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2012-08-14 02:06:22
Study npsychology

Psychology Terms
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  1. Psychology
    the scientific study of behavior and mental processes
  2. Empiricism
    the view that (a) knowledge cocmes form experience via the senses, and (b) science flourishes through observation and experiment
  3. Structuralism
    an early school of psychology that used introspection to explore the elemental structure of the human mind
  4. Functionalism
    a school of psychology that focused on how mental and behavioral processes function - how they enable the organism to adapt, survive, and flourish
  5. Humanistic psychology
    historically significant perspective that emphasized the growth potential of healthy people; used personalized methods to study personality in hopes of fostering personal growth
  6. Nature-nurture issue
    the longstanding controversy over the relative contributions that genes and experience make to the development of psychological traits and behaviors
  7. Natural selection
    the principle that, among the range of inherited variations, those that lead to increased reproduction and survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations
  8. Levels of analysis
    the differing complementary views, from biological to psychological to social-cultural, for analyzing any given phenomenom
  9. Biopsychosocial approach
    an integrated perspective that incorporates biological, psychological, and social-cultural levels of analysis
  10. Basic research
    pure science that aims to increase the scientific knowledge base
  11. Applied research
    scientific study that aims to solve practical problems
  12. Counseling psychology
    the branch of psychology that assists people with problems in living (often related to school, work, or marriage) and in achieving greater well-being
  13. Clinical psychology
    a branch of psychology that studies, assesses, and treats people with psychological disorders
  14. Psychiatry
    a branch of medicine dealing with psychological disorders; practed by physicians who sometimes provide medical treatments as well as psychological therapy
  15. Hindsight bias
    the tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it
  16. Critical thinking
    thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions. Rather, it examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions
  17. Theory
    an explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes and predicts observations
  18. Hypothesis
    a testable prediction, often implied by a theory
  19. Operational definition
    a statement of the procedures (operations) used to define research variables; ex: Human intelligence is what an intelligence test measures
  20. Replication
    repeating the essence of a research study, usually with different participants in different situations, to see whether the basic finding extends to other participants and circumstances
  21. Case study
    an observation technique in which one person is studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles
  22. Survey
    a technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes or behaviors of people, usually by questioning a representative, random sample of them
  23. False consensus effect
    the tendency to overestimate the extent to which others share our beliefs and behaviors
  24. Population
    all the cases in a group, from which samples may be drawn for a study
  25. Random sample
    a sample that fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusion
  26. Naturalistic observation
    observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation
  27. Correlation
    a measure of the extent to which two factors vary together, and thus of how well either factor predicts the other. The correlation coefficient is the mathematical expression of the relationship, ranging from -1 to +1.
  28. Scatterplot
    a graphed cluster of dots, each of which represents the values of two variables. Slope = direction of relationship, amount of scatter = strength of correlation
  29. Illusory correlation
    the perception of a relationship where none exists
  30. Experiment
    a research method in which an investigator manipulates one or more factors (independent variables) to observe the effect on some behavior or mental process (the dependent variable). By random assignment of participants, the experimenter aims to control other relevant factors.
  31. Double-blind procedure
    an experimental procedure in which both the research participants and the research staff are ignorant (blind) about whether the research participants have received the treatment or the placebo
  32. Placebo effect
    experimental results caused by expectations alone; any effect on behavior caused by the administration of an inert substance or condition, which is assumed to be an active agent
  33. Experimental condition
    the condition of an experiment that exposes participants to the treatment, that is, to one version of the independent variable
  34. Control condition
    the condition of an experiment that contrasts with the experimental condition and serves as a comparison for evaluating the effect of the treatment
  35. Random assignment
    assigning participants to experimental and control conditions by chance, thus minimizing preexisting differences between those assigned to the different groups
  36. Independent variable
    the experimental factor that is manipulated; the variable whose effect is being studied
  37. Dependent variable
    the outcome factor; the variable that may change in response to manipulations of the independent variable
  38. Mode
    the most frequently occurring score in a distribution
  39. Mean
    the arithmetic average of a distribution
  40. Median
    the middle score in a distribution
  41. Range
    the difference between the highest and the lowest scores in a distribution
  42. Standard deviation
    a computed measure of how much scores vary around the mean score
  43. Statistical significance
    a stasticial statement of how likely it is that an obtained result occurred by chance
  44. Culture
    the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next
  45. Biological psychology
    a branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior
  46. Neuron
    a nerve cell; the basic building block of the nervous system
  47. Dendrite
    the bushy, branching extenstions of a neuron that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body
  48. Axon
    the extension of a neuron, ending in branching terminal fibers, through which messages pass to other neurons or to muscles or glands
  49. Myelin sheath
    a layer of fatty tissue segmentally encasing the fibers of many neurons; enables vastly greater transmission speed of neural impulses as the impulse hops from one node to the next
  50. Action potential
