Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key


Play button


Play button




Click to flip

136 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What Psychology Is NOT
-Parapsychology (ESP)

-Psychiatry (M.D. vs. Ph.D. or Psy.D)

-Only clinical psychology (“Freudian” psychology)
What Psychology Is
-The scientific study of mind and behavior

Private, unobservable experiences
Thoughts, feelings, attitudes, memories, dreams, etc.

Observable actions (public)
*Doing things
*Talking about feelings, attitudes, memories, dreams, etc.
Socrates & Plato
-Certain knowledge (e.g., language) is innate
-Knowledge is acquired through experience & observation (“blank slate”)
Nature vs. Nurture debate
Without “scientific” data
Opening skulls to release the spirits
Dualism (Rene Decartes)
-Mind and body are separate but coordinated
-The primacy of consciousness (cogito ergo sum) “I think therefore I am”
-Dissected animal brains and found “spirits” ...brain juice
Phrenology (Franz Joseph Gall)
-Direct link between mind and body
-Different abilities & traits associated with different areas of the brain
*Even as evidenced by shape and bumps of skull
Wilhelm Wundt
-Examined consciousness through introspection
-But also tried more objective measures
(Reaction time research)
-What are the basic elements of the mind?
--Sensations/perceptions, emotions, thoughts, memories
--Identifying the basic elements of the mind
William James
-Prominent American psychologist
-Wrote the 1st psychology textbook
-Guided by evolutionary principles
--Consciousness enhances human survival (plan ahead for survival)
--Interest in errors in consciousness
What purposes do mental processes serve?
Gestalt approach
*antithesis of Structuralism

-Perception is based on a unified whole rather than merely the sum of its parts
-Not meaningful to separate the different parts
Sigmund Freud
-Psychoanalytic theory
-The importance of the unconscious
--Influential part of mind outside of awareness
--Lots of conflict, fear, anxiety
Humanistic Psychology
-An approach that emphasizes the positive potential of humanity
--A response to the bleakness (& weakness?) of Freud

-Positive Psychology
--Examining “optimal human functioning”
-Private experience (the mind) was too vague & subjective for science
-Instead focus on objective observable behavior
--Law of effect (look at the consequences of behavior)
--Stimulus - Response sequence
What is Ivan Pavlov’s classical conditioning?
What is B.F. Skinner’s operant conditioning?
Cognitive Psychology
-Mental processes are clearly important!!!!!!
--Language development (Noam Chomsky)

-Kurt Lewin
--Behavior is influenced by a person’s construal of a stimulus
--Based on personality, expectations, etc. B=f(P, E)

-Computers as a conceptual model
Cognitive/Behavioral Neuroscience
Identifying the role of specific brain activity
Evolutionary Psychology
-Explaining mind & behavior based on principles of natural selection
--Emotions, phobias, romantic attraction, etc.

-Predictive value?
Social Psychology
-The cause and consequences of interpersonal behavior
-Focus on the individual in a social world
Cultural Psychology
-How cultures shape and reflect mind & behavior
--Individualism vs. Collectivism
Wundt establishes first Psychology Laboratory
Margaret Floy Washburn
First woman PhD
Francis Cecil Summer
First African American PhD
Nature vs. Nurture
Sexual Attraction
Observable Behavior vs. Internal Thinking
Emotional Expressions
Awareness & Control vs. Automaticity
Free Will vs. Determinism
Judgments & Decision making
Genetic & Evolutionary Influences
Individual Differences vs. Universality
Cultural/gender/racial differences
The power of situations
Personality theory
--Brain activity, genetics
--Thinking, memory
--Across the lifespan
--Perceive & interact with others
--Stable traits that define us
--Workforce issues
--Stress, wellness/prevention
--Assessment & intervention
PhD: Doctor of Philosophy
--Focus on original research
--Thesis, Dissertation

PsyD: Doctor of Psychology
--Focus on clinical & practitioner skills
--Research University
--Liberal Arts College
-Private Business
--Marketing, Statistics
--Private practice
--Civilian, military
The Barnum Effect
The tendency to attribute personal accuracy to vague general information

--Think Horoscopes
-Knowledge through observation
-But mere observation is not enough
--Singular personal experiences vs. Accumulated data
-The availability heuristic
--Estimating probability based on how easily examples come to mind
-A set of rules and techniques
-The scientific method
The Hindsight Bias
-The tendency to exaggerate, after an event is known, our ability to have predicted its outcome
-The “I knew it all along” phenomenon
--Sporting events, dating relationships, Government policies, medical treatments
Why is Accurate prediction of human behavior difficult?
-A set of related principles that explain and predict observed facts and events
-Not just an educated guess
--Exercise leads to improved health
-A specific and testable prediction
--If I walk to school everyday, I will lose weight.
-Start off as abstract concepts or phenomena
--Intoxication, Attractiveness, Weight, etc.
Operational Definitions
A concrete and precise and concrete way of measuring an abstract variable

