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Final Exam Psych Vocab


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Social psychology
the branch of psychology concerned with how others influence the way a person thinks, feels, and acts
Social cognition
the mental processes by which people make sense of themselves, others, and their social situations
the mental representation of a personal experience, including thought processes, a physical body, and a conscious experience of individuality
a state in which the sense of self is the object of attention
the full store of knowledge that people have about themselves
the cognitive aspect of the self-concept, consisting of an integrated set of memories, beliefs, and generalizations about the self
Interdependent self-construals
when self-concepts are determined largely by social roles and personal relationships
Independent self-construals
a view of the self as separate from others, emphasizing self-reliance and the pursuit of personal success
the evaluative aspect of the self-concept
an internal monitor of social acceptance or rejection
Positive illusions
overly favorable and unrealistic beliefs about one’s skills, abilities, and competencies
Social comparison
occurs when people evaluate their own actions, abilities, and beliefs by contrasting them with other people
Self-serving bias
the tendency for people to take personal credit for success but blame failure on external factors
the evaluation of objects or ideas to indicate like or dislike toward them
Implicit attitudes
attitudes that influence our feelings and behavior at an unconscious level
Cognitive dissonance
when there is a contradiction between two attitudes or between some attitude and behavior
the active and conscious effort to change attitudes through the transmission of a message
Elaboration likelihood model
a theory of how persuasive messages lead to attitude change
Personal attributions
explanations that refer to internal characteristics, such as abilities, traits, moods, and effort
Situational attributions
explanations that refer to external events, such as the weather, luck, accidents, or the actions of other people
Correspondence bias
the tendency to expect people’s behavior to agree with their dispositions
cognitive schemas that allow for easy and efficient organization of information about people based on their membership in certain groups
the affective or attitudinal responses associated with stereotypes
the inappropriate and unjustified treatment of people based solely on their group membership
Outgroup homogeneity effect
the tendency for people to view outgroup members as more similar to each other than ingroup members
Ingroup favoritism
the tendency for people to evaluate favorably and privilege members of the ingroup more than members of the outgroup
a very strong devaluation that extends to a person’s entire character
Self-fulfilling prophecy
people come to behave in ways that confirm their own or other’s expectations
Stereotype threat
a phenomenon in which individuals who feel that their behavior may confirm or verify a negative stereotype perform poorly on a given test
Contact hypothesis
the idea that increasing contact with familiarity with outgroup members will reduce negative attitudes towards them
Superordinate goals
goals that require people to cooperate in order to succeed
Social influence
the ways in which other people shape our actions
the tendency to be in social contact with others
Need to belong theory
the need for interpersonal attachments is a fundamental motive that has evolved for adaptive purposes
Social dilemma
when there is a motivational conflict both to cooperate and to be selfish
Nonverbal behavior
communication based on gestures, expression, vocal cues, and body movements rather than words
the act of making others believe something that is not true
Personal space
the distance that people routinely maintain from others
Impression management
the tendency for people to strategically alter how they present themselves in order to achieve interpersonal goals
a personality characteristic that describes the extent to which people monitor and alter their behavior according to situational cues
Social facilitation
when the mere presence of others enhances performance
Social loafing
the tendency for people to work less hard in a group that when working alone
a mental state of low self-awareness in which people act in an uninhibited manner
Group polarization
a process where group members conform to the initial attitudes of other members who already agree
Social norms
expected standards of conduct that influence behavior
the altering of one’s opinions or behavior to match those of others
the tendency to agree to do things requested by others
the willingness to follow an order given by an authority
any behavior or action that involves the intention to harm someone else
Frustration-aggression hypothesis
the extent to which people feel frustrated predicts the likelihood that they will act aggressively
tending to benefit others
to provide help when it is needed, without any apparent reward for doing so
Kin selection
the tendency to be altruistic toward those who share a genetic bond
Reciprocal helping
the tendency to help another because the recipient may return the favor
Bystander intervention effect
the failure to offer help by those who observe someone in need
the frequency with which individuals come into contact
What is beautiful is good stereotype
to attribute a variety of positive characteristics to people simply based on their physical attractiveness
Sexual strategies theory
evolutionary theory that suggests men and women look for different qualities in relationship partners due to the gender-specific adaptive problems
Passionate love
a state of intense longing and sexual desire
Companionate love
a strong commitment based on friendship, trust, respect, and intimacy that strengthens over time
Triangular theory of love
