Psychology Final Exam Questions

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Describe context and state dependent issues in memory. Give two examples of each
Context-Dependent memory is that we remember information better when we attempt to recall it in the context in which we learned it. If we study with the TV or stereo on, we also take the test within the “Context” of the TV or Stereo. State-Dependent Memory is recalling events encoded while in particular states of consciousness. If you suddenly remember an appointment while you are drowsy an about to go to sleep, you need to write it down. Very possible, you will not remember it again until you are drowsy and in the same state of consciousness.
What are neurotransmitters? How do they work in the synapse? Name and describe the function of three neurotransmitters.
Neurotransmitters are chemicals contained in terminal button that enable neurons to communicate. Neurotransmitters fit into receptor sites on the dendrites of neurons like a key fits into a lock. Nerve impulses always flow in one direction – from the branched extensions called dendrites, down the neuron to the presynaptic terminals. The join between the presynaptic terminals of one neuron and the dendrites of another is called the synapse. The two neurons do not actually touch each other but are separated by a space called the synaptic cleft. When a nerve impulse arrives at a presynaptic terminal it causes neurotransmitters to be released into the synaptic cleft. The neurotransmitters then bind with special “postsynaptic receptors” in the dendrites of the receiving neuron. When a postsynaptic receptor receives a neurotransmitter it can either cause a nerve impulse to travel down the neuron or it can inhibit a nerve impulse depending on the neurotransmitter released. Dopamine Neurotransmitter is associated with motor movement and alertness. Lack of Dopamine is associated with Parkinson’s disease; and overabundance is associated with schizophrenia. Serotonin Neurotransmitter associated with mood control. Lack of serotonin is associated with clinical depression. Endorphins neurotransmitter associated with pain control, also involved in drug addictions.
Describe the Atkison and Schiffrin model of memory from sensory memory to LTM. Be able to draw the model. Describe three characteristics of STM and LTM in detail.
The Akinson-Shiffrin model proposes that there are 3 stages of memory. Sensory information impacts upon the register of sensory memory, where memory traces are held briefly and before decaying. If we attend to the information, much of it is transferred to (STM). Information in STM may decay or be displaced if it is not transferred to long-term memory LTM. We can use rehearsal or elaborative strategies to transfer memories to LTM. If information is organized poorly, or if we cannot find cue to retrieve it, it may be lost. In LTM Capacity: Virtually unlimited ,Duration: Up to a lifetime ,Processing: Information is organized according to meaning and is associatively linked Capacity is unlimited in the sense that nobody seems to run out of the capacity to store new information, even if they live beyond 100 years. If they did, then either they would stop learning entirely or new learning could only take place by first erasing something already stored in LTM. This does not appear to happen — when storage/retrieval capability is lost it is due to deterioration of brain systems rather than to systems exceeding their holding capacity. In STM Capacity: About 7 plus or minus 2 “chunks” of information Duration: About 18 to 20 seconds Processing: To hold information in STM, it is often encoded verbally, although other strategies may also be used such as visualization. These strategies make it possible to “rehearse” the information. The low capacity of STM was first noted by George Miller in a famous paper intitled The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two. Miller concluded that about seven (plus or minus two) “chunks” of information could reside in STM simultaneously. Miller defined a “chunk” as an independent item of information — one whose recall did not aid in the further recall of the other items. Random letters such as “GJK” would each be considered a chunk, but letters that form a recognizable larger whole, such as “CAR” would not. (In this case the word “car” is a single chunk.)
Describe a manic episode. Describe a major depressive episode. Describe paranoid schizophrenia.
A manic episode is characterized by period of time where an elevated, expansive or notably irritable mood is present, lasting for at least one week. A person who suffers from a major depressive episode must either have a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities consistently for at least a 2 week period. Paranoid schizophrenia is a form of schizophrenia characterized by delusions (of persecution or grandeur or jealousy); symptoms may include anger and anxiety and aloofness and doubts about gender identity; unlike other types of schizophrenia the patients are usually presentable and (if delusions are not acted on) may function in an apparently normal manner
Give and example and describe fixed interval and variable ratio reinforcement schedules.
Fixed Interval- Applying the reinforcer after a specific amount of time is referred to as a fixed interval schedule. An example might be getting a raise every year and not in between. A major problem with this schedule is that people tend to improve their performance right before the time period expires so as to “look good” when the review comes around. Variable Ratio-This refers to applying a reinforcer after a variable number of responses. Variable ratio schedules have been found to work best under many circumstances and knowing an example will explain why. Imagine walking into a casino and heading for the slot machines. After the third coin you put in, you get two back. Two more and you get three back. Another five coins and you receive two more back. How difficult is it to stop playing?
Nicky wets his bed. His mom buy’s him the bell and pad to train him to wake up to use the potty. How does it work? In this example, what are the US, CS and the reflex?
A bell goes off when moisture hits the pad, waking the kid. The kid learns to go to get up and go to the bathroom when he feels his bladder get full. Later he will go to the bathroom when he feels the fullness of his bladder. He doesn’t need bell to wake him up.
“alarm”: is the unconditioned stimulus that produces the unconditioned response of waking up. The sensation of a full bladder is the conditioned stimulus that, before conditioning, did not produce wakefulness. After several pairings of the full bladder (CS) and the alarm (UCS), the child is able to awaken to the sensation of a full bladder without the help of the alarm.
Explain why smell and taste are considered chemical senses.
Taste and smell are considered chemical senses as they involve different chemicals stimulating receptors (the receptors involved are stimulated by chemicals) Different chemicals stimulate different receptors/stimulate the receptors in a different way so we perceive a different smell/taste to a different chemical. The smell receptors in our noses are stimulated by different compounds and molecules in the air. Our taste buds are stimulated by different chemicals present in whatever we put in our mouth.
Describe the limbic system and its 4 parts. What type of disorders is associated with limbic dis-control?
The limbic system, often referred to as the “emotional brain”, is found buried within the cerebrum. Like the cerebellum, evolutionarily the structure is rather old. This system contains the thalamus, hypothalamus, amygdale, and hippocampus. The thalamus is an area of the brain where pain and other sensory information is interpreted and recognized. Te hypothalamus regulate bodily temperature, certain metabolic processes, and other autonomic activities. The amygdale is associated with sense of smell. The hippocampus is responsible for our ability to store and retrieve memories. ADHD, certain types of dementias, neuropsychiatric disturbances are types of disorders associated with limbic dis-control.
What are Freud’s ID, EGO and SUPEREGO? How do they work and where do they come from? Describe three ego defense mechanisms.
The id it allows us to get our basic needs met. The ego follows the reality principle: it negotiates between the desires of the id and the limitations of the environment, acting as a mediator between the id and superego. The superego operates on our senses of conscience, how we think about what is right and wrong. Defense mechanisms are used by the ego to protect the conscious mind. One mechanism is Repression- blocking thoughts out for conscious awareness. Denial-Not accepting the ego-threatening truth. Displacement- redirection one’s feelings towards another person or object.

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