140 terms

Psychology Test #1

Applied Psychology
The branch of psychology concerned with everyday, practical problems.
Refers to the mental processes involved in acquiring knowledge.
Evolutionary Psychology
Examines behavioral processes in terms of their adaptive value for members of a species over the course of many generations.
Positive Psychology
This uses theory and research to better understand the positive, adaptive, creative, and fulfilling aspects of human existence.
The science that studies behavior and the physiological and cognitive processes that underlie behavior, and it is the profession that applies the accumulated knowledge of this science to practical problems.
The premise that knowledge should be acquired through observation.
This is a system of interrelated ideas used to explain a set of observations.
This refers to the widely shared customs, beliefs, values, norms, institutions, and other products of a community that are transmitted socially across generations.
The ability to use that characteristics and format of a cognitive test to maximize one's score.
A tentative statement about the relationship between two or more variables.
Any measurable conditions, events, characteristics, or behaviors that are controlled or observed in a study.
Operational Definition
This describes the actions or operations that will be used to measure or control a variable.
Also known as subjects, these are the persons or animals whose behavior is systematically observed in a study.
Data Collection Techniques
These are procedures for making empirical observations and measurements.
A periodical that publishes technical and scholarly material, usually in a narrowly defined area of inquiry.
Research Methods
These consist of differing approaches to the observation, measurement, manipulation, and control of variables in empirical studies.
Independent Variable
This is a condition or event that an experimenter varies in order to see its impact on another variable.
Dependent Variable
This is that variable that is thought to be affected by manipulation of the independent variable.
Experimental Group
This consists of the subjects who receive some special treatment in regard to the independent variable.
Control Group
This consists of similar subjects who do not receive the special treatment given to the experimental group.
This is a research method in which the investigator manipulates a variable under carefully controlled conditions and observes whether any changes occur in a second variable as a result.
Extraneous Variables
Any variables other than the independent variable that seem likely to influence the dependent variable in a specific study.
Confounding of Variables
This occurs when two variables are linked in a way that makes it difficult to sort out their specific effects.
Random Assignment
This happens when all subjects have an equal chance of being assigned to any group or condition in the study.
Correlation Coefficient
This is a numerical index of the degree of relationship between two variables.
This exists when two variables are related to each other.
Naturalistic Observation
In this, a researcher engages in careful observation of behavior without intervening directly with the subjects.
This occurs when a subject's behavior is altered by the presence of an observer.
Case Study
An in-depth investigation of an individual subject.
In this, researchers use questionnaires or interviews to gather information about specific aspects of participants' background and behavior.
The repetition of a study to see whether the earlier results are duplicated.
The collection of subjects selected for observation in an empirical study.
The much larger collection of animals of people (from which the sample is drawn) that researchers want to generalize about.
Sampling Bias
This exists when a sample is not representative of the population from which it was drawn.
Placebo Effects
These occur when participants' expectations lead them to experience some change even though they receive empty, fake, or ineffectual treatment.
Social Desirability Bias
This is a tendency to give socially approved answers to questions about oneself.
Experimenter Bias
This occurs when a researcher's expectations or preferences about the outcome of a study influence the results obtained.
Double-Blind Procedure
A research strategy in which neither subjects nor experimenters know which subjects are in the experimental or control groups.
Internet-Mediated Research
Refers to studies in which data collection occurs over the web.
Individual cells in the nervous system that receive, integrate and transmit information.
Also known as the cell body, this contains the cell nucleus and much of the chemical machinery common to most cells.
The parts of a neuron that are specialized to receive information.
A long, thin fiber that transmits signals away from the soma to other neurons or to muscles or glands.
Myelin Sheath
Insulating material that encases some axons.
Terminal Buttons
Small knobs that secrete chemicals called neurotransmitters.
A junction where information is transmitted from one neuron to another.
Cells found throughout the nervous system that provide various types of support for neurons.
Resting Potential
This is a neuron's stable, negative charge when the cell is inactive.
