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164 Cards in this Set

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client­-centered therapy
a humanistic therapy, developed by Carl Rogers, in which the therapist uses techniques such as active listening within a genuine, accepting, empathic environment to facilitate clients’ growth. (Also called person­-centered therapy.)
clinical psychology
a branch of psychology that studies, assesses, and treats people with psychological disorders.
cochlear implant
a device for converting sounds into electrical signals and stimulating the auditory nerve through electrodes threaded into the cochlea.
all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating.
cognitive­-behavior therapy
a popular integrated therapy that combines cognitive therapy (changing self­-defeating thinking) with behavior therapy (changing behavior).
cognitive dissonance theory
the theory that we act to reduce the discomfort (dissonance) we feel when two of our thoughts (cognitions) are inconsistent. For example, when our awareness of our attitudes and of our actions clash, we can reduce the resulting dissonance by changing our attitudes.
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.
cognitive therapy
therapy that teaches people new, more adaptive ways of thinking and acting; based on the assumption that thoughts intervene between events and our emotional reactions.
collective unconscious
Carl Jung’s concept of a shared, inherited reservoir of memory traces from our species’ history.
giving priority to the goals of one’s group (often one’s extended family or work group) and defining one’s identity accordingly
color constancy
perceiving familiar objects as having consistent color, even if changing illumination alters the wavelengths reflected by the object.
companionate love
the deep affectionate attachment we feel for those with whom our lives are intertwined.
complementary and alternative medicine
unproven health care treatments not taught widely in medical schools, not used in hospitals, and not usually reimbursed by insurance companies.
a mental grouping of similar objects, events, ideas, or people.
concrete operational stage
n Piaget’s theory, the stage of cognitive development (from about 6 or 7 to 11 years of age) during which children gain the mental operations that enable them to think logically about concrete events.
conditioned reinforcer
a stimulus that gains its reinforcing power through its association with a primary reinforcer; also known as secondary reinforcer.
conditioned response (CR)
in classical conditioning, the learned response to a previously neutral (but now conditioned) stimulus (CS).
conditioned stimulus
in classical conditioning, an originally irrelevant stimulus that, after association with an unconditioned stimulus (US), comes to trigger a conditioned response.
conduction hearing loss
hearing loss caused by damage to the mechanical system that conducts sound waves to the cochlea.
retinal receptor cells that are concentrated near the center of the retina and that function in daylight or in well­-lit conditions. The cones detect fine detail and give rise to color sensations.
confirmation bias
a tendency to search for information that confirms one’s preconceptions.
a perceived incompatibility of actions, goals, or ideas.
adjusting one’s behavior or thinking to coincide with a group standard.
our awareness of ourselves and our environment.
he principle (which Piaget believed to be a part of concrete operational reasoning) that properties such as mass, volume, and number remain the same despite changes in the forms of objects.
content validity
the extent to which a test samples the behavior that is of interest (such as a driving test that samples driving tasks).
continuous reinforcement
reinforcing the desired response every time it occurs
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.
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.
alleviating stress using emotional, cognitive, or behavioral methods.
coronary heart disease
the clogging of the vessels that nourish the heart muscle; the leading cause of death in many developed countries
corpus callosum
he large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carrying messages between them.
a measure of the extent to which two factors vary together, and thus of how well either factor predicts the other. The correlation coefficient is the mathematical expression of the relationship, ranging from -1 to 1.
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 behavior therapy procedure that conditions new responses to stimuli that trigger unwanted behaviors; based on classical conditioning. Includes exposure therapies and aversive conditioning.
he ability to produce novel and valuable ideas.
the behavior (such as future 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.
critical period
an optimal period shortly after birth when an organism’s exposure to certain stimuli or experiences produces proper development.
critical thinking
thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions. Rather, it examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions.
cross­-sectional study
a study in which people of different ages are compared with one another.
crystallized intelligence
one’s accumulated knowledge and verbal skills; tends to increase with age.
he enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next.
defense mechanisms
in psychoanalytic theory, the ego’s protective methods of reducing anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality.
the loss of self­-awareness and self­-restraint occurring in group situations that foster arousal and anonymity.
déjà vu
that eerie sense that “I’ve experienced this before.” Cues from the current situation may subconsciously trigger retrieval of an earlier experience.
delta waves
the large, slow brain waves associated with deep sleep.
false beliefs, often of persecution or grandeur, that may accompany psychotic disorders.
the bushy, branching extensions of a neuron that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body.
dependent variable
the outcome factor; the variable that may change in response to manipulations of the independent variable.
drugs (such as alcohol, barbiturates, and opiates) that reduce neural activity and slow body functions.
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.
developmental psychology
a branch of psychology that studies physical, cognitive, and social change throughout the life span.
difference threshold
the minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50 percent of the time. We experience the difference threshold as a just noticeable difference. (Also called just noticeable difference or jnd.)
in classical conditioning, the learned ability to distinguish between a conditioned stimulus and stimuli that do not signal an unconditioned stimulus.
unjustifiable negative behavior toward a group or its members.
psychoanalytic defense mechanism that shifts sexual or aggressive impulses toward a more acceptable or less threatening object or person, as when redirecting anger toward a safer outlet.
a split in consciousness, which allows some thoughts and behaviors to occur simultaneously with others.
dissociative disorders
disorders in which conscious awareness becomes separated (dissociated) from previous memories, thoughts, and feelings.
dissociative identity disorder (DID)
a rare dissociative disorder in which a person exhibits two or more distinct and alternating personalities. Also called multiple personality disorder.
