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AP Psychology Review

A comprehensive review of terminology for AP Psychology. Definitions are for triggering other information. (Pulled from other lists.)


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cognitive dissonance theory
this says that we will suffer discomfort and act to change the situation when our thoughts and actions seem to be inconsistent
a projective test in which subjects look at and tell a story about ambiguous pictures
representativeness heuristic
this cognitive short cut enables one to generalization based on how closely a stimulus matches a typical member of a class; given a picture of a man in a tweed jacket with a textbook, is this man a professor or a truck driver?
sensory neurons
nervous system cells that receive information from the environment
identity vs. role confusion
Erikson's stage during which teenagers and young adults search for and become their true selves
correlation coefficient
a positive one near 1.0 indicates two variable are positively related; a negative number indicates a negative relationship; zero indicates no relationship
this adjective describes cultures in which the individual is less important than the group
need for achievement
desire for accomplishment, mastery of people, ideas, things, desire for reaching a high standard
neurotransmitters that give one a feeling of well-being, euphoria or eliminate pain
the most commonly occurring term in a batch of data
a learning disability that results in difficulty reading and writing
refers to sleep during which there is no rapid eye movement
in classical conditioning, the process of eliminating the previously acquired association of the conditioned stimulus and conditioned response
form of scientific investigation in which one variable is tested to determine its effect on another
perspective that stresses the value of behavior in Darwinian terms
the ability of the brain to adapt to damage by reorganizing functions
culture in which the individual is valued more highly than the group
action potential
the electrical process by which information is transmitted the length of an axon
in Freud's theory, the level of consciousness in which thoughts and feelings are not conscious but are readily retrieveable to consciousness
gland that is the master gland of the endocrine system
limbic system component associated with emotion, particularly fear and anger
bipolar cells
eye neurons that receive information from the retinal cells and distribute information to the ganglion cells
general adaptation syndrome
Seyle's concept that the body responds to stress with alarm, resistance and exhaustion
object permanence
recognition that things continue to exist even though hidden from sight; infants generally gain this after 3 to 7 months of age
informed consent
agreement to participate in psychology research, after being appraised of the dangers and benefits of the research
part of the nervous system that controls the "flight or fight" response
a type of schizophrenia characterized by prominent delusions that are persecutory or grandiose
endocrine system
the slow messenger system of the body; produces hormones that affect many bodily functions
describes a parenting style that is characterized by the parent making few demands on the child
term describes a personality test in which ambiguous stimuli trigger revelation of inner feelings, thoughts
activation synthesis
the idea that dreams are the result of the cerebral cortex interpreting and organizing random flashes of brain activity, originating in the lower brain structures, especially the pons
one's idea and evaluation of oneself; this contributes to one's sense of identity
social facilitation
a phenomenon in which we perform simple or well-learned tasks better when in the presence of others
type of memory that holds a few items briefly before they are lost
the process of recovering information stored in memory
a perspective on psychology that emphasizes effects on behavior and thinking of one's culture and the people around one
term describes a type of intelligence used to cope with novel situations and problems
using operant conditioning to teach a complex response by linking together less complex skills
big 5 personality factors
openness to new experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism
normal distribution
describes a symmetrical, bell shaped curve that shows the distribution of many physical and psychological attributes
corpus callosum
the fibers that connect the right and left hemispheres, enabling them to communicate
evidence of critical period in some animals; they follow the first moving thing they see after hatching
theory of emotion that says that a stimulus causes simultaneously psyiological arousal and the subjective experience of an emotion
cells in the spinal cord through which reflexes travel without going to the brain
defense mechanisms
Freud's processes by which individuals express uncomfortable emotions in disguised ways
theory developed by Harlow; types include secure and insecure
formal operations
One of Piaget's stages; includes the ability to use abstract thinking
sexual response
its four stages are excitement, plateau, orgasm and resolution
drive reduction
theory that claims that behavior is driven by a desire to lessen drives resulting from needs that disrupt homeostasis
one type of hearing impairment caused by mechanical problems in the ear structures
