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Tufts Intro to Psych Exam 2


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What is sensation?
the process by which out sense organs recieve information form out environment(the absorbtion of raw physical energy)
What is transduction?
the process by which physical energy is converted into sensory neural impulses (raw energy is converted into neural signals that are sent to the brain)
What is perecption?
the process by which poeple select, organize, and interpret, sensation (processing)
What is psychophysics?
the study of the relationshio between physical stimuli and subjective sensation
What is the absolute threshold?
point at which a stimulus can be detected 50% of the time?
How is the absolute threshold measured?
1) subjects are asked to adjust the intensity of a stimulus until it is barely visible
2) gradully increase the intensity level and ask subject from one trial to the next if stimulus was detected
3) vary stimulus presentation randomly
What is the signal detection theory?
theory that detecting a stimulus is jointly determined by the signal and the subejct's response criterion
What is the Just Noticable difference
the smallest amount of change in a stimulus that can be detected (50% of the time) This is a measure of proportion of the original stimukus not a constant value
What is Webber's law?
the principle that the Just Noticable difference of a stimulus is a constant propotion despite variations in intensity
How do you measure the Just noticible difference?
1) ask a subject to adjust one stimuli to match another
2)ask subject if two stimuli are the same or different
what is the lens in the eye and what does it do?
the lens focuses light on the retina
what is the retina?
the rear multilayered part of the eye where rods and coner convert light into neural impulses
What are rods?
photoreceptor cells in the retina that are highly sensitive to light. They enable black and white vistion and night vision
What are cones?
photoreceptor cells in the retina sensitive to color. They are highly concentrated in the forea or center of the eye
How do rods and cones work?
1) rods and cones contain photopigments that change when light hits them
2) this triggers a neural impulse
3) this activates bipolar cells
4) they in turn activate ganglion cells
5) the information travels down the optical nerve into the brain
What do bipolar and ganglion cells do?
they transfer, condense, and integrat signals from rods and cones and from each other
What is the optical nerve?
the pathway that carries visual information from the eye to the brain
What are feature detectors?
nerons in the visula cortex that sespond to specific aspects of a visual stimulus such as lines or angles
What are simple cells?
neurons activated by highly particular images
What are complex cells?
cells that recieve input from many simple cells. They specialize in certain types of images, react to imgaes elsewhere in the visual field
What are hypercomplex cells?
cells that recive input from complex cells and respond to stimulus patterns
What are the two theories to color vision?
trichromatic theory and opponent process
What is the trichromatic theory to color vision?
color vision theory stating that the retina contains three types of color receptors- blue, green, and red and that these combine to produce all other colors
*this does not explin after images ot why certain color combinations (bluish yellow) don't exsist
what is an afterimage?
a visual sensation that persists after prolonged exposure to and removal of a stimulus
What is the opponent-process theory?
a theory that color vision is derived from 3 pairs of opposing receptors:
what is audition?
the sense of hearing
What is accomodation?
the visual process by which lenses become rounder for viewing nearby objects and flatter for viewing remote objects
What is light adaptation?
the process of adjustment by which the eyes become less sensitive to light in a bright environment.
What is dark adaptation?
a process of adjustment by which the eyes become more sensitive tom light in a dark environment
What is the receptive field?
an area of the retina in which stimulation triggers a response in a cell within the visual system
What is the blind spot?
a part of the retina through which the optic nerve passes. Lacking rods and cones, tjos spot in sot responsive to light.
What are the physical components of sound and what sensory dimensions do they correspond to?
amlitude- loudness
How does sound reach the brain?
First it is funneled into the auditory canal by the ear to the eardrum. It is then shuttled through a systme of small bones and tissue which chande the physical sound into an electrical signal. The electrical signal is transfered up the auditory nerve to the thalamus and then the auditory cortex of the temporal lobe
What is the abitlty to judge the direction a sound is comming from called?
auditory localization
Why does auditory localization work?
because the ears are on seperate sides of the head, sound usually reaches one ear before the other and the body has a chance to make the propper calculations where the sound is comming from
What are the types of hearing disabilities?
conduction hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss
What is the type of hearing loss which is caused be damage to the eardrum or bones in the middle ear?
conduction hearing loss
What is the type of hearing loss caused by damage to the structure of the inner ear?
What causes it?
sensorineural hearing loss
can be caused by disease,old age, or by exposure to loud noises
Which type of hearing loss is more easy to repair?
conduction hearing loss can be repaired by surgery or a hearing aid
What is the pathway by which smell travels to the brain ?
A scent disolves and is trapped by olifactory receptors in the nose. They activate an action potential in the olifactory nerve which is connected to the olifactory bulb. The bulb distributes information throughout the brain (bypassing the thalamus)
