Psychology 10 Midterm Vocabulary

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Psychology 10 Midterm Vocabulary
2012-01-30 21:18:12
psychology vocabulary

Chapters 1-6
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  1. prefrontal lobotomy
    surgical procedure that severs the fibers connecting the frontal lobes of the brain from the underlying thalamus
  2. heuristic
    mental shortcut that helps us to streamline our thinking and make sense of our world
  3. representativeness heuristic
    heuristic that involves judging the probability of an event by its superficial similarity to a prototype
  4. base rate
    how common a characteristic or behavior is in the general population
  5. availability heuristic
    heuristic that involves estimating the likelihood of an occurence based on the ease with which it comes to our minds
  6. cognitive biases
    systematic errors in thinking
  7. hindsight bias
    tendency to overestimate how well we could have successfully forecasted known outcomes
  8. overconfidence
    tendency to over estimate our ability to make correct predictions
  9. external validity
    extent to which we can generalize findings to real-world settings
  10. internal validity
    extent to which we can draw cause-and-effect inferences from a study
  11. case study
    research design that examines one person or a small number of people in depth, often over an extended time period
  12. existence proof
    demonstration that a given psychological phenomenon can occur
  13. reliability
    consistency of measurement
  14. random selection
    procedure that ensures every person in a population has an equal chance of being chosen to participate
  15. validity
    extent to which a measure assesses what it purports to measure
  16. response set
    tendency of research participants to distort their responses to questionnaire items
  17. correlational design
    research design that examines the extent to which two variables are associated
  18. scatterplot
    grouping of points on a two-dimensional graph in which each dot represents a single person's data
  19. illusory correlation
    perception of a statistical association between two variables where none exists
  20. experiment
    reasearch design characterized by random assignment of participants to conditions and manipulation of an independent variable
  21. random assignment
    randomly sorting pariticpants into two groups
  22. experimental group
    in an experiment, the group of participants that receives the manipulation
  23. control group
    in an experiment, the group of participants that doesn't receive the manipulation
  24. independent variable
    variable that an experimenter manipulates
  25. dependent variable
    variable that an experimenter measures to see whether the manipulation has an effect
  26. operational definition
    a working definition of what a researcher is measuring
  27. placebo effect
    improvement resulting from the mere expectation of improvement
  28. blind
    unaware of whether one is the emperimental or control group
  29. double-blind
    when neither researchers nor participants are aware of who's in the experimental or control group
  30. demand charactertistics
    cues that participants pick up from a study that allow them to generate guesses regarding the researcher's hypotheses
  31. informed consent
    informing research participants of what is involved in a study before asking them to participate
  32. statistics
    application of mathematics to describing and analyzing data
  33. despcriptive statistics
    numerical characterizations that describe data
  34. central tendency
    measure of the "central" scores in a set of dat, or where the group tends to cluster
  35. mean
    average; a measure of central tendency
  36. median
    middle score in a data set; a measure of central tendency
  37. mode
    more frequent score in a data set; a measure of central tendency
  38. variability
    measure of how loosely or tightly bunched scores are
  39. range
    difference between the highest and lowest scores; a measure of dispersion
  40. standard deviation
    measure of dispersion that takes into account how far each data point is from the mean
  41. inferential statistics
    mathematical methods that allow us to determine whether we can generalize findings from our sample to the full population
  42. sleep paralysis
    state of being unable to move just after falling asleep or right before waking up
  43. consciousness
    our subjective experience of the world, our bodies, and our mental perspectives
  44. circadian rhythm
    cyclical changes that occur on a roughly 24-hour basis in many biological processes
  45. biological clock
    term for the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the hypothalamus that's responsible for controlling our levels of alertness
  46. rapid eye movement (REM)
    darting of the eyes underneath closed eyelids during sleep
  47. non-REM (NREM) sleep
    stages 1 through 4 of the sleep cycle, during which rapid eye movements do not occur and dreaming is less frequesnt and vivid
  48. REM Sleep
    stage of sleep during which the brain is most active and during which vivid dreaming most often occurs
  49. lucid dreaming
    experience of becoming aware that one is dreaming
  50. insomnia
    difficulty falling and staying asleep
  51. narcolepsy
    disorder characterized by the rapid and often unexpected onset of sleep
  52. sleep apnea
    disorder caused by a blockage of the airway during sleep, resulting in daytime fatigue
  53. night terrors
    sudden waking episodes characterized nu screaming, perspiring, and confusion follwoed by a return ti a deep sleep
  54. sleepwalking
    walking while fully asleep
  55. neurocognitive theory
    theory that dreams are a meaningful product of our cognitive capacities, which shape what we dream about
  56. out-of-body experience (OBE)
    sense of consciousness leaving our body
  57. near-death experience
    out-of-body experience repoted by people who've nearly died or thought they were going to die
  58. deja vu
    feeling of reliving an experience that's new
  59. mystical experience
    feelings of unity or oneness with the world, often with trong spiritual overtones
  60. hypnosis
    set of techniques that proves people with suggestions for alterations in their perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
