Psych Vocabs Ch. 1 - Ch. 9

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  1. accommodation
    the process of modifying a schema to account for new information; the process of the eyes lens changing shape in order to focus on distant or near objects
  2. acetylcholine (ACh)
    a neurotransmitter involved in learning, memory and muscle movement
  3. action potential
    the electrical process by which information is transmitted the length of an axon
  4. activation synthesis
    the idea that dreams are the result of the cerebral cortex interpreting and organizing random flashes of brain activity, originating in the lower brain structures, especially the pons
  5. afferent
    in neurons, another name for sensory
  6. after image
    an image that remains after a stimulus is removed, especially one in which the colors are reversed
  7. agonists
    drugs which mimic the activity of neurotransmitters
  8. Ainsworth
    did attachment studies in children
  9. all or none
    description of the action of neurons when firing
  10. amphetamine
    stimulate neural activity, speeded up body functions and energy, and mood changes
  11. amplitude
    characteristic of wave form that produces degree of loudness and brightness
  12. amygdala
    limbic system component associated with emotion, particularly fear and anger
  13. antagonist
    drug which blocks the activity of neurotransmitters
  14. aphasia
    impairment of language usually caused by damage to the left hemisphere
  15. applied research
    scientific investigations intended to solve practical problems
  16. assimilation
    interpreting new experiences in terms of existing schema
  17. Atkinson and Schiffrin
    developed activation synthesis theory of dreaming
  18. attachment
    theory developed by Harlow; types include secure and insecure
  19. authoritarian
    style of parenting in which the parent creates strict rules for the child and the child has little or no input into determining the rules
  20. autonomic nervous system
    division of the nervous system that control the glands and organs; its divisions arouse or calm
  21. autonomy vs. shame and doubt
    Erikson's stage in which a toddler learns to exercise will and to do things independently; failure to do so causes shame and doubt
  22. avoidance conditioning
    a type of negative reinforcement in which the organism chooses to avoid the negative stimulus
  23. axon
    extension of the neuron which carries, via an action potential, information that will be sent on to other neurons, muscles or glands
  24. Baumrind
    developed theory related to parenting/socialization styles: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive
  25. behavioral
    perspective on psychology that sees psychology as an objective science without reference to mental states
  26. binocular cues
    retinal disparity and convergence which enable people to determine depth using both eyes
  27. biological predisposition
    each species is biologically prepared to learn associations that enhance its survival like taste aversion
  28. bipolar cells
    eye neurons that receive information from the retinal cells and distribute information to the ganglion cells
  29. blind spot
    point in the retinal where the optic nerve leaves the retina so there are no rods or cones there
  30. bones of the middle ear
    malleus, incus, stapes
  31. bottom up process
    analysis that begins with sensory receptors and works up to the brain's integration of sensory information
  32. bottom-up processing
    analysis that begins with sensory receptors and works its way up to the brain's integration of sensory information
  33. brainstem
    oldest part of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord swells upon entering the skull; controls fundamental survival processes like heartrate and breathing
  34. case study
    scientific investigation in which a single subject is studied in great detail
  35. CAT scan
    a method of creating static images of the brain through computerized axial tomography
  36. Central Nervous System
    consists of the brain and the spinal cord
  37. cerebellum
    brain structure that controls well-learned motor activities like riding a bike
  38. cerebral cortex
    the fabric of interconnecting cells that blankets the brain hemispheres; the brain's center for information processing and control
  39. chaining
    using operant conditioning to teach a complex response by linking together less complex skills
  40. chunking
    organizing units of information into manageable units such as memorizing a phone number as three groups of information 248-555-1212
  41. circadian rhythm
    the daily biological rhythms that occur in a 24-hour period
  42. classical conditioning
    method of learning in which a neutral stimulus can be used to elicit a response that is usually a natural response to a stimulus
  43. clinical
    this type of psychologist studies, assesses and treats those with psychological disorders
  44. cochlea
    this coiled structure in the inner ear is fluid-filled and in it the energy from sound waves stimulate hair cells to produce neural impulses (transduction)
  45. cocktail party effect
    an example of selective attention; your ability to attend to only one voice among many
  46. cognitive
    perspective on psychology that stresses the importance of mental activities associated with thinking, remembering, etc
  47. cognitive map
    a mental representation of the layout of one's environment.