    a neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon. The action potential is generated by the movement of positively charged atoms in and out of channels in the axon's membrane
  51. Threshold
    the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse
  52. Synapse
    the junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron. The tiny gap at this junction is called the cleft/synaptic gap
  53. Neurotransmitters
    chemical messengers that traverse the synaptic gaps between neurons. When released by the sending neuron, neurotransmitters travel across the synapse and bind to receptor sites on the receiving neuron, thereby influencing whether that neuron will generate a neural impulse
  54. Acetylcholine (ACh)
    a neurotransmitter that enables learning and memory and also triggers muscle contraction
  55. Endorphins
    natural, opiatelike neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure
  56. Nervous system
    the body's speedy, electrochemcial communication network, consisting of all the nerve cells of the peripheral and central nervous systems
  57. Central nervous system
    the brain and spinal cord
  58. Peripheral nervous system
    the sensory and motor neurons that connect the CNS to the rest of the body
  59. Nerves
    neural "cables" containing many axons. These bundled axons, which are part of the peripheral nervous system, connect the central nervous system with muscles, glands, and sense organs
  60. Sensory neurons
    neurons that carry incoming information from the sense receptors to the central nervous system
  61. Motor neurons
    neurons that carry outgoing information from the central nervous system to the muscles and glands
  62. Interneurons
    central nervous system neurons that internally communicate and intervene between senory inputs and motor outputs
  63. Somatic nervous system
    the division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the body's skeletal muscles
  64. Autonomic nervous system
    the part of the peripheral nervous systme that controls the glands and the muscles of the internal organs. Its sympathetic division arouses; its parasympathetic division calms.
  65. Sympathetic nervous system
    the division of the automatic nervous system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations
  66. Parasympathetic nervous system
    the division of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body, conserving its energy
  67. Reflex
    a simple, automatic, inborn response to a sensory stimulus such as the knee-jerk response
  68. Neural networks
    interconnected neural cells. With experience, networks can learn, as feedback strengthens or inhibits connections that produce certain results. Computer simulations of neural networks show analagous learning
  69. Endocrine system
    the body's "slow" chemical communication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream
  70. Hormones
    chemical messengers, mostly those manufactured by the endocrine glands, that are produced in one tissue and affect another
  71. Adrenal glands
    a pair of endocrine glands just above the kidneys. The adrenals secrete the hormones epinehrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline), which help to arouse the body in times of stress
  72. Pituitary gland
    the endocrine system's most influential gland. Under the influence of the hypothalamus, it regulates growth and controls other endocrine glands.
  73. Lesion
    tissue destruction
  74. Electroencephalogram (EEG)
    an amplified recording of the waves of electrical activity that sweep across the brain's surface. These waves are measured by electrodes placed on the scalp
  75. PET scan
    a visual display of brain activity that detects where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain performs a task
  76. MRI
    a technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer-generated images that dinstinguish among different types of soft tissue; allows us to see structures within the brain
  77. fMRI
    a technique for revealing blood flow and therefore, brain activity by comparing successive MRI scans. MRI scans show brain anatomy, fMRI scans show brain function
  78. Brainstem
    the oldest part and central core of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord swells as it enters the skull; the brainstem is responsible for automatic survival functions
  79. Medulla
    the base of the brainstem; controls heartbeat and breathing
  80. Reticular formation
    a nerve network in the brainstem that plays an important role in controlling arousal
  81. Thalamus
    the brain's sensory switchboard, located on top of the brainstem; it directs messages to the sensory receiving areas in the cortex and transmits replies to the cerebellum and medulla
  82. Cerebellum
    the "little brain" attached to the rear of the brainstem; its functions include processing sensory input and coordinating movement output and balance
  83. Limbic system
    a doughtnut-shaped system of neural structures at the border of the brianstem and cerebral hemispheres; associated with emotions such as fear and aggression, and drives such as those for food and sex. Includes the hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus
  84. Amygdala
    two lima bean-sized neural clusters that are components of the limbic system and are linked to emotion
  85. Hypothalamus
    a neural structure lying below the thalamus; it directs several maintenance activities (eating, drinking, body temperature), helps govern the endocrine system via the pituitary gland, and is linked to emotion
  86. Cerebral cortex
    the intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells that covers the cerebral hemispheres; the body's ultimate control and information-processing center
  87. Glial cells
    cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons
  88. Frontal lobes
    the portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead; involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgments
  89. Parietal lobes
    the portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear; receives sensory input for touch and body position
  90. Occipital lobes
    the portion of the cerebral cortex laying at the back of the head; includes the visual areas, which receive visual information from the opposite visual field
  91. Temporal lobes
    the portion of the cerebral cortex lying rougly above the ears; includes the auditory areas, each of which receives auditory information primarily from the opposite ear
  92. Motor cortex
    an area at the rear of the frontal lobes that controls voluntary movements
  93. Sensory cortex
    the area at the front of the parietal lobes that registers and processes body touch and movement sensations
  94. Association areas
    areas of the cerebral cortex that are not involved in primary motor or sensory functions; rather, they are involved in higher mental functions such as learning, remembering, thinking, and speaking
