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AP Psych Midterms

Midterm study guide vocabulary.

Tendency to think we would have foreseen future events. Hindsight bias
Tendency to overestimate abilities or future success (exceptions: about to be judged, depression) Overconfidence
Experimental factor that is manipulated and being studied Independent variable
Experimental factor that is being measured; changes dependent variable
Selected segment of the population under study Random sample
Process in which participants are selected randomly from the larger group such that the sample will be representative Random assignment
Perceived correlation that doesn't really exist Illusory correlation
Testable prediction, often implied by a theory Hypothesis
Tendency to overestimate the extent to which others share our beliefs/behaviors False-consensus effect
Condition of an experiment that contrasts with the experimental condition and serves as a comparison Control treatment
Statement of the procedures used to define research variables Operational definition
One person is studied in depth Case study
Observing/recording behavior in natural situations without trying to manipulate/control it naturalistic observation
Statistical measure of the extent to which two factors vary together, and thus of how well each factor predicts the other Correlation
Any effect on behavior caused by a placebo Placebo effect
Questionnaire/interview designed to investigate the opinions, behaviors, or characteristics of a particular group Survey
Both participants and staff are unaware of placebo vs. drug Double blind
Either the participants or staff are unaware of placebo vs. drug Single blind
Computed measure of how much scores vary around mean Standard deviation
Average Mean
Middle Median
Most frequent Mode
Graphs points on a coordinate grid to look for a correlation Scatterplot
Symmetrical distribution across a bell curve Normal distribution
Negatively skewed (hump towards right side) vs. positively skewed (hump towards left side) Skewed distribution
Gap between highest and lowest data points Range
Chemical messengers that traverse synaptic gaps Neurotransmitters
Chemical messengers produced in one tissue that affect another Hormones
Bushy, branching extensions of a neuron that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body Dendrites
Natural, opiate-like transmitters linked to pain control & pleasure Endorphins
Specialized cell transmitting nerve impulses; a nerve cell Neurons
Connective tissue of the nervous system, consisting of several different types of cells associated with neurons Glial cells
Glands that secrete hormones or other products into the blood Endocrine glands
Extension of a neuron, ending in branching terminal fibers through which messages are sent to neurons/muscles/glands Axons
Junction between two nerve cells over which neurotransmitters travel Synapse
Reabsorption of a neurotransmitter by transport of a pre-synaptic neuron after it has performed its function of transmitting a neural impulse Reuptake
Level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse Threshold
Neural impulse; a brief electrical charge traveling down an axon Action potential
Layer of fatty tissue segmentally encasing the fibers of many neurons; speeds up transmission Myelin sheath
Soma; contains all of the cell body structures of normal cells Cell Body
Stores various transmitters that are released at the synapse Synaptic vesicle
Period of time during which an organ or cell is incapable of repeating an action potential Refractory period
Tissue destruction Lesion
Transmits impulses between other neurons, especially as a reflex Interneuron
Neurons that carry incoming information from senses to the Central Nervous System Affector neuron (sensory)
Neurons that carry outgoing information from the Central Nervous System to muscles Effector neuron (motor)
Positron emitting tomography; brain performs specific task and the image shows areas of brain ACTIVITY PET scan
Magnetic resonance imaging; measures response of atomic nuclei to high-frequency radio waves in a magnetic field; shows brain STRUCTURE MRI
Areas of cerebral cortex that aren't involved in primary motor or sensory functions; higher mental functioning Association areas
Change of a cell's membrane potential to positive until reaching threshold (resulting in an action potential) Depolarization
Return of membrane potential to negative after depolarization Repolarization
Simple, automatic, inborn response to a sensory stimulus Reflex
If the signal hits threshold, the signal is sent at the same strength regardless of the initial stimulus All-or-none
Involved in muscle action, learning, and memory; those with Alzheimer's have reduced amounts of this neurotransmitter Acetylcholine
Influences movement, learning, attention, and emotion; excessive amounts of this neurotransmitter is linked with schizophrenia Dopamine
Affects mood, hunger, sleep, and arousal; antidepressant drugs raise levels of this neurotransmitter Serotonin
This neurotransmitter helps control alertness and arousal Norepinephrine
Serves inhibitory functions and is sometimes implicated in eating and sleep disorders GABA
Substance that mimics or has a similar effect to a neurotransmitter Agonist
Substance that blocks the effect of a neurotransmitter Antagonist
Paralyzes the motor nerves by blocking dopamine/acetylcholine Curare
Loss of dopamine causing tremors, muscular rigidity, and slow, imprecise movement Parkinson's disease
Brain disorder characterized by deterioration of memory, reasoning, language, and finally, physical functioning Alzheimer's disease
