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EHS AP Psychology TERRIFIC THREE for AP Exam (Units 2, 4, 9)
Advanced Placement Psychology Enterprise High School, Redding, CA All terms from Myers Psychology for AP (BFW Worth, 2011)
Terms in this set (204)
a branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior.
a nerve cell; the basic building block of the nervous system.
neurons that carry incoming information from the sensory receptors to the brain and spinal cord.
neurons that carry outgoing information from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles and glands.
neurons within the brain and spinal cord that communicate internally and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs.
the bushy, branching extensions of a neuron that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body.
the extension of a neuron, ending in branching terminal fibers, through which messages pass to other neurons or to muscles or glands.
a layer of fatty tissue segmentally encasing the fibers of many neurons; enables vastly greater transmission speed of neural impulses as the impulse hops from one node to the next.
a neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon.
the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse.
the junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron. The tiny gap at this junction is called the synaptic gap or synaptic cleft.
chemical messengers that cross the synaptic gaps between neurons. When released by the sending neuron, they travel across the synapse and bind to receptor sites on the receiving neuron, thereby influencing whether that neuron will generate a neural impulse.
a neurotransmitter's reabsorption by the sending neuron.
"morphine within"—natural, opiate-like neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure.
the body's speedy, electrochemical communication network, consisting of all the nerve cells of the peripheral and central nervous systems.
central nervous system (CNS)
the brain and spinal cord.
peripheral nervous system (PNS)
the sensory and motor neurons that connect the central nervous system (CNS) to the rest of the body.
bundled axons that form neural "cables" connecting the central nervous system with muscles, glands, and sense organs.
somatic nervous system
the division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the body's skeletal muscles. Also called the skeletal nervous system.
autonomic nervous system
the part of the peripheral nervous system that controls the glands and the muscles of the internal organs (such as the heart). Its sympathetic division arouses; its parasympathetic division calms.
sympathetic nervous system
the division of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations
parasympathetic nervous system
the division of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body, conserving its energy.
a simple, automatic response to a sensory stimulus, such as the knee-jerk response.
the body's "slow" chemical communication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream.
chemical messengers that are manufactured by the endocrine glands, travel through the bloodstream, and affect other tissues.
a pair of endocrine glands that sit just above the kidneys and secrete hormones (epinephrine and norepinephrine) that help arouse the body in times of stress.
the endocrine system's most influential gland. Under the influence of the hypothalamus, the pituitary regulates growth and controls other endocrine glands.
tissue destruction. A naturally or experimentally caused destruction of brain tissue.
an amplified recording of the waves of electrical activity that sweep across the brain's surface. These waves are measured by electrodes placed on the scalp.
CT (computed tomography) scan
a series of X-ray photographs taken from different angles and combined by computer into a composite representation of a slice through the body. Also called CAT scan.
PET (positron emission tomography) scan
a visual display of brain activity that detects where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain performs a given task.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
a technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer-generated images of soft tissue. They scans show brain anatomy.
fMRI (functional MRI)
a technique for revealing bloodflow and, therefore, brain activity by comparing successive MRI scans. These scans show brain function.
the oldest part and central core of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord swells as it enters the skull; It is responsible for automatic survival functions.
the base of the brainstem; controls heartbeat and breathing.
a nerve network in the brainstem that plays an important role in controlling arousal.
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.
the "little brain" at the rear of the brainstem; functions include processing sensory input and coordinating movement output and balance.
doughnut-shaped neural system (including the hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus) located below the cerebral hemispheres; associated with emotions and drives.
two lima bean-sized neural clusters in the limbic system; linked to emotion.
a neural structure lying below (hypo) the thalamus; it directs several maintenance activities (eating, drinking, body temperature), helps govern the endocrine system via the pituitary gland, and is linked to emotion and reward.
the intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells covering the cerebral hemispheres; the body's ultimate control and information-processing center.
glial cells (glia)
cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons.
portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead; involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgments.
portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear; receives sensory input for touch and body position.
portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the back of the head; includes areas that receive information from the visual fields.