  95. Aphasia
    impairment of language, usually caused by left hemisphere damage either to Broca's area or to Wernicke's area
  96. Broca’s area
    controls langugage expression - an area of the frontal lobe, usually inthe left hemisphere, that directs the muscle movements involved in speech
  97. Wernicke’s area
    controls language reception - a brain area involved in language comprehension and expression; usually in the left temporal lobe
  98. Plasticity
    the brain's capacity for modification, as evident in brain reorganization following damage and in experiemtns on the effects of experience on brain development
  99. Corpus callosum
    the large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carrying messages between them
  100. Split brain
    a condition in which the two hemispheres of the brain are isolated by cutting the connecting fibers (mostly of the corpus callosum) between them
  101. Environment
    every nongenetic influence, from prenatal nutrition to the people and things around us
  102. Behavior genetics
    the study of the relative power and limits of genetic and environmental influences on behavior
  103. Chromosomes
    threadlike structures made of DNA molecules that contain the genes
  104. DNA
    a complex molecule containing the genetic information that makes up the chromosomes
  105. Genes
    the biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes; a segment of DNA capable of synthesizing a protein
  106. Genome
    the complete instructions for making an organism, consisting of all the genetic material in that organism's chromosomes
  107. Identical twins
    twins who develop from a single fertilized egg that splits in two, creating two genetically identical organisms
  108. Fraternal twins
    twins who develop from separate fertilized eggs; they are genetically no closer than brothers and sisters, but they share a natal environment
  109. Temperament
    a person's charactersitic emotional reactivity and intensity
  110. Heritability
    the proportion of variation among individuals that we can attribute to genes. The heritability of a trait may vary, depending on the range of populations and environments studied.
  111. Interaction
    the effect of one factor (such as environment) depends on anther factor (such as heredity)
  112. Molecular genetics
    the subfield of biology that studies the molecular structure and function of genes
  113. Evolutionary psychology
    the study of the evolution of behavior and the mind, using principles of natural selection
  114. Mutation
    a random error in gene replication that leads to a change
  115. Gender
    in psychology, the biologically and socially influenced characteristics by which people define male and female
  116. Norm
    an understood rule for accepted and expected behavior
  117. Personal space
    the buffer zone we like to maintain around our bodies
  118. Individualism
    giving priority to one's own goals over group goals, and defining one's identity in terms of personal attributes rather than group identifications
  119. Collectivism
    giving priority to the goals of one's group and defining one's identity accordingly
  120. Aggression
    any physical or verbal behavior intended to hurt or destroy
  121. X chromosome
    the sex chromosome found in both men and women
  122. Y chromosome
    the sex chromosome found only in males
  123. Testosterone
    the most important of the male sex hormones; both males and females have it, but additional amounts of it in males stimulates the growth of the male sex organs in the fetus and the development of the male sex characteristics during puberty
  124. Role
    a set of expectations about a social position, defining how those in the position ought to behave
  125. Gender role
    a set of expected behaviors for males and for females
  126. Gender identity
    one's sense of being male or female
  127. Gender-typing
    the acquisition of a traditional masculine or feminine role
  128. Social learning theory
    the theory that we learn social behavior by observing and imitating and by being rewarded or punished
  129. Gender schema theory
    the theory that children learn from their cultures a concept of what it means to be male and female and that they adjust their behavior accordingly
  130. Developmental psychology
    a branch of psychology that studies physical, cognitive, and social change throughout the life span
  131. Zygote
    the fertilized egg; it enters a 2 week period of rapid cell division and develops into an embryo
  132. Embryo
    the developing human organism from about 2 weeks after fertilization through the second month
  133. Fetus
    the developing human organism from 9 weeks after conception to birth
  134. Teratogens
    agenst, such as chemicals and viruses, that can reach the embryo or fetus during prenatal development and cause harm
  135. Fetal alcohol syndrome
    physical and cognitive abnormalities in children caused by a pregnant woman's heavy drinking. In severe cases, symptoms include noticeable facial misproportions
  136. Rooting reflex
    a baby's tendency, when touched on the cheek, to turn toward the touch, open the mouth, and search for the nipple
  137. Habituation
    decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation. As infants gain familiarity with repeated exposure to a visual stimulation, their interest wanes and they look away sooner
  138. Maturation
    biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior, relatively uninfluenced by experience
  139. Schema
    a concept or framework that organizes and interprets information
  140. Assimilation
    interpreting one's new experience in terms of one's existing schemas
  141. Accommodation
    adapting one's current understandings (schemas) to incorporate new information
  142. Cognition
    all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating
  143. Sensorimotor stage
    in Piaget's theory, the stage (from birth to about 2 years of age) during which infants know the world mostly in terms of their sensory impressions and motor activities
  144. Object permanence
    the awareness that things continue to exist even when not perceived
  145. Preoperational stage
    in Piaget's theory, the stage (from about 2-6 years of age) during which a child learns to use language but does not yet comprehend the mental operations of concrete logic
  146. Conservation
    the principle that properties such as mass, volume, and number remain the same despite changes in the forms of objects (Piaget believed to be part of concrete operational reasoning)
  147. Egocentrism
    in Piaget's theory, the preoperational child's difficulty in taking another's point of view
  148. Theory of mind
    people's ideas about their own and others' mental states - about their feelings, perceptions, and thoughts and the behavior these might predict