  48. collectivist
    this adjective describes cultures in which the individual is less important than the group
  49. color blindness
    a variety of disorders marked by inability to distinguish some or all colors
  50. concrete operations
    Piaget's stage in which children learn such concepts as conservation and mathematical transformations; about 7 - 11 years of age
  51. conditioned response
    in classical conditioning, the response elicited by the conditioned stimulus
  52. conditioned stimulus
    in classical conditioning, that after association with an unconditioned stimulus, comes to trigger a conditioned response
  53. conditioning
    generally, learning in which certain experiences make certain behaviors more or less likely; there are two forms of this
  54. conduction deafness
    one type of hearing impairment caused by mechanical problems in the ear structures
  55. cones
    neurons in the retina that are responsible for color vision
  56. confirmation bias
    a tendency to search for information that supports one's preconceptions
  57. confounding variable
    extraneous factor that interferes with the action of the independent variable on the dependent variable
  58. consciousness
    one's awareness of one's environment and oneself
  59. control group
    subjects in an experiment who do not receive application of the independent variable but are measured nonetheless for the dependent variable
  60. convergence
    binocular cue for perceiving depth the extent to which the eyes converge inward when looking at an object
  61. cornea
    the transparent outer covering of the eye
  62. corpus callosum
    the fibers that connect the right and left hemispheres, enabling them to communicate
  63. correlation
    the degree of relationship between two variables
  64. correlation coefficient
    a positive one near 1.0 indicates two variable are positively related; a negative number indicates a negative relationship; zero indicates no relationship
  65. cross-sectional
    type of study that measures a variable across several age groups at the same time
  66. crystallized
    term describes a type of intelligence which applies cultural knowledge to solving problems
  67. debriefing
    giving participants in a research study a complete explanation of the study after the study is completed
  68. delta waves
    largest brain waves, associated with deep, dreamless sleep
  69. dendrite
    a branch off the cell body of a neuron that receives new information from other neurons
  70. dependent variable
    the variable that the experimenter measures at the end of the experiment
  71. depth perception
    an ability that we exercise by using both monocular and binocular cues
  72. difference threshold
    also called the jnd; smallest distinction between two stimuli that can consistently be detected
  73. discrimination
    in classical conditioning, the learned ability to distinguish between a conditioned stimulus and stimuli that do not signal an unconditioned stimulus
  74. dissociation theory
    theory of hypnosis in which control of consciousness is divided between the subject and the hypnotist
  75. dopamine
    a neurotransmitter that is associated with Parkinson's disease (too little of it) and schizophrenia (too much of it)
  76. double blind
    this term describes an experiment in which neither the subjects nor the experimenter knows whether a subject is a member of the experimental group or the control group
  77. eardrum
    also called the tympanic membrane
  78. echoic
    term that describes memory of sounds
  79. EEG
    initials of a method of representation of brain waves
  80. egocentrism
    in a toddler, the belief that others perceive the world in the same way that he or she does
  81. embryo
    early stage of human development, when cells have begun to differentiate
  82. empathy
    the ability to feel the same as someone you are obsserving
  83. endorphins
    neurotransmitters that give one a feeling of well-being, euphoria or eliminate pain
  84. experiment
    form of scientific investigation in which one variable is tested to determine its effect on another; establishes causation
  85. experimental group
    subjects in an experiment to whom the independent variable is administered
  86. extinction
    in classical conditioning, the process of eliminating the previously acquired association of the conditioned stimulus and conditioned response
  87. false consensus
    a belief that others share the same opinion about something, when actually most don't
  88. feature detection
    the ability of the brain to identify specific components of visual stimuli such as corners or edges
  89. fetal alcohol syndrome
    sometimes the result in a child of the mother's excessive drinking while pregnant, characterized by low birth weight, facial abnormalities, mental retardation
  90. fetus
    a stage in human development extending from about ten weeks after conception to birth
  91. figure-ground
    the organization of the visual field into objects that stand out from their surroundings.
