• 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

Card Range To Study



Play button


Play button




Click to flip

Use LEFT and RIGHT arrow keys to navigate between flashcards;

Use UP and DOWN arrow keys to flip the card;

H to show hint;

A reads text to speech;

381 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
The scientific study of behavior and mental processes in humans and animals.
Goals of psychology
Description, explanation, prediction, control
Laid groundwork for psychology; philosophy + biology = psychology
Connection between soul & body - cannot separate the two
Dualism - body & soul are separate but interrelated
Rene Descartes
Modified dualism - mind & body have reciprocal interaction via pineal gland (cannot function without each other; influence each other)
Wilhelm Wundt
First psychology lab in Germany; "father of psychology"; structuralism
Focus on structure of the mind; mind consists of basic elements analyzed via objective introspection
Edward Titchener
(Structuralism) Introspect about physical objects AND thoughts; break down consciousness into its basic elements
William James - Focus on adaptation, living working, playing - functioning in the real world; why do we make certain connections; "stream of thought" vs. elements of mind
Gestalt Psychology
"Whole is greater than the sum of its parts"; mind is an "organized whole"; people naturally seek out patterns in available sensory information
Sigmund Freud
Neurologist in late 19th century Vienna; psychoanalysis = insight therapy for fear & anxiety; unconscious drives shape what we do & our relationships; early childhood (1st 3-6 years) shape you
Watson - believed fears are learned via experience; only way psychology is a sciences is if we study behavior; you can raise a child to become what you want them to become - heredity has no say
Focus on unconscious & early development, not sex (not therapy; how unconscious affects mind)
Focus on operant conditioning, punishment, & reinforcement; how to change behavior, esp. in kids; CBT
Humanistic psychology
"Self help"; people have the freedom to choose their own destiny; focus on good, not bad; "the best you can be"
Attribute human & animal behavior to biological events (focus on biology & brain function)
Memory, intelligence, perception, learning, etc.; study how we think
Relationship between social behavior & culture (how being in a group vs. individually affects us); environment & context
Biological, mental traits shared by all humans; genetics; how we have survived/adapted over the years
Medical doctor; only professionals in psychology that can write prescriptions, focus on more high-level issues (usually don't do therapy)
Masters degree in counseling; lower-level issues
Psychiatric social worker
MSW, work in medical field, therapy in hospitals
PhD in psychology; cannot write prescriptions; work with higher-level issues; sometimes therapy
Scientific Method
Perceive, hypothesize, test, draw conclusions, report/revise/replicate
Naturalistic observation
Study subjects in natural environment; describe WHAT is happening (not why it is)
Laboratory observation
Study subjects in artificial environment
Case study
Studying 1 person of a small group of people in detail; usually when something strange or random happens & the effect that has on the person--when something can't ethically be done but has happened; can't generalize it to everyone
Asking participants a series of personal questions
Measure of the relationship between 2 variables; NOT cause & effect
Anything that changes or varies
Positive correlation
Both variables go in the same direction (both increase or both decrease)
Negative correlation
Variables go in different directions (One increases and one decreases)
People that don't fall into the "norm"
Only way to show cause & effect; experimental & control groups; random assignment
Operational definitions
Define what you're interested in studying & how this significantly affects something else.
