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Psych 103 terms


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mind-body dualism
renee descartes

belief that the mind is a spiritual entity not subject to physical laws that govern the body.
<roots of psych>
thomass hobbes
mind and body are one
set stage for modern psychology
british empiricism
john locke
all ideas and knowledge are gained empirically, or through the senses.
the study of how psychologically experienced sensations dependon the characteristics of physical stimuli
4 roots of psychology
mind-body dualism
british empiricism
3 levels of analysis
early schools of psychology
structuralism, functionalism
wundt & titchener
established the first experimental psychology lab.
analysis of the mind in terms of its basic elements.
introspection- methodology used to study sensations
william james
psychology should study the functions of conciousness rather that its stucture
psychodynamic prospective
sigmund freud
searches for the causes of behavior within the innerworkings of our personality, emphasizing the role of unconcious process
powerful sexual & aggressive drives
modern psychodynamic theory
object-relations theory
many modern psychologists reject freuds theory of the unconscious mind, but support the concept that behaviors can be trigggerd by unconscious proccesses
ivan pavlov
behavioral perspective
experiments w/ dogs
revealed that environment shapes behavior through the association of events with one another.
behavior perspective
focuses on the role of the external environment in governing our actions
dominates psych in america
assume that there are laws of learning that apply to all organisms
"tabula rasa"-blank slate on which all learning experiences are inscribed
cognitive behaviorism
learning experiences and the environment influence our expectations and other thoughts, in turn, our thoughts influence how we behave.
emphasizes free will, personal growth, and the attempt to find meaning in ones existence
reaching ones full individual potential
carl rogers
pioneered the scientific study of psychotherapy
positive psychotherapy movement
stresses the importance of human strengths, fulfillment, and optimal living
gestalt psychology
examines how elements of experience are organized into wholes
cognitive psychology
focuses on the study of mental processes
cognitive neoroscience
use of electrical recording and brain imaging techniques to examine brain activity while people perform various tasks.
social constructivism
reality is largely our own mental creation
sociocultural perspective
humans are social creatures, the culture we come from helps shape our ideas, beliefs, and values
process by which culture is transmitted to new members and internalized by them
emphasis on personal goals and self-identity, used widely in europe and north america
individual goals sustain to the welfare of the group, used in Asia, Africa, and South America
behavioral neoroscience
examines brain processes that underlie our thoughts, actions, feelings and emotions
behavior genetics
study of how behavioral tendencies are influenced by genetic traits
ex: identical twins behavior
Evolutionary Psychology
Charles Darwin
A growing field that seeks to explain how evolution shaped modern human behavior
states that certain traits will give members an advantage for survival
Steps in the Scientific Process
1. initial observation/ question
2. gather info/form hypothesis
3. test hypothesis (conduct research)
4. analyze data & draw tentative conclusions
5. report findings
6. further research
6. new hypothesis derived from theory
research methods
case study
naturalistic observation
correlational study
case study
individual, group, or event is examined in detail (using observations, interviews, psychological tests, etc.)
advantage:provides rich descriptive info; can study rare phenomena in depth
dis: poor method for establishing cause-effect; case may not be representative; relies on researchers subjective interpretations
naturalistic observation
behavior is observed in a setting where it naturally occurs.
advantage: can provide detailed info about nature, frequency and context of naturally occuring behaviors
dis: doesnt establish cause-effect; observers presence may influence behavior
questions or tess administered to a sample
ad: a properly selected representative sample typically yields accurate info about population
dis: unrepresentative samples may yield misleading results; interviewer bias, social desirability bias can distort findings
correlational study
variables are measured and the strength of their association is determined.
ad: allows prediction; may help est. how well findings from experiments generalize to more natural settings; can examine issues that cant be studied ethically or practically in experiments
dis: correlation does not = causation! due to bidirectionality problem and third variable problem
independent variables are manipulated, and their effects on dependent variables are measured.
ad: can examine cause-effect relations; ability to control extraneous factors helpsrule out alternative explanations
dis: confounding of variables, demand characteristics, placebo effects, and experimenter expectancies can threaten the validity of causal conclusions
after-the-fact explanation
self-report measures
asking the person to report on their knowledge, feelings, attitudes, etc.