Characterized by disorganized/delusional thinking, disturbed perceptions, and inappropriate emotions/actions Schizophrenia
Lowered serotonin leading to a state of low mood Depression
Part of peripheral nervous system that controls the glands and the muscles of internal organs Autonomic nervous system
Part of peripheral nervous system that controls skeletal muscles Somatic nervous system
Division of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body, conserving its energy; homeostasis Parasympathetic nervous system
Division of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations Sympathetic nervous system
Brain and spinal cord Central Nervous System
Sensory and motor neurons that connect the CNS to the body Peripheral Nervous System
Associated with emotions such as fear and aggression and drives desires such ass those for food and sex; includes hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus Limbic system
Two neural clusters in the limbic system that influence fear and aggression Amygdala
Neural structure below the thalamus; the reward center, directs many maintenance activities, helps govern endocrine, regulates hunger, thirst, body temperature, sex, and flight-or-flight, triggers the pituitary gland Hypothalamus
"Little brain" attached to the rear of the brainstem; helps coordinate voluntary movement and balance Cerebellum
Sensory switchboard; directs messages to the sensory receiving areas in the cortex and transmits replies to cerebellum/medulla Thalamus
Nerve network in brainstem; helps control arousal Reticular formation
Base of the brainstem; controls heartbeat and breathing Medulla
Involved in speaking, muscle movements, planning/judgement Frontal Lobe
Includes the sensory cortex and the angular gyrus Parietal Lobe
Includes the auditory areas and Wernicke's area Temporal Lobe
Includes the visual areas Occipital Lobe
Registers and processes body sensations Sensory cortex
Area at rear of the frontal lobes; controls voluntary movements Motor cortex
Area of the left temporal lobe involved in language comprehension Wernicke's area
Area of the left frontal lobe that allows for speech Broca's area
Large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carrying messages between them Corpus callosum
Neural center in the limbic system that PROCESSES explicit memories for storage Hippocampus
Impairment of language, usually caused by left hemisphere damage either to Broca's area or Wernicke's area Aphasia
Brain's capacity for modification Plasticity
Tendency for observers to underestimate the impact of the situation and to overestimate the impact of personal disposition Fundamental attribution error
Tendency for people who agree to a small request to comply later with a larger one Foot-in-the-door phenomenon
Having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes as relating to behavioral decisions and causing attitudes to change Cognitive dissonance
Central (person ponders the content and logic of message) vs. peripheral (individual is encouraged not to look at the content of the message, but at the source; knowledge of source, number of arguments, stimuli, scarcity) Central vs. peripheral routes to persuasion
Decision must be made between two attractive choices Approach-approach conflict
Decision must be made between two unattractive choices Avoidance-avoidance conflict
Decision must be made about whether or not to pursue a single goal that has both attractive and unattractive aspects Approach-avoidance conflict
Conformity influenced by social norms Normative social influence
Conformity influenced by other's opinions about reality Informational social influence
Improved performance of tasks in the presence of others Social facilitation
Tendency for people in a group to exert less effort when trying to attain a common goal Social loafing
Loss of self-awareness/self-restraint occurring in group situations that foster arousal/anonymity Deindividuation
Enhancement of a group's prevailing attitudes Group polarization
Desire for harmony in a decision-making group overrides a realistic appraisal of alternatives groupthink
Generalized belief about a group of people stereotype
"Us" - people with whom one shares a common identity ingroup
Prejudice provides an outlet for ager by providing a scapegoat Scapegoat theory
Tendency of people to believe the world is just Just-world phenomenon
Frustration creates anger, then aggression Frustration-aggression principle
Perceived incompatibility of actions, goals, ideas conflict
Repeated exposure to novel stimuli increases liking of them Mere exposure effect
Theory that altruism does not exist; helpful behavior occurs when the benefits outweigh the costs Social exchange theory
Graduated and Reciprocated Initiatives in Tension-Reduction; conflicting parties grant small conciliatory acts that gradually increase until peace is achieved GRIT
Overall goal for the betterment of the group Superordinate goals
Biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes Genes
Threadlike structures of DNA molecules that contain genes Chromosomes
Complex molecule containing the genetic information that makes up the chromosomes DNA
Forms the basic structural unit of nucleic acids such as DNA Nucleotide
We learn social behavior by observing and imitating Social learning theory
Characteristics by which people define male and female gender
Acquisition of a traditional masculine or feminine role gender-typing
Set of expected behaviors for males and for females Gender role
Study of the evolution of behavior and the mind Evolutionary psychology
