Glossary of Psychology Test 1

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behavioral, psychodynamic, humanistic, physiological, cognitive, sociocultural
how do early learning experiences shape our behavior as adults?
how do unresolved conflicts from childhood affect adult behavior? how can people be helped to cope?
how do people pursue goals that give their lives a sense of meaning and purpose
how do biological structures and processes make behavior possible? what roles do nature (heredity) and nurture (environment) play in such areas as intelligence, language development, and aggression?
how do people solve problems, make decisions, and develop language?
how do concepts of self differ across cultures? how do social and cultural influences shape behavior?
derived from two Greek roots - psyche meaning “Mind” and logos meaning “Study or Knowledge”. It is the science of behavior and mental processes.
study of relationships btw features of physical stimuli, like light and sound, and the psychological events, like sensation and perception, to which they give rise.
early school of psychology that attempted to understand how the mind is structured by breaking down mental experiences into their smallest components.
Wilhelm Wundt
used introspection, careful self-examination and reporting of one’s conscious experience-what one is perceiving, feeling, thinking, or sensing at each particular moment in time. Or…inward focusing on mental experiences, such as sensations or feelings.
Edward Titchener
disciple of Wundt, brought Wundt’s teachings of introspection to US…school of psychology identified with Wundt and Titchener became known as structuralism.
emirical approach
method of developing knowledge based on evaluating evidence gathered from experiments and careful observation
objectives of science
describe, explain predict control
Developmental psychology
branch of psych that explores physical, emotional, cognitive, and social aspects of development.
school of psych that focuses on the adaptive functions of behavior (William James)
Natural selection
evolutionary process by which individuals of a species that are best adapted to their environments are the ones most likely to survive and pass along their traits to succeeding generations.
Stream of consciousness
continuous flow of conscious thoughts
school of pysch that holds that psych should limit itself to the study of overt, observable behavior (James Watson)
Gestalt psych
the school of psych that holds that the brain structures our perceptions of the world in terms of meaningful patterns or wholes. (Max Wertheimer)
Gestalt is a German word meaning “unitary form” or “pattern”
In Freudian theory, the part of the mind beyond conscious awareness that contains primitive drives or instincts
Psychodynamic perspective
view that behavior is influenced by the struggle between unconscious sexual or aggressive impulses and opposing forces that try to keep this threatening material out of consciousness
Freuds method of psychotherapy, it emphasizes the role of unconscious motives and conflicts in determining human behavior
• Behavioral perspective
an approach to the study of psych that focuses on the role of learning in explaining observable behavior
• Behavior therapy
form of therapy that involves the systematic application of the principles of learning to bring about desired changes in emotional states and behavior
• Humanistic psych
the school of psych that believes that free will and conscious choice are essential aspects of the human experience
• Physiological perspective
an approach to the study of psych that focuses on the relationships btw biological processes and behavior
• Evolutionary psych
branch of psych that focuses on the role of evolutionary processes in shaping behavior
• Cognitive perspective
an approach to the study of psych that focuses on the processes by which we acquire knowledge
• Sociocultural perspective
an approach to the study of psych that emphasizes the role of social and cultural influences on behavior
• Inferences
conclusions drawn from observations
• Theories
formulations that account for the relationships among observed events or experimental findings in ways that make them more understandable and predictable
• Control 2 meanings in psychological research
control of the variables under study and using knowledge gained from research to help people attain better control over their lives
• Variables
factors or measures that change
scientific method -what is it
test out predictions derived from theory, observation, experience, or commonly held beliefs. It is a method of inquiry involving careful observation and use of experimental methods
scientific method steps
oDeveloping a research q
oFraming the research q in the form of a hypothesis
oGathering evidence to test the hypothesis
oDrawing conclusions about the hypothesis
• Case studies
provide a wealth of info and suggest testable hypotheses, but they lack the controls found in scientific experiments. It is an in-depth study of one or more individuals