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)
a complex molecule containing the genetic information that makes up the chromosomes.
double­-blind procedure
an experimental procedure in which both the research participants and the research staff are ignorant (blind) about whether the research participants have received the treatment or a placebo. Commonly used in drug­-evaluation studies.
Down syndrome
a condition of retardation and associated physical disorders caused by an extra chromosome in one’s genetic makeup.
a sequence of images, emotions, and thoughts passing through a sleeping person’s mind. Dreams are notable for their hallucinatory imagery, discontinuities, and incongruities, and for the dreamer’s delusional acceptance of the content and later difficulties remembering it.
drive­-reduction theory
the idea that a physiological need creates an aroused tension state (a drive) that motivates an organism to satisfy the need.
the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition), a widely used system for classifying psychological disorders. Presently distributed in an updated “text revision”
the presumption that mind and body are two distinct entities that interact.
echoic memory
a momentary sensory memory of auditory stimuli; if attention is elsewhere, sounds and words can still be recalled within 3 or 4 seconds.
eclectic approach
an approach to psychotherapy that, depending on the client’s problems, uses techniques from various forms of therapy
ecstasy (MDMA)
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.
effortful processing
encoding that requires attention and conscious effort.
the largely conscious, “executive” part of personality that, according to Freud, mediates among the demands of the id, superego, and reality. The ego operates on the reality principle, satisfying the id’s desires in ways that will realistically bring pleasure rather than pain.
in Piaget’s theory, the preoperational child’s difficulty in taking another’s point of view.
electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
a biomedical therapy for severely depressed patients in which a brief electric current is sent through the brain of an anesthetized patient.
electroencephalogram (EEG)
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.
the developing human organism from about 2 weeks after fertilization through the second month.
a response of the whole organism, involving (1) physiological arousal, (2) expressive behaviors, and (3) conscious experience.
emotion­-focused coping
attempting to alleviate stress by avoiding or ignoring a stressor and attending to emotional needs related to one’s stress reaction. (
emotional intelligence
the ability to perceive, understand, manage, and use emotions.
empirically derived test
a test (such as the MMPI) developed by testing a pool of items and then selecting those that discriminate between groups.
the view that (a) knowledge comes from experience via the senses, and (b) science flourishes through observation and experiment.
the processing of information into the memory system—for example, by extracting meaning.
endocrine system
the body’s “slow” chemical communication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream.
endorphins [en­-DOR-fins]
“morphine within”—natural, opiatelike neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure
every nongenetic influence, from prenatal nutrition to the people and things around us.
a condition in which people receive from a relationship in proportion to what they give to it.
a sex hormone, secreted in greater amounts by females than by males. In nonhuman female mammals, estrogen levels peak during ovulation, promoting sexual receptivity.
evolutionary psychology
the study of the evolution of behavior and the mind, using principles of natural selection.
a research method in which an investigator manipulates one or more factors (independent variables) to observe the effect on some behavior or mental process (the dependent variable). By random assignment of participants, the experimenter aims to control other relevant factors.
experimental condition
the condition of an experiment that exposes participants to the treatment, that is, to one version of the independent variable
explicit memory
memory of facts and experiences that one can consciously know and “declare.” (Also called declarative memory.)
exposure therapies
behavioral techniques, such as systematic desensitization, that treat anxieties by exposing people (in imagination or actuality) to the things they fear and avoid.
external locus of control
the perception that chance or outside forces beyond one’s personal control determine one’s fate.
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.
extrasensory perception (ESP)
the controversial claim that perception can occur apart from sensory input. Said to include telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition.
extrinsic motivation
a desire to perform a behavior due to promised rewards or threats of punishment.
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.
false consensus effect
the tendency to overestimate the extent to which others share our beliefs and behaviors.
family therapy
therapy that treats the family as a system. Views an individual’s unwanted behaviors as influenced by or directed at other family members; attempts to guide family members toward positive relationships and improved communication.
a condition in which faraway objects are seen more clearly than near objects because the image of near objects is focused behind the retina.
feature detectors
nerve cells in the brain that respond to specific features of the stimulus, such as shape, angle, or movement.
feel­-good, do­-good phenomenon
people’s tendency to be helpful when already in a good mood.
fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
physical and cognitive abnormalities in children caused by a pregnant woman’s heavy drinking. In severe cases, symptoms include noticeable facial misproportions.
the developing human organism from 9 weeks after conception to birth.
the organization of the visual field into objects (the figures) that stand out from their surroundings (the ground).
according to Freud, a lingering focus of pleasure­-seeking energies at an earlier psychosexual stage in which conflicts were unresolved.
