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AP Semster One Terms


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psychedelic ("mind-manifesting") drugs, such as LSD, that distort perceptions and evoke sensory images in the absence of sensory input.
Any aspect of the outside world that directly influences our behavior or conscious experience.
refers to every nongenetic, or external, influence on our traits and behaviors.
decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation. As infants gain familiarity with repearted exposure to a visual stimulus, their interest wanes and they look away sooner.
feature detectors
nerve cells in the brain that respond to specific features of the stimulus, such as shape, angle, or movement.
Some thinkers popularized ____, the idea that the mind and body are separate and distinct.
the developing human organism from 9 weeks after conception to birth.
latent learning
learning that occurs but is not apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate it.
conditioned stimulus
in classical conditioning, an originally irrelevant stimulus that, after association with an unconditioned stimulus (US), comes to trigger a conditioned response.
levels of analysis
the differing complementary views, from biological to psychological to social-cultural, for analyzing any given phenomenon.
optic nerve
The nerve that carries neural messages about vision to the brain.
operant conditioning
a type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by a reinforcer or diminished if followed by a punisher.
the oldest part and central core of the brain - beginning where the spinal cord swells as it enters the skull; the brainstem is repsonsible for automatic survival functions.
binocular cues
Two visual cues that require both eyes to allow us to perceive depth.
are mental concepts that organize and interpret information. They are found in Piaget's theory of cognitive development
chemical messengers released mostly by endocrine system - They travel through blood stream and affect other tissues.
primary sex characteristics
the body structures (ovaries, testes, and external genitalia) that enable reproduction.
Understanding psychology can provide useful _____________into behavior.
the study of behavior tested through scientific research
a binocular cue for perceiving depth; the extent to which the eyes converge inward when looking at an object. The greater the inward strain, the closer the object.
extrasensory perception
Perceiving information about the world through means other than the senses
parietal lobes
the portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear - receives sensory input for touch and body position.
the complete instructions for making an organism - consisting of all the genetic material in that organism's chromosomes
Double-blind procedure
a control procedure in which neither the experimenter nor the research subjects are aware of which condition is in effect. It is used to prevent experimenters' and subjects' expectations from influencing the results of an experiment.
Thyroid Gland
This produces hormones that regulate metabolism, body heat, and bone growth
sensorimotor stage
in Piaget's theory of cognitive stages, this stage lasts from birth to about age 2.During this stage, infants gain knowledge of the world through their senses and their motor activities.
the organization of the visual field into objects (the figures) that stand out from their surroundings (the ground).
the proportion of variation among individuals that we can attribute to genes. The ___________ of a trait may vary, depending on the range of populations and environments studied.
Case study
a descriptive research strategy in which one person is studied in great depth
longitudinal study
in this study the same people are tested and retested over a period of years.
a person's characteristic emotional reactivity and intensity.
the bushy branching extensions of a neuron that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body.
a complex explanation of phenomena based on findings from scientific research
The area at the back of the eye on which images are formed and that contains the rods and cones.
an event that decreases the behavior that it follows.
The density of vibrating air molecules, which determines the loudness of sound.
drugs (such as caffeine, nicotine, and the more powerful amphetamines, cocaine, and Ecstasy) that excite neural activity and speed up body functions.
The frequency of light waves, which determines the color we see.
adrenal glands
This gland is located on the kidneys, they release hormones that trigger the body to respond to emergencies and high stress
Receptors for stimuli that are experienced as painful.
REM rebound
the tendency for REM sleep to increase following REM sleep deprivation (created by repeated awakenings during REM sleep).
Random sample
a sample that fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusion.
autonomic nervous system
the part of the peripheral nervous system that controls the glands and the muscles of the internal organs (such as the heart). Its sympathetic division arouses; its parasympathetic division calms.
the diminishing of a conditioned response; occurs in classical conditioning when an unconditioned stimulus (US) does not follow a conditioned stimulus (CS); occurs in operant conditioning when a response is no longer reinforced.
a statistical measure that indicates the extent to which two factors vary together and thus how well one factor can be predicted from the other. Correlations can be positive or negative.
ciliary muscle
The muscle in the eye that controls the shape of the lens.
one's sense of self; according to Erikson, the adolescent's task is to solidify a sense of self by testing and integrating various roles.
applied research
scientific study that aims to solve practical problems.
the initial stage in classical conditioning; the phase associating a neutral stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral stimulus comes to elicit a conditioned response. In operant conditioning, the strengthening of a reinforced response.
motor neurons
neurons that carry outgoing information from the central nervous system to the muscles and glands.
vestibular sense
the sense of body movement and position, including the sense of balance.
