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Psychology Terms 2


undefined, object
copy deck
persistence of learning over time through storage and retrieval of information
flashbulb memories
clear memory of an emotionally significant moment (9/11)
processing of information into the memory system
retention of encoded information over time
process of getting information out of memory space
stages of giving birth to memory:

1) sensory memory
immediate, initial recording of sensory information in the memory system
2)short term memory

working memory- similar
activated memory that holds a few items briefly, such as the 7 digits of a phone number while dialing before information is stored or forgotten

deals with processing of briefly stored information
3) long term memory
relatively permanent and limitless storehouse of the memory system
automatic processing
unconscious encoding of incidental information such as space, time, frequency
effortful processing
encoding that requires attention and conscious effort
constant repitition of information to maintian it or encode it into storage
spacing effect
tendency for disturbed study or practice to yield better long term retention than is achieved through mass studying
serial position effect
tendency to recall best the first and last items of a list
visual encoding
encoding of picture images
acoustic encoding
encoding of sound, especially words
semantic encoding
encoding of meaning, including meaning of words
memory aids, esp techniques that use vivid imagery and organizational devices
organizing items into familiar manageable units; often occurs automatically - acronyms
iconic memory
momentary sensory memory of visual stimuli photographic or picture image memory lasting no more than a few tenths of a second. (visual screen clears quickly- new images can go over old)
echoic memory
momentary memory of auditory stimuli; if attention is elsewhere, sounds and words can still be recalled for 3 or 4 seconds. (what did I just say? – repeat *last few* words they said)
loss of memory
implicit memory
retention independent of conscious recollection

person cannot consciously recognize faces but physiological responses to familiar faces reveal an implicit (unconscious) recognition.
explicit memory
memory of facts and experiences that one can consciously know and declare
neural center located in limbic system; helps process explicit memories for storage
measure of memory in which the person must retrieve information learned earlier

- fill in the blank test
measure of memory in which the person need only identify items previously learned

-multiple choice test
memory measure that assesses that amount of time saved when learning information for a second time
activation, often unconsciously of particular associations in memory

memoryless memory. Seeing a poster of a missing child “primes” you to interpret an ambiguous adult child interaction as possible kidnapping.
deja vu
eerie sense that "ive experienced this before"
mood congruent memory
tendency to recall experiences that are consistent with ones current good or bad mood. (under the influence of alcohol, depression)
forgetting - 3 "sins"
-transience – storage decay over time (unused info fades
- absent mindedness- inattention to details produces encoding failure (losing keys))
- blocking- inaccessibility of stored info (tip of our tongue but experience retrieval failure)
distortion - 3 "sins"
- misattribution- confusing source of into (putting words into someones mouth)
- suggestibility- lingering effects of misinformation- question becomes a false memory.
- bias- belief colored recollections (current feelings toward fiancé may color recalled feelings)
intrusion - 1 "sin"
persistence- unwanted memories (sexual assault)
proactive interference
disruptive effect of prior learning on the recall of new information.(new phone number- old one will interfere, parking at a mall- prior parking places will interfere.
retroactive interference
disruptive effect of new learning on the recall of old information. (teacher learning new students names typically interferes with a teacher’s recall of the names of previous students)
basic defense mechanism that banishes from consciousness anxiety arousing thoughts, feelings and memories.
misinformation effect
incorporating misleading information into one’s memory of an event
-Many people who believe they have been kidnapped by aliens or have recovered memories of
childhood sexual abuse both tend to score high on false memory tests.
source amnesia
attributing to the wrong source an event that we have experienced, heard about, read about, or imagined. at the heart of many false memories.
mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, communicating.
mental grouping of similar objects, events, ideas, or people. (chair sums up variety of items)
mental image of best example of a category. Matching new items to the prototype provides a quick and easy method for including items in a category.
a methodical, logical rule or procedure that guarantees solving a particular problem. Contrasts with the usual speedier but also more error prone use of heuristics.

