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165 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
contains a reservoir of unconscious psychic energy that, according to Freud, strives to satisfy basic sexual and aggressive drives. operates on the pleasure principle, demanding immediate gratification
identical twins
twins who develop from a single fertilized egg that splits in two, creating two genetically identical organisms.
the process by which, according to Freud, children incorporate their parents’ values into their developing superegos.
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.
illusory correlation
the perception of a relationship where none exists
mental pictures; a powerful aid to effortful processing, especially when combined with semantic encoding
implicit memory
retention independent of conscious recollection.
the process by which certain animals form attachments during a critical period very early in life.
inattentional blindness
failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere.
a positive or negative environmental stimulus that motivates behavior.
independent variable
the experimental factor that is manipulated; the variable whose effect is being studied.
giving priority to one’s own goals over group goals, and defining one’s identity in terms of personal attributes rather than group identifications.
industrial­-organizational (I/O) psychology
the application of psychological concepts and methods to optimizing human behavior in workplaces.
informational social influence
influence resulting from one’s willingness to accept others’ opinions about reality.
“us”—people with whom one shares a common identity.
ingroup bias
the tendency to favor one’s own group
inner ear
the innermost part of the ear, containing the cochlea, semicircular canals, and vestibular sacs
a sudden and often novel realization of the solution to a problem; it contrasts with strategy­-based solutions.
recurring problems in falling or staying asleep.
a complex behavior that is rigidly patterned throughout a species and is unlearned.
mental quality consisting of the ability to learn from experience, solve problems, and use knowledge to adapt to new situations
intelligence quotient (IQ)
defined originally as the ratio of mental age (ma) to chronological age (ca) multiplied by 100 [thus, IQ = (ma/ca) x 100]. On contemporary intelligence tests, the average performance for a given age is assigned a score of 100.
intelligence test
a method for assessing an individual’s mental aptitudes and comparing them with those of others, using numerical scores.
the amount of energy in a light or sound wave, which we perceive as brightness or loudness, as determined by the wave’s amplitude
the effect of one factor depends on another factor (
internal locus of control
the perception that one controls one’s own fate
central nervous system neurons that internally communicate and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs.
in psychoanalysis, the analyst’s noting supposed dream meanings, resistances, and other significant behaviors and events in order to promote insight.
in Erikson’s theory, the ability to form close, loving relationships; a primary developmental task in late adolescence and early adulthood.
intrinsic motivation
a desire to perform a behavior for its own sake.
a ring of muscle tissue that forms the colored portion of the eye around the pupil and controls the size of the pupil opening
James­-Lange theory
the theory that our experience of emotion is our awareness of our physiological responses to emotion­-arousing stimuli.
just­-world phenomenon
the tendency of people to believe the world is just and that people therefore get what they deserve and deserve what they get.
kinesthesis [kin­-ehs­-THEE-sehs]
the system for sensing the position and movement of individual body parts.
our spoken, written, or signed words and the ways we combine them to communicate meaning.
latent content
according to Freud, the underlying meaning of a dream
a safety valve.
latent learning
learning that occurs but is not apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate it.
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.
learned helplessness
the hopelessness and passive resignation an animal or human learns when unable to avoid repeated aversive events.
a relatively permanent change in an organism’s behavior due to experience.
the transparent structure behind the pupil that changes shape to help focus images on the retina.
lesion [LEE-zhuhn]
tissue destruction. naturally or experimentally caused destruction of brain tissue.
levels of analysis
the differing complementary views, from biological to psychological to social-cultural, for analyzing any given phenomenon.
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.
linguistic determinism
Whorf’s hypothesis that language determines the way we think.
a now­-rare psychosurgical procedure once used to calm uncontrollably emotional or violent patients. The procedure cut the nerves that connect the frontal lobes to the emotion­-controlling centers of the inner brain.
long­-term memory
the relatively permanent and limitless storehouse of the memory system. Includes knowledge, skills, and experiences.
long­-term potentiation (LTP)
an increase in a synapse’s firing potential after brief, rapid stimulation. Believed to be a neural basis for learning and memory.
longitudinal study
research in which the same people are restudied and retested over a long period.
a powerful hallucinogenic drug;
the two types of white blood cells that are part of the body’s immune system:
major depressive disorder
a mood disorder in which a person experiences, in the absence of drugs or a medical condition, two or more weeks of significantly depressed moods, feelings of worthlessness, and diminished interest or pleasure in most activities
a mood disorder marked by a hyperactive, wildly optimistic state.
manifest content
according to Freud, the remembered story line of a dream
biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior, relatively uninfluenced by experience.