perspective on psychology that stresses the importance of mental activities associated with thinking, remembering, etc
William James's school of thought that stressed the adaptive and survival value of behaviors
a defense mechanism in which unpleasant thought or desires are ignored or excluded from consciousness
a chemical that is released by a neuron for the purpose of carrying information across the gaps (synapses) between neurons
bystander effect
the tendency to not offer help when needed if others are present who do not offer help
affective disorders
psychological disturbances of mood
term describes a type of intelligence which applies cultural knowledge to solving problems
circadian rhythm
the daily biological rhythms that occur in a 24-hour period
a relatively enduring evaluation of a person or thing; Asch demonstrated that this doesn't always match one's behavior
learned helplessness
lack of motivation to avoid unpleasant stimuli after one has failed before to escape similar stimuli
delta waves
largest brain waves, associated with deep, dreamless sleep
concrete operations
Piaget's stage in which children learn such concepts as conservation and mathematical transformations; about 7 - 11 years of age
perspective on psychology that emphasizes the study of the brain and its effects on behavior
limbic system component associated with memory
applied research
scientific investigations intended to solve practical problems
difference threshold
also called the jnd; smallest distinction between two stimuli that can consistently be detected
Rorschach test
a projective test that uses inkblots as the ambiguous stimulus
an operant conditioning technique in which reinforces guide behavior to closer and closer approximations of the desired behavior
one's ability to act effectively to bring about desired results; from Bandura
a substance capable of producing a sensory effect in the absence of real external sensory stimuli
hindsight bias
the tendency, after an event occurs, to overestimate the likelihood that an event could have been predicted
false consensus
a belief that others share the same opinion about something, when actually most don't
an external stimulus that tends to encourage behavior
binocular cues
retinal disparity and convergence which enable people to determine depth using both eyes
hierarchy of needs
Maslow's theory of the most important motivations people have
Central Nervous System
consists of the brain and the spinal cord
a disorder characterized by sudden sleep attacks, often at inopportune times
theory of hearing which states that the rate of nerve impulses traveling up the auditory nerve matches the tone's frequency
operational definition
a description of an experimental variable in such a way that the variable can be measured and the procedure can be replicated
a consistent pattern of thinking, acting, feeling
dissociative identity disorder
also called multiple personality disorder
it is regulated by the lateral hypothalamus and the ventromedial hypothalamus
Electra complex
counterpart to the Oedipus complex for females
occur most often during REM sleep; may be caused by activation-synthesis, or may be a way of cementing memories
type of variable manipulated by the experimenter
spontaneous recovery
in classical conditioning the re-occurence of conditioning after it had appeared to be extinct
name for Freud's stage which features the Oedipus stage
latent learning
a change in behavior due to experience acquired without conscious effort, s, for example, a student using a quote in an exam essay that the student had never tried to memorize, though had encountered it in studying
drug which blocks the activity of neurotransmitters
consummate love
includes passion, intimacy and commitment
defense mechanism in which painful memories are excluded from consciousness
a need or desire that energizes and directs behavior
positive psychology
field of study which concentrates on good psychological traits such as contentment and joy; it also studies character traits such as wisdom, integrity and altruism
Freud's therapeutic technique
absolute threshold
intensity level at which one can detect a stimulus 50% of the time
the more positive one's estimation of one's qualities and characteristics, the higher this is
genital stage
Freud's stage of psychosexual development when adult sexuality is prominent
the middle one of a set of numbers
optic nerve
the axons of the ganglion cells form this
reaction formation
defense mechanism in which unacceptable impulses are transformed into their opposite
term that describes assignment in which all subjects have an equal chance of being assigned to the control group or to the experimental group
a personality trait that signifies that one finds energy from internal sources rather than external ones
this lobe contains the primary vision processing function
we have two, right and left, and some brain functions seem to centered in one or the other
extension of the neuron which carries, via an action potential, information that will be sent on to other neurons, muscles or glands
generally, any group that one does not belong to
feature detection
the ability of the brain to identify specific components of visual stimuli such as corners or edges
tendency for group members to think alike with certainty of correctness, biased perceptions of outgroup members, and generally defective decision-making processes