  149. Autism
    a disorder that appears in childhood and is marked by deficient communication, social interaction, and understanding of others' states of mind
  150. Concrete operational stage
    in Piaget's theory, the stage of cognitive development (from about 6/7 to 11 years of age) during which children gain the mental operations that enable them to think logically about concrete events
  151. Formal operational stage
    in Piaget's theory, the stage of cognitive development (normally beginning about age 12) during which people begin to think logically about abstract concepts
  152. Stranger anxiety
    the fear of strangers that infants commonly display, beginning by about 8 months of age
  153. Attachment
    an emotional tie with another person; shown in young children by their seeking closeness to the caregiver and showing distress on separation
  154. Critical period
    an optimal period shortly after birth when an organism's exposure to certain stimuli or experiences produces proper development
  155. Imprinting
    the process by which certain animals form attachments during a critical period very early in life
  156. Basic trust
    according to Erik Erikson, a sense that the world is predictable and trustworthy; said to be formed during infancy by appropriate experiences with responsive caregivers
  157. Self-concept
    (1) a sense of one's identity and personal worth; (2) all our thoughts and feelings about ourselves, in answer to the question, "Who am I?"
  158. Adolescence
    the transition period from childhood to adulthood, extending from puberty to independence
  159. Puberty
    the period of sexual maturation, during which a person becomes capable of reproducing
  160. Primary sex characteristics
    the body structures that make sexual reproduction possible
  161. Secondary sex characteristics
    nonreproductive sexual characteristics, such as female breasts and hips, male voice quality, and body hair
  162. Menarche
    the first menstrual period
  163. Identity
    one's sense of self; according to Erikson, the adolescent's task is to solidify a sense of self by testing and integrating various roles
  164. Intimacy
    in Erikison's theory, the ability to form close, loving relationships; a primary developmental task in late adolescence and early adulthood
  165. Menopause
    the time of natural cessation of menstruation
  166. Alzheimer’s disease
    a progressive and irreversible brain disorder characterized by gradual deterioration of memory, reasoning, language, and physical functioning
  167. Cross-sectional study
    a study in which people of different ages are compared with one another
  168. Longitudinal study
    research in which the same people are restudied and retested over a long period
  169. Crystallized intelligence
    one's accumulated knowledge and verbal skills; tends to increase with age
  170. Fluid intelligence
    one's ability to reason speedily and abstractly; tends to decrease during late adulthood
  171. Social clock
    the culturally preferred timing of social events such as marriage, parenthood, and retirement
  172. Sensation
    the process by which our sensory receptors and nervous system receive and represent stimulus energies from our environment
  173. Perception
    the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information, enabling us to recognize meaningful objects and events
  174. Bottom-up processing
    analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works up to the brain's integration of sensory information
  175. Top-down processing
    information processing guided by higher-level mental processes, as when we construct perceptions drawing on our experience and expectations
  176. Psychophysics
    the study of relationships between the physical characteristics of stimuli, such as their intensity, and our psychological experience of them
  177. Absolute threshold
    the minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50 percent of the time
  178. Signal detection theory
    a theory predicting how & when we detect the presence of a faint stimulus (signal) amid background stimulation (noise). Assumes there is no single absolute threshold and detection depends partly on a person's experience, expectations, motivation, and level of fatigue
  179. Subliminal
    below one's threshold for conscious awareness
  180. Priming
    the activation, often unconsciously, of certain associations, thus predisposing one's perception, memory, or response
  181. Difference threshold
    the minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50 percent of the time. We experience the difference threshold as a just noticeable difference
  182. Weber’s law
    the principle that, to be perceived as different, two stimuli must differ by a constant minimum percentage (rather than a constant amount)
  183. Sensory adaptation
    diminished sensitivity as a consequence of constant stimulation
  184. Transduction
    conversion of one form of energy into another. In sensation, the transforming of stimulus energies, such as sights, sounds, and smells, into neural impulses our brains can interpret
  185. Wavelength
    the distance from the peak of one light or sound wave to the peak of the next. They vary from the short blips of cosmic rays to the long pulses of radio transmissions
  186. Hue
    the dimension of color that is determined by the wavelength of light
  187. Intensity
    the amount of energy in a light or sound wave, which we perceive as brightness or loudness, as determined by the wave's amplitude
  188. Pupil
    the adjustable opening in the center of the eye through which light enters
  189. Iris
    a ring of muscle tissue that forms the colored portion of the eye around the pupil and controls the size of the pupil opening
  190. Lens
    the transparent structure behind the pupil that changes shape to help focus images on the retina
  191. Accommodation
    the process by which the eye's lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the retina
  192. Retina
    the light-sensitive inner surface of the eye, containg the receptor rods and cones plus layers of neurons that begin the processing of visual information
  193. Acuity
    the sharpness of vision
  194. Nearsightedness
    a condition in which nearby objects are seen more clearly than distant objects because distant objects focus in front of the retina
  195. Farsightedness
    a condition in which faraway objects are seen more clearly than near objects because the image of near objects is focused behind the retina
  196. Rods
    retinal receptors that etect black, white, and gray; necessary for peripheral and twilight vision, when cones don't respond
  197. Cones
    retinal receptor cells that are concentrated near the center of the retina and that function in daylight or in well-lit conditions. The cones detect fine detail and give rise to color sensations.