Independent variable
The change - what you do to one group that you don't do to another
Dependent variable
Outcome from applying independent variable; both groups always have this
Nervous system
Carries information to and from all parts of the body
Central nervous system
Brain & spinal cord
Peripheral nervous sustem
Autonomic (parasympathetic & sympathetic) and somatic; contains all nerves and neurons not contained in CNS; connects sensory neurons to spinal cord
Study of neural structures, behavior, and learning. (Physical things in the brain)
Communicates information
Pulls information into the neuron
Continues to send information or stop the transmission
Sends information to other neurons if the information from soma is continued
Sheath of protective insulation on neurons
Space between axon & dendrite; giving/receiving neuron
Synaptic gap
Breaks up an action (keeps it from going forever)
Goes back to original source when it stops
Excitatory neurotransmitters
Causes receiving cell to fire; agonists mimic/enhance neurotransmitters' effect on receptor sites
Inhibitory neurotransmitters
Cause receiving cell to stop firing; antagonists block/reduce cell's response to other neurotransmitters
Mostly an excitatory neurotransmitter; pathways involved with schizophrenia & Parkinson's; response to something new & exciting
Can be either excitatory or inhibitory neurotransmitters; pathways involved with mood regulation
Key-lock mechanism
Describes the way in which neurotransmitters bind to the receptors of the receiving neurons
Spinal cord
Bundle of neurons that carries messages between body & brain
Reflex arc
Afferent (sensory) neurons, efferent (motor) neurons, interneurons (connectors of 1st 2)
Parasympathetic nervous system
"Rest & digest"
Sympathetic nervous system
"Fight or flight"
Electrodes placed on scalp to measure brain waves
CT scan
Series of brian x-rays to see structures and damage
more detail than CT
PET scan
Shows brain activity
Shows structure & activity
Located at the base of the brain, consisting of various parts functioning to sustain bodily functions; aka brain stem
(Hindbrain) Involuntary life functions (breathing, heartbeat)
(Hindbrain) Coordinates movements between right & left sides of body
(Hindbrain) Involuntary, rapid, fine motor movement (walking, typing, playing guitar, etc.)
Reticular formation
(Hindbrain) Attention & alertness
Limbic system
Located under the cortex and involved in learning, emotion, memory, motivation
Sensory switchboard (all senses except smell) [limbic system]
Regulates body temperature, thirst, hunger, sleeping, waking, sexual activity, emotions, and controls pituitary (limbic system)
Helps with creating long-term memory (limbic system)
Responsible for fear responses and may play a role in aggression (limbic system)
Sensory information processed in wrong cortical areas - information interpreted as more than one sense
Activation of receptors in various sense organs
Subliminal stimuli
Stimuli just below level of conscious awareness (ex. gut feeling)
Brain stops attending to constant, unchanging stimuli (cognitive) [ex. band aid]
Sensory adaptation
Sensory receptors less responsive to constant stimuli (biological) [ex. daily shots]
Change blindness
Inability to notice a change in the environment if not paying attention to it
Dim light
Low amplitude
Bright light
High amplitude
Color based on...
Brightness based on...
Amplitude (wave)
Long wavelength
Shorter wavelength
Clear membrane that covers the eye's surface
Focuses light on retina
Lens moves depending on focus
Muscle that gives light its color; opens & closes pupil
Hole through which light enters; low light (big) vs. bright light (small)
Back of eye where light is focused; sends info. to brain to process it
Photoreceptor cells
Rods & cones
Bipolar neurons
Ganglion cells
Optic nerve
Carries neural impulses from eye to brain; once detached cannot be replaced
Blind spot
Spot where you can't see anything because it is where the optic nerve is
Located in fovea (retina); responsible for day vision--color, shape, movement
Located in periphery; responsible for black & white, peripheral vision)
Trichromatic theory
3 types of cones (red, blue, green); firing rate of cones & color to see different colors
Opponent-process theory
4 primary colors with cones arranged in pairs; explains afterimages
Color blindness
Caused by defective cones; monochromatic & red-green
Measure of sound; measured in Hertz (waves/cycles per second)
Volume; decibels
Snail shaped structure filled with fluid (inner ear)
Organ of Corti
In basilar membrane & contains receptor cells (inner ear)
Auditory nerve
Receives messages from Organ of Corti (inner ear)
Taste also known as...
Taste buds
Send chemicals from food to brain to process taste (tongue)
Ridges/bumps on tongue to pull in chemicals from food
5 primary tastes
Sweet, sour, salty, bitter, umami
Smell also known as...
Smells sensed by...
Olfactory receptors
Smell pathway
Olfactory--cilia--neural impulse--olfactory nerve--olfactory bulb (brain)
Method by which sensations are organized & interpreted; highly based on personal experiences
Size & shape constancy
Even though something moves or is at a different angle, brain realizes it's the same object
Gestalt principles
People have a natural tendency to force patterns onto whatever they see. (brain fills in missing data)
Figure ground
Identifies figure/focus & background
We see things that are close together as being in a group/belonging together
If they look the same, they must belong together.