  61. past life regression therapy
    therapeutic approach that hypnotizes and supposedly age-regresses patients to a previous life to identify the sources of a present day problem
  62. sociocognitive theory
    approach to explaining hypnosis based on people's attitudes, beliefs, and expectations
  63. dissociation memory
    approach to explaining hypnosis based on a separation between personality functions that are normally well integrated
  64. psychoactive drug
    substance that contains chemicals similar to those found naturally in our brains that alter consciousness by changing chemical processes in neurons
  65. tolerances
    reduction in the effect of a drug as a reult of repeated use, requiring users to consume greater quantities to achieve the same effect
  66. withdrawal
    unpleasant effects of reducing or stopping consumption of a drug that users consumed habitually
  67. physical dependence
    dependence on a drug that occurs when people continue to take it to acoid withdrawal symptoms
  68. psychological dependence
    dependence on a drug that occurs when continued use of the drug ias motiveated by intense cravings
  69. sedative
    drug that exerts a calming effect
  70. hypnotic
    drug that exerts a sleep-inducing effect
  71. stimulant
    drug that increases activity in the central nervous system, including heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure
  72. narcotic
    drug that relievs pain and incuces sleep
  73. hallucinogenic
    causing dramatic alterations of perception, mood, and thought
  74. learning
    change in an organism's behavior or thought as a result or experience
  75. habituation
    process of responding less strongly over time to repeated stimuli
  76. acquisition
    learning phase during which a conditioned response is established
  77. extinction
    gradual reduction and evetual elimination of the conditioned response after the conditioned stimulus is presented repeatedly without the unconditioned stimulus
  78. spontaneous recovery
    sudden reemergence of an extinct conditioned response after a delay in exposure to the conditioned stimulus
  79. renewal effect
    sudden reemergence of a conditioned response following extinction when an animal is retuned to the environment in which the conditioned repsonse was acquired
  80. stimulus generalization
    process by which conditioned stimuli similar, but not identical, to the original conditioned stimulus elicit a conditioned response
  81. stimulus discrimination
    process by which organisms display a less pronounced conditioned response to conditioned stimuli that differ from the original conditioned stimulus
  82. high-order conditioning
    developing a conditioned response to a conditioned stimulus by virtue of its association with another conditioned stimulus
  83. fetishism
    sexual attraction to nonliving things
  84. operant conditioning
    learning controlled by the consequences of the organism's behavior
  85. law of effect
    principle asserting that if a stimulus folllowed by a behavior results in a reward, the stimulus is more likely to give rise to the behavior in the future
  86. punishment
    outcome or consequence of a behavior that weakens the probability of the behavior
  87. discrimination stimulus
    stimulus associated with the presence of reinforcement
  88. shaping by successive approximations
    conditioning a target behavior by progressively reinforcing behaviors that come closer and closer to the target
  89. secondary reinforcer
    neutral object that becomes associated with a primary reinforcer
  90. primary reinforcer
    item or outcome that naturally increases the target behavior
  91. congnitive map
    mental representation of how a physical space is organized
  92. oberservational learning
    learning by watching others
  93. mirror neuron
    cell in the prefrontal cortex that becomes activated by specific motions when an animal both performs and observes that action
  94. preparedness
    evolutionary predisposition to learn some pairings of feared stimuli over others owing to their survival value
  95. indistinctive drift
    tendency for animals to return to innate behaviors following repeated reinforcement
  96. learning style
    an individual's preferred or optimal method of acquiring new information
  97. psychology
    the scientific study of the mind, brain, and behavior
  98. levels of analysis
    rungs on a ladder of analysis, with lower levels tied most closely to biological influences and higher levels tied most closely to social influences
  99. multiply determined
    caused by many factors
  100. individual differences
    variations amoung people in their thinking emotion, personality, and behavior
  101. naive realism
    belief that we see the world precisely as it is
  102. scientific theory
    explanations for a large number of findings in the natural world
  103. hypothesis
    testable preiction derived from a scientific theory
  104. confirmation bias
    tendency to seek out evidence that supports our hypotheses and deny, dismiss, or distort evidence that contradicts them
  105. pseudoscience
    set of claims that seems scientific but aren't
  106. ad hoc immunizing hypothesis
    escape hatch or loophole that defenders of a theory use to protect their theory from falsification
  107. apophenia
    tendency to perceive meaningful connections amoung unrelated phenomena
  108. pareidolia
    tendency to perceive meaningful images in meaningless visual stimuli
  109. terror management theory
    theory that our awareness of our death leaves us with an underlying sense of terror with which we cope by adopting reassuring cultural worldviews
  110. scientific skepticism
    approach of evaluating all claims with an open mind but insisting on persuasive evidence before accepting them
  111. critical thinking
    set of skills for evaluating all claims in an open-minded and careful fashion
  112. correlation-causation fallacy
    error of assuming that because one thing is associated with another, it must cause the other
  113. variable
    anything that can vary
  114. falsifiable
    capable of being disproved
  115. replicability
    when a study's findings are able to be duplicated, ideally by independent investigators
  116. introspection