What is the pathway by which taste travels to the brain?
Taste specific taste buds send a neural impulse to the talamus and cortex
What is the difference between the taste bud system of adults and children?
Children have more taste buds than adults do
What are the 4 basic types of touch sensation?
pressure, warmth, cold, and pain
What type of touch sensation has its own specialized nerve endings?
What is the Gate-control theory?
the thory that the spinal chord contains a neurological "gate" that blocks pain signals from the brain when flooded by competing signals. This prevents one from being overwhelmed by pain.
What is the kinesthetic system?
a system of structures distributed throughout the body that tjat gives us a sense of position adn movement of body parts by monitering the relations of parts to other parts
What is the vestibular system?
The inner ear and the brian structures that gives us a sense of balence and equilibrium
What is the rare condition in which stimulation inone sensory modality triggers sensation in another modality?
What is bottom up processing?
processing of visual input in which the common dernominator adds info (see CLOCK example)
What is top doen processing?
visual processing in which one takes prior knowledge and builds on it
A 13 C
is sensation bottom up or top down processing and why?
bottom up because it is based on raw material and is data drivem
is perception bottom up or top down driven? Why?
perception is top down processing because it uses previous knowledge and is concept driven
What is Gestalt psychology?
the school of thought rooted in the idea that the whole (perception) is different from the sum of its parts (sensation)
ie: a song can be transposed to a different key (so it has diff notes) and it is still the same song
what is the principle of perceptual organization in which ppl automatically focus on some things and ignore others
This is figure vs ground. The figure is what we notice and the ground is what we ignore.
What does a reviersible figure demonstrate?
it is a drawing in which the figure and the ground can be switched to produce two different images
What are Gestalts laws of grouping?
proximity, similarity, continuity, closure and common fate
what is the tendency to view an object as constant in size despite changes in size of the retinal image?
size consitancy
What is the tendency to see an object as retaining its form despite changes in orientation?
shape consistancy
What are the binocular cues for depth perception?
convergence and binocular disparity
What is the binocular cue for depth involving the turning inward of eyes as an object gets closer?
What is the binocular cue for depth where the closer an object is to a perciever the more different the image is in each eye?
binocular disparity
What are the monocular cues for depth perception?
relative image size, texture gradient, linear perspective, interposition, atmospheric perspective, relative elevation, and familiarity
what is relative image size?
as an objects gets father we percieve it as being smaller
(monocular cue)
what is is called when as a collection of objects recedes into the horizon they appear to be spaced more closely together, which makes the surface appear more dense?
texture gradient
what is the overlap of objects to judge depth called
why do objects futher away apear to be duller becasue of dust in the air?
atmospheric persective
what does reletive elevation say about depth?
below the horizon line, objects that are lower in the field of vision are seen as nearer than those that are higher. Above the hoziron line objects that are lower are percieved as farther away.
What is the effect of prior experience and expectation on the interpretation of sensory imput callled?
a perceptual set
ie. mans face turning into woman kneeling. What you see in middle depends on what you saw first
What is the illusion in which the percieved length of a line is alterd by the positin if other lines that enclose it? Why does this happen?
Muller-Lyer Illusion
It happens bc ppl are mistakenly apply a rational rule of 3D depth perception (that distancre decreases size) to a flat 2D object
What is the illusion in which the percieved length of a line is affected by liner perspective?
Ponzo illusion
What is mind-to-mind communication called?
What is the ability ti percieve remote events via "extra" sensory channels or contact with another person?
What is the ability to see future events without direct contact with another person?
What is the abilty to move objects or influence events without material contact
What is the abitlty to focus awareness on a single stimulus to the exclusion of other stimuli?
selective attention
What is the ability to attend selectively to one person's speech in the midst of competing conversation?
cocktail party phenomenon
what is a state of awareness consisting of the sensations, thoughts and feelings that one is focused on at a given moment
what is an awareness of the sensations, thoughts and feelings that one is attending to at a given moment
What is the ability to distribute one's attention and simultaniously engage in two or more activities?
divided attention
(based on practice and repetiton)
What is the color naming task that demonstrates the automatic nature of highly practiced activities (such as reading)
Stroop test
what is the tendency for a recently presented word or concept to faccilitate responses in a subsequent situation?
what is the attraction of a stimulus that results from increased exposure to it?
mere-exposure effect
What is the condition stemming from damage to the temporal lobes that disrupts the ability to recognize familiar faces?
What is a condition caused by damage to the visual cortex in which a person encodes visual information without awareness (despite being "blind)
what is the information processing model of memory?
a model of memory in which information must pass through discrete stage via the process of attention, encoding, storage, and retrieval
How can a stimulus that enters our senses be remembered?
It must
