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Glossary of Psychology (Ch. 4, 5, 6)

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Sensory analysis
Separation of sensory information into important elements.
Perceptual features
Basic elements of a stimulus, such as lines, shapes, edges, or colors.
Sensory coding
Codes used by the sense organs to transmit information to the brain.
Sensation
A sensory impression; also, the process of detecting physical energies with the sensory organs.
Perception
The mental process of organizing sensations into meaningful patterns.
Size constancy
The perceived size of an object remains constant, despite changes in its retinal image.
Shape constancy
The perceived shape of an object is unaffected by changes in its retinal image.
Brightness constancy
The apparent (or relative) brightness of objects remains the same as long as they are illuminated by the same amount of light.
Figure-ground organization
Part of a stimulus appears to stand out as an object (figure) against a less prominent background (ground).
Perceptual hypothesis
An initial guess regarding how to organize (perceive) a stimulus pattern.
Depth perception
The ability to see three-dimensional space and to accurately judge distances.
Depth cues
Perceptual features that impart information about distance and three-dimensional space.
Stereoscopic vision
Perception of space and depth caused chiefly by the fact that the eyes receive different images.
Pictorial depth cues
Features found in paintings, drawings, and photographs that impart infomation about space, depth, and distance.
Apparent-distance hypothesis
An explanation of the moon illusion stating that the horizon seems more distnant than the sky.
Perceptual reconstruction
A mental model of external events.
Perceptual learning
Changes in perception that can be attributed to prior experience; a result of changes in how the brain processes sensory information.
Illusion
A misleading or distorted perception.
Hallucination
An imaginary sensation - such as seeing, hearing, or smelling something that does not exist in the external world.
Müller-Lyer illusion
Two equal-length lines tipped with inward or outward pointing V's appear to be of different lengths.
Bottom-up processing
Organizing perceptions by beginning with low-level features.
Top-down processing
Applying higher level knowledge to rapidly organize sensory information into a meaningful perception.
Perceptual expectancy (or set)
A readiness to perceive in a particular manner, induced by strong expectations.
Extrasensory perception
The purported ability to perceive events in ways that cannot be explained by known capacities of the sensory organs.
Psi phenomena
Events that seem to lie outside the realm of accepted scientific laws.
Reality testing
Obtaining additional information to check on the accuracy of perceptions.
Habituation
A decrease in perceptual response to a repeated stimulus.
Dishabituation
A reversal of habituation.
Consciousness
Mental awareness of sensations, perceptions, memories, and feelings.
Altered state of consciousness (ASC)
A condition of awareness distinctly different in quality or pattern from waking consciousness.
Biological rhythm
Any repeating cycle of biological activity, such as sleep and waking cycles or changes in body temperature.
Microsleep
A brief shift in brain-wave patterns to those of sleep.
Sleep deprivation
Being prevented from getting desired or needed amounts of sleep.
Sleep-deprivation psychosis
A major disruption of mental and emotional functioning brought about by sleep loss.
Sleep hormone
A sleep-promoting substance found in the brain and spinal cord.
Electroencephalograph (EEG)
A device designed to detect, amplify, and record electrical activity in the brain.
Beta waves
Small, fast brain waves associated with being awake and alert.
Alpha waves
Large, slow brain waves associated with relaxation and falling asleep.
Sleep stages
Levels of sleep identified by brain-wave patterns and behavioral change.
Light sleep
Stage 1 sleep, marked by small, irregular brain waves and some alpha waves.
Sleep spindles
Distinctive bursts of brain-wave activity that indicate a person is asleep.
Delta waves
Large, slow brain waves that occur in deeper sleep (stages 3 and 4)
Deep sleep
Stage 4 sleep; the deepest form of normal sleep
Rapid eye movements (REMs)
Swift eye movements during sleep.
REM sleep
Sleep marked by rapid eye movements and a return to stage 1 EEG patterns.
NREM sleep
Non-rapid eye movement sleep characteristic of stages 2, 3, and 4.
Insomnia
Difficulty in getting to sleep or staying asleep.
Stimulus control
Stimuli present when an operant response is acquired tend to control when and where the response is made.
Somnambulism
Sleepwalking; occurs during NREM sleep.
Sleeptalking
Speaking that occurs during NREM sleep.
Nightmare
A bad dream that occurs during REM sleep.
Night terror
A state of panic during NREM sleep.
Sleep apnea
Repeated interruption of breathing during sleep.
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
The sudden, unexplained death of an apparently healthy infant.
REM rebound
The occurrence of extra rapid eye movement sleep following REM sleep deprivation.
Psychodynamic theory
Any theory of behavior that emphasizes internal conflicts, motives, and unconscious forces.
Dream symbols
Images in dreams that serves as visible signs of hidden ideas, desires, impulses, emotions, relationships, and so forth.
Activation-synthesis hypothesis
An attemtpt to explain how dream content is affected by motor commands in the brain that occur during sleep, but are not carried out.
Hypnosis
An altered state of consciousness characterized by narrowed attention and increased suggestibility.
Hypnotic susceptibility
One's capacity for becoming hypnotized.
Basic suggestion effect
The tendency of hypnotized persons to carry out suggested actions as if they were involuntary.
Meditation
A mental exercise for producing relaxation or heightened awareness.
Concentrative meditation
Mental exercise based on widening attention to become aware of everything experienced at any given moment.
Relaxation response
The pattern of internal bodily changes that occurs at times of relaxation.
