Psychology Chapters 1,2,4

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Standard deviation
measurement of amount variation among scores in a standard distribution
inferential statistics
provide measurement of how likely it is that research results aren’t just due to chance
statistically significant
when inferential statistics indicate that the probability of results occurring by chance are very small, we say the results are ________
Behavioral/Learning perspective
psychological perspective, assumes behavior results are primarily from learning and assumes mental processes aren’t important; focuses on effects of rewards and punishments
Cognitive Perspective
psych. perspective; explores mental processes involved in memory judgement, decision making, and other aspects of complex thought. Uses experimental method to make inferences about mental thought
Neuroscience perspective
psych perspective; assumes behavior and mental processes are largely shaped by biological processes; emphasizes role of brain, genes, and hormones
Evolutionary perspective
psych perspective; assumes behavior = results of evolution through natural selection; evolutionary psychologists study adaptive value of behavior; encompasses sociobiology and behavioral genetics
Sociocultural perspective
psych perspective; studies how human behavior and thinking vary across situations and cultures; focuses on how environment affects human behavior
Psychodynamic Perspective
psych perspective; assumes behavior = results of unconscious psych struggles; utilizes case study methods; analyst tries to uncover hidden fears and desires; important in clinical psychology and personality
Humanistic Perspective
psych perspective, aka “phenomenological approach;” assumes people choose how to think and act, focuses on potential for personal growth; optimistic approach!
integrated set of principles that explain and predict observed events
prediction about relationship between variables, can be tested empirically
conceptual variable
behavior/characteristic/event –must be noun/noun phrase, have variable qualities; typical descriptions: prevalence, frequency, duration
operational definition
specific way you define a conceptual variable in a study
fundamental units of nervous system, have ability to communicate w each other; aka nerve cells
cell body
cell’s life-support center
part of neuron, receive messages from other cells
passes messages away from cell body to other neurons/muscles/glands
terminal branch of axon
form junction w other cells
myelin sheath
covers axon of some neurons, helps speed neural response
the study of bumps on the skull, believing they reveal mental ability and character traits
Biological Perspective
psych perspective; concerned with the links between bio and behavior; includes psychologists working in neuroscience, behavior genetics, and evolution.
neurotransmitter; influences movement, learning, attention, emotion, pleasure
oversupply -> schizophrenia
undersupply -> tremors, decreased mobility (Parkinson’s)
neurotransmitter; affects mood, hunger, sleep, arousal
undersupply -> depression; antidepressants raise _______ levels
any neurotransmitters that can bind to the same receptors as opiates
“endogenous morphine,” produced by the body
associated w/ pain relief and mood elevation (runner’s high)
Central Nervous System
– brain & spinal cord
– totally encased in bone
– Central Processing Unit (CPU) of entire body – thinking!
Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)
– somatic and autonomic nervous systems
– not encased in bone
– carries out sensory and motor functions
Somatic Nervous System
transmits messages from senses -> CNS and from CNS -> skeletal muscles
Autonomic nervous system
transmits messages between CNS and lungs, stomach, glands, other organs; autonomic = automatic
spinal cord
– receives signals from peripheral senses, relays to brain
– carries signals from brain -> muscles
– directs simple behaviors w/o brain’s help – reflexes
– older brain structure, can’t survive without it
– controls blood pressure, heart rate, breathing
– medulla and pons coordinate movement
reticular formation
– older brain structure, can’t survive without it
– filters incoming info, involved in attention and arousal (being aware of one’s surroundings)
– older brain structure, can’t survive w/o it
– relays signals from senses o brain
– makes “sense” of incoming info
– older brain structure
– processes sensory input and controls coordinated voluntary movements and balance
– enables nonverbal learning and skill memory
– helps us judge time,modulate emotions, discriminate sounds and textures
– limbic system
– involved in attaching emotional significance to events
– involved in fear and other emotions
– limbic system
– very involved in forming new memories
– limbic system
– regulates hunger, thirst, sex drives
– involved in attention and arousal
cerebral cortex
-wrinkled outer surface of cerebrum
– “newest” part human brain
– encompases frontal, parietal, temporal, occipital lobes
back of frontal cortex
motor cortex located at___
somatosensory cortex located at
front of parietal lobe
visual cortex located at
occipital lobe
auditory cortex located at
temporal lobe
effortless, immediate, automatic feeling/thought, as contrasted with explicit, conscious reasoning
hindsight bias
the tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it
aka “i-knew-it-all-along phenomenon
critical thinking
– thinking that doesn’t blindly accept arguments and conclusions.
