AP Psychology Review

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ablation
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removal or destruction of brain tissue in a surgical procedure
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absolute threshold
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intensity level at which one can detect a stimulus 50% of the time
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accommodation
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the process of modifying a schema to account for new information; the process of the eyes lens changing shape in order to focus on distant or near objects
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acetylcholine (ACh)
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a neurotransmitter involved in learning, memory and muscle movement
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need for achievement
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desire for accomplishment, mastery of people, ideas, things, desire for reaching a high standard
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achievement test
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a test that assesses what one has learned
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acquisition
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a process in classical conditioning by which the association of a neutral stimulus with a natural stimulus is first established
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action potential
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the electrical process by which information is transmitted the length of an axon
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activation synthesis
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the idea that dreams are the result of the cerebral cortex interpreting and organizing random flashes of brain activity, originating in the lower brain structures, especially the pons
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adrenal gland
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source of the hormone norepinephrine which affects arousal
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affective disorders
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psychological disturbances of mood
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need for affiliation
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desire to associate with others, to be part of a group, to form close and intimate relationships
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after image
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an image that remains after a stimulus is removed, especially one in which the colors are reversed
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agonists
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drugs which mimic the activity of neurotransmitters
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alcohol
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the most frequently used and abused CNS depressant in most cultures; its use affects mood, judgment, cognition
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all-or-nothing
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description of the action of neurons when firing
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alpha waves
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seen when an individual is in a relaxed, unfocused, yet still awake state
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amygdala
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limbic system component associated with emotion, particularly fear and anger
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anal stage
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Freud’s pychosexual period during which a child learns to control his bodily excretions
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anorexia (nervosa)
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an eating disorder in which one starves oneself even though significantly underweight
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antagonist
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drug which blocks the activity of neurotransmitters
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anterograde amnesia
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loss of memory for events that occur after the onset of the amnesia; eg, see in a boxer who suffers a severe blow to the head and loses memory for events after the blow
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retrograde amnesia
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loss of memory for events that occurred before the onset of amnesia; eg a soldier’s forgetting events immediately before a shell burst nearby, injuring him
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antisocial personality disorder
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psychological disorder in which one demonstrates a lack of conscience
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anvil
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the middle of the three ossicles
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aphasia
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impairment of language usually caused by damage to the left hemisphere
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arousal
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condition in which the sympathetic nervous system is in control
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artificial intelligence
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a subdiscipline of computer science that attempts to simulate human thinking
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assimilation
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interpreting new experiences in terms of existing schema
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association areas
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areas of the cerebral cortex which have no specific motor or sensory repsonsibilities, but rather are involved in thinking, memory and judgment
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associative learning
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learning in which an organism learns that certain events occur together, such as my cat knowing that she will be fed when I get home from work
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attachment
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theory developed by Harlow; types include secure and insecure
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attitude
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a relatively enduring evaluation of a person or thing; Asch demonstrated that this doesn’t always match one’s behavior
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attraction
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feeling of being drawn toward another and desiring the company of a person
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attribution theory
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a way of explaining others’ behavior by either one’s disposition or one’s situation
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auditory canal
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the area that sound waves pass through to reach the eardrum
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authoritarian
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style of parenting in which the parent creates strict rules for the child and the child has little or no input into determining the rules
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autonomic nervous system
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division of the nervous system that control the glands and organs; its divisions arouse or calm
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autonomy vs. shame and doubt
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Erikson’s stage in which a toddler learns to exercise will and to do things independently; failure to do so causes shame and doubt
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availability heuristic
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this cognitive shortcut features the idea that events which are vividly in memory seem to be more common
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axon
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extension of the neuron which carries, via an action potential, information that will be sent on to other neurons, muscles or glands
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babbling
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stage of language development at about 4 months when an infant spontaneously utters nonsense sounds
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basic research
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scientific investigations intended to expand the knowledge base
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applied research
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scientific investigations intended to solve practical problems
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behavioral
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perspective on psychology that sees psychology as an objective science without reference to mental states
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belief perseverance
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situation in which one’s beliefs continue despite the fact that the ground for the beliefs have been discredited
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big 5 personality factors
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openness to new experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism
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binocular cues
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retinal disparity and convergence which enable people to determine depth using both eyes
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biological
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perspective that stresses links between biology and behavior
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bipolar cells
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eye neurons that receive information from the retinal cells and distribute information to the ganglion cells
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bipolar disorder
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mood disorder in one experiences both manic and depressed episodes
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blind spot
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point in the retinal where the optic nerve leaves the retina so there are no rods or cones there
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bottom-up processing
