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126 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Set of questions given to a group in order to find out more about the mind. Representative samples are better than biased samples.
Naturalistic Observation
Observing nature of humans and other animals. Can be observer biased.
Correlation and Causation
Correlation does NOT equal causation.
Independent/ Dependent Variables
Independent is what's being tested. Dependent is the results.
Impression of Psych
With hopes of satisfying curiosity, many people listen to talk-radio counselors and psychics to learn about others and themselves. This is not what psychology really is.
The Need For Psychological Science
Intuition & Common Sense. Many people believe that intuition and common sense are enough to bring forth answers regarding human nature. Intuition and common sense may aid queries, but they are not free of error.
Pragmatic intelligence
Common sense:can it be taught? Could be learned, could be base on experience & culture.
Limits of Intuition
Personal interviewers may rely too much on their "gut feelings" when meeting with job applicants.
Errors of Common Sense
Try this!
Fold a piece of paper 100 times. How thick will it be?
800,000,000,000,000 times the distance between the sun and the earth.
Hindsight Bias
The "I-knew-it-all-along" phenomenon.
After learning the outcome of an event, many people believe they could have predicted that very outcome. We only knew the dot.com stocks would plummet after they actually did plummet.
We sometimes think we know more than we actually know.
Ex: anagrams
Psychological Science
1.How can we differentiate between uniformed opinions and examined conclusions?
2. The science of psych helps make these examined conclusions, which leads to our understanding of how people feel, think, and act as they do.
The Scientific Attitude
Composed of curiosity (passion for exploration), skepticism(doubting and questioning), and humility (ability to accept responsibility when wrong).
Critical Thinking
Does not accept arguments and conclusions blindly. Examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence and assesses conclusions.
The Amazing Randi
Magician. Debugs psychics, but you can't prove there aren't any.
Scientific Method
Used to construct theories that organize, summarize, and simplify observations.
An explanation that integrates principles and organizes and predicts behavior or events.
For example, low self-esteem contributes to depression.
Testable prediction, often prompted by a theory to enable us to accept, reject or revise the theory.
People with low self-esteem are apt to feel more depressed.
theory-believed true based on tests
hypothesis-gives direction so one may test it.
Research Observations
Research would require us to administer tests of self-esteem and depression. Individuals who score low on a self-esteem test and high on a depression test would confirm our hypothesis.
Research Process
Theories lead to hypothesis (or direction), which lead to research and observation which generate or refine theories.
Case Study
A technique in which one person is studied in depth to reveal underlying behavioral principles. One separate case takes a lot of time and money. Cannot generalize results.
Clinical Study
Form of case study in which the therapist investigates the problems associated with a client. *Not everyone copes the same way.
Technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes, opinions or behaviors of people usually done by questioning a representative, random sample of people.
Wording Effect
Wording can change the results of a survey.
People in the United States prefer "not allowed" rather to "prohibit" or "outlaw" because it is less harsh. Valid surveys are hard to make.
False Consensus Effect
Tendency to overestimate the extent to which others share our beliefs and behaviors.
Random Sampling
If each member of a population has an equal chance of inclusion into a sample, it is called a random sample (unbiased). If the survey sample is biased, its results are not valid.
Naturalistic Observation
Observing and recording the behavior of animals in the wild and recording self-seating patterns in a multiracial school lunch room constitute naturalistic observation.
Case studies, surveys, and naturalistic observation describe behaviors.
When one trait or behavior accompanies another.
Graph of comprised points that are generated by two variables. The slop of the points depicts the direction while the amount of scatter depicts the strength of the relationship. 1.0 will never happen.
Illusory Correlation
The perception of a relationship where no relationship actually exists. Ex: Parents conceive children after adoption.
Order in Random Events
Given random data, we look for order and meaningful patterns.
Given large numbers of random outcomes, a few are likely to express order.
Backbone of psychology research. Experiments isolate causes and their effects.
Cause & Effect
Many factors influence our behavior. Experiments 1) manipulate factors that interest us, while other factors are kept under 2) control.
Effects generated by manipulated factors isolate cause and effect relationships.
Independent Variable
A factor manipulated by the experimenter. The effect of the independent variable is the focus of the study.
Ex: When examining the effects of breast feeding upon intelligence, breast feeding is the independent variable.