portion of the cerebral cortex lying roughly above the ears; includes the auditory areas, each receiving information primarily from the opposite ear.
an area at the rear of the frontal lobes that controls voluntary movements.
area at the front of the parietal lobes that registers and processes body touch and movement sensations.
areas of the cerebral cortex that are not involved in primary motor or sensory functions; rather, they are involved in higher mental functions such as learning, remembering, thinking, and speaking.
impairment of language, usually caused by left hemisphere damage either to Broca's area (impairing speaking) or to Wernicke's area (impairing understanding).
controls language expression—an area, usually in the left frontal lobe, that directs the muscle movements involved in speech.
controls language reception—a brain area involved in language comprehension and expression; usually in the left temporal lobe.
the brain's ability to change, especially during childhood, by reorganizing after damage or by building new pathways based on experience.
the formation of new neurons.
the large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carrying messages between them.
a condition resulting from surgery that isolates the brain's two hemispheres by cutting the fibers (mainly those of the corpus callosum) connecting them.
the interdisciplinary study of the brain activity linked with cognition (including perception, thinking, memory, and language).
the principle that information is often simultaneously processed on separate conscious and unconscious tracks.
the study of the relative power and limits of genetic and environmental influences on behavior.
every non-genetic influence, from prenatal nutrition to the people and things around us.
threadlike structures made of DNA molecules that contain the genes.
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)
a complex molecule containing the genetic information that makes up the chromosomes.
the biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes; segments of DNA capable of synthesizing a protein.
the complete instructions for making an organism, consisting of all the genetic material in that organism's chromosomes.
twins who develop from a single fertilized egg that splits in two, creating two genetically identical organisms.
twins who develop from separate fertilized eggs. They are genetically no closer than brothers and sisters, but they share a fetal environment.
the proportion of variation among individuals that we can attribute to genes. This may vary, depending on the range of populations and environments studied.
the interplay that occurs when the effect of one factor (such as environment) depends on another factor (such as heredity).
the sub-field of biology that studies the molecular structure and function of genes.
the study of the roots of behavior and mental processes using the principles of natural selection.
the principle that, among the range of inherited trait variations, those contributing to reproduction and survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations.
a random error in gene replication that leads to a change.
our awareness of ourselves and our environment.
the biological clock; regular bodily rhythms (for example, of temperature and wakefulness) that occur on a 24-hour cycle.
REM (rapid eye movement) sleep
rapid eye movement 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.
the relatively slow brain waves of a relaxed, awake state.
periodic, natural loss of consciousness—as distinct from unconsciousness resulting from a coma, general anesthesia, or hibernation. (Adapted from Dement, 1999.)
false sensory experiences, such as seeing something in the absence of an external visual stimulus.
the large, slow brain waves associated with deep sleep.
non-rapid eye movement sleep; encompasses all sleep stages except for REM sleep.
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.
a sleep disorder characterized by temporary cessations of breathing during sleep and repeated momentary awakenings.
a sleep disorder characterized by high arousal and an appearance of being terrified; unlike nightmares, these occur during Stage 4 sleep, within two or three hours of falling asleep, and are seldom remembered.
a sequence of images, emotions, and thoughts passing through a sleeping person's mind. These are notable for their hallucinatory imagery, discontinuities, and incongruities, and for the person 's delusional acceptance of the content and later difficulties remembering it.
according to Freud, the story of the dream.
according to Freud, the underlying meaning of a dream (as distinct from its manifest content).
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 suggests to another that certain perceptions, feelings, thoughts, or behaviors will spontaneously occur.
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.
a chemical substance that alters perceptions and moods.