• Statistics
branch of math involving the tabulation, analysis, and interpretation of numerical data
• Statistical significance
term representing that a finding is unlikely to have been due to chance or random fluctuations
• Replication
attempt to duplicate findings
structured interview
questioning technique that follows a preset series of questions in a particular order
• Questionnaire
written set of questions or statements to which people can reply by marking responses on an answer form
• Population
all the individuals or organisms that constitute particular groups
• Samples
subsets of a population
• Random sampling
a method of sampling in which each individual in the population has an equal chance of being selected
naturalistic observation method
researchers in the field can examine behavior as it unfolds in a natural setting, but they run the risk of influencing the behavior they are observing
• social desirability bias
the tendency to respond to q’s in a socially desirable manner
• volunteer basis
is the type of bias that arises when people who volunteer to participate in a survey or research study have characteristics that make them unrepresentative of the popul. from which they were drawn
correlational method
can examine how variables are related to each other, but cannot determine cause and effect relationships
• correlation coefficient
statistical measure of association btw variables that can vary from -1.00 to +1.00….MORE
• experimental method
researchers can explore cause and effect relationships by directly manipulating some variables and observing their effects on other variables under controlled conditions
• independent variables
factors that are manipulated in an experiment
• dependant variables
are the effects or outcomes of an experiment that are believed to be dependant on the values of the independent variables
• control groups
groups of participants in a research experiment who do not receive the experimental treatment or intervention
• random assignment
a method of randomely assigning subjects to experimental or control groups
• placebo
inert substance or experimental condition that resembles the active treatment
• placebo effects are positive outcomes of an experiment resulting from the subjects’ positive expectations rather than from the experimental treatment
• single-blind studies
in drug research, studies in which both subjects are kept uniformed about which subjects are receiving the active drug and which are receiving the placebo
• double blind studies
in drug research, studies in which both subjects and experimenters are kept uninformed about which subjects are receiving the active drug and which are receiving the placebo
• ethics review committees
committees that evaluate whether proposed studies meet ethical guidelines
• informed consent
agreement to participate in a study following disclosure of info about the purposes and nature of the study and its potential risks and benefits
• Neurons
(nerve cells) are the basic building blocks of the nervous system – the boyd’s wiring through which messages are transmited within the nervous system.
mass of nerve tissue encased in the skull that controls virtually everything we are and everything we do
• Soma
cell body of a neuron that contains the nucleus of the cell and carries out the cell’s metabolic functions
nervous system has 3 types of neurons
sensory neurons, motor neurons, and interneurons
• Axon
tubelike part of a neuron which carries messages away from the cell body toward other neutrons
• Terminal buttons
swellings at the tips of axons from which neurotransmitters are dispatched into the synapse
• Synapse
small fluid-filled gap between neurons through which neurotransmitters carry neural impulses
• Dendrites
are rootlike structures at the end of axons that receive neural impulses from neighboring neurons
• Sensory neurons
neurons that transmit info form sensory organs, muscles and inner organs to the spinal cord and brain
• Motor neurons
are neurons that convey nerve impulses from the central nervous system to muscles and glands
• Glands
body organs or structures that produce secretions
• Hormones
are secretions from endocrine glands that help regulate bodily processes
• Interneurons
are nerve cells within the central nervous system that process info
• Nerves
bundles of axons from different neurons that transmit never impulses
nervous system has 2 types of cells
neurons and glial cells-small but numerous cells in the nervous system that support neurons and that form the myelin sheath found an many axons
nervous system
massive communication network that connects billions of neurons throughout your body
neuron fires when
a stimulus triggers electrochemical changes along its cell membrane that lead to a chain reaction w/in the cell
• Nodes of Ranvier
gaps in the myelin sheath that create noninsulated areas along the axon
• Multiple sclerosis (ms)
