Biological Psyc 1

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Biological Psyc 1
2010-08-15 09:15:25


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  1. What is biological psychology?
    - the study of the physiological, evolutionary, and developmental mechanisms of behaviour and experience
  2. What is a physiological explanation?
    - it relates a behaviour to the activity of the brain and other organs

    ex. the chemical reactions that enable hormones to influence brain activity and the routes by which brain activity ultimately controls the contractions of muscles
  3. What is an ontogentic explanation?
    - the development of a structure or a behaviour

    ex. it traces the influences of genes, nutrition, experiences, and the interations among these influences in producing behavioural tendencies
  4. What is an evolutionary explanation?
    - a structure or a behaviour in terms of evolutionary history

    ex. when people become frightened, they sometimes get goose bumps, in our ancestors this would cause their hairs to stand up making them look bigger and more intimidating
  5. What is a functional explanation?
    - describes why a structure or behaviour evolved as it did

    ex. within a small population, such as an isolated community, a gene can spread by accident through genetic drift
  6. What is dualism?
    - the belief that mind and body are different kinds of substances (thought substance and physical substance) that exist independently but somehow interact
  7. What is the mind-brain problem?
    Understanding the relationship between the mind and the brain
  8. What is monism? and what are the three forms of it?
    • - the belief that the universe consists of only one kind of exsistence
    • -materialism
    • -mentalism
    • -identity position
  9. What is materialism?
    - a form of monism that views everything that exists as material, or physical
  10. What is mentalism?
    - a form of monism that believes only the mind really exsists
  11. What is identity position?
    - a form of monism that believes mental processes are the same thing as certain kinds of brain processes by described in different terms
  12. What are the easy questions?
    - they pertain to many phenomena that we call consciousness, such as the difference between wakefulness and sleep and the mechanisms that enable us to focus out attention
  13. What are the hard problems?
    - the question of why and how any kind of brain activity is associated with consciousness
  14. What is solipsism?
    - the philosophical position that I alone exist, or I alone am conscious
  15. What is the problem of other minds?
    - the difficulty of knowing whether other people (or animals) have conscious experiences
  16. What are genes?
    - units of heredity that maintain their structural identity from one generation to another
  17. What is a chromosome?
    - strands of genes
  18. What is an enzyme?
    - a biological catalyst that regulates chemical reactions in the body
  19. What is homozygous?
    - an individual that has an identical pair of genes on the two chromosomes
  20. What is heterozygous?
    - an individual that has an unmatched pair of genes
  21. What are sex-linked genes?
    - genes that are located on the sex chromosomes
  22. What are autosomal genes?
    - all genes except for sex-linked genes
  23. What is a sex-limited gene?
    - is present in both sexes but has an effect limited or almost limited to one sex. The genes become active only under the influence of sex hormones
  24. What is recombination?
    - a new combination of genes, some from one parent and some from the other, that yields characteristics not found in either parent
  25. What is heritability?
    - an estimate of how much of the variance in some characteristic within some population is due to difference in heredity
  26. What is a multiplier effect?
    - if genetic or prenatal influences produce even a small increase in some activity, the early tendency will change the environment in a way that magnifies that tendency
  27. What is Lamarchian evolution?
    evolution through the inheritance of acquired characteristics
  28. What is sociobiology or evolutionary psychology?
    - it deals with how social behaviours have evolved
  29. What does the term fitness mean?
    - the number of copies of one's genes that endure in later generations
  30. What is altruistic behaviour?
    - an action that benefits someone other than the actor
  31. What is reciprocal altruism?
    - the idea that animals help those who help them in return
  32. What is kin selection?
    - selection for a gene because it benefits the individual's relatives
  33. What are minimalists?
    - people who agree that some animal research is acceptable but wish it to be minimized and regulated
  34. What are abolitionists?
    - people who see no room for comprimise, they maintain that all animals have the same rights as humans