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AP Psych Final

cerebral cortex wrinkled outer portion of brain; center for higher order brain functions such as thinking, planning, judgment; processes sensory information and directs movement
Aaron Beck pioneer in Cognitive Therapy. Suggested negative beliefs cause depression.
abnormal behavior Behavior characterized as atypical, socially unacceptable, distressing to the individual or others, maladaptive, and/or the result of distorted cognitions
abnormal psychology The field of psychology concerned with the assessment, treatment, and prevention of maladaptive behavior
Abraham Maslow humanistic psychology; hierarchy of needs-needs at a lower level dominate an individual's motivation as long as they are unsatisfied; self-actualization, transcendence
Absolute threshold The statistically determined minimum level of stimulation necessary to excite a perceptual system.
Accommodation According to Piaget, the process by which existing mental structures and behaviors are modified to adapt to new experiences
acetylcholine (ACh) neurotransmitter that causes contraction of skeletal muscles; lack of Ach linked with Alzheimer's disease;
achievement test test designed to determine a person's level of knowledge in a given subject area
action potential an electrical current sent down the axon of a neuron and is initiated by the rapid reversal of the polarization of the cell membrane
actor-observer Effect The tendency to attribute the behavior of others to dispositional causes but to attribute one's own behavior to situational causes.
adaptation a trait or inherited characteristic that has increased in a population because it solved a problem of survival or reproduction
adolescence The period of extending from the onset of puberty to early adulthood
adrenal glands endocrine glands located above the kidney and secretes epinephrine and norepinephrine, which prepare the body for "fight or flight"
afferent neuron nerve cell that sends messages to brain or spinal cord from other parts of the body; also called sensory neurons
ageism Prejudice against the elderly and the resulting discrimination against them
agonist chemical that mimics or facilitates the actions of a neurotransmitter
agoraphobia anxiety disorder characterized by marked fear and avoidance of being alone in a place from which escape might be difficult or embarrassing
Albert Bandura pioneer in observational learning (AKA social learning), stated that people profit from the mistakes/successes of others; Studies: Bobo Dolls-adults demonstrated 'appropriate' play with dolls, children mimicked play
Albert Ellis pioneer in Rational-Emotive Therapy (RET), focuses on altering client's patterns of irrational thinking to reduce maladaptive behavior and emotions
Alfred Adler neo-Freudian, psychodynamic; Contributions: inferiority complex, organ inferiority; Studies: birth order influences personality
Alfred Binet pioneer in intelligence (IQ) tests, designed a test to identify slow learners in need of help-not applicable in the U.S. because it was too culture-bound (French)
algorithm Procedure for solving a problem by implementing a set of rules over and over again until the solution is found.
all-or-none principle the law that the neuron either fires at 100% or not at all
altruism Behaviors that benefit other people and for which there is no discernable extrinsic reward, recognition, or appreciation.
Alzheimer's Disease A chronic and progressive disorder of the brain that is the most common cause of degeneration dementia
amnesia inability to remember information (typically, all events within a specific period), usually due to physiological trauma
amygdala part of the limbic system; influences emotions such as aggression, fear, and self-protective behaviors
anal stage Freud's second stage of personality development, from about age 2 to about age 3, during which children learn to control the immediate gratification they obtain through defecation and to become responsive to the demands of society.
androgynous Having both stereotypically male and stereotypically female characteristics
Anna O. Austrian-Jewish woman (real name: Bertha Pappenheim) diagnosed with hysteria, Her treatment is regarded as marking the beginning of psychoanalysis.
anorexia nervosa eating disorder most common in adolescent females characterized by weight less than 85% of normal, restricted eating, and unrealistic body image
antagonist chemical that opposes the actions of a neurotransmitter
anterograde amnesia loss of memory for events and experiences occurring from the time of an amnesia-causing event forward
antisocial personality disorder Personality disorder characterized by egocentricity, and behavior that is irresponsible and that violates the rights of other people, a lack of guilt feelings, an inability to understand other people and a lack of fear of punishment.
anxiety a generalized feeling of fear and apprehension that may be related to a particular situation or object and is often accompanied by increased physiological arousal.
aphasia inability to understand or use language
aptitude test a test designed to predict a person's future performance
archetypes In Jung's theory, the emotionally charged ideas and images that are rich in meaning and symbolism and exist within the collective unconscious.
Aristotle Ancient Greek philosopher. Wrote "Peri Psyches" ("About the Mind").
arousal Activation of the central nervous system, the autonomic nervous system, and the muscles and glands
assessment Process of evaluating individual differences among human beings by means of tests interviews, observations, and recordings of physiological.
assimilation According to Piaget, the process by which new ideas and experiences are absorbed and incorporated into existing mental structures and behaviors
association areas areas of the cerebral cortex that are not involved in primary motor or sensory functions, rather, they are involved in higher mental processes such as thinking, planning, and communicating
attachment The strong emotional tie that a person feels toward special other persons in his or her life
attitudes Patterns of feelings and beliefs about other people, ideas, or objects that are based on a person's past experiences, shape his or her future behavior, and are evaluative in nature.
attributions The process by which a person infers other people's motives or intensions by observing their behavior.
authoritarian parenting style of parenting marked by emotional coldness, imposing rules and expecting obedience
authoritative parenting parenting style characterized by emotional warmth, high standards for behavior, explanation and consistent enforcement of rules, and inclusion of children in decision making
autonomic nervous system a division of the peripheral nervous system that regulates involuntary functions; made up of sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems
aversive conditioning learning involving an unpleasant or harmful stimulus or reinforcer
aversive counterconditioning A counterconditioning technique in which an aversive or noxious stimulus is paired with a stimulus with the undesirable behavior.
avoidance-avoidance conflict Conflict that results from having to choose between two distasteful alternatives
axon a single long, fiber that carries outgoing messages to other neurons, muscles, or glands
axon terminal terminal button, synaptic knob; the structure at the end of an excellent terminal branch; houses the synaptic vesicles and neurotransmitters
B.F. Skinner behaviorism; pioneer in operant conditioning; behavior is based on an organism's reinforcement history; worked with pigeons
Babinski reflex Reflex in which a newborn fans out the toes when the sole of the foot is touched
behavior an observable action
behavior therapy A therapy that is based on the application of learning principles to human behavior and that focuses on changing overt behaviors rather than on understanding subjective feelings, unconscious processes, or motivations; also known as behavior modification.
behavioral genetics study of hereditary influences and how it influences behavior and thinking
behaviorism perspective that defines psychology as the study of behavior that is directly observable or through assessment instruments
binocular cues depth cues that are based on two eyes
biofeedback A process through which people receive information about the status of a physical system and use this feedback information to learn to control the activity of that system
bipolar disorder mood disorder originally know as manic-depressive disorder because it is characterized by behavior that vacillates between two extremes; mania and depression.
blind spot area on retina with no receptor cells (where optic nerve leaves the eye)
blood-brain barrier A mechanism that prevents certain molecule from entering the brain but allows others to cross
body language Communication of information through body positions and gestures.
bonding Special process of emotional attachment that may occur between parents and babies in the minutes and hours immediately after birth
bottom-up processing information processing that begins at the sensory receptors and works up to perception
brainstem top of the spinal column
brightness The lightness or darkness of reflected light, determined in large part by the light's intensity.
Broca's area located in left frontal lobe; controls production of speech
bulimia nervosa An eating disorder characterized by repeated episodes of binge eating (and a fear of not being able to stop eating) followed by purging
burnout State of emotional and physical exhaustion, lowered productivity, and feelings of isolation, often caused by work-related pressures
bystander effect Unwillingness to help exhibited by witnesses to an event, which increase when there are more observers.
