Psychology Vocabulary (Ch 4-5)

  1. Sensation
    the process of receiving stimulus energies from the external environment and transforming those energies into neural energy.
  2. Perception
    the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information so that it has meaning
  3. Bottom-up Processing
    when sensory receptors register information about the external environment and send it up to the brain for interpretation
  4. Top-down Processing
    starts with cognitive processing in the brain; being with some sense of what is happening and apply that framework to incoming information from the world.
  5. Sensory Receptors
    specialized cells that detect stimulus information and transmit to sensory nerves and the brain. All sensations begin here
  6. Absolute Threshold
    minimum amount of stimulus energy that a person can detect.
  7. Noise
    the term given to irrelevant and competing stimuli - not just sounds but any distracting stimuli for our senses.
  8. Difference Threshold
    just noticeable difference
  9. Weber’s Law
    the principle that two stimuli must differ by a constant proportion to be perceived as different
  10. Subliminal Perception
    refers to the detection of information below the level conscious awareness.
  11. Signal Detection Theory
    a theory of perception that focuses on decision making about stimuli in the presence of uncertainty
  12. Attention
    the process of focusing awareness on a narrowed aspect of the environment
  13. Selective Attention
    involves focusing on a specific aspect of experience while ignoring others.
  14. Perceptual Set
    a predisposition or readiness to perceive something in a particular way.
  15. Sensory Adaptation
    a change in responsiveness of the sensory system based on the average level of surrounding stimulation
  16. Retina
    the light-sensitive surface that records electromagnetic energy and converts it to neural impulses for processing in the brain
  17. Rods
    the receptors in the retina that are sensitive to light, but they are nit very useful for color vision
  18. Cones
    the receptors that we use for color reception
  19. Optic Nerve
    carries the visual information to the brain for further processing.
  20. Feature Detectors
    neurons in the brain’s visual system that respond to particular features of a stimulus
  21. Parallel Processing
    the simultaneous distribution of information across different neural pathways.
  22. Binding
    the bringing together and integration of what is processed by different pathways or cells
  23. Trichromatic Theory
    proposed by Thomas Young in 1802 and extended by Hermann von Helmholtz in 1852, states that color perception is produced by three types of cone receptors in the retina that are particularly sensitive to different, but overlapping, ranges of wavelengths
  24. Opponent-Process Theory
    states that cells in the visual system respond to red-green and blue-yellow colors; a given cell might be excited by red and inhibited by green, whereas another cell might be excited by yellow and inhibited by blue.
  25. Figure-ground Relationship
    the principle by which we organize the perceptual field into stimuli that stand out and those that are left
  26. Gestalt Psychology
    a school of thought interested in how people naturally organize their perceptions according to certain patterns.
  27. Depth Perception
    the ability to perceive objects three-dimensionally.
  28. Binocular Cues
    are depth cues that depend on the combination of the images in the left and right eyes and on the way the two eyes work together
  29. Convergence
    another binocular cue to depth and distance
  30. Monocular Cues
    depth cues, available from the image in one eye, either right or left.
  31. Apparent Movement
    occurs when we perceive a stationary objects as moving.
  32. Perceptual Constancy
    the recognition that objects are constant and unchanging even though sensory input about them is changing
  33. Outer Ear
    consists of the pinna and the external auditory canal
  34. Middle Ear
    channels the sound through the eardrum, hammer, anvil, and stirrup to the inner ear
  35. Inner Ear
    which includes the oval window, cochlea, and basilar membrane, is to convert sound waves into neural impulses and send them on to the brain.
  36. Place Theory
    states that each frequency produces vibrations at a particular spot on the basilar membrane
  37. Frequency Theory
    gets at these others influences by stating that the perception of a sound’s frequency depends on how often the auditory nerves fires.
  38. Volley Principle
    states that a cluster of nerve cells can fire neural impulses in rapid succession, producing a volley of impulses.