proposes that love is made up of different combinations of passion, intimacy, and commitment
characteristics, emotional responses, thoughts, and behaviors that are relatively stable over time and across circumstances
Personality trait
a characteristic; a dispositional tendency to act in a certain way over time and across circumstances
Psychodynamic theory
Freudian theory that unconscious forces, such as wishes and motives, influence behavior
Psychosexual stage
according to Freud, the developmental states that correspond to the pursuit of satisfaction of libidinal urges
in psychodynamic theory, the component of personality that is completely submerged in the unconscious and operates according to the pleasure principle
the psychodynamic theory, the internalization of societal and parental standards of conduct
in psychodynamic theory, the component of personality that tries to satisfy the wishes of the id while being responsive to the dictates of the superego
Defense mechanisms
unconscious mental strategies used to protect the mind from conflict and distress
Humanistic approaches
approaches to studying personality that emphasize personal experience and belief systems, and propose that people seek personal growth to fulfill their human potential
Personality types
discrete categories based on global personality characteristics
Trait approach
an approach to studying personality that focuses on the extent to which individuals differ in personality dispositions
Five factor theory
the idea that personality can be described using five traits: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism
Idiographic approach
person-centered approaches to studying personality that focus on individual lives and how various characteristics are integrated into unique persons
Nomothetic approaches
approaches to studying personality that focus on characteristics that are common to all people, although there is individual variation
Projective measures
personality tests that examine unconscious processes by having people interpret ambiguous stimuli
Thematic Appreciation Test (TAT)
a projective measure of personality where a person is shown an ambiguous picture and asked to tell a story about the picture
Objective measures
relatively unbiased assessments of personality usually administered through self-report questionnaires or through observer ratings
the theory that proposes that behavior is determined to a much greater extent by situations than by personality traits
theorists who believe that behavior is jointly determined by underlying dispositions and situations
biologically based tendencies to feel or act in certain ways
Sensation seekers
individuals who routinely seek out novel, complex situations and are willing to take physical and social risks in order to achieve thrills
Behavioral approach system (BAS)
the brain system involved in the pursuit of incentives or rewards
Behavioral inhibition system (BIS)
the brain system that is sensitive to punishment and therefore inhibits behavior that might lead to danger or pain
Quantum change
a transformation of personality that is sudden, profound, enduring, and affects a wide range of behaviors
a disorder of the mind
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)
a handbook of clinical disorders used for diagnosing psychopathology
Multiaxial system
the system used in the DSM that provides assessment along five axes describing important mental health factors
Family systems model
considers symptoms within an individual as indicating problems within the family
Sociocultural model
views psychopathology as the result of the interaction between individuals and their cultures
Cognitive-behavioral approach
views psychopathology as the result of learned, maladaptive cognitions
Diathesis-stress model
proposes that a disorder may develop when an underlying vulnerability is coupled with a precipitating event
Anxiety disorders
characterized by the experience of excessive anxiety in the absence of true danger
irrational fears of specific objects or situations
Generalized anxiety disorder
diffuse state of constant anxiety not associated with any specific object or event
Panic disorder
an anxiety disorder characterized by sudden overwhelming attacks of terror
an anxiety disorder marked by fear of being in situations in which escape may be difficult or impossible
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
a anxiety disorder characterized by frequent intrusive thoughts and compulsive actions
Major depression
a disorder characterized by severe negative moods and a lack of interest in normally pleasurable activities
a form of depression that is not severe enough to be diagnosed as major depression
Bipolar disorder
a mood disorder characterized by alternating periods of depression and mania
a less extreme form of bipolar disorder
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
periods of depression that are linked to the times of year with minimal sunlight
Learned helplessness model
a cognitive model of depression in which people feel unable to control events around them
a mental disorder characterized by alterations in perceptions, emotions, thoughts, or consciousness
Positive symptoms
symptoms of schizophrenia such as delusions and hallucinations that are excesses in behavior
Negative symptoms
symptoms of schizophrenia marked by deficits in functioning such as apathy, lack of emotion, and slowed speech and movement
false personal beliefs based on incorrect inferences about reality
false sensory perceptions that are experienced without an external source
Loosening of associations
a speech pattern among schizophrenic patients in which their thoughts are disorganized or meaningless
Personality disorder
a class of mental disorders marked by inflexible and maladaptive ways of interacting with the world
Borderline personality disorder
a personality disorder characterized by identity, affective, and impulse disturbances
Antisocial personality disorder