anything that is visible/overt, can be subject to experimenter effects-behavior changes when others are watching
unobtrusive measures
record behavior in a way that keeps participants unaware that they are being observed (ex. one way mirrors)
psychological tests
special reports designed to study constructs
physiological measures
what does increased HR, BP, etc mean?
independent variable
factor that is manipulated by experimenter
dependent variable
factor thats measured by experimenter and may be influenced by the independent variable
placebo effect
people receiving a treatment show a change in behavior because of their expectations not because the treatment itself had any specific benefit.
a change over time in the frequency with which particaular genes & the characteristics they produceoccur with an interbreeding population
biologically based mechanisms
enable us to behave, think and feel in certain ways
-in humans they allow to learn, remember, speak a language, percieve certain aspects of our environment at birth, respond with universal emotions and bond with other humans
natural selection
characteristics that increase the liklihood of survival
physical or behavioral changesthat allow organisms to meet recurring environmental challenges to their survival, thereby increasing their reproductive ability- products of natural selection
remote and proximate causes
interact with one another as determinates of behavior
remote causes
past evolutionary pressures that may have prompted natural selection
proximate causes
more recent, such as cultural learning and the immediate environment
genetic makeup of an individual
inner- computer code
observable characteristics- outer- what we see
double stranded and tightly coiled molecule of DNA
heritability coefficient
estimates the extent to which variations in a specific characteristic within a group of people can be attributed to genetic factors
cell body (soma)
contains biochemical structures needed to keep cell alive
nucleus carries genetic info
receiving units that collect messages from neighboring neurons and send them on to their own cell body.
incoming info is processed here
extends from one side of the cell body and conducts electrical impulses away from the cell body to other neurons, muscles, or glands
axon terminals
axons branch out to form many axon terminals which may connect with dendrites from numerous neurons in order to pass on info
myelin sheath
whitish, fatty insulation layer that coats the outside of the axon and functions to speed up the conduction of impulses.
nodes of ranvier
impulses jump from node to node
resting potential
-70 mV
sodium is extracellular, and potassium is intracellular which makes the outside of the cell more positive and the inside more negative
Action potential
sodium gates are opened and Na flows into the cell making it less negative on the inside creating a state of depolarization, and the inside becomes positive relative to the outside. goes to +40 mV
to restore RP, Na gates close and K flows ouside the cell through its channels thus restoring the negative RP
Absolute Refractory Period
lots of K is being pumped out of the cell.
no action potentials can occur
the time when the voltage of the cell is less than the RP
relative refractory period
during hyperpolarization
cell can have more action potentials it just has to try much harder to get volage back up to -55mV so AP can occur
4 tactile sensations
largest organ in body?
free nerve endings
primary receptors for pain and temperature
somarosensory cortex
sensations are sent to the part of it that corresponds with where on the body the sensation was received
phantom limb phenomenon
occurs when an amputee feels sensation in their missing limb
organization of information conveyed by sensory system through the nervous system
bottom-up processing
system takes in individual elements of the stimulus and then combines them into a unified perception (ex. reading)
top-down processing
sensory info is interpreted in light of existing knowledge, concepts, ideas, and expectations (ex. interpreting words and sentences)
1. focusing on a certain stumuli
2. filtering out other incoming info
decrease in the strength of a response to a repeated stimulus
inattentional blindness
failure of unattended stimuli to register in conciousness.
we dont attend to every sensory message we recieve
nature of the stimulus
intensity, movement, contrast, repetition
personal factors
motives, interests (ex hungry person sensitive to food-related cues)
extention of brain
contains rods and cones
primary black and white brightness receptors
color receptors
flips images
constricts in lighht, expands in darkness and is controlled by iris
area of no rods or cones (blind spot)
protective, semi-permeable membrane
bipoloar cells and ganglion cells
share synaptic gaps
optic nerve
comprised of ganglion cell axons
gestalt principles
figure and ground
perpetual constancies
perpetual constancies
our perceptions of size and distance are imtimately related
stroboscopic motion
flashing of a series of still pictures in rapid succession
phi phenonmenon
occurs when lights flashed in a sequence are perceived as moving (ex. car CD player)
a process by which experience produces a relatively enduring change in an organisms behavior or capabilities
classical conditioning
occurs when 2 stimuli become associated with one another such that one stimulus now triggers a response that was previously triggered by the other stimulus
operant conditioning
when you learn to associate a response with specific consequences
observational learning
observers imitate the behavior of a model
thought that every species comes into the world prepared to act in certain ways
focused on adaptive significance
fixed action patterns
focused on animal begavior in the natural environment esp. what they learned in order to survive-not how they learned.