The central spot of the retina, which contains the greatest concentration of cones.
posthypnotic suggestion
a suggestion, made during a hypnosis session, to be carried out after the subject is no longer hypnotized; used by some clinicians to help control undesired symptoms and behaviors.
free nerve endings
Sensory receptor cells in the skin that detect pressure, temperature, and pain.
sleep spindle
brain-wave activity during Stage 2 sleep
oval window
The membrane of the inner ear that vibrates, creating sound waves in the fluid of the cochlea.
an early school of psychology that used introspection to explore the elemental structure of the human mind.
a research strategy in which a researcher directly manipulates one or more factors (independent variables) in order to observe their effect on some behavior or mental process (the dependent variables; experiments therefore make it possible to establish cause-and-effect relationships.
physical dependence
a physiological need for a drug, marked by unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when the drug is discontinued.
the fertilized egg; it enters a 2-week period of rapid cell division and develops into an embryo
below one's absolute threshold for conscious awareness.
REM sleep
stage of sleep associated with muscular relaxation
biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior, relatively uninfluenced by experience.
the time of natural cessation of menstruation; also refers to the biological changes a woman experiences as her ability to reproduce declines.
The bridge between endocrine and nervous systems and contains body's thermostat and centers for regulating hunger and thirst
all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating.
central nervous system neurons that internally communicate and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs.
formal operational stage
in Piaget's theory normally begins about age 12. During this stage people begin to think logically about abstract concepts.
signal detection theory
a theory predicting how and when we detect the presence of a faint stimulus ("signal") amid background stimulation ("noise"). Assumes there is no single absolute threshold and detection depends partly on a person's experience, expectations, motivation, and level of fatigue.
continuous reinforcement
reinforcing the desired response every time it occurs.
endocrine system
the body's "slow" chemical communication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream.
dark adaptation
Increased sensitivity of the eye in semidarkness following an abrupt reduction in overall illumination.
behavior genetics
the study of the relative power and limits of genetic and enviromental influences on behavior.
perceptual adaptation
in vision, the ability to adjust to an artificially displaced or even inverted visual field.
the tendency, once a response has been conditioned, for stimuli similar to the conditioned stimulus to elicit similar responses.
biochemical units that make up DNA and genes.
perceptual constancy
perceiving objects as unchanging (having consistent lightness, color, shape, and size) even as illumination and retinal images change.
a sequence of images, emotions, and thoughts passing through a sleeping person's mind. are notable for their hallucinatory imagery, discontinuities, and incongruities, and for the dreamer's delusional acceptance of the content and later difficulties remembering it.
color constancy
perceiving familiar objects as having consistent color, even if changing illumination alters the wavelengths reflected by the object.
association areas
areas of the cerebral cortext that are not involved in primary motor or sensory functions - rather, they are involved in higher mental functions such as learning - remembering - thinking - speaking
natural selection
the principle that, among the range of inherited trait variations, those that lead to increased reproduction and survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations.
vestibular organ
The sensory structures in the inner ear that provide the brain with information about orientation and movement.
experimental psychologist
psychologist who studies topics such as sensation, perception, and learning in controlled laboratory environments
a technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer-generated images that distinguish among different types of soft tissue; allows us to see structures within the brain.
sleep apnea
sleep disorder in which breathing stops
prosocial behavior
positive, constructive, helpful behavior. The opposite of antisocial behavior.
visual capture
the tendency for vision to dominate the other senses.
Giving priority to one's own goals over group and defining one's identity in terms of personal sttributes rather than group identification.
the view that (a) knowledge comes from experience via the senses, and (b) science flourishes through observation and experiment.
Hindsight bias
the tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it. (Also known as the I-knew-it-all along phenomenon.)
night terrors
a sleep disorder characterized by high arousal and an appearance of being terrified; unlike nightmares, night terrors occur during Stage 4 sleep, within two or three hours of falling asleep, and are seldom remembered.
drugs that reduce anxiety and depress central nervous system activity
Wilhelm Wundt
is the acknowledged founder of psychology as a separate field of study.
