AP Psychology Exam
*** Top Concepts ***
1. Aaron Beck's view of depression -The view of depression as sustained by intrusive negative cognitions
has had particular application in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which aims to challenge and
neutralize them through techniques such as cognitive restructuring.
2. absolute threshold Absolute threshold is the statistically determined minimum level of stimulation
necessary to excite a perceptual system 50% of the time. Can also be related to the firing process of
3. achievement vs. aptitude tests - Achievement tests are used to measure academic knowledge. Aptitude-
tests measure specific intellectual abilities or other characteristics
4. action vs. resting potential
AP- brief shift in the electrical charge that travels along the axon. The action potential follows
the all-or-nothing law.
RP-stable, negative internal charge when the cell is inactive (the cell is polarized), positive on
5. acuity-vision- clearness of vision, especially form vision, which is dependent on the sharpness of the
retinal focus within the eye, the sensitivity of the nervous elements, and the interpretative faculty of the
6. Afferent Neurons vs. Efferent Neurons- afferent neurons carry messages to the CNS/brain from
receptors (body parts). Efferent neurons do the opposite.
7. agonist vs. antagonist chemicals – agonist is a chemical that mimics a naturally-occurring substance
(neurotransmitter) in the body and produces the same physiological effect. Antagonist chemicals bind to
a receptor and block it, producing no response and preventing other chemicals (drugs or receptor
agonists) from binding or attaching to the receptor.
8. Ainsworth Strange Situation (Paradigm) - to observe attachment relationships between a human
caregiver and child. The child is observed playing for 20 minutes while caregivers and strangers enter
and leave the room, recreating the flow of the familiar and unfamiliar presence in most children's lives.
The situation varies in stressfulness and the child's responses are observed. (see attachment styles)
9. Bobo Doll experiment - most famous for his work on social learning theory and self efficacy. The Bobo
doll experiment was conducted in 1961 and studied patterns of behavior associated with aggression.
10. Albert Ellis - Rational Emotive Therapy (RET) - an American cognitive-behavioral therapist who in
1955 developed RET (an active-directive, solution-oriented therapy which focuses on resolving
cognitive, emotional, and behavioral problems in clients).
11. Alfred Adler - inferiority complex – An Austrian psychologist (early follower of Freud) best known for
the inferiority complex (a feeling that one is inferior to others in some way) and birth order
12. algorithm - a methodical step-by-step procedure for trying all possible alternatives in searching for a
solution to problem, *will guarantee a solution whereas a heuristic may not
13. all-or-nothing law (all-or-none) of neural firing- the neuron either fires or it doesn't, its action potentials
are all the same size and it can’t fire halfway (remember the toilet analogy)
14. altruism- the principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others. Used in
the Five Factor Model of Personality traits.
15. American Psychological Association (APA): scientific and professional organization that represents
psychology in the United States. Founded in 1892 at Clark University; publishes the DSM
16. amnesia (anterograde & retrograde):
Anterograde- memory loss, where new events are not transferred to long-term memory (can’t
make new memories)
Retrograde- unable to recall events that occurred before the onset of amnesia
17. androgyny: mixing of both male and female social characteristics or having a lack of gender
identification (falling in the middle of the continuum in regards to masculinity and femininity)
18. apparent motion: occurs when a stimulus is flashed in one location followed by another identical
stimulus flashed in another location. It refers to both the phi phenomenon, an illusion of movement
created when two or more adjacent lights blink on and off in succession (#224), and stroboscopic
motion, the movement seen in movies and television, wherein a series of quickly flashed stills creates
an illusion of movement (ex: cartoon frames are still figures, but played in succession it looks like the
characters move) It is also sometimes referred to as illusory motion
19. Arousal -is a physiological and psychological state of being awake. It involves the activation of the
reticular formation in the brain stem. Arousal is important in regulating consciousness, attention, and
information processing. It is crucial for motivating certain behaviors, such as mobility, the pursuit of
nutrition, the fight or flight response and sexual activity.
20. Asch's conformity study (line segments) – Solomon Asch’s 1950’s classic 3 line experiment. Subjects
were asked to match a standard line with one of three other lines displayed on another card the task
was easy until experimental accomplices started responding with obviously wrong answers creating a
situation in which Asch evaluated the subjects’ conformity.
21. Attachment- a close, emotional bond of affection between infants and caregivers. It is not instantaneous.
A very powerful bond that is important for survival- it keeps infants close to their mothers which is
important for getting food, staying away from danger and getting comfort. Jane Ainsworth’s Three
Secure- happy with mom, upset when she leaves, Quick to calm upon return.
Anxious-ambivalent – Anxiety with mom upset when she leaves, not comforted upon return
Avoidant- little contact with mom if any before and upon return, not distress when mom leaves
22. attribution theory - The theory is concerned with the ways in which people explain (or attribute) the
behavior of others, or themselves (self-attribution), with something else. It explores how individuals
"attribute" causes to events and how this cognitive perception affects their motivation. External" or
"situational” attribution assigns causality to an outside factor, such as the weather, whereas "internal"
or "dispositional" attribution assigns causality to factors within the person, such as their own level of
intelligence or other variables that make the individual responsible for the event.
23. aversive conditioning (good or bad?) – the use of negative events to alter the strength of an already
acquired negative behavior (often used against alcoholism, sexual deviance, or smoking) * Skinner
thought it was BAD.
24. aversive conditions an unpleasant stimulus, aversion therapy could include enduring slight shocks or
drug-induced nausea (ex: Antabuse).
25. Babinsky response when something is touched to the side of babies’ feet, their toes will spread out
26. behavior as being adaptive inherited characteristics increase in a population (through natural selection)
when it helps to solve problems of survival or reproduction. Darwin recognized that natural selection
is applicable to behavioral as well as physical traits.
27. bell curve (normal distribution)-
Symmetrical bell curve which represents the
pattern in which many human
characteristics fall within a given
population. The mean, median, and mode all
fall in the center of the curve.
28. Benjamin Whorf's theory of linguistic relativism (determinism) is the idea that language shapes
thought. The principle of linguistic relativity is the theory of the way in which an individual's
thoughts are influenced by the language(s) they have available to express them.
29. binocular disparity - Binocular vision occurs when two eyes look at the same thing at a slightly different
angle, resulting in two slightly different images. It's simple to confirm that as humans we have
binocular vision: place your hand a foot in front of your face and alternate closing each eye. Your hand
will appear to jump back and forth.
30. blind spot - Blind spot is where the axons from rods and cones exit the eye, a place called the optic disc.
If light strikes this area, you won’t be able to see anything because there are not rods or cones here to
decode the frequency of light. Each eye has its blind spot.
31. blood brain barrier - a semi permeable membrane-like mechanism that stops some chemicals from
passing between the bloodstream and the brain.(makes use of some treatments difficult – such as L-
32. brain: what part do we share with animals? How do we differ? - we share the basic hind brain with the
animals (medulla, cerebellum, reticular system, puns, and others from the lower part of the brain). Our
brain differs from the animal brain because of the cerebral cortex. Prefrontal cortex, and neocortex in
human are much larger than those of animals.
33. brainstorming - group of creativity technique designed to generate a large number of ideas for the
solution to a problem.
34. Boca’s aphasia (expressive) located in left frontal lobe - loss of ability to express ideas in a cohesive
manner. Patient able to think of what they want to say, but then when attempting to say it, it becomes
incoherent and choppy to listeners.
35. bystander intervention: the intervention in a situation of a non-involved party. Factors that influence it:
Giving personal responsibility to a bystander for the situation. I.E. "You, in the green hood, call 911."
Transfers responsibility to an individual thus making them feel more involved and responsible
36. catharsis - the release of emotional tension (Freud)
37. Cannon's critique of James-Lange theory:
He indicated that some of the problems with the James-Lange theory were:
People who show different emotions may have the same physiological (visceral) state - Example:
cry when happy & sad
b) visceral changes are often too difficult to notice by a person having the experience to be used
c) visceral changes are often too slow to be a source of emotions, which erupt very quickly. For
example, when something bad happens to you, do you always cry before you feel sad? Or can
you feel sad before crying?
d) physiological arousal may occur without the experience of an emotion: For example: exercise
--> increased heart rate --> no emotional significance
38. Carl Rogers: person (client) centered therapy - a humanist based insight therapy that emphasizes
providing a supportive emotional climate for clients, who play a major role in determining the pace
and direction of their therapy.
39. Carol Gilligan's critique of Kohlberg's theory
-it did not adequately describe the concerns of women, participants were largely male
-scoring method Kohlberg used tended to favor a principled way of reasoning that was more common
40. chaining – how we develop complex behaviors (according to Skinner)
- making sequences of shaped behaviors
- the chain is broken down into steps, each step is shaped first then linked into a chain
- ex. Training a chicken to go through each part of the obstacle course
41. personality disorders : major ones (you can also consult handout from class)
Paranoid: personality disorder in which sufferers are distrustful and suspicious of others. Only four of
the following are needed to indicate paranoid personality disorder: individual suspects, with no cause,
that others are out to get him; is reluctant to confide in others; is suspicious, without cause, that
significant other is being unfaithful; doesn't forgive grudges; has doubts about the loyalty of friends and
relations; reads hidden threatening messages into benign statements or situations.
Schizoid: A person who has a detachment from social relationships and a restricted range of emotional
expression in interpersonal situations is considered a schizoid personality. This can be verified by four
out of seven symptoms. These symptoms are: a loner, always chooses solitary activities; doesn't want or
enjoy any close relationships, including family; has no close friends except for immediate family;
demonstrates emotional coldness and detachment; takes enjoyment in very few activities; and appears
indifferent to what others think of him/her.
Sociopath: Do not experience anxiety, guilt, or feelings of remorse, even when they have caused great
distress in other people, often change jobs and relationships suddenly and can be assaultive or reckless.
They also often have a history of truancy from school and may have been expelled. They feel contempt
for anyone they can take advantage of. They lack insight into the connection between their behavior and
its consequences. Superficial charm and good intelligence; Shallow emotions and lack of empathy, guilt,
or remorse; Behaviors indicative of little life plan or order; Failure to learn from experience and absence
of anxiety; Unreliability, insincerity, and untruthfulness.
Schizotypal: Characterized by discomfort with and a reduced capacity for close relationships, cognitive
or perceptual distortions, and eccentricities of behavior. There are nine symptoms, but only five are
needed to confirm diagnosis These symptoms are: the person has ideas of reference, has odd beliefs or
thinking that doesn't agree with sub-cultural norms (e.g. belief in clairvoyance), odd speech patterns,
strange perceptual experiences, a lack of close friends other than immediate family, extreme social
anxiety, strange behavior or appearance, suspicious or paranoid ideas, and inappropriate or constricted
Borderline: Sufferers of this disorder have highly unstable interpersonal relationships. The cause of this
instability is closely related to the person's self image and also their early social interactions. Symptoms
include an unstable self image, rapid mood changes and a need to avoid feelings of abandonment,
whether real or imagined. The person also may have difficulty controlling their anger and have recurring
feelings of emptiness. Suicide attempts and self-mutilation are also among the recognized symptoms.