We see things as complete when they're not
If it looks like a continual thing, it must be 1 thing
2 events that happen close together in time and/or space are associated (ex. thunder & lightning)
Facial recognition
Eyes & mouth play a dominant role; survival technique
Depth cues that involve comparing the left and right eye images (retinal disparity)
Depth cues that appear in the image in either the left or right eye
Retinal disparity
Images from the 2 eyes differ; both eyes send info. to certain sides of brain to form a complete picture
Linear perspective
Parallel lines converging seen as distance
Relative size
Objects are same size despite distance
Things that block something are closer
Arial perspective
Things closer look sharper, far away are fuzzier
Texture gradient
Things closer look sharp, far away look smooth/blurry
Motion parallax
When moving in 1 direction, we see what we're looking at going in the opposite direction (ex. driving)
Relatively permanent change in behavior due to experience
Ivan Pavlov
Russian physiologist that discovered classical conditioning
Classical conditioning
Reflexes, stimuli, & responses; unconditioned (learned) & conditioned (learned) stimuli & responses; INVOLUNTARY
Vicarious conditioning
Learning a conditioned response by seeing it happen to someone else
Operant conditioning
Voluntary behavior learned through consequences
Thorndike's Law of Effect
Responses followed by pleasurable consequences are repeated
B.F. Skinner
(operant conditioning) Studied observable, measurable behavior
Any consequence that makes a response more likely to occur (goal: INCREASE a behavior)
Primary reinforcer
Meets a basic biological need or drive (food, water, shelter, sex, emotion)
Secondary reinforcer
Reinforcing via pairing with primary reinforcer (ex. money can be used to buy basic needs)
Positive reinforcement
Addition of pleasurable stimulus
Negative reinforcement
Removal, escape, or avoidance of aversive stimulus; taking something away from an environment to continue a behavior
Any consequence that makes a response less likely (opposite of reinforcement)
Addition of unpleasant stimulus
Removal of pleasurable stimulus
Effective punishment
Immediate, consistent, paired with reinforcement for correct behaviors
Fixed ratio
Same number of desired responses to get reward (set number)
Variable ratio
Number of responses required varies for each event
Fixed interval
Always same time before reinforcement opportunity
Variable interval
Reinforcement possibilities after varying amounts of time
Behavior modification
Application of operant conditioning to effect change
Cognitive learning theory
Early days of learning - focus on behavior, 1950s & 60s - focus on mental events (cognition)
Edward Tolman
Early cognitive scientist; rats & latent learning
Latent learning
We're always learning/picking up information (brain stores it)
Learned helplessness
Tendency to fail to act to escape from a situation because of a history of repeated failures
Observational learning
Learning new behavior by watching a model behave (copying someone)
Albert Bandura
Bobo Doll Experiment - we can learn a behavior just by seeing the behavior performed by others.
Steps in observational learning
Attention, memory, imitation, motivation
To learn through observation, must first attend to model
Learner must be able to retain what was observed
Learner must be able to reproduce actions of model
Learner must be motivated to reproduce observed behaviors
Mirror neurons
Explain why & how we learn through observational learning; same part of brain "lights up" when observing a behavior as the part that "lights up" when actually doing that behavior
System that senses, organizes, alters, stores, and retrieves information.
Converting environmental and mental stimuli into memorable brain codes.
"Holding on" to encoded information.
Pulling information from storage.
Main process for sensory memory
Pattern recognition.
Short-term memory encoding
Visual & auditory - visual sketchpad & phonological loop.
Short-term memory capacity
Magical number 7
Putting information together into chunks to remember a greater amount of information.
Short-term memory duration
12-30 seconds
Rehearsal (long-term information)
Rote vs. elaborative - done so many times it is engrained.
Procedural/implicit memory
Memory of how to do something. Stored in multiple areas of the brain & very difficult to lose.
Declarative/explicit memory
Personal memories that aren't a procedure. More likely to be lost in trauma; not stored in as many places in the brain.
Semantic network model
Closely associated memories stored close together in a hierarchy for faster, more accurate recall of closely related concepts.
Retrieval cues
Context dependent & state dependent
Context dependent (retrieval cue)
Time, location, environment
State dependent (retrieval cue)
Internal state, emotions, physiology
Godden & Baddeley's study
Where we learn information influences our ability to recall it.