The characteristic quality of a sound as determined by the complexity of the sound wave.
a psychologist who studied the basic elements of conscious mental experiences
disorder in which sleep attacks occur
a branch of medicine dealing with psychological disorders; practiced by physicians who sometimes provide medical (for example, drug) treatments as well as psychological therapy
unconditioned response
in classical conditioning, the unlearned, naturally occurring response to the unconditioned stimulus (US), such as salivation when food is in the mouth.
An inherited characteristic that increases in a population because it provides a survival or reproductive advantage.
perceptual set
a mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another.
The transparent portion of the eye that focuses light on the retina.
Weber's law
A law stating that the amount of change in a stimulus needed to detect a difference is in direct proportion to the intensity of the original stimulus.
sensorineural hearing loss
hearing loss caused by damage to the cochlea's receptor cells or to the auditory nerves; also called nerve deafness.
molecular genetics
the subfield of biology that studies the molecular structure and function of genes.
humanistic psychology
historically significant perspective that emphasized the growth potential of healthy people; used personalized methods to study personality in hopes of fostering personal growth.
early name for hypnosis
recurring problems in falling or staying asleep.
a region where nerve impulses are transmitted and received - encompassing the axon terminal of a neuron that releases neurotransmitters in response to an impulse - an extremely small gap across which the neurotransmitters travel, and the adjacent membrane of an axon - dendrite - or muscle or gland cell with the appropriate receptor molecules for picking up the neurotransmitters.
organ of Corti
A sensory receptor in the cochlea that transduces sound waves into coded neural impulses.
Stages 3 and 4 sleep
stage of sleep associated with delta waves
nervous system
the body's speedy electrochemical communication network consisting of all the nerve cells of the peripheral and central nervous system
perceptual constancy
The tendency for perceptions of objects to remain relatively unchanged, in spite of changes in raw sensations.
peripheral nervous system
the sensory and motor neurons that connect the central nervous system (CNS) to the rest of the body.
the developing prenatal organism from about 2 weeks through 2 months after conception.
the process by which certain animals form attachments early in life, usually during a limited critical period.
glial cells
glial cells-cells in the nervous system that support nourish and protect neurons.
Control condition
the condition of an experiment that contrasts with the experimental condition and serves as a comparison for evaluating the effect of the treatment.
the biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes; they are segments of the DNA molecules capable of synthesizing a protein.
occurs when the effects of one factor (such as heredity) depends on another factor (such as environment).
a culturally prescribed set of behaviors expected of those who occupy a particular social position.
chemical messengers that traverse the synaptic gaps between neurons. When released by the sending neuron, neurotransmitters travel across the synapse and bind to receptor sites on the receiving neuron, thereby influencing whether that neuron will generate a neural impulse.
the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse.
Statistical significance
a statistical statement of how likely it is that an obtained result occurred by chance.
"morphine within"--natural, opiatelike neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure.
A thin membrane that sound waves cause to vibrate; a structure of the middle ear., the membrane in the ear that vibrates to sound
top-down processing
information processing guided by higherlevel mental processes, as when we construct perceptions drawing on our experience and expectations.
drugs that increase energy and stimulate neural activity
place theory
in hearing, the theory that links the pitch we hear with the place where the cochlea's membrane is stimulated.
split brain
a condition in which the two hemispheres of the brain are isolated by cutting the connecting fibers (mainly those of the corpus callosum) between them.
threadlike structures made of DNA molecules that contain the genes
This produces the hormones insulin and glucagon which control the level of glucose in the blood
binocular cues
Two visual cues that require both eyes to allow us to perceive depth.
alpha waves
brain wave of awake relaxed person
phi phenomenon
an illusion of movement created when two or more adjacent lights blink on and off in quick succession.