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analysis that begins with sensory receptors and works its way up to the brain’s integration of sensory information
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hemispheres
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we have two, right and left, and some brain functions seem to centered in one or the other
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brainstem
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oldest part of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord swells upon entering the skull; controls fundamental survival processes like heartrate and breathing
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bulimia
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eating disorder characterized by excessive eating followed by purging
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bystander effect
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the tendency to not offer help when needed if others are present who do not offer help
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Cannon-Baird
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theory of emotion that says that a stimulus causes simultaneously psyiological arousal and the subjective experience of an emotion
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case study
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scientific investigation in which a single subject is studied in great detail
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CAT scan
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a method of creating static images of the brain through computerized axial tomography
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catatonic
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a form of schizophrenia in which the patient has muscle immobility and does not move
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catharsis
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release of aggressive energy through activity or fantasy
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Central Nervous System
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consists of the brain and the spinal cord
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cerebellum
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brain structure that controls well-learned motor activities like riding a bike
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cerebral cortex
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the fabric of interconnecting cells that blankets the brain hemispheres; the brain’s center for information processing and control
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chaining
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using operant conditioning to teach a complex response by linking together less complex skills
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chunking
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organizing units of information into manageable units such as memorizing a phone number as three groups of information 248-555-1212
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circadian rhythm
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the daily biological rhythms that occur in a 24-hour period
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classical conditioning
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method of learning in which a neutral stimulus can be used to elicit a response that is usually a natural response to a stimulus
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client-centered therapy
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developed by Carl Rogers, this humanistic therapy includes unconditional positive regard
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clinical
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this type of psychologist studies, assesses and treats those with psychological disorders
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cochlea
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this coiled structure in the inner ear is fluid-filled and in it the energy from sound waves stimulate hair cells
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cognitive dissonance theory
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this says that we will suffer discomfort and act to change the situation when our thoughts and actions seem to be inconsistent
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cognitive
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perspective on psychology that stresses the importance of mental activities associated with thinking, remembering, etc
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cognitive therapy
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treatment for psychological disorders that centers on changing self-defeating thinking
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collective unconscious
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Jung’s theory that we all share an inherited memory that contains our culture’s most basic elements
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color blindness
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a variety of disorders marked by inability to distinguish some or all colors
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collectivist
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this adjective describes cultures in which the individual is less important than the group
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concrete operations
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Piaget’s stage in which children learn such concepts as conservation and mathematical transformations; about 7 – 11 years of age
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concurrent validity
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the extent to which two measures of the same trait or ability agree
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conditioned response
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in classical conditioning, the response elicited by the conditioned stimulus
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conditioning
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generally, learning in which certain experiences make certain behaviors more or less likely; there are two forms of this
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conduction
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one type of hearing impairment caused by mechanical problems in the ear structures
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cones
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neurons in the retina that are responsible for color vision
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confirmation bias
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a tendency to search for information that supports one’s preconceptions
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conformity
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adjusting behavior to meet a group’s standard
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confounding variable
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extraneous factor that interferes with the action of the independent variable on the dependent variable
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consciousness
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one’s awareness of one’s environment and oneself.
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consummate love
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includes passion, intimacy and committment
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control group
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subjects in an experiment who do not receive application of the independent variable but are measured nonetheless for the dependent variable
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convergent thinking
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a type of critical thinking in which one evaluates existing possible solutions to a problem to choose the best one
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cornea
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the transparent outer covering of the eye
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corpus callosum
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the fibers that connect the right and left hemispheres, enabling them to communicate
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correlation
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the degree of relationship between two variables
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correlation coefficient
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a positive one near 1.0 indicates two variable are positively related; a negative number indicates a negative relationship; zero indicates no relationship
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cross-sectional
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type of study that measures a variable across several age groups at the same time
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debriefing
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giving participants in a research study a complete explanation of the study after the study is completed
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defense mechanisms
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Freud’s processes by which individuals express uncomfortable emotions in disguised ways
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deindividuation
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when an individual seems to lose himself or herself in the group’s identity
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deinstitutionalization
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moving people with psychological or developmental disabilities from highly structured institutions to home- or community-based settings
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delta waves
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largest brain waves, associated with deep, dreamless sleep
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delusion
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irrational, highly improbable belief
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dendrite
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a branch off the cell body of a neuron that receives new information from other neurons
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denial
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a defense mechanism in which unpleasant thought or desires are ignored or excluded from consciousness
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dependent variable
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the variable that the experimenter measures at the end of the experiment