  39. Auditory Nerve
    which carries neural impulses to the brain’s auditory areas
  40. Thermoreceptors
    sensory nerve endings under the are respond to change in temperature at or near the skin and provide input to keep the body’s temperature.
  41. Pain
    the sensation that warns us of damage to our bodies
  42. Papillae
    contains taste buds, the receptors for taste
  43. Olfactory Epithelium
    lining the roof of the nasal cavity contains a sheet of receptor cells for smell, so sniffing maximizes the chances of detection and odor.
  44. Kinesthetic Senses
    provide information about movement, posture, and orientation.
  45. Vestibular Sense
    provides information about balance and movement
  46. Semicircular Canals
    of the inner ear contain the sensory receptors that detect head motion caused when we tilt or move our head and/or body
  47. Stream of Consciousness
    a continuous flow of changing sensation, images, thoughts, and feelings.
  48. Consciousness
    an individual’s awareness of external events and internal sensations under a condition of arousal
  49. Controlled Processes
    the most alert states of human consciousness, individuals actively focus their efforts toward a goal
  50. Automatic Processes
    states of consciousness that involves a low level of conscious effort is daydreaming, which lies between active consciousness and dreaming while asleep.
  51. Unconscious Thought
    said Freud, is a reservoir of unacceptable wishes, feelings, and thoughts that are beyond conscious awareness
  52. Sleep
    a natural state of rest for the body and mind that involves the reversible loss consciousness
  53. Biological Rhythms
    periodic physiological fluctuations in the body.
  54. Circadian Rhythms
    daily behavioral or physiological cycles
  55. Suprachiasmatic Nucleus
    a small brain structure that uses input from the retina to synchronize its own rhythm with the daily cycle of light and dark.
  56. REM Sleep
    an active stage of sleep during which dreaming occurs
  57. Manifest Content
    the dream’s surface content, which contains dream symbols that disguise the dream’s true meanings.
  58. Latent Content
    the dream’s hidden content, its unconscious - and true - meaning.
  59. Cognitive Theory of Dreaming
    proposes that we can understand dreaming by applying the same cognitive concepts we use in studying the waking mind.
  60. Activation-Synthesis Theory
    dreaming occurs when the cerebral cortex synthesizes neural signals generated from the activity in the lower part of the brain.
  61. Psychoactive Drugs
    act on the nervous system to alter consciousness, modify perception, and change mood
  62. Tolerance
    the need to take increasing amounts of drugs to get the same effect.
  63. Physical Dependence
    the physiological need for a drug that causes unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as physical pain and a craving for the drug when it is discontinued
  64. Psychological Dependence
    the strong desire to repeat the use of a drug for emotional reasons, such as a feeling of well-being and reduction of stress.
  65. Addiction
    a physical or physiological dependence, or both, on the drug
  66. Depressants
    psychoactive drugs that slow down mental and physical activity
  67. Alcoholism
    a disorder that involves long-term, repeated, uncontrolled, compulsive, and excessive use of alcoholic beverages and that impairs the drinker’s health and social beverages
  68. Barbiturates
    such as Nembutal and Seconal, are depressant drugs that decrease central nervous system activity
  69. Tranquilizers
    such as Valium and Xanax, are depressant drugs that reduce anxiety and induce relaxation
  70. Opiates
    consist of opium and its derivatives and depress the central nervous system’s activity
  71. Stimulants
    psychoactive drugs that increase the central nervous system’s activity.
  72. Hallucinogens
    psychoactive drugs that modify a person’s perceptual experiences and produce visual images that are not real
  73. Hypnosis
    an altered state of consciousness or as a psychological state of altered attention and expectation in which the individual is unusually receptive to suggestions
  74. Divided Consciousness View on Hypnosis
    proposed that hypnosis involves a special divided state of consciousness, a splitting of consciousness into separate components.
  75. Social Cognitive Behavior View of Hypnosis
    where hypnosis is a normal state in which the hypnotized person behaves the way he or she believes that a hypnotized person should behave.
Card Set
Psychology Vocabulary (Ch 4-5)