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bkx PSY101 T2, KT

PSY-101 Test #2 Key Terms

TermDefinition
Sensation the process by which our sensory receptors and nervous system receive and represent stimulus energies from our environment
Perception the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information, enabling us to recognize meaningful objects and events
Bottom-up processing analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works up to the brain’s integration of sensory information
Top-down processing information processing guided by higher-level mental processes, as when we construct perceptions drawing on our experience and expectations
Psychophysics the study of relationships between the physical characteristics of stimuli, such as their intensity, and our psychological experience of them
Absolute threshold the minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50 percent of the time
Signal detection theory a theory predicting how and when we detect the presence of a faint stimulus (signal) amid background stimulation (noise
Subliminal below one’s absolute threshold for conscious awareness
Priming the activation, often unconsciously, of certain associations, thus predisposing one’s perception, memory, or response
Difference threshold the minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50 percent of the time; we experience the difference threshold as a just noticeable difference
Weber’s law the principle that, to be perceived as different, two stimuli must differ by a constant minimum percentage (rather than a constant amount)
Sensory adaptation diminished sensitivity as a consequence of constant stimulation
Transduction conversion of one form of energy into another; in sensation, the transforming of stimulus energies, such as sights, sounds, and smells, into neural impulses the brain can interpret
Wavelength the distance from the peak of one light or sound wave to the peak of the next; electromagnetic wavelengths vary from the short blips of cosmic rays to the long pulses of radiotransmission
Intensity the amount of energy in a light or sound wave, which we perceive as brightness or loudness, as determined by the wave’s amplitude
Pupil the adjustable opening in the center of the eye through which light enters
Iris a ring of muscle tissue that forms the colored portion of the eye around the pupil and controls the size of the pupil opening
Lens the transparent structure behind the pupil that changes shape to help focus images on the retina
Retina the light-sensitive inner surface of the eye, containing the receptor rods and cones plus layers of neurons that begin the processing of visual information
Accommodation the process by which the eye’s lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the retina
Rods retinal receptors that detect black, white, and gray; necessary for peripheral and twilight vision, when cones don’t respond
Cones retinal receptor cells that are concentrated near the center of the retina and that function in daylight or in well-lit conditions; the cones detect fine detail and give rise to color sensations
Optic nerve the nerve that carries neural impulses form the eye to the brain
Blind spot the point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye, creating a “blind” spot because no receptor cells are located there
Fovea the central focus point in the retina, around which the eye’s cones cluster
Feature detectors nerve cells in the brain that respond to specific features of the stimulus, such as shape, angle, or movement
Parallel processing the processing of many aspects of a problem simultaneously; the brain’s natural mode of information processing for many functions, including vision; contrasts with the step-by-step (serial) processing of most computers and of conscious problem solving
Young-Helmholtz 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
Opponent-process theory the theory that opposing retinal processes (red-green, yellow-blue, white-black) enable color vision; for example, some cells are stimulated by green and inhibited by red, while others are stimulated by red and inhibited by green
Gestalt an organized whole; gestalt psychologists emphasized our tendency to integrate pieces of information into meaningful wholes
Figure-ground the organization of the visual field into objects (the figures) that stand out from their surroundings (the ground)
Grouping the perceptual tendency to organize stimuli into coherent groups
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
Visual cliff a laboratory device for testing depth perception in infants and young animals
Binocular cues depth cues, such as retinal disparity, that depend on the use of two eyes
Retinal disparity a binocular cue for perceiving depth
Monocular cues depth cues, such as interposition and linear perspective, available to either eye alone
Phi phenomenon an illusion of movement created when two or more adjacent lights blink on and off in quick succession
Perceptual constancy perceiving objects as unchanging (having consistent shapes, size, lightness, and color) even as illumination and retinal images
Color constancy perceiving familiar objects as having consistent color, even if changing illumination alters the wavelengths reflected by the object
Perceptual adaptation in vision ,the ability to adjust to an artificially displaced or even inverted visual field