is a disease of the central nervous system in which the myelin sheath that insulates axons is damaged or destroyed
• Ions
electrically charged chemical particles
• Resting potential
the electrical potential across the cell membrane of a neuron in its resting state
• Depolarization is
a positive shift in the electrical charge in the neurons resting potential, making it less negatively charged
• Action potential
an abrupt change from a negative to a positive charge of a nerve cell, also called a neural impulse
• All-or-none principle
is the principle by which neurons will fire only when a change in the level of excitation occurs that is sufficient to produce an action potential
• Refractory period
temporary state in which a neuron is unable to fire in response to continues stimulation
• Receptor site
site on the receiving neuron in which neurotransmitters dock
• Reuptake
the process by which neurotransmitters are reabsorbed by the transmitting neuron
• Enzymes
organic substances that produce certain chemical changes in other organic substances through a catalytic action
• Neuromodulators
are chemical released in the nervous system that influence the sensitivity of the receiving neuron to neurotransmitters
• Antagonists
drugs that block the actions of neurotransmitters by occupying the receptor sites in which the neurotransmitters by occupying the receptor sites in which the neurotransmitters dock
• Schizophrenia
a puzzling and disabling disorder that fills the mind with distorted perceptions, false ideas, and loosely connected thoughts
characterized by disturbances in thinking, perception, emotions and behavior
• Hallucinations
perceptions (hearing voices or seeing things) that are experienced in the absence of external stimuli
• Delusions
are fixed but patently false beliefs, such as believing that one is being hounded by demons
• Parkinson’s Disease
a progressive brain disease involving destruction of dopamine-producing brain cells and characterized by muscle tremors, shakiness, rigitidy, and difficulty in walking and controlling the fine body movements
• Agonists
drugs that either increase the availability or effectiveness of neurotransmitters or mimic their actions
• Stimulant
a drug that activates the central nervous system, such as amphetamines and cocaine
• Antidepressants
drugs that combat depression by affecting the levels or activity of neurotransmitters
• Endorphins
natural chemicals released in the brain that have pain-killing and pleasure-inducing effects
spinal cord
info highway that conducts info btw the brain and the peripheral nervous system. It’s a column of nerves.
• Spine
the protective bony column that houses the spinal cord
• Reflex
automatic, unlearned response to particular stimuli
• Spinal reflex
reflex controlled at the level of the spinal cord that may involve as few as 2 neurons
• Medulla
a structure in the hindbrain involved in regulating basic life functions, such as heartbeat and respiration
• Pons
in the hindbrain involved with sleep and wakefulness
• Brainstem
“Stalk” in the lower part of the brain that connects the spinal cord to higher regions of the brain
• Cerebellum
a structure in the hindbrain involved in controlling coordination and balance
• Reticular formation
weblike formation of neurons involved in regulating states of attention, alertness and arousal
• Forebrain
largest and uppermost part of the brain; contains the thalamus, hypothalamus, limbic system, basal ganglia, and cerebral cortex. It controls higher mental functions such as thinking, problem solving, use of language, planning and memory
• Thalamus
structure in the forebrain that serves as a relay station for sensory info and that plays a key role in regulating states of wakefulness and sleep
• Basal ganglia
assemblage of neurons lying in the forebrain that is important in controlling movement and coordination
• Huntington’s disease
genetically transmitted, degenerative brain disease that results in involuntarily jerking movements and progressive loss of control over bodily functions
• Hypothalamus
a small, pea-sized structure in the forebrain that helps regulate many vital bodily functions, including body temperature and reproduction, as well as emotional states, aggression, and response to stress
• The limbic system
plays an important role in the regulation of memory and emotions. It is a formation of structures in the forebrain that includes the hippocampus, amygdala, and parts of the thalamus and hypothalamus
divided into 2 hemisphers and is covered by a thin, outer layer, the cerebral cortex, which is responsible for higher mental functions such as thought and language. Cerebrum-largest mass of the forebrain. Cerebral cortex-the wrinkled, outer layer of gray matter that covers the cerebral hemispheres
• Amygdale
set of almond-shaped structures in the limbic system believed to play an important role in aggression, rage, and fear
• Hippocampus
structure in the limbic system involved in memory formation
• Cerebral hemispheres