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depressant
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any agent that reduces the activity of the CNS
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depth perception
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an ability that we exercise by using both monocular and binocular cues
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difference threshold
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also called the jnd; smallest distinction between two stimuli that can consistently be detected
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diffusion of responsibility
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reduction in sense of responsibility often felt by individuals in a group; may be responsible for the bystander effect
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discrimination
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treating members of different races, religions, ethnic groups differently; usually associated with prejudice
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displacement
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defense mechanism in which unwanted feelings are directed towards a different object
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dispositional attribution
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assuming that another’s behavior is due to personality factors, not situational ones
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dissociative identity disorder
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also called multiple personality disorder
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dissociative fugue
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disorder in which one travels away from home and is unable to remember details of his past, including often his identity
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divergent thinking
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a type of creative thinking in which one generates new solutions to problems
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dopamine
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a neurotransmitter that is associated with Parkinson’s disease (too little of it) and schizophrenia (too much of it)
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double blind
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this term describes an experiment in which neither the subjects nor the experimenter knows whether a subject is a member of the experimental group or the control group
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dreams
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occur most often during REM sleep; may be caused by activation-synthesis, or may be a way of cementing memories
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drive reduction
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theory that claims that behavior is driven by a desire to lessen drives resulting from needs that disrupt homeostasis
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DSM
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initials of the American Psychiatric Association’s book that lists diagnostic criteria for many psychological disorders
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dyslexia
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a learning disability that results in difficulty reading and writing
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eardrum
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also called the tympanic membrane
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echoic
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term that describes memory of sounds
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EEG
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initials of a method of representation of brain waves
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ego
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the Latin for \”I\”; in Freud’s theories, the mediator between the demands of the id and the superego
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egocentrism
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in a toddler, the belief that others perceive the world in the same way that he or she does
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Electra complex
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counterpart to the Oedipus complex for females
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electroconvulsive therapy
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a treatment in which low level electric current is passed through the brain
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embryo
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early stage of human development, when cells have begun to differentiate
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emotion theories
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James-Lange, Cannon-Baird and Singer-Schachter are three
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encoding
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conversion of sensory information into a form that can be retained as a memory
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endocrine system
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the slow messenger system of the body; produces hormones that affect many bodily functions
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endorphins
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neurotransmitters that give one a feeling of well-being, euphoria or eliminate pain
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episodic
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describes a type of memory that includes specific events that one has personally experienced
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evolutionary
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perspective that stresses the value of behavior in Darwinian terms
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experiment
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form of scientific investigation in which one variable is tested to determine its effect on another
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experimental group
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subjects in an experiment to whom the independent variable is administered
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explicit
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term that describes memories that can be consciously recalled
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external locus of control
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this term describes what you have if your behaviors are driven mainly by outside forces
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extinction
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in classical conditioning, the process of eliminating the previously acquired association of the conditioned stimulus and conditioned response
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extraversion
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one of the Big 5, a personality trait orients one’s interests toward the outside world and other people, rather than inward
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extrinsic
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term that describes motivations that drive behavior in order to gain rewards from outside forces
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false consensus
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a belief that others share the same opinion about something, when actually most don’t
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feature detection
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the ability of the brain to identify specific components of visual stimuli such as corners or edges
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fetal alcohol syndrome
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sometimes the result in a child of the mother’s excessive drinking while pregnant, characterized by low birth weight, facial abnormalities, mental retardation
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fetus
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a stage in human development extending from about ten weeks after conception to birth
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figure-ground
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refers to our ability to distinguish foreground from background in visual images
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fixed interval
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describes the schedule of reinforcement wherein a worker receives a paycheck every Friday
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fixed ratio
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describes a schedule of reinforcement wherein a worker is paid for a certain sum for each product produced
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flashbulb
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term describes a vivid memory of a personally significant and emotionalevent
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fluid
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term describes a type of intelligence used to cope with novel situations and problems
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crystallized
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term describes a type of intelligence which applies cultural knowledge to solving problems
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foot-in-the-door
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term describes a phenomenon in which people who agree to a small request are more likely to later agree to a larger request
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formal operations
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One of Piaget’s stages; includes the ability to use abstract thinking
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fovea
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the central focus area of the retina
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frequency
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theory of hearing which states that the rate of nerve impulses traveling up the auditory nerve matches the tone’s frequency
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functional fixedness
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the tendency to think about things only in terms of their usual uses; can be a hindrance to creative thinking
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functionalism
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William James’s school of thought that stressed the adaptive and survival value of behaviors
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fundamental attribution error
