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275 terms

AP Psychology Final Vocab

All vocab from every chapter. added as i went through the year
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Hindsight bias
the tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it. Some people know it as the "I-KNEW-IT-ALL-ALONG" syndrome.
Critical thinking
thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions. Rather, it examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions. Critical thinkers break down
Theory
an explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes and predicts observations.
Hypothesis
a testable prediction about something yet to be tested
Operational definitions
precise statements of the procedures (operations) used to define independent and dependent variables.
Replication
repeating the essence of a research study, usually with different participants in different situations, to see whether the basic finding extends to other participants and circumstances
Case study
a descriptive research strategy in which one person is studied in great depth
Survey
a technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes or behaviors of people, usually by questioning a representative, random sample of them.
False consensus effect
is the tendency to overestimate the extent to which others share our beliefs and behaviors.
Population
all the cases in a group, from which samples may be drawn for a study.
Random sample
a sample that fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusion. People/Items are picked randomly from the selected population.
Naturalistic observation
involves observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate or control the situation.
Correlation
a statistical measure that indicates the extent to which two factors vary together and thus how well one factor can be predicted from the other. These can be positive or negative or neither; they can help predict, but not explain results.
Scatterplot
a depiction of the relationship between two variables by means of a graphed cluster of dots.
Illusory correlation
the false perception of a relationship between two events when none exists.
Experiment
a research strategy in which a researcher directly manipulates one or more factors (independent variables) in order to observe their effect on some behavior or mental process (the dependent variables; experiments therefore make it possible to establish cause-and-effect relationships.
Placebo
an inert substance or condition that is administered as a test of whether an experimental subjects who mistakenly thinks a treatment
Double-blind procedure
a control procedure in which neither the experimenter nor the research subjects are aware of which condition is in effect. It is used to prevent experimenters' and subjects' expectations from influencing the results of an experiment.
Placebo effect
experimental results caused by expectations alone; any effect on behavior caused by the administration of an inert substance or condition, which is assumed to be an active agent.
Experimental condition
the condition of an experiment that exposes participants to the treatment, that is, to one version of the independent variable.
Control condition
the condition of an experiment that contrasts with the experimental condition and serves as a comparison for evaluating the effect of the treatment.
Random assignment
the procedure of assigning subjects to the experimental and control conditions by chance in order to minimize preexisting differences between the groups.
Independent variable
the factor being manipulated and tested by the investigator.
Dependent variable
the factor being measured by the investigator.
Mode
the most frequently occurring score in a distribution; it is the simplest measure of central tendency to determine.
Mean
the arithmetic average of a distribution, obtained by adding the scores and then dividing by the number of scores.
Medians
the middle score in a distribution; half the scores are above it and half are below it.
Range
a measure of variation computed as the difference between the highest and lowest scores in a distribution.
Standard deviation
the average amount by which the scores in a distribution deviate around the mean. Because it is based on every score in the distribution
Statistical significance
a statistical statement of how likely it is that an obtained result occurred by chance.
Culture
the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next. Biological Psychology branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior.
neuron
a nerve cell - the basic building block of the nervous system.
dendrite
the bushy branching extensions of a neuron that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body.
axon
the extension of a neuron - ending in branching terminal fibers, through which messages pass to other neurons or to muscles or glands.
myelin sheath
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.
action potential
a neural impulse - a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon. The action potential is generated by the movement of positively charged atoms in and out of channels in the axon's membrane
threshold
the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse.
synapse
the junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron. The tiny gap is called the synaptic gap or cleft.
neurotransmitters
chemical messengers that traverse the synaptic gaps between neurons. When released by the sending neuron, neurotransmitters travel across the synapse and bind to receptor sites on the receiving neuron, thereby influencing whether that neuron will generate a neural impulse.
acetylcholine
(ACh) a neurotransmitter that enables learning and memory and also triggers muscle contraction.
endorphins
"morphine within"--natural, opiatelike neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure.
aphasia
impairment of language - usually cause by left hemisphere damage either to Broca's area or to Wernicke's area.