the right and left masses of the cerebrum, which are joined by the corpus callosum
• Corpus callosum
the thick bundle of nerve fibers that connects the two cerebral hemispheres allowing them to share info
• Somatosensory cortex
part of the parietal lobe that processes info about touch and pressure on the skin, as well as the position of the parts of our bodies as we move about
• Motor cortex
a region of the frontal lobes involved in regulating body movement
• Temporal lobes
the parts of the cerebral cortex lying beneath and somewhat behind the frontal lobes that are involved in processing auditory stimuli
• Association areas
are areas of the cerebral cortex that piece together sensory info to form meaningful perceptions of the world and perform higher mental functions
(electroencephalograph) a device that records electrical activity in the brain
• CT
computed tomography) scan is a computer-enhanced imaging technique in which an X-ray beam is passes through the body at different angles to generate a three-d image of bodily structures (also called CAT scan short for computerized axial tomography)
(positron emission tomography) scan is an imaging technique in which a radioactive sugar tracer is injected into the bloodstream and uses to measure levels of activity of various parts of the brain
• MRI (
(magnetic resonance imaging) is a technique that uses a magnetic field to create a computerized image of internal bodily structures
• Experimental methods used to study brain functioning
lesioning, electrical recording, and electrical stimulation
• Lesioning
in studies of brain functioning, the intentional destruction of brain tissue in order to observe the effects on behavior
• Electrical recording
as a method of investigating brain functioning, a process of recording the electrical changes that occur in a specific neuron or groups of neurons in the brain in relation to particular activities or behaviors
• Electrical stimulation
as a method of investigating brain functioning, a process of electrically stimulating particular parts of the brain to observe the effects on behavior
• Lateralization
is the specialization of the right and left cerebral hemispheres for particular functions
• Broca’s area
is an area of the left frontal lobe involved in speech
• Wernicke’s area
is an area of the left temporal lobe involved in processing written and spoken language
• Aphasia
loss or impairment of the ability to understand or express language
• Epilepsy
is a neurological disorder characterized by seizures that involve sudden, violent discharges of electrical activity in the brain
• Split-brain patients
are persons whose corpus callosum has been surgically severed
• Prefrontal cortex
the area of the frontal lobe that lies in front of the motor cortex and that is involved in higher mental functions, including thinking, planning, impulse control, and weighing the consequences of behavior
• Laceration
is a type of brain trauma in which a foreign object, such as a bullet or a piece of shrapnel, pierces the skull and injures the brain
• Concussion
jarring of the brain caused by a blow to the head
• Stroke
the destruction of brain tissue arising from the blockage of a blood vessel that services the brain or from bleeding into the brain (cerebral hemorrhage) (also called a cerbrovascular incident or CVA)
• Plasticity
the ability of the brain to adapt itself after trauma or surgical alteration
• Thyroid gland
an endocrine gland in the neck that secretes the hormone thyroxin, which is involved in regulating metabolic functions and physical growth
• Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
cluster of physical and psychological symptoms occurring in the few days preceding the menstrual flow
• Genotype
organisms genetic code
• Genes
basic units of heredity that contain the individuals genetic code
• Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
is the basic chemical material in chromosomes that carries the individuals’ genetic code
• Chromosomes
rodlike structures in the cell nucleus that house the individuals genes
• Nature-nurture problem
the debate in psychology about the relative influences of genetics (nature) and environment (nurture) in determining behavior
• Phenotype
the observable physical and behavioral characteristics of an organism , representing the influences of the genotype and environment
• Polygenic traits
are traits that are influenced by multiple genes interacting complex ways
• Familial association studies
are studies that examine the degree to which disorders or characteristics are shared among family members
• Identical twins
twins who developed from the same zygote and so have identical genes (also called monozygotic, or MZ, twins)
• Zygote
fertilized egg cell
• Fraternal twins
are twins who developed from separate zygotes and so have 50 percent of their genes in common (also called dizygotic, or DZ, twins)
• Twin studies