Histrionic: People with this disorder excessively seek emotion and attention for themselves. This
disorder can be recognized by these symptoms: the person is uncomfortable when he/she is not the
center of attention, easily suggestible, uses physical appearance to draw attention, emotions are rapidly
changing and shallow, speech very impressionistic and lacks detail, thinks that relationships are more
intimate than they really are, exaggerated expression of emotion, and interaction with others is usually
characterized by inappropriate sexual behavior.
Narcissistic: Individuals who are excessively grandiose, have a need for admiration, and lack empathy
are usually considered to be a narcissistic personality. They can only truly be shown to have the disorder
if the person has five of the following symptoms: extreme arrogance and haughtiness, envious of others
or believes that they are envious of him, doesn't recognize the feelings of others, exploits other persons
for his/her own aims, requires admiration, has fantasies of success and power, has a sense of entitlement
and believes that he/she is special.
Compulsive: A pervasive pattern of preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and mental and
interpersonal control, at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency, beginning by early
adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by four (or more) of the following is
preoccupied with details, rules, lists, order, organization, or schedules to the extent that the major point
of the activity is lost; shows perfectionism that interferes with task completion (e.g., is unable to
complete a project because his or her own overly strict standards are not met); is excessively devoted to
work and productivity to the exclusion of leisure activities and friendships (not accounted for by obvious
economic necessity); is over conscientious, scrupulous, and inflexible about matters of morality, ethics,
or values (not accounted for by cultural or religious identification); is unable to discard worn-out or
worthless objects even when they have no sentimental value; is reluctant to delegate tasks or to work
with others unless they submit to exactly his or her way of doing things; adopts a miserly spending style
toward both self and others; money is viewed as something to be hoarded for future catastrophes; shows
rigidity and stubbornness
Passive-Aggressive: indirectly expresses anger by being forgetful and stubborn; cannot admit to feeling
angry; habitually late; procrastinate, resist demands for adequate performance, find excuses for delays,
and find fault with those on whom they depend; yet they refuse to extricate themselves from the
dependent relationships. They usually lack assertiveness and are not direct about their own needs and
wishes. They fail to ask needed questions about what is expected of them and may become anxious
when forced to succeed or when their usual defense of turning anger against themselves is removed.
42. chunking – the process of combining small bits of information into bigger, familiar pieces, helps to
increase capacity of short term memory
Example: HO TB UT TE RE DP OP CO RN IN AB OW L can be more easily remembered as
HOT BUTTERED POPCORN IN A BOWL
43. classical conditioning ( & can you distinguish it from operant conditioning) – a type of learning in
which a subject comes to respond to a neutral stimulus (CS)as he would to natural stimulus (US) by
learning to associate the two stimuli. Classical conditioning does not teach using consequences, like
operant conditioning does.
44. Clever Hans experiment- Clever Hans was a horse that was claimed to have been able to perform
arithmetic and other intellectual tasks. After formal investigation in 1907, psychologist Oskar Pfungst
demonstrated that the horse was not actually performing these mental tasks, but was watching the
reaction of his human observers. Pfungst discovered this artifact in the research methodology, wherein
the horse was responding directly to involuntary cues in the body language of the human trainer, who
had the faculties to solve each problem. The trainer was entirely unaware that he was providing such
45. cognitive dissonance – a psychological term which describes the uncomfortable tension that comes from
holding two conflicting thoughts at the same time, or from engaging in behavior that conflicts with
46. color blindness: kinds – due to a cone deficiency,
Three types of color blindness;
achromatopsia (total color blindness),
protanopia (red/green color blindness) MOST COMMON
tritanopia (blue/yellow color blindness).
47. complementary colors – complimentary colors are pairs of colors that are in some way opposites of each
other. (red/green, blue/yellow, white/black)
48. conflicts: four kinds
approach-approach – a choice must be made between two equally attractive goals. (choosing
between two hot dates – Note: you can only have one!)
approach-avoidance – a choice must be made about whether to pursue a single goal that has
both attractive and unattractive aspects. (great car, but poor gas mileage)
avoidance-avoidance – a choice must be made between two equally unattractive goals (The
movie Saw – you can cut off your foot, or die a slow death chained to the wall)
double approach-avoidance – a choice must be made between two goals that each have
attractive and unattractive aspects. (dates again…a hot date w/ no personality or a date you’ll
have fun with , but isn’t as cute)
49. control group - subjects similar to the experimental group, who do not receive the independent variable in
the experiment. This group is the standard of comparison for the experimental groups.
50. Cooper's research on visual processing (using cats)
51. correlation coefficients - Correlation coefficient (r) is a number between 0 and 1, which can be positive
or negative (indicating how the variables are related—negative means as one variable X increases, the
other variable Y decreases, while a positive sign indicates that as one variable X decreases/increases,
the other variable Y decreases/increases in the same direction). The size of the number indicates the
strength of the correlation (correlations that are .2 or higher are statistically significant, while
correlations less than .2 are not statistically significant).
52. cortexes of the brain : major ones - structure within the vertebrate brain. Outermost layers of cortex are
grey matter. 2-4 mm thick. Plays a central role in complex brain functions including attention,
perceptual awareness, memory, language, thinking, and consciousness.
53. cross cultural studies: investigators compare groups of participants of differing cultures at a single point
in time; ex: how different cultures cope with death
54. cross sectional studies: investigators compare groups of participants of differing age at a single point in
time; can be completed more quickly, easily and cheaply than longitudinal studies. Contains areas
such as the motor and sensory strip.
55. crystallized intelligence: acquired and usually does not decline with age: acquired knowledge and
skills in problem solving; largely determined by education and experience.
CS(Conditioned Stimulus): prior to learning, does not elicit the desired response, but acquires
capacity by being repeatedly paired with the UCS.
CR(Conditioned Response): learned reaction to the CS.
UCS(Unconditioned Stimulus): stimulus that naturally elicits a response (UCR) without
UCR(Unconditioned Response): unlearned reaction to the UCS that occurs without precious
57. Daniel Goleman's views on emotional intelligence - the essential premise of EQ is that to be successful
requires the effective awareness, control and management of one's own emotions, and those of other
people. Emotional intelligence, which refers to how you handle your own feelings, how well you
empathize and get along with other people, is just a key human skill. But it also turns out that kids who
are better able to manage their emotions, for example, actually can pay attention better, can take in
information better, and can remember better. In other words, it helps you learn better.
58. David McClelland's achievement motivation studies People with a high need for achievement (N-Ach)
seek to excel and thus tend to avoid both low-risk and high-risk situations. Achievers avoid low-risk
situations because the easily attained success is not a genuine achievement. In high-risk projects,
achievers see the outcome as one of chance rather than one's own effort. High in achievement
individuals prefer work that has a moderate probability of success, ideally a 50% chance. Achievers
need regular feedback in order to monitor the progress of their achievements. They prefer either to
work alone or with other high achievers
59. Defense mechanisms: are unconscious distortions of reality used by the ego to reduce anxiety. (Freudian)
Compartmentalization is a process of separating parts of the self from awareness of other parts
and behaving as if one had separate sets of values..
Compensation is a process of psychologically counterbalancing perceived weaknesses by
emphasizing strength in other arenas.
Denial is the refusal to accept reality and to act as if a painful event, thought or feeling did not
Displacement is the redirecting of thoughts feelings and impulses from an object that gives rise
to anxiety to a safer, more acceptable one
Fantasy, when used as a defense mechanism, is the channeling of unacceptable or unattainable
desires into imagination.
Intellectualization is the use of a cognitive approach without the attendant emotions to suppress
and attempt to gain mastery over the perceived disorderly and potentially overwhelming
Projection is the attribution of one's undesired impulses onto another.
Rationalization is the cognitive reframing of ones perceptions to protect the ego in the face of
Reaction Formation is the converting of wishes or impulses that are perceived to be dangerous
into their opposites
Regression is the reversion to an earlier stage of development in the face of unacceptable
Repression is the blocking of unacceptable impulses from consciousness.
Sublimation is the channeling of unacceptable impulses into more acceptable outlets.
Undoing is the attempt to take back behavior or thoughts that are unacceptable
60. Deindividuation The term "deindividuation" was coined by Festinger, but developed most fully by
Zimbardo. He asserts that being in a large group provides a degree of anonymity, which allows one to
avoid responsibility for our actions. We thus shake off usual social controls and become more
impulsive, irrational, aggressive and even violent. (may help explain “mob mentality”)
61. deinstitutionalization to release (a mentally or physically handicapped person) from a hospital, asylum,
home, or other institution with the intention of providing treatment, support, or rehabilitation primarily
through community resources under the supervision of health-care professionals or facilities. (1960s)
62. dendrite (purpose of) A branched extension of a nerve cell that conducts impulses from adjacent cells
inward toward the cell body. A single nerve may possess many dendrites
63. depression: a mood disorder characterized by general emotional dejection and withdrawal; sadness
greater and more prolonged than that warranted by any objective reason. Tricylic antidepressants work
by inhibiting the re-uptake of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine, dopamine, or serotonin by nerve
cells. Tricyclic antidepressants are one form of treatment.
64. descriptive vs. inferential statistics Descriptive statistics are used to describe the basic features of the
data in a study. With inferential statistics, are used to generalize the data to a larger population, you are
trying to reach conclusions that extend beyond the immediate data alone
65. determinism-proposition that every event, including human cognition, decision and action, is causally
determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences. Determinism may also be defined as the thesis
that there is at any instant exactly one physically possible future.
66. developmental psychology -This field examines change across a broad range of topics including motor
skills and other psycho-physiological processes, problem solving abilities, conceptual understanding,
acquisition of language, moral understanding, and identity formation. Encompasses the entire span of
67. Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (purpose and limits)- a handbook for mental health
professionals that lists different categories of mental disorder and the criteria for diagnosing them,
according to the publishing organization the American Psychiatric Association, uses a multi-axle
68. difference threshold (jnd) – also known as the just noticeable difference (jnd). It’s the minimum
difference/change in stimulation that a person can detect 50 percent of the time. We experience the
difference threshold as a just noticeable difference.
69. discrimination (in learning theory and race relations) – In classical conditioning, it’s the ability to
distinguish between the CS and a similar stimuli that doesn’t result in a response. In operant
conditioning, it’s distinguishing between a learned response and a non-learned response. With racial
issues, it’s treating or making a distinction for or against someone based on their race.
70. displacement – A Freudian defense mechanism in which someone shifts their impulses from an
unacceptable target to a more acceptable or less threatening target. For example, instead of taking the
anger you have for you teacher out on the teacher, you punch your dog when you get home.