Small glands in the neck that regulate calcium and phosphorous balance.
tactile discs
Sensory receptor cells that detect pressure.
a split between different levels of consciousness
natural painkiller produced by the brain
olfactory epithelium
The sheet of receptor cells at the top of the nasal cavity.
monocular cues
Eight visual cues that can be seen with one eye and that allow us to perceive depth.
impairment of language - usually cause by left hemisphere damage either to Broca's area or to Wernicke's area.
corpus callosum
the large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carrying messages between them.
the most frequently occurring score in a distribution; it is the simplest measure of central tendency to determine.
the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next.
a nerve cell - the basic buidling block of the nervous system.
a relatively permanent change in an organism's behavior due to experience.
social learning theory
people learn social behavior (such as gender roles) by observing and imitating and by being rewarded or punished.
visual acuity
Clearness and sharpness of vision.
educational psychologist
psychologist who researches topics related to intelligence, memory, problem solving, and motivation with the goal of helping students learn more effectively
conditioned response
in classical conditioning, the learned response to a previously neutral (but now conditioned) stimulus (CS).
nature-nurture issue
the longstanding controversy over the relative contributions that genes and experience make to the development of psychological traits and behaviors.
negative reinforcement
increasing behaviors by stopping or reducing negative stimuli, such as shock. A negative reinforcer is any stimulus that, when removed after a response, strengthens the response. (Note, this is not the same thing as punishment.)
stranger anxiety
the fear of strangers that infants begin to display at about 8 months of age.
electromagnetic radiation
A form of energy including electricity, radio waves, and X rays, of which visible light is a part.
The experience of sound vibrations sensed as high or low.
positive reinforcement
increasing behaviors by presenting positive stimuli, such as food. A positive reinforcer is any stimulus that, when presented after a response, strengthens the response.
in Piaget's theory refers to the difficulty that preoperational children have in considing another's viewpoint. "Ego" means "self" erring and "centrism" indicates "in the center"; the preoperational child is "self-centered."
This is one of the two male reproductive glands that produce spermatozoa and secrete androgens
Y chromosome
the sex chromosome found only in males. When paired with an X chromosome from the mother, it produces a male child.
The perception principle that assumes that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
an inert substance or condition that is administered as a test of whether an experimental subjects who mistakenly thinks a treatment
Biological Psychology
branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior.
a psychologist who studies how unconscious motives and conflicts determine human behavior
operant behavior
behavior that operates on the environment, producing consequences.
developmental psychology
a branch of psychology that studies human development in phsical, cognitive, and social change perspectives.
law of effect
Thorndike's principle that behaviors followed by favorable consequences become more likely, and that behaviors followed by unfavorable consequences become less likely.
the number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time (for example, per second).
Charles Darwin
renowned naturalist and thinker associated with the theory of evolution by natural selection
inattentional blindness
failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere.
The translation of energy from one form to another.
evolutionary psychology
the study of evolution of behavior and the mind, using principles of natural selection.
sense organs
Organs that receive stimuli.
extrinsic motivation
a desire to perform a behavior due to promised rewards or threats of punishment.
a measure of variation computed as the difference between the highest and lowest scores in a distribution.
a depiction of the relationship between two variables by means of a graphed cluster of dots.
observational learning
learning by observing others.
false sensory experiences, such as seeing something in the absence of an external visual stimulus.
depth perception
the ability to see objects in three dimensions although the images that strike the retina are two-dimensional; allows us to judge distance.
Our awareness Of ourselves and our environment
periodic, natural, reversible loss of consciousness—as distinct from unconsciousness resulting from a coma, general anesthesia, or hibernation. (Adapted from Dement, 1999.)
a psychologist who studies the effects that physical and chemical changes have on behavior
semicircular canals
Three nearly circular tubes in the vestibular organ that inform the brain about tilts of the head and body.
associative learning
learning that certain events occur together. The events may be two stimuli (as in classical conditioning) or a response and its consequences (as in operant conditioning).
the perceptual tendency to organize stimuli into coherent groups.
myelin sheath
a layer of fatty tissue segmentally encasing the fibers of many neurons; enables vastly greater transmission speed of neural impulses as the impulse hops from one node to the next.
visual cliff
a laboratory device for testing depth perception in infants and young animals.
the study of paranormal phenomena, including ESP and psychokinesis.
monocular cues
Eight visual cues that can be seen with one eye and that allow us to perceive depth.
all the cases in a group, from which samples may be drawn for a study.