association areas
areas of the cerebral cortext that are not involved in primary motor or sensory functions - rather, they are involved in higher mental functions such as learning - remembering - thinking - speaking
brainstem
the oldest part and central core of the brain - beginning where the spinal cord swells as it enters the skull; the brainstem is repsonsible for automatic survival functions.
cerebellum
the part of the brain at the back of the head that controls the activity of the muscles.
cerebral cortex
the intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells that covers the cerebral hemispheres - the body's ultimate control and information processing center.
frontal lobes
the portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behid the forehead - involved in speaking and muscle movements and in amking plans and judgments.
glial cells
glial cells-cells in the nervous system that support nourish and protect neurons.
hormones
chemical messengers released mostly by endocrine system - They travel through blood stream and affect other tissues.
Lesion
means the tissue destruction - A brain lesion reffers to a naturally or experimentally damaged or removed brain.
nervous system
the body's speedy electrochemical communication network consisting of all the nerve cells of the peripheral and central nervous system
neuroscience
the field of study encompassing the various scientific disciplines dealing with the structure development function chemistry pharmacology and pathology of the nervous system.
parietal lobes
the portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear - receives sensory input for touch and body position.
reticular formation
a nerve netwrok in the brainstem that plays an important role in controlling arousal.
sensory cortex
the area at the front of the parietal lobes that registers and processes body touch and movement sensations.
Wernicke's area
controls language reception - a brain area invloved in language comprehension and expression - usually in the left temporal lobe.
adrenal glands
This gland is located on the kidneys, they release hormones that trigger the body to respond to emergencies and high stress
hypothalamus
The bridge between endocrine and nervous systems and contains body's thermostat and centers for regulating hunger and thirst
Ovary
This is one of usually two organs that produce ova and secrete estrogen and progesterone
Pancreas
This produces the hormones insulin and glucagon which control the level of glucose in the blood
Parathyroids
Small glands in the neck that regulate calcium and phosphorous balance.
pituitary gland
This produces hormones which regulate growth from infancy to adulthood and the amount of water in the blood
Testis
This is one of the two male reproductive glands that produce spermatozoa and secrete androgens
Thyroid Gland
This produces hormones that regulate metabolism, body heat, and bone growth
myelin sheath
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.
threshold
the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse.
central nervous system
the brain and spinal cord.
peripheral nervous system
the sensory and motor neurons that connect the central nervous system (CNS) to the rest of the body.
nerves
neural "cables" containing many axons. These bundled axons, which are part of the peripheral nervous system, connect the central nervous system with muscles, glands, and sense organs.
sensory neurons
neurons that carry incoming information from the sense receptors to the central nervous system.
motor neurons
neurons that carry outgoing information from the central nervous system to the muscles and glands.
interneurons
central nervous system neurons that internally communicate and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs.
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.
reflex
a simple, automatic, inborn response to a sensory stimulus, such as the knee-jerk response.
neural networks
interconnected neural cells. With experience, networks can learn, as feedback strengthens or inhibits connections that produce certain results. Computer simulations of neural networks show analogous learning.
endocrine system
the body's "slow" chemical communication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream.
electroencephalogram
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.
PET scan
a visual display of brain activity that detects where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain performs a given task.
MRI
a technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer-generated images that distinguish among different types of soft tissue; allows us to see structures within the brain.
fMRI
a technique for revealing blood flow and, therefore, brain activity by comparing successive MRI scans. MRI scans show brain anatomy; fMRI scans show brain function.
medulla
the base of the brainstem; controls heartbeat and breathing.
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.
amygdala
two lima bean-sized neural clusters that are components of the limbic system and are linked to emotion.
plasticity
the brain's capacity for modification, as evident in brain reorganization following damage (especially in children) and in experiments on the effects of experience on brain development.
corpus callosum
the large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carrying messages between them.
split brain
a condition in which the two hemispheres of the brain are isolated by cutting the connecting fibers (mainly those of the corpus callosum) between them.
adaptation
An inherited characteristic that increases in a population because it provides a survival or reproductive advantage.
aggression
physical or verbal behavior that is intended to hurt or harm someone.
behavior genetics
the study of the relative power and limits of genetic and enviromental influences on behavior.