71. dissociative disorders –
Dissociative amnesia – sudden loss of memory for personal information too extensive to be due to
Dissociative fugue – loss of memory and sense of personal identity, functional memory stays
intact (amnesia with TRAVEL)
Dissociative identity disorder – involves the coexistence in one person of two or more complete
72. divergent vs. convergent thinking
Convergent thinking is oriented towards deriving the single best (or correct) answer to a clearly
defined question. It emphasizes speed, accuracy, logic, (most effective in situations where a
ready-made answer exists and needs simply to be recalled)
Divergent thinking, by contrast, involves producing multiple or alternative answers from
available information. It requires making unexpected combinations, recognizing links among
remote associates,.73. dominant responses (aided by social facilitation) - theory formulated in
1965 by the US-based Polish psychologist Robert (Boleslaw) Zajonc (born 1923) to explain what
had until then appeared to be contradictory findings on audience effects and co-action effects.
According to the theory, when an individual performs a task, the effect of an audience or co-
actors is to increase the individual's arousal level, which in turn increases the emission of
dominant responses in the individual's response repertoire. If the task is simple or well learned,
then the dominant responses are likely to be mostly correct, and the audience or co-action effect
results in an improvement or enhancement of performance; but if the task is difficult or
inadequately learned, then wrong responses are likely to predominate and the effect is an
impairment of performance.
73. dominant responses (aided by social facilitation) -when an individual performs a task, the effect of an
audience or co-actors is to increase the individual's arousal level, which in turn increases the emission
of dominant responses in the individual's response repertoire. If the task is simple or well learned, then
the dominant responses are likely to be mostly correct, and the audience or co-action effect results in
an improvement or enhancement of performance; but if the task is difficult or inadequately learned,
then wrong responses are likely to predominate and the effect is an impairment of performance.
74. Down’s syndrome - genetic disorder caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome.
75. dream analysis is the process of assigning meaning to dreams. Dream interpretation was taken up as part
of psychoanalysis, manifest content of a dream is analyzed to reveal its latent (hidden) meaning to the
psyche of the dreamer
76. drives - seeking homeostasis, internal motivations (See motivation chapter for examples of theories.
Also, look at the chart handout I gave you in class.)
77. Ebbinghaus' research on memory - studied forgetting, used nonsense syllables to test retention
78. echoic memory - brief sensory memories of sound
79. effects of marijuana - slowed reaction time, damages memory, reduces drive
80. eidetic memory- also known as photographic memory or total recall. It is the ability to recall images,
sounds, or objects in memory with great accuracy and in seemingly abundant volume – decreases w/
age, some researchers question its existence at all
81. electroconvulsive shock therapy- also known as electroshock. It is a psychiatric treatment in which
seizures are induced with electricity. Used to treat bipolar disorder or severe depression.
Process: A patient is anesthetized and given a muscle relaxant. Two electrodes are placed on
their head, either with one on each side of the head (bilateral ECT), both on one side of the head
(unilateral ECT) or somewhere in between (bifrontal ECT) and an electrical current is passed
between the electrodes for a few seconds, which causes a brief seizure.
82. Elizabeth Loftus' research on eyewitness testimony- The majority of Loftus' research focuses on
repressed sexual abuse memories from childhood, that suddenly reappear in adult women often twenty
years or more after the events took place. Her work raises enormous doubt about the validity of long-
buried memories of trauma.
She investigates the circumstances under which information received subsequent to an accident
or crime may cause predictable changes in witness' recollections of the event. Loftus criticism of
repression has altered the cornerstones of psychoanalysis and gives new rise to a number of
questions: (1) How common is it for memories of child abuse to be repressed? (2) How are jurors
and judges likely reacting to these repressed memory claims? (3) When the memories surface,
what are they like? (4) How authentic are the memories? The eyewitness testimony might be
believed to be true by the person, but in reality is false.
83. endocrine organs and hormones secreted by them- The major glands of the endocrine system are the
hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenals, pineal body, and the reproductive organs
(ovaries and testes). The pancreas is also a part of this system; it has a role in hormone production as
well as in digestion. Hormones released are thyroid hormones, cortisol, estrogen or testosterone, and
insulin-like growth factors.
84. endorphins – A of a group of hormones (sometimes listed as neurotransmitters) that bind to opiate
receptors and are found mainly in the brain. They also reduce the sensation of pain and affect
emotions. They make us feel good and are the reason behind such phenomenon as “runner’s high”
85. engram - A sort of encoding or change in neural tissue in the brain that provides a physical basis for
memory. This is the physical reason given for the capability and persistence of memory.
86. episodic memory – This is the term given to memories that occur like episodes in your own life. Such as,
your memory of your first date/first kiss. They are specific episodes of memories.
87. equity theory of relationships – A relationship is most successful when the give and take between the
two people is about equal. People prove to be happiest when they receive evenly as much as the other
person. The ones that get less want more and the ones that get more are typically happier they on
average feel guilty about the unfair trade.
88. Erik Erikson's stages of psychosocial development Describes eight developmental stages through
which a healthily developing human should pass from infancy to late adulthood. In each stage the
person confronts, and hopefully masters, new challenges. Each stage builds on the successful
completion of earlier stages. The challenges of stages not successfully completed may be expected to
reappear as problems in the future. Stages: Oral-Sensory/Infancy Stage, Muscular-Anal/Early
Childhood Stage, Locomotor-Genital/Preschool Stage, Latency/School-Age Stage, Adolescence,
Young Adulthood, Adulthood, Mature Adulthood
89. ethics of testing Ethical standards for research are set by the APA. Goal: ensure both human & animal
subjects are treated with dignity. Guidelines: informed consent, participant’s right to withdraw,
debriefing, confidentiality, the question & justification of deception, the question of animal research.
90. ethnocentrism the tendency to look at the world primarily from the perspective of your own culture.
This term was coined by Elena Jacobs Jaye Lau, a social evolutionist and professor of Political and
Social Science at Yale University. He defined it as the viewpoint that “one’s own group is the center
of everything,” against which all other groups are judged. Ethnocentrism often entails the belief that
one's own race or ethnic group is the most important and/or that some or all aspects of its culture are
superior to those of other groups.
91. expectancy theory (a.k.a mental set) expecting c a certain thing to occur based on information your
have previously received or on how something has happened in the past – can led to persistence in
using problem solving strategies that worked before instead of trying new ideas..
92. experiment (be able to design one): A research technique in which one variable (independent) is
manipulated under controlled conditions so resulting changes in another variable (dependent) can be
Uses a hypothesis (tentative statement about relationship b/w two variables).
Random sampling, representative (stratified) sample, random assignment
Extraneous variables, confounding variables
o Conclusions about cause and effect relationships
o Allows for control over variables
o Artificial nature of experiments
o Ethical and practical issues
93. false consensus effect: the tendency for people to overestimate the degree to which others agree with
them. People readily guess their own opinions, beliefs and predilections to be more prevalent in the
general public than they really are. Common in groups.
94. feature (signal) detector cells (Hubel & Wisel's research on visual processing): neurons that respond
selectively to very specific features of more complex stimuli. For example, simple cells respond best
to a line of the correct width, oriented at the correct angle, and located at the correct position in its
receptive field. Complex cells also care about width and orientation, but they respond to any position
in their receptive fields.
95. feature analysis: the process of detecting specific elements in visual input and assembling them into a
more complex form.
Bottom-up processing: a progression from individual elements to the whole.
Top-down processing: a progression from the whole to the elements.
96. feral children human children who, from a very young age, have lived in isolation from human contact
and has no (or little) experience of human care, loving or social behavior, and, crucially, of human
language. Feral children are extremely rare having been brought up by animals, confined by humans
(often parents) or live in the wild in isolation. Ex: Genie
97. fetal alcohol syndrome: characteristics due to alcohol exposure prior to birth. Babies diagnosed with
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) have the following physiological characteristics:
Small birth weight
Small head circumference
Small eye openings
Smooth, wide philtrum (vertical groove in upper lip)
Thin upper lip
98. figure - ground - phenomenon the division of the perceptual field into background and objects that
appear to stand out against it. The concept was evolved by the Gestalt psychologists, who invented
ambiguous figures in which the same part could be seen either as figure or ground.
99. Flynn effect is the rise of average Intelligence Quotient (IQ) test scores over the generations, an effect
seen in most parts of the world, although at greatly varying rates. It is named after James R. Flynn,
who did much to document it and promote awareness of its implications.
100. Foot-in-the-door phenomenon – ask for something small in order to catch the target’s interest, once you
get it, then ask for something bigger. The offer is usually insignificant so that the target will not
decline, but the second offer is more significant. (Ex: a salesman ask you to take a test drive, once you
agree, he then asks you to buy the car)
101. Formal operations – This is the fourth and final stage in Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory. This
stage begins at around 11 years of age, and continues through adulthood. In this stage children gain the
ability to think abstractly and draw conclusions from the information available. Also , adolescent
egocentrism, includes personal fable and imaginary audience.
102. Fovea –also known as the macular, is a part of the eye, located in the center of the retina. It has the
highest concentration of CONES. The fovea is responsible for sharp central vision, which is necessary
in humans for reading, watching television or movies, driving, and any activity where visual detail is
of primary importance.
103. Francis Galton's research – He created the statistical concept of correlation, and was the first to apply
statistical methods to the study of human differences and inheritance of intelligence. First to introduce
the use of questionnaires and surveys for collecting data on human communities. He founded
psychometrics (the science of measuring mental faculties) and differential psychology.
104. free association is a psychoanalytic technique in which clients spontaneously express their thoughts and
feelings exactly as they occur, with as little censorship as possible. Possible events occurring in
therapy: catharsis(emotional purging), transference(working through emotions and transferring them
onto therapist- diverting emotion), and resistance(indicates you are getting close to real problem).
105. frequency polygon – a line figure used to present data from a frequency distribution. Used to organize
and summarize data
106. Freudian dream analysis: two levels of interpretation – the therapist interprets the symbolic meaning
of the client’s dreams. Freud believed dreams were the most direct means of accessing patients’ inner-
most conflicts, wishes, and impulses. Interpretation refers to the therapist’s attempts to explain the
inner significance of the client’s thoughts, feelings, memories, and behaviors
Manifest content – the actual events of the dream
Latent content – the hidden meaning
107. Freud’s stages of psychosexual development
Oral Stage: (0-1 years) zone: mouth milestones: feeding, teething – adult personalities: oral
incorporative(over indulged, naive, gullible) and oral aggressive (sarcastic, cynical, pessimistic)
Anal Stage: (1-2 years) zone: anus – milestone: potty training – adult personalities: anal
retentive(hold in emotions, compulsive, organized, stubborn, stingy) and anal
aggressive/expulsive(hostile, sarcastic, rebellious, disorganized)
Phallic Stage (3-5 years) zone: genital area – milestone: learning the difference between boys and
girls – complexes: Oedipus complex(all little boys in love with mom and jealous of dad) and
Electra complex(little girls love dad and are angry at mom) – adult personalities: narcissism(self
absorbed in adult relationships)
Latency period (6-11 years) focus on school, etc., sexual drive is sublimated
Genital Stage (12- death) if you get to this stage with libido in tact you can have healthy adult
108. frustration-aggression hypothesis – frustration about not obtaining goals leads to aggression
109. functional fixedness – hindrance to problem solving in which the individual fails to see other uses for an
object and only focuses on their traditional use
110. fundamental attribution error - failure to view the influence of situation factors in others behaviors and
focusing more on the individual’s disposition
111. galvanic skin response (GRS) - method of measuring the electrical resistance of the skin, sensations
112. Ganglia (ganglion cells) -neurons located in the eye that receive visual information from photoreceptors
through cells like bipolar cells, (the axons of these cells form the optic nerve).