a personality disorder marked by a lack of empathy and remorse
a developmental disorder involving deficits in social interaction, impaired communication, and restricted interests
the repetition of words or phrases that is characteristic of children with autism
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHA)
a disorder characterized by restless, inattentive, and impulsive behaviors
the generic name given to formal psychological treatment
Biological therapies
treatment based on the medical approach to illness and disease
a goal of some types of therapy; a patient’s understanding of his or her own psychological processes
Client-centered therapy
an empathic approach to therapy that encourages personal growth through greater self-understanding
Behavior modification
principles of operant conditioning are used to reinforce desired behaviors and ignore or punish unwanted behaviors
Social-skills training
treatment designed to teach and reinforce appropriate interpersonal behavior
a behavioral therapy technique that involves repeated exposure to an anxiety-producing stimulus or situation
Systematic desensitization
an exposure technique that pairs the anxiety-producing stimulus with relaxation techniques
Cognitive therapy
treatment based on the idea that distorted thoughts produce maladaptive behaviors and emotions
Cognitive restructurin
a therapy that strives to help patients recognize maladaptive thought patterns and replace them with ways of viewing the world that are more in tune with reality
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
incorporates techniques from behavioral therapy and cognitive therapy to correct faulty thinking and change maladaptive behaviors
Expressed emotion
a pattern of interactions that includes emotional overinvolvement, critical comments, and hostility directed toward a patient by family members
Psychotropic medication
drugs that affect mental processes
Anti-anxiety drugs
a class of psychotropic medications used for the treatment of anxiety
a class of psychotropic medications used to treat depression
MAO inhibitors
a category of antidepressant drugs that inhibit the action of monoamine oxidase
Tricyclic antidepressants
a category of antidepressant medications that inhibit the reuptake of a number of different neurotransmitters
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
a category of antidepressant medications that prolong the effects of serotonin in the synapse
a class of drugs used to treat schizophrenia and other disorders that involve psychosis
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
a procedure used to treat depression that involves administering a strong electrical current to the patient’s brain
Transcranial magnetic stimulation
a procedure that transmits pulses of high-intensity magnetism to the brain
a psychotropic medication used to treat bipolar disorder
Tardive dyskinesia
a side effect of some antipsychotic medications that produces involuntary movements of the lips, tongue, face, legs, or other parts of the body
an antipsychotic medication that acts on multiple neurotransmitter receptors and is beneficial in treating both the negative and positive symptoms of schizophrenia
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
a treatment for borderline personality disorder that combines elements of behavioral, cognitive, and psychodynamic approaches
a central nervous system stimulant medication used to treat ADHA
factors that energize, direct, or sustain behavior
a desired outcome associated with some specific object of desire or some future behavioral intention
the tendency for bodily functions to maintain equilibrium
Negative feedback model
the body’s response to deviations from equilibrium
a hypothetical state that indicates homeostasis
unlearned, automatic actions that are triggered by specific cues
states of biological or social deficiencies within the body
a state that is achieved when one’s personal dreams and aspirations have been attained
Need hierarchy
Maslow’s arrangement of needs, in which basic survival needs are lowest, and personal growth needs are highest in terms of priority
psychological states that motivate an organism to satisfy its needs
term to describe physiological activation, such as increased brain activity, autonomic responses, sweating, or muscle tension
mental representations of potential future outcomes
external stimuli that motivate behaviors (as opposed to internal drives)
Extrinsic motivation
motivation to perform activity because of the external goals toward which that activity is directed
Intrinsic motivation
motivation to perform an activity because of the value or pleasure associated with that activity, rather than for an apparent biological goal or purpose
the capacity to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, or entertaining ourselves and others
Yerkes-Dodson law
a psychological principle that dictates that behavioral efficiency increases with arousal up to an optimum point, after which it decreases with increasing arousal
the process by which people initiate, adjust, or stop actions in order to promote the attainment of personal goals or plans
the expectancy that one’s efforts will lead to success
Achievement motive
the desire to do well relative to standards of excellence
TOTE model
a model of self-regulation in which people evaluate progress towards achieving goals
Delay of gratification
when people transcend immediate temptations to successfully achieve long term goals
Somatic marker theory
self-regulatory actions and decisions are affected by the bodily reactions that arise from their contemplation
Body mass index (BMI)
a ratio of body weight to height used to measure obesity
Anorexia nervosa
an eating disorder characterized by an excessive fear of becoming fat and a refusal to eat
Bulimia nervosa
an eating disorder characterized by dieting, binge eating, and purging

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