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

Sign up for an account

Already have a Quizlet account? .

Create an account

selective attention

the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus, such as the cocktail party effect

Necker cube

a figure that illustrates the phenomenon of selective attention

inattentional blindness

failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere

visual capture

the tendency for vision to dominate the other senses


an organized whole; emphasizes our tendency to integrate pieces of information into meaningful wholes


the organization of the visual field into objects that stand out from their surroundings


the perceptual tendency to organize stimuli into coherent groups


the organization of stimuli into smooth, continuous patterns


the principle that we fill in gaps to create a whole, complete object


the grouping of items that are close to each other


the grouping of items that look alike


the tendency to perceive uniform or attached items as a single unit

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 clue for perceiving depth: by comparing images from the two eyeballs, the brain computes distance - the greater the difference between the two images, the closer the object


a binocular clue for perceiving depth; the extent to which the eyes turn inward when looking at an object - the greater the inward strain, the closer the object

monocular cues

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

relative size

we tend to perceive images that are smaller as farther away


if one object partially blocks our view of another, we perceive it as closer

relative clarity

we perceive hazy objects as farther away than sharp, clear objects

relative height

we perceive objects higher in our field of vision as farther away

relative motion

as we move, objects at different distances appear to move at different rates

linear perspective

the more parallel lines converge, the greater their perceived distance

light and shadow

nearer objects reflect more light to our eyes than farther objects

phi phenomenon

an illusion of movement created when two or more adjacent lights blink on and off in quick succession

perceptual constancy

perceiving objects as unchanging (having consistent lightness, color, shape, size) even as illumination and retinal images change

shape constancy

perceiving the form of familiar objects as constant even when our retinal images of them change

size constancy

perceiving objects as having a constant size, even when our distance from them varies

relative luminance

the amount of light an object reflects relative to its surroundings

lightness constancy

we perceive objects as having constant lightness even when their illumination varies

color constancy

we perceive objects as having a constant hue relative to surrounding objects

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

human factors psychology

a branch of psychology that explores how people and machines interact and how machines and physical environments can be made safe and easy to use

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

biological rhythms

periodic psychological fluctuations

annual cycle

geese migrate, grizzly bears hibernate and humans may experience seasonal variations in appetite, sleep length and moods on this cycle

28 day cycle

the female menstrual cycle is this cycle

24 hour cycle

humans experience varying alertness, body temperature and growth hormone secretion on this cycle

90 minute cycle

animals move through various stages of sleep on this cycle

circadian rhythm

the biological clock; regular bodily rhythms (for example, of temperature and wakefulness) that occur on a 24-hour cycle

suprachiasmatic nucleus

the cluster of cells that controls the circadian clock

REM 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


the periodic, natural, reversible loss of consciousness - as distinct from unconsciousness resulting from a coma, general anaesthesia, or hibernation


false sensory experiences, such as seeing something in the absence of a visual stimulus

sleep spindles

bursts of rapid, rhythmic brainwave activity

delta waves

the large, slow brain waves associated with deep sweep

slow-wave sleep

stages 3 and 4 of sleep are referred to stages of ...

free radicals

molecules that are toxic to neurons


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, occurs during stage 4 sleep within 2-3 hours of falling asleep and are seldom remembered


a sequence of images, emotions, and thoughts passing through a sleeping person's mind; notable for hallucinatory imagery, discontinuities, and incongruities, and for the dreamer's delusional acceptance of the content and later difficulties remembering

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). Freud believed that a dream's latent content functions as a safety valve

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

age regression

the supposed ability to relive childhood experiences`

posthypnotic suggestion

a suggestion, made during a hypnosis session, to be carried out after the subject is no longer hypnotized; used by some clinicians 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 mood


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


the brain adapts its chemistry to offset the effect of a drug


drugs, such as alcohol, barbituates and opiates, that reduce neural activity and slow body functions


drugs, such as caffeine, nicotine, amphetamines, cocaine and ecstasy, that excite neural activity and speed up 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 that stimulate neural activity, causing speeded-up body functions and associated energy/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


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 lysergic acid diethylamide


the major active ingredient in marijuana; triggers a variety of effects including mild hallucinations

near-death experience

an altered state of consciousness experienced after a close brush with death (such as through cardiac arrest); often similar to drug-induced hallucinations


the presumption that mind and body are two distinct entities that interact


the presumption that mind and body are different aspects of the same thing


a relatively permanent change in an organism's behavior due to experience

associative learning

learning that certain events occur together; the events may be two stimuli or a response and its consequences

classical conditioning

a type of learning in which an organism comes to associate stimuli


the process of learning associations


the view that psychology should be an objective science that studies behavior without reference to mental processes

unconditioned response

in classical conditioning, the unlearned, naturally occurring response to the unconditioned stimulus (US), 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 (but now conditioned) stimulus

conditioned stimulus

in classical conditioning, an originally irrelevant stimulus that, after association with an unconditioned stimulus, comes to trigger a conditioned response


the initial stage in classical conditioning; the phase associating a neutral stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral stimulus comes to elicit a conditioned response.


the diminishing of a conditioned response; occurs in classical conditioning when an unconditioned stimulus does not follow a conditioned stimulus

spontaneous recovery

the reappearance, after a pause, of an extinguished conditioned response


the tendency, once a response has been conditioned, for 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

operant conditioning

a type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by a reinforcer or diminished if followed by a punisher

respondent behavior

behavior that occurs as an automatic response to some stimulus; Skinner's term for behavior learned through classical conditioning

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 behaviors followed by unfavorable consequences become less likely

operant chamber

also known as a Skinner box; a chamber containing a bar or key that an animal can manipulate to obtain a food or water reinforcer, with attached devices to 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


in operant conditioning, any event that strengthens the behavior it follows

discriminative stimulus

a stimulus that signals that a response will be reinforced

positive reinforcement

increasing behaviors by presenting positive stimuli, such as food

negative reinforcement

increasing behaviors by stopping or reducing negative stimuli, such as shock

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

continuous reinforcement

reinforcing the desired response every time it occurs

partial reinforcement

reinforcing a response only part of the time; results in slower acquisition of a response but much greater resistance to extinction than continuous reinforcement

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

latent learning

learning that occurs but is not apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate it

intrinsic motivation

a desire to perform behavior for its own sake

extrinsic motivation

a desire to perform behavior due to promised rewards or threats of punishment

instinctive drift

when animals revert to their biologically predisposed patterns

observational learning

learning by observing others


the process of observing and imitating a specific behavior

mirror neurons

frontal lobe neurons that fire when performing certain actions or observing another doing so; may enable language learning, imitation and empathy


transmitted cultural elements


positive, constructive, helpful behavior; the opposite of antisocial behavior

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