Person's characteristic emotional reactivity and intensity Temperament
Understood rule for accepted and expected behavior Cultural norms
Twins who develop from separate eggs; share fetal environment Fraternal twins
Twins who develop from a single fertilized egg Identical twins
Studies which attempt to tease apart genetic and environmental components of a behavior or disorder by comparing the outcomes of twins ("nature" and "nurture") Adoption studies
Those trait variations contributing to reproduction and survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations Natural Selection
Change in an organism's behavior due to experience Learning
Promising a reward for doing what one already likes to do Overjustification effect
Learning that occurs but is not apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate it Latent learning
Tendency to respond to any stimuli similar to the conditioned stimulus Generalization
Reinforcers guide behavior closer to a desired goal Shaping
Involuntary learning, determined by what precedes it Classical conditioning
Behavior is strengthened if followed by reinforcement or diminished if followed by punishment Operant conditioning
Learning by observing others Observational learning
Innately reinforcing stimulus (food) vs. symbolically reinforcing stimulus (money) Primary vs. Secondary reinforcers
Initial learning of the stimulus-response relationship Acquisition
Diminished response to the conditioned stimulus when it is no longer coupled with the unconditioned stimulus Extinction
Reappearance of an extinguished response after a rest Spontaneous recovery
Ability to distinguish between conditioned stimulus and similar stimuli Discrimination
An event that decreases the behavior that it follows Punishment
Fixed = specific time/interval; variable = unspecified Fixed vs. variable reinforcers
Ratio = number of responses; interval = time elapsed Ratio vs. interval reinforcers
Stimulus that unconditionally triggers a response unconditioned stimulus
Originally irrelevant stimulus that comes to trigger a response conditioned stimulus
Naturally occurring response to a unconditioned stimulus unconditioned response
Learned response to a previously neutral conditioned stimulus conditioned response
Reinforcing the desired response every time it occurs Continuous reinforcement
Mental representation of the layout of one's environment Cognitive map
Mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, and remembering Cognition
Developing human from about 2 weeks through the 2nd month Embryo
Fertilized egg before developing into an embryo Zygote
Developing human from 9 weeks to birth Fetus
Organ in the uterus of pregnant women, nourishing and maintaining the fetus through the umbilical cord Placenta
Agents that can reach the embryo or fetus during prenatal development and cause harm (ex. chemicals and viruses) Teratogens
Physical/cognitive abnormalities in children caused by a pregnant woman's heavy drinking Fetal alcohol syndrome
Baby's tendency to search for a nipple Rooting reflex
Properties such as mass, volume, and number remain the same despite changes in the forms of objects conservation
Emotional tie with another person attachment
Certain animals forming attachments during a critical period Imprinting
Adapting one's current schema's to incorporate new information Accommodation
Interpreting one's new experience in terms of existing schemas Assimilation
Concept/framework that organizes and interprets information Schema
Ability to reason speedily and abstractly; decreases with age Fluid intelligence
Accumulated knowledge and verbal skills; increases with age Crystallized intelligence
Awareness that things continue to exist when not perceived Object permanence
Fear of strangers that infants commonly display (8 months) Stranger anxiety
Inability of preoperational children to take another's point of view Egocentrism
Infants know the world mostly in terms of sensory impressions and motor activities (birth-2 years) Sensorimotor stage
Child learns to use language but does not yet comprehend the mental operations of concrete logic (2-7 years) Preoperational stage
Children gain mental operations that enable them to think logically about concrete events (7-11 years) Concrete operational stage
People begin to think logically about abstract concepts (>12 years) Formal operational stage
Kohlberg's theory; before age 9, children obey rules to avoid punishment or gain rewards Preconventional
Kohlberg's theory. adolescents care for others and uphold laws and social rules simply because they are laws and rules; maintain social order Conventional
Kohlberg's theory; affirms people's agreed-upon rights; follows what one personally perceives as basic ethical principles Postconventional
Whorf's hypothesis that language determines the way we think Linguistic relativity
Optimal period shortly after birth when an organism's exposure to certain stimuli or experiences produces proper development Critical period
Rules for combining words into grammatically sensible phrases Syntax
Set of rules by which we derive meaning from words Semantics
In a language, the smallest distinctive sound unit Phoneme
In a language, the smallest unit that carries meaning Morpheme
Secure = less extreme reactions to stress, more willing to try new things, be better problem solvers, form better relationships. Insecure = refuse to interact with others, avoid others, exaggerate distress, show anger, anxiety, or fear Secure vs. Insecure attachment
Parenting style that is demanding but not responsive; strict Authoritarian
