AP Psych Vocab

  1. Synapse
    the junction between theaxon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite of the receiving neuron
  2. Limbic System
    a doughnut shapedsystem of neural structures associated with emotions (fear/aggression) anddrives (food/sex); includes hippocampus, amygdale, hypothalamus, and parts ofthe thalamus
  3. Androgens
    the term for any naturalor synthetic compound, usually a steroid hormone, that stimulates or controls the development and maintenance of masculine characteristics
  4. Broca’s Area
    controls languageexpression; an area of the frontal lobe, usually in the left hemisphere thatdirects the muscle movements involved in speech
  5. Circadian Rhythm
    the biologicalclock; regular bodily rhythms that occur on a 24 hour cycle
  6. Genotype
    the genetic makeup of a cell
  7. Peripheral Nervous System
    the sensory and motor neurons that connect the central nervous system to the restof the body
  8. Epilepsy
    a chronic disordercharacterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures
  9. Prefrontal Lobotomy
    a rare procedure used to calm uncontrollably emotional or violent patients by cutting the connection between the frontal lobes and the emotion controlling centers of the inner brain
  10. Wernicke's Area
    located on the temporal lobe on the left side of the brain and is responsible for the comprehension of speech.
  11. Paradoxical Sleep
    (REM sleep) a recurring sleep stage during which vivid dreams commonly occur; called sobecause the muscles are relaxed yet the mind is active
  12. Split Brain
    – a condition in which the two hemispheres of the brain are isolated by cutting the connecting fibers(corpus callosum) between them
  13. Parkinsonism
    a group of symptoms characterized by progressive loss of motor function resulting form the degeneration of neurons in the cerebellum (voluntary muscle control) as well as lack of dopamine in the brain
  14. Plasticity
    the life long ability ofthe brain to reorganize neural pathways based on our new experiences incompensation to damage
  15. Antidepressant Drugs
    – a medicationused to alleviate mood disorders, such as major depression
  16. Antipsychotic Drugs
    psychoactive drugs used to treat psychosis and other similar mental disorders
  17. Behavior Genetics
    the study of the relative power and limits of genetic and environmental influences on behavior
  18. Activation-Synthesis Theory
    Hobson’s theory that dreaming is simply the brain’s attempt to make sense of the random neural activity
  19. Agonist
    – drugs that excite the neuron’s firing and give pleasure by mimicking neurotransmitters or endorphins; ACH (Acetylcholine)
  20. Prefrontal Cortex
    the front of the brain (in the frontal lobe) that is responsible for decision making, predictions, mediating, and other such functions; it is the biggest part of aperson’s personality
  21. Forgetting Curve
    Ebbinghaus’ theory that states that the course of forgetting is initially rapid but then levels off with time
  22. Hindsight Bias
    the tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it (aka I knewit all along phenomenon)
  23. Consciousness
    our awareness o fourselves and our environment
  24. Natural Selection
    – the principle that, among the range of inherited trait variations, those that lead to increased reproduction and survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations
  25. Information Processing Approach
    theory of memory that states that the human mind is a system that uses encoding, storage, and retrieval, much like a computer, to process information
  26. Serial Position Effect
    a term coined by Ebbinghaus that states that it is our tendency to recall best the last and first items in a list
  27. Rehearsal
    – the conscious repetition of information, either to maintain it in consciousness or to encode it for storage
  28. Semantic Memory (Semantic Encoding)
    memory of names and facts
  29. Two factor theory of Emotion
    is a theory of emotion suggesting that human emotion has two components (factors): physiological arousal and cognition (a conscious understanding of that arousal)
  30. James-Lange Theory
    Emotion are physical responses to external stimuli.
  31. Cocktail Party Effect
    your ability to attend to only one voice among many
  32. Magical Number Seven
    – Miller’s theory that short-term memory is limited to seven bits of information (give or take 2)
  33. Primacy Effect
    (part of the serial position effect) the tendency to remember the first items in a list rather than those in the middle or end
  34. Selective Attention
    the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus, as in the cocktail party effect
  35. Top-Down Processing Approach
    information processing guided by higher-level mental processes, as when we construct perceptions drawing on our experience and expectations
  36. Bottom-Up Processing Approach
    analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works up to the bran’s integration of sensory information
  37. Episodic Memory
    the memory of autobiographical events (times, places, associated emotions, and othercontextual knowledge) that can be explicitly stated; episodic and semantic memory make up explicit memory
  38. Mnemonics techniques
    memory aids, especially those techniques that use vivid imagery and organizational devices
  39. Schema
    Piaget’s theory that views organized knowledge as an elaborate network of abstract mental structures which represent one's understanding of the world
  40. Working Memory
    a newer understanding of short-term memory that involves conscious, active processing of incoming auditory and visual-spatial information, and of information retrieved from long-term memory
  41. Chunk Hypothesis
    the theory that groups of objects are easier to remember rather than individual items because they take up the same amount of space
  42. Cognitive Dissonance
    the feeling of uncomfortable tension caused by holding two inconsistent viewpoints(usually one though/one action) at the same time
  43. Elaborative Rehearsal
    the active processing of items to improve memory, through a variety of methods,such as focusing on sensory characteristics
  44. Retroactive Interference
    the disruptive effect of new learning on the recall of old information
  45. Parallel Processing
    the processing of several aspects of a problem/situation simultaneously
  46. Proactive Interference
    the disruptive effect of prior learning on the recall of new information
  47. Iconic Memory
    a momentary sensory memory of visual stimuli: a photographic or picture-image of memorylasting no more than a few tenths of a second
  48. Metacognition
    refers to one’s knowledge concerning one’s own cognitive processes or anything related to them
  49. Cognition
    all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating
  50. Cannon-Bard Theory
    a theory of emotion suggesting that individuals experience emotions and physiologically react simultaneously.
Card Set
AP Psych Vocab
3rd set of 50