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The view that knowledge comes from experience via the senses and science flourished through observation and experiment


Early psych that used introspection to explore the elemental structure of the human mind


Focuses on how mental and behavioral processes function, how they enable the organism to adopt survive and flourish


Emphasizes the growth potential of healthy people, uses personalized methods to study personality in hopes of fostering personal growth


Explanation using an integrated set of principals that organizes observations and predicts behaviors or events


Testable prediction, often implied by a theory

False Consensus Effect

Tendency to overestimate the extent to which others share our beliefs and behaviors

Independent Variable

The experimental factor that is manipulated

Dependent Variable

Not manipulatd but may change in response to manipulations of independent


A neurotransmitter that enables learning and memory and also triggers muscle contraction


Brain and spinal cord


Sensory and motor neurons that connect CNS to rest of body

Sensory Neurons

Carry incoming info from sense receptors to CNS

Motor Neurons

Carry outgoing info from CNS to muscles and glands


CNS neurons that internally communiate and intervene b/t sensory inputs and motor outputs


Controls body's skeletal muscles, part of PNS


controls glands and muscles, part of PNs


Arouses body


Clams body


responsible for autonomic survival functions


base of brainstem, controls heart and breathing


Brain's sensory switchboard, located on top of brainstem, processes sensory input and coordinates movement output and balance

Glial Cells

Cells in nervous system that support nourish and protect neurons

Frontal Lobe

Speaking, muscle movements, making plans and judgments lobe

Parietal Lobe

Receives sensory input for touch and body position lobe

Occipital Lobe

Visual area lobe

Temporal Lobe

Auditory areas lobe

Motor Cortex

At the rear of frontal lobe controls voluntary mov'ts

Sensory Cortex

Area at front of parietal lobes that registers and processes body touch and mov't sensations


Impairment of languauge

Broca's Area

Controls language expression, frontal lobe, left hemisphere

Wernicke's Area

controls language reception, involved in language comprehension and expression, left temporal lobe


Concept or framework that organizes info


Interpreting ones new experiences in terms of existing schemas


adapting ones current schemas to incorporate new info

Sensorimotor Stage

object permance

preoperational stage

language, egocentrism

concrete operation stage

conservation, logically thinking

Formal operation

abstract concepts

Bottom-up processing

analysis begins withsensory receptors and works up to brain

Top-Down processing

info processing guided by higher level mental processes drawing on expectations and experiences

Absolute Threshold

Minimum stimulation needed to detect stimulus 50% of time

Difference Threshold

Minimum difference b/t two stimuli required for detection fifty perscent of time also JND

Weber's Law

To be pereived as different two different stimuli they must differ by a constant minimum precentage rather than a constant amount


black and white receptors, peripheral and night vision


color, daylight, fine detail receptors

Young-Helmholtz Trichromatic Theory

retina contain three diff color receptors, red, green, blue when stimulated in combo can produce any color

Opponent-Process Theory

Opposing retinal processes enable color vision, redgreen, yellowblue, whiteblack

Alpha Waves

Slow brain waves of a relaxed awake state

Delta Waves

Large, slow brain waves associated with deep sleep


Drugs that reduce neural activity and slow body funtions


Drugs that depress CNS activity reduce anxiety but impair memory and judgement


Depress neural activity and lesson pain and anxiety


Excite neural activity and speed up body functions

Associative Learning

Learning that certain events occur together


View that psych should be objective, it studies behavior w/o reference to mental processes

Operant Conditioning

Skinner's box, rewards and punishements

latent learning

learning that occurs but is not apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate it


Neural center, limbic system, helps process explicit memories for storage

Proactive Interference

Disruptive effect of prior learning on the recall of new info

Retroactive Interference

Disruptive effect of new learning on recall of old info

Telegraphic Speech

when a child speaks like a telegram using nouns verbs and omitting auxiliary words

Aptitude Test

Test designed to predict a person's future performence, the capacity to learn

Achievement Test

test designed to asses what a person has learned

Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale WAIS

most widely used intelligence test, verbal and performance


extent to which a test meausres or predicts what it is supposed to

Drive Reduction Theory

The idea that a phsyiological need creates an aroused tension state that motivates an organism to satisfy a need

Set Point

point at which someones weight is supposedly set

Sexual Response Cycle excitement plateau orgasm and resolution

four stages of sexual responding described by masters and johnson

James Lang Theory

Our experience of emotion is our awareness of our physiological responses to emotion arousing stimulit

Cannon Bard Theory

An emotion arousing stimulus simultaneously triggers pysiological responses and subjective experience of emotion

Two Factor Theory

To experience emotion one must be physically aroused and cognitively lable the arousal

Feel good do good phenomemon

tendency to be helpful when already in a good mood

Relative Deprivation

Perception that one is worse off relative to those with whom one compares oneself

General Adaption Syndrome alarm, resistance, exhaustion

Concept of the body's adaptive response to stress in three stages

Psychophysiological illness

stress related physical illnesses


unconscious psychic energy strives to satisfy basic drives


conscious part of personality, mediates among id superego and reality


represents internalized ideals and provides standards for judement

Oral, anal, phallic, latency, genital

Psychosexual stages

reaction formation

psychoanalytical defense mechanism when the ego unconsciously switches unacceptable impuleses into the opposites


people disguise their own threatening impulses by attrivuting them to others


offers self justifying explanations in place of the real more thretening reasons for ones actions


shifts sexual or agressive impulses toward a more acceptable object or person

Collective unconscious

Carl Jung, shared resevoir of memory traces from species history

Thematic Apperception Test TAT

stories, pictures, personality projective test

Spotlight Effect

overestimating otheres noticing of our apperance performance and blunders

self serving bias

readiness to perceive oneself favorablly

Normative social influence

influence resulting from a person's desire to gain approval or avoid disapproval

informational social influence

influence resulting from ones willingness to accept others opinions about reality

social facilitation

stronger responses on simple or well learned tasks in presence of others


loss of self awareness and self restraing in group situation

group polarization

enhancement of groups prevailing inclinations through discussion

group think

mode of thinking that occurs when the desire for harmony overrides realiztic alternatives

scapegoat theory

theory that prejudice offers an outlet for anger by providing someone to blame

frustration-agression principal

principal that frustration creates anger which can generate agression

mere exposure effect

the phenomenon that repeated exposure to novel stimuli increases linking of them


unselfish regard for the welfare of others

social exchange theory

our social behavior is an exchange process, aim is to max benefits and minimize costs

reciprocity norm

expectation that ppl will help not hurt those who have helped them

social responsibiltity norm

expectation that ppl will help those dependant upon them

superordinate goals

shared gals that override difference among ppl and require there cooperation

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