the average is 100; there are many definitions of this attribute, including multiple and crystallized
lobe that contains the sensory cortex
glial cell
this acts as a support system for neurons
double blind
this term describes an experiment in which neither the subjects nor the experimenter knows whether a subject is a member of the experimental group or the control group
in language, smallest distinctive sound unit
this organizes data and is used to make predictions
defense mechanism in which one disguises one's won unacceptable impulses by attributing them to others
term describes conditioning in which the CS for one experiment becomes the UCS in another experiment so that another neutral stimulus can be made to elicit the original UCR
a process in classical conditioning by which the association of a neutral stimulus with a natural stimulus is first established
when an individual seems to lose himself or herself in the group's identity
adrenal gland
source of the hormone norepinephrine which affects arousal
term that describes the memory of images
disorder characterized by hallucinations and delusions
an understood rule for social behavior
availability heuristic
this cognitive shortcut features the idea that events which are vividly in memory seem to be more common
describes a dream in which the dreamer is aware that he or she is dreaming and is able to influence the progress of the dream narrative
placebo effect
phenomenon that some people get better even though they receive not medication but an inert substance which should have no medical effect
the most frequently used and abused CNS depressant in most cultures; its use affects mood, judgment, cognition
"The only reason I flunked the test is because our teacher is no good."
release of aggressive energy through activity or fantasy
in psychopharmacology, this is used to control bipolar symptoms
obsessive-compulsive disorder
an anxiety disorder characterized by repetitive obsessions and compulsions
describes research that measures a trait in a particular group of subjects over a long period of time
fundamental attribution error
tendency to attribute others' behavior to their dispositions and our own behaviors to our situations
eating disorder characterized by excessive eating followed by purging
omission training
a procedure in which reinforcement occurs when a specific behavior does not occur in a fixed period of time
treating members of different races, religions, ethnic groups differently; usually associated with prejudice
internal locus of control
people with this tned to respond to internal states and desires; they tend to see their successes as the result of their own efforts
unconditioned stimulus
in conditioning it elicits the UCR
a complex pattern of behavior that is fixed across a species
convergent thinking
a type of critical thinking in which one evaluates existing possible solutions to a problem to choose the best one
external locus of control
this term describes what you have if your behaviors are driven mainly by outside forces
monocular visual cue in which two objects are in the same line of vision and one patially conceals the other, indicating that the first object concealed is further away
describes a type of visual memory that is retained for a long time; photographic
the second rung of Maslow's hierarchy; refers to need for freedom from danger
Freud's stage of psychosexual development occuring from about age 6 to puberty during which little happens in psychosexual terms
term that describes memory of sounds
reticular formation
a network of cells in the brainstem that filters sensory information and is involved in arousal and alertness
this type of psychologist studies, assesses and treats those with psychological disorders
the lobe that controls audition
Parkinson's disease
this ailment, whose symptoms includes tremors and later difficulty walking, is caused by inability to produce dopamine
the part of the personality in Freud's theory that is responsible for making moral choices
this kind of sample accurately reproduces the characteristics of the population a researcher is studying
reciprocal determinism
Bandura's idea that though our environment affects us, we also affect our environment
anorexia (nervosa)
an eating disorder in which one starves oneself even though significantly underweight
high state of arousal, often accompanied by poor judgment
emotion theories
James-Lange, Cannon-Baird and Singer-Schachter are three
sense of balance and of one's physical position
mental age
developed by Binet; equal to one's chronological age times the percentage score on an IQ test
CAT scan
a method of creating static images of the brain through computerized axial tomography
the middle of the three ossicles
night terrors
also called sleep terror disorder, these include the characteristic of waking abruptly in a state of panic, usually in children, less often in adults
part of the brain, works with the cerebellum in coordinating voluntary movement; neural stimulation studied in activation synthesis theory may originate here
social exchange
a theory that suggests that our behavior is based on maximizing benefits and minimizing costs
social learning
a theory that suggests we learn social behaviors by watching and imitating others
this theory says that having suffered negative experience, an individual might blame an innocent person or group for the experience and subsequently mistreat the person or group
selective attention