the arithmetic average of a distribution, obtained by adding the scores and then dividing by the number of scores.
the middle score in a distribution; half the scores are above it and half are below it.
medical model
the concept that diseases have physical causes that can be diagnosed, treated, and, in most cases, cured. When applied to psychological disorders, the medical model assumes that these mental illnesses can be diagnosed on the basis of their symptoms and cured through therapy, which may include treatment in a psychiatric hospital.
medulla [muh­-DUL-uh]
the base of the brainstem; controls heartbeat and breathing
the persistence of learning over time through the storage and retrieval of information.
the first menstrual period.
the time of natural cessation of menstruation; also refers to the biological changes a woman experiences as her ability to reproduce declines.
mental age
a measure of intelligence test performance devised by Binet; the chronological age that most typically corresponds to a given level of performance.
mental retardation
a condition of limited mental ability, indicated by an intelligence score of 70 or below and difficulty in adapting to the demands of life; varies from mild to profound
mental set
a tendency to approach a problem in a particular way, often a way that has been successful in the past.
mere exposure effect
the phenomenon that repeated exposure to novel stimuli increases liking of them.
a procedure for statistically combining the results of many different research studies.
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.
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.
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)
the most widely researched and clinically used of all personality tests. Originally developed to identify emotional disorders (still considered its most appropriate use), this test is now used for many other screening purposes
mirror neurons
frontal lobe neurons that fire when performing certain actions or when observing another doing so.
misinformation effect
incorporating misleading information into one’s memory of an event.
memory aids, especially those techniques that use vivid imagery and organizational devices.
the most frequently occurring score(s) in a distribution. 41)
the process of observing and imitating a specific behavior.
molecular genetics
the subfield of biology that studies the molecular structure and function of genes
the presumption that mind and body are different aspects of the same thing.
monocular cues
depth cues, such as interposition and linear perspective, available to either eye alone
mood­-congruent memory
the tendency to recall experiences that are consistent with one’s current good or bad mood
mood disorders
psychological disorders characterized by emotional extremes.
in a language, the smallest unit that carries meaning; may be a word or a part of a word (such as a prefix).
a need or desire that energizes and directs behavior.
motor cortex
an area at the rear of the frontal lobes that controls voluntary movements.
motor neurons
neurons that carry outgoing information from the central nervous system to the muscles and glands.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
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.
a random error in gene replication that leads to a change.
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
a sleep disorder characterized by uncontrollable sleep attacks. The sufferer may lapse directly into REM sleep, often at inopportune times.
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.
naturalistic observation
observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation
nature­-nurture issue
the longstanding controversy over the relative contributions that genes and experience make to the development of psychological traits and behaviors
near­-death experience
an altered state of consciousness reported after a close brush with death (such as through cardiac arrest); often similar to drug­-induced hallucinations.
a condition in which nearby objects are seen more clearly than distant objects because distant objects focus in front of the retina.
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.
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.
nervous system
the body’s speedy, electrochemical communication network, consisting of all the nerve cells of the peripheral and central nervous systems)
neural networks
interconnected neural cells. With experience, networks can learn, as feedback strengthens or inhibits connections that produce certain results.
a nerve cell; the basic building block of the nervous system.
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.
night terrors
a sleep disorder characterized by high arousal and an appearance of being terrified; occur during Stage 4 sleep, within two or three hours of falling asleep, and are seldom remembered.
an understood rule for accepted and expected behavior.
normal curve
the symmetrical bell­-shaped curve that describes the distribution of many physical and psychological attributes. Most scores fall near the average, and fewer and fewer scores lie near the extremes.
normative social influence
influence resulting from a person’s desire to gain approval or avoid disapproval.
object permanence
the awareness that things continue to exist even when not perceived.
observational learning
learning by observing others
obsessive­-compulsive disorder (OCD)
an anxiety disorder characterized by unwanted repetitive thoughts and/or actions
occipital lobes
the portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the back of the head; includes the visual areas, which receive visual information from the opposite visual field
Oedipus complex
according to Freud, a boy’s sexual desires toward his mother and feelings of jealousy and hatred for the rival father
one­-word stage
the stage in speech development, from about age 1 to 2, during which a child speaks mostly in single words.
operant behavior
behavior that operates on the environment, producing consequences.