-By people, cameras, computers
-But being observed triggers reactivity
--Demand characteristics- clues that cause people to behave in a way they think is expected
Naturalistic observation
But observers’ expectancies can influence observations
Double-blind observation
The true purpose of observation is hidden from participants and observer
-People answer questions about themselves
--Good for measuring unobservable behaviors

-But question wording can influence responses
--90% Fat Free vs. 10% Fat Full
--Assistance for poor vs. Welfare

-Meaningfulness may depend on who responded
--What’s the best movie of all time?
--How often do you think about sex?
-How consistent is measurement?
--Are self-report results similar across time?
--Do observers see the same behaviors?
-Does it measure what it’s supposed to measure?
--Using height to measure exam scores=invalid

*A measure can be reliable, but not valid!*
Correlational Research
-Predicting one variable from another
--SAT and college GPA are positively correlated
--Stress & Health are negatively correlated

*But does not mean one variable caused the other (not causation)*
Correlation is NOT Causation
-Causal direction could be either way
--X causes Y or Y causes X?
----Self-esteem & Academic achievement

-Possible influence of a third variable
--Z causes X and Y?
---Consider positive correlation between:
-Years married & male hair loss
-Child IQ & home appliances
-Income & shoe size
The only way to establish causality!
Random Assignment
-Subjects are randomly assigned to groups
-Without random assignment, groups may be different in important ways
--This compromises the validity of the research!
--e.g., couples who live together before marriage are much more likely to divorce than couples who don’t

-With random assignment, groups should be approximately equal in all aspects
--sex, age, IQ, etc.
Experimental Control
-Manipulating one variable
-While keeping everything else constant
--Test format, room conditions, etc.
When can we infer *causality*?
-Because the only difference between the 2 groups is the manipulation, we can infer causality

-Random assignment = People are “equivalent”
-Experimental control = Situations are “equivalent”
Independent Variable
-What’s manipulated by the experimenter
--Sexy Ads or Neutral

-Participants experience different conditions

-The groups are independent of each other
--Experimental group (Sexy)
--Control group (Neutral)
Dependent Variable
-Measures the effect of the manipulation

-Memory scores
Its value depends on the participants’ condition

-Value should NOT depend on any other variable
Internal Validity
-Characteristics that allow for accurate inferences

-Are the effects within the experiment due to the intended manipulation
--What else could account for the results?

-Was there random assignment?
--People who sit on the right have better memory

-Was there experimental control?
--Ads were different in more ways than just sexual content
External Validity
-The extent to which the effects of the study extend and generalize to other situations & people

--Were the manipulations & measures realistic? Will it be something people encounter?

--Were the participants typical?

Most psychology research is conducted using college students.
How does that affect external validity?
Ethics of Research
-Informed consent
--A written agreement to participate after being informed of all potential risks & benefits
But not informed about hypothesis

-Freedom from coercion
--Can’t be forced to participate against one’s will

-Protection from (physical, emotional, psychological) harm
--Can not be greater than “everyday life”

-Risks-benefits analysis
--Some risks are acceptable if outweighed by the benefits

--A verbal description of the nature and purpose of the research

-Institutional Review Board (IRB)
Animal research participants?
-A small % (5%) of research is performed on non-humans
90% using rats or mice
--Within that, only 6% involve pain or discomfort

-Animals deserve and receive good care
--Protected by IRB guidelines

-Humans (and animals) have benefited from scientific research
--Scientifically, medically
-Estimated 100 billion neurons! (at least)
--Microscopic to several feet long
--98% are within our brains
--Send very simple messages (Go/No go)
Sensory neurons
Carry sensory information to brain via spinal cord
Motor neurons
Carry information from spinal cord to muscles for movement
Connect neurons to other neurons
Mirror Neurons
-Activated when performing (and observing!) an action

-We often automatically copy other people’s behaviors
--Allows for strengthening social relationships (empathy, similarity)
-Chemicals that transmit info across the synapse
--Influence various thoughts, feelings, behaviors
--Natural imbalances can be chronic or situational
Neurotransmitters: Drugs
-Drugs induce imbalances by changing quantity/quality of neurotransmitters sent
--Agonists: Drugs that increase the action of a neurotransmitter
--Antagonists: Drugs that block the action of a neurotransmitter
Neurotransmitters: Acetylcholine (ACh)
-Influences muscle control, learning, memory