State-dependent effect
The tendency to recall information is better if one is in the same pharmacological or psychological state as when information was encoded.
One feels as though one knows information but can only generate bits and pieces - result of information not being stored where it was supposed to.
Pulling out information without any cues.
Serial position effect
When you learn information affects you ability to remember it.
Primary effect
Remember first thing that happened rather than everything after it.
Recency effect
Remember last/most recent thing seen better.
False positive (recognition)
Occurs when one thinks that one recognizes someone or something but in fact does not.
Flashbulb memories
Automatic encoding due to an unexpected, highly emotional event.
Constructive processing
Retrieval/content of memories altered by newer information.
Hindsight bias
false belief (due to constructive processes) that one could/should have predicted outcome of an event.
Misinformation effect
Misleading information presented after event can affect memory accuracy for event.
False memory syndrome
Creation of inaccurate or false memories via other's suggestions. (often while person is under hypnosis)
Failure to properly store information for future use.
Encoding failure
Failure to pay attention to and process information into short-term memory.
Rehearsal failure
Failure to effectively connect new information with prior knowledge due to poor elaboration.
Memory trace
Physical change in brain that occurs when a memory is formed.
Loss of information due to disuse.
Proactive interference
Information learned earlier interferes with information learned later.
Retroactive interference
Information learned later interferes with information learned earlier.
Physical change in brain when memory is formed.
Area of brain responsible for formation of long-term memories.
Anterograde amnesia
Inability to form new memories.
Retrograde amnesia
Cannot recall events from the past.
Awareness of everything going on inside & outside of you.
Thoughts, feelings, sensations are clear.
Altered state
Shift in quality or pattern of mental activity.
Circadian rhythm
24 hour bodily rhythm.
Tiny section of brian that influences glandular system.
Superchiasmatic nucleus
Internal clock that tells people wake up/fall asleep & tells pineal gland to secrete melatonin for sleepiness.
Sleep lasting only a few seconds.
Sleep deprivation
Sleep loss that impairs concentration and results in irritability.
Beta waves
(Pre-sleep) Person is wide awake and mentally active.
Alpha waves
(Pre-sleep) Person is relaxed or lightly sleeping.
Stage 1 sleep (theta waves)
Light sleep, hypnic jerk, hypnagogic images
Stage 2 sleep
Temperature, breathing, & heart rate decrease; sleep spindles.
Stages 3 & 4 sleep (delta waves)
Growth hormones released, hard to wake up.
REM sleep (stage 5)
Rapid eye movement - eyes moving under eyelids, 90% of dreaming, paradoxical sleep, infants form neural connections (50% of sleep)
Sleep walking
Moving or walking around during deep sleep.
Night terrors
Bad dreams causing a physiological response.
Bad dreams arousing feelings of horror, helplessness, extremem sorrow, etc.
Inability to get to sleep, stay asleep, or get good quality sleep.
Sleep apnea
Person stops breathing for half a minute or more.
Person falls immediately into REM sleep during the day without warning. (Cataplexy - sudden loss of muscle tone)
Mental activity for organizing, understanding, and communicating.
Mental images
Picture-like representations of objects and events
Formal concepts
Defined by specific rules or features.
Natural concepts
Form as a result of real world experience.
Example of concept that closely matches defining characteristics (the best example of something).
Problem solving
Cognition used to reach a goal by thinking/behaving in certain ways.
Trial & error
One possible solution after another tried until successful
Specific steps for solving certain problems.
Guess based on experience ("rule of thumb")
Artificial intelligence
Creation of a machine that can think like a human.
Functional fixedness
Thinking about only most typical functions of objects.
Mental set
Persist using past problem-solving patterns.
Confirmation bias
Search for evidence that fits beliefs while ignoring evidence not fitting bias.
Solving problems by combining ideas or behaviors in new ways.
Convergent thinking
All lines of problem solving lead to a single answer.
Divergent thinking
One point to may ideas or possibilities
System for combining symbols to communicate and to represent mental activity.