  92. figure-ground
    refers to our ability to distinguish foreground from background in visual images
  93. fixed interval
    describes the schedule of reinforcement wherein a worker receives a paycheck every Friday
  94. fixed ratio
    describes a schedule of reinforcement wherein a worker is paid for a certain sum for each product produced
  95. flashbulb
    term describes a vivid memory of a personally significant and emotional event
  96. fluid
    term describes a type of intelligence used to cope with novel situations and problems
  97. formal operations
    One of Piaget's stages; includes the ability to use abstract thinking
  98. fovea
    the central focus area of the retina
  99. frequency
    theory of hearing which states that the rate of nerve impulses traveling up the auditory nerve matches the tone's frequency
  100. functionalism
    William James's school of thought that stressed the adaptive and survival value of behaviors
  101. ganglion cells
    their axons form the optic nerve
  102. generalization
    the tendency, once a response has been conditioned, for stimuli similar to the conditioned stimulus to elicit similar responses
  103. gestalt
    German word for "whole", it refers to our tendency to perceive incomplete figures as complete
  104. glial cell
    this acts as a support system for neurons
  105. Harry Harlow
    studied attachment using monkey subjects
  106. hemispheres
    we have two, right and left, and some brain functions seem to centered in one or the other
  107. heritability
    the extent to which differences in a group of a characteristic is due to genetics, not environment
  108. higher-order
    term describes conditioning in which the CS for one experiment becomes the UCS in another experiment so that another neutral stimulus can be made to elicit the original UCR
  109. hindsight bias
    the tendency, after an event occurs, to overestimate the likelihood that an event could have been predicted
  110. hippocampus
    limbic system component associated with memory
  111. homeostasis
    the steady, stable state that is the body's regulatory processes try to maintain
  112. Hubel and Wiesel
    won Nobel Prize for discovering feature detector cell used in brain processing of vision
  113. human factors psychology
    a brance of psychology that explores how people and machines interact and how machines and physical environments can be made safe and easy to use
  114. humanist
    perspective in psychology that stresses the goodness of people and their possibility of reaching their fullest potential
  115. hypothalamus
    limbic system component that regulates hunger, body temperature and other functions
  116. iconic
    term that describes the memory of images
  117. identity vs role confusion
    Erikson's stage during which teenagers and young adults search for and become their true selves
  118. imprinting
    evidence of critical period in some animals; they follow the first moving thing they see after hatching
  119. independent variable
    type of variable manipulated by the experimenter
  120. individualist
    culture in which the individual is valued more highly than the group
  121. industry vs. inferiority
    Erikson's stage between 6 and 11 years, when the child learns to be productive
  122. information processing
    humans accomplish this either in parallel (unconsciously) or in serial fashion (consciously)
  123. informed consent
    agreement to participate in psychology research, after being appraised of the dangers and benefits of the research
  124. initiative vs guilt
    Erikson's third stage in which the child finds independence in planning, playing and other activities
  125. insomnia
    inability to fall asleep or remain asleep long enough for sufficient rest
  126. integrity vs despair
    Erikson's final stage in which those near the end of life look back and evaluate their lives
  127. interneurons
    cells in the spinal cord through which reflexes travel without going to the brain
  128. interposition
    monocular visual cue in which two objects are in the same line of vision and one patially conceals the other, indicating that the first object concealed is further away
  129. intimacy vs isolation
    Erikson's stage in which individuals form deeply personal relationships, marry, begin families
  130. introspection
    a technique used by structuralists in which the subjects looked inward to determeine the elements of their experience
  131. just noticeable difference
    the threshold at which one can distinguish two stimuli that are of different intensities, but otherwise identical
  132. kinethesis
    sense of balance and of one's physical position
  133. Kohlberg
    developed theory related moral development
  134. latent learning
    a change in behavior due to experience acquired without conscious effort, s, for example, a student using a quote in an exam essay that the student had never tried to memorize, though eh had encountered it in studying
  135. law of effect
    Thorndike's rule that behaviors which have positive outcomes tend to be repeated
  136. learned helplessness
    lack of motivation to avoid unpleasant stimuli after one has failed before to escape similar stimuli
  137. lens
    a curved, transparent element of the vision system that provides focus
  138. lesion
    any destruction or damage to brain tissue
  139. limbic system
    brain structure associated with emotions and drives; includes the amygdala, hippocampus, and hypothalamus
  140. linear perspective
    depth perception cue that the more the lines converge the greater their perceived distance.