this term describes the situation when you are focused on certain stimuli in the environment while other stimuli are excluded
thinking about thinking
auditory canal
the area that sound waves pass through to reach the eardrum
in operant conditioning any event that strengthens the behavior it follows
Piaget's second stage of cognitive development, when egocentrism declines
in a toddler, the belief that others perceive the world in the same way that he or she does
initials representing a disorder in which one relives painfully stressful events
sleep spindles
short bursts of brain waves detected in stage 2 sleep
color blindness
a variety of disorders marked by inability to distinguish some or all colors
autonomic nervous system
division of the nervous system that control the glands and organs; its divisions arouse or calm
a form of schizophrenia in which the patient has muscle immobility and does not move
a curved, transparent element of the vision system that provides focus
functional fixedness
the tendency to think about things only in terms of their usual uses; can be a hindrance to creative thinking
the degree of relationship between two variables
retrograde amnesia
loss of memory for events that occurred before the onset of amnesia; eg a soldier's forgetting events immediately before a shell burst nearby, injuring him
synaptic gap
space between the axon terminal of one neuron and the receptors of the next neuron
terms that means "one eyed", used to indicate the sort of of environmental cues to depth perception that only require one eye, for example, interposition
functions associated with this include encoding, storage and retrieval
term describes the perspective on psychology in which inner feeling and unconscious tensions are emphasized
the highest of Malow's needs; "the full use of talent"
the sensory switchboard
an inert substance given to the control group in an experiment
describes a stimulus in classical conditioning that would normally not elicit the response intended, such as the tone in Pavlov's experiments before it was associated with the food
early stage of human development, when cells have begun to differentiate
description of the action of neurons when firing
retroactive interference
when new learning disrupts the recall of previously-learned information
intimacy vs isolation
Erikson's stage in which individuals form deeply personal relationships, marry, begin families
dissociative identity disorder
previously called multiple personality disorder; disorder where personality is segmented into 3+ identities; often controversial; often accompanied by sever trauma at a young age
Oedipus complex
in Freud's theory, the conflict which results in a boy gaining a superego and beginning to emulate his father
a collection of basic knowledge about a category of information; serves as a means of organization and interpretation of that information
mere exposure effect
this phenomenon causes one to prefer a stimulus as a consequence of repeated exposures to that stimulus, particularly is there is no adverse result of the exposure
one's awareness of one's environment and oneself.
the initials of a long, detailed personality inventory; Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory
condition of having excess body fat resulting in being greatly overweight
electroconvulsive therapy
a treatment in which low level electric current is passed through the brain
generally, learning in which certain experiences make certain behaviors more or less likely; there are two forms of this
perspective on psychology that sees psychology as an objective science without reference to mental states
a defense mechanism in which unacceptable energies are directed into socially admirable outlets, such as art
neural network
refers to interconnected neuron cells
theory of emotion in which physiological arousal precedes the emotion
class of drugs used to relieve anxiety by limiting reuptake of a neurotransmitter
a negative attitude formed toward an individual or group without sufficient experience with the person or group
the ability to learn from experience, to use information, to understand things
term that describes motivations that drive behavior in order to gain rewards from outside forces
bipolar disorder
mood disorder in one experiences both manic and depressed episodes
artificial intelligence
a subdiscipline of computer science that attempts to simulate human thinking
long term potentiation
a possible source of the formation of memories; improvement in a neuron's ability to transmit caused by repeated stimulations
inferiority complex
Adler's conception of a basic feeling of inadequacy stemming from childhood experiences
technique in therapy and training in which participants act out new behaviors or skills
a disorder characterized by an unreasonable fear that one has a serious disease
therapy developed by Rogers featuring the patient's self-discovery and actualization; also called client-centered
integrity vs despair
Erikson's final stage in which those near the end of life look back and evaluate their lives
split brain
a condition in which the two brain hemispheres are isolated by cutting the corpus callosum
all of the individuals from which subjects for an experiment may be drawn
dependent variable
the variable that the experimenter measures at the end of the experiment
responsible for black and white vision
a reflex in which a newborn turns its head in response to a gentle stimulus on its cheek