  198. Optic nerve
    the nerve which carries neural impulses from the eye to the brain
  199. Blind spot
    the point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye, creating a "blind" spot because no receptor cells are located there
  200. Fovea
    the central focal point inthe retina, around which the eye's cones cluster
  201. Feature detectors
    nerve cells in the brain that respond to specific features of the stimulus, such as shape, angle, or movement
  202. Parallel processing
    the processing of several aspects of a problem simultaneously; the brain's natural mode of information processing for many functions, including vision. Contrasts with the step-by-step processing of most computers and of conscious problem solving
  203. Young-Helmholtz trichromatic theory
    the theory that the retina contains three different color receptors - one most sensitive to red, one to green, one to blue - which when stimulated in combination can produce the perception of any color
  204. Opponent-process theory
    the theory that opposing retinal processes enable color vision.
  205. Color constancy
    perceiving familiar objects as having consistent color, even if changing illumination alters the wavelengths reflected by the object
  206. Audition
    the sense or act of hearing
  207. Frequency
    the number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time
  208. Pitch
    a tone's experienced highness or lowness; depends on frequency
  209. Middle ear
    the chamber between the eardrum and cochlea containing three tiny bones (hammer, anvil, and stirrup) that concentrate the vibrations of the eardrum on the cochlea's oval window
  210. Cochlea
    a coiled, bony, fluid-filled tube in the inner ear through which sound waves trigger nerve impulses
  211. inner ear
    the innermost part of the ear, containing the cochlea, semicircular canals, and vestibular sacs
  212. place theory
    in hearing, the theory that links the pitch we hear with the place where the cochlea's membrane is stimulated
  213. frequency theory
    in hearing, the theory that the rate of nerve impulses traveling up the auditory nerve matches the frequency of a ton, thus enabling us to sense its pitch
  214. conduction hearing loss
    hearing loss caused by damage to the mechanical system that conducts sound waves to the cochlea
  215. sensorineural hearing loss
    hearing loss caused by damage to the cochlea's receptor cells or to the auditory nerves; also called nerve deafness
  216. cochlear implant
    a device for converting sounds into electrical signals and stimulating the auditory nerve through electrodes threaded into the cochlea
  217. gate-control theory
    the theory that the spinal cord contains a neurological "gate" that blocks pain signals or allows them to pass on to the brain. The "gate" is opened by the activity of pain signals traveling up small nerve fibers and is closed by activity in larger fibers or by information coming from the brain
  218. sensory interaction
    the principle that one sense may influence another, as when the smell of food influences its taste
  219. kinesthesis
    the sytem for sensing the position and movement of individual body parts
  220. vestibular sense
    the sense of body movement and position, including the sense of balance
  221. selective attention
    the focusing of conscious awareness on a partiuclar stimulus,as in the cocktail party effect
  222. inattentional blindness
    failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere
  223. visual capture
    the tendency for vision to dominate the other senses
  224. gestalt
    an organized whole; Gestalt psychologists emphasized our tendency to integrate pieces of information into meaningful wholes
  225. figure-ground
    the organization of the visual field into objects that stand out from their surroundings
  226. grouping
    the perceptual tendency to organize stimuli into coherent groups
  227. depth perception
    the ability to see objects in three dimensions although thte images that strike the retina are two-dimensional; allows us to judge distance
  228. visual cliff
    a laboratory device for testing depth perception in infants and young animals
  229. binocular cues
    depth cues, such as retinal disparity and convergence, that depend on the use of two eyes
  230. retinal disparity
    a binocular cue for perceiving depth: by comparing images from the two eyeballs, the brain computes distance - the greater the disparity between the two images, the closer the object
  231. convergence
    a binocular cue for perceiving depth; the extent to which the eyes converge infward when looking at an object. The greater the inward straing, the closer the object.