Dependent Variable
A factor that may change in response to an independent variable. In psych, it is usually a behavior or a mental process.
Ex: When examining the effects of breast feeding upon intelligence, intelligence is the dependent variable.
Double-blind procedure
In evaluating drug therapies, patients and experimenter's assistants should remain unaware of which patients had the real treatment and which patients had the placebo treatment.
Random Assignment
Assigning participants to experimental and control conditions by random assignment minimizes pre-existing differences between the two groups.
Statistical Reasoning
Statistical procedures analyze and interpret data allowing us to see what the unaided eye misses.
Describing Data
A meaningful description of data is important in research. Misrepresentation may lead to incorrect conclusions.
The most frequently occurring score in a distribution.
The arithmetic average of scores in a distribution obtained by adding the scores and then dividing by the number of scores that were added together.
The middle score in a rank-ordered distribution.
Skewed Distribution
The mean may be thrown of by below or above average scores.
The difference between the highest and lowest scores in a distribution.
Standard deviation
A computed measure of how much scores vary around the mean.
Making Inferences
A statistical statement of how frequently an obtained result occurred by experimental manipulation or by chance.
When is an Observed Difference Reliable?
1. Representative samples are better than biased samples.
2. Less variable observations are more reliable than more variable ones.
3. More cases are better than fewer cases.
When is a difference significant?
When sample averages are reliable and the difference between them is relatively large, we say the difference has statistical significance.
For psychologists this difference is measure through alpha level set at 5 percent.
Can laboratory experiments illuminate everyday life?
Artificial laboratory conditions are created to study behavior in simplistic terms. The goal is to find underlying principles that govern behavior.
Does behavior depend on one's culture?
Even when specific attitudes and behaviors vary across cultures, as they often do, the underlying processes are much the same.
Does behavior vary with gender?
Yes. Biology determines our sex, and culture further bends the genders. However, in many ways woman and man are similarly human.
Why do psychologists study animals?
Studying animals gives us the understanding of many behaviors that may have common biology across animals and humans.
Is it ethical to experiment on animals?
Yes. To gain insights to devastating and fatal diseases. All researchers who deal with animal research are required to follow ethical guidelines in caring for these animals.
It is ethical to experiment on people?
Yes. Experiments that do not involve any kind of physical or psychological harm beyond normal levels encountered in daily life may be carried out.
Is psychology free of value judgments?
No. Psychology emerges from people who subscribe a set of values and judgments.
Is psychology potentially dangerous?
It can be, but it is not. The purpose of psychology is to help humanity with problems such as war, hunger, prejudice, crime, family dysfunction, etc.
Neural Communication
Neurobiologists and other investigators understand that humans and animals operate similarly when processing information.
interconnected brain-cells.
cell body
life support center of the neuron
branching extensions at the cell body. receive messages from other neurons.
long single extension of a neuron, covered with myelin sheath to insulate and speed up messages through neurons.
terminal branches (of axon)
branched endings of an axon that transmit messages to other neurons.
action potential
a neural impulse. brief electrical charge that travels down an axon and is generated by the movement of positively charged atoms in and out of channels in the axon's membrane.
positive ions enter the neuron, making it more prone to firing an action potential.
negative ions enter the neuron, making it less prone to firing an action potential.
each neuron receives depolarizing and hyperpolarizing currents from many neurons. when the deplorarizing current minus the hyperpolarizing current exceed minimum intensity, the neuron fires an action potential.
refractory period
after a neuron fires an action potential it pauses for a short period to recharge itself to fire again.
sodium-potassium pumps
pumps positives ions out from the inside of the neuron, making them ready for another action potential.
all-or-none response
when the depolarizing current exceeds the threshold, a neuron will fire. if the depolarizing current fails to exceed the threshold, the neuron will not fire.
intensity of an action potential remains the same throughout the length of the axon.
junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron. the tiny gap is called the synaptic gap or cleft.
chemicals released from the sending neuron travel across the synapse and bind to receptor sites on the receiving neuron, thereby influencing it to generate an action potential.
neurotransmitters in the synapse are reabsorbed into the sending neurons through the process of reuptake. this process applies the breakes on neurotransmitter action.
muscle action, learning, and memory
influences movement, learning, attention, and emotion.
affects mood, hunger, sleep, and arousal.
controls alertness and arousal.
major inhibitory.
major exicitatory, involved in memory.