1 draw attention (which brings it into consciousness)
2. be encoded (transfered to storage sites in the brain)
3. be retrieved for use at a later time
what is the memory storage system that records info from the senses for up to 3 seconds?
sensory memory
What are the limitations of sensory memory
3 seconds
What is the memory storage system that holds 7 +/- 2 items for up to 20 seconds before the material is transdered into long term memory or replaced?
short term memory?
What are the limitations of short term memory?
holds 7 +/- 2 items for up to 20 seconds
What is the reletively pernament memory storage system that can hold vast amounts of info for many years.
long term memory
What are the ways in which we register sensory information?
Iconic memory and echonic memory
what is iconic memory? What experiment demonstrated this?
a fleeting sensory memory for visual images that lasts only a fraction of a second. The letter/tone experiment demonstrated this
What is echoic memory?
a brief sensory memory for auditory input that lasts only two to three seconds
How can one encode information in short term memory?
visual encoding
acoustic encoding
semantic encoding (meaning)
what is chunking?
the process of grouping distinct bits of information into larger wholes to increase STM capacity
what is the use of sheer repetition to keep information in STM?
maintenance rehearsal
what is working memory?
the term used to describe STM as an active workspace where info is axxessible for current use
What does the central executive refer to?
a model of STM in which information from the auditory working memory and the visuo-spacial working memory as well as LTM is processed in the central executive
What is the serial-position effect?
the tendency for people to recall info from the begining and end of a list, forgeting the middle due to primacy and recency
what is teh enhanced recall of early items in a list?
What is the enhanced recall of later items in a sequence?
How is the combination of primacy effect and recency effect described visually?
the serial-position curve
What is the serial position curve?
U shaped pattern indicating the tendency to recall more items at the beg and end of a list rather than the middle?
What are the types of Long Term Memory?
Explicit and Implicit
what is elabortive rehersal?
a technique for transferring info onto LTM by thinking about it on a deeper level
How are verbal things stored in LTM?
usually in semantics
What are the types of explicit memory?
semantic (non personal)
episodic (personal)
What is explicit memory?
memory that is declarative and concious stored in LTM as facts about ourselves and the world
What is the type of memory that is nonpersonal and describes facts and knowledge?
semantic memory
What is the type of knowledge that describes specific personal events
episodic memory
What is the LT knowlede of learned habits and skills?
procedural memory
What is the stored LT knowledge of facts about ourselves and the world?
declarative memory
what is a semantic network?
a complex web of semantic associations that link items in memory such that retrieving one item triggers the retrieval of others as well
What is the portion of the brain responsible for forming new momories?
What is the type of amnesia in which a person cannot store new info in LTM
anterograde amnesia
What is the type of amnesia in which a person cannot retieve LTM from the past?
retrograte amnesia
What is the nonconcious recollection of a proior experience that is revealed indirectly, by its effects on performance?
implicit memory
What are the types of implicit memory?
procedural memory and conditioning effects
What type of memory do amnesiac patients retain?
implicit memory
What is conceptual priming?
a priming stimulus that influences a flow of thought
"fire" --> red
What type of amnesia did HM have?
anterograde amnesia
What is the term that describes the easier abitlity to retrieve information from memory when in the same situation in which the information was presented?
context dependent memory
What is the situation in which memories are more likely to be recalled when in the same mood as when the information was presented?
state dependent memory
What is the false-fame effect
In an experiment subjects were given names of random non-famous people and some of those names were repeated. The next day, names of celeberties, repeated random names, and non-repeated random names were presented. Subjects were more likely to name non-repeated random names as celeberties because they recognized the name but didn't know why. They assumed it was because it was the name of a celeb
What does the false-fame effect demonsrate? (what kind of memory)
implict memory
What is the term that describes a witness remembering a face in connection to a crime but forgetting the circumstance in which they saw it?
eyewitness transference
What kind of memory does eyewitness transference demonstrate
implicit memory
What kind of memory does unintentional plagerism demonstrate?
implicit memoryf
What is the consistant pattern when the rate of momory loss for input information is steepest right after input is recieved and levels off over time?
forgetting curve
Describe the forgetting curve
It is steepest (most info lost) right after input and levels off over time
What are the four reasons why people forget?
lack of encoding
"decay" (not the best theory)
When prior information inhibits the ability to recall something new this is called?
proactive interference
when new material disrupts memory for previously learned info this is called?
retroactive interference
What is the unconcious defense mechanism that keeps painful personal memories under lock and key and out of awareness?
How do we reconstruct memories?
We reconstruct memories to fit our exsisting schemas.
(The office experiment: ppl forgot unusual items that dont fit the office schema and wrongly recalled items that were not present but that did fit the schema)
What is the tendency to incorperate false postevent info into one's memory of th eevent itself?
misinformation effect

