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70 Cards in this Set

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Difference Threshold

Who Discovered?
is the smallest difference between 2 stimuli that is detectable 50% of the time. His law simply means that whatever the difference between stimuli might be, it is always a constant.

Ernst Weber
Absolute Threshold

Who Discovered?
Smallest amount of energy needed for a person to consciously detect a stimulus 50% of the time it is present.

Gustav Fechner (1801-1997)- Expanded on Weber’s work by studying Absolute Threshold.
Subliminal Stimuli-
Stimuli that are below the level of conscious awareness. These stimuli are only strong enough to activate the sensory receptors but not strong enough for people to be consciously aware of them.
Subliminal Perception-
When people believe that these stimuli act upon the unconscious mind, influencing behavior.

Part of the eye
Visual sensory receptors found at the back of the retina, responsible for the noncolor sensitivity to low levels of light.

About 120 million in each eye. Found all over the retina except the very center.

Rods are sensitive to changes in brightness but not to changes in wavelengths. They can only see in black and white and shades of gray. Responsible for peripheral vision.
• Because they work well in low levels of light, they are also the cells that allow the eyes to adapt to low light.

Part of the eye
Visual sensory receptors found at the back of the retina, responsible for color vision and sharpness of vision.
Theories of Color Vision
Theories of Color Vision
Trichromatic Theory- (Young-Helmholtz 1802) proposed threes types of cones: red cones, blue cones and green cones (one for each of the primary colors of light.)
Different shades of color correspond to different amounts of light received by each of the three types of cones. These cones then fire their message to the brain’s vision centers. It is the combo of cones and the rate at which they are firing that determines the color that will be seen.

Theory of color
Occurs when a visual sensation persists for a brief time even after the original stimulus is removed.
Opponent Process Theory
(Ewald Hering)- There are four primary colors: Red, green, blue and yellow. The cones are arranged in pairs: red/green and blue/yellow. If one member of a pair is stimulated, the other member can’t be working so there are no reddish greens or bluish yellows. If a person tires out of one of the members of the pairs, it weakens that member’s ability to inhibit the other cell. When the person looks away from the red image, there will be a green afterimage as the other member of the pair fires away.
Color Blindness

Three types
Caused by defective cones in the retina of the eye. There are 3 types:

Monochrome color Blindness-Rare type. People either have no cones or have cones that are not working at all. If they have cones, they only have one type and therefore, everything looks the same to the brain (shades of gray.)
The other two types are caused by the same kind of problem-having one cone that doesn’t work.
Middle Ear
- Auditory ossicles are the three tiny bones (hammer, anvil and stirrup)
Somesthetic Senses
Skin Senses (touch, pressure, temperature and pain)
Pacinian Corpuscles
Just beneath the skin and respond to pressure only. Sensitive to both pain and touch.
Pain Gate Control Theory
(Melzack & Wall) The pain signals must pass through a gate located in the spinal cord.
Proprioceptive Receptors
located in the skin, joints, muscles and tendons are part of the body’s sense of position in relation to one another and in relation to the ground.
Vestibular Senses
(Movement and body position)
Otolith Organ-
Tiny sacs found above the cochlea and contain a gelatin like fluid. The head moves and the crystals cause the fluid to vibrate, setting off tiny hair like receptors on the inner surface of sac, telling the person that they are moving forward, backwards etc.
Semicircular Organs
Three circular tubes that are filled with fluid and will stimulate the hair like receptors when rotated.
Depth Perception
Ability to see the world in three dimensions.

Monocular Cues- (Pictorial depth cues) Depth based on only one eye.
Binocular Cues- Depth based on both eyes.
Linear Perspective
Tendency for parallel line to appear to converge on each other.
Relative Size-
Occurs when an object that a person expects to be of a certain size appear to be small and are therefore assumed to be much farther away.
(Interposition) If one object seems to be blocking another object, people assume that the blocked object is behind the first one and farther away.
Aerial Perspective
The farther away an object is, the hazier the object will appear.
Motion Parallax
Motion of objects in which close objects appear to move more quickly than objects that are farther away.
Brain’s use of info about the changing thickness of the lens of the eye in response to looking at objects that are close or far away.
Binocular Disparity-
Difference in images between the two eyes, which is greater for objects that are close and smaller for distant objects.
Refers to the rotation of the two eyes to focus on a single object.
- A person’s awareness of everything that is going on around them at any given time.
Waking Consciousness-
State in which thoughts, feelings and sensations are clear, organized and person feels alert.
Why we sleep

Adaptive Theory

Restorative Theory
Adaptive Theory- Animals and humans have evolved sleep patterns to avoid predators by sleeping when predators are most active. (Lions sleep a lot, deer do not.)
Restorative Theory- Sleep is necessary to the physical health of the body and serves to replenish chemicals and repair cellular damage. (If rats are kept awake for 5-11 days they lose SOD-> neutralizing enzymes which combat free radicals- a cell that is unstable and bonds with other cell, this will cause cellular damage.

