense mechanism in which unpleasant thought or desires are ignored or excluded from consciousness
dependent variable
the variable that the experimenter measures at the end of the experiment
depressant
any agent that reduces the activity of the CNS
depth perception
an ability that we exercise by using both monocular and binocular cues
difference threshold
also called the jnd; smallest distinction between two stimuli that can consistently be detected
diffusion of responsibility
reduction in sense of responsibility often felt by individuals in a group; may be responsible for the bystander effect
discrimination
treating members of different races, religions, ethnic groups differently; usually associated with prejudice
displacement
defense mechanism in which unwanted feelings are directed towards a different object
dispositional attribution
assuming that another's behavior is due to personality factors, not situational ones
dissociative identity disorder
also called multiple personality disorder
dissociative fugue
disorder in which one travels away from home and is unable to remember details of his past, including often his identity
divergent thinking
a type of creative thinking in which one generates new solutions to problems
dopamine
a neurotransmitter that is associated with Parkinson's disease (too little of it) and schizophrenia (too much of it)
double blind
this term describes an experiment in which neither the subjects nor the experimenter knows whether a subject is a member of the experimental group or the control group
dreams
occur most often during REM sleep; may be caused by activation-synthesis, or may be a way of cementing memories
drive reduction
theory that claims that behavior is driven by a desire to lessen drives resulting from needs that disrupt homeostasis
DSM
initials of the American Psychiatric Association's book that lists diagnostic criteria for many psychological disorders
dyslexia
a learning disability that results in difficulty reading and writing
eardrum
also called the tympanic membrane
echoic
term that describes memory of sounds
EEG
initials of a method of representation of brain waves
ego
the Latin for "I"; in Freud's theories, the mediator between the demands of the id and the superego
egocentrism
in a toddler, the belief that others perceive the world in the same way that he or she does
Electra complex
counterpart to the Oedipus complex for females
electroconvulsive therapy
a treatment in which low level electric current is passed through the brain
embryo
early stage of human development, when cells have begun to differentiate
emotion theories
James-Lange, Cannon-Baird and Singer-Schachter are three
encoding
conversion of sensory information into a form that can be retained as a memory
endocrine system
the slow messenger system of the body; produces hormones that affect many bodily functions
endorphins
neurotransmitters that give one a feeling of well-being, euphoria or eliminate pain
episodic
describes a type of memory that includes specific events that one has personally experienced
evolutionary
perspective that stresses the value of behavior in Darwinian terms
experiment
form of scientific investigation in which one variable is tested to determine its effect on another
experimental group
subjects in an experiment to whom the independent variable is administered
explicit
term that describes memories that can be consciously recalled
external locus of control
this term describes what you have if your behaviors are driven mainly by outside forces
extinction
in classical conditioning, the process of eliminating the previously acquired association of the conditioned stimulus and conditioned response
extraversion
one of the Big 5, a personality trait orients one's interests toward the outside world and other people, rather than inward
extrinsic
term that describes motivations that drive behavior in order to gain rewards from outside forces
false consensus
a belief that others share the same opinion about something, when actually most don't
feature detection
the ability of the brain to identify specific components of visual stimuli such as corners or edges
fetal alcohol syndrome
sometimes the result in a child of the mother's excessive drinking while pregnant, characterized by low birth weight, facial abnormalities, mental retardation
fetus
a stage in human development extending from about ten weeks after conception to birth
figure-ground
refers to our ability to distinguish foreground from background in visual images
fixed interval
describes the schedule of reinforcement wherein a worker receives a paycheck every Friday
fixed ratio
describes a schedule of reinforcement wherein a worker is paid for a certain sum for each product produced
flashbulb
term describes a vivid memory of a personally significant and emotionalevent
fluid
term describes a type of intelligence used to cope with novel situations and problems
crystallized
term describes a type of intelligence which applies cultural knowledge to solving problems
foot-in-the-door
term describes a phenomenon in which people who agree to a small request are more likely to later agree to a larger request
formal operations
One of Piaget's stages; includes the ability to use abstract thinking
fovea
the central focus area of the retina
frequency
theory of hearing which states that the rate of nerve impulses traveling up the auditory nerve matches the tone's frequency
functional fixedness
the tendency to think about things only in terms of their usual uses; can be a hindrance to creative thinking
functionalism
William James's school of thought that stressed the adaptive and survival value of behaviors
fundamental attribution error
