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Using knowledge to carefully examine an issue. Helps us understand why people do the things they do. Does this make sense?
- "I knew it all along"
- The part of our mind that tells us that something was blatantly obvious.
- Why it's called a bias:
- The mind builds info based on what we already know, we favor old info
Humans think they know more than they do, leading to them having more confidence and often incorrectness.
Two issues with overconfidence:
1. We perceive events in random order
2. We overestimate accuracy and time
Accuracy by Scientific Method
- 1. Curiosity
- 2. Skeptisim
- 3. Humility
Always asking new questions
- not accepting a ‘fact’ as true
- without challenging it; seeing if ‘facts’ can withstand attempts to disprove
- the truth rather than trying to be right; a scientist needs to be able to
- accept being wrong.
A testable prediction
Can your test results be replicated?
A set of principles built on observations and facts
- and gathering information to compile an in-depth study of one individual
- data about behavior; watching but not intervening
Studies broad population
Surveys and Interviews
- other people report on their own attitudes and behavior
Randomized, and be careful about wording
an observation that two traits or attributes are related to each other
- : a measure of how closely two factors vary together,
- or how well you can predict a change in one from observing a change in the
- manipulating one factor in a
- situation to determine its effect
- experimental effects that are caused by expectations about the
an inactive substance or other fake treatment in place of the experimental treatment.
- neither participants nor research staff knows which participants are in the
- experimental or control groups.
- randomly selecting some study participants to be assigned to the control
- group or the experimental group.
How we make sure the groups are the same in every way:
A group with a maniuplated variable
Example: two groups of children have ADHD, but only one group stops eating refined sugar.
Refined sugar group is control
The variable that changes in response to the manipulations of the independent variable
The experiment that is being studied. The variable that is being introduced to an experiment.
The other variable that may have an effect on the results.
- ••Did ice cream sales
- cause a rise in violence, or vice versa?
- There might be a confounding variable:
Dealing with confounding variables: Experimentation
- An experiment is
- a type of research in which the researcher carefully
- manipulates a limited number of factors (IVs) and measures the impact on other
- factors (DVs).
- psychology, you would be looking at the effect of the experimental change (IV)
- on a behavior or mental process
Measures of Central Tendency: Mean
The average in a set of numbers
Measures of Central Tendency:
The middle number in a set of numbers
Measures of Central Tendency: Mode
The number that occurs most often in a set of numbers
Measures of Central Tendency: skewed
When way-out scores make data lopsided
Measures of Central Tendency: Range
The gap between the highest and lowest points of data
Measures of Central Tendency: Standard Deviation
calculation of the average distance of scores from the mean
- (developed by
- Franz Gall in the early 1800’s):
- the study of bumps on the skull and their relationship to mental abilities and
- character traits
- Phrenology yielded one big idea--that the brain might have different areas that do
- different things (localization of function).
Passes messages away from the cell body to other muscles, glands, or neurons
Receive messages from other cells
A fatty layer that covers the axon of some neurons and helps speed up neuron impulses
The cell's life support centure
A neural impulse that travels down an axon like a wave. The wave movess down an axon, and is made up of ion exchanges moving in and out
The gap between cells.
Chemicals used to send a signal across the synaptic gap
The recycling of neurotransmitters
The Central Nervous System
- The central nervous system [CNS]
- consists of the brain and spinal cord.
- The CNS makes decisions for the
The periphrael nervous system
- The peripheral nervous system
- [PNS] consists of ‘the rest’ of the nervous system.
The PNS gathers and sends information to and from the rest of the body.
- are part of the peripheral nervous system and
- connect muscles, glands, and sense organs to the central nervous system.
What is it
The endocrine system refers to a set of glands that produce chemical messengers called hormones.
The Limbic system
- such as fear and aggression.
- drives such as hunger and sex.
§the formation of episodic memories.
A branch of science that studies the brain's activity based on cognition (perception, thinking, memory, and language)
Dual track processing: Conscious
- minds take deliberate
- actions we know
- we are doing
- Examples: problem solving, naming an object,
- defining a word
Dual Track Processing: Unconscious “low” track:
- our minds perform automatic
- often without being aware of them
- Examples: walking,
- acquiring phobias, processing sensory details into perceptions and memories
- are millions of bits of information coming at our senses every second.
- we have the skill of selective attention; our
- brain is able to choose a focus and select what to notice.
- can focus our mental spotlight on a conversation even when other conversations
- are going on around us. This is known as the cocktail
- party effect.
- bad news: we can hyperfocus on a conversation
Failing to notice changees in the environment
Failing to see objects because our focus is directed elsewhere
Being tricked into thiinking you are tasting or seeing one thing by experience
Sigmund Freud on why we dream about what we dream about
- Sigmund Freud believed there was often a hidden “latent content” (conflicts, worries,
- and urges) underneath the symbolic “manifest
- content” (the plot, actions, and images recalled)
- of dreams.
The circadian rythem
- The body’s natural 24-hour cycle,
- roughly matched to the day/night cycle of light and dark.
- the 24 hour cycle, the following factors vary, rising and falling over the
- course of the day and night:
- Daily rhythms vary from person to person
- and with age.
General peaks in alertness:
§evening peak—20-year old “owls”
§morning peak—50-year old “larks”
Individual needs for sleep
New born to adult
- §in general, newborns need 16 hours of
- sleep, while adults need 8 hours or less
- §Individual (genetic) variation: some
- people function best with 6 hours of sleep, others with 9 hours or more
- Hypnosis is a social interaction in which
- one person (the hypnotist) suggests to another (the subject) that certain
- perceptions, feelings, thoughts, or behaviors will spontaneously occur.
- Tolerance of a
- drug refers to the diminished psychoactive effects after repeated use.
- Tolerance feeds addiction because users
- take increasing amounts of a drug to get the desired effect.
- §(painful symptoms of the body
- readjusting to the absence of the drug).
- §Withdrawal worsens addiction
- because users want to resume taking the drug to end withdrawal symptoms.
- Depressants are chemicals that reduce neural activity and other body
Alcohol, barbituates, opiates
- §Opiates depress nervous system
- activity; this reduces anxiety, and especially reduces pain.
- §High doses of opiates produce
- §Opiates work at receptor sites for
- the body’s natural pain reducers (endorphins).
- Stimulants are drugs which intensify neural activity and bodily
- Some physical effects of stimulants: dilated pupils, increased breathing and
- heart rate, increased blood sugar, decreased appetite
- §interfere with serotonin
- §This causes hallucinations--images and other “sensations” that
- didn’t come in through the senses.
- with brain cannabinoid receptors.
§Effect on consciousness:
- of ability to sense satiety
- coordination, perceptual ability,
- and reaction time
- accumulates in the
- body, increasing the effects of next use
- the brain
- shrinks in areas processing memory and emotion
study of how heredity and environment contribute to human differences
- are parts of DNA molecules, which are found in chromosomes in the nuclei of
The building blocks of heredity and development
The human genome contains 20-25k genes
- threadlike structure made largely
- of DNA molecules
Human genome contains 46 chromosones, in 23 matched sets. We receive half of our chromosomes from each parent
a spiraling, complex molecule containing genes
An organisms entire collection of genes
- as a person’s general
- level and style of emotional reactivity).
- some researchers, three general types of temperament appear in
- amount of variation in the population that is explained by genetic factors.
- §This DOES
- NOT tell
- us the proportion that genes contribute to the trait for any one person.
- heritability of a trait also does not tell us whether genetics explain
- differences between groups/populations.
- of how evolutionary principles help explain the origin and function of the
- human mind, traits, and behaviors.
Topics include natural selection and adaptation