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Psychology test 1

Terms

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reticular activating system (RAS)
a dense netword of neruons found in the core of the brain stem; it arouses the cortx and screens incoming information
frontal lobes
lobes at the front of the brain's cerebral cortex; they contain areas involved in short-term memory, higher-order thinking, initiative, social judgment, and (in the left lobe, typically) speech production
theory
an organized system of assumptions and principles that purports to explain a specified set of phenomena and their interrelationships
myelin sheath
a fatty insulation that may surround the axon of a neuron
principle of falsifiability
the principle that a scientific theory must make predictions that are specific enough to expose the theory to the possibility of disconfirmation; that is, the teory must predict not only what will happen but also what will not happen
longitudinal study
a study in which subjects are followed and periodically reassessed over a period of time
neurotransmitter
a chemical substance that is released by a transmitting neuron at the synapse and that alters the activity of a receiving neuron
oxytocin
a hormone, secreted by the pituitary gland, that stimulates uterine contractions during childbirth, facilitates the ejection of mild during nursing, and seems to promote, in both sexes, attachment and trust in relationships
synapse
the site where transmission of a nerve impulse from one nerve cell to another occurs; it includes the axon terminal, the synaptic cleft, and receptor sites in the membrane of the receiving cell
control condition
in an experiment, a comparison condition in which subjects are not exposed to the same treatment as in the experimental condition
sex hormones
hormones that regulate the development and functioning of reproductive organs and that stimulate the devolopment of male and female sexual characteristics; they include androgens, estrogens, and progesterone
cerebral hemispheres
the two halves of the cerebrum
hippocampus
a brain structure involved in teh storage of new information in memory
feminist psychology
a psychological approach that analyzes the influence of social inequities on gender relations and on the behavior of the two sexes
glia
cells that support, nurture, and insulate neurons, remove debris when neurons die, enhance the formation and maintenance of neural connections, and modify neuronal functioning
plasticity
the brain's ability to change and adapt in response to experience - for example, by reorganizing or growing new neural connections
endorphins
chemical substances in the nervous system that are similar in structure and action to opiates; they are involved in pain reduction, peasue, and memory and are known technically as endogenous opioid peptides
psychotherapist
simply anyone who does any kind of psychotherapy
nerve
a bundle of nerve fibers (axons and sometimes dendrites) in the peripheral nervous system
arithmetic mean
an average that is calculated by adding up a sit of quantities and dividing the sum by the total number of quantities in the set
structuralism
analyzing sensations, images, and feelings into basic elements (example: break down components of taste when biting into an orange)
peripheral nervous system
all portions of the nervous system outside the brain and spinal cord; it includes sensory and motor nerves
learning perspective
a psychological approach that emphasizes how the environment and experience affect a person's or animal's actions; it includes behaviorism and social- cognitive learning theories
occipital lobes
lobes at the lower back part of the brain's cerebral cortex; the contain areas that receive visual information
basic psychology
the study of psychological issues in order to seek knowledge for its own sake rather than for its practical application
psychoanalysis
A theory of personality and a method of psychotherapy, originally formulated by Sigmund Freud, that emphasizes unconscious motives and conflicts
autonomic nervous system
the subdivision of the peripheral nervous system that regulates the internal organs and glands
Developmental psychologist
they study how people change and grow over time - physically, mentally, and socially
medulla
a sturcture in the brain stem responsible for certain automatic functions, such as breathing and heart rate
PET scan (positive-emission topography)
a method for analyzing biochemical activity in the brain, using injections of a glucoselike substance containing a radioactive element
effect size
the amount of variance among scores in a study accounted for by the independent variable
transcranial magnetic stiumlation (TMS)
a method of stimulating brain cells, using a powerful magnetic field produced by a wire coil placed on a person's head; it can be used by researchers to temporarily inactivate neural circuits and is also being used therapeutically
somatic nervous system
the subdivision of the peripheral nervous system that connects to sensory receptors and to skeletal muscles; sometime called the skeletal nervous system
Industrial/organizational psychologist
they study behavior in the workplace
operational definition
a precise difinition of a term in a hypothesis, which specifies the operations for observing and measuring the process of phenomenon being defined
meta-analysis
a procedure for combining and analyzing data from many studies; it determines how much of the variance in scores across all studies can be explained by a particular variable
random assignment
a procedure for assigning people to experimental and control groups in which each individual has the same probability as any other of being assigned to a given group
standardize
in test construction, to develop uniform procedures for giving and scoring a test
neuron
a cell that conducts electrochemical signals; the basic unit of the nervous system; also called a nerve cell
reliability
in test construction, the consistency of scores derived from a test, from one time and place to another
spinal cord
a collection of neurons and supportive tissue running from the base of the brain down the cneter of the back protected by a column of bones (the spinal column)
cognitive perspective
A psychological approach that emphasizes mental processes in perception, memory, language, problem solving, and other areas of behavior
electroencephalogram (EEG)
a recording of nerol activity detected by electrodes
Psychometric psychologist
they design and evaluate tests of mental abilities, aptitudes, interests, and personality
localization of function
specialization of particular brain areas for particular functions
stem cells
immature cells that renew themselves and have the potential to develop into mature cells; given encouraging environments, stem cells from early embryos can develop into any cell type
biological perspective
focuses on a psychological approach that emphasizes bodily events and changes associated with actions, feelings, and thoughts
dendrites
a neuron's branches that receive information from other neurons and transmit it toward the cell body
endocrine glands
internal organs that roduce hormones and release them into the bloodstream
sympathetic nervous system
the subdivision of the autonomic nervous system that mobilizes bodily resources and increases the output of energy during emotion and stress
thalamus
a brain structure that relays sensory messages to the cerebral cortex