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tendency to attribute others’ behavior to their dispositions and our own behaviors to our situations
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ganglion cells
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their axons form the optic nerve
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general adaptation syndrome
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Seyle’s concept that the body responds to stress with alarm, resistance and exhaustion
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generativity vs. stagnation
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Erikson’s stage of social development in which middle-aged people begin to devote themselves more to fulfilling one’s potential and doing public service
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gene
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made of DNA, it is the basic building block of heredity
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genital stage
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Freud’s stage of psychosexual development when adult sexuality is prominent
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gestalt
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German word for \”whole\”, it refers to our tendency to perceive incomplete figures as complete
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glial cell
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this acts as a support system for neurons
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grammar
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a system of rules in a language
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social norm
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a group’s determination of socially acceptable behavior
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group polarization
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tendency of group members to move to an extreme position after discussing an issue as a group
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groupthink
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tendency for group members to think alike with certainty of correctness, biased perceptions of outgroup members, and generally defective decision-making processes
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hallucination
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a false sensory perception that seems to be real but for which there is not an actual external stimulus
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hallucinogen
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a substance capable of producing a sensory effect in the absence of real external sensory stimuli
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heritability
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the extent to which differences in a group of a characteristic is due to genetics, not environment
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heuristic
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a useful, but unprovable, cognitive shortcut, such as a \”rule of thumb\”
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hierarchy of needs
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Maslow’s theory of the most important motivations people have
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hindsight bias
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the tendency, after an event occurs, to overestimate the likelihood that an event could have been predicted
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hippocampus
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limbic system component associated with memory
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homeostasis
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the steady, stable state that is the body’s regulatory processes try to maintain
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hormone
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chemical substance secreted by endocrine glands that affect body processes
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humanist
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perspective in psychology that stresses the goodness of people and their possibility of reaching their fullest potential
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hunger
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it is regulated by the lateral hypothalamus and the ventromedial hypothalamus
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hypnosis
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a social interaction in which one person suggests to another that certain events or emotions will occur
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hypochondriasis
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a disorder characterized by an unreasonable fear that one has a serious disease
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hypothalamus
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limbic system component that regulates hunger, body temperature and other functions
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hypothesis
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a prediction of how the an experiment will turn out
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iconic
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term that describes the memory of images
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id
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in Freud’s conception, the repository of the basic urges toward sex and agression
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identity vs. role confusion
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Erikson’s stage during which teenagers and young adults search for and become their true selves
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imprinting
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evidence of critical period in some animals; they follow the first moving thing they see after hatching
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in-group bias
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tendency to favor one’s own group over other groups
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incentive
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an external stimulus that tends to encourage behavior
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independent
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type of variable manipulated by the experimenter
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individualist
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culture in which the individual is valued more highly than the group
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industry vs. inferiority
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Erikson’s stage between 6 and 11 years, when the child learns to be productive
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inferiority complex
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Adler’s conception of a basic feeling of inadequacy stemming from childhood experiences
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information processing
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humans accomplish this either in parallel (unconsciously) or in serial fashion (consciously)
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informed consent
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agreement to participate in psychology research, after being appraised of the dangers and benefits of the research
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initiative vs guilt
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Erikson’s third stage in which the child finds independence in planning, playing and other activities
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insanity
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a legal term describing one’s inability to be responsible for one’s action due to the condition of the mind
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insight
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in psychoanalysis, the basic understanding one develops of the underlying sources of emotion or behavioral difficulty
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insomnia
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inability to fall asleep or remain asleep long enough for sufficient rest
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instinct
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a complex pattern of behavior that is fixed across a species
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integrity vs despair
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Erikson’s final stage in which those near the end of life look back and evaluate their lives
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Intelligence
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the ability to learn from experience, to use information, to understand things
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IQ
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the average is 100; there are many definitions of this attribute, including multiple and crystallized
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internal locus of control
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people with this tned to respond to internal states and desires; they tend to see their successes as the result of their own efforts
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interneurons
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cells in the spinal cord through which reflexes travel without going to the brain
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interposition
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monocular visual cue in which two objects are in the same line of vision and one patially conceals the other, indicating that the first object concealed is further away
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intimacy vs isolation
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Erikson’s stage in which individuals form deeply personal relationships, marry, begin families
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intrinsic
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term that describes motivations that derive from one’s interest in the object of the motivation, rather than from rewards that one might gain
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introversion
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a personality trait that signifies that one finds energy from internal sources rather than external ones
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James-Lange
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theory of emotion in which physiological arousal precedes the emotion