place theory
the idea that different sound frequencies stimulate different locations on the basilar membrae
this coiled structure in the inner ear is fluid-filled and in it the energy from sound waves stimulate hair cells
in testing, the characteristic of a test that produces consistent scores through retesting or alternate halves or other methods
after image
an image that remains after a stimulus is removed, especially one in which the colors are reversed
bottom-up processing
analysis that begins with sensory receptors and works its way up to the brain's integration of sensory information
olfactory bulb
the first brain structure to pick up smell information from the nose
in language, the smallest unit that carries meaning
confounding variable
extraneous factor that interferes with the action of the independent variable on the dependent variable
plural form of schema
achievement test
a test that assesses what one has learned
client-centered therapy
developed by Carl Rogers, this humanistic therapy includes unconditional positive regard
the process of modifying a schema to account for new information; the process of the eyes lens changing shape in order to focus on distant or near objects
term describes a phenomenon in which people who agree to a small request are more likely to later agree to a larger request
describes Piaget's stage in which the child explores the world through interaction of his mouth and hands with the environment
twin studies
a common method of investigating whether nature or nurture affects behavior
blind spot
point in the retinal where the optic nerve leaves the retina so there are no rods or cones there
in language, study of meanings of words
motor neuron
this carries information from the brain to the muscles; also called "efferent"
electroencephalogram; initials of a method of representation of brain waves; detects electrical activity in brain through electrodes on scalp. Results show as wavy lines.
just world
phenomenon that describes the belief that what happens to people is what they deserve
stage of language development at about 4 months when an infant spontaneously utters nonsense sounds
removal or destruction of brain tissue in a surgical procedure
in a neuron, reaching this causes the neuron to fire
German word for "whole", it refers to our tendency to perceive incomplete figures as complete
a legal term describing one's inability to be responsible for one's action due to the condition of the mind
set point
the point at which one's body tries maintain weight
industry vs. inferiority
Erikson's stage between 6 and 11 years, when the child learns to be productive
schedules of reinforcement
these include fixed interval and variable ratio
medical doctor who has specialized in treating psychological disorders
myelin sheath
a layer of fatty tissue encasing a neuron's axon that speeds transmission
a system of rules in a language
opponent process theory
term used in both vision theory and emotion theory
group polarization
tendency of group members to move to an extreme position after discussing an issue as a group
personality component that ranges from very calm to very exitable
signal detection
this theory predicts how and in what circumstances we can detect a stimulus; assumes there is no single threshold
dispositional attribution
assuming that another's behavior is due to personality factors, not situational ones
school of psychology developed by Wilhelm Wundt
control group
subjects in an experiment who do not receive application of the independent variable but are measured nonetheless for the dependent variable
brain structure that controls well-learned motor activities like riding a bike
Albert Ellis's form of therapy for psychological disorders
term that describes memories that can be consciously recalled
long term
refers to memory that is stored effectively in the brain and may be accessed over an extended period of time
defense mechanism in which one retreats to an earlier stage of life
in-group bias
tendency to favor one's own group over other groups
oral stage
Freud's first stage of psychosexual development during which pleasure is centered in the mouth
Kohlberg's stage of moral development in which rewards and punishments dominate moral thinking
information processing
humans accomplish this either in parallel (unconsciously) or in serial fashion (consciously)
mnemonic device
method of improving memory by associating new information with previously learned information
a neurotransmitter; associated with improved mood and other positive emotions
generativity vs. stagnation
Erikson's stage of social development in which middle-aged people begin to devote themselves more to fulfilling one's potential and doing public service
perspective in psychology that stresses the goodness of people and their possibility of reaching their fullest potential
neurons in the retina that are responsible for color vision
one of the Big 5, a personality trait orients one's interests toward the outside world and other people, rather than inward
initials of the American Psychiatric Association's book that lists diagnostic criteria for many psychological disorders
also called the tympanic membrane
divergent thinking
a type of creative thinking in which one generates new solutions to problems
a branch off the cell body of a neuron that receives new information from other neurons
conditioned response
in classical conditioning, the response elicited by the conditioned stimulus