Cannon-Bard theory of emotion conscious experience of emotion and physiological arousal occur at the same time
Carl Jung neo-Freudian, analytic psychology; archetypes; collective unconscious; libido is all types of energy, not just sexual; dream studies/interpretation
Carl Rogers humanistic psychology; Contributions: founded client-centered therapy, theory that emphasizes the unique quality of humans especially their freedom and potential for personal growth, unconditional positive regard,
Carol Gilligan moral development studies to follow up Kohlberg. She studied girls and women and found that they did not score as high on his six stage scale because they focused more on relationships rather than laws and principles. Their reasoning was merely different,
case study a highly detailed description of a single individual or a vent
catatonic schizophrenia Type of schizophrenia characterized either by displays of excited or violent motor activity or by stupor.
central nervous system the brain and spinal cord
cerebellum part of the brain that coordinates balance, movement, reflexes
Charles Darwin biologist; developed theory of evolution; transmutation of species, natural selection, evolution by common descent; "The Origin of Species" catalogs his voyage on The Beagle
Charles Spearman intelligence; found that specific mental talents were highly correlated, concluded that all cognitive abilities showed a common core which he labeled 'g' (general ability)
chromosome threadlike structure within the nucleus of cells that contain genes
chunks manageable and meaningful units of information organized in such a way that it can be easily encoded, stored, and retrieved
circadian rhythms Internally generated patterns of body functions, including hormonal signals, sleep, blood pressure, and temperature regulation, which have approximately a 24-hour cycle and occur even in the absence of normal cues about whether it is day or night
Clark Hull motivation theory, drive reduction; maintained that the goal of all motivated behavior is the reduction or alleviation of a drive state, mechanism through which reinforcement operates
classical conditioning Conditioning process in which an originally neutral stimulus, by repeated pairing with a stimulus that normally elicits a response, comes to elicit a similar or even identical response; aka Pavlovian conditioning
client-centered therapy An insight therapy, developed be Carl Rogers, that seeks to help people evaluate the world and themselves from their own perspective by providing them with a nondirective environment and unconditional positive regard; also known as person-centered therapy
clinical psychologist psychologist who treats people serious psychological problems or conducts research into the causes of behavior
cochlea snail-shaped fluid-filled tube in the inner ear involved in transduction
cognitive dissonance A state of mental discomfort arising from a discrepancy between two or more of a person's beliefs or between a person's beliefs and overt behavior.
cognitive psychology perspective that focuses on the mental processes involved in perception, learning, memory, and thinking
cognitive-appraisal theory of emotion our emotional experience depends on our interpretation of the situation we are in
cohort effect observed group differences based on the era when people were born and grew up, exposing them to particular experiences that may affect the results of cross-sectional studies
collective unconscious In Jung's theory, a shared storehouse of primitive ideas and images that reside in the unconscious and are inherited from one's ancestors.
color blindness The inability to perceive different hues.
computerized axial tomography (CT scan) creates a computerized image using x-rays passed through the brain
concept Mental category used to classify an event or object according to some distinguishing property or feature.
concordance rate The degree to which a condition or traits shared two or more individuals or groups
concrete operational stage Piaget's thrid stage of cognitive development (lasting from approximately age 6 or 7 to age 11 or 12), during which the child develops the ability to understand constant factors in the environment, rules, and higher-order symbolic systems
conditioned response Response elicited by a conditioned stimulus
conditioned stimulus Neutral stimulus that, through repeated association with an unconditioned stimulus, begins to elicit a conditioned response
conditioning Systematic procedure through which associations and responses to specific stimuli are learned
cones photoreceptors that detect color and fine detail in bright-light conditions; not present in peripheral vision
conflict The emotional state or condition that arises when a person must choose between two or more competing motives, behaviors, or impulses
conformity People's tendency to change attitudes or behaviors so that they are consistent with those of other people or with social norms.
confounding variable anything that causes a difference between the IV and the DV other than the independent variable
consciousness The general state of being aware of and responsive to events in the environment, as well as one's own mental processes; also, Freud's level of mental life that consists of those experiences that we are aware of at any given time.
conservation Ability to recognize that objects can e transformed in some way, visually or phycially, yet still be the same in number, weight, substance, or volume
control group subjects and not exposed to a changing variable in an experiment
conventional level of moral development morality based on fitting in to the norms of society
convergent thinking In problem solving, the process of narrowing down choices and alternatives to arrive at a suitable answer.
convolutions the folds in the cerebral cortex that increase the surface area of the brain
coping Process by which a person takes some action to manage, master, tolerate, or reduce environmental or internal demands that cause or might cause stress and that tax the individual's inner resources
cornea transparent covering of the eye
corpus callosum large band of white neural fibers that connects to to brain hemispheres and carries messages between them; myelinated; involved in intelligence, consciousness, and self-awareness; does it reach full maturity until 20s
correlation coefficient a number that expresses the degree and direction of the relationship between 2 variables, ranging from -1 to +1
correlational research establish the relationship between two variables
counseling psychologist psychologist who treats people with adjustment problems
counterconditioning Process of reconditioning in which a person is taught a new, more adaptive response to a familiar stimulus.
creativity A feature of thought and problem solving that includes the tendency to generate or recognize ideas considered to be high-quality, original, novel, and appropriate.
critical period The time in to development of an organism when it is especially sensitive to certain environmental influences; outside of that period the same influences will have far less effect
cross-sectional studies A type of research design that compares individuals of different ages to determine how they differ
cross-sectional study A type of research design that compares individuals of different ages to determine how they differ on an important dimension
crystallized intelligence learned knowledge and skills such as vocabulary, which tends to increase with age
Daniel Goleman emotional intelligence
dark adaptation The increase in sensitivity to light that occurs when the illumination level changes from high to low, causing chemicals in the rods and cones to regenerate and return to their inactive state.
Darley & Latane social psychology; bystander apathy, diffusion of responsibility
David Rosenhan did study in which healthy patients were admitted to psychiatric hospitals and diagnoses with schizophrenia; showed that once you are diagnosed with a disorder, the label, even when behavior indicates otherwise, is hard to overcome in a mental health sett
David Weschler established an intelligence test especially for adults (WAIS); also WISC and WPPSI
debriefing Informing participants about the true nature of an experiment after its completion
decay loss of information from memory as a result of disuse and the passage of time
decision making Assessing and choosing among alternatives.
declarative memory memory for specific information
defense mechanism An unconscious way of reducing anxiety by distorting perceptions of reality.
deindividuation The process by which individuals lose their self-awareness and distinctive personality in the context of a group, which may lead them to engage in antinormative behavior.
delusions False beliefs that are inconsistent with reality but are held in spite of evidence that disproves them.
demand characteristics Elements of an experimental situation that might cause a participant to perceive the situation in a certain way or become aware of the purpose of the study and thus bias the participant to behave in a certain way, and in so doing, distort results.
dementia Impairment of mental functioning and global cognitive abilities in otherwise alert individuals, causing memory loss and related symptoms and typically having a progressive nature
dendrites branching extensions of neuron that receives messages from neighboring neurons
denial Defense mechanism by which people refuse to accept reality.
dependence The situation that occurs when the drug becomes part of the body's functioning and produces withdrawal symptoms when the drug is discontinued
dependent variable the variable in a controlled experiment that is expected to change due to the manipulation of the independent variable
depressants (AKA sedative-hypnotics) Any of a class of drugs that relax and calm a user and, in higher doses, induce sleep; also known as a depressant
depressive disorders general category of mood disorders in which people show extreme and persistent sadness, despair, and loss of interest in life's usual activities.
descriptive statistics general set of procedures used to summarize, condense, and describe sets of data
descriptive Studies A type of research method that allows researchers to measure variables so that they can develop a description of a situation or phenomenon
developmental psychologist studies psychological development across the lifespan
developmental psychology The study of the lifelong, often age-related, processes of change in the physical, cognitive, moral, emotional, and social domains of functioning; such changes are rooted in biological mechanisms that are genetically controlled, as well as in social inter
deviation IQ A standard IQ test score whose mean and standard deviation remain constant for all ages
dichromats People who can distinguish only two of the three basic colors.
difference threshold minimum difference between any two stimuli that person can detect 50% of the time
discrimination Behavior targeted at individuals or groups and intended to hold them apart and treat them differently.
disorganized schizophrenia type of schizophrenia characterized by severely disturbed thought processes, frequent incoherence, disorganized behavior, and inappropriate affect.
displacement Defense mechanism by which people divert sexual or aggressive feelings for one person onto another person.
dissociative amnesia Dissociative disorder characterized by the sudden and extensive inability to recall important personal information, usually of a traumatic or stressful nature.
dissociative disorders psychological disorders characterized by a sudden but temporary alteration in consciousness, identity, sensorimotor behavior, or memory
dissociative identity disorder dissociative disorder characterized by the existence within an individual of two or more distinct personalities, each of which is dominant at different times and directs the individual's behavior at those times; commonly known as multiple personality diso
divergent thinking In problem solving, the process of widening the range of possibilities and expanding the options for solutions.