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.
a physiological need for a drug, marked by unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when the drug is discontinued.
a psychological need to use a drug, such as to relieve negative emotions.
compulsive drug craving and use, despite adverse consequences.
drugs (such as alcohol, barbiturates, and opiates) that reduce neural activity and slow body functions.
drugs that depress the activity of the central nervous system, reducing anxiety but impairing memory and judgment.
opium and its derivatives, such as morphine and heroin; they depress neural activity, temporarily lessening pain and anxiety.
drugs (such as caffeine, nicotine, and the more powerful amphetamines, cocaine, and Ecstasy) that excite neural activity and speed up body functions.
drugs that stimulate neural activity, causing sped-up body functions and associated energy and mood changes.
a powerfully addictive drug that stimulates the central nervous system, with sped-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 acid (lysergic acid diethylamide).
an altered state of consciousness reported after a close brush with death (such as through cardiac arrest); often similar to drug-induced hallucinations.
the major active ingredient in marijuana; triggers a variety of effects, including mild hallucinations.
a relatively permanent change in an organism's behavior due to experience.
decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation. As infants gain familiarity with repeated exposure to a visual stimulus, their interest wanes and they look away sooner.
learning that certain events occur together. The events may be two stimuli (as in classical conditioning) or a response and its consequences (as in operant conditioning).
a type of learning in which one learns to link two or more stimuli and anticipate events.
the view that psychology (1) should be an objective science that (2) studies behavior without reference to mental processes. Most research psychologists today agree with (1) but not with (2).
unconditioned response (UR)
in classical conditioning, the unlearned, naturally occurring response to the unconditioned stimulus (US), such as salivation when food is in the mouth.
unconditioned stimulus (US)
in classical conditioning, a stimulus that unconditionally—naturally and automatically—triggers a response.
conditioned response (CR)
in classical conditioning, the learned response to a previously neutral (but now conditioned) stimulus (CS).
conditioned stimulus (CS)
in classical conditioning, an originally irrelevant stimulus that, after association with an unconditioned stimulus (US), comes to trigger a conditioned response.
in classical conditioning, the initial stage, when one links a neutral stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral stimulus begins triggering the conditioned response. In operant conditioning, the strengthening of a reinforced response.
a procedure in which the conditioned stimulus in one conditioning experience is paired with a new neutral stimulus, creating a second (often weaker) conditioned stimulus. For example, an animal that has learned that a tone predicts food might then learn that a light predicts the tone and begin responding to the light alone. (Also called second-order conditioning.)
the diminishing of a conditioned response; occurs in classical conditioning when an unconditioned stimulus (US) does not follow a conditioned stimulus (CS); occurs in operant conditioning when a response is no longer reinforced.
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.
the hopelessness and passive resignation an animal or human learns when unable to avoid repeated aversive events.
behavior that occurs as an automatic response to some stimulus.
a type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by a reinforcer or diminished if followed by a punisher.
the network of factors and events involved in the behavior of human and non-human animals
law of effect
The principle that behaviors are selected by their consequences
in operant conditioning research, a chamber (also known as a Skinner box) containing a bar or key that an animal can manipulate to obtain a food or water reinforcer; attached devices 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, a stimulus that elicits a response after association with reinforcement (in contrast to related stimuli not associated with reinforcement).
in operant conditioning, any event that strengthens the behavior it follows.
increasing behaviors by presenting positive stimuli, such as food. Any stimulus that, when presented after a response, strengthens the response.
increasing behaviors by stopping or reducing negative stimuli, such as shock. Any stimulus that, when removed after a response, strengthens the response.
an innately reinforcing stimulus, such as one that satisfies a biological need.
a stimulus that gains its reinforcing power through its association with a primary reinforcer; also known as a secondary reinforcer.
reinforcing the desired response every time it occurs.
reinforcing a response only part of the time; results in slower acquisition of a response but much greater resistance to extinction than does continuous reinforcement.
in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified number of responses.
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.
in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals.
an event that decreases the behavior that it follows.
a mental representation of the layout of one's environment.
learning that occurs but is not apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate it.
a sudden and often novel realization of the solution to a problem; it contrasts with strategy-based solutions.
a desire to perform a behavior effectively for its own sake.
a desire to perform a behavior to receive promised rewards or avoid threatened punishment.
a system for electronically recording, amplifying, and feeding back information regarding a subtle physiological state, such as blood pressure or muscle tension.
learning by observing others (also called social learning).
the process of observing and imitating a specific behavior
frontal lobe neurons that fire when performing certain actions or when observing another doing so. The brain's mirroring of another's action may enable imitation and empathy.
positive, constructive, helpful behavior. The opposite of antisocial behavior.
the scientific study of how we think about, influence, and relate to one another.
the theory that we explain someone's behavior by crediting either the situation or the person's disposition.