Rules for language use & structure
Rules for combining words & phrases
Smallest units of meaning (words, sounds)
Basic units of sound
Practical & social parts of conversation
Human development
Study of changes in people from conception until death.
Longitudinal study
Compare a certain group of people over a long period of time
Cross-sectional study
Compare different age groups in a smaller time frame
Cross-sequential design
Combination of longitudinal & cross-sectional studies
Science of inherited traits
Molecule containing organism's genetic material
Section of DNA having same arrangement of chemical elements
Uniting of egg & sperm
Moment pregnancy begins
Cell resulting from egg-sperm union
Monozygotic twins
(Identical) Infants will be same sex, have identical features, and possess same set of 46 chromosomes
Dizygotic twins
(Fraternal) No more genetically similar than regular siblings
Germinal period of pregnancy
(Implantation) 1st 2 weeks after fertilization during which the zygote moves to uterus
Embryonic period of pregnancy
3-5 weeks, cells differentiate themselves into what they're supposed to become (organs, etc.)
Fetal period of pregnancy
12-38 weeks, growth, identify sex 13-20 weeks
5 reflexes for survival
Stepping, grasping, moro-startle, sucking, rooting
Motor milestones
Raising head, rolling over, sitting up, crawling, walking
Piaget's stage theory
Organization based on schemas - specific information stored in specific places.
Assimilation & Accomodation
Piaget stage 1
Sensorimotor - birth-2 years - children explore using senses, object permanence
Piaget stage 2
Pre-operational - 2-7 years - egocentrism, conservation issues
Piaget stage 3
Concrete - 7-10 years - conservation understood, decentration & reversibility, classification, concerte logic
Piaget stage 4
Formal - 12 years-adulthood - highly based on schooling, abstractions & analogues, hypothesis testing
Vygotsky's zones
The novice needs social interaction to improve their skills.
Zone of proximal development
Space between children being able to cognitively do something on their own (now) and being able to do something with help (in the future).
Social interaction that helps children get past z.p.d.
Behavioral characteristics established at birth (genetic)
3 types of temperament
Easy, difficult, slow to warm up
Bond between infant and caregiver
Attachment styles
Secure, avoidant, ambivalent, disorganized
Erikson stage 1
Birth-1 year - trust & mistrust, basic needs consistently or inconsistently met; predictability >trust
Erikson stage 2
1-3 years - toddler realized that they can direct their own behavior; direction>autonomy
Erikson stage 3
3-5 years - initiative vs. guilt, pre-schoolers challenged to control behavior; responsibility>initiative
Erikson stage 4
5-12 years - industry vs inferiority, school-aged children have more opportunities to learn; new skills>industry
Male/female behavior (feeling)
Gender identity
Perception of one's gender and behavior associated with that gender.
Gender roles
Culture's expectations for masculine & feminine
Gender typing
Acquiring gender role characteristics
Gender identity
Person's sense of being male or female
Biological influences on gender
Hormones & chromosomes
Environmental influences on gender
Parenting, surroundings, & culture
Social learning theory
Gender identity formed through reinforcement & modeling
Gender schema theory
Child develops male or female schema, then observes & behaves accordingly
Age 13 to early 20s
Bodily changes & sexual development
Social psychology
Influence of real, imagines, or implied presence of others
Social influence
Effects of real or imagined others
Changing behavior to match others'
More concern for group cohesion than assessing facts
Doing something because you're asked to
Getting someone to agree to do a big favor by first asking them to do a small one.
Doing something because something in authority (direct or implied) tells you to.
Tendency to respond positively or negatively toward people, ideas, etc.
3 components of attitude
Affective (feel), cognitive (think), behavioral (do)
Attempt to change another's attitude via argument, explanation, etc.
3 elements of persuasion
Target audience, message, source
Explaining behavior when there is no obvious cause
Dispositional attribution
Internal (something's wrong with you)
Situational attribution
External (situation contributed to behavior)
Fundamental attribution error
Overestimate another's internal characteristics and underestimate external influence of situation.
Negative thoughts and feeling about a particular group.
Treating others differently because of prejudice
Blaming out-groups for what's happening to them.
Interpersonal attraction
Liking or having the desire for a relationship with another person
Factors of attraction
Proximity, similarity, reciprocity
Components of love
Intimacy, passion, commitment
Deliberate behavior intended to hurt or destroy another organism.