113. Ganzfeld Procedure -a mild sensory isolation technique that was introduced during the 1930s and started
to test for the presence of psi and ESP
114. Gate Control Theory of Pain- the gating system in the central nervous system that opens and closes to
let pain messages through to the brain may have the ability to limit or block pain signals.
115. Generalizability of a study (use of inferential statistics)- when you are trying to reach conclusions that
extend beyond the immediate data alone, like when thinking what decision a group might make.
116. genotype & phenotype:
genotype: the genetic makeup of an organism or group of organisms with reference to a single
trait, set of traits, or an entire complex of traits.
phenotype: the observable constitution of an organism; the appearance of an organism resulting
from the interaction of the genotype and the environment. (ex: having brown hair or blue eyes)
117. Gestalt theory: is a theory of mind and brain that proposes that the operational principle of the brain is
holistic, parallel, and analog, with self-organizing tendencies; or, that the whole is greater than the
sum of its parts. The key principles of Gestalt systems are (see your book for picture examples):
Closure - that denotes the fact that we make whole images from partial visual data. For example, we see
a circular figure with small gaps in it as a full or closed circle. Similarly, we perceive a whole figure
even if a part of the image of the figure falls on the blind spot of the retina;
Continuity - our tendency for smooth contours to dominate irregular, abruptly changing contours.
Proximity - grouping that activates when the vertical distance between elements is less than the
horizontal distance, and the elements organize perceptually into columns;
Similarity - grouping that determines like elements connect or group. Similarity covers visual
characteristics, including size, shape, color, texture, material, and surface.
The Common fate principle (movement) that determines that we perceive stimulus elements as a unit if
they move together. For example, imagine a camouflaged military vehicle in the field. When stationary,
the elements of the vehicle visually organize into the background patterns, and the vehicle is difficult to
detect. However, the vehicle is easily visible when it moves. We perceive the vehicle, with all its
elements moving in unison, as a unitary figure, distinct from its background .
118. glial cells: non-neuronal cells that provide support and nutrition, maintain homeostasis, form myelin, and
participate in signal transmission in the nervous system; provide support and protection for neurons.
They are thus known as the "glue" of the nervous system. The four main functions of glial cells are to
surround neurons and hold them in place, to supply nutrients and oxygen to neurons, to insulate one
neuron from another, and to destroy pathogens and remove dead neurons.
119. group therapy (advantages of ):
Exploring issues in a social context more accurately reflects real life.
Group therapy provides an opportunity to observe and reflect on your own and others' social
Group therapy provides an opportunity to benefit both through active participation and through
Group therapy offers an opportunity to give and get immediate feedback about concerns, issues
and problems affecting one's life.
Group therapy members benefit by working through personal issues in a supportive, confidential
environment and by helping others to work through theirs.
120. Groupthink -is a type of thought exhibited by group members who try to minimize conflict and reach
consensus without critically evaluating ideas. (fast w/ little effort)
121. Gustatory sense: detects only sweet, sour, salty, bitter – taste, or gustation, is the ability to detect
sensory changes in the tongue, through the use of taste, situated deep into the papillae.
122. Habituation -is an example of non-associative learning in which there is a progressive diminishing of
behavioral response with repetition of a stimulus. Can be used by developmental psychologists to test
infant responsiveness.(if someone next to you has the sniffles during the test, ever time you will not
pay attention to it anymore)
123. Hans Seyle's General Adaptation Response - proposed human's adaptive response to stress has three
distinct phases: ALARM stage, RESISTANCE, then EXHAUSTION
124. Haptic memory: memory for touch (A sensory memory exists for each sensory channel: iconic memory
for visual stimuli, echoic memory for aural stimuli and haptic memory)
125. Harry Harlow's research with surrogate mothers : In his most popularized series of experiments,
conducted between 1963 and 1968, Harlow offered young rhesus monkeys a choice between two
surrogate (wire) "mothers." In the first group, the terrycloth-covered wire mother provided no food
while the wire mother did, in the form of an attached baby bottle containing milk. In the second group,
the terrycloth mother provided food; the wire mother did not. It was found that the young monkeys
clung to the terrycloth mother whether it provided them with food or not and that the young monkeys
chose the wire surrogate only when it provided food. Apparently the terrycloth mothers provided
something that was more valuable to the young monkeys than food. She was providing contact
comfort. Harlow's interpretation was that the preference for the terrycloth mother demonstrated the
importance of affection and emotional nurturance in mother-child relationships
126. Hawthorne Effect: a phenomenon that when people are observed in a study, their behavior or
performance changes temporarily. Others have broadened the definition to mean that people’s
behavior and performance change following any new or increased attention. The Hawthorne studies
have had a dramatic effect on management in organizations and how people react to different
situations. (an important milestone in industrial and organizational psychology)
127. heuristics: a strategy, mental shortcut, guiding principle, or rule of thumb used in solving problems or
making decisions. (*Problem: they don’t always guarantee a solution.) Helpful heuristics in problem
solving are forming sub goals, working backward, searching for analogies, and changing the
representation of a problem.
128. hierarchy of needs (Maslow) can you put them in order? Physiological, safety, love/belonging, esteem,
129. high vs. low self-monitors: Self-monitoring is the degree to which people attend to and control the
impression they make on others in social interactions. Those high in self-monitoring are sensitive to
how their self-presentation is going. They adjust their self-presentation to gain the approval of their
130. hindsight bias: Hindsight bias, sometimes called the I-knew-it-all-along effect, is the inclination to see
events that have occurred as more predictable than they in fact were before they took place. Hindsight
bias has been demonstrated experimentally in a variety of settings, including politics, games and
medicine. In psychological experiments of hindsight bias, subjects also tend to remember their
predictions of future events as having been stronger than they actually were, in those cases where
those predictions turn out correct.
131. histogram- a bar graph that presents data from a frequency distribution.
132. homeostasis- Homeostasis refers to this tendency to maintain a balanced or constant internal state that is
optimal for functioning. For example, you have a specific "balanced" or "normal" body temperature
that is approximately 98.6 degrees. When there is a problem with the internal functioning of your
body, this temperature may increase, signaling and imbalance. As a result, your body attempts to solve
the problem and restore homeostasis; your normal body temperature.
133. Howard Gardner's view of multiple intelligence- Believes that there are eight different intelligences:
Argues IQ test emphasize verbal and mathematical skills and exclude other important skills.
Suggests the existence of a number of human intelligences. For example, music, kinesthetic,
spatial, linguistic, logical/mathematical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist.
134. hue: British term for color. The dimension of color space that captures the qualitative experience of the
color of a light.
135. hypnosis: major theories of –
role playing: developed by Barber and Spanos, said that hypnosis produces a normal mental
state in which suggestible people act out the role of a hypnotic subject and behave as they think
hypnotized people are supposed to, thus the subjects’ role expectations that produce hypnotic
effects, rather than a special trancelike state of consciousness.
Altered state of consciousness: Ernest Hilgard said that hypnosis creates a dissociation in
consciousness, theorizing that hypnosis splits consciousness into two streams; one stream is in
communication with the hypnotist and the external world, and the other is “hidden observer”.
136. hypothalamus - a region of the brain, between the thalamus and the midbrain, that functions as the main
control center for the autonomic nervous system by regulating sleep cycles, body temperature,
appetite, etc., and that acts as an endocrine gland by producing hormones, including the releasing
factors that control the hormonal secretions of the pituitary gland. (the four F’s)
137. id, ego, superego- The Id, Ego, and Super-Ego are the divisions of the psyche according to psychoanalyst
Sigmund Freud. They describe the division between the conscious and unconscious. The “id” (fully
unconscious) contains the drives and those things repressed by consciousness; the “ego” (mostly
conscious) deals with external reality; and the “super ego” (partly conscious) is the conscience or the
internal moral judge.
138. identical twin research- In twin studies researchers assess hereditary influence by comparing the
resemblance of identical twins and fraternal twins with respect to a trait. Studies can be done on twins
who grew up together and on twins who were separated. The studies have been used to compare
intelligence, homosexuality, behavior, traits, and disorders.
139. identification vs. internalization (Freudian terms)- Identification is a defense mechanism developed by
Sigmund Freud. Identification is bolstering self esteem by forming an imaginary or real alliance with
some person or group. Internalization is one of the concepts of the psychological process of
introjection, a psychological defense mechanism. Cognate concepts are identification and
140. illusory correlation - occurs when people estimate that they have encountered more confirmations of an
association between social traits than they have actually seen. People also tend to underestimate the
number of disconfirmations they have encountered, as illustrated by statements like “I’ve never met an
honest lawyer. (Under Social Behavior – “Subjectivity in Person Perception”) – confirmation bias
141. imaging techniques: PET, CAT, MRI, FMRI
PET (positron emission tomography) scanning – can examine brain function, mapping actual
activity in the brain over time. Radioactively tagged chemicals are introduced into the brain.
They serve as markers of blood flow or metabolic activity in the brain, which can be monitored
with X rays. Thus, a PET scan can provide a color-coded map indication which areas of the brain
CAT (CT scan – computerized tomography) – a computer-enhanced X ray of brain structure.
Multiple X ray are shot from many angles, and the computer combines the readings to create a
vivid image of a horizontal slice of the brain.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) – uses magnetic fields, radio waves, and computerized
enhancement to map out brain structure. MRIs provide much better images than CT scans,
producing 3D pictures of the brain that have remarkably high resolution.
FMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) – consists of several new variations of MRI
technology that monitor blood and oxygen flow in the brain to identify areas of high activity. It
can provide both functional and structural information in the same image and monitor changes in
brain activity in real time.
142. Imprinting - a phenomenon exhibited by several species when young, mainly birds, such as ducklings
and chicks. Once hatched, they will follow and become attached or socially bonded to the first moving
object they encounter which is usually the mother duck or hen. The first scientific studies of this
phenomenon were carried out by Austrian naturalist Konrad Lorenz (1903 - 1989). He discovered
that if grey lag geese were reared by him from hatching, they would treat him like a parental bird. The
goslings followed Lorenz all about as if he were the mother. He first called the phenomenon
"stamping in" in German, which has been translated to English as imprinting. The reason for the name
is because Lorenz thought that the sensory object met by the newborn bird is somehow stamped
immediately and irreversibly onto its nervous system.