tendency to attribute others' behavior to their dispositions and our own behaviors to our situations
ganglion cells
their axons form the optic nerve
general adaptation syndrome
Seyle's concept that the body responds to stress with alarm, resistance and exhaustion
generativity vs. stagnation
Erikson's stage of social development in which middle-aged people begin to devote themselves more to fulfilling one's potential and doing public service
gene
made of DNA, it is the basic building block of heredity
genital stage
Freud's stage of psychosexual development when adult sexuality is prominent
gestalt
German word for "whole", it refers to our tendency to perceive incomplete figures as complete
glial cell
this acts as a support system for neurons
grammar
a system of rules in a language
social norm
a group's determination of socially acceptable behavior
group polarization
tendency of group members to move to an extreme position after discussing an issue as a group
groupthink
tendency for group members to think alike with certainty of correctness, biased perceptions of outgroup members, and generally defective decision-making processes
hallucination
a false sensory perception that seems to be real but for which there is not an actual external stimulus
hallucinogen
a substance capable of producing a sensory effect in the absence of real external sensory stimuli
heritability
the extent to which differences in a group of a characteristic is due to genetics, not environment
heuristic
a useful, but unprovable, cognitive shortcut, such as a "rule of thumb"
hierarchy of needs
Maslow's theory of the most important motivations people have
hindsight bias
the tendency, after an event occurs, to overestimate the likelihood that an event could have been predicted
hippocampus
limbic system component associated with memory
homeostasis
the steady, stable state that is the body's regulatory processes try to maintain
hormone
chemical substance secreted by endocrine glands that affect body processes
humanist
perspective in psychology that stresses the goodness of people and their possibility of reaching their fullest potential
hunger
it is regulated by the lateral hypothalamus and the ventromedial hypothalamus
hypnosis
a social interaction in which one person suggests to another that certain events or emotions will occur
hypochondriasis
a disorder characterized by an unreasonable fear that one has a serious disease
hypothalamus
limbic system component that regulates hunger, body temperature and other functions
hypothesis
a prediction of how the an experiment will turn out
iconic
term that describes the memory of images
id
in Freud's conception, the repository of the basic urges toward sex and agression
identity vs. role confusion
Erikson's stage during which teenagers and young adults search for and become their true selves
imprinting
evidence of critical period in some animals; they follow the first moving thing they see after hatching
in-group bias
tendency to favor one's own group over other groups
incentive
an external stimulus that tends to encourage behavior
independent
type of variable manipulated by the experimenter
individualist
culture in which the individual is valued more highly than the group
industry vs. inferiority
Erikson's stage between 6 and 11 years, when the child learns to be productive
inferiority complex
Adler's conception of a basic feeling of inadequacy stemming from childhood experiences
information processing
humans accomplish this either in parallel (unconsciously) or in serial fashion (consciously)
informed consent
agreement to participate in psychology research, after being appraised of the dangers and benefits of the research
initiative vs guilt
Erikson's third stage in which the child finds independence in planning, playing and other activities
insanity
a legal term describing one's inability to be responsible for one's action due to the condition of the mind
insight
in psychoanalysis, the basic understanding one develops of the underlying sources of emotion or behavioral difficulty
insomnia
inability to fall asleep or remain asleep long enough for sufficient rest
instinct
a complex pattern of behavior that is fixed across a species
integrity vs despair
Erikson's final stage in which those near the end of life look back and evaluate their lives
Intelligence
the ability to learn from experience, to use information, to understand things
IQ
the average is 100; there are many definitions of this attribute, including multiple and crystallized
internal locus of control
people with this tned to respond to internal states and desires; they tend to see their successes as the result of their own efforts
interneurons
cells in the spinal cord through which reflexes travel without going to the brain
interposition
monocular visual cue in which two objects are in the same line of vision and one patially conceals the other, indicating that the first object concealed is further away
intimacy vs isolation
Erikson's stage in which individuals form deeply personal relationships, marry, begin families
intrinsic
term that describes motivations that derive from one's interest in the object of the motivation, rather than from rewards that one might gain
introversion
a personality trait that signifies that one finds energy from internal sources rather than external ones
James-Lange
theory of emotion in which physiological arousal precedes the emotion
just world
phenomenon that describes the belief that what happens to people is what they deserve
just noticeable difference
the threshold at which one can distinguish two stimuli that are of different intensities, but otherwise identical
kinethesis
sense of balance and of one's physical position
latent
