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87 Cards in this Set

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science that seeks to understand behavior and mental processes and to apply that understanding in the service of human welfare
Cognitive Psychology
studies mental abilities (sensation, perception, learning, memory, thinking, etc)
Personality Psychology
studies similarities and differences in people
Clinical & Counseling Psychology
counducts research on causes of mental disorders and offer services to help Health Psychologists study how health and mental states affect one another
Biological Approach
emphasizes activity of nervous system, especially of brain; actions of hormones and other chemicals and genetics
Psychodynamic approach
emphasizes internal conflicts, mostly unconscious, which usually pit sexual or agressive instincts
Cognitive approach
emphasizes mechanisms through which people receive, store, retrieve, and otherwise process information.
the accumulation of values, rules of behavior, forms of expression, religious beliefs, occupational choices, and the like for a group of people who share a common language and enviornment
Experimental Psychology
study mental processes underlying judgment, decision making, problem solving, imagining and other aspects of human thought or cognition
Physiological Psychology
use high tech scanning devices to study how biological processes in the brain and other organs affect behavior and mental processes
Social Psychology
self perception vs. others' perception
Developmental Psychology
describe changes in people over time, and causes and effects
Evolutionary Approach
emphasizes ways in which behavior and mental processes are adaptive for survival
Behavioral Approach
emphasizes learning, especiall each person's experience with rewards and punishments
Humanistic Approach
emphasizes individual potential for growth and the role of unique perceptiosn in guiding behavior and mental processes
in scientific research, a prediction stated as a specific, testable proposition about a phenomenon
Operational Definition
a statement that defines the exact operations or methods used in research
an integrated set of propositions that can be used to account for, predict, and even suggest ways of controlling certain phenomena
Naturalistic Observation
watching behavior-the process of watching without interfering as a phenonmenon occurs in the natural enviornment
Case Study
intensive examination of behavior or mental processes in a particular individual, group, or situation (tests, interviews, etc)
looking at the big picture-research method that involves giving people questionnaires or special interviews designed to obtain descriptions of their attitudes, beliefs, opinions, and intentions
Correlational research
examines relationships between variables in order to analyze trends in data, to test predictions, evaluate theories, and suggest new hypotheses; strong correlation between 2 variables does not establish a casual link between the variables!
situation in which the researcher manipulates one variable and then observes the effect of that manipulation on another variable, while holding all other variables constant
independent variable
any variable investigated for the purpose of determining if it influences bahavior.
dependent variable
usually well-defined aspect of behavior (response) that an experimenter measures.
random variables
confounding variables in which uncontrolled or uncontrollable factors affect the dependent variable along with or instead of independent variable
experimental group
group receiving treatment
control group
group not receiving treatment
experimenter bias
counfounding variable that occurs when an experimenter unintentionally encourages participants to respond in a way that supports the hypothesis
random sample
group of research participants selected from a population whose members all had an equal chance of being selected
ethical guidelines
promote protection of humans and animals in psychological research. also set highest standars for behavior in all other aspects of psychologists' scientific and professional lives
nervous system
complex combination of cells whose primary function is to allow an organism to gain information about what is going on inside and outside the body and to respond appropriately
Biological Psychology
psychological specialty that researches the physical and chemical changes that cause and occur in response to, behavior and mental processes
composed of neurons and gilal cells which make up the nervous system, cell contains outer membrane, mitochondria, and nucleus among various other things
basic unit of nervous system: specialized cells that receive signals from other neurons or sense organs. process signals, send signals to neurons, muscles, or organs
tiny gap between neurons across which they communicate
Action Potential
an abrupt wave of electrochemical changes traveling down an axon when a neuron becomes depolarized
fatty substance that wraps around some axons and increases the speed of action potentials
Refractory period
short rest period between action potentials
chemical that assists in the transfer of signals from one neuron to another; stored in bags called "vesicles"
chemicals that slow or modify response to more rapidly acting neurotransmitters
site on the surface of a cell that allows only one type of neurotransmitter to fit into it, triggeringa chemical response that may lead to an action potential
Central Nervous System
parts of nervous system encased in bone, including the brain and spinal cord; "Central Executive" of body
Peripheral Nervous System
parts of nervous system not housed in bone; carries out sensory and motor functions
Somatic Nervous System
subsystem of peripheral nervous system that transmits information from senses to CNS and carries signals from CNS to muscles
