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AQA unit 2, social cognition (social psychology), autism (individual differences) and remembering and forgetting (cognitive psychology).

Actor-observer effect

The tendency to attribute our own behaviours externally and others' behaviours internally.

Adoption studies

Compare characteristics of adopted children with those of their biological and adoptive parents.

Anterograde amnesia

A type of memory failure for information after an event.

Brown-Peterson task

A method developed to investigate the characteristics of STM. It typically involves the use of lists of trigrams which participants are required to recall.

Central coherence

Tendency to process information for its general meaning or gist rather than processing the specific individual elements.


Repetitive language, usually where a speech sound or word is repeated over and over.

Elaborative rehearsal

Involves deep and meaningful analysis of information, rather than simply rehearsing it over and over.

Flashbulb memory

Vivid memory of a significant event.

Fragile X syndrome

Genetic disorder caused by a defective gene in the X chromosome which results in mental retardation.

Fundamental attribution error

A bias in attributing another's behaviours to internal causes rather than to situational causes.

Impression formation

The process by which a general impression of another person is made.

Infantile amnesia

The loss of memory for events that took place in childhood.

Lack of joint attention

Failure to attend in the focus of interest for others.

Law of disuse

As in the decay theory of forgetting, the law states that forgetting occurs when information is not used for a period of time.

Lovaas' language technique

A technique involving positive reinforcement which is used to encourage speech in children with autism.

Proactive interference

Where old memories which have already been stored interfere with the storage and retrieval of new information.

Retroactive interference

Where new information interferes with the retrieval of older information already stored in the LTM.


An organised unit of knowledge which helps to structure and interpret new information stored in the LTM.

Self-serving bias

A tendency to attribute one's successes to positive internal attributions and failures to external attribution.


A personal trait or characteristic that strongly influences a perceiver's overall impression of someone possessing that trait.


A collection of symptoms associated with a particular disease.

Triad of impairments

Combination of three impairments, typically seein in cases of autism.

Visuospatial sketch pad

A component of the working memory model which acts as a visual and spatial rehearsal, known as the inner eye.

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