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64 Cards in this Set

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What is Psychology?

Difficult to define. The scientific study of the mind, brain, and behavior. One of the most influential sciences.

Psych Levels of Analysis

Social, Behavioral, Mental, Neurological/Physio, Neurochemical, and Molecular. All must be considered.

Wilhelm Wundt

Wilhelm Wundt founded Psych as a lab science in 1879. Self-reports of experience. Suggested that it is the method of careful reflection and reporting of mental experiences by trained observers. He wanted to get at the most basic building blocks of consciousness and mental processes. Mentored Tichener.



Edward Tichener, Interested in the structural elements of the mind. Obsessed with lab work. Pioneered a method called introspection. Wrote a lab manual on how to perform lab research. Theory of Consciousness. His method was to engage people in self-reflective introspection (looking inward), training them to report elements of their experience.



What are the “functions” of our thoughts and feelings? How they enable us to adapt, survive, and flourish?¨

Was interested in “tangible” information and how people adapted to the world. More concerned about how something fit in than how to measure it.



Behaviorism: School of psychology that focuses on uncovering the general laws of learning by looking at observable behavior. John Watson and BF Skinner. Believed that psych should be the study of behavior, not the mind.

Structuralism vs. Functionalism vs. Behaviorism

Structuralism and functionalism: The study of consciousness.But…¨Introspection is unreliable (too subjective)¨ “Mentalism” is unreliable (too speculative). Only human behavior is observable. Focuses on uncovering the general laws of learning.

The Cognitive Revolution

Highlighted the role of thought and our interpretation of events in behavior.

Studies how “we perceive, process, and remember information."

How we encode, process, store, and retrieve information.

Implications in how we remember, reason, think, and solve problems

Subfields of Psychology

Clinical Psychology

Social Psychology

Cognitive Psychology

Developmental Psychology


Clinical Psychology

The branch of psychology concerned with the assessment and treatment of mental illness and disability.

Social Psychology

The branch of psychology that deals with social interactions, including their origins and their effects on the individual.

Cognitive Psychology

Study of mental processes including memory, perception, language, thinking and learning e.g.,How people perceive, process, store and retrieve information…

Developmental Psychology

Developmental psychology is the scientific study of how and why human beings change over the course of their life. Originally concerned with infants and children, the field has expanded to include adolescence, adult development, aging, and the entire lifespan.

Neuroscience Psych

Neuroscience defines the field as the study of the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, and networks of sensory nerve cells called neurons. It is an interdisciplinary field, meaning that it integrates several disciplines, including psychology, biology, chemistry, and physics.

Basic vs. Applied Research

Basic research: Tests theories and seeks to build a foundation of knowledge .

Applied research: Strives to solve real-world problems by using a foundation revealed by basic research

Unconscious vs. Consciousness

Unconscious effort is when youre brain works on complex problems in the background, operating without your ego and bs.

Conscious effort is when your crayon eating self is thinking presently thinking through a problem.


Controlled - Requires effort, difficult (Free-will determinism*)

Autonomic - Like driving a car, easy (Auto)


General rule that is usually correct. A “mental shortcut.” Only try alternatives that are mostlikely to produce a solution (ignore others).

Representative - Linda is example (Feminist Bank Teller Ex) Assuming she's a Fem seems more representative of her background, but mathematically less likely.

Availability - Judging things based on information currently available in memory. (Influ by recent events and vivid cases) Wheel of Fortune

Common Sense Cons

Confirmation bias: Looking for evidence that supports a theory while ignoring contradictory evidence.

Hindsight Bias: We misremember prior events so that they are consistent with the outcome.¨I knew it all along."

Steps of Scientific Method

State a clear Theory (People who sleep longer perform better)

Form Hypothesis (People who sleep 8 hours will recall more of the memory test words than those who sleep 2 hrs.)

Make observations or measurements

Draw conclusions/Evaluate Theory

Share the Results


Our brains are predisposed to make order out of disorder and make sense out of nonsense.

Control over and uncontrollable world.

Logical Fallacy

Emotional Reasoning Fallacy - Using our emotion as guides for evaluating the validity of a claim. (Day Care Ex)

Bandwagon - Error assuming claim is correct just because many people believe it.

Either or - Error of framing a question as though we can only answer it in one of two extreme ways.

Not me - Error of believing we're immune from errors in thinking that afflict other people.

Six Principles of Scientific Thinking

Ruling out rival hypotheses

Correlation vs. Causation


Replicability - * Can the results be duplicated?

Extraordinary Claims

Occams Razor - * Does a simpler explanation fit the data just as well?

Research Methods

Naturalistic Observation

Case Studies

Self-report Measures & Surveys

Correlational Designs

Experimental Research

Self Report Measures and Surveys

Are the stats based on a representative sample?

Was random selection used?

Is it safe to generalize?

Pros: renders pert info. Inexpensive and fast. Good 1st step.

Cons: Bias from subjects. Bias from wording. Sampling issues.

Case Studies

A fairly extensive study of one person or a small group of people.

Pros: Beneficial info. Looks at cases that could not be maniplulated.

Cons: Every individual is unique. Generalizable.

Correlational Design

Goal: Identify relationships between variables so that one may be used to predict another.

Positive: A higher value of one variable predicts a higher value of the second variable. Ex. Height and Weight scatterplot.

Negative: A higher value of one variable predicts a lower value of the second variable. Ex. Social Support and Depression.

No Correlation: The value of one variable has no relationship of the value of the second variable.

