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131 terms

Psychology Exam 1

Chapters 1 through 4.
Goals Of Psychology
Conducting research to describe, explain, predict, and control behavior. These goals form the basis of the psychological enterprise.
The scientific study of the behavior of individuals and their mental processes.
people begin life with a blank slate. psychological theory asserting that knowledge comes only or primarily via the flexibility of sensory experience. John Locke and Aristotle.
John Watson
pioneer of the behaviorist perspective of psychology
a scientific approach that limits the study of psychology to measurable or observable behavior.
theory asserting that human behavior and thinking are largely determined by irrational, unconscious drives.
Sigmund Freud
psychologists who developed the psychodynamic perspective. His model was the first to recognize that human nature is not always rational and that actions may be driven by motives that are not in conscious awareness.
Behavioral approach
psychological perspective primarily concerned with observable behavior that can be objectively recorded and with the relationships of observable behavior to environmental stimuli.
Cognitive approach
perspective that stresses human thought and the processes of knowing, such as attending, thinking, remembering, expecting, solving problems, fantasizing, and consciousness.
Psychodynamic approach
model in which behavior is explained in terms of past experiences and motivational forces; actions stem from inherited instincts, biological drives, and attempts to resolve conflicts between personal needs and social requirements.
Developmental psychology
also known as human development, is the scientific study of systematic psychological changes, emotional changes, and perception changes that occur in human beings over the course of their life span.
Clinical psychology
34% of psychology PhD's are applied in this subfield; a branch of psychology that studies, assesses, and treats people with psychological disorders
Cognitive psychology
a subdiscipline of psychology exploring internal mental processes. It is the study of how people perceive, remember, think, speak, and solve problems.
School Psychology
28% of psychologists work within this setting; devoted to counseling children in elementary and secondary schools who have academic or emotional problems
Counseling Psychology
a branch of psychology that assists people with problems in living (often related to school, work, or marriage) and in achieving greater well-being
Industrial/organizational psychology
The application of psychological concepts and methods to optimizing human behavior in workplaces
Wilhelm Wundt
structuralism; in 1879 founded first psychology laboratory in world at University of Leipzig; introspection, basic units of experience
B.F. Skinner
behaviorism; pioneer in operant conditioning; behavior is based on an organism's reinforcement history; worked with pigeons
the perspective on mind and behavior that focuses on the examination of their functions in an organism's interactions with the environment.
Noam Chomsky
cognitive psychology; disagreed with Skinner about language acquisition, stated there is an infinite # of sentences in a language, humans have an inborn native ability to develop language
study of the structure of the mind and behavior; the view that all human mental experience can be understood as a combination of simply elements or events.
Max Wertheimer
a gestalt psychologist who argued against dividing human thought and behavior into discrete structures
Gestalt psychology
the school of psychology that emphasizes the tendency to organize perceptions into meaningful wholes
Carl Rogers
1902-1987; Field: humanistic; Contributions: founded person-centered therapy, theory that emphasizes the unique quality of humans especially their freedom and potential for personal growth, unconditional positive regard, fully functioning person
the generation effect
Self-produced information (generated) is better remembered than information that is not self-produced.

Examples in research: fill in the missing letter for the pair of words or read the pair of words aloud.
Doctor - N rse

Applied Examples (studying):
Making note cards, creating sample test questions.
night, sleeping helps memory retention
the best time of the day to study and why
memory consolidation
The biological process through which memories are transformed from a transient and fragile status to a more permanent and robust state; according to most researchers, occurs over the course of several hours.
Combination of both, mainly testing for best memory retention
reading/studying vs. testing the material?
Psychology experiment
A controlled procedure in which at least two different treatment conditions are applied to subjects whose behaviors are then measured and compared to test a hypothesis about the effects of the treatments on behavior.
a tentative and testable explanation of the relationship between two or more events or variables; often stated as a prediction that a certain outcome will result from specific conditions.
an organized set of concepts that explains a phenomenon.
a subset of a population selected as participants in an experiment.
Independent variable
variable that the researcher manipulates with the expectation of having an impact on values of the other variable.
Dependent variable
a variable that the researcher measures to assess the impact of the variation in the other variable.
Operational definition
a definition of a variable or condition in terms of the specific operation or procedure used to determine its presence.
Experimental group
group exposed to the treatment or experiences a manipulation of the independent variable.
Control group
group in an experiment not exposed to a treatment or does not experience a manipulation in the independent variable.
change in behavior in the absence of an experimental manipulation; an inert substance given to the control group in an experiment.