Charles Darwin
renowned naturalist and thinker associated with the theory of evolution by natural selection
chromosomes
threadlike structures made of DNA molecules that contain the genes
collectivism
sense of "we". priorities are given to a certain group. One's identity is defined accordingly
culture
the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next.
DNA
(deoxyribonucleic acid) is a complex molecule containing the genetic information that makes up the chromosomes.
environment
refers to every nongenetic, or external, influence on our traits and behaviors.
evolutionary psychology
the study of evolution of behavior and the mind, using principles of natural selection.
fraternal twins
develop from two separate eggs fertilized by different sperrn and therefore are no more genetically similar than ordinary siblings.
gender
the biologically and socially influenced characteristic by which people define male and female.
gender identity
one's personal sense of being male or female.
gender role
a culturally prescribed set of behaviors for males and females.
gender schema theory
children acquire a cultural concept of what it means to be female or male and adjust their behavior accordingly.
gender-typing
the acquisition of a traditional feminine or masculine gender role.
genes
the biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes; they are segments of the DNA molecules capable of synthesizing a protein.
genome
the complete instructions for making an organism - consisting of all the genetic material in that organism's chromosomes
heritability
the proportion of variation among individuals that we can attribute to genes. The ___________ of a trait may vary, depending on the range of populations and environments studied.
identical twins
develop from a single fertilized egg that splits in two and therefore are genetically identical.
individualism
Giving priority to one's own goals over group and defining one's identity in terms of personal sttributes rather than group identification.
interaction
occurs when the effects of one factor (such as heredity) depends on another factor (such as environment).
memes
variations in ideas, fashions, and innovations passed from one person to another that cause rapid cultural mutations.
molecular genetics
the subfield of biology that studies the molecular structure and function of genes.
mutation
a process in which the genetic material of a person, a plant or an animal changes in structure when it is passed on to children, causing different phycical characteristics to develop.
natural selection
the principle that among the range of inherited trait variations - those that lead to increased reproduction and survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations.
norms
understood social prescriptions, or rules, for accepted and expected behavior.
nucleotides.
biochemical units that make up DNA and genes.
personal space
personal space-the buffer zone we like to maintain around our bodies.
role.
a culturally prescribed set of behaviors expected of those who occupy a particular social position.
social learning theory
people learn social behavior (such as gender roles) by observing and imitating and by being rewarded or punished.
temperament
a person's characteristic emotional reactivity and intensity.
testosterone
the principal male sex hormone. During prenatal development, it stimulates the development of the external male sex organs.
X Chromosome
the sex chromosome found in both men and women. Females have two of these chromosomes; males have one. One of these chromosome from each parent produces a female child.
Y chromosome
the sex chromosome found only in males. When paired with an X chromosome from the mother, it produces a male child.
Absolute threshold
The smallest magnitude of a stimulus that can be detected half the time.
Accommodation
the process by which the eye's lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the retina.
Audition
the sense of hearing.
Basilar membrane
One of the membranes that separate the two tubes of the cochlea and on which the organ of Corti rests.
Basket cells
Sensory receptor cells at the base of hairs that detect pressure.
Binocular cues
Two visual cues that require both eyes to allow us to perceive depth.
Blind spot
The spot where the optic nerve attaches to the retina, which contains no rods or cones.
Bone conduction hearing
Hearing accomplished through sounds transmitted through the bones of the head directly to the cochlear fluid.
Bottom-up processing
analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works up to the brain's integration of sensory information.
Ciliary muscle
The muscle in the eye that controls the shape of the lens.
Cochlea
A curved structure of the inner ear that is filled with fluid.
Cochlear implant
a device for converting sounds into electrical signals and stimulating the auditory nerve through electrodes threaded into the cochlea
Color constancy
perceiving familiar objects as having consistent color, even if changing illumination alters the wavelengths reflected by the object.
Conduction hearing loss
hearing loss caused by damage to the mechanical system that conducts sound waves to the cochlea.
Cones
The 6 million receptor cells located mostly in the center of the retina that transduce light waves into neural impulses, thereby coding information about light, dark, and color.
Cornea
The protective coating on the surface of the eye through which light passes.
Cupula
A gelatin-like structure containing a tuft of hairlike sensory receptor cells in the semicircular canals.