the inability to see a problem from a new perspective; an impediment to problem solving.
fixed­-interval schedule
in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified time has elapsed.
fixed­-ratio schedule
in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified number of responses
flashbulb memory
a clear memory of an emotionally significant moment or event
a completely involved, focused state of consciousness, with diminished awareness of self and time, resulting from optimal engagement of one’s skills.
fluid intelligence
one’s ability to reason speedily and abstractly; tends to decrease during late adulthood.
fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging)
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
foot­-in­-the­-door phenomenon
the tendency for people who have first agreed to a small request to comply later with a larger request.
formal operational stage
in Piaget’s theory, the stage of cognitive development (normally beginning about age 12) during which people begin to think logically about abstract concepts.
the central focal point in the retina, around which the eye’s cones cluster.
the way an issue is posed; how an issue is framed can significantly affect decisions and judgments.
fraternal twins
twins who develop from separate fertilized eggs. They are genetically no closer than brothers and sisters, but they share a fetal environment.
free association
in psychoanalysis, a method of exploring the unconscious in which the person relaxes and says whatever comes to mind, no matter how trivial or embarrassing.
the number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time (for example, per second).
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.
frontal lobes
the portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead; involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgments
frustration­-aggression principle
the principle that frustration—the blocking of an attempt to achieve some goal—creates anger, which can generate aggression.
functional fixedness
the tendency to think of things only in terms of their usual functions; an impediment to problem solving.
a school of psychology that focused on how mental and behavioral processes function—how they enable the organism to adapt, survive, and flourish
fundamental attribution error
the tendency for observers, when analyzing another’s behavior, to underestimate the impact of the situation and to overestimate the impact of personal disposition.
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.
in psychology, the biologically and socially influenced characteristics by which people define male and female.
the acquisition of a traditional masculine or feminine role
gender identity
one’s sense of being male or female.
gender role
a set of expected behaviors for males and for females.
gender schema theory
the theory that children learn from their cultures a concept of what it means to be male and female and that they adjust their behavior accordingly
general adaptation syndrome (GAS)
Selye’s concept of the body’s adaptive response to stress in three stages—alarm, resistance, exhaustion.
general intelligence (g)
a general intelligence factor that according to Spearman and others underlies specific mental abilities and is therefore measured by every task on an intelligence test
the tendency, once a response has been conditioned, for stimuli similar to the conditioned stimulus to elicit similar responses
generalized anxiety disorder
an anxiety disorder in which a person is continually tense, apprehensive, and in a state of autonomic nervous system arousal
the biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes; a segment of DNA capable of synthesizing a protein
the complete instructions for making an organism, consisting of all the genetic material in that organism’s chromosomes
an organized whole. Gestalt psychologists emphasized our tendency to integrate pieces of information into meaningful wholes.
glial cells (glia)
cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons
the form of sugar that circulates in the blood and provides the major source of energy for body tissues. When its level is low, we feel hunger
in a language, a system of rules that enables us to communicate with and understand others
Graduated and Reciprocated Initiatives in Tension­-Reduction; strategy designed to decrease international tensions.
group polarization
the enhancement of a group’s prevailing inclinations through discussion within the group.
the perceptual tendency to organize stimuli into coherent groups
the mode of thinking that occurs when the desire for harmony in a decision­-making group overrides a realistic appraisal of alternatives.
decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation. As infants gain familiarity with repeated exposure to a visual stimulus, their interest wanes and they look away sooner
false sensory experiences, such as seeing something in the absence of an external visual stimulus.
psychedelic (“mind­-manifesting”) drugs, such as LSD, that distort perceptions and evoke sensory images in the absence of sensory input
health psychology
a subfield of psychology that provides psychology’s contribution to behavioral medicine.
the proportion of variation among individuals that we can attribute to genes. The heritability of a trait may vary, depending on the range of populations and environments studied.
a simple thinking strategy that often allows us to make judgments and solve problems efficiently; usually speedier but also more error­-prone than algorithms
hierarchy of needs
Maslow’s pyramid of human needs, beginning at the base with physiological needs that must first be satisfied before higher­-level safety needs and then psychological needs become active
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.)
a neural center located in the limbic system that helps process explicit memories for storage.
a tendency to maintain a balanced or constant internal state; the regulation of any aspect of body chemistry, such as blood glucose, around a particular level.
chemical messengers, mostly those manufactured by the endocrine glands, that are produced in one tissue and affect another.
the dimension of color that is determined by the wavelength of light; what we know as the color names blue, green, and so forth
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.
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
a social interaction in which one person (the hypnotist) suggests to another (the subject) that certain perceptions, feelings, thoughts, or behaviors will spontaneously occur
a neural structure lying below (hypo) the thalamus; it directs several maintenance activities (eating, drinking, body temperature), helps govern the endocrine system via the pituitary gland, and is linked to emotion.
a testable prediction, often implied by a theory
iconic memory
a momentary sensory memory of visual stimuli; a photographic or picture­-image memory lasting no more than a few tenths of a second.
a coiled, bony, fluid­-filled tube in the inner ear through which sound waves trigger nerve impulses.