  232. monocular cues
    depth cues, such as interposition and linear perspective, available to either eye alone
  233. phi phenomenon
    an illusion of movement created when two or more adjacent lights blink on and off in quick succession
  234. perceptual constancy
    perceiving objects as unchanging (having consistent lightness, color, shape, and size) even as illumination and retinal images change
  235. perceptual adaptation
    in vision, the ability to adjust to an artificially displaced or even ivnerted visual field
  236. perceptual set
    a mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another
  237. human factors pyschology
    a branch of psychology that explores how people and machines interact and how machines and physical environments can be made safe and easy to use
  238. extrasensory perception (ESP)
    the controversial claim that perception can occur apart from sensory input
  239. parapsychology
    the study of paranormal phenomena, including ESP and psychokinesis
  240. consciousness
    our awareness of ourselves and our environment
  241. biological rhythms
    periodic physiological fluctuations
  242. circadian rhythm
    the biological cock; regular bodily rhythms that occur on a 24-hour cycle
  243. REM sleep
    rapid eye movement sleep, a recurring sleep stage during which vivid dreams commonly occur. Also known as paradoxical sleep because the muscles are relaxed but other body systems are active
  244. alpha waves
    the relatively slow brain waves of a relaxed, awake state
  245. sleep
    periodic, natural, reversible loss of consciousness - as distinct from unconsciousness resulting from a coma, hibernation, etc.
  246. hallucinations
    false sensory experiences, such as seeing something in the absence of an external visual stimulus
  247. delta waves
    the large, slow brain waves associated with deep sleep
  248. insomnia
    recurring problems in falling or staying asleep
  249. narcolepsy
    a sleep disorder characterized by uncontrollable sleep attacks. The sufferer may lapse directly into REM sleep, often at inopportune times
  250. sleep apnea
    a sleep disorder characterized by temporary cessations of breathing during sleep and repeated momentary awakenings
  251. night terrors
    a sleep disorder characterized by high arousal and an appearance of being terrified; unlike nightmares, night terrors occur during Stage 4 sleep, within two or three hours of falling asleep and are seldom remembered
  252. dream
    a sequence of images, emotions, and thoughts passing through a sleeping person's mind. Dreams are notable for their hallucinatory imagery, discontinuities, and incongruities, and for the dreamer's delusional acceptance of the content and later difficulties remembering it
  253. manifest content
    according to Freud, the rememberd story line of a dream
  254. latent content
    according to Freud, the underlying meaning of a dream (as distinct from its manifest content). Freud believed that a dream's latent content functions as a safety valve
  255. REM rebound
    the tendency for REM sleep to increase the following REM sleep deprivation (created by repeated awakenings during REM sleep)
  256. hypnosis
    a social interaction in which one person suggests to another that certain perceptions, feelings, thoughts, or behaviors will spontaneously occur
  257. posthypnotic suggestion
    a suggestion, made during hypnosis, to be carried out after the subject is no longer hypnotized; used by some clinicians to help control undesired symptoms and behaviors
  258. dissociation
    a split in consciousness, which allows some thoughts and behaviors to occur simultaneously with others
  259. psychoactive drug
    a chemical substance that alters perceptions and mood
  260. tolerance
    the diminshing effect with regular use of the same dose of a drug, requiring the user to take larger and larger doses before experiencing the drug's effect
  261. withdrawal
    the discomfort and distress that follow discontinuing the use of an addictive drug
  262. physical dependence
    a physiological need for a drug, marked by unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when the drug is discontinued
  263. psychological dependence
    a psychological need to use a drug, such as to relieve negative emotions
  264. addiction
    compulsive drug craving and using
  265. depressants
    drugs that reduce neural activity and slow body functions
  266. barbiturates
    drugs that depress the activity of the central nervous system, reducing anxiety but impairing memory and judgment
  267. opiates
    opium and its derivatives which deperess neural activity, temporarily lessening pain and anxiety
  268. stimulants
    drugs that excite neural activity and speed up body functions
  269. amphetamines
    drugs that stimulate neural activity, causing speeded-up body functions and associated energy and mood changes
  270. methamphetamines
    a powerfully addictive drug that stimulates the central nervous system, with speeded-up body functions and associated energy and mood changes; over time, appears to reduce baseline dopamine levels
  271. Ecstasy
    a synthetic stimulant and mild hallucinogen. Produces euphoria and social intimacy, but with short-term health risks and longer-term harm to serotonin-producing neurons and ot mood and cognition
  272. hallucinogens
    psychadelic drugs that distort perceptions and evoke sensory images in the absence of sensory input
  273. LSD
    a powerful hallucinogenic drug, also known as acid
  274. THC
    the major active ingredient in marijuana; triggers a variety of effects, including mild hallucinations
  275. near-death experience
    an altered state of consciousness reported after a close brush with death, often similar to drug-induced hallucinations
  276. dualism
    the presumption that mind and body are two distinct entities that interact
  277. monism
    the presumption that mind and body are different aspects of the same thing
  278. learning
    a relatively permanent change in an organism's behavior due to experience
  279. associative learning
    learning that certain events occur together; the two events might be two stimuli, or a response and its consequences
  280. classical conditioning
    a type of learning in which an organism comes to associate stimuli. A neutral stimulus that signals an unconditioned stimulus begins to produce a response that anticipates and prepares for the unconditional stimulus.
  281. behaviorism
    the view that psychology 1) should be an objective science that 2) studies behavior without reference to mental processes. Most research psychologists agree with 1 but not with 2 today.