DNA deoxyribonucleic acid; genetic formation in a double-helix; can replicate or reproduce itself; made of genes
dominant genes member of a gene terror that controls the appearance of a certain trait
dopamine neurotransmitter that influences voluntary movement, attention, alertness; lack of dopamine linked with Parkinson's disease; too much is linked with schizophrenia
double bind a situation in which an individual is given two different and inconsistent messages.
double-blind procedure A research technique in which neither the experimenter nor the participants know who is in the control and experimental groups.
dream analysis Psychoanalytic technique in which a patient's dreams are described in detail and interpreted so as to provide insight into the individual's unconscious motivations.
drive an internal aroused condition that directs an organism to satisfy a physiological need
drive theory (aka, drive-reduction theory) an explanation of behavior that assumes that an organism is motivated to act because of a need to attain, reestablish, or maintain some goal that helps with survival
drug Any chemical substance that, in small amounts, alters biological or cognitive processes or both
dualism seeing mind and body as two different things that interact
eclectic use of techniques and ideas from a variety of approaches
educational psychologist focuses on how effective teaching and learning take place
Edward Titchener Student of Wilhelm Wundt; founder of Structuralist school of psychology.
Edward Thorndike behaviorism; Law of Effect-relationship between behavior and consequence
EEG (electroencephalogram) shows brain's electrical activity by positioning electrodes over the scalp
efferent neuron nerve cell that send messages from brain and spinal cord to other parts of body; also called motor neurons
ego In Freud's theory, the part of personality that seeks to satisfy instinctual needs in accordance with reality.
egocentrism Inability to perceive a situation or event except in relation to oneself; also know as self-centeredness
elaboration likelihood model Theory suggesting that there are two routes to attitude change: the central route, which focuses on thoughtful consideration of an argument for change, and the peripheral route, which focuses on less careful, more emotional, and even superficial evaluatio
elaborative rehearsal rehearsal involving repletion and analysis, in which a stimulus may be associated with (linked to) other information and further processed
electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) A treatment for severe mental illness in which an electric current is briefly applied to the head in order to produce a generalized seizure.
electroencephalogram (EEG) Graphical record of brain-wave activity obtained through electrodes placed on the scalp and forehead
electromagnetic radiation The entire spectrum of waves initiated by the movement of charged particles.
Elizabeth Kübler-Ross developmental psychology; wrote "On Death and Dying": 5 stages the terminally ill go through when facing death (1. denial, 2. anger, 3. bargaining, 4. depression, 5. acceptance)
Elizabeth Loftus cognition and memory; studied repressed memories and false memories; showed how easily memories could be changed and falsely created by techniques such as leading questions and illustrating the inaccuracy in eyewitness testimony
embryo The prenatal organism from the 5th through the 49th day after conception
emotion A subjective response, usually accompanied by a physiological change, which is interpreted n a particular way by the individual and often leads to a change in behavior
emotional intelligence the ability to perceive, express, understand, and regulate emotions
empiricism the view that knowledge should be acquired through observation and often an experiment
encoding organizing sensory information so it can be processed by the nervous system
encoding specificity principle retrieval cues that match original information work better
endocrine system glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream, which regulate body and behavioral processes
endorphins chemical similar to opiates that relieves pain; may induce feelings of pleasure
epinephrine adrenaline; activates a sympathetic nervous system by making the heart beat faster, stopping digestion, enlarging pupils, sending sugar into the bloodstream, preparing a blood clot faster
episodic memory memory of specific personal events and situations (episodes) tagged with information about time
Erik Erikson neo-Freudian, humanistic; 8 psychosocial stages of development: theory shows how people evolve through the life span. Each stage is marked by a psychological crisis that involves confronting "Who am I?"
ESP the controversial claim that sensation can occur apart from sensory input
ethics rules of proper and acceptable conduct that investigators use to guide psychological research
ethnocentrism tendency to believe that one's own group is the standard, the reference point by which other people and groups should be judged
evolutionary psychology perspective that seeks to explain and predict behaviors by analyzing how the human brain developed over time, how it functions, and how input from the environment affects human behaviors
ex post facto study a type of design that contrasts groups of people who differ on some variable of interest to the researcher
excitatory neurotransmitter chemical secreted at terminal button that causes the neuron on the other side of the synapse to fire
excitement phase the first phase of the sexual response cycle during which there are increases in heart rate blood pressure and respiration
expectancy theories Explanations of behavior that focus on people's expectations about reaching a goal and their need for achievement as energizing factors
experimental A design in which researchers manipulate an independent variable and measure a dependent variable to determine a cause-and-effect relationship
experimental group in an experiment, the group of participants to whom a treatment is given
experimenter bias expectation of the person conducting an experiment which may be affect the outcome
explicit memory conscious memory that a person is aware of
extinction (classical conditioning) The procedure of withholding the unconditioned stimulus and presenting the conditioned stimulus alone, which gradually reduces the probability of the conditioned response
extinction (operant conditioning) The process by which the probability of an organism's emitting a response is reduced when reinforcement no longer follows the response
extrinsic motivation Motivation supplied by rewards that come from the external environment
factor analysis Statistical procedure designed to discover the independent elements (factors) in any set of data
family studies studies of hereditability on the assumption that if a gene influences a certain trait, close relatives should be more similar on that trait in distant relative
family therapy A type of therapy in which two or more people who are committed to one another's well-being are treated at once, in and effort to change the ways the interact.
fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) group of abnormalities that occur in the babies of mothers who drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy
fetus The prenatal organism from the 8th week after conception until birth
fixation An excessive attachment to some person or object that was appropriate only at an earlier stage of development
fixed-interval schedule A reinforcement schedule in which a reinforcer (reward) is delivered after a specified interval of time, provided that the required response occurs at least once in the interval
fixed-ratio schedule A reinforcement schedule in which a reinforcer(reward) is delivered after a specified number of responses has occurred
flashbulb memories detailed memory for events surrounding a dramatic event that is vivid and remembered with confidence
fluid intelligence cognitive abilities requiring speed or rapid learning that tends to diminish with age
forebrain top of the brain which includes the thalamus, hypothalamus, and cerebral cortex; responsible for emotional regulation, complex thought, memory aspect of personality
forebrain largest, most complicated, and most advanced of the three divisions of the brain; comprises the thalamus, hypothalamus, limbic system, basal ganglia, corpus callosum, and cortex
forensic psychologist applies psychological concepts to legal issues
formal operational stage Piaget's fourth and final stage of cognitive development (beginning at about age 12), during which the individual can think hypothetically, can consider future possibilites, and can use deductive logic
fovea small area of retina where image is focused
fraternal twins twins from two separate fertilized eggs (zygotes); share half of the same genes
free association Psychoanalytic technique in which a person is asked to report to the therapist his or her thoughts and feelings as they occur, regardless of how trivial, illogical, or objectionable their content may appear.
frequency number of wavelengths that pass a point in a given amount of time; determines hue of light and the pitch of a sound
frontal lobes control emotional behaviors, make decisions, carry out plans; speech (Broca's area); controls movement of muscles
fulfillment In Roger's theory of personality, an inborn tendency directing people toward actualizing their essential nature and thus attaining their potential.
functional fixedness Inability to see that an object can have a function other than its stated or usual one.
functional MRI (fMRI) shows brain activity at higher reolution than PET scan when changes in oxygen concentration in neurons alters its magnetic qualities
functionalism school of psychological thought that was concerned with how and why the conscious mind works
fundamental attribution error The tendency to attribute other people's behavior to dispositional (internal) causes rather than situational (external) causes.