Young-Helmholtz trichromatic theory
the theory that the retina contains three different color receptors—one most sensitive to red, one to green, one to blue—which when stimulated in combination can produce the perception of any color.
partial reinforcement
reinforcing a response only part of the time; results in slower acquisition of a response but much greater resistance to extinction than does continuous reinforcement.
blind spot
The spot where the optic nerve attaches to the retina, which contains no rods or cones.
sympathetic nervous system
the division of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations.
the major active ingredient in marijuana; triggers a variety of effects, including mild hallucinations.
the part of the brain at the back of the head that controls the activity of the muscles.
opponent-process theory
The theory of color vision contending that the visual system has two kinds of color processors, which respond to light in either the red-green or yellow-blue ranges of wavelength.
gender role
a culturally prescribed set of behaviors for males and females.
specialized end bulbs
Sensory receptor cells that detect pressure and skin pleasure.
absolute threshold
The smallest magnitude of a stimulus that can be detected half the time.
alzheimer's disease
a progressive and irreversible brain disorder characterized by gradual deterioration of memory, reasoning, language, and finally, phisical funtioning.
the sense of hearing.
intrinsic motivation
a desire to perform a behavior for its own sake.
The external part of the ear.
basilar membrane
One of the membranes that separate the two tubes of the cochlea and on which the organ of Corti rests.
external auditory canal
external passage for sounds collected from the pinna to the tympanum
bottom-up processing
analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works up to the brain's integration of sensory information.
critical period
the limited time shortly after birth during which an organism must be exposed to certain experiences or influences if it is to develop properly.
the extension of a neuron - ending in branching terminal fibers, through which messages pass to other neurons or to muscles or glands.
the middle score in a distribution; half the scores are above it and half are below it.
rooting reflex
a baby's tendency, when touched on the cheek, to turn toward the touch, open the mouth, and search for the nipple.
sensory cortex
the area at the front of the parietal lobes that registers and processes body touch and movement sensations.
the process of observing and imitating a specific behavior.
manifest content
surface meaning of dreams
a psychologists who analyzes observable behavior and studies conditioning and reinforcement
variations in ideas, fashions, and innovations passed from one person to another that cause rapid cultural mutations.
The process of receiving, translating, and transmitting messages from the outside world to the brain.
light adaptation
Regaining sensitivity of the eye to bright light following an abrupt increase in overall illumination.
the discomfort and distress that follow discontinuing the use of an addictive drug.
saccule utricle
Fluid-filled sacs of the vestibular organ that inform the brain about the body's orientation.
the brain's capacity for modification, as evident in brain reorganization following damage (especially in children) and in experiments on the effects of experience on brain development.
bone conduction hearing
Hearing accomplished through sounds transmitted through the bones of the head directly to the cochlear fluid.
a testable prediction
in operant conditioning, any event that strengthens the behavior it follows.
cross-sectional study
in this study people of different ages are compared with one another.
Dependent variable
the factor being measured by the investigator.
fraternal twins
develop from two separate eggs fertilized by different sperrn and therefore are no more genetically similar than ordinary siblings.
stereochemical theory
The theory that different odor receptors can be stimulated only by molecules of a specific size and shape that fit them like a "key" in a lock.
concrete operational stage
the stage lasting from about ages 6 or 7 to 11, children can think logically about concrete events and objects.
Experimental condition
the condition of an experiment that exposes participants to the treatment, that is, to one version of the independent variable.
an operant conditioning procedure in which reinforcers guide behavior toward closer and closer approximations of the desired behavior.
Naturalistic observation
involves observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate or control the situation.
latent content
deeper meaning of dreams
the biologically and socially influenced characteristic by which people define male and female.
pituitary gland
This produces hormones which regulate growth from infancy to adulthood and the amount of water in the blood
developmental psychologist
psychologist who studies physical, emotional, cognitive, and social changes that occur over a lifetime
refers to interpreting a new experience in terms of an existing schema.In Piaget's theory.
conduction hearing loss
hearing loss caused by damage to the mechanical system that conducts sound waves to the cochlea.
an emotional tie with another person, shown in young children by their seeking closeness to a caregiver and showing distress on separation.
sense of "we". priorities are given to a certain group. One's identity is defined accordingly
fetal alcohol syndrome
a syndrome that refers to the physical and cognitive abnormalities that heavy drinking by a pregnant woman may cause in the developing child.
respondent behavior
behavior that occurs as an automatic response to some stimulus; Skinner's term for behavior learned through classical conditioning.
the base of the brainstem; controls heartbeat and breathing.
(ACh) a neurotransmitter that enables learning and memory and also triggers muscle contraction.
Ivan Pavlov
identified conditioned reflexes.