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just world
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phenomenon that describes the belief that what happens to people is what they deserve
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just noticeable difference
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the threshold at which one can distinguish two stimuli that are of different intensities, but otherwise identical
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kinethesis
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sense of balance and of one’s physical position
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latent
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Freud’s stage of psychosexual development occuring from about age 6 to puberty during which little happens in psychosexual terms
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latent content
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the hidden or disguised meaning of dreams
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latent learning
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a change in behavior due to experience acquired without conscious effort, s, for example, a student using a quote in an exam essay that the student had never tried to memorize, though eh had encountered it in studying
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law of effect
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Thorndike’s rule that behaviors which have positive outcomes tend to be repeated
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learned helplessness
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lack of motivation to avoid unpleasant stimuli after one has failed before to escape similar stimuli
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lens
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a curved, transparent element of the vision system that provides focus
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lesion
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any destruction or damage to brain tissue
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lithium
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in psychopharmacology, this is used to control bipolar symptoms
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longitudinal
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describes research that measures a trait in a particular group of subjects over a long period of time
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long term
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refers to memory that is stored effectively in the brain and may be accessed over an extended period of time
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long term potentiation
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a possible source of the formation of memories; improvement in a neuron’s ability to transmit caused by repeated stimulations
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lucid
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describes a dream in which the dreamer is aware that he or she is dreaming and is able to influence the progress of the dream narrative
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eidetic
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describes a type of visual memory that is retained for a long time; photographic
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mania
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high state of arousal, often accompanied by poor judgment
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manifest
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describes, in Freudian terms, the surface content of a dream
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marijuana
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a drug, often smoked, whose effects include euphoria, impairment of judgment and concentration and occasionally hallucinations; rarely reported as addictive
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mean
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numerical average of a set of numbers
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median
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the middle one of a set of numbers
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medulla
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part of the brain nearest the spinal cord which controls breathing, heart rate and blood pressure
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memory
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functions associated with this include encoding, storage and retrieval
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mental age
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developed by Binet; equal to one’s chronological age times the percentage score on an IQ test
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mere exposure effect
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this phenomenon causes one to prefer a stimulus as a consequence of repeated exposures to that stimulus, particularly is there is no adverse result of the exposure
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metacognition
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thinking about thinking
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MMPI
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the initials of a long, detailed personality inventory
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mnemonic device
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method of improving memory by associating new information with previously learned information
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mode
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the most commonly occurring term in a batch of data
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modeling
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the process of observing and imitating a behavior
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monocular
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terms that means \”one eyed\”, used to indicate the sort of of enviromental cues to depth perception tha tonly require one eye, for example, interposition
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morpheme
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in language, the smallest unit that carries meaning
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motion parallax
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a depth cue in which the relative movement of elements in a scene gives depth information when the observer moves relative to the scene
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motivation
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a need or desire that energizes and directs behavior
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motor cortex
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an area of the brain, near the rear of the frontal lobes, that controls voluntary movement
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motor neuron
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this carries information from the brain to the muscles; also called \”efferent\”
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MRI
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a technique that enables us to see static images of the brain’s structures; uses magnetism to achieve this effect
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dissociative identity disorder
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also called multiple personality disorder
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myelin sheath
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a layer of fatty tissue encasing a neuron’s axon that speeds transmission
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narcolepsy
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a disorder characterized by sudden sleep attacks, often at inopportune times
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naturalistic
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term refers to observations made of individual’s behavior in an everyday life setting
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nature vs nurture
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name for a controversy in which it is debated whether genetics or environment is responsible for driving behavior
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negative reinforcement
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in operant conditioning, removing something unpleasant in order to elicit more of a particular behavior
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neural network
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refers to interconnected neuron cells
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neuron
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the fundamental building block of the nervous system
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neuroscience
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perspective on psychology that emphasizes the study of the brain and its effects on behavior
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neurotransmitter
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a chemical that is released by a neuron for the purpose of carrying information across the gaps (synapses) between neurons
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neutral
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describes a stimulus in classical conditioning that would normally not elicit the response intended, such as the tone in Pavlov’s experiments before it was associated with the food
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night terrors
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also called sleep terror disorder, these include the characteristic of waking abruptly in a state of panic, usually in children, less often in adults
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normal distribution
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describes a symmetrical, bell shaped curve that shows the distribution of many physical and psychological attributes
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norm
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an understood rule for social behavior
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NREM
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refers to sleep during which there is no rapid eye movement
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obesity
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condition of having excess body fat resulting in being greatly overweight
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object permanence
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recognition that things continue to exist even though hidden from sight; infants generally gain this after 3 to 7 months of age