Spurious vs. Illusory Correlation

Spurious: Real correlation, can be positive or negative, Not Causal, caused by a third party. Ex. Crime and Ice Cream

Illusory: No correlation, Is an illusion, People perceive a correlation, but there isn't one. Ex. Crime and full moon.

Correlation and Causation

Correlation does not imply causation.

Correlation is necessary but not sufficient to imply causality.

Independent, Control, Dependent Variables

Independent: The variable that you change.

Control: The variable(s) that you keep the same.

Dependent: The outcome variable that changes due to the independent variable.

Random Assignment (Goal and Value)

Goal: Give each person an equal chance of being in experimental or control group.

This minimizes pre-existing differences.

Institutional Review Board

Upholds moral and ethical standards of research.

Researchers apply for ability to conduct research through IRB. (detailed description, risks, value, consent, etc.)

Encoding, Storage, and Retrieval

Encoding - Paying attention

Storage - Keeping Information

Retrieval - Recalling Information

3 stage processing model (Atkinson and Shiffrin)

Sensory Memory> Working Memory>Long-term Memory

*Environmental input that enters our sensory memory > We lose most of this instantly>However what we pay attention to then enters short term memory.

Short Term vs. Long Term Memory

ST Memory: Brief sensory activation, most input never enters conscious processing, two types of sensory memory - Iconic and Echoic.

LT- for experiences and information accumulated over your lifetime. Large capacity, anything than what we are currently processing,


Generating previously remembered information when the target is not in the current environment.


Selecting previously remembered information from an array of options (the target is present in the current environment.

Explicit vs. Implicit Memory

Explicit - Memories we retrieve intentionally and of which we have a conscious awareness. (Recall and recognition)

Implicit - Retrieval independent of conscious reflection. (Relearning and priming)


Faster learning of previously learned information (works even without awareness).

Primacy vs. Recency

Primacy - better recall for items at beginning of list. More rehearsal.

Recency - Better recall for items at end of list due to less intereference.

Proactive and Retroactive Interference

STM memory loss. Given two names to remember. Forgetting the first name listed is retroactive, and forgetting the second is proactive interference.


Packing strongly associated info together, Increases the amount of info that can fit in working memory. 850-246-3594

Flashbulb Memories

Memory for the circumstances in which you first learned about a very surprising and emotional event. Recounted in remarkable detail. (911, Chris Farley Died, etc.) They change over time and have a similar rate of forgetting.

DRM Paradigm

False memory. Also work in recognition with special distractors. (Flashbulb memory)

Misinfo Effect

When original information (car crash) is influenced by external information (how fast smashed?), the memory is then augmented and exagerated.

Memory Phenomena

Levels of processing

Contest effect

Spacing effect

Testing effect

Levels of processing

Visual - what something looks like

Acoustic - What something sounds like

Semantic - What something means. (Deeper processing)

Context effect

Basically says that when things match, we'll remember it better than if it's different. Recall is better if the retrieval context is similar to the encoding context.

Spacing effect

Distributed practice. You'll remember more material if you spread your learning trials over time.

Testing effect

Testing provides practice in retrieving relevant material. Boosts your long term recall.

Sensation vs. Perception

Sensation - It is the detection and encoding of sensory information. ex. bitter taste, loudness of a sound, redness of a light.

Perception - is the interpretation of raw sensory inputs. Involves integration of outside world. Our cognitive system actively works to create meaningful patterns by filling in infomation.

We dont just sense the world, we percieve it too, but sensation does not equal perception.

Top down and Bottom up Processing

Bottom up - Sensory detection and encoding; construction of whole from parts. (what our sensory receptors actually register.

Top down - Conceptually-driven organization and interpretation of information. (Experiences and expectations influence object recognition.)


A concentration of mental activity using several cognitive processes. Allows you to process selective aspects of your sensory world. (Spotlight metaphor) Selectively choosing some stimuli and ignoring others.

Selective attenton

Attending only certain stimuli in the environment.

Inattentional blindness - reflects the failure to detect an unexpected stimulus that is fully visable in a single display because your focus is elsewhere.

Change blindness - Failure to notice something has changed from the way it was before. Change can be expected or unexpected. Related to attentional processes. ex. Driving, crime scenes, daily interaction.)

Auditory Attention

(Cocktail party effect) - when you're attending to a conversation, but you notice your name being mentioned in a nearby conversation.

Absolute and Difference Threshold

Absolute Threshold - Minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50% of the time.(Dalmation)

Differnece Threshold - Minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50% of the time. Just noticable difference.

Sensory Adaptation

Activation is greater when a stimulus is first detected. In other words, sensitivity diminishes as a consequence of constant stimulation. Benefit:reduced sensitivity to sensory info frees us to focus on informative changes in our environment.

Subliminal Stimuli

Sub messages do not have a powerful, enduring effect. Contrary to claims regarding a subliminal persuasion.

Color Blindness

Cones - receptot cells in retina responsible for color perception. The absence or reduced number of one or more types of cones:

Monochromats - Only one type of cone, lose all color vision.

Dichromats - Missing only one, most color bloind.

McGurk Effect

When visual information influences auditory perception. (Bah bah fah fah)

Perception Set

Mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not the other. Guy playing sax or womans face

Context set

A given stimulus may trigger different perceptions based on context. B and 13 look similar.

Perceptual Constancies

Percieving objects as unchanging (Vital top down process)

Allows us to flexibly navigate our world and rely on object recognition at the same time. (size constancies, shape constancies)

Gestalt Principle of Motion

The brain percieves motion by comparing visual frames:

A rapid series of slightly varying images creates perception of motion. Animation.

Phi Phenom-

Key point - comparisons govern perceptions (image embedded in a set of contextual cues.)