Sensory deprivation
Any major reduction in the amount or variety of sensory stimulation.
REST
Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy.
Psychoactive drug
A substance capable of altering attention, memory, judgment, time sense, self-control, mood, or perception.
Stimulant
A substance that increases activity in the body and nervous system.
Depressant
A substance that decreases activity in the body and nervous system.
Dream processes
Mental filters that hide the true meanings of dreams.
Condensation
Combining several people, objects, or events into a single dream image.
Symbolization
The non-literal expression of dream content.
Secondary elaboration
Making a dream more logical and complete while remembering it.
Learning
Any relatively permanent change in behavior that can be attributed to experience.
Reinforcement
Any event that increases the probability that a particular response will occur.
Antecedents
Events that precede a response.
Consequences
Events that follow a response.
Reflex
An innate, automatic response to a stimulus; for example, an eye-blink.
Classical conditioning
A form of learning in which reflex responses are associated with new stimuli.
Operant conditioning
Learning based on the consequences of responding.
Acquisition
The period in conditioning during which a response is reinforced.
Respondent reinforcement
Reinforcement that occurs when an unconditioned stimulus closely follows a conditioned stimulus.
Higher order conditioning
Classical conditioning in which a condioned stimulus is used to reinforce further learning; that is, a CS is used as if it were a US.
Informational view
Perspective that explains learning in terms of information imparted by events in the environment.
Expectancy
An anticipation concerning future events or relationships.
Extinction
The weakening of a conditioned response through removal of reinforcement.
Spontaneous recovery
The reappearance of a learned response after its apparent extinction.
Stimulus generalization
The tendancy to respond to stimuli similar to, but not identical to, a conditioned stimulus.
Stimulus discrimination
The learned ability to respond differently to similar stimuli.
Conditioned emotional response
An emotional response that has been linked to a previously non-emotional stimulus by classical conditioning.
Vicarious classical conditioning
Classical conditioning brought about by observing another person react to a particular stimulus.
Law of effect
Responses that lead to desirable effects are repeated; those that produce undesirable results are not.
Operant reinforcer
Any event that reliably increases the probability or frequency of responses it follows.
Response chaining
The assembly of separate responses into a series of actions that lead to reinforcement.
Superstitious behavior
A behavior repeated because it seems to produce reinforcement, even though it is actually unnecessary.
Shaping
Gradually molding responses to a final desired pattern.
Operant extinction
The weakening or disappearance of a non-reinforced operant response.
Positive reinforcement
Occurs when a response is followed by a reward or other positive event
Negative reinfocement
Occurs when a response is followed by an end to discomfort or by the removal of an unpleasant event.
Punishment
The process of suppressing a response
Response cost
Removal of a positive reinforcer after a response is made.
Primary reinforcers
Non-learned reinforcers; usually those that satisfy physiological needs.
Secondary reinforcer
A learned reinforcer; often one that gains reinforcing properties by association with a primary reinforcer.
Token reinforcer
A tangible secondary reinforcer such as money, gold stars, poker chips, and the like.
Social reinforcers
Reinforcers, such as attention and approval, provided by other people.
Feedback
Information returned to a person about the effects a response has had; also known as knoledge of results.
Knowledge of results (KR)
Informational feedback.
Schedule of reinforcement
A rule or plan for determining which responses will be reinforced.
Partial reinforcement
A pattern in which only a portion of all responses are reinforced.
Partial reinforcement effect.
Responses acquired with partial reinforcement are more resistant to extinction.
Fixed ratio schedule
A set number of correct responses must be made to get a reinforcer. For example, a reinforcer is given for every four correct responses.
Variable ration schedule
A varied number of correct responses must be made to get a reinforcer. For example, a reinforcer is given after three to seven correct responses; the actual number changes randomly.
Fixed interval schedule
A reinfocer is given only when a correct response is made after a set amount of time has passed since the last reinforced response. Responses made during the time interval are not reinforced.
Variable interval schedule
A reinfocer is given for the first correct response made after a varied amount of time has passed since the last reinforced response. Responses made during the time interval are not reinforced.
Operant stimulus generalization
The tendency to respond to stimuli similar to those that preceded operant reinforcement.
Operant stimulus discrimination
The tendency to make an operant response when stimuli previously associated with reward are present and to withhold the response when stimuli associated with non-reward are present.
Discriminative stimuli
Stimuli that precede rewarded and non-rewared responses in operant conditioning.
Punisher
Any event that decreses the probability or frequency of responses it follows.
Escape learning
Learning to make a response in order to end an aversive stimulus.
Avoidance learning
Learning to make a response in order to postpone or prevent discomfort.
Cognitive learning
Higher-level learning involving thinking, knowing, underastanding, and anticipation.
Cognitive map
Internal images or other mental representation of an area (maze, city, campus, and so forth) that underlie an ability to choose alternative paths to the same goal.
Latent learning
Learning that occurs without obvious reinforcement and that remains unexpressed until reinforcement is provided.
Rote learning
Learning that takes place mechanically, through repetition and memorization, or by learning rules.
Discovery learning
Learning based on insight and understanding.
Observational learning
Learning achieved by watching and imitating the actiaons of another noting the consequences of those actions.
Model
A perosn who serves as an example in observational learning.
Self-recording
Self-mangement based on keeping records of response frequencies.
Behavioral contract
A formal agreement stating behaviors to be changed and consequences that apply.

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