Freud's stage of psychosexual development occuring from about age 6 to puberty during which little happens in psychosexual terms
latent content
the hidden or disguised meaning of dreams
latent learning
a change in behavior due to experience acquired without conscious effort, s, for example, a student using a quote in an exam essay that the student had never tried to memorize, though eh had encountered it in studying
law of effect
Thorndike's rule that behaviors which have positive outcomes tend to be repeated
learned helplessness
lack of motivation to avoid unpleasant stimuli after one has failed before to escape similar stimuli
lens
a curved, transparent element of the vision system that provides focus
lesion
any destruction or damage to brain tissue
lithium
in psychopharmacology, this is used to control bipolar symptoms
longitudinal
describes research that measures a trait in a particular group of subjects over a long period of time
long term
refers to memory that is stored effectively in the brain and may be accessed over an extended period of time
long term potentiation
a possible source of the formation of memories; improvement in a neuron's ability to transmit caused by repeated stimulations
lucid
describes a dream in which the dreamer is aware that he or she is dreaming and is able to influence the progress of the dream narrative
eidetic
describes a type of visual memory that is retained for a long time; photographic
mania
high state of arousal, often accompanied by poor judgment
manifest
describes, in Freudian terms, the surface content of a dream
marijuana
a drug, often smoked, whose effects include euphoria, impairment of judgment and concentration and occasionally hallucinations; rarely reported as addictive
mean
numerical average of a set of numbers
median
the middle one of a set of numbers
medulla
part of the brain nearest the spinal cord which controls breathing, heart rate and blood pressure
memory
functions associated with this include encoding, storage and retrieval
mental age
developed by Binet; equal to one's chronological age times the percentage score on an IQ test
mere exposure effect
this phenomenon causes one to prefer a stimulus as a consequence of repeated exposures to that stimulus, particularly is there is no adverse result of the exposure
metacognition
thinking about thinking
MMPI
the initials of a long, detailed personality inventory
mnemonic device
method of improving memory by associating new information with previously learned information
mode
the most commonly occurring term in a batch of data
modeling
the process of observing and imitating a behavior
monocular
terms that means "one eyed", used to indicate the sort of of enviromental cues to depth perception tha tonly require one eye, for example, interposition
morpheme
in language, the smallest unit that carries meaning
motion parallax
a depth cue in which the relative movement of elements in a scene gives depth information when the observer moves relative to the scene
motivation
a need or desire that energizes and directs behavior
motor cortex
an area of the brain, near the rear of the frontal lobes, that controls voluntary movement
motor neuron
this carries information from the brain to the muscles; also called "efferent"
MRI
a technique that enables us to see static images of the brain's structures; uses magnetism to achieve this effect
dissociative identity disorder
also called multiple personality disorder
myelin sheath
a layer of fatty tissue encasing a neuron's axon that speeds transmission
narcolepsy
a disorder characterized by sudden sleep attacks, often at inopportune times
naturalistic
term refers to observations made of individual's behavior in an everyday life setting
nature vs nurture
name for a controversy in which it is debated whether genetics or environment is responsible for driving behavior
negative reinforcement
in operant conditioning, removing something unpleasant in order to elicit more of a particular behavior
neural network
refers to interconnected neuron cells
neuron
the fundamental building block of the nervous system
neuroscience
perspective on psychology that emphasizes the study of the brain and its effects on behavior
neurotransmitter
a chemical that is released by a neuron for the purpose of carrying information across the gaps (synapses) between neurons
neutral
describes a stimulus in classical conditioning that would normally not elicit the response intended, such as the tone in Pavlov's experiments before it was associated with the food
night terrors
also called sleep terror disorder, these include the characteristic of waking abruptly in a state of panic, usually in children, less often in adults
normal distribution
describes a symmetrical, bell shaped curve that shows the distribution of many physical and psychological attributes
norm
an understood rule for social behavior
NREM
refers to sleep during which there is no rapid eye movement
obesity
condition of having excess body fat resulting in being greatly overweight
object permanence
recognition that things continue to exist even though hidden from sight; infants generally gain this after 3 to 7 months of age
observational learning
change in behavior due to watching other people behave
obsessive-compulsive disorder
an anxiety disorder characterized by repetitive obsessions and compulsions
occipital
this lobe contains the primary vision processing function
Oedipus complex
in Freud's theory, the conflict which results in a boy gaining a superego and beginning to emulate his father
olfactory bulb
the first brain structure to pick up smell information from the nose
omission training
a procedure in which reinforcement occurs when a specific behavior does not occur in a fixed period of time