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observational learning
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change in behavior due to watching other people behave
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obsessive-compulsive disorder
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an anxiety disorder characterized by repetitive obsessions and compulsions
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occipital
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this lobe contains the primary vision processing function
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Oedipus complex
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in Freud’s theory, the conflict which results in a boy gaining a superego and beginning to emulate his father
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olfactory bulb
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the first brain structure to pick up smell information from the nose
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omission training
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a procedure in which reinforcement occurs when a specific behavior does not occur in a fixed period of time
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operant conditioning
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a method of influencing behavior by rewarding desired behaviors and punishing undesired ones
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operational definition
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a description of an experimental variable in such a way that the variable can be measured and the procedure can be replicated
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optic chiasm
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the point in the brain where the visual field information from each eye \”crosses over\” to the appropriate side of the brain for processing
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optic nerve
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the axons of the ganglion cells form this
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oral stage
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Freud’s first stage of psychosexual development during which pleasure is centered in the mouth
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opponent process theory
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term used in both vision theory and emotion theory
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outgroup
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generally, any group that one does not belong to
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oval window
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membrane at the enterance to the cochlea through which the ossicles transmit vibrations
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panic disorder
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characterized by recurrent, unexpected panic attacks
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paranoid
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a type of schizophrenia characterized by prominent delusions that are persecutory or grandiose
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parasympathetic
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the branch of the nervous system that automatically calms us down when the reason for arousal has passed
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parietal
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lobe that contains the sensory cortex
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Parkinson’s disease
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this ailment, whose symptoms includes tremors and later difficulty walking, is caused by inability to produce dopamine
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perception
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the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information
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peripheral nervous system
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the subsystem of the nervous system that does not include the CNS
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permissive
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describes a parenting style that is characterized by the parent making few demands on the child
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person-centered
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therapy developed by Rogers featuring the patient’s self-discovery and actualization; also called client-centered
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personality
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a consistent pattern of thinking, acting, feeling
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PET scan
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method of brain imaging using positron emissions
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phallic
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name for Freud’s stage which features the Oedipus stage
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phobia
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fear
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phoneme
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in language, smallest distinctive sound unit
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pituitary
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gland that is the master gland of the endocrine system
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place theory
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the idea that different sound frequencies stimulate different locations on the basilar membrae
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placebo
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an inert substance given to the control group in an experiment
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placebo effect
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phenomenon that some people get better even though they receive not medication but an inert substance which should have no medical effect
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plasticity
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the ability of the brain to adapt to damage by reorganizing functions
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pons
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part of the brain, works with the cerebellum in coordinating voluntary movement; neural stimulation studied in activation synthesis theory may originate here
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population
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all of the individuals from which subjects for an experiment may be drawn
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positive psychology
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field of study which concentrates on good psychological traits such as contentment and joy; it also studies character traits such as wisdom, integrity and altruism
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PTSD
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initials representing a disorder in which one relives painfully stressful events
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preconscious
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in Freud’s theory, the level of consciousness in which thoughts and feelings are not conscious but are readily retrieveable to consciousness
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preconventional
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Kohlberg’s stage of moral development in which rewards and punishments dominate moral thinking
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prejudice
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a negative attitude formed toward an individual or group without sufficient experience with the person or group
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preoperational
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Piaget’s second stage of cognitive development, when egocentrism declines
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proactive interference
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when prior learning disrupts the recall of new information
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projection
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defense mechanism in which one disguises one’s won unacceptable impulses by attributing them to others
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projective
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term describes a personality test in which ambiguous stimuli trigger revelation of inner feelings, thoughts
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psychiatrist
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medical doctor who has specialized in treating psychological disorders
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psychoanalysis
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Freud’s therapeutic technique
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psychodynamic
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term describes the perspective on psychology in which inner feeling and unconscious tensions are emphasized
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psychopharmacology
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the study of the effects of drugs on the mind and behavior
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punishment
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can be either positive or negative, intended to reduce the occurrence of a behavior
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random
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term that describes assignment in which all subjects have an equal chance of being assigned to the control group or to the experimental group
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REBT
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Albert Ellis’s form of therapy for psychological disorders
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rationalization
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\”The only reason I flunked the test is because our teacher is no good.\”
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reaction formation
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defense mechanism in which unacceptable impulses are transformed into their opposite
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reciprocal determinism
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Bandura’s idea that though our environment affects us, we also affect our environment
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refractory period
