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humanistic psychologists

historically significant perspective that emphasized the growth potential of healthy people; used personalized methods to study personality in hopes of fostering personal growth

naturalistic observation

observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation

placebo effect

experimental results caused by expectations alone; any effect on behavior 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

operational definition

a statement of the procedures used to define research variables.

purpose of a random sample

it fairly represents a population bc each member has an equal chance of inclusion

standard deviation

a computed measure of how much scores vary around the mean score

mood congruent memory

the tendency to recall experiences that are consistent with one's current good or bad mood

next-in-line effect

we focus on our own performance and often fail to process the last person's words

semantic encoding

the encoding of meaning, including the meaning of words

iconic memory

a momentary sensory memory of visual stimuli; a photographic or picture-image memory lasting no more than a few tenths of a second

implicit memory

retention independent of conscious recollection; cerebellum

explicit memory

memory of facts and experiences that one can consciously know and "declare"; hippocampus


branching structures that receive signals from other cells


fiber that carries signals away from the soma to other cells

myelin sheath

insulating material that encases some axons; speeds up neural transmission because the impulse is able to avoid all the gates in the myelin covered part of the axon so they can jump from one node of ranvier to the next

glial cells

nanny cells; protect & support neuron

action potential

neuron impulse; voltage spike that travels along axon; Na and K ions reside inside and outside neuron; positively charged when neuron is sent; Na goes out, K goes in

resting period

refractory period


during action potential, charge of the cell becomes temporarily more negative


neurons either fire or they don't; like a gun

excitatory/inhibitory signals

signals to the neuron's dendrites and cell body that either "push the neuron's accelerator" or "push the brake"


the junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or the cell body of the receiving neuron

synaptic gap

gap at synapse


electrically charged atoms


process through which neurotransmitters are reabsorbed by the axon terminals

what has to happen for the action potential to take place

threshold must be reached and excitatory messages/signals must out number the inhibitory messages

-70 mV

neurons' charge at resting potential

explain agonists & antagonists

molecules that mimic neurotransmitters either to excite (ago-)or inhibit (anta-)

explain reflexes (ex:knee jerk)

message(hand on stove)-->spinal cord-->(back to) hand (message doesn't have to go all the way to the brain)

explain neural networks

interconnected clusters of neurons in the CNS

sensory neurons (found in PNS) travel in which direction

to brain and spinal cord (motor neurons take messages back OUT)

long term potentiation

increase in neurons firing potential


chemical messengers released by a neuron over the synapse


neurotransmitter; muscle movement


neurotransmitters; pain or exercise


neurotransmitter; too little of them=seizures, tremors, insomnia


neurotransmitter; mood, hunger, sleep, arousal


neurotransmitter; movement, learning, attention, emotion

cause of multiple sclerosis

linked to degeneration of myelin sheath


brain, spinal cord


mostly just nerves; divided into somatic NS and autonomic NS

somatic NS

nerves to voluntary muscles, sensory receptors; divided into afferent (incoming) nerves, and efferent (outgoing) nerves

autonomic NS

nerves to heart, blood vessels, smooth muscles, glands; divided into sympathetic(arouses) and parasympathetic(calms down, conserves bodily resources)


Lashley; destroying a piece of the brain to learn about its function

PET scan

depicts level of activity of the brain areas by measuring the brains construction of GLUCOSE


monitors activity in the brain, not concerned with WHERE activity takes place (basically just a print out of brain waves)

hypothalamus FUNCTION

feeding, fighting, fleeing, fornicating; addictive drug cravings are linked to reward centers located in or near it

cerebellum FUNCTION

coordinates fine muscle movement, balance

medulla FUNCTION

regulates unconscious functions such as breathing and circulation

4 lobes FUNCTION

frontal: primary motor cortex, holds personality and mood, damage to it=no problem solving
parietal: primary somatosensory cortex; receives info for touch and body position
temporal: primary auditory cortex, receives info from opposite ear
occipital: primary visual cortex

association areas

3/4 of cerebral cortex; most extensive regions, higher functions


relay center for cortex; distributes incoming sensory signals, except smell

reticular formation


names for the HINDBRAIN

reptillian brain, lower brain

brain stem parts

RAS: alertness
PONS: coordinates movements
MEDULLA: breathing, circulation
THALAMUS: directs messages
CEREBELLUM: little brain, fine muscle movements, balance

teen brain: last part to develop?

frontal lobe; prefrontal cortex (planning, decision making)

RIGHT brain

controls left side of body, spacial relations, perception, fantasy, art, music, nonverbal thoughts, think in pictures, shapes, forms, figurative language, left visual field; thinks in images, WHOLE

LEFT brain

controls right side of body, speech, primary language center, logical thinking, calculations, math, literal language, right visual field; thinks in sentences, words

when reading aloud..STEPS

thalamus, visual cortex, angular gyrus, Wernicke's area, Broca's area, motor cortex

endocrine system

the body's chemical communication system; transmits info through chemical messengers called HORMONES; endocrine glands secrete hormones directly into blood stream

pituitary gland FUNCTION

mostly growth. also called the master gland; bc it signals other glands to secrete their hormones

in moments of danger, adrenal glands release..

epinephrine and nonepinephrine

primary sex glands of males


primary sex glands of females



general male sex hormone

thyroid gland

related to lethargic feelings and weight gain

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