Perceptual set a mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another
Learning a relatively permanent change in an organism’s behavior due to experience
Associative learning learning that certain events occur together; the events may be two stimuli (as in classical conditioning) or a response and its consequences (as in operant conditioning)
Classical conditioning a type of learning in which one learns to link two or more stimuli and anticipate events
Behaviorism the view that psychology should be an object science that studies behavior without reference to mental processes
Unconditioned response (UR) in classical conditioning, the unlearned, naturally occurring response to the unconditioned stimulus, such as salivation when food is in the mouth
Unconditioned stimulus (US) in classical conditioning, the learned response to a previously neutral (but now conditioned) stimulus
Conditioned response (CR) in classical conditioning, the learned response to a previously neutral (but now conditioned) stimulus
Conditioned stimulus (CS) in classical conditioning, an originally irrelevant stimulus that, after association with an unconditioned stimulus, comes to trigger a condition response
Acquisition in classical conditioning, the initial stage, when one links a neutral stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral stimulus begins triggering the conditioned response
Higher-order conditioning a procedure in which the conditioned stimulus is paired with a new neutral stimulus, creating a second (often weaker) conditioned stimulus
Extinction the diminishing of a conditioned response; occurs in classical conditioning when an unconditioned stimulus does not follow a conditioned stimulus; occurs in operant conditioning when a response is no longer reinforced
Spontaneous recovery the reappearance, after a pause, of an extinguished conditioned response
Generalization the tendency, once a response has been conditioned for stimuli similar to the conditioned stimulus to elicit similar responses
Discrimination in classical conditioning the learned ability to distinguish between a conditioned stimulus and stimuli that do not signal and unconditioned stimulus
Respondent behavior behavior that occurs as an automatic response to some stimulus
Operant conditioning a type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by a reinforcer or diminished if followed by a punisher
Operant behavior behavior that operates on the environment, producing consequences
Law of effect Thorndike’s principle that behaviors followed by favorable consequences become more likely, and that behaviors followed by unfavorable consequences become less likely
Operant chamber in operant conditioning research, a chamber (aka Skinner box) containing a bar or key that an animal can manipulate to obtain a food or water reinforcer; attached devices record the animal’s rate of bar-pressing or key-pecking
Shaping an operant conditioning procedure in which reinforcers guide behavior toward closer and closer approximations of the desired behavior
Reinforcer in operant conditioning, any event that strengthens the behavior it follows
Positive reinforcement increasing behaviors by presenting a positive stimuli, such as food; appositive reinforcer is any stimulus that, when presented after a response, strengthen the response
Negative reinforcement increasing behaviors by stopping or reducing negative stimuli, such as shock; a negative reinforcer is any stimulus that, when removed after a response, strengthens the response
Primary reinforcer an innately reinforcing stimulus, such as one that satisfies a biological need
Conditioned reinforcer a stimulus that gains its reinforcing power through its association with a primary reinforcer; also known as a secondary reinforcer
Continuous reinforcement reinforcing the desired response every time it occurs
Partial (intermittent) reinforcement reinforcing a response only part of the time; results in slower acquisition of a response but much greater resistance to extinction that does continuous reinforcement
Fixed-ratio schedule in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified number of responses
Variable-ratio schedule in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response after an unpredictable number of responses
Fixed-interval schedule in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified time as elapsed
Variable-interval schedule in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals
Punishment an event that decreases the behavior that it follows
Cognitive map a mental representation of the layout of one’s environment; for example, after exploring a maze, rats act as if they have learned a cognitive map of it
Latent learning learning that occurs buts is not apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate it
Intrinsic motivation a desire to perform a behavior effectively for its own sake
Extrinsic motivation a desire to perform a behavior to receive promised rewards or avoid threatened punishment
Observational learning learning by observing others
Modeling the process of observing and imitating a specific behavior
Mirror neurons frontal lobe neurons that fire when performing certain actions or when observing another doing so; the brain’s mirroring of another’s action may enable imitation and empathy
Prosocial behavior positive, constructive, helpful behavior; the opposite of antisocial behavior
Created by: bamkapowxo