Dark adaptation
Increased sensitivity of the eye in semidarkness following an abrupt reduction in overall illumination.
Decibel
Measurement of the intensity of perceived sound.
Difference threshold
The smallest difference between two stimuli that can be detected half the time.
Eardrum
A thin membrane that sound waves cause to vibrate; a structure of the middle ear., the membrane in the ear that vibrates to sound
Electromagnetic radiation
A form of energy including electricity, radio waves, and X rays, of which visible light is a part.
Feature detectors
nerve cells in the brain that respond to specific features of the stimulus, such as shape, angle, or movement.
Fovea
The central spot of the retina, which contains the greatest concentration of cones.
Free nerve endings
Sensory receptor cells in the skin that detect pressure, temperature, and pain.
Frequency
the number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time (for example, per second).
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.
External auditory canal
external passage for sounds collected from the pinna to the tympanum
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.
Gustation
The sense of taste.
Hammer - anvil - stirrup
Three linked bones of the middle ear, which pass sound waves to the inner ear.
Hertz
The measurement of the frequency of sound waves in cycles per second.
Hue
the dimension of color that is determined by the wavelength of light; what we know as the color names blue, green, and so forth.
Intensity
The density of vibrating air molecules, which determines the loudness of sound.
Inner ear
the innermost part of the ear, containing the cochlea, semicircular canals, and vestibular sacs
Iris
The colored part of the eye behind the cornea that regulates the amount of light that enters.
Kinesthesis
the system for sensing the position and movement of individual body parts.
Kinesthetic receptors
Receptors in the muscles, joints, and skin that provide information about movement, posture, and orientation.
Lens
The transparent portion of the eye that focuses light on the retina.
Light adaptation
Regaining sensitivity of the eye to bright light following an abrupt increase in overall illumination.
Middle ear
the chamber between the eardrum and cochlea containing three tiny bones (hammer, anvil, and stirrup) that concentrate the vibrations of the eardrum on the cochlea's oval window.
Monocular cues
Eight visual cues that can be seen with one eye and that allow us to perceive depth.
Nocioceptors
Receptors for stimuli that are experienced as painful.
Olfaction
The sense of smell.
Olfactory epithelium
The sheet of receptor cells at the top of the nasal cavity.
Opponent-process theory
The theory of color vision contending that the visual system has two kinds of color processors, which respond to light in either the red-green or yellow-blue ranges of wavelength.
Optic chiasm
The area in the brain where the optic nerves cross.
Optic nerve
The nerve that carries neural messages about vision to the brain.
Organ of Corti
A sensory receptor in the cochlea that transduces sound waves into coded neural impulses.
Oval window
The membrane of the inner ear that vibrates, creating sound waves in the fluid of the cochlea.
Papillae
Clusters of taste buds on the tongue.
Parallel processing
the processing of several aspects of a problem simultaneously; the brain's natural mode of information processing for many functions, including vision. Contrasts with the step-bystep (serial) processing of most computers and of conscious problem solving.
Perception
The process of organizing and interpreting information received from the outside world.
Perceptual constancy
The tendency for perceptions of objects to remain relatively unchanged, in spite of changes in raw sensations.
Pinna
The external part of the ear.
Pitch
The experience of sound vibrations sensed as high or low.
Place theory
in hearing, the theory that links the pitch we hear with the place where the cochlea's membrane is stimulated.
Priming
the activation, often unconsciously, of certain associations, thus predisposing one's perception, memory, or response.
Psychophysics
A specialty area of psychology that studies sensory limits, sensory adaptation, and related topics.
Pupil
The opening of the iris.
Retina
The area at the back of the eye on which images are formed and that contains the rods and cones.
Rods
The 125 million cells located outside the center of the retina that transduce light waves into neural impulses, thereby coding information about light and dark.
Round window
The membrane that relieves pressure from the vibrating waves in the cochlear fluid.
Saccule utricle
Fluid-filled sacs of the vestibular organ that inform the brain about the body's orientation.
Semicircular canals
Three nearly circular tubes in the vestibular organ that inform the brain about tilts of the head and body.
Sensation
The process of receiving, translating, and transmitting messages from the outside world to the brain.