are studies that examine the degree to which concordance rates between co-twins for particular disorders or characteristics vary in relation to whether the twins are identicala or fraternal
• Concordance rates
in twin studies, the percentage of cases in which both members of twin pairs share the same trait or disorder
• Adoptee studies
are studies that examine whether adoptees are more similar to their biological or adoptive parents with respect to their psycho traits or disorders they develop
• Dhat syndrome
culture-bound syndrome found in India in which men develop intense fears about losing semen
• Medical model
framework for understanding abnormal behavior patterns as symptoms of underlying physical disorders or diseases
sociocultural model
views abnormal behavior in terms of the social and cultural contexts in which it occurs
• Psychological disorders
are abnormal patterns of disturbed behavior, thinking, perceptions, or emotions that are associated with significant personal distress or impaired functioning. Also called mental disorders or mental illnesses
• Biophysicalsocial model
an integrative model for explaining abnormal behavior patterns in terms of the interactions of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors
• Diathesis-stress model
is a type of biopschosocial model that relates the development of disorders to the combination of a diathesis, or predispositions, usually genetic in origin, and exposure to stressful events or life circumstances
• Diathesis
vulnerability or predisposition to developing a disorder
diagnostic system used most widely for classifying psychological or mental disorders, consists of five dimensions or axes of evaluation
are three distinct types of schizophrenia
the disorganized, catatonic, and paranoid types
• Psychotic disorder
is a psychological disorder, such as schizophrenia, characterized by a “break” with reality
• Thought disorder
a breakdown in the logical structure of thought and speech, revealed in the form of a loosening of associations
• Positive symptoms
symptoms of schizophrenia involving behavioral excesses, such as hallucinations and delusions
• Negative symptoms
are behavioral deficits associated with schizophrenia, such as withdrawal and apathy
• Disorganized type
a subtype of schizophrenia characterized by confused behavior and disorganized delusions, among other features
• Catatonic type
subtype of schizophrenia characterized by bizarre movements, postures, or grimaces
• Paranoid type
s the most common subtype of schizophrenia, characterized by the appearance of delusional thinking accompanied by frequent auditory hallucinations
• Waxy flexibility
feature of catatonic schizophrenia in which people rigidly maintain the body position or posture in which they were placed by others
• Consciousness
state of awareness of ourselves and of the world around us
• Focused awareness
state of heightened alertness in which one is fully absorbed in the task at hand
• Drifting consciousness
state of awareness characterized by drifting thoughts or mental imagery
• Daydreaming
form of consciousness during a waking state in which one’s mind wanders to dreamy thoughts or fantasies
• Divided consciousness
a state of awareness characterized by divided attention to two or more tasks or activities performed at the same time
• Unconsciousness
in ordinary use, a lack of awareness of one’s surroundings or loss of consciousness
• Altered state of consciousness
are states of awareness that differ from one’s usual waking state. They may be induced by practicing meditation or undergoing hypnosis, or by using mind-altering drugs
• Circadian rhythm
the pattern of fluctuations in bodily processes that occur regularly each day
• Jet lag
disruption of sleep-wake cycles caused by the shifts in time zones that accompany long-distance air travel
• Rapid-eye movement REM sleep
the stage of sleep that involved rapid eye movements and that is most closely associated with periods of dreaming
• Three major functions of sleep
a protective function, and energy-conservation function, and a restorative function
• Activation-synthesis hypothesis
the proposition that dreams represent the brain’s attempt to make sense of the random discharges of electrical activity that occur during REM sleep
• Lucid dreams
dreams in which the dreamer is aware that he or she is dreaming
• Insomnia
difficulty falling asleep, remaining asleep, or returning to sleep after nighttime awakenings
• Sleep disorders
are disturbances of sleep that prevent a person from getting a good night’s sleep and remaining awake or alert during the day
• Narcolepsy
disorder characterized by sudden unexplained “sleep attacks” during the day
• Sleep apnea
is temporary cessation of breathing during sleep
• Nightmare disorder
a sleep disorder involving a pattern of frequent, disturbing nightmares
• Sleep terror disorder
sleep disorder involving repeated episodes of intense fear during sleep, causing the person to awake abruptly in a terrified state
• Sleepwalking disorder
a sleep disorder characterized by repeated episodes of sleepwalking