peripheral nervous system
the subsystem of the nervous system that does not include the CNS
a set of generalizations about a group
giving participants in a research study a complete explanation of the study after the study is completed
term describes a vivid memory of a personally significant and emotional event
made of DNA, it is the basic building block of heredity
fixed interval
describes the schedule of reinforcement wherein a worker receives a paycheck every Friday
the Latin for "I"; in Freud's theories, the mediator between the demands of the id and the superego
belief perseverance
situation in which one's beliefs continue despite the fact that the ground for the beliefs have been discredited
a prediction of how the an experiment will turn out
experimental group
subjects in an experiment to whom the independent variable is administered
autonomy vs. shame and doubt
Erikson's stage in which a toddler learns to exercise will and to do things independently; failure to do so causes shame and doubt
in psychoanalysis, the basic understanding one develops of the underlying sources of emotion or behavioral difficulty
sensory adaptation
reduced responsiveness caused by prolonged stimulation
dissociative fugue
disorder in which one travels away from home and is unable to remember details of his past, including often his identity
a division of the nervous system that controls voluntary muscle movements
a neurotransmitter that is associated with Parkinson's disease (too little of it) and schizophrenia (too much of it)
sleep apnea
a disorder characterized by cessation of breathing during sleep
a social interaction in which one person suggests to another that certain events or emotions will occur
conversion of sensory information into a form that can be retained as a memory
token economy
a technique in operant conditioning by which desired behaviors receive forms of currency that can be exchanged for rewards
irrational, highly improbable belief
a technique that enables us to see static images of the brain's structures; uses magnetism to achieve this effect
motion parallax
a depth cue in which the relative movement of elements in a scene gives depth information when the observer moves relative to the scene
just noticeable difference
the threshold at which one can distinguish two stimuli that are of different intensities, but otherwise identical
ganglion cells
their axons form the optic nerve
defense mechanism in which unwanted feelings are directed towards a different object
in Freud's conception, the repository of the basic urges toward sex and agression
name for a graph of data points in a two variable correlation
panic disorder
characterized by recurrent, unexpected panic attacks
initiative vs guilt
Erikson's third stage in which the child finds independence in planning, playing and other activities
cerebral cortex
the fabric of interconnecting cells that blankets the brain hemispheres; the brain's center for information processing and control
observational learning
change in behavior due to watching other people behave
refractory period
resting time; occurs in both neuron firing and in human sexual response
negative reinforcement
in operant conditioning, removing something unpleasant in order to elicit more of a particular behavior
proactive interference
when prior learning disrupts the recall of new information
serial position effect
this tells us that the best recall of a list of items will be of those at the beginning of the list
the transparent outer covering of the eye
in neurons, another name for sensory
acetylcholine (ACh)
a neurotransmitter involved in learning, memory and muscle movement
refers to our ability to distinguish foreground from background in visual images
self-fulfilling prophecy
a belief or expectation that helps to make itself true
term that describes motivations that derive from one's interest in the object of the motivation, rather than from rewards that one might gain
the fundamental building block of the nervous system
fixed ratio
describes a schedule of reinforcement wherein a worker is paid for a certain sum for each product produced
limbic system component that regulates hunger, body temperature and other functions
inability to fall asleep or remain asleep long enough for sufficient rest
organizing units of information into manageable units such as memorizing a phone number as three groups of information 248-555-1212
diffusion of responsibility
reduction in sense of responsibility often felt by individuals in a group; may be responsible for the bystander effect
describes sleep in which vivid dreams typically occur; this type of sleep increases as the night progresses while stage 4 sleep decreases
oval window
membrane at the enterance to the cochlea through which the ossicles transmit vibrations
impairment of language usually caused by damage to the left hemisphere
a useful, but unprovable, cognitive shortcut, such as a "rule of thumb"
any agent that reduces the activity of the CNS
case study
scientific investigation in which a single subject is studied in great detail
the branch of the nervous system that automatically calms us down when the reason for arousal has passed
a stage in human development extending from about ten weeks after conception to birth
the steady, stable state that is the body's regulatory processes try to maintain
the sensory reception system of the eye; includes rods and cones
the process of observing and imitating a behavior