adaptive significance
how a behavior influences an organisms chances of survival and reproduction in its natural environment
fixed action patterns
unlearned response automatically triggered by a particular stimulus
unconditioned stimulus (UCS)
elicits a reflexive or innate response w/o learning
unconditioned response (UCR)
reflexive or innate, elicited by UCS; what automatically happens w/o learning
Conditioned Stimulus (CS)
stimulus that was previously neutral, but through associatio with UCS, comes to elicit a CR similar to UCR
Conditioned response (CR)
response elicited by CS
CS and UCS pairings. period in which CS is being learned or associated
CS is repeatedly paired w/o UCS, causing CR to weaken and eventually disappear.
similar to habituation, but habituation has no learning invloved
spontaneous recovery
reappearance of an extinguished conditioned response
2nd spontaneous recovery
each time it happens, you get less of a response; extinction trial takes a long time to take hold
stimuli similar to the initial CS elicit a CR
treating people unfairly based on the group to which they belong
higher-order conditioning
a neutral stimulus becomes a CS after being paired with an already established CS
overcoming fear
exposure therapy
systematic desensitization
aversion therapy
consequences of behavior: ABCs 3term contingency
A: Antecedent- which stimuli are present before behavior occurs
B: Behavior- what organims emit
c: Consequence - what follows behavior
can chage A and B to change C
relationship between behavior and consequence
increase behavior
decrease behavior
take away
primary reinforcers
stimuli that an organism naturally finds because they satisfy biological needs
(ex. water food shelter etc)
secondary reinforcers
stimuli that acquire reinforcing properties through their association with primary reinforcers
(ex. money)
changes from culture to culture and person to person
operant extinction
the weakening and eventual disappearance of a response because it is no longer required
resistance to extinction
degree to which nonreinforced responses persist
strongly influenced by the pattern of reinforcement that has previoouslymaintained behavior.
Banduras Social Cognitive Theory
People learn by observing thte behavior of models and aquiring the belief that they can produce behavior to influence the events in their lives
the process that allows us to record, store, and later retrieve experiences and information:
short term(working) memory
a memory store that temporarily holds a limited amount of info
7 +/- 2 items
combining individual items into larger units of meaning
3 stage model
sensory memory
working memory
long term memory
sensory memory
briefly holds incoming sensory info in sensory registers
iconic store-visual
echoic store-auditory
getting information into the system
retaining info over time
access stored info
modeling process
long term memory
vast library of more durable stored info
serial position effect
ability to recall an item is influenced by its position in a series
primacy effect
earliest items in long term memory
tendency to attach more importance to the initial information we learn about a person
recency effect
most recent items in short term memory
4 components of working memory
central executive
visuospatial sketchpad
episodic buffer
phonological loop
effortful processing
intentionally initiated encoding
automatic processing
occurs without intention and requires minimal attention
structural encoding
how the word looks
phonological encoding
how the word sounds, matching sounds
semantic encoding
matching meaning
maintenance rehersal
not optimal
simple, rote repetition
elaborative rehersal
involves focusing on the meaning of information or expanding on it in some way
hierarchy organization
associations between concepts
dual coding theory
uses both verbal and visual codes
method of loci
attaches info to physical locations
mnemonic device
memory aid ( acronyms)
an organized pattern of thought about some aspect of the world
stress process
intervening factors
stress reaction
demanding or threatening situations
(ex: catastrophes, life changes, hassles)
intervening factors
ex: appraisal( primary and secondary), consequences, personal meaning
stress reaction
reactions to demands that exceed a persons resources
(ex: physiological, emotional, behavioral
Selyes General Adaptation Syndrome
3 stages:
alarm reaction
effects of stress on health
stress hormones released into the bloodstream supress the immune system (ex: cortisol)
people are more likely to get sick after a stressful event
factors influencing stress-health relations
vulnerability factors (low SES, low social support
protective factors (high SES, high social support
physiological reactivity
type A behavior
coping self-efficacy
optimism, positive attitude
meaning making stressful life events
3 Cs of Hardiness
coping strategies
problem focued coping
emotion focused coping
seeking social support
problem focused coping
strategies that attempt to confront and directly deal with the demands of a situation or to change the situation so that it is no longer stressful
emotion focused coping
strategies that attempt to manage the emotional responses that result from a stressful situation
seeking social support
turning to others for assistance and emotional support in times of stress
emotional constraint
expressive writing
emotion suppression
thought suppression
Coping strategy men use?