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) neurotransmitter that inhibits firing of neurons; linked with Huntington's disease
gate control theory pain is only experienced in the pain messages can pass through a gate in the spinal cord on their route to the brain
gender A socially and culturally constructed set of distinctions between masculine and feminine sets of behaviors that is promoted and expected by society
gender identity A person's sense of being male or female
gender stereotype A fixed, overly simple, sometimes incorrect idea about traits, attitudes, and behaviors of males or females
gene a DNA segment on a chromosome that controls transmission of traits
generalized anxiety disorder An anxiety disorder characterized by persistent anxiety occurring on more days than not for at least 6 months, sometimes with increased activity of the autonomic nervous system, apprehension, excessive muscle tension, and difficulty in concentrating
genetics study of how traits are transmitted from one generation to the next
genital stage Freud's last stage of personality development, from the onset of puberty through adulthood, during which the sexual conflicts of childhood resurface (at puberty) and are often resolved during adolescence).
genotype an individual's genetic make-up
Gestalt psychology school of psychological thought that argued that behavior cannot be studied in parts but must be viewed a s whole
glial cells supportive cells of nervous system that guide growth of new neurons; forms myelin sheath; holds neuron in place; provides nourishment and removes waste
gonads reproductive glands-male, testes; female, ovaries
Gordon Allport trait theory of personality; 3 levels of traits: cardinal, central, and secondary
grammar The linguistic description of how a language functions, especially the rules and patterns used for generating appropriate and comprehensible sentences.
grasping reflex Reflex that causes a newborn to grasp vigorously any object touching the palm or fingers or placed in the hand
group polarization Shifts or exaggeration in group members' attitudes or behavior as a result of group discussion.
group therapy Psychotherapeutic process in which several people meet as a group with a therapist to receive psychological help.
groupthink The tendency of people in a group to seek concurrence with one another when reaching a decision, rather than effectively evaluating options.
gustation sense of taste
habituation decreased responsiveness with repeated presentation of the same stimulus
hallucinogens (AKA psychedelic drugs) Consciousness-altering drugs that affect moods, thoughts, memory, judgment, and perception and that are consumed for the purpose of producing those results
halo effect The tendency for one characteristic of an individual to influence a tester's evaluation of other characteristics
Hans Eysenck personality theorist; asserted that personality is largely determined by genes, used introversion/extroversion
Harry Harlow development, contact comfort, attachment; experimented with baby rhesus monkeys and presented them with cloth or wire "mothers;" showed that the monkeys became attached to the cloth mothers because of contact comfort
health psychology Subfield concerned with the use of psychological ideas and principles to enhance health, prevent illness, diagnose and treat disease, and improve rehabilitation
Henry Murray personality assessment; created the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) with Christina Morgan, stated that the need to achieve varied in strength in different people and influenced their tendency to approach and evaluate their own performances
heritability the proportion of variation among individuals that is due to genetic causes
Herman von Helmholtz Theorist who both aided in the development of the trichromatic theory of color perception and Place theory of pitch perception.
Hermann Ebbinghaus the first person to study memory scientifically and systematically; used nonsense syllables and recorded how many times he had to study a list to remember it well
Hermann Rorschach developed one of the first projective tests, the Inkblot test which consists of 10 standardized inkblots where the subject tells a story, the observer then derives aspects of the personality from the subject's commentary
heuristics Sets of strategies, rather than strict rules, that act as guidelines for discovery-oriented problem solving.
higher-order conditioning Process by which a neutral stimulus takes on conditioned properties through pairing with a conditioned stimulus
hindbrain the most primitive of the three functional divisions of the brain, which includes the cerebellum, Pons, and medulla; responsible for involuntary processes: blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, breathing, sleep cycles
hippocampus part of the limbic system and is involved in learning and forming new long-term memories
Holmes & Rahe stress and coping; used "social readjustment scale" to measure stress
homeostasis Maintenance of a constant state of inner stability or balance
hormone chemical that carries messages that travel through the bloodstream to help regulate bodily functions
Howard Gardner devised theory of multiple intelligences: logical-mathematic, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, intrapersonal, linguistic, musical, interpersonal, naturalistic
hue The psychological property of light referred to as color, determined by the wavelengths of reflected light.
human genome 30,000 genes needed to build a human
humanistic psychology perspective that emphasizes the uniqueness of the individual and the idea that humans have free will
humanistic theory An explanation of behavior that emphasizes the entirety of life rather than individual components of behavior and focuses on human dignity, individual choice, and self-worth
hypnosis state with deep relaxation and heightened suggestibility
hypothalamus area of the brain that is part of the limbic system and regulates behaviors such as, eating, drinking, sexual behaviors, motivation; also body temperature
hypothesis a tentative statement or idea expressing a causal relationship between two events or variables that is to be evaluated in a research study
id In Freud's theory, the source of a person's instinctual energy, which works mainly on the pleasure principle.
ideal self In Roger's theory of personality, the self a person would ideally like to be.
identical twins twins from a single fertilized egg (zygote) with the same genetic makeup; also called monozygotic (MZ) twins
imagery the creation or re-creation of a mental picture of a sensory or perceptual experience
imaginary audience A cognitive distortion experienced by adolescents, in which they see themselves as always "on stage" with an audience watching
implicit memory memory a person is not aware of possessing
impression formation The process by which a person uses behavior and appearance of others to form attitudes about them.
independent variable the variable in a controlled experiment that the experimenter directly and purposefully manipulates to see how the other variables under study will be affected
industrial/organizational psychologist applies psychological principles to the workplace to improve productivity and the quality of work life
inferential statistics procedures used to draw conclusions about larger populations from small samples of data
informed consent the agreement of participants to take part in an experiment and their acknowledgement that they understand the nature of their participation in the research, and have been fully informed about the general nature of the research, its goals, and methods
inhibitory neurotransmitter chemical secreted at terminal button that prevents (or reduces ability of) the neuron on the other side of the synapse from firing
insight therapy Any therapy that attempts to discover relationships between unconscious motivations and current abnormal behavior.
insomnia Problems in going to sleep or maintaining sleep
instinct inherited, automatic species-specific behaviors
insulin hormone backpacks in the regulation of blood sugar by acting in the utilization of carbohydrates; released by pancreas; too much-hypoglycemia, too little-diabetes
intelligence The overall capacity of an individual to act purposefully, to think rationally, and to deal effectively with the environment
interference the suppression of one bit of information by another
interneurons nerve cell that transmits messages between sensory and motor neurons
intimacy A state of being or feeling in which each person in a relationship is willing to self-disclose and to express important feelings and information to the other person.
intrinsic motivation Motivation that leads to behaviors engaged in for no apparent reward except the pleasure and satisfaction of the activity itself
introspection a person's description and analysis of what he or she is thinking and feeling or what he or she has just thought about
iris colored part of the eye that regulates size of pupil
Ivan Pavlov discovered classical conditioning; trained dogs to salivate at the ringing of a bell
James-Lange theory of emotion conscious experience of emnotion results from one's awareness of physiological arousal
Jean Piaget cognitive psychology; created a 4-stage theory of cognitive development, said that two basic processes work in tandem to achieve cognitive growth (assimilation and accommodation)
John Garcia Researched taste aversion. Showed that when rats ate a novel substance before being nauseated by a drug or radiation, they developed a conditioned taste aversion for the substance.
John Locke 17th century English philosopher. Wrote that the mind was a "blank slate" or "tabula rasa"; that is, people are born without innate ideas. We are completely shaped by our environment .