-Alzheimer’s disease indicates undersupply of ACh

-Botox (botulinum toxin) decreases ACh
--Antagonist, causes brief paralysis

-Black widow venom increases ACh levels
--Agonist, causes muscle spasms
Neurotransmitters: Dopamine
-Influences movement, emotions, motivation

-High levels linked to schizophrenia
--Antipsychotic drugs reduce dopamine (antagonists)
---Which may also reduce motivation

-Low levels linked to Parkinson’s disease
--L-dopa: agonist drug that increases dopamine
---Allows for control of tremors, easier initiation of movement
Neurotransmitters: Endorphins
-Natural body-produced opiates

-Alleviate pain and increase mood

-Artificial opiates (heroin) mimic neurotransmitters
--Agonists that prevent natural opiates from binding
--Addiction leads to reduced production of opiates
--Withdrawal is the body coping with no chemicals
Neurotransmitters: Norepinephrine
-Regulates body’s responses to arousing & rewarding stimuli
--Fight or flight & addictive behaviors (gambling, email-checking)
Neurotransmitters: Serotonin
-Regulation of moods, hunger, sleep arousal
-Undersupply linked to depression, aggression
-Antidepressants increase serotonin
The Nervous System:

--Somatic (voluntary)
--Autonomic (involuntary)
==sympathetic division
==parasympathetic division

--Spinal Cord
Somatic Division
-Voluntary movements of skeletal muscles
-Typing, writing, etc.
Autonomic Division
-Involuntary movements of internal muscles and organs
--Heartbeat, breathing
--Digestion (peristalsis) muscles are controlling your digestion
Autonomic: Sympathetic Division
-Arousing reactions (fight or flight)
--Sweating, adrenaline, increased heartbeat
Autonomic: Parasympathetic Division
-Calming reactions after emergency
--Slows heartbeat, conserves energy
Spinal reflexes
-Simple pathways involving rapid muscle movement (finger touching fire, and jerking away)
-Brain is not involved
-Evolutionary advantages (more likely to live)
Spinal Injuries
Disrupt sensation & movement
-Coordinates information
--Breathing, sleeping, alertness
-Cerebellum: controls fine motor skills, balance
--First area impaired by alcohol
-Involved in processing sensory information
-Central location for serotonin and dopamine
Cerebral cortex
-Outermost layer of the brain
-Divided into 2 hemispheres
Subcortical structures
Under the cerebral cortex near the very center of the brain
-Relays and filters sensory information
--Especially during sleep!
-Regulates basic body processes & drives
--The 4 Fs (fighting, fleeing, feeding & fornicating)
-Involved in fear, aggression, & arousing, formation of emotional memories
-Amygdala lesions induce emotional passivity
--Calmness in wild animals, close personal space in humans
Occipital lobe
Processes visual information
Parietal lobe
-Processes touch (pain, sensitivity)
--Somatosensory cortex
Temporal lobe
Processes hearing & language
Frontal lobe
-Movement (motor cortex)
-Abstract thinking (planning, memory, judgment)
-Association areas help make sense of the world
-Neurons in association areas have plasticity
--Ability to change/adapt based on experience/damage
-Dominance of one hemisphere in specific functions
-People are not “one-sided”
-Everyone uses both hemispheres
Left Hemisphere
-Controls right side of body
-Verbal abilities, language processing
-Logic & reasoning skills
Right Hemisphere
-Controls left side of the body
-Spatial relationships, face recognition
Corpus collosum
-Connects right & left hemisphere of cerebral cortex
-Allows for inter-hemispheric communication
-May be severed to treat severe epileptic seizures

* Severance prevents info from being “shared” by both hemispheres
Electroencephalogram (EEG)
-Records & amplifies electrical activity of the brain
-Sounds of synaptic transmissions indicate activity
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)
-Detects and locates changes in blood flow within the brain
-Can show “live” brain activation
Detection of stimuli from our bodies and our environment
The organization, identification & interpretation of sensory stimuli into meaningful information
The perceptual experience of one sense that is evoked by another sense (music notes as colors)
Conversion of physical signals (e.g., light/sound waves) into neural signals
-Scientific study of how physical stimuli are translated into psychological experience
-At what point is something truly sensed and perceived? (not just a philosophical question)
--Early introspection approaches were too
Absolute threshold
-The minimum intensity needed to detect a stimulus
--Provide various levels of stimulation
--Perceiver can detect sensation at least 50%
Just Noticeable Difference (JND)
-The minimal change in a stimulus than can be detected
-Amount of change necessary to notice a difference from the original
(which circle is darker?)
Weber’s Law
-The just noticeable difference is not fixed, but in constant proportion to the initial stimulus
--e.g., weight = 50:1
--gas prices going up
Signal Detection
-Thresholds imply a dichotomy
--Sensation vs. No sensation