Sleep allows us to process, consolidate and retain new memories and skills (Strickgold, Harvard University)
Two Kinds of Sleep:
REM (Rapid Eye Movement)- Active sleep where most dreams occur.
Non REM- Much deeper and more restful kind of sleep.
Stage 1 oF Sleep
Non-REM stage one: Light Sleep- If people are awakened at this point, they may not even realize that they were sleeping at all. May experience vivid visual elements (hypnagogic images)
Hypnagogic images- These images are bits and pieces of what may eventually become dreams but are often seen as flashes of light.
• Hypnic Jerk- Much more common occurrence where your whole body gives a big jerk. This means that the muscles are so tensed up from the day that the brain instructs the body to “shake it out.”
Non-REM stage two:
: Sleep Spindles- As people drift further into sleep, the body temp continues to drop. Heart rate and breathing slows down.
Sleep Spindles- Brief bursts of activity lasting only a second or two.
Non-REM stage three and stage four:
: Delta waves roll in- Slowest and largest waves appear.
Delta Waves- Long, slow waves that indicate the deepest stage of sleep.

Once Delta waves account for more than 50% of total brain activity, the person is said to have entered Stage Four, which is the deepest stage of sleep.
Growth Hormones are released from pituitary gland and reach their peak. The body is at its lowest level of functioning.
Stage four sleep disorders
Sleepwalking or somnambulism occurs in 20% of the pop and is partially due to heredity. More common in childhood and boys rather than girls.
Night Terrors- Rare disorder and more likely in children. The person experiences extreme fear and screams and runs around during deep sleep without waking fully.
REM Sleep
Person is still asleep but in the stage known as rapid eye movement. This is the dream state.
90% of dreams take place here.

Dreams tend to be more vivid, more detailed, longer and more bizarre than the dreams of NREM.
NREM dreams tend to more like thoughts about daily occurrences and far shorter then REM dreams.
Importance of REM
After a physically demanding day, people tend to spend more time in
NREM deep sleep.
An emotionally stressful day leads to increased time in REM sleep.
REM Rebound
- If deprived of REM sleep a person will experience greatly increased amounts of REM sleep the next night.
Sleep Disorders

1. Insomnia-
2. Sleep Apnea
3. Narcolepsy
Insomnia- Inability to sleep. Psych reasonings worrying, trying too hard to sleep or anxiety. Physiological reasoning too much caffeine, indigestion or aches and pains.
Sleep Apnea- Disorder in which the person stops breathing for nearly half a minute. This can cause lack of sleep and heart problems.
Narcolepsy- Disorder in which a person falls immediately into REM sleep during the say without warning.
Hypnotist tells the person to focus on what is being said.
The person is told to relax and feel tired.
The hypnotist tells the person to “let to” and accept suggestions easily.
The person is told to use vivid imagination
Hypnosis is a state of suggestibility.
• Age
• Childhood upbringing
• Having an active imagination
• Hereditary Factors
• Contextual cues in the hypnotic setting
People can be hypnotized while active and alert.
80% of all people can be hypnotized and 40% are good hypnotic subjects.
People who fantasize a lot, who daydream and have vivid imaginations are more susceptible than others.

Hypnosis is a good way to help people relax and control pain.
It is used in psychological therapy to help people cope with anxiety or deal with cravings for food or drugs.
Hypnosis can
Create amnesia for whatever happens during the hypnotic session, relieves pain by allowing a person to remove conscious attention from the pain and alters sensory perceptions.\
Hypnosis can’t:
Give people superhuman strength, reliably enhance memory or regress people back to childhood.
Psychoactive Drugs-
Drugs that alter thinking, perception and memory. Although some are useful they are also risky.
Physical Dependence
Drugs that can become physically dependent on can cause the user’s body to crave the drug. After using the drug for a period of time, they body becomes unable to function normally without the drug and the person is then addicted.
Drug Tolerance
Is a sign of physical dependency. As the person continues to use the drug, larger and larger doses of the drug are needed to achieve the same initial effects of the drug.
Is a sign if physical dependency. User experiences symptoms of withdrawal when deprived of the drug.
Psychological Drugs
Feeling that a drug is needed to continue a feeling of emotional or psychological well-being. Body will not necessarily experience the symptoms of withdrawal but they will continue use because they think they need it.