John Watson behaviorism; emphasis on external behaviors of people and their reactions on a given situation; famous for Little Albert study in which baby was taught to fear a white rat
just noticeable difference (JND) experience of the difference threshold
Karen Horney neo-Freudian, psychodynamic; criticized Freud, stated that personality is molded by current fears and impulses, rather than being determined solely by childhood experiences and instincts, neurotic trends; concept of "basic anxiety"
Karl Wernicke "Wernicke's area"; discovered area of left temporal lobe that involved language understanding: person damaged in this area uses correct words but they do not make sense
kinesthesis body sense that provides information about the position and movement of individual parts of the body
language A system of symbols, usually words, that convey meaning and a set of rules for combining symbols to generate an infinite number of messages.
latency stage Freud's fourth stage of personality development, from about age 7 until puberty, during which sexual urges are inactive.
latent content The deeper meaning of a dream, usually involving symbolism hidden meaning, and repressed or obscured ideas and wishes
latent learning Learning that occurs in the absence of direct reinforcement and that is not necessarily demonstrated through observable behavior
law of effect behaviors followed by pleasant consequences are strengthened while behaviors followed by unpleasant consequences are weakened (Thorndike)
Lawrence Kohlberg moral development; presented boys moral dilemmas and studied their responses and reasoning processes in making moral decisions. Most famous moral dilemma is "Heinz" who has an ill wife and cannot afford the medication. Should he steal the medication and w
learned helplessness the behavior of giving up or not responding, exhibited by people and animals exposed to negative consequences or punishment over which they feel they have no control.
learning Relatively permanent change in an organism that occurs as a result of experiences in the environment
lens structure behind pupil that changes shape to focus light rays onto the retina
Leon Festinger social cognition, cognitive dissonance; Study Basics: Studied and demonstrated cognitive dissonance
Lev Vygotsky child development; investigated how culture & interpersonal communication guide development; zone of proximal development; play research
levels-of-processing approach brain encodes information in different ways or on different levels; deeper processing leads to deeper memory
libido In Freud's theory, the instinctual (and sexual) life force that, working on the pleasure principle and seeking immediate gratification, energizes the id.
light The small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to the human eye.
limbic system a donut ring-shaped of loosely connected structures located in the forebrain between the central core and cerebral hemispheres; consists of: septum, cingulate gyrus, endowments, hypothalamus, and to campus, and amygdala; associated with emotions and memor
linguistics The study of language, including speech sounds, meaning, and grammar.
Little Albert subject in John Watson's experiment, proved classical conditioning principles, especially the generalization of fear
logic The system of principles of reasoning used to reach valid conclusions or make inferences.
longitudinal study A research method that focuses on a specific group of individuals at different ages to examine changes that have occurred over time
long-term memory storage mechanism that keeps a relatively permanent record of memory
lucid dream Dream in which the dreamer is aware of dreaming while it is happening
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) creates a computerized image using a magnetic field and pulses of radio waves
mainstreaming Practice of placing children with special needs in regular classroom settings, with the support of professionals who provide special education services
maintenance rehearsal repetitive review of information with little or no interpretation
major depressive disorder Depressive disorder characterized by loss of interest in almost all of life's usual activities; a sad, hopeless, or discourage mood, sleep disturbance; loss of appetite; loss of energy; and feelings of unworthiness and guilt.
manifest content The overt story line, characters, and setting of a dream-the obvious, clearly discernible events of the dream
Masters & Johnson motivation; human sexual response—studied how both men and women respond to and in relation to sexual behavior
mean the arithmetic average of a set of scores
means-ends analysis Heuristic procedure in which the problem solver compares the current situation with the desired goal to determine the most efficient way to get from one to the other.
measure of central tendency a descriptive statistic that tells which result or score best represents an entire set of scores (e.g., mean, median, and mode)
median the measure of central tendency that is the data point with 50% of the scores above it and 50% below it
medulla (also medulla oblongata) part of the brain which controls living functions such as breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature
memory the ability to recall past events, images, ideas, or previously learned information or skills; the storage system that allows a person to retain and retrieve previously learned information
memory span the number of items a person can reproduce from short-term memory, usually consisting of one or two chunks
menarche first menstrual period
menopause the cessation of the ability to reproduce
mental retardation Below-average intellectual functioning, as measured on an IQ test, accompanied by substantial limitations in functioning that originate before age 8
midbrain the middle division of brain responsible for hearing and sight; location where pain is registered; includes temporal lobe, occipital lobe, and most of the parietal lobe
midbrain the second level of the three organizational structures of the brain that receives signals from other parts of the brain or spinal cord and either relays the information to other parts of the brain or causes the body to act immediately; involved in moveme
mode the most frequently occurring score in a set of data
model an analogy or a perspective that uses a structure from one field to help scientists describe data in another field
monism seeing mind and body as different aspects of the same thing
monochromats People who cannot perceive any color, usually because their retinas lack cones.
monocular cues depth cues that are based on one eye
moral development growth in the ability to tell right from wrong, control impulses, and act ethically
Moro reflex Reflex in which a newborn strectches out the arms and legs and cries in response to a loud noise or an abrupt change in the environment
morpheme A basic unit of meaning in a language.
motivated forgetting occurs when frightening, traumatic events are forgotten because people want to forget them
motivation any internal condition, although usually an internal one, that initates, activates, or maintains an organism's goal directed behavior
motive a need or want that causes someone to act
motor neurons efferent neurons; neurons that carry messages from spinal cord/brain to muscles and glands
mutation unexpected changes in the gene replication process that are not always evident in phenotype and create unusual and sometimes harmful characteristics of body or behavior
myelin sheath a white, fatty covering of the axon which speeds transmission of message
myopic Able to see clearly things that are close but having trouble seeing objects at a distance; nearsighted.
natural selection the principle that those characteristics and behaviors that help organisms adapt, be fit, and survive will be passed on to successive generations, because flexible, fit individuals have a greater chance of reproduction
naturalistic observation A descriptive research method in which researchers study behavior in its natural context.
nature a person's inherited traits, determined by genetics
nature-nurture controversy deals with the extent to which heredity and the environment each influence behavior
need State of physiological imbalance usually accompanied by arousal
need for achievement A social need that directs a person to strive constantly for excellence and success
negative reinforcement Removal of a stimulus after a particular response to increase the likelihood that the response will recur
nerve bundles of axons
nervous system the structures and organs that facilitate electrical and chemical communication in the body and allow all behavior and mental processes to take place
neural plasticity Ability of the brain to change their experience, both structurally and chemically
neurogenesis production of new brain cells; November 1988: cancer patients proved that new neurons grew until the end of life
neuron individual cells that are the smallest unit of the nervous system; it has three functions: receive information, process it, send to rest of body
neuropsychologist concerned with the relationship between brain/nervous system and behavior
neuroscience study of the brain and nervous system; overlaps with psychobiology
neurotransmitters chemical messengers released by terminal buttons into the synapse
Noam Chomsky language development; disagreed with Skinner about language acquisition, stated there is an infinite
nonconscious the level of consciousness devoted to processes completely unavailable to conscious awareness (e.g., fingernails growing)
non-rapid eye movement sleep Four distinct stages of sleep during which no rapid eye movements occur.
nonverbal communication The communication of information by cues or actions that include gestures, tone of voice, vocal inflections, and facial expressions.
norepinephrine noradrenaline; chemical which is excitatory, similar to adrenaline, and affects arousal and memory; raises blood pressure by causing blood vessels to become constricted, but also carried by bloodstream to the anterior pituitary which relaxes ACTH thus pro
Normal curve A bell-shaped graphic representation of data showing what percentage of the population falls under each part of the curve
normal distribution approximate distribution of scores expected when a sample is taken from a large population, drawn as a frequency polygon that often takes the form of a bell-shaped curve, called the normal curve
norms The scores and corresponding percentile ranks of a large and representative sample of individuals from the population for which a test was designed
nurture a person's experiences in the environment
obedience Compliance with the orders of another person or group of people.
object permanence The realization of infants that objects continue to exist even when they are out of sight
observational learning theory Theory that suggests that organisms learn new responses by observing the behavior of a model and then imitating it; aka. Social learning theory
observer bias expectations of an observer which may distort an authentic observation
obsessive-compulsive disorder Anxiety disorder characterized by persistent and uncontrollable thoughts and irrational beliefs that cause the performance of compulsive rituals that interfere with daily life.
occipital lobes primary area for processing visual information
oedipus complex Feelings of rivalry with the parent of the same sex and sexual desire for the parent of the other sex, occurring during the phallic stage and ultimately resolved through identification with the parent of the same sex.
olfaction sense of smell
operant conditioning Conditioning in which an increase or decrease in the probability that a behavior will recur is affected by the delivery of reinforcement or punishment as a consequence of the behavior;
operational definition a definition of a variable in terms of the set of methods or procedures used to measure or study that variable
opiates (AKA narcotics) Drugs derived from the opium poppy, including opium, morphine, and heroin
Opponent-process theory of color vision Visual theory, proposed by Herring, that color is coded by stimulation of three types of paired receptors; each pair of receptors is assumed to operate in an antagonist way so that stimulation by a given wavelength produces excitation (increased firing) i
opponent-process theory of emotion following a strong emotion, an opposing emotion counters the first emotion, lessening the experience of that emotion; on repeated occasions, the opposing emotion becomes stronger
optic chiasm Point at which half of the optic nerve fibers from each eye cross over and connect to the other side of the brain.
optic nerve carries impulses from the eye to the brain
oral stage Freud's first stage of personality development, from birth to about age 2, during which the instincts of infants are focused on the mouth as the primary pleasure center.
orgasm phase the third phase of the sexual response cycle, during which autonomic nervous system activity reaches its peak and muscle contractions occur in spasms throughout the body, but especially in the genital area
overjustification effect Decrease in likelihood that an intrinsically motivated task, after having been extrinsically rewarded, will be performed when the reward is no longer given.