-Actual sensation is more variable
--Changes across and within people

-Signal detection theory
--The response to a stimulus depends on:
---Individual sensitivity to a stimulus
---Amount of background “noise”
---Response criterion
Sensory Adaptation
-The decline in sensitivity to prolonged unchanging stimuli
--We respond more strongly to sudden changes in stimulation
--Sudden changes imply action may be needed
Visual acuity
The ability to see fine detail

Numerator = what you can see at 20 feet
Denominator = what the “normal” person can see at 20 feet
-Two types of photoreceptor cells within retina
--Perception in low light conditions
--Shades of gray
--Nocturnal species have all rods (can see much better at night)
--Responsible for sharp focus
--Color perception
--Diurnal species have mostly cones
--Area of retina where vision is clearest
--No rods
--For better “night vision” look at objects off-center
How many millions of colors can humans perceive between?
Trichromatic theory of color
-3 types of cones in retina
--Red, Green, Blue
--“Colored” light stimulates some/all of each kind to produce any possible color combination
-Partially explains color “blindness”
--One or more cone types are damaged
---1 in 50 are dichromatic
---1 in 100,000 are monochromatic
Opponent-Process theory of color
-After leaving rods/cones, visual information is processed by opponent cells

-Opponent cells are linked in pairs
--red-green, blue-yellow, black-white

-Overexposure to one color creates fatigue
--Afterwards, opponent color “rebounds”

-Camera flash
Figure Detection
-Specialized neurons detect edges, lines, and motion
--Distinguishes figure from ground
--Facilitates object (face) recognition

-Parallel processing
--The ability to process information along several dimensions simultaneously

-Perceptual Constancy
--Perceiving objects as unchanging despite changes in appearance
--Shape, color, size
Depth Perception
Perceiving the world as three-dimensional despite a retinal image in two dimensions
Monocular depth cues
-Aspects that allow depth perception when only using one eye
--Because of our expectations for an object’s size, smaller objects are perceived as farther away
Linear perspective
Parallel lines converge in the distance
Texture gradient
Among a uniformly patterned surface, increases in texture detail imply closeness
A blocking object is closer than the blocked object
Light & shadow
Light (from above) creates shadows
Retinal disparity
The difference in retinal images of both eyes
Hearing is the transduction of sound waves
-Volume (loudness)

-Above 85 dB can cause hearing damage
-Pitch (how high or low)

-Ability to hear high sounds decreases with age
The quality of sound
Sound localization
-The ability to locate objects in space
-Stereophonic hearing
--Left & right ear receive slightly different info
--Differences in loudness and timing
--Hearing equivalent of vision’s retinal disparity
Haptic perception
Our basic sense of touch (with our hands)
-Skin is differentially sensitive
-Response to various stimuli
--Tissue damage or intense sensations
-The importance of pain
--Informs brain that body needs repair
--Evolutionary necessity
Gate control theory of pain
-Signals from pain receptors can be blocked (gated) by competing info at the spinal cord
-Physical stimulation from the body
--Ice, massage
-Stimulation from brain
Vestibular Sense
-Our awareness of balance and gravity
-Can be temporarily altered
Kinesthetic Sense
-Body position and movement
--Catching and throwing a ball
--Awareness of body without sight
--Differentiating object weight
Olfaction (smell)
-Only sense with direct pathways to the frontal lobe

-Suggests strong relation with abstract thinking
-We can differentiate 10,000 odors
-Gender & age effects
-Biochemical odors emitted by members of a species that influence behavior or physiology
--Parents and children recognize smells
--Hypothalamus activation in response to sex-based hormones
Gustation (taste)
-Taste buds (papilae)
--Also on roof/back of mouth
--10,000 taste buds
--Replaced every few days
--We lose half by age 20
--No taste bud “map”
-5 primary tastes
--Salt, sour, bitter, sweet & umami (a somewhat savory/protein rich/high fat sensation)
-Combines with smell to provide flavor
-The “study” of ESP and other paranormal phenomena

-Extra Sensory Perception
--Perception of stimuli outside normal sensory abilities
--Telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, telekinesis
-No scientific evidence for any ESP
Perceptual Set
--Expectations that create a tendency to interpret sensory information in a biased way
--e.g., we can’t tickle ourselves, placebo effect