143. incentives - external stimuli or rewards that motivate behavior although they do not relate directly to
144. independent/dependent variables - IV = the manipulated variable, the DV is the measured variable
145. induced motion - An illusion in which a stationary point of light within a moving reference frame is seen
as moving and the reference frame is perceived as stationary.
146. inductive vs. deductive reasoning - inductive = a form of reasoning in which a conclusion is made
about the probability of some state of affairs, based on the available evidence and past experience vs.
deductive = a form of thinking in which one draws a conclusion that is intended to follow logically
from two or more statements or premises.
147. industrial (organizational) psychology - A branch of psychology that studies behavior in the workplace
and the marketplace. IO Psychologists are involved in many areas of industry, including how
communication throughout companies, ergonomics, personnel, test development, and much more.
Their main goals are to enhance the workplace, making it a better environment in which to work and
to be more productive; and to influence the marketplace by making companies work better to increase
productivity and profits.
148. ingroup and outgroup bias - the tendency to favor one's own group. This is not one group in particular,
but whatever group you associate with at a particular time. So, for example, when you play on an
intramural softball team that meets once a week, you are part of that softball team's ingroup. Or, it can
be something on a much more grand scale like, the situation between religious groups in Ireland. They
have been killing each other for years, because they each perceive their own group as being the "right"
and "good" group, while the other group (the outgroup) is "bad" and "evil".
149. inner ear – (vestibular sense) - the innermost part of the ear, containing the cochlea (the spiral shape part
that has lots of neural receptors for picking up auditory stimuli), semicircular canals, and vestibular
150. instinct - A behavior that is genetically programmed into an entire species (a fixed action pattern). Thus,
the behavior is not the result of learning, and can be seen across members of a species. For example,
there are specific nest building behaviors that are part of different species of birds. If you hatch one of
these birds in captivity and raise it without any contact with any other members of its species, it will
still do those species-specific nest building behaviors.
151. instrumental /operant conditioning – A form of learning in which responses come to be controlled by
their consequences. Skinner built upon Thorndike’s idea of instrumental learning, behavior is
instrumental in producing a change in the environment, and that environmental change in turn affects
the probability of the behavior that produced it. According to Skinner, operant conditioning had a
reinforcement, consequences that causes a behavior to occur with more frequency, punishment,
consequence that causes a behavior to occur with less frequency, and extinction, the lack of any
consequence following a response will cause the response to fade. There are four contexts to operant
Positive Reinforcement – occurs when a behavior is followed by a favorable stimulus.
Negative Reinforcement – occurs when a behavior is followed by the removal of an aversive
Positive punishment – occurs when a behavior is followed by an aversive stimulus
Negative punishment – occurs when a behavior is followed by the removal of a favorable
152. Intelligence Quotient (I.Q.) – A child’s mental age divided by chronological age, multiplied by 100. The
ratio is made to compare children of different ages.
153. intelligence tests (major kinds used) -
Intelligence tests – intended to assess intellectual potential
Aptitude tests – assess specific types of mental ability.
Achievement tests – gauges a person’s mastery and knowledge of various subjects
154. interference (proactive vs. retroactive) -
proactive – occurs when previous learning interferes with new learning
retroactive – new learning disrupts your previous learning
155. internal consistency reliability – a measure of reliability of different survey items intended to measure
the same characteristic (i.e. asking the same question on a personality test multiple ways to make sure
the person is being truthful)
156. internalization – occurs when objects are 'installed' into the ego, such that they are both integral to sense
of self and also experienced as separate and concrete internal objects
157. intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation – intrinsic(values you hold within, feel good) extrinsic(what you get
out of it, ex: good grade)
158. James-Lange theory of emotions – an event causes physiological arousal first, then we interpret it, and
then we experience emotion (ex: the man with a knife jumps out, your heart beats faster, your breaths
are short, you notice these physiological changes and then you experience the fear)
159. John Garcia's ideas on the limits of conditioning - taste aversion study with rats and radiation
160. just-world phenomenon - the tendency for people to believe that the world is just and that people
therefore get what they deserve and deserve what they get
161. Karen Horney's views on development - Neo-Freudian, “womb envy”, self- protective mechanisms,
focus on security
162. Kinesthetics or kinesthetic sense, is the ability to sense body position and the movement of muscles,
tendons, and joints. For example your body can sense that you will not fit between closely parked cars
unless you turn your body a certain way for a better fit, and it knows that you turned your body
163. Kholberg’s stages of moral development -three levels (each with 2 sublevels)
Preconventional level which focuses on right and wrong, basically you and your needs.
o 1) Emphasis on staying out of trouble (ex: Don't Cheat you could get in trouble)
o 2) Emphasis on gaining rewards and watching out for one’s own needs (ex: you scratch
my back I will scratch yours)-
Conventional Level-- focus on authority
o 3) attempts to gain approval through good behavior (ex: Don't cheat because your
parents may loose respect)
o 4) Focus on laws and authority-- black and white/rigid laws (ex: Stealing for whatever
reason is wrong)
Post Conventional-transcend authority, isn’t so rigid – shades of gray
o 5) "social contract" guides behavior--good of all (ex: All children have the
responsibility of taking care of their old parents)
o 6) Golden & international rules; equality, justice
164. Kubler-Ross’ stages of dying: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance (believed to be
outdated, may be cultural variations to coping w/ death)
165. L-dopa: An amino acid that is the metabolic precursor of dopamine, is converted in the brain to
dopamine, and used in synthetic form to treat Parkinson's disease (trouble with the synthetic version is
it has problems passing the blood barrier). Also called levodopa.
166. learning curve - states that the more times a task has been performed, the less time will be required on
each subsequent iteration. Discovered by the nineteenth-century German psychologist Hermann
167. limbic system: structures and function - the main structures of that brain that are classified as being a
part of the limbic system are the Amygdala, Hippocampus, Hypothalamus, and Thalamus. Highly
interconnected structure that operates by influencing the endocrine system and the autonomic nervous
system. Commonly called the brain’s pleasure center.
168. linear perspective - depth cue that is related to both relative size and the next depth cue, texture gradient.
For example, parallel lines that recede into the distance appear to get closer together or converge.
169. linkage analysis - a technique in genetic research whereby occurrence of a disorder in a family is
evaluated alongside a known genetic marker.
170. Lithium (bi-polar disorders) – Lithium is a mood stabilizer and a biomedical treatment option for
bipolar disorder. Lithium however, can be toxic, so the patient receiving it as a form of treatment
needs to be monitored.
171. Localization of sound (how is it done? Why are two ears needed?) – Localization is a listener's ability
to identify the location or origin of a detected sound. The loudness of the sound (intensity) and the
timing (when the sound arrives at each ear) are important cues in sound localization. The binaural
sound cue is the split-second delay between the time when sound from a single source reaches the near
ear and when it reaches the far ear. The intensity of the sound in the far ear is less because of the
greater distance sound travels. The binaural sound cue is the reason for two ears because you use it to
localize where a sound is originating in space.
172. Long term potentiation – it is an increase in the strength of a chemical synapse that lasts from minutes to
several days. Because changes in synaptic strength are thought to underlie memory formation, long
term potentiation is believed to play a critical role in behavioral learning.
173. Longitudinal study – When investigators observe one group of participants repeatedly over a period of
time. It is a method used in studying development and contrasts with the cross-sectional approach. EX:
an investigator tracing the growth of children’s vocabulary would assemble one group of 50 six-year-
olds and measure their vocabulary at age six, again a age eight, and once more at age ten. (remember:
longitudinal= long over a period of time)
174. major neurotransmitters - See chart
175. Martin Seligman's "learned helplessness"
176. measures of central tendency: mean - average, median – middle number once the scores are put in
numerfrical order, mode – the number occurign most often
177. measures of variability: range and standard deviation
Range – the simplest measure of variability to calculate. Simply the highest score minus the
lowest score, or highest minus lowest plus one.
Standard Deviation – the square root of the variance. Useful measure of variability when the
distribution is normal or approximately normal. Uses the mean as a measure from the middle of
178. memory: kinds (sensory, short-term, long-term)
Sensory - the ability to retain impressions of sensory information after the original stimulus has
ceased. Refers to items detected by Sensory receptors retained temporarily in the sensory
registers just long enough to send (encode) to STM.
Short-term – The part of memory which is said to be able to store 7 plus or minus 2 bits of
information for about 20 seconds. Lasts longer upon going through rehearsal.
Long-term – The stage of memory that you achieve by storing short-term memory. Can last as
little as 30 seconds to as long as decades. Use of retrieval helps bring stored information into
short-term to access it.
179. mental age - is an intelligence test score, expressed as the chronological age for which a given level of
performance is average or typical. A person’s mental age divided by their chronological age, then
multiplied by 100 yields an intelligent quotient.
180. mental set - a tendency to approach situations the same way because that way worked in the past. For
example, a child may enter a store by pushing a door open. Every time they come to a door after that,
the child pushes the door expecting it to open even though many doors only open by pulling. This
child has a mental set for opening doors.
181. metacognition- knowledge of your own thoughts and the factors that influence your thinking; thinking
182. method of loci - is a mnemonic technique for remembering; for example take your house and mentally
walk through it identifying important loci (locations) such as doors or windows, etc. then when you
have a list of words to remember attach them to the loci you identified, then as you take a walk
through your house you can remember the words by recalling what was on the door?, or what was by
the window?; this enables you to recall long lists of words
183. milieu therapy - this model of treatment combined elements from psychodynamic theories, particularly
the theories of Carl G. Jung; humanism; and existentialism
184. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI - II) - most widely used self-report personality
test, developed in the 1940's, originally designed to aid clinicians in the diagnosis of psychological
disorders. It measures mostly aspects of personality that, when manifested to an extreme degree are
thought to be symptoms of disorders.
185. misinformation effect - a memory bias that occurs when post-event information affects people's reports
of their own memory. (ex: eyewitnesses to a car crash being asked “How fast were the cars going
when they smashed?” may lead the witnesses to remember the cars going faster than they actually
were.) Elizabeth Loftus
186. modeling – a person whose behavior is observed by another, being the “model” of behavior and actions
within observational learning (Bandura)
187. monocular vs. binocular depth cues
Monocular depth cues – clues about distance based on the image of one eye alone. 2 kinds, one
is the result of the active use of the eye in viewing the world, the other called pictorial depth
cues, or clues about distance that can be given in a flat picture, such as a really realistic picture
you feel you can walk into.
Binocular depth cues – clues about distance based on the differing views of the two eyes.
Because the eyes are set apart, each eye has a slightly different view of the world. Based on the
concept of retinal disparity, the closer and object gets, the greater the disparity between the
images seen by each eye.
188. motion after-effect: a visual illusion perceived after watching a moving visual stimulus for about a
minute and then looking at stationary stimulus. The stationary stimulus appears to move slightly for
about 15 seconds, opposite to the direction of the original (physically moving) stimulus. The motion
aftereffect is believed to be the result of motion adaptation. (There is a color after-effect too!)