Pancreas organ lying between the stomach and small intestine; regulates blood sugar by secreting to regulating hormones insulin and glucagon
panic attack Anxiety disorders characterized as acute anxiety, accompanied by sharp increases in autonomic nervous system arousal, that is not triggered by a specific event.
parallel processing simultaneously analyzing different elements of sensory information, such as color, brightness, shape, etc.
paranoid schizophrenia type of schizophrenia characterized by hallucinations and delusions of persecution or grandeur (or both), and sometimes irrational jealousy.
parasympathetic nervous system a branch of the autonomic nervous system that maintains normal body functions; it calms the body after sympathetic stimulation
parietal lobes processes sensory information including touch, temperature, and pain from other body parts
participant an individual who takes part in an experiment and whose behavior is observed as part of the data collection process
percentile score the percentage of scores at or below a certain score
perception Process by which an organism selects and interprets sensory input so that it acquires meaning.
peripheral nervous system division that connects the central nervous system to the rest of the body; includes all sensory and motor neurons; divided into somatic nervous system and autonomic nervous system
personal fable A cognitive distortion experienced by adolescents, in which they believe they are so special and unique that other people cannot understand them and risky behaviors will not harm them
personality A pattern of relatively permanent traits, dispositions, or characteristics that give some consistency to people's behavior.
personality disorders psychological disorders characterized by inflexible and longstanding maladaptive behaviors that typically cause stress and/or social or occupational problems.
phallic stage Freud's third stage of personality development, from about age 4 through age 7, during which children obtain gratification primarily from the genitals.
phenotype the expression of genes
Phillip Zimbardo social psychology; Stanford Prison Study; college students were randomly assigned to roles of prisoners or guards in a study that looked at who social situations influence behavior; showed that peoples' behavior depends to a large extent on the roles they
Phineas Gage Vermont railroad worker who survived a severe brain injury that changed his personality and behavior; his accident gave information on the brain and which parts are involved with emotional reasoning
phobic disorders Anxiety disorders characterized by excessive and irrational fear of, and consequent attempted avoidance of, specific objects or situations.
phoneme A basic or minimum unit of sound in a language.
phonology The study of the patterns and distributions of speech sounds in a language and the tacit rules for their pronunciation.
photoreceptors The light-sensitive cells in the retina- the rods and cones.
pineal gland endocrine gland that produces melatonin that helps regulate sleep/wake cycle
pitch the highness or lowness of a sound
pituitary gland endocrine gland that produces a large amount of hormones; it regulates growth and helps control other endocrine glands; located on underside of brain; sometimes called the "master gland"
placebo typically a pill that is used as a control in the experiment; a sugar pill
placebo effect A nonspecific improvement that occurs as a result of a person's expectations of change rather than as a direct result of any specific therapeutic treatment.
placenta A mass of tissue that is attached to the wall f the uterus and connected to the developing fetus by the umbilical cord; it supplies nutrients and eliminates waste products
plateau phase the second phase of the sexual response cycle, during which physical arousal continues to increase as the partners bodies prepare for orgasm
polarization when the neuron is at rest; condition of neuron when the inside of the neuron is negatively charged relative to the outside of Enron; is necessary to generate the neuron signal in release of this polarization
pons part of the brain involved in sleep/wake cycles; also connects cerebellum and medulla to the cerebral cortex
population all of the individuals in the group to which a study applies
positive reinforcement Presentation of a stimulus after a particular response in order to increase the likelihood that the response will recur
positron emission tomography (PET scan) shows brain activity when radioactively tagged glucose rushes to active neurons
postconventional level of moral development morality based on one's own individual moral principles (i.e., conscience)
posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Psychological disorder that may become evident after a person has undergone extreme stress caused by some type of disaster; common symptoms include vivid, intrusive recollections or reexperiences of the traumatic event and occasional lapses of normal cons
preconscious Freud's level of the mind that contains those experiences that are not currently conscious but may become so with varying degrees of difficulty.
preconventional level of moral development morality based on consequences to self
prejudice Negative evaluation of an entire group of people, typically based on unfavorable (and often wrong) stereotypes about groups.
Premack principle commonly occurring behavior can reinforce a less frequent behavior
prenatal development period of development from conception until birth
preoperational stage Piaget's second stage of cognitive development (lasting from about age 2 to age 6 or 7), during which the child begins to represent the world symbolically
prevalence the percentage of a population displaying a disorder during any specified period.
primacy effect the more accurate recall of items presented at the beginning of a series
primary punisher Any stimulus or event that is naturally painful or unpleasant to an organism
primary reinforcer Reinforcer that has survival value for an organism; this value does not have to be learned
proactive interference previously learned information interferes with the ability to learn new information
problem solving The behavior of individuals when confronted with a situation or task that requires insight or determination of some unknown elements.
procedural memory memory for skills, including perceptual, motor, and cognitive skills required to complete tasks
projection Defense mechanism by which people attribute their own undesirable traits to others.
projective tests Devices or instruments used to assess personality, in which examinees are shown a standard set of ambiguous stimuli and asked to respond to the stimuli in their own way.
prosocial behavior Behavior that benefits someone else or society but that generally offers no obvious benefit to the person performing it and may even involve some personal risk or sacrifice.
prototype An abstraction, an idealized pattern of an object or idea that is stored in memory and used to decide whether similar objects or ideas are members of the same class of items.
pseudoscience an unscientific system which pretends to discover psychological information that his means are unscientific or deliberately fraudulent
psychiatrist a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders
psychoactive drug A drug that alters behavior, thought, or perception by altering biochemical reactions in the nervous system, thereby affecting consciousness
psychoanalysis A lengthy insight therapy that was developed by Freud and aims at uncovering conflicts and unconscious impulses through special techniques, including free association, dream analysis, and transference.
psychoanalyst one who uses psychoanalysis to treat psychological problems
psychoanalytic perspective developed by freud, which assumes that psychological problems are the result of anxiety resulting from unresolved conflicts and forces of which a person might be unaware
psychobiology study that focuses on biological foundations of behavior and mental processes; overlaps with neuroscience
Psychodynamic therapy Therapy that uses approaches or techniques derived from Freud, but that rejects or modifies some elements of Freud's theory.
Psycholinguistics The study of how language is acquired, perceived, understood, and produced.
psychologist professional who studies behavior and uses behavioral principles in scientific research or in applied settings
psychology the scientific study of behavior and mental processes
psychophysics Subfield of psychology that focuses on the relationship between physical stimuli and people's conscious experiences of them.
psychosurgery Brain surgery used in the past to alleviate symptoms of serious mental disorders.
psychotherapy The treatment of emotional or behavior problems through psychological techniques.
psychotic suffering from a gross impairment in reality testing that interferes with the ability to meet the ordinary demands of life.
puberty The period during which the reproductive system matures; it begins with an increase in the production of sex hormones, which signals the end of childhood
punishment Process of presenting an undesirable or noxious stimulus, or removing a desirable stimulus, to decrease the probability that a preceding response will recur
pupil small opeing in iris that is smaller in bright light and larger in darkness
random sample selection of a part of the population without reason; participation is by chance
range the spread between the highest and the lowest scores in a distribution
rational-emotive therapy A cognitive behavior therapy that emphasizes the importance of logical, rational thought processes.
rationalization Defense mechanism by which people reinterpret undesirable feelings or behaviors in terms that make them appear acceptable.
raw score A test score that has not been transformed or converted in any way
Raymond Cattell intelligence: fluid & crystal intelligence; personality testing: 16 Personality Factors (16PF personality test)
reaction formation Defense mechanism by which people behave in a way opposite to what their true but anxiety-provoking feelings would dictate.