-finding word using SPLOYOCHYG – you would try each letter in each position.
simple thinking strategy that often allows us to make judgments and solve problems efficiently; usually speedier but more error prone than algorithms.
-finding words using “ “ - exclude letter combinations such as YY to find the word
sudden and often novel realization of the solution to a problem; contrasts with strategy solutions
conformation bias
tendency to search for information that confirms one’s perceptions.
inability to see a problem from a new perspective; an impediment to problem solving.
mental set
tendency to approach a problem in a particular way, especially a way that has been successful in the past but may or may not be helpful in solving a new problem.
functional fixedness
tendency to think of things only in terms of their usual functions; an impediment to problem solving. (searching for a screwdriver when you can use a dime to turn the screw)
representativeness heuristic
judging the likelihood of things in terms of how well they seem to represent or match particular prototypes; may lead one to ignore other relevant information. (Ivy League professor vs. truck driver- poetry)
availability heuristic
estimating the likelihood of events based on their availability in memory; if instances come readily to mind, we presume such events are common. (what is more frequent, letters starting with k or with k as 3rd letter?)
the tendency to be more confident than correct- to overestimate the accuracy of one’s beliefs and judgments.
-People overestimate their scores on tests, how long it will take to do a project, etc.
the way an issue is posed; how an issue is framed can significantly affect decisions and judgments. (90% will survive vs. 10% will die – people perceive a greater risk at 10% death rate)
belief bias
tendency for one’s preexisting beliefs to distort logical reasoning, sometimes by making invalid conclusions seem valid, or valid conclusions seem invalid.
belief perseverence
clinging to one’s initial conceptions after the basis on which they were formed has been discredited.
artificial intelligence
science of designing and programming computer systems to do intelligent things and to simulate human thought processes, such as intuitive reasoning, learning, and understanding language.
computer neural networks
computer circuits that mimic the brain’s interconnected neural cells, performing tasks such as learning to recognize visual patterns and smells.
our spoken, written, or signed words and the ways we combine them to communicate meaning.
in a spoken language, the smallest distinctive sound unit. (sounds letters make)
-Different languages have different phonemes which makes it difficult to learn a 2nd language.
smallest unit that carries meaning; may be a word or part of a word. ( I, a, -ed)
the system of rules that enables us to communicate with and understand others.
set of rules by which we derive meaning from morphemes, words and sentences in a given language; also the study of meaning. (adding –ed means it happened in the past)
rules for combining words into grammatically sensible sentences in a given language (white house vs. casa blanca – “They are hunting dogs”- meaning based on context.
linguistic determination
Whorf’s hypothesis that language determines the way we think. “Language itself shapes a man’s basic ideas”
response of the whole organism, involving physiological arousal, expressive behaviors, and conscious experiences.
james-lange theory
theory that our experience of emotion is our awareness of our physiological responses to emotion arousing stimuli. (feeling of fear is followed by body’s response)

James said you can control emotion by going through the outward motions - acting
cannon-bard theory
theory that an emotion arousing stimulus simultaneously triggers physiological responses and the subjective experience of emotion. (heart begins pounding as you experience fear- one does not cause the other)
two factor theory
Schacter’s theory that to experience emotion one must be physically aroused and cognitively label the arousal.

spillover effect
emotional release. in psych, the catharsis hypothesis maintains that “releasing” aggressive energy through action or fantasy relieves aggressive urges.
feel good do good phonomenon
people’s tendency to be helpful when already in a good mood.
subjective well being
self perceived happiness or satisfaction with life. Used along with measures of objective well being to evaluate people’s quality of life.
adaptation level phonomenon
tendency to form judgments relative to a neutral level defined by our prior experience.
relative depravation
perception that one is worse off relative to those with whom one compares oneself to.
intelligence test
method for assessing an individual’s mental aptitudes and comparing them with those of others, using numerical scores.
mental age
measure of intelligence test performance devisted by Binet; the chronological age that most typically corresponds to a given level of performance. A child who does as well as the average 8 year old is said to have a mental age of 8.
stanford- binet
widely used American revision of Binet’s original intelligence test.
intelligence quotient
defined originally as the ratio of mental age to chronological age multiplied by 100. on comtemporary intelligence tests the average performance for a given age is assigned a score of 100.
mental quality consisting of the ability to learn from experience, solve problems, and use knowledge to adapt to new situations.
factor analysis
a statistical procedure that identifies clusters of related items (called factors) on a test; used to identify different dimensions of performance that underlie one’s total score.
general intelligence
general intelligence factor that Spearman and others believed underlies specific mental abilities and is therefore measured by every task on an intelligence test.
savant syndrome
condition in which a person otherwise limited in mental ability has an exceptional skill, such as in computation or drawing.
ability to produce novel and valuable ideas.
aptitude test
test designed to predict a person’s future performance; aptitude is the capacity to learn.
achievement test
test designed to assess what a person has learned.
Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale
WAIS is the most widely used intelligence test; contains verbal and performance subtests.
defining meaningful scores by comparison with the performance of a pretested “standardization group”
normal curve
symmetrical bellshaped curve that describes the distribution of many physical and psychological attributes. Most scores fall near the average, and fewer and fewer scores lie near the extremes.
extent to which a test yields consistent results, as assessed by the consistency results, as assessed by the consistency of scores on two halves of the test, on alternate forms of the test, or on retesting.
extent to which a test measures or predicts what it is supposed to.
content validity
extent to which a text samples the behavior that is of interest (such as driving test that samples driving tasks)
behavior (such as college grades) that a test (such as the SAT) is designed to predict; thus the measure used in defining whether the test has predictive validity.
predictive validity
success with which a test predicts the behavior it is designed to predict; it is assessed by computing the correlation between test scores and the criterion behavior.
mental retardation
condition of limited mental ability, indicated by an intelligence score below 70 and difficulty in adapting to the demands of life; varies from mild to profound.
down syndrome
condition of retardation and associated physical disorders caused by an extra chromosome in one’s genetic makeup.
stereotype threat
self confirming concern that one will be evaluated based on a negative stereotype.

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