189. motion parallax: depth cues that involve images of objects at different distances moving across the retina
at different rates (You know the tree is way up in the distance and the car is close because the car’s
image is speeding across your retina while the tree appears to be staying still.)
190. myelin sheath: an electrically insulating glial cell layer that surrounds the axons of many neurons. It
increases the speed at which impulses propagate along the axon.
191. narcissism: means love of oneself, and refers to the set of character traits concerned with self-admiration,
self-centeredness and self-regard. The name was chosen by Sigmund Freud.
192. nature vs. nurture controversy:
nature position- child development is a maturational process dictated by biological factors
nurture position- biology may be the foundation, but it’s the environment that molds the child
193. nervous system: major parts
Central nervous system- consists of the brain and spinal cord
Peripheral nervous system- consists of all other nerves and neurons that do not lie within the CNS;
the peripheral nervous system is divided into the somatic nervous system and the autonomic nervous
o somatic nervous system is responsible for coordinating the body's movements, and also for
receiving external stimuli. It is the system that regulates activities that are under conscious
o autonomic nervous system is then split into the sympathetic division and parasympathetic
sympathetic nervous system responds to impending danger or stress, and is responsible
for the increase of one's heartbeat and blood pressure, among other physiological
changes, along with the sense of excitement one feels due to the increase of adrenaline in
the system; it “sympathizes” with your situation
parasympathetic nervous system it is evident when a person is resting and feels relaxed,
and is responsible for such things as the constriction of the pupil, the slowing of the heart,
the dilation of the blood vessels, and the stimulation of the digestive, reproductive organs
and urinary system; it calms you down
194. neuron: three basic parts
Dendrites- the branched projections of a neuron that act to conduct the electrical stimulation received
from other neural cells to the soma
Soma- the cell body
Axon- the long, slender projection that conducts electrical impulses away from the neuron's soma.
195. neurotransmitters: major kinds
Acetylcholine- Only transmitter between motor neurons and voluntary muscles; helps regulate
attention, arousal and memory; nicotine can fool a cell into thinking it’s acetylcholine
GABA- Primary (most abundant) natural inhibitory transmitter within the body; helps inhibit
chemicals that contribute to anxiety; low levels are associated with high anxiety; alcohol raises
GABA levels; Xanax and Valium are GABA agonists (they enhance its effects)
Dopamine- Helps control of voluntary movements, also linked to pleasurable emotion; decreased
levels are associated with Parkinson’s disease; elevated levels are associated with schizophrenia;
substantia nigra = area of the mid brain rich in dopamine neurons; cocaine & amphetamines work by
inhibiting the reuptake process thus elevating levels of dopamine available in the cleft
Norepinephrine- Helps regulate mood and arousal; lower levels contribute to depression; cocaine and
amphetamines elevate activity at NE synapses
Serotonin- Involved in sleep, wakefulness, eating and aggression; lower levels contribute to
depression and OCD; Prozac and SSRIs work at serotonin synapses
Endorphins- Natural opiate within the body; help with pain relief and pleasurable emotion (runner’s
Substance P- Critical pain transmitter; level of substance P is positively correlated with pain; effect
can be blocked by opioid peptides
196. newborn baby reflexes
Moro Reflex- when babies think they are falling they will hold out arms as if someone is going
to catch them.
Walking- when babies are held up so they are standing, they will make small steps almost like
Rooting- moving their heads to the side when their cheek is touched
Sucking- whatever is in their mouths, from breast-feeding
Palmar Grasp- when something is put into babies’ fingers, they will grab on to it
Plantar Grasp- same as above with toes
Babinksi Reflex- when something is touched to the side of babies’ feet, their toes will spread out
197. next-in-line-effect - impaired recall for an event immediately preceding an anticipated public
The effect was first reported in 1973 by the US postgraduate student Malcolm Brenner, who
performed an experiment in which a group of participants sat around a circular table taking turns
reading words aloud, trying to remember as many words as possible. After going round the table
several times, so that each participant had read out several words and there were many more read
out by others to remember, the participants' recall was tested. Recall tended to be best for the
words that the participants had read out themselves and worst for the words immediately
preceding the words that they had read out (the next-in-line effect).
198. normative social influence - occurs when one conforms to be liked or accepted by the members of the
group. Solomon E. Asch (1955) was the first psychologist to study this phenomenon in the laboratory.
He conducted a modification of Sherif’s study, assuming that when the situation was very clear,
conformity would be drastically reduced. He exposed people in a group to a series of lines, and the
participants were asked to match one line with a standard line. All participants except one were
secretly told to give the wrong answer in 12 of the 18 trials. The results showed a surprisingly high
degree of conformity. 76% of the participants conformed on at least one trial. On average people
conformed one third of the time.
199. norms - data concerning comparison groups that permit the score of an individual to be assessed relative
to his or her peers.
200. obesity (role of hypothalamus)- If the ventromedial region of the hypothalamus is lesioned, it will result
in overeating, in turn resulting in obesity (the “fat rat”). However if the Lateral hypothalamus is
lesioned, it can no longer communicate that “you are hungry,” resulting in starvation.
201. Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCD)-
1. obsessions- unwelcome, involuntary and persistent thought
a. often centers on inflicting harm on others, personal failures, suicide
2. Compulsions- urges to engage in senseless rituals
a. i.e. hand washing, repetitive cleansings, endless checking and rechecking
202. occipital lobe- Primary site in the brain for visual and color processing.
203. Oedipal conflict - is a concept within psychoanalytic theory referring to the phallic stage of psychosexual
development where a child of either gender regards the parent of the same gender as an adversary and
competitor, for the exclusive love of the parent of the opposite gender.
204. one eye problem - what you couldn't do well if you had only one eye – driving, peripheral vision is
limited, color retention is damaged
205. operational definition - defining a concept in such as way that makes it measurable (ex: aggression
maybe defined as the number of times a child hits another child)
206. opponent-process theory of emotions - when one emotion is experienced, the other is suppressed. For
example, if you are frightened by a mean dog, the emotion of fear is expressed and relief is
207. opponent process theory of visual processing (afterimages) - Color perception depends on receptors
that make antagonistic responses to three pairs of colors. (red/green, blue/yellow, black/white). This
explains afterimages - when one color in a pair is fatigued from overstimulation, the opponent is
208. optic disc - The hole in the retina where the optic nerve fibers exit the eye. It is also known as the blind
spot because you can't see the part of the image that falls on the hole.
209. optic nerve - Formed by ganglion axons leaving the back of each eye, some cross over at the optic chiasm
and project to the opposite side of the brain.
210. Optimistic Explanatory Style – positive view of the world and events
211. pancreas - a gland/organ in the digestive and endocrine system in charge of insulin
212. panic attacks - an anxiety disorder in which sufferers experience unexpected, severe panic attacks that
begin with a feeling of intense apprehension, fear, or terror.
213. paradoxical sleep: why is REM called this? It is another name for REM sleep which includes not only
rapid eye movements, but also low muscle tone and a rapid, low voltage EEG pattern. It is called this
because its electrical brain patterns resemble those of the awake state.
214. paresis is a condition typified by partial loss of movement, or impaired movement. When used without
qualifiers, it usually refers to the limbs, but it also can be used to describe the muscles of the eyes.
Neurologists use the term paresis to describe weakness, and plegia to describe paralysis.
215. perceptual constancy (size, color, shape) - the perception of an object or quality as constant under
changing conditions. This can conclude variables such as size, color, and shape
216. perceptual set - – a mental predisposition to see (perceive) one thing and not another (Ex: a wolf running
through the city may be perceived as a dog because we don’t expect to see a wolf running through the
city). The idea that you see what you expect to see.
217. personal space - area around a person that he considers his own is called personal space; people feel
uncomfortable if this area is entered by someone unwanted. (Edward T. Hall) – typically about 3 feet,
depends on familiarity and sometimes culture
218. perspectives in psychology (major ones)
Behaviorist: emphasizes on overt behavior rather than covert mental processes; behaviorists focus on
environmental and external stimuli
Psychoanalysis/Psychodynamic: Founded by Sigmund Freud, this approach to psychology
emphasizes the influence of childhood and the unconscious.
Humanist: focuses on mankind’s ability to exercise free will and its innate drive to reach its fullest
Biological: reduces overt behavior to underlying neurological, biochemical, and/or neuromuscular
Cognitive: stresses the importance of the mental process underlying behavior.
219. phenylketonuria (PKU) This genetic disorder is marked by a lack of phenylalanine hydroxylase
(necessary for metabolizing phenylalanine). This can lead to mental retardation in children. It is
typically treated by eliminating phenylalanine from the diet.
220. phi phenomenon A significant milestone in Gestalt Psychology in which motion is perceived due to a
succession of still images. (like lights going around a movie theater sign, it looks like one light
streaming around the sign when in reality it is a bunch of lights taking turns going on and off all
around the perimeter of the sign which give it an appearance of movement)
221. phonemes vs. morphemes Phonemes are the smallest speech unit WITHOUT meaning. Morphemes are
the smallest unit of speech WITH meaning and consist of root words, prefixes, and suffixes.
222. photoreceptors- Are specialized types of neurons found in the eye’s retina. They absorb photons from the
visual field and signal this information to other neurons through a change in membrane potentials .
Eventually, this information will be used by the visual system to form a complete representation of the
223. Piaget's stages of cognitive development-
Sensorimotor Stage: from birth to age 2 years (children experience the world through movement and
senses and learn object permanence)
Preoperational Stage: from ages 2 to 7 (beginning of symbolic thought and mental representation of
Concrete Operational Stage: from ages 7 to 11 (children begin to think logically about concrete
events. Decentration, reversibility, and conservation emerge)
Formal Operational Stage: after age 11 (development of abstract reasoning. Includes increase in satire
& sarcasm, adolescence egocentrism, and hypothetical deductive reasoning).
224. pineal gland (function and what makes it unique?)-Is a small endocrine gland in the brain located near
the center between the two hemispheres. It is responsible for the production of melatonin, which is
regulated in a circadian rhythm. It is large in children and shrinks at puberty and appears to play a
major role in sexual development.
225. pitch - the particular tonal standard with which given tones may be compared in respect to their relative
level (review different theories in your notes about how one determines pitch).
226. pituitary gland - A small oval endocrine gland attached to the base of the vertebrate brain, the secretions
of which control the other endocrine glands and influence growth, metabolism, and maturation. “the
227. plasticity/ neuroplasticity Entire brain structures can change to better cope with the environment.
Specifically, when an area of the brain is damaged and non-functional, another area may take over
some of the function.
228. positive and negative symptoms (in mental disorders):
Positive: Behavioral excess or peculiarities (ex: hearing voices)
Negative: Behavioral deficits (ex: flat affect).
229. positive reinforcement: a procedure in which the subject is rewarded immediately after exhibiting a
230. post traumatic stress disorder: anxiety disorder in which a traumatic situation is relived through
memory flashbacks or dreams.