problem focused
Coping strategy women use?
emotion focused or seeking social support
stress managment training
cognitive restructuring
self-instructional training
somatic relaxation training
cognitive relaxation meditation
pain receptors are in all body tissues except:
brain, bones, hair, nails, nonliving parts of teeth
gate control theory
proposes that the experience of pain results from the opening and closing of gating mechanisms in the nervous system
natural opiate-like substanses that are involved in pain reduction
risk factors causing death
heart disease, cancer, stroke, accidents, lung disease
harm reduction
prevention strategy that is designed not to eliminate a problem behavior but rather to reduce the harmful effects of that behavior when it occurs
(ex: methodone clinics for drug addicts, safe rides, etc)
self fulfilling prophecy
the way we think affects the way we act
stress hormone that causes a persons immune system to be suppressed
2 types of social influence
factors influencing obedience
social loafing
the tendency for people to expend less individual effort when working collectively in a group than when working alone
response disinhibition
term for a model performing a desired but "prohibited" act
foot-in-door technique
a manipulation technique in which the persuader gets you to comply with a small request first and later presents a larger request
Type A
behavior pattern exhibited by people who live under great pressure and demand much of themselves and others
a manipulation technique in which a persuader gets you to committ to some action and then before you perform the behavior- he/she increases the "cost" if that same behavior
social norms
shared expectations about how people should think, feel, abd behave
response facilitation
term for a model performing "legal" behavior and we follow
social compensation
working harder when in a group than when alone to compensate for other members lower output
bystander effect
the principle that the pressence of multiple spectators inhibits each persons tendency to help, largely due to social comparison or diffusion of responsibility
a judgment about the causes of our own and other peoples behavior
realistic conflict theory
maintains that competition for limited resources fosters prejudices
the tendency of group members to suspend critical thinking because they are motivated to seek agreement
a state of increased anonymity in which a person, often as part of a group or crowd, engages in disinhibited behavior
a negative attitude toward people based on their membership in a group
matching effect
in romantic relationships, the tendency for partners to have a similar level of attractiveness
consummate love
in robert sternbergs triangular theory of love, this brings together intimacy, passion, and committment
social structure theory
maintains that men and women behave differently, such as expressing different mate preferences, because society directs them into different social and economic roles
vulnerability-stress model
each of us has some degree of vulnerability (ranging from low to high) for developing a psychologic disorder, given sufficient stress. used to explain abnormal behavior
abnormal behavior
behavior that is personally distressing, personallu dysfunctional, and/or so culturally deviant that other people judge it to be inappropriate or maladaptive
clinicians using the system should show high levels of agreement in their diagnostic decisions
the diagnostic categories should accurately capture the essential features of the various disorders
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
most widely used diagnostic classification system in US
consequences of diagnostic labeling?
affects of we percieve and interact with those w/ the disorder, labels are not easily shed, people may accept the new identity implied by label and develop the expected role, law takes it into account
anxiety disorders
frequency and intensity of anxiety responses are out of proportion to the situations that trigger them, and the anxiety interferes with daily life
anxiety responses have 4 components
1. subjective-emotional- feeling of tension and apprehension
2.cognitive- worrisome thoughts
3. physiological- increased heart rate and blood pressure, muscle tension, etc
4. behavioral- aviodance of certain situations
clinically significant
interfere significantly with life functions or cause the person to seek medical treatment
70% of anxiety disorders are
strong and irrational fears of certain objects of situations
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
chronic state of diffuse or free floating anxiety that is not attached to specific situations or objects
diagnosis requires continual presence for at least 6 months
Panic Disorders
occur suddenly and unpredictabke, intense feeling of tension and anxiety
diagnosis requires recuurent attacks , followed by psychological or behavioral problems
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
obsessions-repetive and unwelcome thoughts, images, impulses that invade conciousness and are very difficult to dismiss or control
compulsions- repetitive behavioral responses that can be resisted only with great difficulty
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
severe anxiety disorder that can occur in people who have been exposed to traumatic life events
may lead to increased vulnerability to development of later disorders
4 major symptoms of PTSD
1. symptoms if anxiety, arousal, and distress
2. victim relives trauma recurrently
3. person become numb to outside world and aviods stimuli that serve as reminders
4.intense survival guilt in instances where others were killed and they survived
causal factors in anxiety disorders
biological: genetic factors that predispose us
psychological: inability to repress unwanted thoughts, maladaptive thought patterns or as a result of classic or operational conditioning
cultural factors (ex: anorexia nervosa)
somatoform disorders
physical complaints or disabilities that suggest a medical problem but have no biological cause and are not produced voluntarily by the person.