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.
operant conditioning
a type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by a reinforcer or diminished if followed by a punisher.
operational definition
a statement of the procedures used to define research variables. For example, human intelligence may be operationally defined as what an intelligence test measures.
opium and its derivatives, such as morphine and heroin; they depress neural activity, temporarily lessening pain and anxiety.
opponent­-process theory
the theory that opposing retinal processes (red­-green, yellow­-blue, white­-black) enable color vision. For example, some cells are stimulated by green and inhibited by red; others are stimulated by red and inhibited by green
optic nerve
the nerve that carries neural impulses from the eye to the brain.
organizational psychology
a subfield of I/O psychology that examines organizational influences on worker satisfaction and productivity and facilitates organizational change.
“them”—those perceived as different or apart from one’s ingroup.
the tendency to be more confident than correct—to overestimate the accuracy of one’s beliefs and judgments.
panic disorder
an anxiety disorder marked by unpredictable minutes­-long episodes of intense dread in which a person experiences terror and accompanying chest pain, choking, or other frightening sensations.
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-by­-step (serial) processing of most computers and of conscious problem solving
the study of paranormal phenomena, including ESP and psychokinesis.
parasympathetic nervous system
the division of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body, conserving its energy
parietal [puh­-RYE-uh­-tuhl] 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
partial (intermittent) 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.
passionate love
an aroused state of intense positive absorption in another, usually present at the beginning of a love relationship.
the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information, enabling us to recognize meaningful objects and events.
perceptual adaptation
in vision, the ability to adjust to an artificially displaced or even inverted visual field
perceptual constancy
perceiving objects as unchanging (having consistent lightness, color, shape, and size) even as illumination and retinal images change.
perceptual set
a mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another.
peripheral nervous system (PNS)
the sensory and motor neurons that connect the central nervous system (CNS) to the rest of the body.
personal control
our sense of controlling our environment rather than feeling ­ helpless.
personal space
the buffer zone we like to maintain around our bodies.
an individual’s characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting.
personality disorders
psychological disorders characterized by inflexible and enduring behavior patterns that impair social functioning
personality inventory
a questionnaire (often with true­-false or agree­-disagree items) on which people respond to items designed to gauge a wide range of feelings and behaviors; used to assess selected personality traits.
personnel psychology
a subfield of I/O psychology that focuses on employee recruitment, selection, placement, training, appraisal, and development
PET (positron emission tomography) scan
a visual display of brain activity that detects where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain performs a given task.
phi phenomenon
an illusion of movement created when two or more adjacent lights blink on and off in quick succession.
an anxiety disorder marked by a persistent, irrational fear and avoidance of a specific object or situation.
in a language, the smallest distinctive sound unit.
physical dependence
a physiological need for a drug, marked by unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when the drug is discontinued.
a tone’s experienced highness or lowness; depends on frequency.
pituitary gland
the endocrine system’s most influential gland. Under the influence of the hypothalamus, the pituitary regulates growth and controls other endocrine glands.
place theory
in hearing, the theory that links the pitch we hear with the place where the cochlea’s membrane is stimulated
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.
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.
a machine, commonly used in attempts to detect lies, that measures several of the physiological responses accompanying emotion (such as perspiration and cardiovascular and breathing changes).
all the cases in a group, from which samples may be drawn for a study.
positive psychology
the scientific study of optimal human functioning; aims to discover and promote strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive.
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.
post­-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
an anxiety disorder characterized by haunting memories, nightmares, social withdrawal, jumpy anxiety, and/or insomnia that lingers for four weeks or more after a traumatic experience.
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.
predictive validity
the success with which a test predicts the behavior it is designed to predict; it is assessed by computing the correlation between test scores and the criterion behavior.
an unjustifiable (and usually negative) attitude toward a group and its members. Prejudice generally involves stereotyped beliefs, negative feelings, and a predisposition to discriminatory action.
preoperational stage
in Piaget’s theory, the stage (from about 2 to 6 or 7 years of age) during which a child learns to use language but does not yet comprehend the mental operations of concrete logic.
primary reinforcer
an innately reinforcing stimulus, such as one that satisfies a biological need.
primary sex characteristics
the body structures (ovaries, testes, and external genitalia) that make sexual reproduction possible
the activation, often unconsciously, of certain associations, thus predisposing one’s perception, memory, or response.
proactive interference
the disruptive effect of prior learning on the recall of new information.
problem­-focused coping
attempting to alleviate stress directly—by changing the stressor or the way we interact with that stressor.
psychoanalytic defense mechanism by which people disguise their own threatening impulses by attributing them to others
projective test
a personality test, such as the Rorschach or TAT, that provides ambiguous stimuli designed to trigger projection of one’s inner dynamics
prosocial behavior
positive, constructive, helpful behavior.
a mental image or best example of a category. Matching new items to the prototype provides a quick and easy method for including items in a category (as when comparing feathered creatures to a prototypical bird, such as a robin).