Social roles
Pattern of behavior expected of a person in particular social position
Helping someone in need
Bystander effect
We tend to not offer help because with think someone else will do it.
Unique & stable ways people think, feel, and behave (set in childhood & does not change over time)
Enduring characteristics each person is born with.
Value judgments of morality & ethics
Conscious (Freud)
Contact with outside world
Preconscious (Freud)
Material just beneath surface of awareness
Unconscious (Freud)
Difficult to retrieve material; well below surface of awareness.
Animalistic drives needed for survival
What's right & wrong (develops over time)
Balances id & superego
Defense mechanisms
Unconscious distortions of perceptions to reduce anxiety
Refuse to acknowledge threatening situation
Refuse to consciously remember a threatening or unacceptable event.
Invent acceptable excuses for unacceptable behavior.
Unacceptable impulses seen as originating in someone else.
Reaction formation
Opposite emotional or behavioral reaction to the way one really feels.
Redirect feelings from a threatening target to less threatening one.
Fall back on childlike response patterns when under stress.
Try to become like someone else to deal with anxiety.
Make up for inferiorities in one area by becoming superior in another area.
Channel socially unacceptable impulses into socially acceptable behavior.
Personality development - oral
1st year - mouth = erogenous zone, weaning is primary conflict.
Personality development - anal
1-3 years - ego develops, toilet training conflict, expulsive vs. retentive personalities
Personality development - phallic
3-6 years - superego develops, sexual feelings, Oedipus complex, identify with same-sex parent
Personality development - latent
6-puberty - sexual feelings repressed, same-sex play, social skills
Personality development - genital
Puberty - sexual feelings consciously expressed
Freud's theory of personality and therapy based on it.
Personal & collective unconscious, archetypes
Inferiority and compensation, birth-order theory
Basic anxiety & neurotic personalities
Social relationships across the lifespan
Behaviorists - personality
Set of learned responses or habits.
Social cognitive theorists - personality
Emphasize importance of other's behaviors & own expectations
Humanists - personality
Focus on traits that make people uniquely human (reaction against psychoanalysis)
Self-actualizing tendency
Striving to fulfill innate capabilities
Image of oneself; interactions with significant people
Real self
One's perception of actual characteristics, traits, and abilities
Ideal self
What one should or would like to be.
Trait theories
Describe characteristics for purpose of prediction
A consistent, enduring way of thinking, feeling, or behaving
Allport & Cattell
Listed 200 traits believed to be part of nervous system; narrowed number to 16-23
Surface traits
Outward actions of a person
Source traits
More basic traits forming core of personality
Big 5 theory
Open/closed, conscientious/undirected, extraverted/introverted, agreeable/disagreeable, neurotic/stable
Projective tests
Ambiguous visual stimuli - respond with whatever comes to mind
Rorschach inkblot test
10 ambiguous inkblots; predictive of mental illness
Thematic Apperception Test
20 pictures of people in ambiguous situations
Study of abnormal thoughts feelings, and behaviors
Abnormal behavior criteria
Statistically rare, social norm deviance, subjective discomfort, inability to function, danger to self/others
Biological model for abnormal behavior
Behavior caused by biological changes in the chemical, structural, or genetic systems of the body
Used to diagnose mental disorders; 5 axis
Axis I
Clinical disorders - disorders/conditions requiring clinical attention (can be cured)
Axis II
Personality & retardation - maladaptive personality trait and brain development issues (can't cure)
Axis III
General medical - Medical conditions that affect a mental disorder
Axis IV
Psychosocial & environmental - Social & environmental problems impacting treatment
Axis V
Global function - Level of functioning in daily living
Anxiety disorders
Main symptom excessive or unrealistic anxiety
Free-floating anxiety
Unrelated to any realistic, known source
Irrational, persistent fear of object, situation, or social activity.
Social phobia
Fear of negative evaluation in social situations.
Fear of enclosed spaces.
Fear of heights
Fear of place/situation from which escape is difficult or impossible.
Panic disorder
Frequent, disruptive panic attacks (panic attacks mimic heart attacks)
An emotional reaction