  141. longitudinal
    describes research that measures a trait in a particular group of subjects over a long period of time
  142. manifest
    describes, in Freudian terms, the surface content of a dream
  143. medulla
    part of the brain nearest the spinal cord which controls breathing, heart rate and blood pressure
  144. mirror neurons
    neurons that fire when observing someone else performing some action' enables language learning and empathy
  145. modeling
    the process of observing and imitating a behavior
  146. monocular
    terms that means "one eyed", used to indicate the sort of of enviromental cues to depth perception tha tonly require one eye, for example, interposition
  147. motion parallax
    a depth cue in which the relative movement of elements in a scene gives depth information when the observer moves relative to the scene
  148. motor cortex
    an area of the brain, near the rear of the frontal lobes, that controls voluntary movement
  149. motor neuron
    this carries information from the brain to the muscles; also called "efferent"
  150. MRI
    a technique that enables us to see static images of the brain's structures; uses magnetism to achieve this effect
  151. myelin sheath
    a layer of fatty tissue encasing a neuron's axon that speeds transmission
  152. narcolepsy
    a disorder characterized by sudden sleep attacks, often at inopportune times
  153. naturalistic
    term refers to observations made of individual's behavior in an everyday life setting
  154. naturalistic observation
    observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation
  155. nature vs nurture
    name for a controversy in which it is debated whether genetics or environment is responsible for driving behavior
  156. negative reinforcement
    in operant conditioning, removing something unpleasant in order to elicit more of a particular behavior
  157. neural network
    refers to interconnected neuron cells
  158. neuron
    the fundamental building block of the nervous system
  159. neuroscience
    perspective on psychology that emphasizes the study of the brain and its effects on behavior
  160. neurotransmitter
    a chemical that is released by a neuron for the purpose of carrying information across the gaps (synapses) between neurons
  161. neutral
    describes a stimulus in classical conditioning that would normally not elicit the response intended, such as the tone in Pavlov's experiments before it was associated with the food
  162. night terrors
    also called sleep terror disorder, these include the characteristic of waking abruptly in a state of panic, usually in children, less often in adults
  163. NREM
    refers to sleep during which there is no rapid eye movement
  164. object permanence
    recognition that things continue to exist even though hidden from sight; infants generally gain this after 3 to 7 months of age
  165. observational learning
    change in behavior due to watching other people behave
  166. occipital
    this lobe contains the primary vision processing function
  167. olfactory bulb
    the first brain structure to pick up smell information from the nose
  168. omission training
    a procedure in which reinforcement occurs when a specific behavior does not occur in a fixed period of time
  169. operant conditioning
    a method of influencing behavior by rewarding desired behaviors and punishing undesired ones
  170. operational definition
    a description of an experimental variable in such a way that the variable can be measured and the procedure can be replicated
  171. opponent process theory
    theory that opposing retinal processes (red-green, yellow-blue, and white-black) enable color vision
  172. optic chiasm
    the point in the brain where the visual field information from each eye "crosses over" to the appropriate side of the brain for processing
  173. optic nerve
    the axons of the ganglion cells form this
  174. oval window
    membrane at the enterance to the cochlea through which the ossicles transmit vibrations
  175. parasympathetic
    the branch of the nervous system that automatically calms us down when the reason for arousal has passed
  176. parietal
    lobe that contains the sensory cortex
  177. Pavlov
    developed theory of classical conditioning
  178. perception
    the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information
  179. perceptual set
    mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another
  180. peripheral nervous system
    the subsystem of the nervous system that does not include the CNS
  181. permissive
    describes a parenting style that is characterized by the parent making few demands on the child
  182. personality
    a consistent pattern of thinking, acting, feeling
  183. PET scan
    method of brain imaging using positron emissions
  184. Piaget
    developed theory related to cognitive development
  185. pituitary
    gland that is the master gland of the endocrine system
  186. place theory
    an inert substance given to the control group in an experiment
  187. placebo effect
    phenomenon that some people get better even though they receive not medication but an inert substance which should have no medical effect
  188. plasticity
    the ability of the brain to adapt to damage by reorganizing functions
  189. pons
    part of the brain, works with the cerebellum in coordinating voluntary movement; neural stimulation studied in activation synthesis theory may originate here
  190. population
    all of the individuals from which subjects for an experiment may be drawn
  191. preconventional
    Kohlberg's stage of moral development in which rewards and punishments dominate moral thinking
  192. preoperational
    Piaget's second stage of cognitive development, when egocentrism declines
  193. procedural memory
    a type of implicit memory whenyou recall how to do something
  194. proximity
    gestalt grouping principle based on nearness
  195. psychiatrist
    medical doctor who has specialized in treating psychological disorders
  196. psychodynamic
    term describes the perspective on psychology in which inner feeling and unconscious tensions are emphasized
  197. psychology
    the study of mental processes and behavior
  198. psychopharmacology
    the study of the effects of drugs on mind and behavior.