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resting time; occurs in both neuron firing and in human sexual response
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regression
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defense mechanism in which one retreats to an earlier stage of life
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rehearsal
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conscious repetition of information in order to fix it in memory, such as practicing a list of terms to memorize
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reinforcer
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in operant conditioning any event that strengthens the behavior it follows
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reliability
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in testing, the characteristic of a test that produces consistent scores through retesting or alternate halves or other methods
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REM
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describes sleep in which vivid dreams typically occur; this type of sleep increases as the night progresses while stage 4 sleep decreases
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representative
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this kind of sample accurately reproduces the characteristics of the population a researcher is studying
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representativeness heuristic
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this cognitive short cut enables one to generalization based on how closely a stimulus matches a typical member of a class; given a picture of a man in a tweed jacket with a textbook, is this man a professor or a truck driver?
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repression
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defense mechanism in which painful memories are excluded from consciousness
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reticular formation
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a network of cells in the brainstem that filters sensory information and is involved in arousal and alertness
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retina
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the sensory reception system of the eye; includes rods and cones
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retrieval
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the process of recovering information stored in memory
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retroactive interference
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when new learning disrupts the recall of previously-learned information
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rods
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responsible for black and white vision
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role-play
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technique in therapy and training in which participants act out new behaviors or skills
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rooting
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a reflex in which a newborn turns its head in response to a gentle stimulus on its cheek
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Rorschach test
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a projective test that uses inkblots as the ambiguous stimulus
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safety
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the second rung of Maslow’s hierarchy; refers to need for freedom from danger
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scapegoat
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this theory says that having suffered negative experience, an individual might blame an innocent person or group for the experience and subsequently mistreat the person or group
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scatterplot
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name for a graph of data points in a two variable correlation
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schedules of reinforcement
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these include fixed interval and variable ratio
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schema
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a collection of basic knowledge about a category of information; serves as a means of organization and interpretation of that information
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schemata
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plural form of schema
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schizophrenia
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disorder characterized by hallucinations and delusions
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higher-order
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term describes conditioning in which the CS for one experiment becomes the UCS in another experiment so that another neutral stimulus can be made to elicit the original UCR
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selective attention
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this term describes the situation when you are focused on certain stimuli in the environment while other stimuli are excluded
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self-concept
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one’s idea and evaluation of oneself; this contributes to one’s sense of identity
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self-efficacy
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one’s ability to act effectively to bring about desired results; from Bandura
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self-actualization
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the highest of Malow’s needs; \”the full use of talent\”
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self-esteem
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the more positive one’s estimation of one’s qualities and characteristics, the higher this is
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self-fulfilling prophecy
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a belief or expectation that helps to make itself true
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self-serving bias
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he tendency to assign oneself credit for successes but to blame failures on external forces
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semantics
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in language, study of meanings of words
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sensorimotor
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describes Piaget’s stage in which the child explores the world through interaction of his mouth and hands with the environment
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sensory adaptation
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reduced responsiveness caused by prolonged stimulation
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sensory cortex
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the parts of the brain that receive information from the sensory receptors
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sensory neurons
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nervous system cells that receive information from the environment
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afferent
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in neurons, another name for sensory
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serial position effect
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this tells us that the best recall of a list of items will be of those at the beginning of the list
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serotonin
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a neurotransmitter; associated with improved mood and other positive emotions
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SSRI
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class of drugs used to relieve anxiety by limiting reuptake of a neurotransmitter
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set point
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the point at which one’s body tries maintain weight
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sexual response
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its four stages are excitement, plateau, orgasm and resolution
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shaping
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an operant conditioning technique in which reinforces guide behavior to closer and closer approximations of the desired behavior
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short-term
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type of memory that holds a few items briefly before they are lost
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signal detection
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this theory predicts how and in what circumstances we can detect a stimulus; assumes there is no single threshold
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sleep apnea
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a disorder characterized by cessation of breathing during sleep
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sleep spindles
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short bursts of brain waves detected in stage 2 sleep
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socio-cultural
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a perspective on psychology that emphasizes effects on behavior and thinking of one’s culture and the people around one
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social exchange
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a theory that suggests that our behavior is based on maximizing benefits and minimizing costs
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social facilitation
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a phenomenon in which we perform simple or well-learned tasks better when in the presence of others
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social learning
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a theory that suggests we learn social behaviors by watching and imitating others
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somatic
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a division of the nervous system that controls voluntary muscle movements
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somatoform disorder
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any of a group of psychological disturbances characterized by physical symptoms for which there is not a medical cause
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split brain
answer