Sigmund Freud
is associated with psychoanalysis.
psychoactive drug
a chemical substance that alters perceptions and mood.
crystalized intelligence
one's accumulated acknowledge and verbal skills; tends fo increase with age
human factors psychology
a branch of psychology that explores how people and machines interact and how machines and physical environments can be made safe and easy to use.
preoperational stage
in Piaget's theory lasts from about 2 to 6 or 7 years of age. During this stage, language development is rapid, but the child is unable to understand the mental operations of concrete logic.
Placebo effect
experimental results caused by expectations alone; any effect on behavior caused by the administration of an inert substance or condition, which is assumed to be an active agent.
repeating the essence of a research study, usually with different participants in different situations, to see whether the basic finding extends to other participants and circumstances
action potential
a neural impulse - a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon
classical conditioning
a type of learning in which an organism comes to associate stimuli. A neutral stimulus that signals an unconditioned stimulus (US) begins to produce a response that anticipates and prepares for the unconditioned stimulus. Also called Pavlovian or respondent conditioning.
optic chiasm
The area in the brain where the optic nerves cross.
compulsive drug craving and use.
having to do with the process of thinking and understanding
a social interaction in which one person (the hypnotist) suggests to another (the subject) that certain perceptions, feelings, thoughts, or behaviors will spontaneously occur.
gate-control theory
the theory that the spinal cord contains a neurological "gate" that blocks pain signals or allows them to pass on to the brain. The "gate" is opened by the activity of pain signals traveling up small nerve fibers and is closed by activity in larger fibers or by information coming from the brain.
crystallized intelligence
refers to those aspects of intellectual ability, such as vocabulary and general knowledged that reflect accumulated learning. Crystallized intelligence tends to increase with age.
Random assignment
the procedure of assigning subjects to the experimental and control conditions by chance in order to minimize preexisting differences between the groups.
sound waves
Vibratory changes in the air that carry sound.frequency of cycles*The rate of vibration of sound waves; determines pitch.
The sense of smell.
kinesthetic receptors
Receptors in the muscles, joints, and skin that provide information about movement, posture, and orientation.
The protective coating on the surface of the eye through which light passes.
reticular formation
a nerve netwrok in the brainstem that plays an important role in controlling arousal.
identical twins
develop from a single fertilized egg that splits in two and therefore are genetically identical.
the process by which the eye's lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the retina.
A specialty area of psychology that studies sensory limits, sensory adaptation, and related topics.
counseling psychology
a branch of psychology that assists people with problems in living (often related to school, work, or marriage) and in achieving greater well-being.
a technique for revealing blood flow and, therefore, brain activity by comparing successive MRI scans. MRI scans show brain anatomy; fMRI scans show brain function.
in Erikson's theory, the ability to form close, loving relationships; a primary developmental task in late adolescence and early adulthood.
a school of psychology that focused on how mental and behavioral processes function - how they enable the organism to adapt, survive, and flourish.
sleep stage associated with dreaming
an assumption about behavior tested through scientific research
gender schema theory
children acquire a cultural concept of what it means to be female or male and adjust their behavior accordingly.
conditioned reinforcer
a stimulus that gains its reinforcing power through its association with a primary reinforcer; also known as secondary reinforcer.
natural selection
the principle that among the range of inherited trait variations - those that lead to increased reproduction and survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations.
neural "cables" containing many axons. These bundled axons, which are part of the peripheral nervous system, connect the central nervous system with muscles, glands, and sense organs.
myelin sheath
a layer of fatty tissue segmentally encasing the fibers of many neurons; enables vastly greater transmission speed of neural impulses as the impulse hops from one node to the next.
the principle that properties such as number, volume, and mass remain constant despite changes in the forms of objects; it is acquired during the concrete operational stage.
two lima bean-sized neural clusters that are components of the limbic system and are linked to emotion.
Sir Francis Galton
based his theory of inheritable traits on biographies.
a technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes or behaviors of people, usually by questioning a representative, random sample of them.
retinal disparity
a binocular cue for perceiving depth: By comparing images from the two eyeballs, the brain computes distance—the greater the disparity (difference) between the two images, the closer the object.
opium and its derivatives, such as morphine and heroin; they depress neural activity, temporarily lessening pain and anxiety.
limbic system
a doughnut-shaped system of neural structures at the border of the brainstem and cerebral hemispheres; associated with emotions such as fear and aggression and drives such as those for food and sex. Includes the hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus.
parallel processing
the processing of several aspects of a problem simultaneously; the brain's natural mode of information processing for many functions, including vision. Contrasts with the step-bystep (serial) processing of most computers and of conscious problem solving.
