Like this study set? Create a free account to save it.

Sign up for an account

Already have a Quizlet account? .

Create an account

Flashcards to review for the midterm in 6.0 psychology.


the science of behavior and mental processes

Behavioral Psychologist

study peoples behavior and try to modify it

Psychodynamic Approach

Approach that states that behavior reflects unconscious internal conflict between inherited instincts and society's behavioral rules

Social Psychologist

focuses on how the individual's behavior and mental processes are affected by interactions with other people

Clinical Psychologist

a therapist who deals with mental and emotional disorders


contains a reservoir of unconscious psychic energy that, according to Freud, strives to satisfy basic sexual and aggressive drives. 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. 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 judgment (the conscience) and for future aspirations

Oedipus Complex

according to Freud, a boy's sexual desires toward his mother and feelings of jealousy and hatred for the rival father.

Phallic Stage

The third of Freud's psychosexual development in which genitals are the source of pleasure and the Oedipus Complex begins

Defense Mechanisms

in psychoanalytic theory, the ego's protective methods of reducing anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality


psychoanalytic defense mechanism that shifts sexual or aggressive impulses toward a more acceptable or less threatening object or person, as when redirecting anger toward a safer outlet

Anal Fixation

In Freud's personality theory, the result of an unsatisfactory experience at the second stage that can include being withholding (of mental and emotional resources) being compulsively cautious about keeping things clean and in order, or being overly messy and disorganized

Objective Personality Test

A generic term for psychological procedures used to measure personality which rely on measurable techniques such as true false in tests such as the MMPI-2


The most widely researched and clinically used of all personality tests - originally designed to identify emotional disorders

Projective Personality Test

A type of personality test in which individuals are asked to interpret unstructured or ambiguous stimuli (i.e. inkblot, or Rorschach test). Many psychologists like to use these tests because they allow clients to open up and talk.

Naturalistic Observation

observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation

Case Study

a detailed analysis of a person or group from a social or psychological or medical point of view

Independent Variable

the experimental factor that is manipulated; the variable whose effect is being studied

Dependent Variable

the outcome factor; the variable that may change in response to manipulations of the independent variable

Positive Correlation

A correlation where as one variable increases, the other also increases, or as one decreases so does the other. Both variables move in the same direction.

Negative Correlation

One set of data values increase as the other set decreases.


an explanation that is based on prior scientific research or observations and that can be tested


a fake drug used in the testing of medication

Experimental Method

a research technique in which an investigator deliberately manipulates selected events or circumstances and then measures the effects of those manipulations on subsequent behavior

Control Group

the group that does not receive the experimental treatment.

Ethical Principles of Psychology

receive informed consent, debrief, minimize harm/discomfort/deception, keep confidentiality, allow participants to withdraw

Central Nervous System

the portion of the vertebrate nervous system consisting of the brain and spinal cord

Sympathetic Nervous System

the division of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations


chemical messengers that traverse the synaptic gaps between neurons


the junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron


parts of the cell membrane that receive the neurotransmitter and initiate a new electric signal


long nerve fiber that conducts away from the cell body of the neuron

Occipital Lobe

division of cerebrum that is associated with visual processing

Limbic System

a doughnut-shaped system of neural structures at the border of the brainstem and cerebral hemispheres; associated with emotions such as fear and aggression and drives such as those for food and sex. Includes the hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus.


a neural center located in the limbic system that helps process explicit memories for storage

Corpus Callosum

a broad transverse nerve tract connecting the two cerebral hemispheres

Right Hemisphere

hemisphere of brain that specializes in visual-spatial processing and quick thinking (abstract)


the brain's sensory switchboard, located on top of the brainstem; it directs messages to the sensory receiving areas in the cortex and transmits replies to the cerebellum and medulla (except smell)


hammer; first of the three auditory ossicles of the middle ear


anvil; middle of the three auditory ossicles of the middle ear


stirrup; last of the three auditory ossicles of the middle ear

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 Blind Spot

at the point where the optic nerve exits the back of the eye, headed for the visual cortex, there are no rods and cones and thus no receptors for vision.


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.




sense of smell


the process by which our sensory receptors and nervous system receive and represent stimulus energies from our environment


the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information, enabling us to recognize meaningful objects and events

Perceptual Organization

The process by which small elements become perceptually grouped into larger objects.


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

Binocular Cue

depth cues, such as retinal disparity and convergence, that depend on the use of two eyes

Monocular Cue

Depth cues, such as interposition and linear perspective available to either eye alone


a binocular cue for perceiving depth; the extent to which the eyes converge inward when looking at an object

Top-Down Processing

use the whole (context/experience) to fill in the elements (not always accurate)

Bottom-Up Processing

use individual parts to form whole (individual letters to learn word)

Perceptual Set

a mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another

Size Constancy

perception of an object as the same size regardless of the distance from which it is viewed


a defense mechanism in which unacceptable energies are directed into socially admirable outlets, such as art


in psychoanalytic theory, the basic defense mechanism that banishes from consciousness anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories

Oral Stage

Freud's first stage of psychosexual development during which pleasure is centered in the mouth


a coiled, bony, fluid-filled tube in the inner ear through which sound waves trigger nerve impulses


the process by which the eye's lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the retina


branching extensions of neuron that receives messages from neighboring neurons

Somatic Nervous System

the division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the body's skeletal muscles

Peripheral Nervous System

the sensory and motor neurons that connect the central nervous system to the rest of the body.

Cognitive Psychologist

studies the process of thought and knowledge


part of the brain nearest the spinal cord which controls breathing, heart rate and blood pressure


organizes motivational & emotional response patterns, especially if related to aggression & fear

Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.

Having trouble? Click here for help.

We can’t access your microphone!

Click the icon above to update your browser permissions and try again


Reload the page to try again!


Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom

Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom

It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.

Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.

For more help, see our troubleshooting page.

Your microphone is muted

For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.

Star this term

You can study starred terms together

Voice Recording