231. Premack principle: a special case of reinforcement, which states that a commonly occurring action can
be used effectively as a reinforcer for a less commonly occurring one. (ex: you’ll clean your room in order
to go to the movies)
232. primacy effect - the tendency to remember the first bit of information in a series due to increased
Primary Reinforcer: A reinforcer that meets our basic needs such as food, water, sleep, or love.
Secondary Reinforcers: A reinforcer other than one which meets our basic needs such as food or
water (e.g., intellectual stimulation, money, praise) Secondary reinforcers gain value because we
can trade them in for primary reinforcers
Conditioned reinforcers – secondary reinforcers that have been associated w/ primary reinforcers
for so long they appear to have value on their own (ex: money)
234. Projective test: test designed to reveal information from the unconscious by having the participant
provided feedback about an ambiguous stimulus
TAT (Thematic Apperception Tests): A subjective personality test where ambiguous pictures are
shown to a subject and they are asked to tell a story related to them.
Rorschach: A projective technique utilizing ambiguous inkblots as stimuli.
Sentence completion tests
235. prosocial behavior: behavior intended to benefit others or society as a whole. It is contrasted with anti-
social behavior, which is intended to harm others. In both types of behavior, intention is the key
determinant. Examples would be giving, helping, or sharing.
236. proximity (effects on relationships) -You are most likely attracted to the people that you are around the
most. The people that one comes in contact with on a regular basis are most likely who they will start
romantic relationships with. If you do not see someone very often then the chances are slim that you
will become romantically interested in that person.
237. Prototype - a representation of something within a certain category. The typical characteristics of that
member – ex: thinking of the James bond type when you think of a bachelor.
238. punishment: why it may not be effective and might backfire- One key problem with punishment is
that even when it is effective in weakening a response, it can have unlimited side effects . One of the
side effects is the general suppression of behavioral activity, it can repress many responses besides the
punished one. It can also trigger strong emotional responses including fear, anxiety, anger, and
resentment. Physical punishment often leads to aggressive behavior.
239. Rational Emotive Therapy (RET)- a direct, confrontational approach that focuses on altering clients'
patterns of irrational thinking to reduce maladaptive emotions and behavior. Albert Ellis gave this
approach on stress.
240. reality principle (function of ego) According to Freud, the principle on which the ego operates, which
seeks to delay gratification of the id’s urges until appropriate outlets and situations can be found. The
reality principle strives to satisfy the id’s desires in realistic and socially appropriate ways. The reality
principle weighs the costs and benefits of an action before deciding to act upon or abandon an impulse.
241. recessive vs. dominant genes – Recessive gene is a gene whose influence is masked when paired genes
are different (heterozygous). Dominant gene is a gene that is expressed when paired genes are
242. reflex arc – is the neural pathway that mediates a reflex action. Most sensory neurons do not pass directly
into the brain, but synapse in the spinal cord. This characteristic allows reflex actions to occur
relatively quickly by activating spinal motor neurons without the delay of routing signals through the
brain, although the brain will receive sensory input while the reflex occurs.
243. reliability vs. validity in testing –
Reliability : allows for stable estimates over time. In other words, it achieves similar results for
students who have similar ability and knowledge levels.
Validity: refers to the extent to which a test's content is representative of the actual skills learned and
whether the test can allow accurate conclusions concerning achievement.
244. REM sleep-Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is the normal stage of sleep characterized by rapid
movements of the eyes. REM sleep in adults typically occupies 20-25% of total sleep. During a normal
night of sleep, we usually experience about 4 or 5 periods of REM sleep; they are quite short at the
beginning of the night and longer at the end.
245. Repression is the psychological act of excluding desires, trauma and impulses (wishes, fantasies or
feelings) from one's consciousness and attempting to hold or subdue them in the unconscious. Since the
popularization of Sigmund Freud's work in psychoanalysis, repression is popularly known to be a
common defense mechanism
246. reticular formation: related to sleep, arousal, attention-The reticular formation is a part of the brain
which is involved in staying alert. (Remember the cat whose reticular formation was lesioned? He fell
into a permanent coma.) Some researchers have speculated that the reticular formation controls
approximately 25 specific behaviors, including sleeping, walking, eating, urination, defecation, and
247. retinal disparity (a.k.a. binocular disparity)- Each eye’s retina has a slightly different image. Depth
perception emerges from the fusion of the two slightly different projections of the world on the two
248. Robert Rescorla's findings on conditioning – a) supported Stimulus Contingency, which was a model
of classical conditioning that states learning takes place when one event reliably predicts the other. b)
stated that blocking may be due to all “available” learning being used up on the first stimulus. c) Came
up with Signal relations which is the idea that contingency plays a role in classical conditioning.
249. rods and cones (structures & differences) - Both are located in the back layer of the eye; Cones are
responsible for color; Rods are responsible for black and white, and night vision; cones are closer to
the center, and rods focus on peripheral vision.
250. rooting reflex - babies will move their heads to the side when their cheek is touched
251. sample - the collection of subjects selected for observation in an empirical study, lager samples are better
– small samples are prone to sampling error
252. scatter plot - a graph used in statistics (to plot correlations) to visually display and relate two variables by
displaying the data as a collection of points, each having one coordinate on a horizontal and one on a
vertical axis. A scatter plot can show various kinds of relationships, including positive (rising), negative
(falling), and no relationship. If the pattern of dots slopes from lower left to upper right, it suggests a
positive correlation between the variables being studied. If the pattern of dots slopes from upper left to
lower right, it suggests a negative correlation. A line of best fit can be drawn in order to study the
correlation between the variables. An equation for the line of best fit can be computed using the method of
253. schedules of reinforcement (5 kinds - which are most effective?)
Continuous Schedule Reinforcing every time the behavior occurs
o Prone to easy extinction
*For those below, remember – ratio = number of response Interval = time
Fixed Ratio. A fixed ratio schedule refers to applying the reinforcement after a specific number
of behaviors. Spanking a child if you have to ask him three times to clean his room is an
o The problem is that the child (or anyone for that matter) will begin to realize that he can
get away with two requests before he has to act. Therefore, the behavior does not tend to
change until right before the preset number – 3 times
Fixed Interval. Applying the reinforcer for the first desired behavior after a specific amount of
time is referred to as a fixed interval schedule. An example might be getting a raise every year
and not in between.
o A major problem with this schedule is that people tend to improve their performance
right before the time period expires so as to "look good" when the review comes around
(this is called the FI scallop because it has a scallop appearance when graphed).
Variable Ratio. This refers to applying a reinforcer after a variable number of responses.
Imagine walking into a casino and heading for the slot machines. After the third coin you put in,
you get two back. Two more and you get three back. Another five coins and you receive two
more back. How difficult is it to stop playing? This feeds the “gambler’s fallacy – the idea that
the next one will be the big one.
o Variable ratio schedules have been found to work best under many circumstances and
knowing an example will explain why.
Variable Interval. Reinforcing someone for the first desired behavior after a variable amount of
time. If you have a boss who checks your work periodically, you understand the power of this
schedule. Because you don’t know when the next ‘check-up’ might come, you have to be
working hard at all times in order to be ready.
o In this sense, the variable schedules are more powerful and result in more consistent
behaviors. This may not be as true for punishment since consistency in the application is
so important, but for all other types of reinforcement they tend to result in stronger
254. schema is a mental structure that represents aspect of and helps interpret the world . People use schemata
to organize current knowledge and provide a framework for future understanding. In Piaget's theory of
development, children adopt a series of schemas to understand the world.
255. schizophrenia is a psychiatric diagnosis describing a mental disorder characterized by impairments in the
perception or expression of reality and by significant social, cognitive and occupational dysfunction. A
person experiencing schizophrenia is typically characterized as demonstrating disorganized thinking,
and as experiencing delusions or hallucinations, in particular auditory hallucinations. contributes to
chronic problems with behavior and emotion. Different types: Catatonic, Disorganized, Paranoid,
Residual and Undifferentiated.
256. selective attention- a state of consciousness which involves focusing on a specific aspect of a scene while
ignoring other aspects. Can be conscious or unconscious. An example is the cocktail party effect.
257. self-efficacy- an impression that one is capable of performing in a certain manner or attaining certain
goals. Developed by Albert Bandura.
258. self-fulfilling prophecy- a phenomenon by which people’s expectations about the future events lead them
to behave in particular ways that, on occasion, can cause the expected event to occur. Developed by
Merton. An example is the Pygmalion effect.
259. self-serving bias- occurs when people are more likely to claim responsibility for successes than failures.
Developed by Miller and Ross. An example would be saying “I got an A because I studied hard,” and
“I got a F because the teacher doesn’t like me.”
260. semantic memory - refers to the memory of meanings, understandings, and other concept-based
knowledge unrelated to specific experiences. Semantic and episodic memory together make up the
category of declarative memory, which is one of the two major divisions in memory.
261. serial position effect - refers to the finding that recall accuracy varies as a function of an item's position
within a study list
262. set point set point – a natural point of stability in body weight, may be difficult to alter
263. sexual characteristics (primary vs. secondary) – a primary characteristic refers to sexual organs
necessary for reproduction and secondary refers to traits that distinguish the two sexes of a species, but
that are not directly part of the reproductive system
264. sexual identity vs. gender identity – sexual identity refers to the sex that a person is identified with and
gender identity refers to the actual gender of a person
265. shaping - introduced by B.F. Skinner; forming a response gradually across successive trials towards a
desired target behavior using reinforcement, learning a behavior in a step-by-step process (Ex: teaching a
chicken to jump through a hoop by reinforcing every small step toward the hoop)
266. signal detection theory – stimulus detection is based on sensory processes and decision processes ex: air
traffic controllers when deciding if they “see” something, they have to rely on stimuli and personal
267. sleep disorders: major kinds
insomnia – difficulty falling or staying sleep
narcolepsy – sudden onset of sleep during normal working hours, the person goes into REM
sleep apnea - reflexive gasping for air that awakens sleeper, person stops breathing
nightmares – anxiety arousing dreams - REM
night terrors – intense autonomic arousal and panic – NREM
somnambulism – sleepwalking (stage 4 sleep)
268. sleeper effect - identified by psychologist Carl Hovland refers to the "hidden" effect of a message even
when it comes from a discredible source. When people find the source of a piece of information
discredible, they discount it. However, after an amount of time we forget where a given message
originated, but remember the message itself. In this way, information from a low credibility source
could increase in effectiveness. (However, note that the sleeper effect has had something of a
checkered history since its original conception. The effect is not considered nearly as strong or reliable
as once thought, and much of the original research on the effect is no longer cited in support of its
existence) – Also, don’t confuse with source monitoring error.
269. social cognitive theory - an updated version of Bandura’s social learning theory that states human
functioning is viewed as the product of a dynamic interplay of personal, behavioral, and environmental
influences. Basically he added a cognitive component to his earlier version accounting for the person
making a mental decision to follow a behavior that was observed.
270. social exchange theory - a social psychological and sociological perspective that explains social changes
and stability as a process of negotiated exchanges between parties.
