Glossary of AP Psychology Midterm Review

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hindsight bias
the tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have forseen it
tendency to be more confident than correct
random sample
sample that fairly represents a population; each member has an equal chance of inclusion
random assignment
assiging subjects to the control or experimental group by chance
illusory correlation
perception of a relationship where none exists
false-consensus effect
tendency to overestimate the extent to which others share our beliefs and behaviors
operational definition
defining a variable with a numerical value (ex: definig intelligence by score on IQ test)
case study
an observation technique in which one person is studied over a long period of time
naturalistic observation
observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations
double blind
neither the scientist or subjects knows if they are in the control group or experimental group
single blind
only the scientist knows who is in the control or experimental group
standard deviation
computed measure of how much scores vary around the mean score: the average distance from the mean
chemical messengers that traverse the synpatic gap between neurons
chemical messengers, mostly made by endocrine glands
3 parts of a neuron
soma (cellbody)
axon (extension)
dendrite (branches)
neurotransmitters that control pain and pleasure
nerve cells
glial cells
cells in the brain that nourish and protect neurons
the gap between neurons that neurotransmitters cross
when the sending neuron reabsorbs any excess neurotransmitters left in the synapse
after a dendrite is stimulated, enough positive ions rush in
action potential
electrical transmission across the neuron
myelin sheath
fatty layer around the axon, insulates and speeds up transmission
cell body
the soma, filled with negative ions
synaptic vesicle
the end of the axon
refractory period
when the Na and K "pumps" return the ions to their original positions
tissue destruction in the brain
Central Nervous System neurons that internally communicate between sensory outputs and motor outputs
affector neuron vs. effector neuron
sensory neurons-carry information from the senses vs. motor neurons-carry informationo from the muscles and glands
(acronym SAME)
PET scan
measures brains consumption of sugar glucose
picture of brains magnetic fields, literal photo of the brain
association areas
areas in the frontal lobe; have to do with judgement, planning, and personality
when the axon changes from negatively to positively charged
when K+ ions rush out of the axon causing the axon to become negative again
all-or-none effect
if a signal hits threshold, the signal is sent at the same strength regardless of the initial stimulus
ACh, neurotransmitter involved in alzheimer's
NT linked to parkinson's disease
NT linked to depression
NT that controls alertness and arousal
NT with an inhibitory function on the central nervous system
agonist vs. antagonist
substance that mimics NTs vs. substance that inhibits NTs
Autonomic Nervous System
involuntary controls
Somatic Nervous System
voluntary controls
Parasympathetic NS
branch of the autonomic system, in control when you are at rest
Sympathetic NS
second branch of the autonomic system, in control when you are aroused
Central NS
brain, spinal cord
Peripheral NS
contains autonimic and somatic nervous systems
limbic system
relatively primitive, border of lower brain and cerebral hemispheres, contains the amygdala, hypothalamus, and hippocampus
influence fear and aggression
regulates "drives" (hunger, thirst, body temp, sex, fight-or flight) triggers the pituitary gland; reward center
in the rear of the head, involved in balance and coordination
the sensory switchboard, proccesses all senses except for smell
reticular formation
bundle of nerves running through the brain stem, control alertness
where spinal cord meets the skull, controls heartbeat and breathing
frontal lobe
forehead region, contains motor cortex, broca's area, and association areas
parietal lobe
crown of the head, contains sensory cortex
temporal lobe
sides of the head, processes auditory information, contains wernicke's area
occipital lobe
back of the head, processes vision
sensory cortex
part of the brain that processes sensory information
motor cortex
part of the brain that controls voluntary movement
wernicke's area
only on the left side, involved in understanding language
broca's area
only on the left side, involved in forming words
corpus callosum
nerves connecting the left and right hemispheres
part of the limbic system, involved in forming new memories
auditory cortex
part of the brain that procedsses sounds
visual cortex
part of the brain that processes vision
brain's capacity for modification
impairment of language
biochemical units that make up chromosomes
DNA makes these up, contain genes
contains genetic information
gender schema
theory that people learn what their gender means, and that they adjust their behavior to fit it
social learning theory
theory that we learn social behavior from observation, and being rewarded or punished
the definition, whether psychologically or biologically influenced, of male or female
determined at birth

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