31 terms

AP Psych Exam Study Guide - Ch. 3 through Ch. 5

Evolutionary psychology
the study of the evolution of behavior and the mind, using principles of natural selection
Behavior genetics
the study of the relative power and limits of genetic and environmental influences on behavior
Molecular genetics
the subfield of biology that studies the molecular structure and function of genes
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 than brothers and sisters, but they share a fetal environment
a person's characteristic emotional reactivity and intensity
in psychology, the biologically and socially influenced characteristics by which people define male and female
the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, values, and traditions shared by a group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next
human traits being influenced/developed by experience
Gender identity
one's 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
Gender schema theory
the theory that children learn from their cultures a concept of what it means to be male and female and that they adjust their behavior accordingly
developed the stages of cognitive development
developed the three basic levels for moral thinking
said that securely attached children approach life with a sense of basic trust - a sense that the world is predictable and reliable; basic trust is a result of early parenting; developed the stages of psychological development
an emotional tie with another person; shown in young children by their seeking closeness to the caregiver and showing distress on separation
Authoritarian parents
impose rules and expect obedience
Permissive parents
submit to their children's desires, make few demands, and use little punishment
Authoritative parents
both demanding and responsive; they exert control not only by setting rules and enforcing them but also by explaining the reasons and encouraging open discussion and allowing exceptions when making the rules
Young-Helmholtz theory
the theory that the retina contains three different color receptors - one most sensitive to red, one to green, one to blue - which when stimulated in combination can produce the perception of any color
Gate-Control theory
the theory that the spinal cord contains a neurological "gate" that blocks pain signals or allows them to pass on to the brain. The "gate" is opened by the activity of pain signals traveling up small nerve fibers and is closed by activity in larger fibers or by information coming from the brain
Opponent-Process theory
the theory that opposing retinal processes (red-green, yellow-blue, white-black) enable color vision
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
Place theory
in hearing, the theory that links the pitch we hear with the place where the cochlea's membrane is stimulated
Signal detection theory
a theory predicting how and when we detect the presence of a faint stimulus amid background stimulation. Assumes there is no single absolute threshold and that detection depends partly on a person's experience, expectations, motivation, and level of fatigue
Absolute threshold
the minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50% of the time
Difference threshold
the minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50% of the time. We experience the difference threshold as a just noticeable difference
Weber's law
the principle that, to be perceived as difference, two stimuli must differ by a constant minimum percentage (rather than a constant amount)
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 experiences and expectations