1. Amphetamines
2. Cocaine
3. Nicotine
4. Caffeine
- Increase the functioning of the nervous system.(uppers)

Amphetamines- Stimulants that are made in labs rather then being found in nature.(Benzedrine, Methedrine and Dexedrine)
Cocaine- Natural drug found in coca plant leaves. Produces feelings of euphoria, energy, power and pleasure. It deadens pain and suppresses appetite.
Nicotine- Active ingredient in tobacco. Relatively mild toxic stimulant producing a slight rush or sense of arousal as it raises blood pressure and accelerates the heart. It also has a relaxing effect and seems to reduce stress.
Caffeine- Mild stimulant found in coffee, tea and several other plant based substances. Helps maintain alertness.

1. Barbiturates or Major Tranquilizers
2. Benzodiazepines or Minor Tranquilizers-
Drugs that slow the nervous system down.

Barbiturates or Major Tranquilizers- Drugs that have a strong depressant effect. Barbiturates are sleeping pills that have a sedative effect. Effects can be mild sedation, sleepiness, unconsciousness or coma.
Benzodiazepines or Minor Tranquilizers- Lower anxiety and reduce stress. Most common are Valium, Xananx etc.
Chemical resulting from fermentation or distillation of various kinds of vegetable matter. Most commonly used and abuse depressant.
Class of drugs that suppress the sensation of pain by binding to and stimulating the nervous systems’ natural receptor sites for endorphins.
- Substance derived from the opium poppy and has pain relieving and euphoria induced properties.
Narcotic drug derived from opium used to treat severe pain.
Derivative of morphine that does not have many of the disagreeable side effects of morphine but just as addictive

1. LSD
2. PCP-
3. Ecstasy
4. Marijuana
Drugs that cause false sensory messages, altering the perception of reality.

LSD- Synthesized from a grain fungus called ergot. Commonly grows on rye grain. One of the most potent, powerful hallucinogens. Colors seem more intense, sounds more beautiful.
PCP- Synthesized drug now used as an animal tranquilizer that can cause stimulant, depressant, narcotic or hallucinogenic effects.
Ecstasy- Designer drug that can have both stimulant and hallucinogenic effects. It dehydrates the body and raises body temp.
Marijuana- Mild hallucinogen derived from the leaves and flowers from a particular type of hemp plant. Mild euphoria and relaxation along with an altered time sense and mild visual distortions.
Motives for using alcohol and other drugs-
Social lubricant
Attract attention
Treatment for Addictions
Azrin & Nunn (1973)
Make the person more aware of the habit.
Provide approval for inhibiting the habit.
Teach the person to practice some behavior incompatible with the problem habit.
What is learning?
Any relatively permanent change in behavior brought about by experience or practice.
Classical Conditioning-
Learning to make a reflex response to a stimulus other than the original, natural stimulus that normally produces it.
Ivan Pavlov and the salivating dogs.
• Unconditioned stimulus (UCS)- The food
• Unconditioned Response (UCR)- salivation
• Conditioned Stimulus (CS)- Bell
• Conditioned Response (CR)- salivation
Stimulus Generalization
Tendency to respond to a stimulus that is only similar to the original conditioned stimulus. (a person who reacts with anxiety to the sound the dentist’s drill might react the same way to a similar sounding machine.)
Stimulus Discrimination
Occurs when an organism learns to respond to different stimuli in different ways. (After that person realizes that the similar sounding machine isn’t associated with pain, they no longer produce anxiety about it.)
Human example of Classical Conditioning
Little Albert
John Watson paired a white rat with a loud noise and eventually, little albert would start to cry not because of the rat but because of the loud noise associated with it.
Classical Conditioning v. Operant Conditioning
Classical= Event-event
Operant= Behavior-event
Classical- Goal is to create a new response to a stimulus that doesn’t normally produce that response.
Responses are involuntary and reflexive.
Operant- Goal is to increase the rate of an already occurring response.
Responses are voluntary.
Reinforcement must be immediate
Consequences are important in forming an association.
Primary Reinforcement- Basic Biological needs (hunger, thirst etc)
Secondary Reinforcement- Praise, tokens or gold stars
Positive Reinforcement- Getting money for working.
Negative Reinforcement- Avoiding a ticket by stopping at a red light.
Positive Punishment- Getting a spanking for disobeying.
Negative Punishment- Losing a privilege, like going out with friends.
An active system that receives information from the senses, organizes and alters it as it stores it away.
- Holding onto info for some period of time.
Getting info that is in storage into a form that can be used.
Three Stages of Memory
Sensory Memory- First stage of memory, point at which info enters the nervous system.
Short Term Memory- Info is held for brief periods of time while being used.