(the dotsun stop/yeild sign experiment)
What are highly vivid and enduring memories, typically for events that are dramatic adn emotional called?
flashbulb memories
What is the tendency to estimate the likelyhood of an event in terms of how typical it seems?
represenrativeness or representative heuristics

*ppl often ignore more pertinant statistical info and make decisions based on representatibe heuristics
What is the tendency to estimate the likelyhood on an even in terms of how wsily instances of it can be recalled?
availability heuristics

*first letter k or third?
What is the tendency to use an initial value as a reference point for making numerical estimates
anchoring effect
What is the biasing effect on decision making of the way in which a choice is worded
framing effect

*death tax vs estate tax
What is the process by which we come to know and evaluate other people?
social perception
What is the study of how individuals think, feel and behave in social situations
social phychology
what is the set of theories that describe HOW people explain the causes of behavior?
attribution theory
what is behavior caused by the inate character of a person
personal attribute
what is behavior caused by the environmental factors around a person
situational attribute
How do people make attributions?
How does one consider concensus when making attributions?
How many other ppl agree with one persons opinion?

many- the persons opinion is due to situational factors
few- opinion due to personal attribute
How does one consider distinctiveness when making attributions?
How the same person reacts to different stimuli

same reaction (low distinctiveness) opinion due to personal attribute
diff reactions (high distinctiveness) opinion due to situational attributes
How does one consider consistancy when making attributions?
What opinion does a person hold at different times or among diff ppl/situations?
what is the tendency to overestimate the impact of personal causes of behavior and overlook the situation?
The Fundamental Attribution Error
What are confirmational biases?
even after a body of evidence is presented no matter what it is the first opinion is usuallu confirmed

this is due to primacy effect
What is the tendency for impressions of others to be heavily influenced by information appearing early in an interaction?
primacy effect
What is behavioral confiramtional bias?
A self fulfilling prophecy

A percievers expectations effect the perciever's behavior which in turn changes the targets behavior towards the perciever, confirming the initial bias
What is the actor/behavior difference
the tendency to see other's behavior as dispositionally caused but focusing more on the role of situational factors when explaining one's own behavior
When people take credit for sucesses and deny responsibility for failure they are showing what?
self-serving bias
What is the two step process for attribution?
ppl first identify behavior and make a quick personal attribution (fundamental attribution error) then they try to adjust that inference to account for situational influences
what is the tendency to alter one's opinion on behavior in ways that are consistant with group norms?
What is conformity motivated by the belief that others are correct?
informational influence
What is conformity motivated by a fear of social rejection?
normative influence
What is a change in behavior and personal opinin due to group norms called?
private conformity
What is a temporary and superficial chance in which there is outward compliance with the majority in behavior but private maintanence of one's own belief
public conformity

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