– examines assumptions, appraises the source, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions
repeating the essence of a research of study, usually with different participants in different situations, to see whether the basic finding extends to other participants and circumstances
case study
descriptive technique in which one individual/group is studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles
naturalistic observation
descriptive technique of observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation
all those in a group being studied, from which samples may be drawn
(except for national studies, this doesn’t refer to a country’s whole population)
regression toward the mean
the tendency for extreme/unusual scores/events to fall back (regress) toward the average
confounding variable
in an experiment, a factor other than the independent variable that might produce an effect
independent variable
in an experiment, the factor that is manipulated: the variable whose effect is being studied
dependent variable:
in an experiment, the outcome that is measured; the variable that may change when the independent variable is manipulated
glial cells (glia)
cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons; they may also play a role in learning, thinking, and memory
action potential
a neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down a axon
refractory period
period of inactivity after a neuron has fired
level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse
all-or-none response
a neuron’s reaction of either firing (with a full-strength response) or not firing)
the junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the receiving neuron. The tiny gap at this junction is called the synaptic gap/synaptic cleft
molecule that increases a neurotransmitter’s aciton
molecule that inhibits/blocks a neurotransmitter’s action
sensory (afferent) neurons
neurons that carry incoming information from the sensory receptors to the brain and spinal cord
sensory (afferent) neurons
neurons that carry incoming information from the sensory receptors to the brain and spinal cord
– neurons within the brain and spinal cord
– communicate internally and process information between the sensory inputs and motor outputs
endocrine system
the body’s “slow” chemical communication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream
chemical messengers that are manufactured by the endocrine glands, travel through the bloodstream and affect other tissues
adrenal glands
pair of endocrine glands that sit just above the kidneys and secrete hormones (epinephrine and norepinephrine) that help arouse the body in times of stress
pituitary gland
– endocrine system’s most influential gland
– under the influence of the hypothalamus, the ____ regulates growth and controls other endocrine glands
– stimulated physical development
– “master gland”
– triggers sex glands to release sex hormones
base of the brainstem; controls heartbeat and breathing
limbic system
neural system (including hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus) located below the cerebral hemispheres; associated with emotions and drives
frontal lobes
involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgements
parietal lobes
receives sensory input for touch and body positio
occipital lobes
includes areas that receive info from visual fields
temporal lobes
each receives info primarily from opposite ear
motor cortex
association area of brain that controls voluntary movements
somatosensory cortex
registers and processes body touch and movement sensations
association areas
– areas of the cerebral cortex not involved in primary motor or sensory functions
– involved in higher mental functions such as learning, remembering, thinking, and speaking
formation of new neurons
corpus callosum
large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carrying messages between them
behavior genetics
the study of the relative power and limits of genetic and environmental influences on behavior
every nongenetic influence, from prenatal nutrition to the people and things, around us
threadlike structures made of DNA molecules that contain the genes
complex molecule containing the genetic information that makes up the chromosomes
the biochemical units of heredity that makes up the chromosomes; segments of DNA capable of synthesizing proteins
the complete instructions for making an organisms, consisting of all the genetic material in that organisms chromosomes
molecular genetics
subfield of biology that studies the molecular structures and function of genes
molecular behavior genetics
study of how the structure and function of genes interact with our environment to influence hbehavior
the study of how environmental influences on gene expression that occur without a DNA change
response bias
occurs in a survey when not everyone tells the truth
biosocial system
system w many systems at once
Broca’s area
– located in frontal lobe
– speech
Wernicke’s Area
– located in temporal area
– language comprehension
– if damaged -> don’t use/understand more than basic nouns and verbs
when excess neurotransmitters are reabsorbed by the sending neuron
neural networks
brain’s neurons cluster into work groups called ______
endocrine; neural
_____ messages are slower, but they outlast the effects of ______ messages
epinephrine/adrenaline and norepinephrine (noradrenaline)
– hormones released by adrenal glands
– released during moment of danger
– increased heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar, provide surge of energy
part of brainstem; coordinates movement and controls sleep
basal ganglia
deep brain structures involved in motor movement, work with the cerebellum to enable nonverbal learning and skill memory
sexual overperception bias
heterosexual men misperceive woman’s friendliness as sexual come-on
social script
culturally modeled guide for how to act in various situations

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