operant conditioning
a method of influencing behavior by rewarding desired behaviors and punishing undesired ones
operational definition
a description of an experimental variable in such a way that the variable can be measured and the procedure can be replicated
optic chiasm
the point in the brain where the visual field information from each eye "crosses over" to the appropriate side of the brain for processing
optic nerve
the axons of the ganglion cells form this
oral stage
Freud's first stage of psychosexual development during which pleasure is centered in the mouth
opponent process theory
term used in both vision theory and emotion theory
outgroup
generally, any group that one does not belong to
oval window
membrane at the enterance to the cochlea through which the ossicles transmit vibrations
panic disorder
characterized by recurrent, unexpected panic attacks
paranoid
a type of schizophrenia characterized by prominent delusions that are persecutory or grandiose
parasympathetic
the branch of the nervous system that automatically calms us down when the reason for arousal has passed
parietal
lobe that contains the sensory cortex
Parkinson's disease
this ailment, whose symptoms includes tremors and later difficulty walking, is caused by inability to produce dopamine
perception
the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information
peripheral nervous system
the subsystem of the nervous system that does not include the CNS
permissive
describes a parenting style that is characterized by the parent making few demands on the child
person-centered
therapy developed by Rogers featuring the patient's self-discovery and actualization; also called client-centered
personality
a consistent pattern of thinking, acting, feeling
PET scan
method of brain imaging using positron emissions
phallic
name for Freud's stage which features the Oedipus stage
phobia
fear
phoneme
in language, smallest distinctive sound unit
pituitary
gland that is the master gland of the endocrine system
place theory
the idea that different sound frequencies stimulate different locations on the basilar membrae
placebo
an inert substance given to the control group in an experiment
placebo effect
phenomenon that some people get better even though they receive not medication but an inert substance which should have no medical effect
plasticity
the ability of the brain to adapt to damage by reorganizing functions
pons
part of the brain, works with the cerebellum in coordinating voluntary movement; neural stimulation studied in activation synthesis theory may originate here
population
all of the individuals from which subjects for an experiment may be drawn
positive psychology
field of study which concentrates on good psychological traits such as contentment and joy; it also studies character traits such as wisdom, integrity and altruism
PTSD
initials representing a disorder in which one relives painfully stressful events
preconscious
in Freud's theory, the level of consciousness in which thoughts and feelings are not conscious but are readily retrieveable to consciousness
preconventional
Kohlberg's stage of moral development in which rewards and punishments dominate moral thinking
prejudice
a negative attitude formed toward an individual or group without sufficient experience with the person or group
preoperational
Piaget's second stage of cognitive development, when egocentrism declines
proactive interference
when prior learning disrupts the recall of new information
projection
defense mechanism in which one disguises one's won unacceptable impulses by attributing them to others
projective
term describes a personality test in which ambiguous stimuli trigger revelation of inner feelings, thoughts
psychiatrist
medical doctor who has specialized in treating psychological disorders
psychoanalysis
Freud's therapeutic technique
psychodynamic
term describes the perspective on psychology in which inner feeling and unconscious tensions are emphasized
psychopharmacology
the study of the effects of drugs on the mind and behavior
punishment
can be either positive or negative, intended to reduce the occurrence of a behavior
random
term that describes assignment in which all subjects have an equal chance of being assigned to the control group or to the experimental group
REBT
Albert Ellis's form of therapy for psychological disorders
rationalization
"The only reason I flunked the test is because our teacher is no good."
reaction formation
defense mechanism in which unacceptable impulses are transformed into their opposite
reciprocal determinism
Bandura's idea that though our environment affects us, we also affect our environment
refractory period
resting time; occurs in both neuron firing and in human sexual response
regression
defense mechanism in which one retreats to an earlier stage of life
rehearsal
conscious repetition of information in order to fix it in memory, such as practicing a list of terms to memorize
reinforcer
in operant conditioning any event that strengthens the behavior it follows
reliability
in testing, the characteristic of a test that produces consistent scores through retesting or alternate halves or other methods
REM
describes sleep in which vivid dreams typically occur; this type of sleep increases as the night progresses while stage 4 sleep decreases
representative
this kind of sample accurately reproduces the characteristics of the population a researcher is studying
representativeness heuristic
this cognitive short cut enables one to generalization based on how closely a stimulus matches a typical member of a class; given a picture of a man in a tweed jacket with a textbook, is this man a professor or a truck driver?