Standard deviation
the average amount by which the scores in a distribution deviate around the mean. Because it is based on every score in the distribution
primary reinforcer
an innately reinforcing stimulus, such as one that satisfies a biological need.
the acquisition of a traditional feminine or masculine gender role.
This is one of usually two organs that produce ova and secrete estrogen and progesterone
drugs (such as alcohol, barbiturates, and opiates) that reduce neural activity and slow body functions.
difference threshold
The smallest difference between two stimuli that can be detected half the time.
unconditioned stimulus
in classical conditioning, a stimulus that unconditionally—naturally and automatically—triggers a response.
middle ear
the chamber between the eardrum and cochlea containing three tiny bones (hammer, anvil, and stirrup) that concentrate the vibrations of the eardrum on the cochlea's oval window.
Freud's theory
theory that dreaming reflects our erotic drives
(deoxyribonucleic acid) is a complex molecule containing the genetic information that makes up the chromosomes.
The process of organizing and interpreting information received from the outside world.
frequency theory
in hearing, the theory that the rate of nerve impulses traveling up the auditory nerve matches the frequency of a tone, thus enabling us to sense its pitch.
in classical conditioning, the learned ability to distinguish between a conditioned stimulus and stimuli that do not signal an unconditioned stimulus.
a powerful hallucinogenic drug; also known as acid (lysergic acid diethylamide).
theory of mind
people's ideas about their own and others' mental states—about their feelings, perceptions, and thoughts and the behavior these might predict.
sensory adaptation
Weakened magnitude of a sensation resulting from prolonged presentation of the stimulus.
the presumption that mind and body are different aspects of the same thing.
selective attention
the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus, as in the cocktail party effect.
an amplified recording of the waves of electrical activity that sweep across the brain's surface. These waves are measured by electrodes placed on the scalp.
Measurement of the intensity of perceived sound.
biopsychosocial approach
an integrated perspective that incorporates biological, psychological, and social-cultural levels of analysis.
The colored part of the eye behind the cornea that regulates the amount of light that enters.
a simple, automatic, inborn response to a sensory stimulus, such as the knee-jerk response.
a person's sense of identity and personal worth.
agents, such as chemicals and viruses, that can reach the embryo or fetus during prenatal development and cause harm.
secondary sex characteristics
the nonreproductive sexual characteristics, for example,female breasts, male voice quality, and body hair.
spontaneous recovery
the reappearance, after a pause, of an extinguished conditioned response.
Independent variable
the factor being manipulated and tested by the investigator.
basket cells
Sensory receptor cells at the base of hairs that detect pressure.
X Chromosome
the sex chromosome found in both men and women. Females have two of these chromosomes; males have one. One of these chromosome from each parent produces a female child.
this refers to the life stage from puberty to independent adulthood, denoted physically by a growth spurt and maturation of primary and secondary sex characteristics, cognitively by the onset of formal operational thought, and socially by the formation of identity.
False consensus effect
is the tendency to overestimate the extent to which others share our beliefs and behaviors.
sensory receptor cells
Cells in sense organs that translate messages into neural impulses that are sent to the brain.
the diminishing effect with regular use of the same dose of a drug, requiring the user to take larger and larger doses before experiencing the drug's effect.
central nervous system
the brain and spinal cord.
Operational definitions
precise statements of the procedures (operations) used to define independent and dependent variables.
a powerfully addictive drug that stimulates the central nervous system, with speeded-up body functions and associated energy and mood changes; over time, appears to reduce baseline dopamine levels.
cognitive map
a mental representation of the layout of one's environment. For example, after exploring a maze, rats act as if they have learned a cognitive map of it.
understood social prescriptions, or rules, for accepted and expected behavior.
means the tissue destruction - A brain lesion reffers to a naturally or experimentally damaged or removed brain.
a process in which the genetic material of a person, a plant or an animal changes in structure when it is passed on to children, causing different phycical characteristics to develop.
the principal male sex hormone. During prenatal development, it stimulates the development of the external male sex organs.