Reasoning The purposeful process by which a person generates logical and coherent ideas, evaluates situations, and reaches conclusions.
recency effect the more accurate recall of items presented at the end of a series
receptive fields Areas of the retina that, when stimulated, produce a change in the firing of cells in the visual system.
receptor site a location on a receptor neurons which is like a key to a lock (with a specific nerve transmitter); allows for orderly pathways
recessive gene member of the gene terror that controls the appearance of a certain trait only if it is paired with the same gene
reflex Automatic behavior that occurs involuntarily in response to a stimulus and without prior learning and usually shows little variability from instance to instance
refractory period after firing when a neuron will not fire again no matter how strong the incoming message may be
regression A return to a prior stage after a person has progressed through the various stages of development; caused by anxiety.
rehearsal process of repeatedly verbalizing, thinking about, or otherwise acting on or transforming information in order to keep that information active in memory
reinforcer Any event that increases the probability of a recurrence of the response that preceded it
reliability Ability of a test to yield very similar scores for the same individual over repeated testings
REM (rapid eye movement) sleep sleep stage when the eyes move about, during which vivid dreams occur; brain very active but skeletal muscles paralyzed
René Descartes 17t century French philosopher. Famously known for writing "cogito ergo sum" ("I think, therefore I am"). Wrote about concept of dualism.
replication the repetition of an experiment to test the validity of its conclusion
Representative sample A sample that reflects the characteristics of the population from which it is drawn
repression Defense mechanism by which anxiety-provoking thoughts and feelings are forced to the unconscious.
Residual type of schizophrenia a schizophrenic disorder in which the person exhibits inappropriate affect, illogical thinking, and/or eccentric behavior but seems generally in touch with reality.
resilience The extent to which people are flexible and respond adaptively to external or internal demands
resistance In psychoanalysis, an unwillingness to cooperate, which a patient signals by showing a reluctance to provide the therapist with information or to help the therapist understand or interpret a situation.
resolution phase the fourth phase of the sexual response cycle, following orgasm, during which the body returns to its resting, or normal state
response bias preconceived notions of a person answering [a survey] which may alter the experiments purpose
resting potential when a neuron is in polarization; more negative ions are inside the neuron cell membrane with a positive ions on the outside, causing a small electrical charge; release of this charge generates a neuron's impulse (signal/message)
reticular formation netlike system of neurons that weaves through limbic system and plays an important role in attention, arousal, and alert functions; arouses and alerts higher parts of the brain; anesthetics work by temporary shutting off RF system
retina light-sensitive surface on back of eye containing rods and cones
retrieval process by which stored information is recovered from memory
retroactive interference newly learned information interferes with the ability to recall previously learned information
retrograde amnesia loss of memory of events and experiences that preceded an amnesia-causing event
Robert Sternberg intelligence; devised the Triarchic Theory of Intelligence (academic problem-solving, practical, and creative); also Triarchic Theory of Love
rods photoreceptors that detect black, white, and gray, and movement; used for vision in dim light
rooting reflex Reflex that causes a newborn to turn the head toward a light touch on lips or cheek
saccades Rapid voluntary movements of the eyes.
sample a group of participants who are assumed to be representative of the population about which an inference is being made
saturation The depth and richness of a hue determined by determined by the homogeneity of the wavelengths contained in the reflected light; also known as purity.
Schachter-Singer theory of emotion we determine our emotion based on our physiological arousal, then label that emotion according to our explanation for that arousal
schema a conceptual framework that organizes information and allows a person to make sense of the world
schizophrenic disorders a group of psychological disorders characterized by a lack of reality testing and by deterioration of social and intellectual functioning and personality beginning before age 45 and lasting at least 6 months
school psychologist assesses and counsels students, consults with educators and parents, and performs behavioral intervention when necessary
science way of getting knowledge about the world based on observation
scientific method in psychology, the techniques used to discover knowledge about human behavior and mental processes
secondary punisher Any neutral stimulus that initially has no intrinsic negative value for an organism but acquires punishing qualities when linked with a primary punisher
secondary reinforcer Any neutral stimulus that initially has no intrinsic value for an organism but that becomes rewarding when linked with a primary reinforcer
secondary sex characteristics The genetically determined physical features that differentiate the sexes but are not directly involved with reproduction
selective attention focused awareness of only a limited amount of all you are capable of experiencing
self In Roger's theory of personality, the perception an individual has of himself or herself and of his or her relationships to other people and to various aspects of life.
self-actualization the human need to fulfill one's potential
self-efficacy The belief that a person can successfully engage in and execute a specific behavior
self-fulfilling prophecy when a researcher's expectations unknowingly create a situation that affects the results
self-perception Theory Approach to attitude formation that assumes that people infer their attitudes and emotional states from their behavior.
self-serving bias People's tendency to ascribe their positive behaviors to their own internal traits, but their failures and shortcomings to external, situational factors.
Selye's General Adaptation Syndrome three-stage process which describes the body's reaction to stress: 1) alarm reaction, 2) resistance, 3) exahaustion
semantic memory memory of ideas, rules, words, and general concepts about the world
semantics The analysis of the meaning of language, especially of individual words.
sensation Process in which the sense organs' receptor cells are stimulated and relay initial information to higher brain centers for further processing.
sensorimotor stage The first of Piaget's four stages of cognitive development (covering roughly the first 2 years of life), during which the child develops some motoer coordination skills and a memory for past events
sensory adaptation temporary decrease in sensitivity to a stimulus that occurs when stimulation is unchanging
sensory memory performs initial encoding; provides brief storage; also called sensory register
sensory neurons afferent neurons; neurons that carry messages from sensory organs to the brain and spinal cords
serotonin neurotransmitter that affects sleep, arousal, mood, appetite; lack of it is linked with depression
set point preset natural body weight, determined by the number of fat cells in the body
shaping positively reinforcing closer and closer approximation of a desired behavior to teach a new behavior
short-term storage holds information for processing; fragile; also called short term memory or working memory
signal detection theory Theory that holds that an observer's perception depends not only on the intensity of a stimulus but also on the observer's motivation, the criteria he or she sets for determining that a signal is present, and on the background noise.
significant difference in an experiment, a difference that is unlikely to have occurred because of chance alone and is inferred to be most likely due to the systematic manipulations of variables by the researcher
size constancy Ability of the visual perceptual system to recognize that an object remains constant in size regardless of its distance from the observer or the size of its image on the retina.
Skinner Box Named for its developer, B.F. Skinner, a box that contains a responding mechanism and a device capable of delivering a consequence to an animal in the box whenever it makes the desired response
social cognition The process of analyzing and interpreting events, other people, oneself, and the world in general.
social facilitation Change in behavior that occurs when people believe they are in the presence of other people.
social influence The ways people alter the attitudes or behaviors of others, either directly or indirectly.
social interest In Adler's theory, a feeling of openness with all humanity.
social loafing Decrease in effort and productivity that occurs when an individual works in a group instead of alone.
social need An aroused condition that directs people to behave in ways that allow them to feel good about themselves and others and to establish and maintain relationships
social phobia Anxiety disorder characterized by fear of, and desire to avoid, situations in which the person might be exposed to scrutiny by others and might behave in an embarrassing or humiliating way.
social psychology The scientific study of how people think about, interact with, influence, and are influenced by the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of other people.
sociobiology A discipline based on the premise that even day-to-day behaviors are determined by the process of natural selection - that social behaviors that contribute to the survival of a species are passed on via the genes from one generation to the next.
sociocultural psychology perspective concerned with how cultural differences affect behavior
Socrates Ancient Greek philosopher. Promoted introspection by saying, "Know thyself."