Fundamental Attribution Error
the tendency for observers, when analyzing another's behavior, to underestimate the impact of the situation and to overestimate the impact of personal disposition.
feelings, often influenced by our beliefs, that predispose us to respond in a particular way to objects, people, and events.
Central Route Persuasion
attitude change path in which interested people focus on the arguments and respond with favorable thoughts.
Peripheral Route Persuasion
attitude change path in which people are influenced by incidental cues, such as a speaker's attractiveness.
the tendency for people who have first agreed to a small request to comply later with a larger request.
a set of expectations (norms) about a social position, defining how those in the position ought to behave.
Cognitive Dissonance Theory
the theory that we act to reduce the discomfort (dissonance) we feel when two of our thoughts (cognitions) are inconsistent. For example, when our awareness of our attitudes and of our actions clash, we can reduce the resulting discomfort by changing our attitudes.
adjusting one's behavior or thinking to coincide with a group standard.
Normative Social Influence
influence resulting from a person's desire to gain approval or avoid disapproval.
Informational Social Influence
influence resulting from one's willingness to accept others' opinions about reality.
stronger responses on simple or well-learned tasks in the presence of others.
the tendency for people in a group to exert less effort when pooling their efforts toward attaining a common goal than when individually accountable.
the loss of self-awareness and self-restraint occurring in group situations that foster arousal and anonymity.
the enhancement of a group's prevailing inclinations through discussion within the group.
the mode of thinking that occurs when the desire for harmony in a decision-making group overrides a realistic appraisal of alternatives.
the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, values and traditions shared by a group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next
an understood rule for accepted and expected behavior. They prescribe "proper" behavior.
the buffer zone we like to maintain around our bodies.
an unjustifiable (and usually negative) attitude toward a group and its members. It generally involves stereotyped beliefs, negative feelings, and a predisposition to discriminatory action.
a generalized (sometimes accurate but often overgeneralized) belief about a group of people.
(Social) unjustifiable negative behavior toward a group and its members.
"Us"—people with whom we share a common identity.
"Them"—those perceived as different or apart from our ingroup.
the tendency to favor our own group.
the theory that prejudice offers an outlet for anger by providing someone to blame.
the tendency to recall faces of one's own race more accurately than faces of other races. Also called the cross-race effect and the own-race bias
the tendency for people to believe the world is just and that people therefore get what they deserve and deserve what they get.
physical or verbal behavior intended to hurt someone.
the principle that frustration—the blocking of an attempt to achieve some goal—creates anger, which can generate aggression.
Mere Exposure Effect
the phenomenon that repeated exposure to novel stimuli increases liking of them.
an aroused state of intense positive absorption in another, usually present at the beginning of a love relationship.
the deep affectionate attachment we feel for those with whom our lives are intertwined.
a condition in which people receive from a relationship in proportion to what they give to it.
revealing intimate aspects of oneself to others.
unselfish regard for the welfare of others.
the tendency for any given bystander to be less likely to give aid if other bystanders are present.
Social Exchange Theory
the theory that our social behavior is an exchange process, the aim of which is to maximize benefits and minimize costs.
an expectation that people will help, not hurt, those who have helped them.
an expectation that people will help those dependent upon them.
a perceived incompatibility of actions, goals, or ideas.
a situation in which the conflicting parties, by each rationally pursuing their self-interest, become caught in mutually destructive behavior.
mutual views often held by conflicting people, as when each side sees itself as ethical and peaceful and views the other side as evil and aggressive.
Self Fulfilling Prophecy
a belief that leads to its own fulfillment
shared goals that override differences among people and require their cooperation.
Graduated and Reciprocated Initiatives in Tension Reduction (GRIT)
Graduated and Reciprocated Initiatives in Tension-Reduction—a strategy designed to decrease international tensions.
Diffusion of Responsibility
reduction in feelings of personal burden in the presence of others
evaluation of other cultures according to the standards and customs of one's own culture
Conforming to a request or demand
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