Sense organs
Organs that receive stimuli.
Sensorineural hearing loss
hearing loss caused by damage to the cochlea's receptor cells or to the auditory nerves; also called nerve deafness.
Sensory adaptation
Weakened magnitude of a sensation resulting from prolonged presentation of the stimulus.
Sensory interaction
the principle that one sense may influence another, as when the smell of food influences its taste.
Sensory receptor cells
Cells in sense organs that translate messages into neural impulses that are sent to the brain.
Signal detection theory
a theory predicting how and when we detect the presence of a faint stimulus ("signal") amid background stimulation ("noise"). Assumes there is no single absolute threshold and detection depends partly on a person's experience, expectations, motivation, and level of fatigue.
Sound waves
Vibratory changes in the air that carry sound.frequency of cycles*The rate of vibration of sound waves; determines pitch.
Specialized end bulbs
Sensory receptor cells that detect pressure and skin pleasure.
Stereochemical theory
The theory that different odor receptors can be stimulated only by molecules of a specific size and shape that fit them like a "key" in a lock.
Stimulus
Any aspect of the outside world that directly influences our behavior or conscious experience.
Subliminal
below one's absolute threshold for conscious awareness.
Tactile discs
Sensory receptor cells that detect pressure.
Taste cells
The sensory receptor cells for gustation located in the taste buds.
Timbre
The characteristic quality of a sound as determined by the complexity of the sound wave.
Top-down processing
information processing guided by higherlevel mental processes, as when we construct perceptions drawing on our experience and expectations.
Transduction
The translation of energy from one form to another.
Trichromatic theory
the theory of color vision contending that the eye has three different kinds of cones, each of which responds to light of one range of wavelength.
Vestibular organ
The sensory structures in the inner ear that provide the brain with information about orientation and movement.
Visual acuity
Clearness and sharpness of vision.
Wavelength
The frequency of light waves, which determines the color we see.
Weber's law
A law stating that the amount of change in a stimulus needed to detect a difference is in direct proportion to the intensity of the original stimulus.
Vestibular sense
the sense of body movement and position, including the sense of balance.
Young-Helmholtz trichromatic 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.
accommodation
refers to changing an existing schema to incorporate new information that cannot be assimilated.In Piaget's theory.
adolescence
this refers to the life stage from puberty to independent adulthood, denoted physically by a growth spurt and maturation of primary and secondary sex characteristics, cognitively by the onset of formal operational thought, and socially by the formation of identity.
alzheimer's disease
a progressive and irreversible brain disorder characterized by gradual deterioration of memory, reasoning, language, and finally, phisical funtioning.
assimilation
refers to interpreting a new experience in terms of an existing schema.In Piaget's theory.
attachment
an emotional tie with another person, shown in young children by their seeking closeness to a caregiver and showing distress on separation.
basic trust
according to Erikson is a sense that the world is predictable and trustworthy - a concept that infants form if their needs are met by responsive caregiving.
cognition
all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating.
concrete operational stage
the stage lasting from about ages 6 or 7 to 11, children can think logically about concrete events and objects.
conservation
the principle that properties such as number, volume, and mass remain constant despite changes in the forms of objects; it is acquired during the concrete operational stage.
critical period
the limited time shortly after birth during which an organism must be exposed to certain experiences or influences if it is to develop properly.
cross-sectional study
in this study people of different ages are compared with one another.
crystalized intelligence
one's accumulated acknowledge and verbal skills; tends fo increase with age
crystallized intelligence
refers to those aspects of intellectual ability, such as vocabulary and general knowledged that reflect accumulated learning. Crystallized intelligence tends to increase with age.
developmental psychology
a branch of psychology that studies human development in phsical, cognitive, and social change perspectives.
egocentrism
in Piaget's theory refers to the difficulty that preoperational children have in considing another's viewpoint. "Ego" means "self" erring and "centrism" indicates "in the center"; the preoperational child is "self-centered."
embryo
the developing prenatal organism from about 2 weeks through 2 months after conception.
fetal alcohol syndrome
a syndrome that refers to the physical and cognitive abnormalities that heavy drinking by a pregnant woman may cause in the developing child.