  282. unconditioned response
    in classical conditioning, the unlearned, naturally occurring response to the unconditioned stimulus, such as salivation when food is in the mouth
  283. unconditioned stimulus
    in classical conditioning, a stimulus that unconditionally - naturally and automatically - triggers a response
  284. conditioned response
    in classical conditioning, the learned response to a previously neutral (but now conditioned) stimulus
  285. conditioned stimulus
    in classical conditioning, an originally irrelevant stimulus that, after association with an unconditioned stimulus, comes to trigger a conditioned response
  286. acquisition
    the initial stage in classical conditioning; the phase associating a neutral stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral stimulus comes to elicit a conditioned response. In operant conditioning, the strengthening of a reinforced response
  287. extinction
    the diminishing of a conditioned response; occurs in classical conditioning when an unconditioned sitmulus does not follow a conditioned stimulus; occurs in operant conditiong when a response is no longer reinforced
  288. spontaneous recovery
    the reappearance, after a pause, of an extinguished conditioned response
  289. generalization
    the tendency, once a response has been conidtioned, for stimuli similar tot he conditioned stimulus to elicit similar responses
  290. discrimination
    unjustifiable negative behavior toward a group or its members
  291. operant conditioning
    a type of learning in which behavior is strenghtened if followed by a reinforcer or diminished if followed by a punisher
  292. respondent behavior
    behavior that occurs as an automatic response to some stimulus; Skinner's term for behavior learned through classical conditioning
  293. operant behavior
    behavior that operates on the environment, producing consequences
  294. law of effect
    Thorndike's principle that behaviors followed by favorable consequences become more likely, and that behaviors followed by unfavorable consequences become less likely
  295. operant chamber
    a chamber also known as a Skinner box, containing a bar or key that an animal can manipulate to obtain a food or water reinforcer, with attached devices to record the animal's rate of bar pressing or key pecking. Used in operant conditioning research.
  296. shaping
    an operant conditioning procedure in which reinforcers guide behavior toward closer and closer approximations of the desired behavior
  297. reinforcer
    in operant conditioning, any event that strengthens the behavior it follows
  298. positive reinforcement
    increasing behaviors by presenting positive stimuli, such as food. A positive reinforcer is any stimulus that when presented after a repsonse, strengthens the response
  299. negative reinforcement
    increasing behaviors by stopping or reducing negative stimuli suck as shock; this reinforcer is any stimulus that, when removed after a response, strengthens the response
  300. primary reinforcer
    an innately reinforcing stimulus, such as one that satisfies a biological need
  301. conditioned reinforcer
    a stimulus that gains its reinforcing power through its association with a primary reinforcer; also know as a secondary reinforcer
  302. partial reinforcement
    reinforcing a response only part of the time; results in slower acquisition of a response but much greater resistance to extinction than does continuous reinforcement
  303. fixed-ratio schedule
    in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified number of responses
  304. variable-ratio schedule
    in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response after an unpredictable number of responses
  305. fixed-interval schedule
    in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified time has elapsed
  306. variable-interval schedule
    in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals
  307. punishment
    an event that decreases the behavior that it follows
  308. cognitive map
    a mental representation of the layout of one's environment
  309. latent learning
    learning that occurs but is not apparent until there is incentive to demonstrate it
  310. intrinsic motivation
    a desire to perform a behavior for its own sake
  311. extrinsic motivation
    a desire to perform a behavior due to promised rewards or threats of punishment
  312. observational learning
    learning by observing others
  313. modeling
    the process of observing and imitating a specific behavior
  314. mirror neurons
    frontal lobe neurons that fire when performing certain actions or when observing another doing so. The brain's mirroring of another's action may enable imitation, language learning, and empathy
  315. prosocial behavior
    positive, constructive, helpful behavior
  316. memory
    the persistence of learning over time through the storage and retrevial of information
  317. flashbulb memory
    a clear memory of an emotionally significant moment or event
  318. encoding
    the processing of information into the memory system - for example, by extracting meaning
  319. storage
    the retention of encoded information over time
  320. retrieval
    the process of getting information out of memory storage
  321. sensory memory
    the immediate, very brief recording of sensory information in the memory system
  322. short-term memory
    activated memory that holds a few items briefly, such as the seven digits of a phone number while dialing, before the information is stored or forgotten
  323. long-term memory
    the relatively permanent and limitless storehouse of the memory system. Includes knowledge, skills, and experiences.