Action Potential
A very brief shift in a neuron's electrical charge that travels along an axon.
Absolute Refractory Period
The minimum length of time after an action potential during which another action potential cannot begin.
Synaptic Cleft
A microscopic gap between the terminal button of one neuron and the cell membrane of another neuron.
Chemicals that transmit information from one neuron to another.
Postsynaptic Potential (PSP)
A voltage change at a receptor site on a postsynaptic cell membrane.
A process in which neurotransmitters are sponged up from the synaptic cleft by the presynaptic membrane.
A chemical that mimics the action of a neurotransmitter.
A chemical that opposes the action of a neurotransmitter.
Internally produced chemicals that resemble opiates in structure and effects.
Peripheral Nervous System
Made up of all those nerves that lie outside the brain and spinal chord.
Bundles of neuron fibers (axons) that are routed together in the peripheral nervous system.
Somatic Nervous System
Made up of nerves that connect to voluntary skeletal muscles and to sensory receptors.
Afferent Nerve Fibers
Axons that carry information inward to the central nervous system from the periphery of the body.
Efferent Nerve Fibers
Axons that carry information outward from the central nervous system to the periphery of the body.
Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)
Made up of nerves that connect to the heart, blood vessels, smooth muscles, and glands.
Sympathetic Division
The branch of the autonomic nervous system that mobilizes the body's resources for emergencies.
Parasympathetic Division
The branch of the autonomic nervous system that generally conserves bodily resources.
Central Nervous System (CNS)
Consists of the brain and the spinal chord.
Destroying a piece of the brain.
Electrical Stimulation of the Brain (ESB)
Involves sending a weak electric current into a brain structure to stimulate (activate) it.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
A technique that permits scientists to temporarily enhance or depress activity in a specific area of the brain.
Includes the cerebellum and two structures found in the lower part of the brainstem: the medulla and the pons.
Meaning "little brain", this is a relatively large and deeply folded structure located adjacent to the back surface of the brainstem.
The segment of the brainstem that lies between the hindbrain and the forebrain.
The largest and most complex region of the brain, encompassing a variety of structures, including the thalamus, hypothalamus, limbic system, and cerebrum.
A structure in the forebrain through which all sensory information (except smell) must pass to get to the cerebral cortex.
A structure found near the base of the forebrain that is involved in the regulation of basic biological needs.
Limbic System
A loosely connected network of structures located roughly along the border between the cerebral cortex and deeper subcortical areas.
Cerebral Cortex
The convoluted outer layer of the cerebrum.
Cerebral Hemispheres
The right and left halves of the cerebrum.
Corpus Callosum
The major structure that connects the two cerebral hemispheres.
Mirror Neurons
Neurons that are activated by performing an action or by seeing another monkey or person perform the same action.
The formation of new neurons.
Split-Brain Surgery
The bundle of fibers that connects the cerebral hemispheres (the corpus callosum) is cut to reduce the severity of epileptic seizures.
Endocrine System
Consists of glands that secrete chemicals into the bloodstream that help control bodily functioning.
The chemical substances released by the endocrine glands.
Pituitary Gland
Releases a great variety of hormones that fan out within the body, stimulating actions in the other endocrine glands.
A male sex hormone produced by the testes; women secrete smaller amounts of testosterone from the adrenal cortex and ovary.
Threadlike strands of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) molecules that carry genetic information.
DNA segments that serve as the key functional units is hereditary transmission.
Polygenic Traits
Characteristics that are influenced by more than one pair of genes.
Family Studies
In these, researchers assess hereditary influence by examining blood relatives to see how much they resemble one another on a specific trait.
Twin Studies
In these, researchers assess hereditary influence by comparing the resemblance of identical twins and fraternal twins with respect to a trait.
Adoption Studies
Assess hereditary influence by examining the resemblance between adopted children and both their biological and their adoptive parents.
Refers to the reproductive success (number of descendants) of an individual organism relative to the average reproductive success in the population.
