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79 Cards in this Set

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What are the goals of psychology?
Description, Explanation, Prediction, and control
the idea that our thoughts, ideas, and characteristics are inborn
Empiricism (nurture)
knowledge is gained through experience (senses)
Scientific Method
way to test whether a process is true. You perceive, hypothesize, test, draw conclusions, report, and repeat
4 types of Descriptive Research
Naturalistic Observation, Laboratory Observation, Case Studies, Survey
Naturalistic Observation
Advantages: realistic picture of behavior
Disadvantages: observer bias
Laboratory Observation
Advantages: more control over environment
Disadvantages: people may not show us real behavior
Case Studies
Adv: Get a lot of detailed info
Disadv: what you find with one person may not apply to everyone else
A technique for ascertaining the self reported attitudes, opinions, or behaviors of people
Random Sampling
a process by which each member of a population has an equal chance of being selected
what are the problems with surveys
The wording effect, wording a statement/question can affect outcome, Knowledge, and not using a representative sample
a measure of the relationship between 2 variables
a graoh comprised of points generated by values of 2 variables. The slope of points depicts the direction, and the amount of scatter indicates the strength of the relationship
Positive Correlation
the two variables increase in the same direction
Negative Correlation
the two variables have an inverse relationship
what is the relationship between correlation and causation
correlation doesnt prove causation
Illusory correlation
perception of a relationship where none exists
How do experiments help researchers isolate cause and effect?
researchers are able to manipulate the variable while holding everything else constant in an experiment
Dependent variable
factor that is proposed to change in response to independent variable
Independent Variable
variable that is manipulated by the experiementer
Random assignment
key to experimentation. Everyone has a chance of being selected
most frequently occurring score
the arithmetic average of scores in a distribution obtained by adding the scores and then dividing by their number
the difference between the highest and lowest numbers in a set
Standard Deviation
A computed measure of how much scores vary around the mean
branching extensions of the cell body. Receives messages from other neurons
life support center of the neuron
Synaptic cleft
junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron
long single extension of a neuron, covered with myelin sheath to insulate and speed up messages through neuron
myelin sheath
covers the axon of some neurons and helps speed neural impulses
action potential
a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon. Generated by the movement of positively charged atoms in and out of channels in the axon's membrane
chemical found in the synaptic vesicles that, when released, has an effect on the next cell.
proteins that only allow particular molecules of a certain shape to fit into it, just as only a particular key will fit into a keyhole
It keeps serotonin bound to a receptor for longer than usual thereby increasing its effect
Central Nervous System
Brain and Spinal cord
Peripheral Nervous System
the sensory and motor neurons that connect the CNS to the rest of the body
Autonomic nervous system
division of the PNS consisting of nerves that control all of the involuntary muscles, organs, and glands
Somatic Nervous system
the division of the PNS that controls the body's skeletal muscles
Sympathetic Nervous system
"fight or flight"
division of the ANS that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations
"rest and digest"
Division of the ANS that calms the body, conserving its energy
Brain lesion experimentally destroys brain tissue to study animal behaviors after such destructions
An amplified recording of the electrical waves sweeping across the brain's surface, measured by electrodes placed on the scalp
Ingest radioactive glucose. Scanner detects where glucose goes while brain performs a given task
Like an x-ray machine, but can see soft tissue. Can see structure of brain
Functional MRI
measures concentrations of oxygen. Color maps show strongest "responses"
the oldest part of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord swells and enters the skull. Responsible for automatic survival functions
the brain's sensory switchboard, located on top of the brainstem. It directs messages to the sensory areas in the cortex
the "little brain" attached to the rear of the brainstem. It helps coordinate voluntary movements and balance. Also involved in learning skills.
Limbic System
a doughnut shaped system of neural structures at the border of the brainstem and cerebrum.
Frontal lobes
forehead, responsible for higher mental processes and decision making as well as the production of fluent speech
Parietal Lobes
top to rear head. The centers for touch, taste, and temperature sensations.
Occipital Lobes
back head. the visual centers of brain.
Temporal Lobes
side of the head. Sense of hearing and meaningful speech.
Motor cortex
area at the rear of the frontal lobes controls voluntary movements
Sensory Cortex (parietal cortex)
receives information from skin surface and sense organs
Corpus Callosum
hemispheres connected by a mass of neural fibers. It may be cut in severe cases of epilespy.
an impairment of language, usually caused by left hemisphere damage either to Broca's area (impaired speaking) or to Wernike's area (impaired understanding)
detection of physical energy (stimulus) from the environment and conversion into neural networks
how we select, organize, and interpret our sensations
Bottom-up Processing
begins with sensory information. Works up to the brain's integration of sensory information.
Top-down processing
the use of preexisting knowledge to organize individual features into a unified whole. Interpret sensory, physical data
a study of the relationship between physical characteristics of stimuli and our psychological experience of them
Absolute Threshold
Minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50% of the time
Difference Thresholds
Minimum difference between 2 stimuli required for detection 50% of the time, also called just noticeable difference
Selective Attention
the ability to deal with some stimuli and not others
Inattentional blindness
failing to detect visible objects when attention directed elsewhere
Hue (color) determined by wavelength. Different wavelengths of light result in different colors
Brightness. Amount of energy in a wave (amplitude). Related to perceived brightness.
Transparent tissue where light enters the eye
Muscle that expands and contracts to change the size of the opening
Adjustable opening that lets light into the eye
focuses the light rays on the retina
contains sensory receptors that process visual information and send it to the brain
located in the center of the retina. Low sensitivity in dim light and it is color sensitive.
Located in the periphery of the retina. High sensitivity in dim light. It is not color sensitive.
Tri-Chromatic Theory
Retina contains 3 receptors maximally sensitive to red, blue, and green wavelengths
Opponent Process Theory
We process 4 primary colors opposed in pairs of red-green, blue-yellow, and black-white. Can explain afterimages.
Color blindness
most people are trichromats. Color Blindness are dichromats