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Glossary of Psychology Midterm Questions

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Clinical Psychologists
Diagnose and treat psychological problems or gives advice on things such as how to raise your children or get along with your boss.
Applied Psychologists
Extend the principles of scientific psychology to practical, everyday prolems in the real world.
Research Psychologists
Primarily conduct experiments or collect observations in an attempt to discover the basic principles of behavior and mind.
Structuralism
The idea that psychologists should understand the structure of the mind by breaking it down into elementary parts.
Functionalism
An early school of psychology; fuctionalists believe that the proper way to understand mind and behavior is to first analyze their fuction and purpose.
Behaviorism
A school of psychology proposing that the only proper subject matter of psychology is observable behavior rather than immediate conscious experience.
Eclectic Approach
The idea that it's useful to select information from several sources rather than to rely entirely on a single perspective or school of thought.
Cognitive Revolution
The shift away from strict behaviorism, begun in the 1950's, characterized by renewed interest in fundamental problems of consciousness and internal mental processes.
Evolutionary Psychology
A movement proposing that we're born with mental processes and "software" that guide our thinking and behavior. These innate mechanisms were acquired through natural selection in our ancestral past and help us solve specific adaptive problems.
Scientific Method
A multistep technique that generates knowledge derived from systematic observations of the world.
Naturalistic Observation
A descriptive research technique that records naturally occurring behavior as opposed to behavior produced in the laboratory.
Case Study
A descriptive research technique in which the effort is focused on a single case, usually an individual.
Survey
A descriptive research technique designed to gather limited amounts of information from many people, usually by administering some kind of questionnaire.
Sensorimotor Period
Piaget's first stage of cognitive development, lasting from birth to about 2 years of age; schemata revolve around sensory and motor abilities.
Preoperational Period
Piaget's second stage of cognitive development, lasting from ages 2 to about 7; children beghin to think symbolically but often lack the ability to perform mental operations such as conservation.
Formal Operational Period
Piaget's last stage of cognitive development; thought processes become adult-like, and people gain mastery over abstract thinking.
Concrete Operational Period
Piaget's third stage of cognitive development, lasting from ages 7 to 11. Children acquire the capacity to perform a number of mental operations but still lack the ability for abstract reasoning.
Retina
The thin layer of tissue that covers the back of the eye and contains the light-sensitive receptor cells for vision.
Rod Cells
Receptor cells in the retina, located mainly, around the sides, that transduce light energy into neural messages, these visual receptors are highly sensitive and are active in dim light.
Cone Cells
Receptor cells in the central portion of the retina that transduce light energy into neural messages; they operate best when light levels are high, and they are primarily responsible for the ability to sense color.
Bipolar Cells
Feed information to gnaglion cells.
Ganglion Cells
Further processing of information from bipolar cells occurs here.
Optic Nerve
One of the deeper processing stations of the brain; it is a collection of nerve fibers.
Pinna
The external flap of tissue normally referred to at the "ear"; it helps capture sounds.
Tympanic Membrane
The eardrum, which responds to incoming sound waves by vibrating.
Bones of the Middle Ear
Anvil, stirrup, and hammer
Cochlea
The bony, snail-shaped sound processor in the inner ear where sound is translated into nerve impulses.
Basilar Membrane
A flexible membrane running through the cochlea that, through its movement, displaces the auditory receptor cells, or hair cells.
Hair Cells
Auditory receptor cells on the basilar membrane.
Auditory Nerve
The neural impulses generated by the hair cells leave the cochlea in each ear along the auditory nerve.
Circadian Rhythm
Biological activities that rise and fall in accordance with a 24-hour cycle.
Alpha
The patters of brain activity observed in someone who is in a relaxed state.
Theta
The pattern of brain activity observed in stage #1 sleep.
Delta
The pattern of brain activity observed in stage #3 and #4 sleep; it's characterized by synchronized slow waves. Also called slow wave sleep.
REM
A stage of sleep characterized by rapid eye movements and low-amp, irregular EEG patterns resembling those found in the waking brain. REM is typically associated with dreaming.
Extinction
Presenting a conditioned stimulus repeatedly, after conditioning, without the unconditioned stimlus, resulting in a loss in responding.
Insomnia
A chronic condition marked by difficulties in initiating or maintaining sleep, lasting for a period of at least one month.
Narcolepsy
A rare sleep disorder characterized by sudden extreme sleepiness.
Nightmares
Frightening and anxiety-arousing dreams that occur primarily during the REM stage of sleep.
Night Terrors
Terrifying experiences, which occur mainly in children, in which the sleeper awakens suddenly in an extreme state of panic.
Sleepwalking
The sleeper arises during sleep and wanders about.
Positive Reinforcement
An event that, when presented after a response, increases the likelihood of that response.
Negative Reinforcement
An event that, when removed after a response, increases the likelihood of that reponse occurring again.
Encoding
The processes that determine and control how memories are formed.
Storage
The processes that determine and control how memories are stored and kept over time.
Retrieval
The processes that determine and control how memories are recovered and translated into performance.
Rehearsal
A strategic process that helps to maintain short-term memories indefinitely through the use of internal repitition.
Episodic Memory
A memory for a particular event, or episode, that happened to you personally, such as remembering what you ate for breakfast this morning and where you went on vacation last year.
Semantic Memory
Knowledge about the world, stored as facts that make little or no reference to one's personal experiences.
Procedural Memory
Knowledge about how to do things, such as riding a bike or swinging a golf club.
Phonemes
The smallest significant sound units in speech.
Morphemes
The smallest units of language that carry meaning.
Syntax
Rules governing how words should be combined to form sentences.
Pragmatics
The practical knowledge used to comprehend the intentions of a speaker and to produce an effective response.

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