much higher instances in cultures that discourage open discussion of emotions
dissociative disorders
a breakdown of normal personality integration, resulting in significant alterations in memory or identity
Dissociative Identity Disorder
2 or more seperate personalities coexist within the same person
distinct physical and behavioral differences from one personality to the next
development of new personalities occurs in response to severe stress (abuse)
Borderline Personality Disorder
serious instablility in behavior, emotion, identity, and interpersonal relationships. suffer from an intense fear of rejection, are parasuicidal, clingy, and characterized by extrteme behavioral outbursts
2/3 are women
associated w/ PTSD, mood disorders, substanse abuse disorders
in BPD
failure to integrate positive and negative aspects of anothers behavior into a coherrant whole
sudden shifts from extreme love to intense hatred
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
most common childhood disorder
7-10% of american children
4X more frequent in boys
experience problems: inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity, or both
no known cause
Autistic Disorder
80% are boys
5 in every 10,000 children
70% remain diabled as adults
2/3 are mentally retarded, remaining have average to above average IQs
sometimes refered to as childhood schizophrenia, characterized by extreme unresponsiveness to others, poor communication skills, and highly repetitive and rigid behavior patterns
some have extraordinary sevant abilities
larger brains
biological basis
severe disturbances in thinking, speech, perception, emotion, and behavoir
delusions, halucinations, flat affect, blunted affect, inappropriate affect
false beliefs
delusions of persecution, delusions of grandeur
paranoid schizophrenia
prominent features are delusions of persecution and delusions of grandeur
disorganized schizophrenia
central features are confusion and incoherence, together with severe deterioration of adaptive behavior such as personal hygiene, social skills, and self-care
catatonic schizophrenia
characterized by striking motor disturbances ranging from muscular rigidity to random or repetitive movements
antisocial personality disorder
severe antisocial and irresponsible behavior begining in early childhood and continuing past age 18; impulsive need gratification and lack of empathy forothers; often highly manipulative and seem to lack conscience
goal is to help clients achieve insight which allows them to adjust their behavior to their current life situations
psychic energy that was preiously devoted to keeping unconscious conflicts under control can be released and redirected to more adaptive ways of living
free association
clients verbally report without any interuption the thoughts, feeling or images that enter their awareness.
analyst is out of sight so clients thought process is influenced only by internal factors
dream interpretation
psychanalysts believe that dreams express impulses, fantasies, and wishes that the clients defenses keep bottled up unconsciously during waking hours. searches for unconscious material disguised in dreams
any defense maneuver that hinders the process of therapy
occurs when the client responds irrationally to the analyst as if he/she were an important figure from the clients past. brings repressed feelings and maladaptive behavior patterns into the open that both the therapist and client can discover and explore
any statement by the therapist that is intended to provide the client with insight into his/her behavior or dynamics
interpersonal therapy
focuses almost exclusively on clients current relationships with important people in their lives
humanistic psychotherapies
believe that humans are capable of consciously controlling their actions and taking responsbility for their choices and behavior. therapy is directed at helping clients become aware of feelings as they occur. focus on present and future rather than past
client centered therapy
most widely used
unconditionak positive regard: no judgement or evaluation
empathy:willingness and ability to view the world through clients eyes
genuineness: consistency between way therapist feels and behaves
gestalt therapy
develpoed by fritz perls
often carried out in groups, methods are much more active and dramatic than client centered approaches and sometimes even confrontational, to help clients get in touch with their inner selves
informative social influence
following opinions of other people because we think their knowledge in what they think is good
normative social influence
conform to get a reward for being accepted vs. being rejected in a group
norm of reciprocity
tendency to respond in kind when other people treat us well or poorly
door-in-face technique
persuader makes a larger request expecting rejection and then presents a smaller request
group polarization
average opinion of group tends to become more extreme

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