Autonomic Nervous System
subsystem of PNS that carries messages between CNS and heart, lungs, and other organs and glands
an extension of spinal cord contained inside skull where nuclei control blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, and other vital functions
area in hindbrain that controls blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, and ohter vital functions
Reticular formation
network of cells and fibers threaded throughout the hindbrain and midbrain that alters the activity of the rest of the brain
part of the hind brain whose functions is to control finely coordinated movements and to store learned associations that involve movement
small structure between the hindbrain and forebrain that relays information from the eyes, ears, and skin and that controls certain types of automatic behaviors
substantia nigra
an area of the midbrain involved in the smooth initiation of movement
most highly developed part of the brain; it is responsible for the most complex aspects of behavior and mental life
forebrain sturcture that relays signals from most sense organs to higher levels in the brain and plays an important role in processing and making sense of this information
structure in forebrain that, among other things, associates features of stimuli from 2 sensory modalities
forebrain structure associated with formation of new memories
Limbic system
set of brain structures that play important roles in regulating emotion and movement
neurotransmitter used by cells in parts of brain involved in the regulation of sleep, mood, and eating; most is along midline of hindbrain; sent by axons throughout forebrain (cerebral cortex) and hypothalamus and hippocampus
neurotransmitter used in the parts of the brain involved in regulating movement and experiencing pleasure; also used in substantia nigra and striatum (responsible for movement); associated with Parkinsons
system that translates information from outside the nervous system into neural activity
process of converting incoming energy into neural activity; occurs in receptor cells which send information to brain (to thalamus for all senses except smell which goes to cerebral cortex)
process through which responsiveness to an unchanging stimulus decreases over time
conduction deafness; nerve deafness
caused by 3 tiny bones of middle ear diffusing together; caused by auditory nerves (hair cells) becoming damaged
Light energy; light intensity; light wavelength
known as electromagnetic radiation, most is undetected by eye; amt. of energy light contains; determines color
ability of the lens to change its shape and bend light rays so that objects are in focus
surface at back of eye where intricate network of cells convert light energy into neural activity
nerve cells in the retina that convert light energy into neural activity; 2 types: cones and rods
Cells in the retina
photoreceptors(rods, cones), bipolar cells, ganglion cells(generate action potential and send signals to brain)
Feature Detectors
cells in the cortex that respond to a specific feature of an object
highly light-sensitive, but color-insensitive, photoreceptors in the retina that allow vision even in dim light; 90-95% in retina, located toward periphery; help w/ species active at night
photoreceptors in retina that help us to distinguish colors; 5-10% in retina; located toward fovea; help w/ species active at day
Trichromatic Theory
says there must be 3 types of visual elements(blue, green, and red), each sensitive to a different wavelength and information gathered combines to produce sensation of color; doesn't accound for afterimages
Opponent-process Theory
states that color-sensitive visual elements are grouped into red-green, blue-yellow, and black-white elements. each element signals one color or the other, explains afterimages and complemetary colors
Blind spot(optic disc)
the light insensitive point at which axons from all the ganglion cells converge and exit the eyeball
absolute threshold
the minimum amount of stimulus energy(light, sound, pressure, or any other physical energy) that can be detected 50% of time
signal-detection theory
mathematical model of what determines a person's repprt that a near-threshold stimulus has or has not occured; why the absolute threshold isn't 100%; sensitivity(ability to detect stimulus) and response criterion(internal rule a person uses to decide whether or not to report a stimulus)
a figure, as part of the visual field that has meaning, stands out in front of the rest, and always seems to include the contours or edges that separate it from the less relevant ground
putting elements together automatically to distinguish "figure" from "ground"
perceptual organization
the task of determining what edges and other stimuli go together to form an object
bottom-up processing
aspects of recognition that depend first on the info about the stimulus that comes to the brain from the sensory receptors
culture and perception
people from various cultures perceive things differently (depth perception/optical illusions) due to exposure to various visual enviornment
top-down processing
aspects of recognition that are guided by higher-level cognitive processes and psychological factors such as expectations and knowledge
null hypothesis
the assertion that the independent variable manipulated by the experimenter will have no effect on the dependent variable measured by the experimenter
frequency histogram
a graphic presentation of data that consists of a set of bars, each of which represents how frequently different scores or values occur in a data set
value/score that occurs most frequently
arithmetic average of scores in data
normal distribution
dispersion of scores such that the mean, median, and mode all have the same value.