The 6 million receptor cells located mostly in the center of the retina that transduce light waves into neural impulses, thereby coding information about light, dark, and color.
the first menstrual period.
the dimension of color that is determined by the wavelength of light; what we know as the color names blue, green, and so forth.
perceptual constancy
The tendency for perceptions of objects to remain relatively unchanged, in spite of changes in raw sensations.
trichromatic theory
the theory of color vision contending that the eye has three different kinds of cones, each of which responds to light of one range of wavelength.
cerebral cortex
the intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells that covers the cerebral hemispheres - the body's ultimate control and information processing center.
The 125 million cells located outside the center of the retina that transduce light waves into neural impulses, thereby coding information about light and dark.
round window
The membrane that relieves pressure from the vibrating waves in the cochlear fluid.
The opening of the iris.
The measurement of the frequency of sound waves in cycles per second.
delta waves
the large, slow brain waves associated with deep sleep.
a synthetic stimulant and mild hallucinogen. Produces euphoria and social intimacy, but with short-term health risks and longer-term harm to serotonin-producing neurons and to mood and cognition.
sensory neurons
neurons that carry incoming information from the sense receptors to the central nervous system.
operant chamber
a chamber also known as a Skinner box, containing a bar or key that an animal can manipulate to obtain a food or water reinforcer, with attached devices to record the animal's rate of bar pressing or key pecking. Used in operant conditioning research.
refers to changing an existing schema to incorporate new information that cannot be assimilated.In Piaget's theory.
the view that psychology (1) should be an objective science that (2) studies behavior without reference to mental processes. Most research psychologists today agree with (1) but not with (2).
A curved structure of the inner ear that is filled with fluid.
neural networks
interconnected neural cells. With experience, networks can learn, as feedback strengthens or inhibits connections that produce certain results. Computer simulations of neural networks show analogous learning.
social clock
the cultural preferred timing of social event such as marriage, parenthood, and retirement.
the early adolescent period of sexual maturation, during which a person becomes capable of reproduction.
Illusory correlation
the false perception of a relationship between two events when none exists.
the field of study encompassing the various scientific disciplines dealing with the structure development function chemistry pharmacology and pathology of the nervous system.
the arithmetic average of a distribution, obtained by adding the scores and then dividing by the number of scores.
taste cells
The sensory receptor cells for gustation located in the taste buds.
gender identity
one's personal sense of being male or female.
physical or verbal behavior that is intended to hurt or harm someone.
personal space
personal space-the buffer zone we like to maintain around our bodies.
inner ear
the innermost part of the ear, containing the cochlea, semicircular canals, and vestibular sacs
the system for sensing the position and movement of individual body parts.
scientific method
a general approach to gathering information and answering questions that minimizes errors and bias
Wernicke's area
controls language reception - a brain area invloved in language comprehension and expression - usually in the left temporal lobe.
A gelatin-like structure containing a tuft of hairlike sensory receptor cells in the semicircular canals.
an explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes and predicts observations.
somatic nervous system
the division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the body's skeletal muscles. Also called the skeletal nervous system.
hammer - anvil - stirrup
Three linked bones of the middle ear, which pass sound waves to the inner ear.
sensory interaction
the principle that one sense may influence another, as when the smell of food influences its taste.
fluid intelligence
refers to a person's ability to reason speedily and abstractly. Fluid intelligence tends to decline with age.
Clusters of taste buds on the tongue.
The sense of taste.
parasympathetic nervous system
the division of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body, conserving its energy.
basic trust
according to Erikson is a sense that the world is predictable and trustworthy - a concept that infants form if their needs are met by responsive caregiving.
the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next.
object permanance
the awareness that things continue to exist even when not perceived.
mirror neurons
frontal lobe neurons that fire when performing certain actions or when observing another doing so. The brain's mirroring of another's action may enable imitation, language learning, and empathy.
PET scan
a visual display of brain activity that detects where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain performs a given task.
frontal lobes
the portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behid the forehead - involved in speaking and muscle movements and in amking plans and judgments.
neurotransmitter that LSD resembles
cochlear implant
a device for converting sounds into electrical signals and stimulating the auditory nerve through electrodes threaded into the cochlea
the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse.
clinical psychology
a branch of psychology that studies, assesses, and treats people with psychological disorders.
Critical thinking
thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions. Rather, it examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions.
basic research
pure science that aims to increase the scientific knowledge base.
a disorder that appears in childhood and is marked by deficient communication, social interaction, and understanding of others' states of mind.
psychological dependence
a psychological need to use a drug such as to relieve negative emotions.

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