a condition in which the two brain hemispheres are isolated by cutting the corpus callosum
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spontaneous recovery
answer

in classical conditioning the re-occurence of conditioning after it had appeared to be extinct
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standard deviation
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a computation of how much scores vary around a mean
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stereotype
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a set of generalizations about a group
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structuralism
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school of psychology developed by Wilhelm Wundt
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sublimation
answer

a defense mechanism in which unacceptable energies are directed into socially admirable outlets, such as art
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superego
answer

the part of the personality in Freud’s theory that is responsible for making moral choices
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sympathetic
answer

part of the nervous system that controls the \”flight or fight\” response
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synaptic gap
answer

space between the axon terminal of one neuron and the receptors of the next neuron
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syntax
answer

in language the set of rules that describe how words are arranged to make sentences
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temperament
answer

personality component that ranges from very calm to very exitable
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temporal
answer

the lobe that controls audition
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thalamus
answer

the sensory switchboard
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TAT
answer

a projective test in which subjects look at and tell a story about ambiguous pictures
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theory
answer

this organizes data and is used to make predictions
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threshold
answer

in a neuron, reaching this causes the neuron to fire
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token economy
answer

a technique in operant conditioning by which desired behaviors receive forms of currency that can be exchanged for rewards
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twin studies
answer

a common method of investigating whether nature or nurture affects behavior
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unconditioned response
answer

in conditioning the behavior elicited by the unconditioned stimulus
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unconditioned stimulus
answer

in conditioning it elicits the UCR

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