lock and key mechanism
neurotransmitters bind to the receptors of the receiving neuron in a key-lock mechanism.
similar in structure to another neurotransmitter, and mimics its affects.
inhibits. similar enough to occupy the receptor and block the action.
nervous system
all the nerve cells. body's speedy, electrochemical communication system.
central nervous system
the brain and the spinal cord.
peripheral nervous system
all other sensory and motor neurons.
kinds of neurons
Sensory neurons carry incoming information from the sense receptors to the CNS. motor neurons carry outgoing information from them CNS to muscles and glands. interneurons connect the two neurons.
glial cells
astrocytes provide nutrition to neurons.
oligodendrocyes and schwann cells insulate neurons as myelin.
somatic nervous system
controls the body's skeletal muscles.
autonomic nervous system
controls glands and other muscles.
nerves consist of neural "cables" containing many axons. they are part of the pns and connect muscles, glands, and sense organs to the cns.
autonomic nervous system (ans)
sympathetic nervous system: arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations.
parasympathetic nervous system: calms the body and conserves its energy.
the brain and neural networks
interconnected neurons form networks in the brain. These networks are complex and modify with growth and experience.
frontal lobe
voluntary movement. thinking/decisions. personality. intentionality/purpose.
occipital lobe
temporal lobe
hearing. language processing. memory.
parietal lobe
spatial location. attention. motor control.
function of the cortex
motor cortex- rear of frontal lobes. control voluntary movements.
sensory cortex- receives info from skin surface and sense organs.
association areas
more intelligent animals have increased 'uncommitted' or association areas of the cortex.
aphasia is an impairment of language, caused by left hemisphere damage to broca's (impaired speaking) or to wernicke's area (impaired understanding)
brain's ability to modify itself after some type of injury or illness.
divided brain
the brain is divided into two hemispheres. left processes reading, writing, speaking, mathematics, and comprehension skills. termed as the "dominant brain."
corpus callosum
fibers which connect the two hemispheres of the brain.
identical twins vs fraternal twins
identical- one sperm, one egg, split into two organisms.
fraternal- 2 + sperm, 2 + eggs.
separated twins
number of studies compared identical twins raised separately from birth and found numerous similarities in personality, intelligence, abilities, attitudes, interests, fears, brain waves, and heart rate.
adoption studies
suggest the adoptees tend to be different from their adoptive parents and siblings.
parenting does have an effect but sometimes doesn't make sense. ex: loving family produces sociopaths and psychopaths.
person's stable emotional reactivity and intensity. identical twins express similar temperaments, suggesting heredity predisposes temperament.
the extent to which the differences among people are attributed to genes.
gene-environment reaction
ex: a genetic predisposition that makes a child restless and hyperactive evokes an angry response from his parents. a stressful environment can trigger genes to manufacture neurotransmitters leading to depression.
molecular genetics
identifying the genes that put people at risk for disorders. this however is an ethical concern.
why do infants fear strangers?
why are most parents so passionately devoted to their children?
emotional bond. 'protecting gene.'
mating preferences
males- mate with multiple females.

females- one mature and and caring male.
experience and brain development
those raised in enriched environments will develop thicker cortices.
experience and faculties
early experiences show remarkable improvements in music, languages, and arts.
the competent newborn
infants are born with reflexes that aid in survival. offspring cries are important signals for parents to provide nourishment.
cognitive development in the newborn
investigators study infants becoming habituated to objects over a period of time. infants pay more attention to new objects than habituated ones, which shows they are learning.
physical development
infants' psychological development depends on their biological development.
developing brain
overproduces neurons.28 billion around 7 months.
the development of the brain unfolds based on genetic instructions, causing various bodily and mental functions to occur in sequence-standing before walking, babbling before talking.
motor development
experience has little effect on this sequence.
infant memory
the earliest age of conscious memory is around 3 1/2 years. a 5 year old can produce more long term memories.
cognitive development
driving force behind intellectual development is biological development amidst experiences with the environment. ex: we learn from our mistakes.
mental molds into which we pour our experiences. assimilation, we put anything similar into our schema, accommodation, change our schema to fit things.
sensorimotor stage.
babies take in the world by looking, hearing, touching, mouthing, and grasping. children younger than 6 months do not grasp object permanence. piajet believed that children could not think at this stage. of course, he was proven wrong.