• Meditation
involves practices that induce an altered state of consciousness through techniques of focused attention
• Hypnosis
an altered state of consciousness characterized by focused attention, deep relaxation, and heightened susceptibility to suggestion
• Transcendental meditation TM
form of meditation in which practitioners focus their attention by repeating a particular mantra
• Mantra
sound or phrase chanted repeatedly during transcendental meditation
• Hypnotic age regression
hypnotically induced experience that involves reexperiencing past events in ones life
• Hypnotic analgesia
loss of feeling or responsiveness to pain in certain parts of the body occurring during hypnosis
• Posthypnotic amnesia
inability to recall what happened during hypnosis
• Posthypnotic suggestion
hypnotist’s suggestion that the subject will respond in a particular way following hypnosis
• Neodissociation theory
is a theory of hypnosis based on the belief that hypnosis represents a state of dissociated (divided) consciousness
• Psychoactive substances
depressants, stimulants, and hallucinogens-are drugs that alter the user’s mental state
• Polyabusers
people who abuse more than one drug at a time
• Drug dependence
severe drug-related problem characterized by impaired control over the use of the drug
• Physiological dependence
a state of physical dependence on a drug caused by repeated usage that changes body chemistry
• Withdrawal syndrome
cluster of symptoms associated with abrupt withdrawal from a drug
• Tolerance
form of physical habituation to a drug in which increased amounts are needed to achieve the same effect
• Drug addiction
drug dependence accompanied by signs of physiological dependence, such as the development of a withdrawal syndrome
• Psychological dependence
pattern of compulsive or habitual use of a drug to satisfy a psychological need
• Depressants
are addictive drugs that can be deadly when used in high doses or when mixed with other drugs
• Alcohol
most widely used and abused depressant
has various psychological effects, including clouding judgment, impairing attention, concentration, and the ability to weigh the consequences of behavior, and reducing inhibitions, which may lead to aggressive or impulsive behavior
• Intoxicant
a chemical substance that induces a state of drunkenness
• Alcoholism
chemical addiction characterized by impaired control over the use of alcohol and physiological dependence on it
• Barbiturates and tranquilizers
depressants that help calm the nervous system, but they are addictive and potentially dangerous in high doses, especially when mixed with other drugs, such as alcohol
• Opioids
such as morphine and heroin, are depressants that induce a euphoric high
• Stimulants
increase activity in the central nervous system, heightening states of alertness and in some cases producing a pleasurable high feeling
• Narcotics
are addictive drugs that have pain-relieving and sleep-inducing properties
• Cocaine
highly addictive stimulant that induces a euphoric high by directly stimulating reward pathways in the brain
• Nicotine
a stimulant and is an addictive substance found in tobacco
• Caffeine
mild stimulant found in coffee, tea, cola drinks, chocolate, and other substances, is the most widely used psychoactive drug
• Hallucinogens
alter or distort sensory perceptions and produce feelings of relaxation in some people but paranoid or panicky feelings in others
• Marijuana
induces feelings of relaxation and mild euphoria at low doses, but it can produce hallucinogens in high doses or when used by susceptible individuals
• Delirium
mental state characterized by confusing, disorientation, difficulty in focusing attention, and excitable behavior
• Detoxification
process of clearing drugs or toxins from the body
dissociative identity disorder
the personality is split into two or more distinct alternate personalities residing within the same individual
class of psychological disorders involving changes in consciousness, memory, or self-identity
• Somatoform disorders
are a class of psychological disorders involving physical ailments or complaints that cannot be explained by organic causes
dissociative amnesia,
people experience a loss of memory for personal information that cannot be explained by a blow to the head or some other physical case.
• Dissociative identity disorder DID
is a type of dissociative disorder characterized by the appearance of multiple personalities in the same individual
• Conversion disorder
a type of somatoform disorder characterized by a change or a loss of a physical function that cannot be explained by medical causes
• Hypochondriasis
a somatoform disorder in which there is excessive concern that one’s physical complaints are signs of underlying serious illness
• Secondary gain
reward value of having a psychological of physical symptom, such as release from ordinary responsibilities

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