Double-blind procedure
An experimental procedure in which both the research participant and the research staff are ignorant about whether the participants have received the treatment or the placebo.
random assignment of experimental units to treatments or of treatments to trials.
Case study method
An in-depth examination of an individual that often involves compiling and analyzing information from a variety of sources such as observing, testing, and interviewing the person/people who knew the individual.
Survey method
a research method that involves gathering information from people through the use of surveys or questionnaires.
Naturalistic observation method
method of research based on careful, unobtrusive observation of behavior in natural settings.
Correlational study
a research project designed to discover the degree to which two variables are related to each other.
Ex post facto method
an experiment where the researcher examines the effect of a naturally occurring treatment after it has occurred.
Confounding variable
in an experiment, a variable, other than the independent variable, that could influence the dependent variable.
cell in the nervous system specialized to receive, process, and/or transmit information to other cells.
one of the branched fibers of neurons that receive incoming signals.
the extended fiber of a neuron through which nerve impulses travel from the soma to the terminal buttons.
Action potential
nerve impulse activated in a neuron that travels down the axon and causes neurotransmitters to be released into a synapse.
Resting potential
the polarization of cellular fluid within a neuron, which provides the capability to produce an action potential.
the process during the action potential when sodium is rushing into the cell causing the interior to become more positive.
the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse.
Refractory period
the period of rest during which a new nerve impulse cannot be activated in a segment of an axon.
Myelin sheath
insulating material that surrounds axons and increases the speed of neural transmission.
chemical messengers that traverse 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.
All-or-none law
principle that the action potential in a neuron does not vary in strength; the neuron either fires at full strength or it does not fire at all.
"morphine within"--natural, opiatelike neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure.
Terminal buttons
Small knobs at the end of axons that secrete chemicals called neurotransmitters.
Inhibitory/excitatory input
Information entering a neuron that signal it not to fire or to fire.
the junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron.
Central Nervous System (CNS)
the body's primary information processing system; includes the brain and spinal cord.
Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)
part of the nervous system composed of the spinal cord and cranial nerves that connect the body's sensory receptors to the CNS and the CNS to the muscles and glands.
Autonomic Nervous System
subdivision of the PNS that controls the body's involuntary motor responses by connecting the sensory receptors to the CNS and the CNS to the smooth muscle, cardiac muscle, and glands.
Somatic Nervous System
subdivision of the PNS that connects the CNS to the skeletal muscles and the skin.
Sympathetic system
the division of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations.
Parasympathetic system
subdivision of the autonomic nervous system that monitors the routine operation of the body's internal functions and conserves and restores body energy.
Brain stem
brain structure that regulates the body's basic life processes.
region of the brain that regulates higher cognitive and emotional functions.
Frontal lobe
region of the brain located above the lateral fissure and in front of the central sulcus; involved in motor control and cognitive activities.
Parietal lobe
region of the brain behind the frontal lobe and above the lateral fissure; contains somatosensory cortex; processes information about temperature, touch, body position, and pain.
Occipital lobe
rearmost region of the brain; contains primary visual cortex.
Temporal lobe
region of the brain found below the lateral fissure; contains the auditory cortex.
Motor cortex
region of the cerebral cortex that controls the action of the body's voluntary muscles.
Sensory cortex
region of the parietal lobes that processes sensory input from various body areas.
Association cortex
parts of the cerebral cortex in which many high-level brain processes occur.
Broca's area
controls language expression-an aread of the frontal, usually in the left hemisphere, that directs the muscle movements involved in speech.
Wernicke's area
controls language reception-a brain area involved in language comprehension and expression;usually in the left temporal lobe.
region of the brain attached to the brain stem that controls motor coordination, posture, and balance as well as the ability to learn control of body movements.
the part of the limbic system that is involved in the acquisition of explicit memory.
Limbic system
the region of the brain that regulates emotional behavior, basic motivational urges, and memory, as well as major physiological functions.
Reticular formation
region of the brain stem that alerts the cerebral cortex to incoming sensory signals and is responsible for maintaining consciousness and awakening from sleep.
brain structure that regulates motivated behavior (eating and drinking), and homeostasis.
brain structure that relays sensory impulses to the cerebral cortex.
part of the limbic system that controls emotion, aggression, and the formation of emotional memory.
Corpus callosum
the mass of nerve fibers connecting the two hemispheres of the cerebrum.
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.