271. social facilitation - the tendency for people to perform better on simple tasks (or tasks at which they are
expert) when under the eye of others, rather than while they are alone.
272. social loafing- reduction in effort by individuals when they work in groups as compared to when they
work by themselves
273. social trap - term used by psychologists to describe a situation in which a group of people act to obtain
short-term individual gains, which in the long run leads to a loss for the group as a whole. Examples of
social traps include the overharvesting of fish species by commercial and sport fishers, the near-
extinction of the American bison
274. somatoform disorders: major kinds- physical ailments that cannot be fully explained by organic
conditions and are largely due to psychological factors; 1) somatization disorder is marked by a history
of diverse physical complaints that appear to be psychological in origin, 2) conversion disorder is
characterized by a significant loss of physical function (with no apparent organic basis), usually in a single
organ system, and 3) hypochondriasis is characterized by excessive preoccupation with health concerns
and incessant worry about developing physical illnesses
275. somatosensory cortex: location and used for what sense? – located in the parietal lobe and includes the
area that registers the sense of touch
276. stages of learning (acquisition, extinction, spontaneous recovery, etc.)
acquisition- the act of process of acquiring a skill (learning)
extinction- the gradual weakening and disappearance of a conditioned response tendency
spontaneous recovery- the reappearance of an extinguished response after a period of
nonexposure to the conditioned stimulus
277. standard deviation – an index of the amount of variability in a set of data
278. Stanley Milgram's experiment with obedience – experiment where Milgram would have a participant
“shock” a person to test obedience based on the fact that the learner wasn’t actually getting shocked
(remember the article “If Hilter Asked You to Electrocute a Stranger Would You.”)
279. Stanley Schachter's Two Factor Theory – believed that the experience of emotion depends on two
factors: 1) autonomic arousal and 2) cognitive interpretation of that arousal
280. stereotype - social schemas leading people to expect certain characteristics due to group membership.
Common types include: gender, ethnic, occupational, and age.
281. stimulus generalization – occurs when an organism that has learned a response to a specific stimulus
responds in the same way to new stimuli that are similar to the original stimulus
282. stranger anxiety - is a form of distress that children experience when exposed to people unfamiliar to
283. syllogism -is a kind of logical argument traced back to Aristotle. A syllogism consists of three parts: the
major premise, the minor premise, and the conclusion.
284. systematic desensitization: a.k.a. a kind of counter-conditioning
behavior therapy used to reduce phobic clients’ anxiety responses through counter-conditioning
work up the “hierarchy” while using relaxation techniques
developed by Joseph Wolpe, based on classical conditioning, & uses Mary Cover-Jones’ earlier
285. Tay-Sachs disease - hereditary disease that affects young children almost exclusively of eastern
European Jewish descent, in which an enzyme deficiency leads to the accumulation of gangliosides in
the brain and nerve tissue, resulting in mental retardation, convulsions, blindness, and, ultimately,
286. testable hypothesis tentative statement about the relationship between two or more variables – to be
tested, scientific hypotheses must be formulated precisely, and the variables under study must be
287. thalamus (& what sense doesn't get routed through here?)
located near center of brain (above brain stem- looks like an egg) which relays incoming messages to
the proper location in the brain or cerebral cortex.
Smell is not routed through here.
288. Thorndike's Law of Effect- suggests that responses that are closely followed by satisfaction will become
firmly attached to the situation and therefore more likely to reoccur when the situation is repeated.
289. thyroid gland- makes hormones to regulate physiological functions in your body. It is located in the
middle of the lower neck, below the voice box
290. tip-of-the-tongue effect- the feeling of knowing something that cannot be immediately recalled; it’s a
291. token economy- form of behavior modification designed to increase desirable behavior and decrease
undesirable behavior with the use of tokens (Skinner) – like elementary school treasure boxes
292. Tourette's syndrome – an inherited neurological disorder with onset in childhood, characterized by the
presence of multiple physical (motor) tics and at least one vocal tic. The more common tics are eye
blinking, coughing, throat clearing, sniffing, and facial movements. (note: uncontrolled blurting of
profanities is more Hollywood than reality)
293. tragedy of the commons - tragedy of the commons is a type of social trap (#277) that involves a conflict
over resources between individual interests and the common good
294. transduction - the conversion of a stimulus from one form to another. Transduction in the nervous
system typically refers to synaptic events wherein an electrical signal, known as an action potential, is
converted into a chemical one via the release of neurotransmitters. Conversely, in sensory transduction
a chemical or physical stimulus is transduced by sensory receptors into an electrical signal.
295. Turner's syndrome (X with missing chromosome) - encompasses several chromosomal abnormalities,
of which monosomy X is the most common. Instead of the normal XX sex chromosomes for a female,
only one X chromosome is present and fully functional. In Turner syndrome, female sexual
characteristics are present but generally underdeveloped
296. Two kinds of deafness:
Conductive- Occurs when something goes wrong with the system of conducting the sound to the
cochlea. (in the ear canal, eardrum, hammer-anvil/stirrup, or oval window.) Example: My mother in
law has a medical condition that is causing her stirrup to deteriorate slowly. Eventually, she will need
surgery to replace the bone in order to hear well.
Perceptual (Nerve)- occurs when the hair cells in the cochlea are damaged, usually by loud noise.
Example: If you have ever been a concert, football game, or other event loud enough to leave your
ears ringing, chances are you came close to or did cause permanent damage to your hearing.
Face Validity- refers to a superficial measure of accuracy. Ex: A test of cake-baking ability has high
face validity if you are looking for a chef but low face validity if you are in the market for a doctor.
Content Validity- Refers to how well a measure reflects the material it is supposed to be testing. Ex:
If one really wanted to design a test to find a good chef, a test that required someone to create an
entrée and whip up a salad dressing in addition to baking a cake would have greater content validity.
Concurrent Validity- Measures how much of a characteristic a person has now; is a person a good
Predictive Validity- Measure of future performance; does a person have the qualities to become a
Construct Validity- How well does it measure a hypothetical construct?? Example: How well does it
measure something like intelligence or extroversion?
298. vestibular sense- tells us about how our body is oriented is space. Three semicircular canals in the inner
ear give the brain feedback about body orientation. The canals are basically tubes partially filled with
fluid. When the position of your head changes, the fluid moves in the canals, causing hair cells in the
canals to move. The movements of these hair cells activate neurons, and their impulses go to the brain.
You have probably experienced the nausea and dizziness caused when the fluid in these canals is
agitated. During an exciting roller coaster ride, the fluid in the canals might move so much that the
brain receives confusing signals about body position. This causes the dizziness and nauseous reaction.
299. visual cliff- depth perception test for infants, there is a platform that is covered with a cloth. Then, a piece
of glass or other clear material is placed on top of the platform and extends well off of the platform,
creating a sort of bridge. An infant is then placed on the platform, and the infant's mother stands on the
other side of the clear bridge. The mother calls for the child who, if it crawls off the platform and onto
the clear bridge, does not yet have depth perception. If it stops when it gets to the edge of the platform,
looks down, and either is reluctant to cross or refuses to cross, then the child has depth perception.
Walter Mischel – studied personality and how situational factors influence behavior,
300. Mischel's famous longitudinal research study, "The Marshmallow Test" showed the importance of
impulse control and delayed gratification for academic, emotional and social success. In the 1960s at
the preschool on the Stanford University campus, Mischel put marshmallows in front of a room full of
4-year-olds. He told them they could have one marshmallow now, but if they could wait several
minutes, they could have two. Some children eagerly grabbed a marshmallow and ate it. Others
waited, some having to cover their eyes in order not to see the tempting treat and one child even licked
the table around the marshmallow. Mischel followed the group and found that, 14 years later, the
"grabbers" suffered low self-esteem and were viewed by others as stubborn, prone to envy and easily
frustrated. The "waiters" were better copers, more socially competent and self-assertive, trustworthy,
dependable and more academically successful. This group even scored about 210 points higher on
301. water balance (role of hypothalamus) – hypothalamus is responsible for water regulation, uses
hormones to communicate
302. Weber's law - theory stating that to notice a jnd (just noticeable difference) in a stimulus, the change has
to be in proportion to the size of the original stimulus. For example, Weber's law predicts that
smallest detectable intensity difference between two lights will be larger on a bright background than a
dim one. (class example: you would notice a $40 change on a shirt more than on a car)
303. Wernicke's aphasia (receptive aphasia) –the condition characterized by partial or total loss of ability to
understand what is being said or read- ability to speak remains intact although may contain
unnecessary words. Wernicke’s area is the area is located in left temporal lobe.
304. Wilder Penfield's research on the brain- Penfield was a groundbreaking researcher and highly original
surgeon. With his colleague, Herbert Jasper, he invented the Montreal procedure, in which he treated
patients with severe epilepsy by destroying nerve cells in the brain where the seizures originated.
Before operating, he stimulated the brain with electrical probes while the patients were conscious on
the operating table (under only local anesthesia), and observed their responses. In this way he could
more accurately target the areas of the brain responsible, reducing the side-effects of the surgery.
This technique also allowed him to create maps of the sensory and motor cortices of the brain showing
their connections to the various limbs and organs of the body. These maps are still used today,
305. Wilhelm Wundt (structualism...Titchener too)-was a German physiologist and psychologist.
Acknowledged as the founder of experimental psychology and cognitive psychology. Structuralism
was an attempt to study the mental world with introspection. Structuralism basically ended with the
death of Wundt's most devoted pupil, E.B. Titchener, in 1927.
306. William James (functionalism)- psychological school of thought that followed Structuralism and moved
away from focusing on the structure of the mind to a concern with how the conscious functions and is
related to behavior.
307. Yerkes/Dodson Arousal Law- demonstrates an empirical relationship between arousal and performance.
It dictates that performance increases with cognitive arousal, but only to a certain point: when levels of
arousal become too high, performance will decrease. A corollary is that there is an optimal level of
arousal for a given task. It has been proposed that different tasks may require different levels of
arousal. Difficult or intellectually demanding tasks may require a lower level of arousal for optimal
performance (to facilitate concentration), whereas tasks demanding stamina or persistence may be
performed better with higher levels of arousal (to increase motivation).
308. Zajonc's "Mere Expose Effect"- psychological phenomenon well known to advertisers: people express
undue liking for things merely because they are familiar with them. This effect has been nicknamed
the "familiarity breeds liking" effect. The effect might be explained by the idea that recognizing a
familiar environment makes us feel safe. This effect was first studied by Robert Zajonc.
309. Zimbardo's prison experiment-Stanford prison experiment, in which 24 normal college students were
randomly assigned to be prisoners or guards in a mock prison located in the basement of the
psychology building at Stanford (3 additional college students were selected as alternates, but did not
participate in the experiment). The students quickly began acting out their roles, with "guards"
becoming sadistic and the "prisoners" showing extreme depression and passivity. Though planned to
last for an entire two weeks, the experiment had to be terminated after only six days.