repression
defense mechanism in which painful memories are excluded from consciousness
reticular formation
a network of cells in the brainstem that filters sensory information and is involved in arousal and alertness
retina
the sensory reception system of the eye; includes rods and cones
retrieval
the process of recovering information stored in memory
retroactive interference
when new learning disrupts the recall of previously-learned information
rods
responsible for black and white vision
role-play
technique in therapy and training in which participants act out new behaviors or skills
rooting
a reflex in which a newborn turns its head in response to a gentle stimulus on its cheek
Rorschach test
a projective test that uses inkblots as the ambiguous stimulus
safety
the second rung of Maslow's hierarchy; refers to need for freedom from danger
scapegoat
this theory says that having suffered negative experience, an individual might blame an innocent person or group for the experience and subsequently mistreat the person or group
scatterplot
name for a graph of data points in a two variable correlation
schedules of reinforcement
these include fixed interval and variable ratio
schema
a collection of basic knowledge about a category of information; serves as a means of organization and interpretation of that information
schemata
plural form of schema
schizophrenia
disorder characterized by hallucinations and delusions
higher-order
term describes conditioning in which the CS for one experiment becomes the UCS in another experiment so that another neutral stimulus can be made to elicit the original UCR
selective attention
this term describes the situation when you are focused on certain stimuli in the environment while other stimuli are excluded
self-concept
one's idea and evaluation of oneself; this contributes to one's sense of identity
self-efficacy
one's ability to act effectively to bring about desired results; from Bandura
self-actualization
the highest of Malow's needs; "the full use of talent"
self-esteem
the more positive one's estimation of one's qualities and characteristics, the higher this is
self-fulfilling prophecy
a belief or expectation that helps to make itself true
self-serving bias
he tendency to assign oneself credit for successes but to blame failures on external forces
semantics
in language, study of meanings of words
sensorimotor
describes Piaget's stage in which the child explores the world through interaction of his mouth and hands with the environment
sensory adaptation
reduced responsiveness caused by prolonged stimulation
sensory cortex
the parts of the brain that receive information from the sensory receptors
sensory neurons
nervous system cells that receive information from the environment
afferent
in neurons, another name for sensory
serial position effect
this tells us that the best recall of a list of items will be of those at the beginning of the list
serotonin
a neurotransmitter; associated with improved mood and other positive emotions
SSRI
class of drugs used to relieve anxiety by limiting reuptake of a neurotransmitter
set point
the point at which one's body tries maintain weight
sexual response
its four stages are excitement, plateau, orgasm and resolution
shaping
an operant conditioning technique in which reinforces guide behavior to closer and closer approximations of the desired behavior
short-term
type of memory that holds a few items briefly before they are lost
signal detection
this theory predicts how and in what circumstances we can detect a stimulus; assumes there is no single threshold
sleep apnea
a disorder characterized by cessation of breathing during sleep
sleep spindles
short bursts of brain waves detected in stage 2 sleep
socio-cultural
a perspective on psychology that emphasizes effects on behavior and thinking of one's culture and the people around one
social exchange
a theory that suggests that our behavior is based on maximizing benefits and minimizing costs
social facilitation
a phenomenon in which we perform simple or well-learned tasks better when in the presence of others
social learning
a theory that suggests we learn social behaviors by watching and imitating others
somatic
a division of the nervous system that controls voluntary muscle movements
somatoform disorder
any of a group of psychological disturbances characterized by physical symptoms for which there is not a medical cause
split brain
a condition in which the two brain hemispheres are isolated by cutting the corpus callosum
spontaneous recovery
in classical conditioning the re-occurence of conditioning after it had appeared to be extinct
standard deviation
a computation of how much scores vary around a mean
stereotype
a set of generalizations about a group
structuralism
school of psychology developed by Wilhelm Wundt
sublimation
a defense mechanism in which unacceptable energies are directed into socially admirable outlets, such as art
superego
the part of the personality in Freud's theory that is responsible for making moral choices
sympathetic
part of the nervous system that controls the "flight or fight" response
synaptic gap
space between the axon terminal of one neuron and the receptors of the next neuron
syntax
in language the set of rules that describe how words are arranged to make sentences
temperament
personality component that ranges from very calm to very exitable
temporal
the lobe that controls audition
thalamus
the sensory switchboard
TAT
a projective test in which subjects look at and tell a story about ambiguous pictures
theory
this organizes data and is used to make predictions
threshold
in a neuron, reaching this causes the neuron to fire
token economy
a technique in operant conditioning by which desired behaviors receive forms of currency that can be exchanged for rewards
twin studies
a common method of investigating whether nature or nurture affects behavior
unconditioned response
in conditioning the behavior elicited by the unconditioned stimulus
unconditioned stimulus
in conditioning it elicits the UCR