Endocrine system
collection of glands that secrete hormones into the blood which regulate growth, development, and homeostasis.
one of the chemical messengers, manufactured and secreted by the endocrine glands, that regulates metabolism and influence body growth, mood, and sexual characteristics.
Pituitary gland
the endocrine system's most influential gland. Under the influence of the hypothalamus, the pituitary regulates growth and controls other endocrine glands.
belief that certain ideas or personal characteristics are innate or inborn; hard-wired. Emmanuel Kant was proponent.
William James
father was a wealthy business man. Studies medicine at Harvard, suffered from depression, and had an interest in the nature of free will. Wrote the Principles of Psychology.
tendency for a measure within an experimental design to produce the same results from the same things.
tendency for a measure within an experimental design to accurately capture what's intended.
Sensory neurons
component of the nervous system which sends signals toward the CNS.
component of the nervous system which sends signals to others of its kind as well as motor neurons.
Motor neurons
component of the nervous system, sends information from the CNS to the muscles and glands.
Glia cells
cells which hold together and facilitate neural transmissions. Guide, protect, and prevent harm to neurons.
neurotransmitter which in excess can contribute to schizophrenia but lack can cause Parkinson's disease.
neurotransmitter; deficiency of it can cause depression.
Left/Right hemispheres of the brain
technique for producing temporary inactivation of brain areas using repeated pulses of magnetic stimulation.
a recording of the electrical activity of the brain.
CAT scan
technique that uses narrow beams of X-rays passed through the brain to assemble images.
PET scan
brain image produced by device that obtains detailed pictures of activity by recording the radioactivity emitted by cells during different cognitive/behavioral processes.
MRI and fMRI
brain imaging using magnetic fields and radio waves; improved technique which detects magnetic changes in the flow of blood to the brain.
processes that organize information in the sensory image and interpret it as having been produced by properties of objects or events in the external, 3-D world.
the process by which stimulation of a sensory receptor gives rise to neural impulses that result in an experience, or awareness, of conditions inside or outside the body.
Perceptual organization
the process that puts sensory information together to give the perception of a coherent scene over the whole visual field.
Perceptual constancy
perceiving objects as unchanging (having consistent lightness, color, shape, and size) even as illumination and retinal images change.
a Gestalt principle of organization holding that there is an innate tendency to perceive incomplete objects as complete and to close or fill gaps and to perceive asymmetric stimuli as symmetric.
Stroboscopic movement
a type of apparent movement based on the rapid succession of still images, as in motion pictures.
Selective attention
the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus.
a state of focused awareness on a subset of the available perceptual information.
Perceptual set
a mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another; temporary readiness to perceive or react to stimulus in a particular way.
Top-down processing
information processing guided by higher-level mental processes, as when we construct perceptions drawing on our experience and expectations.
Bottom-up processing
analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works up to the brain's integration of sensory information.
Attention capture
-The spontaneous redirection of attention.
-Attention can be captured by changes in movement, abrupt onsets, visual color, auditory pitch, etc.
Goal-driven attention
a determinant of why people select some parts of sensory input for further processing; it reflects the choices made as a function of one's own goals.
Perceptual ambiguity
Optical Illusion; sensory stimuli that can be perceived in different ways.
Perceptual illusions
inappropriate interpretations of physical reality. Often occur as a result of the brain's using otherwise adaptive organizing principles.
Law of proximity
a Gestalt principle of organization holding that (other things being equal) objects or events that are near to one another (in space or time) are perceived as belonging together as a unit.
Law of similarity
The Gestalt principle that we tend to group similar objects together in our perceptions.
Law of good continuation
From Gestalt Psychology, it is the tendency for elements appearing to follow in the same direction (such as a straight line or a simple curve) to be grouped together.
Law of common fate
a Gestalt principle of organization holding that aspects of perceptual field that move or function in a similar manner will be perceived as a unit.
Phi phenomenon
an illusion of movement created when two or more adjacent lights blink on and off in quick succession.
Autokinetic Effect
The apparent movement of a stationary pinpoint of light displayed in a darkened room.
Stroop effect
delay in reaction time when color of words on a test and their meaning differ.
Automatic processes
states of consciousness that require little attention and do not interfere with other ongoing activities.
Controlled processes
When information processing involves conscious, alert awareness and mental effort focused on achieving a particular goal.
Cognitive dissonance
The theory that we act to reduce the discomfort we feel when two of our thoughts are inconsistent. For example, when our awareness of our attitudes and our actions clash, we can reduce the feeling by changing our attitudes.