  324. working memory
    a newer understanding of short-term memory that involves conscious, active proceessing of incoming auditory and visual-spatial information, and of information retrieved from long-term memory
  325. automatic processing
    unconscious encoding of incidental information, such as space, time, and frequency, and of well-learned information, such as word meanings
  326. effortful processing
    encoding that requires attention and conscious effort
  327. rehearsal
    the conscious repitition of information, either to maintain it in consciousness or to encode it for storage
  328. spacing effect
    the tendency for distributed study or practice to yield better long-term retention than is achieved through massed study or practice
  329. serial position effect
    our tendency to recall best the last and first items in a list
  330. visual encoding
    the encoding of picture images
  331. acoustic encoding
    the encoding of sound, especially the sound of words
  332. semantic encoding
    the encoding of meaning, including the meaning of words
  333. imagery
    mental pictures; a powerful aid to effortful processing, especially when combined with semantic encoding
  334. mnemonics
    memory aids, especially those techniques that use vivid imagery and organizational devices
  335. chunking
    organizing items into familiar, manageable units; often occurs automatically
  336. iconic memory
    a momentary sensory memory of visual stimuli; a photographic or picture-image memory lasting no more than a few tenths of a second
  337. echoic memory
    a momentary sensory memory of auditory stimuli; if attention is elsewhere, sounds and words can still be recalled within 3 or 4 seconds
  338. long-term potentiation
    an increase in a synapse's firing potential after brief, rapid stimulation. Believed to be a neural basis for learning and memory
  339. amnesia
    the loss of memory
  340. implicit memory
    retention independent of conscious recollection
  341. explicit memory
    memory of cats and experiences that one can consciously know and "declare"
  342. hippocampus
    a neural center located in the limbic system that helps process explicit memories for storage
  343. recall
    a measure of memory in which the person must retrieve information learned earlier, as on a fill-in-the-blank test
  344. recognition
    a measure of memory in which the person need only identify items previously learned, as on a multiple-choice test
  345. relearning
    a memory measure that assesses the amount of time saved when learning material for a second time
  346. priming
    the activation, often unconsciously, of certain associations, thus predisposing one's perception, memory, or response
  347. deja vu
    that eerie sense that "I've experienced this before"; cues from the current situation may subconsciously trigger retrieval of an earlier experience
  348. mood-congruent memory
    the tendency to recall experiences that are consistent with one's current good or bad mood
  349. proactive interference
    the disruptive effect of prior learning on the recall of new information
  350. retroactive interference
    the distruptive effect of new learning on the recall of old information
  351. repression
    in psychoanalytic theory, the basic defense mechanism that banishes anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories from consciousness
  352. misinformation effect
    incorporating misleading information into one's memory of an event
  353. source amnesia
    attributing to the wrong source an event we have experienced, hear about, read about or imagined; it, along with the misnformation effect, is at the heart of many false memories
  354. concept
    a mental grouping of similar objects, events, ideas, or people
  355. prototype
    a mental image or best example of a category. Matching new items to it provides a quick and easy method for including items in a category
  356. algorithm
    a methodical, logical rule or procedure that guarantees solving a particular problem, as opposed to the use of heuristics, which are speedier but more error-prone
  357. heuristic
    a simple thinking strategy that often allows us to make judgments and solve problems efficiently; usually speedier but more error-prone than algorithms
  358. insight
    a sudden and often novel realization of the solution to a problem; contrasts with strategy-based solutions
  359. confirmation bias
    a tendency to search for information that confirm's one preconceptions
  360. fixation
    the inability to see a problem from a new perspective; an impediment to problem solving
  361. mental set
    a tendency to approach a problem in a particular way, often a way that has been successful in the past
  362. functional fixedness
    the tendency to think of things only in terms of their usual functions; an impediemtn to problem solving
  363. representativeness heuristic
    judging the likelihood of things in terms of how well they seem to represent, or match, particular prototypes; may lead one to ignore other relevant information
  364. availability heuristic
    estimating the likelihood of events based on their availability in memory; if instances come readily to mind (perhaps because of their vividness), we presume such events are common
  365. overconfidence
    the tendency to be more confident than correct - to overestimate the accuracy of one's beliefs and judgments
  366. framing
    the way an issue is posed; how an issue is framed can significantly affect decisions and judgments
  367. belief bias
    the tendency for one's preexisting beliefs to distort logical reasoning, sometimes by making invalid conclusions seem valid, or valid conclusions seem invalid
  368. belief perseverance
    clinging to one's initial conceptions after the basis on which they were formed has been discredited
  369. language
    our spoken, written, or signed words and the ways we combine them to communicate meaning
  370. phenome
    in a language, the smallest distinctive sound unit
  371. morpheme
    in a language, the smalles unit that carries meaning; may be a word or part of a word
  372. grammar
    in a language, the system of rules that enables us to communicate with and understand others
  373. semantics
    the set of rules by which we derive meaning from morphemes, words, and sentences in a given language; also, the study of meaning
  374. syntax
    the rules for combining words into grammatically sensible sentences in a given language
  375. babbling stage
    at about 4 months, the stage of speech development in which the infant spontaneously utters various sounds at first unrelated to the household language
  376. one-word stage
    the stage in speech development, from about age 1 to 2, during which a child speaks mostly in single words
  377. two-word stage
    beginning at age 2, the stage in speech development during which a child speaks mostly two-word statements
  378. telegraphic speech
    early speech stage in which a child speaks like a telegram using mostly nouns and verbs and omitting auxiliary words
  379. linguistic determination
    Whorf's hypothesis that language determines the way we think