fetus
the developing human organism from 9 weeks after conception to birth.
fluid intelligence
refers to a person's ability to reason speedily and abstractly. Fluid intelligence tends to decline with age.
formal operational stage
in Piaget's theory normally begins about age 12. During this stage people begin to think logically about abstract concepts.
habituation
decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation. As infants gain familiarity with repearted exposure to a visual stimulus, their interest wanes and they look away sooner.
identity
one's sense of self; according to Erikson, the adolescent's task is to solidify a sense of self by testing and integrating various roles.
imprinting
the process by which certain animals form attachments early in life, usually during a limited critical period.
intimacy
in Erikson's theory, the ability to form close, loving relationships; a primary developmental task in late adolescence and early adulthood.
longitudinal study
in this study the same people are tested and retested over a period of years.
maturation
biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior, relatively uninfluenced by experience.
menarche
the first menstrual period.
menopause
the time of natural cessation of menstruation; also refers to the biological changes a woman experiences as her ability to reproduce declines.
object permanance
the awareness that things continue to exist even when not perceived.
preoperational stage
in Piaget's theory lasts from about 2 to 6 or 7 years of age. During this stage, language development is rapid, but the child is unable to understand the mental operations of concrete logic.
primary sex characteristics
the body structures (ovaries, testes, and external genitalia) that enable reproduction.
puberty
the early adolescent period of sexual maturation, during which a person becomes capable of reproduction.
rooting reflex
a baby's tendency, when touched on the cheek, to turn toward the touch, open the mouth, and search for the nipple.
schemas
are mental concepts that organize and interpret information. They are found in Piaget's theory of cognitive development
secondary sex characteristics
the nonreproductive sexual characteristics, for example,female breasts, male voice quality, and body hair.
self-concept
a person's sense of identity and personal worth.
sensorimotor stage
in Piaget's theory of cognitive stages, this stage lasts from birth to about age 2.During this stage, infants gain knowledge of the world through their senses and their motor activities.
social clock
the cultural preferred timing of social event such as marriage, parenthood, and retirement.
stranger anxiety
the fear of strangers that infants begin to display at about 8 months of age.
teratogens
agents, such as chemicals and viruses, that can reach the embryo or fetus during prenatal development and cause harm.
zygote
the fertilized egg; it enters a 2-week period of rapid cell division and develops into an embryo
theory of mind
people's ideas about their own and others' mental states—about their feelings, perceptions, and thoughts and the behavior these might predict.
autism
a disorder that appears in childhood and is marked by deficient communication, social interaction, and understanding of others' states of mind.
Binocular cues
depth cues, such as retinal disparity and convergence, that depend on the use of two eyes.
Convergence
a binocular cue for perceiving depth; the extent to which the eyes converge inward when looking at an object. the greater the inward strain, the closer the object.
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.
Extrasensory Perception
the controversial claim that perception can occur apart from sensory input. Said to include telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition.
Figure-Ground
the organization of the visual field into objects (the figures) that stand out from their surroundings (the ground).
Gestalt
an organized whole. Gestalt psychologists emphasized our tendency to integrate pieces of information into meaningful wholes.
Grouping
the perceptual tendency to organize stimuli into coherent groups.
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.
Inattentional Blindness
failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere.
Monocular Cues
depth cues, such as interposition and linear perspective, available to either eye alone.
Parapsychology
the study of paranormal phenomena, including ESP and psychokinesis.
Perceptual Adaptation
in vision, the ability to adjust to an artificially displaced or even inverted visual field.
Perceptual Constancy
perceiving objects as unchanging (having consistent lightness, color, shape, and size) even as illumination and retinal images change.
Perceptual Set
a mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another.
Phi Phenomenon
an illusion of movement created when two or more adjacent lights blink on and off in quick succession.
Retinal disparity
a binocular cue for perceiving depth: By comparing images from the two eyeballs, the brain computes distance-the greater the disparity (difference) between the two images, the closer the object.
Selective Attention
the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus, as in the cocktail party effect.
Visual Capture
the tendency for vision to dominate the other senses.
Visual Cliff
a laboratory device for testing depth perception in infants and young animals.