    method by which trained oberservers carefully reflect and report on their mental experiences
  117. structuralism
    school of psychology that aimed to identify the basic elements of psychological experience
  118. functionalism
    school of psychology that aimed to understand the adaptive purposes of psychological characteristics
  119. natural selection
    principle that organisms that posses adaptations sruvive and reproduce at a higher rate than other organisms
  120. behaviorism
    school of psychology that focuses on uncovering the general laws of learning by looking at observable behavior
  121. cognitive psycholgy
    school of psychology that proposes that thinking is central to understanding behavior
  122. cognitive neuroscience
    relatively new field of psychology that examines the relation between brain functioning and thinking
  123. psychoanalysis
    school of psychology founded by Sigmund Freud, that focuses on internal psychological processes of which we are unaware
  124. evolutionary psychology
    discipline that applies Darwin's theory of natural selection to human and animal behavior
  125. basic research
    research examing how the mind works
  126. applied research
    research examining how we can use basic research to solve real-world problems
  127. transduction
    the process of converting an external energy or substance into elelectrical activity witin neurons
  128. sense receptor
    specialized cell responsible for converting external stimuli into neural activity for a specific sensory system
  129. sensory adaptation
    activation is greatest when a stimulus is first detected; assuming that the stimulus is not too powerful, the stimulus will be numbed down by your senses over time
  130. top-down processing
    something we expect; based on previous expectation with stimuli to what we think it will be
  131. bottom-up processing
    little pieces of stimuli built up to a concrete whole when you come in contact with something you have never seen before
  132. perceptual set
    occurs when our expectations influence our perceptions
  133. selective attention
    process of selecting one sensory channel and ignoring or minimizing others
  134. inattentional blindness
    failure to detect stimuli that are in plain sight when our attention is focused elsewhere
  135. subliminal perception
    processing of sensory information that occurs below the level of conscious awareness
  136. nearsightedness
    results when light is focused in front of the retina (can't see far, but can see near)
  137. farsightedness
    resutls when light is focused behind the retina (can't see near, but can see far)
  138. cones
    allow us to see in color; sensitive to light; responsible for detail
  139. rods
    enable us to see basic shapes and forms; allow us to see in low levels of light
  140. dark adaptation
    time in dark before rods regain maximum light sensitivity
  141. gestalt principles
    rules governing how we perceive objects as wholes within their overall context
  142. trichromatic theory
    proposes that we base our color vision on three primary colors: blue, green, and red
  143. opponent-process theory
    proposes that we perceive colors in terms of three pairs of opponent colors; either red or green, blue or yellow, or black or white; can't be explained by trichromatic theory
  144. monocular depth cues
    stimuli that enable us to judge depth using only one eye
  145. motion parallax
    ability ot judge distance of moving objects based on their speed
  146. cochlea
    converts vibration into neural activity
  147. taste buds
    sense receptors in the tongue that respond to sweet, sour, bitter, umami, and perhaps fat
  148. papillae
    bumps on the tongue containing numerous taste buds
  149. sensation
    detection of physical energy by sense organs, which then send information to the brain
  150. perception
    the brain's interpretation of raw sensory inputs
  151. nervous system
    a communication network consisting of nerve cells, both inside and outside the brain and spinal cord
  152. synapse
    terminal point of axon branch, which releases neurotransmitters
  153. dendrite
    projection that picks up impulses from other neurons
  154. node
    gap in the myelin sheath of an axon, which helps the conduction of nerve impulses
  155. myelin sheath
    fatty coat that insulates the axons of some nerve cells, speeding transmission of impulses
  156. axon
    nerve fiber projecting from the cell body that carries nerve impulses
  157. glial cell
    cell in the nervous system that plays a role in the formation of myelin and the blood brain barrier, responds to injury, removes debris, and enhances learning and memory
  158. endorphins
    reduce pain and produce pleasure; naturally produced painkillers
  159. agonist
    increases the neuroreceptor activity
  160. antagonist
    prevents neuroreceptor activity
  161. neurogenesis
    creation of new neurons in the adult brain
  162. stem cells
    cells, often originating in embryos, having the capacity to differentiate into more specialized cells
  163. forebrain
    site of most of the brain's conscious functions
  164. corpus callosum
    bundle of nerve fibers connecting the cerebrum's two hemispheres
  165. thalamus
    area that relays nerve signals to the cerebral cortex
  166. hypothalamus
    controls the body's endocrine, or hormone producing, system
  167. cerebellum
    regulates balance and body control
  168. brain stem
    regulates control of involuntary functions such as breathing and heart rate
  169. frontal lobe
    motor function, language, memory, oversees and organizes the other sides of the brain
  170. prefrontal cortex
    responsible for thinking, planning, language, personality
  171. occipital lobe
  172. parietal lobe
    touch, perception, pressure, pain, temperature
  173. temporal lobe
    bottom part of cerebral cortext; important part of hearing and understanding language
  174. basal ganglia
    structures in the forbrain that help to control movement
  175. limbic system
    emotional center of our brain; motivational area
  176. pituitary gland
    master gland that, under the control of the hypothalamus, directs the other glands of the body
  177. adrenal gland
    tissue located on top of the kidneys that releases adrenaline and cortisol during states of emotional arousal