unconditioned response
in conditioning the behavior elicited by the unconditioned stimulus
operant conditioning
a method of influencing behavior by rewarding desired behaviors and punishing undesired ones
the study of the effects of drugs on the mind and behavior
fetal alcohol syndrome
sometimes the result in a child of the mother's excessive drinking while pregnant, characterized by low birth weight, facial abnormalities, mental retardation
a false sensory perception that seems to be real but for which there is not an actual external stimulus
the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information
describes a type of memory that includes specific events that one has personally experienced
depth perception
an ability that we exercise by using both monocular and binocular cues
any destruction or damage to brain tissue
collective unconscious
Jung's theory that we all share an inherited memory that contains our culture's most basic elements
moving people with psychological or developmental disabilities from highly structured institutions to home- or community-based settings
type of study that measures a variable across several age groups at the same time
adjusting behavior to meet a group's standard
part of the brain nearest the spinal cord which controls breathing, heart rate and blood pressure
confirmation bias
a tendency to search for information that supports one's preconceptions
motor cortex
an area of the brain, near the rear of the frontal lobes, that controls voluntary movement
attribution theory
a way of explaining others' behavior by either one's disposition or one's situation
self-serving bias
he tendency to assign oneself credit for successes but to blame failures on external forces
the central focus area of the retina
anal stage
Freud's pychosexual period during which a child learns to control his bodily excretions
in language the set of rules that describe how words are arranged to make sentences
term refers to observations made of individual's behavior in an everyday life setting
latent content
the hidden or disguised meaning of dreams
a drug, often smoked, whose effects include euphoria, impairment of judgment and concentration and occasionally hallucinations; rarely reported as addictive
can be either positive or negative, intended to reduce the occurrence of a behavior
style of parenting in which the parent creates strict rules for the child and the child has little or no input into determining the rules
sensory cortex
the parts of the brain that receive information from the sensory receptors
perspective that stresses links between biology and behavior
alpha waves
seen when an individual is in a relaxed, unfocused, yet still awake state
interpreting new experiences in terms of existing schema
standard deviation
a computation of how much scores vary around a mean
law of effect
Thorndike's rule that behaviors which have positive outcomes tend to be repeated
PET scan
method of brain imaging using positron emissions
basic research
scientific investigations intended to expand the knowledge base
describes, in Freudian terms, the surface content of a dream
oldest part of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord swells upon entering the skull; controls fundamental survival processes like heartrate and breathing
condition in which the sympathetic nervous system is in control
drugs which mimic the activity of neurotransmitters
somatoform disorder
any of a group of psychological disturbances characterized by physical symptoms for which there is not a medical cause
chemical substance secreted by endocrine glands that affect body processes
associative learning
learning in which an organism learns that certain events occur together, such as my cat knowing that she will be fed when I get home from work
nature vs nurture
name for a controversy in which it is debated whether genetics or environment is responsible for driving behavior
social norm
a group's determination of socially acceptable behavior
antisocial personality disorder
psychological disorder in which one demonstrates a lack of conscience
classical conditioning
method of learning in which a neutral stimulus can be used to elicit a response that is usually a natural response to a stimulus
cognitive therapy
treatment for psychological disorders that centers on changing self-defeating thinking
need for affiliation
desire to associate with others, to be part of a group, to form close and intimate relationships
numerical average of a set of numbers
conscious repetition of information in order to fix it in memory, such as practicing a list of terms to memorize
concurrent validity
the extent to which two measures of the same trait or ability agree
optic chiasm
the point in the brain where the visual field information from each eye "crosses over" to the appropriate side of the brain for processing
anterograde amnesia
loss of memory for events that occur after the onset of the amnesia; eg, see in a boxer who suffers a severe blow to the head and loses memory for events after the blow
feeling of being drawn toward another and desiring the company of a person
the extent to which differences in a group of a characteristic is due to genetics, not environment
association areas
areas of the cerebral cortex which have no specific motor or sensory repsonsibilities, but rather are involved in thinking, memory and judgment

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