  199. punishment
    can be either positive or negative, intended to reduce the occurrence of a behavior
  200. random
    term that describes assignment in which all subjects have an equal chance of being assigned to the control group or to the experimental group
  201. recall
    a measure of memory in which the person must retrieve information learned ealier
  202. refractory period
    resting time; occurs in both neuron firing and in human sexual response
  203. reinforcer
    in operant conditioning any event that strengthens the behavior it follows
  204. reliability
    in testing, the characteristic of a test that produces consistent scores through retesting or alternate halves or other methods
  205. REM
    describes sleep in which vivid dreams typically occur; this type of sleep increases as the night progresses while stage 4 sleep decreases
  206. REM Behavior Disorder
    a disorder in which the person is not paralyzed during REM sleep
  207. replication
    respeating the procedures of someone else's experiment; helped by operational definitions
  208. representative
    this kind of sample accurately reproduces the characteristics of the population a researcher is studying
  209. reticular formation
    a network of cells in the brainstem that filters sensory information and is involved in arousal and alertness
  210. retina
    the sensory reception system of the eye; includes rods and cones
  211. retrieval
    the process of recovering information stored in memory
  212. rods
    responsible for black and white vision
  213. rooting
    a reflex in which a newborn turns its head in response to a gentle stimulus on its cheek
  214. schedules of reinforcement
    these include fixed interval and variable ratio
  215. schema
    a collection of basic knowledge about a category of information; serves as a means of organization and interpretation of that information
  216. selective attention
    this term describes the situation when you are focused on certain stimuli in the environment while other stimuli are excluded
  217. semantic memory
    The encoding of meaning, including the meaning of words.
  218. sensorimotor
    describes Piaget's stage in which the child explores the world through interaction of his mouth and hands with the environment
  219. sensory adaptation
    reduced responsiveness caused by prolonged stimulation
  220. sensory cortex
    the parts of the brain that receive information from the sensory receptors
  221. sensory neurons
    nervous system cells that receive information from the environment
  222. serial position effect
    our tendency to recall best the last and first items in a list
  223. serotonin
    a neurotransmitter; associated with improved mood and other positive emotions
  224. shaping
    an operant conditioning technique in which reinforces guide behavior to closer and closer approximations of the desired behavior
  225. Skinner
    developed theory of operant conditioning
  226. social learning
    a theory that suggests we learn social behaviors by watching and imitating others
  227. social psychology
    the study of how people behave in groups
  228. socio-cultural
    a perspective on psychology that emphasizes effects on behavior and thinking of one's culture and the people around one
  229. somatic
    a division of the nervous system that controls voluntary muscle movements
  230. split brain
    a condition in which the two brain hemispheres are isolated by cutting the corpus callosum
  231. spontaneous recovery
    in classical conditioning the re-occurence of conditioning after it had appeared to be extinct
  232. structuralism
    school of psychology developed by Wilhelm Wundt
  233. sympathetic
    part of the nervous system that controls the "flight or fight" response
  234. synaptic gap
    space between the axon terminal of one neuron and the receptors of the next neuron
  235. temperament
    personality component that ranges from very calm to very exitable
  236. temporal
    the lobe that controls audition
  237. thalamus
    the sensory switchboard; smell is the only sensation that is not sent through the thalamus
  238. theory
    this organizes data and is used to make predictions
  239. threshold
    in a neuron, reaching this causes the neuron to fire
  240. token economy
    a technique in operant conditioning by which desired behaviors receive forms of currency that can be exchanged for rewards
  241. top-down processing
    information processing guided higher level mental processes such as experiences and expectations
  242. transduction
    conversion of physical into neural activity
  243. twin studies
    a common method of investigating whether nature or nurture affects behavior
  244. unconditioned response
    in conditioning the behavior elicited by the unconditioned stimulus
  245. unconditioned stimulus
    in conditioning it elicits the UCR
  246. withdrawal
    the termination of drug taking
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Psych Vocabs Ch. 1 - Ch. 9
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