cross-sectional study
a study in which subjects of different ages are compared at a given time
double-blind study
an experiment in which neither the subjects nor the individuals running the study know which subjects are in the control group and which are in teh experimental group until after the results are tallied
descriptive statistics
statistical procedures that organize and summarize research data
placebo
an inactive substance or fake treatment used as a control in an experiment or given by a medical practitioner to a patient
single-blind study
an experiment in which subjects do not know whether they ar in an experimental or a control group
founders of functionalism
William James
lateralization
specialieztion of the two cerebral hemispheres for particular operations
melatonin
a hormone, secreted by the pineal gland, that is involved in the regulation of daily biological rhythms
temporal lobes
lobes at the sides of the brain's cerebral cortex; they contain areas involved in hearing, memory, perception, emotion, and (in the left lobe, typically) language comprehension
dependent variable
a variable that an experimenter predicts will be affected by manipulations of the independent variable
corpus callosum
the bundle of nerve fibers connecting the tow cerebral hemispheres
coefficient of correlation
a measure of correlation that ranges in value from -1.00 to +1.00
humanist psychology
a psychological approach that emphasizes free will, personal growth, resilience, and the achievement of human potential
evolutionary psychology
a field of psychology emphasizing evolutionary mechanisms that may help explain huan commonalities in cognition, development, emotion, social practices, and other areas of behavior
case study
a detailed description ofa particular individual being studied or treated
sociocultural perspective
A psychological approach that emphasizes social and cultural influences on behavior
functionalism
emphasizing the function or purpose of behavior, as opposed to its analysis and description
Educational psychologist
they study psychological principles that explain learning and search for ways to improve educational systems
correlation
a measure of how strongly two variable are related to one another
confirmation bias
the tendency to look for or pay attention only to information that confirms one's own belief
neurogenesis
the production of new neurons from immature stem cells
norms
in test construction, established standards of performance
experimenter effects
unintended changes in subjects' behavior due to cues inadvertently given by the experimenter
standard deviation
a commonly used measure of variability that indicates the average difference between scores in a distribution and their mean
field research
descriptive or experimental research conducted in a natural setting outside the laboratory
psychiatrist
a medical doctor who has done a three year residency in psychiaty to learn how to diagnose and treat mental disorders under the supervision of more experienced physicians
hormones
chemical substances, secreted by organs calls glands, that affect the functioning of other organs
experiment
a controlled test of a hypothesis in which the researcher manipulates one variable to discover its effect on another
validity
the ability of a test to measure what it was designed to measure
psychoanalyst
a person who practices one particular form of therapy , psychoanalysis
psychological tests
procedures used to measure and evaluate personality traits, emotional states, aptitudes, interests, abilities, and values
negative correlation
an association between increases in one variable and decreases in another
hypothalamus
a brain structure involved in emotions and drives vital to survival, such as fear, hunger, thirst, and reproductive; it regulates the autonomic nervous system
pituitary gland
a small endocrine gland at the base of the brain, which relearses many hormones and regulates other endocrine glands
positive correlation
an association between increases in one variable and increases in another - or between decreases in one and in another
limbic system
a group of brain areas involved in emotional reactions and motivated behavior
brain stem
the part of the brain at the top of the spinal cord, consisting of the medulla and the pons
cell body
the part of teh neuron that keeps it alive and determines whether it will fire
variables
characteristics of behavior or experience that can be measured or described by a numeric scale
parietal lobes
lobes at the top of the brain's cerebral cortex; they contain areas that receive information on pressure, pain, touch, and temperature
cerebellum
a brain structure that regulates movement and balance and is involved in the learning of certain kinds of simple responses
adrenal hormones
hormones that are produced by the adrenal glands and that are involved in emotion and stress
descriptive methods
methods that yield description of behavior but not necessarily causal explanations
representative sample
a goupd of subjects, selected from a population for study, which matches the population on important characteristics such and age and sex
applied psychology
the study of psychological issues that have direct practical significance; also, the application of psychological findings
informed consent
the doctrine that human research subjects must participate voluntarily and must know enough about the study to make an intelligent decision about whether to participate
independent variable
a variable that an experimenter manipulates
central nervous system
the portion of the nervous system consisting of the brain and spinal cord
psychodynamic perspective
A psychological approach that emphasies unconscious dynamics within the individual, such as inner forces, conflicts, or the movement of instinctual energy
cerebrum
the largest brain structure, consisting of the upper part of the brain; divided into two hemispheres, it is in charge of most sensory, motor, and cognitive processes
axon
a neuron's extending fiber that conducts impulses away from the cell body and transmits them to other neurons
Experimental psychologist
they conduct laboratory studies of learning, motivation, emotion, sensation and perception, physiology, and cognition
correlational study
a descriptive study that looks for a consistent relationship between two phenomena
parasympathetic nervous system
the subdivision of the autonomic nervous system that operates during relaxed states and that conserves energy
cerebral cortex
a collection of serveral think layers of cells covering the cerebrum; it is largely responsible for higher mental functions
action potential
a brief change in electrical voltage that occurs between the inside and teh outside of an axon when a neuron is stimulated; it serves to produce an electrical impulse
pons
a structure in the brain stem involved in, among other things, sleeping, waking, and dreaming
hypothesis
a statement that attempts to predict or to account for a set of phenomena; scientific hypotheses specify relationships among events or variables and are empirically tested
amygdala
a brain structure involved in teh arousal and regulation of emotion and the initial emotional response to sensory information
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
a method for studying body and brain tissue, using magnetic fields and special radio receivers
founders of structuralism
Wilhelm Wundt and E.B. Titchener

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