Parenting style that is responsive but not demanding; lenient Permissive
Parenting style that is demanding and responsive; balanced and expects maturity Authoritative
People's ideas about their own and others' mental states Theory of mind
Predicts how and when we detect the presence of a faint stimulus amid background stimulation Signal detection theory
One sense may influence another (ex. smell influences taste) Sensory interaction
Below one's absolute threshold for conscious awareness Subliminal
Sensory receptors and nervous system receive and represent stimulus energies from our environment sensation
Organizing and interpreting sensory information, enabling us to recognize meaningful objects and events Perception
Minimum difference a person can detect between two stimuli Difference threshold
Minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50% of the time Absolute threshold
To perceive their difference, two stimuli must differ by a constant minimum percentage Weber's law
Conversion of one form of energy into another Transduction
Diminished sensitivity as a consequence of constant stimulation Sensory adaptation
Nerve that carries neural impulses from the eye to the brain Optic nerve
In hearing, the theory that the rate of nerve impulses traveling up the auditory nerve matches the frequency of a tone Frequency theory
Our perception of sound depends on where each component frequency produces vibrations along the basilar membrane Place theory
Visual system interprets information about color by processing signals from cones and rods in an antagonistic manner Opponent-process theory
The release of substance P in the spinal cord produces the sensation of pain gate control theory
Processing many things at once Parallel processing
Adjustable opening in the center of the eye through which light enters Pupil
Transparent structure behind the pupil that changes shape to focus images on the retina Lens
Light-sensitive inner surface of the eye, containing the receptor rods and cones plus layers of neurons that begin the processing of visual information Retina
Central focal point in the retina, around which cones cluster Fovea
Point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye; no receptor cells Blind spot
Retinal receptors that detect black, white, and gray; necessary for peripheral and twilight vision, when cones don't respond Rods
Receptor cells concentrated near the center of the retina; function in daylight/well-lit conditions; fine detail and color Cones
Transmit signals from photoreceptors to ganglion cells Bipolar cells
Transmit visual information from the retina to the brain Ganglion cells
Ring of muscle tissue that forms the colored portion of the eye around the pupil and controls the size of the pupil opening Iris
Smell Olfactory
Taste Gustatory
System for sensing the position and movement of body parts Kinesthesis
Sense of body movement and position Vestibular sense
Sensory neurons located in muscles, joints, and the inner ear; part of kinesthesis Proprioceptors
Canals in the inner ear that control the vestibular sense Semicircular canals
Coiled, bony, fluid-filled tube in the inner ear through which sound waves trigger nerve impulses Cochlea
Tiny cells located on the basilar membrane Hair cells
Three bones in the middle ear, collectively called ossicles; help to amplify sound waves Hammer, anvil, and stirrup
membrane of the middle ear that vibrates in response to sound waves (aka tympanic membrane) ear drum
Part of the outer ear; focuses sound waves to middle ear Pinna
Impression of a vivid sensation retained after the stimulus has ceased Afterimage
Stimulus neurons in the spinal cord which send messages of pain via the thalamus to the cortex Substance P
Membrane at the base of the cochlea that vibrates in certain frequencies oval window
Membrane inside the cochlea covered in hair cells Basilar membrane
Capacity for the process of reacting to certain stimuli selectively when several occur simultaneously Selective attention
Slight difference in lateral separation between two objects as seen by the left eye and the right eye Retinal disparity
Tendency to perceive the size of a familiar object despite differences in distance (and consequent differences in the size of the patter projected on the retina of the eye) Size constancy
Blinking lights in succession create the perception of movement Phi phenomenon
Monocular cue; if one object partially blocks the view of another, we perceive it as closer Interposition
Tendency for vision to dominate the other senses Visual capture
perception of motion from slightly varying images Stroboscopic movement
Binocular cue; extent to which the eyes converge inward when looking at an object Convergence
Organized whole perceived as more than the sum of its parts Gestalt
Monocular cue; gradual change from course, distinct texture to fine, indistinct textures signals increasing distance Texture gradient
Ability to see objects in 3D although the images that strike our retina are 2D; allows us to judge distance Depth perception
Monocular cue; parallel lines seem to converge with distance Linear perspective
Monocular cue; objects higher in our field of vision are perceived as farther away Relative height
Monocular cue; light from distant objects passes through more atmosphere so they are perceived as hazy and farther away Relative clarity
Mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another; determined by our schemas and experiences Perceptual set
Influence of environmental factors on perception of a stimulus Context effect
Created by: bsmithabc
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