Natural Selection
Posits that heritable characteristics that provide a survival or reproductive advantage are more likely than alternative characteristics to be passed on to subsequent generations and thus they come to be "selected" over time.
An inherited characteristic that increased in a population (through natural selection) because it helped solve a problem of survival or reproduction during the time it emerged.
The stimulation of sense organs.
The selection, organization, and interpretation of sensory input.
A transparent eye structure that focuses the light rays falling on the retina.
When close objects are seen clearly but distant objects appear blurry.
When distant objects are seen clearly but close objects appear blurry.
The opening in the center of the iris that helps regulate the amount of light passing into the rear chamber of the eye.
The neural tissue lining in the inside back surface of the eye; it absorbs light, processes images, and sends visual information to the brain.
Specialized visual receptors that play a key role in daylight vision and color vision.
A tiny spot in the center of the retina that contains only cones; visual acuity is greatest at this spot.
Specialized visual receptors that play a key role in night vision and peripheral vision.
Dark Adaptation
The process in which the eyes become more sensitive to light in low illumination.
Light Adaptation
The process in which the eyes become less sensitive to light in high illumination.
Receptive Field of a Visual Cell
The retinal area that, when stimulated, affects the firing of that cell.
Optic Chiasm
That point at which the axons from the inside half of each eye cross over and then project to the opposite half of the brain.
Feature Detectors
Neurons that respond selectively to very specific features of more complex stimuli.
Subtractive Color Mixing
Works by removing some wavelengths of light, leaving less light than was originally there.
Additive Color Mixing
Works by superimposing lights, putting more light in the mixture than exists in any one light by itself.
Trichromatic Theory
States that the human eye has three types of receptors with differing sensitivities to different light wavelengths.
Color Blindness
Encompasses a variety of deficiencies in the ability to distinguish among colors.
Complementary Colors
Pairs of colors that produce gray tones when mixed together.
A visual image that persists after a stimulus is removed.
Opponent Process Theory
Holds that color perception depends on receptors that make antagonistic responses to three pairs of colors.
Reversible Figure
A drawing that is compatible with two different interpretations that can shift back and forth.
Perceptual Set
A readiness to perceive a stimulus in a particular way.
Inattentional Blindness
Involves the failure to see fully visible objects or events in a visual display because one's attention is focused elsewhere.
Feature Analysis
The process of detecting specific elements in visual input and assembling them into a more complex form.
Bottom-Up Processing
A progression from individual elements to the whole.
Top-Down Processing
A progression from the whole to the elements.
Phi Phenomenon
The illusion of movement created by presenting visual stimuli in rapid succession.
Perceptual Hypothesis
An inference about what form could be responsible for a pattern of sensory stimulation.
Depth Perception
Involves interpretation of visual cues that indicate how near or far away objects are.
Binocular Depth Cues
Clues about the distance based on the differing views of the two eyes.
Retinal Disparity
Refers to the fact that objects within 25 feet project images to slightly different locations on the right and left retinas, so the right and left eyes see slightly different views of the object.
Monocular Depth Cues
Clues about the distance based on the image in either eye alone.
Pictorial Depth Cues
Cues about the distance that can be given in a flat picture.
Perceptual Constancy
A tendency to experience a stable perception in the face of continually changing sensory input.
Visual Illusion
Involves an apparently inexplicable discrepancy between the appearance of a visual stimulus and its physical reality.
Impossible Figures
Objects that can be represented in two-dimensional pictures but cannot exist in three-dimensional space.
A fluid-filled, coiled tunnel that contains the receptors for hearing.
Basilar Membrane
This runs the length of the spiraled cochlea and holds the auditory receptors called hair cells.
Place Theory
States that perception of pitch corresponds to the vibration of different portions, or places, along the basilar membrane.
Frequency Theory
States that perception of pitch corresponds to the rate, or frequency, at which the entire basilar membrane vibrates.
Gustatory System
The sensory system for taste.
Sensory Adaptation
A gradual decline in sensitivity to prolonged stimulation.
Olfactory system
The sensory system for smell.