Solomon Asch conformity; in a famous study in which participants were shown cards with lines of different lengths and were asked to say which line matched the line on the first card in length
somatic nervous system division of peripheral nervous system; controls voluntary actions
sound localization the process by which the location of sound is determined
specific phobia Anxiety disorder characterized by irrational and persistent fear of a particular object or situation, along with a compelling desire to avoid it.
spinal cord portion of the CNS that carries messages to the PNS; connects brain to the rest of the body
split brain patients people whose corpus callosum has been surgically severed
spontaneous recovery Recurrence of an extinguished conditioned response, usually following a rest period
sports psychologist helps athletes improve their focus, increase motivation, and deal with anxiety and fear of failure
standard deviation a descriptive statistic that measures the variability of data from the mean of the sample
standard score a score that expresses an individual's position relative to the mean, based on the standard deviation
standardization Process of developing uniform procedures for administering and scoring a test and for establishing norms
Stanford-Binet intelligence tests constructed by Lewis Terman, originally used ratio IQ (MA/CA x 100); now based on deviation from mean
Stanley Milgram obedience to authority; had participants administer what they believed were dangerous electrical shocks to other participants; wanted to see if Germans were an aberration or if all people were capable of committing evil actions
Stanley Schachter emotion; stated that in order to experience emotions, a person must be physically aroused and know the emotion before you experience it
state-dependent learning the tendency to recall information learned while in a particular physiological state most accurately when one is in that physiological state again
statistics branch of mathematics that deals with collecting, classifying, and analyzing data
stereotypes Fixed, overly simple and often erroneous ideas about traits, attitudes, and behaviors of groups of people; stereotypes assume that all members of a given group are alike.
stimulant A drug that increases alertness, reduces fatigue, and elevates mood
stimulus discrimination Process by which an organism learns to respond only to a specific stimulus and not to other stimuli
stimulus generalization Process by which a conditioned response becomes associated with a stimulus that is similar but not identical to the original conditioned stimulus
storage the process of maintaining or keeping information readily available; the locations where information is held
stress A nonspecific, emotional response to real or imagined challenges or threats; a result of a cognitive appraisal by the individual
stressor An environmental stimulus that affects an organism in physically or psychologically injurious ways, usually producing anxiety, tension, and physiological arousal
structuralism school of psychological thought that considered the structure and elements of conscious experience to be the proper subject matter of psychology
sublimation Defense mechanism by which people redirect socially unacceptable impulses toward acceptable goals.
subliminal perception Perception below the threshold of awareness.
substance abuser A person who overuses and relies on drugs to deal with everyday life
sucking reflex Reflex that causes a newborn to make sucking motions when a finger or nipple if placed in the mouth
superego In Freud's theory, the moral aspect of mental functioning comprising the ego ideal (what a person would ideally like to be) and the conscience and taught by parents and society.
superstitious behavior Behavior learned through coincidental association with reinforcement
survey One of the descriptive methods of research; it requires construction of a set of questions to administer to a group of participants
survey research the measurement of public opinion through the use of sampling and questioning
sympathetic nervous system a branch of the autonomic nervous system and prepares the body for quick action in emergencies; "fight or flight"
symptom substitution The appearance of one overt symptom to replace another that has been eliminated by treatment.
synapse the space between two neurons where neurotransmitters are secreted by terminal buttons and received by dendrites
synaptic vesicles tiny oval-shaped sacs in a terminal of one neuron; assist in transferring mineral impulse from one neuron to another neuron by releasing specific neurotransmitters
syntax The way words and groups of words combine to form phrases, clauses, and sentences.
systematic desensitization A three-stage counterconditioning procedure in which people are taught to relax when confronting stimuli that forming elicited anxiety.
temperament Early-emerging and long-lasting individual differences in disposition and in the intensity and especially the quality of emotional reactions
temporal lobes main area for hearing, understanding language (Wernicke's area), understanding music; smell
teratogen Substance that can produce developmental malformations (birth defects) during the prenatal period
terminal buttons (axon terminals) ends of axons that secrete neurotransmitters
thalamus motor sensory relay center for four of the five senses; and with a brain stem and composed of two egg-shaped structures; integrates in shades incoming sensory signals; Mnemonic-"don't smell the llamas because the llamas smell bad"
thanatology The study of the psychological and medical aspects of death and dying
theory a collection of interrelated ideas and facts put forward to describe, explain, and predict behavior and mental processes
thyroid gland located in neck; regulates metabolism by secreting thyroxine
timbre the quality of a sound determined by the purity of a waveform
token economy An operant conditioning procedure in which individuals who display appropriate behavior receive tokens that they can exchange for desirable items or activities.
tolerance The characteristic of requiring higher and higher doses of a drug to produce the same effect.
top-down processing information processing guided by pre-existing knowledge or expectations to construct perceptions
trait Any readily identifiable stable quality that characterizes how an individual differs from other individuals.
transduction Process by which a perceptual system analyzes stimuli and converts them into electrical impulses; also known as coding.
transference Psychoanalytic phenomenon in which a therapist becomes the object of a patient's emotional attitudes about an important person in the patient's life, such as a parent.
triarchic theory of intelligence Robert Sternberg's theory that describes intelligence as having analytic, creative and practical dimensions
trichromatic theory Visual theory, stated by Young and Helmholtz that all colors can be made by mixing the three basic colors: red, green, and blue; a.k.a the Young-Helmholtz theory.
trichromats People who can perceive all three primary colors and thus can distinguish any hue.
twin studies studies as identical and rhetorical twins to determine relative influence of heredity and environment on human behavior
Type A behavior Behavior pattern characterized by competitiveness, impatience, hostility, and constant efforts to do more in less time
Type B behavior Behavior pattern exhibited by people who are calmer, more patient, and less hurried than Type A individuals
types Personality categories in which broad collections of traits are loosely tied together and interrelated.
unconditioned response Unlearned or involuntary response to an unconditioned stimulus
unconditioned stimulus Stimulus that normally produces a measurable involuntary response
unconscious Freud's level of mental life that consists of mental activities beyond people's normal awareness.
unconscious level of consciousness that includes unacceptable feelings, wishes, and thoughts not directly available to conscious awareness
undifferentiated schizophrenia a schizophrenic disorder that is characterized by a mixture of symptoms and does not meet the diagnostic criteria of any one type.
validity Ability of a test to measure what it is supposed to measure and to predict what it is supposed to predict
variability the extent to which scores differ from one another
variable a condition or characteristic of a situation or a person that is subject to change (it varies) within or across situations or individuals
variable-interval schedule A reinforcement schedule in which a reinforcer (reward) is delivered after predetermined but varying amounts of time, provided that the required response occurs at least once after each interval
variable-ratio schedule A reinforcement schedule in which a reinforcer (reward) is delivered after a predetermined but variable number of responses has occurred
vestibular sense body sense of equilibrium and balance
visual acuity sharpness of vision
visual cortex The most important area of the brain's occipital lobe, which receives and further processes information from the lateral geniculate nucleus; also known as the striate cortex.
Von Restorff effect occurs when recall is better for a distinctive item, even if it occurs in the middle of a list
vulnerability A person's diminished ability to deal with demanding life events.
Wechsler intelligence tests three age individual IQ tests: WPPSI (children), WISC (children), WAIS (adults)
Wernicke's area located in left temporal lobe; plays role in understanding language and making meaningful sentences
Wilhelm Wundt structuralism; in 1879 founded first psychology laboratory in world at University of Leipzig; introspection, basic units of experience
William James founder of functionalism; studied how humans use perception to function in our environment
withdrawal symptoms The Reaction experienced when a substance abuser stops using a drug with dependence properties
working memory Temporarily holds current or recent information for immediate or short-term use; Information is maintained for 20-30 seconds while active processing (e.g., rehearsal) takes place
zone of proximal development the range between the level at which a child can solve a problem working alone with difficulty, and the level at which a child can solve a problem with the assistance of adults or children with more skill
zygote A fertilized egg
Created by: doyleqhs
Popular Psychology sets




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