General Psychology Exam 2 (TCU – Broom)

Flashcard maker : John Smith
process of receiving raw sensory information and sending it to the brain
process of selecting, organizing, and making sense of sensory information
the study of the relationship between physical characteristics of stimuli and our psychological experience
of air pressure waves into neural messages that the brain reads as meaningful sound
receptor cells in retina (rods and cones) convert light waves into messages sent along the optic nerve
focuses the light waves as they pass through
protective outer layer; where light waves enter
eye color
small opening in the eye
contains photoreceptor cells
used for periphery and night vision (low light); more rods than cones; not as acute (fuzzy vision)
used for central and color vision; very acute (very clear)
Blind Spot
point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye, creating a “blind spot” because there are no receptor cells located there
Inattentional Blindness
the failure to notice a fully-visible, but unexpected object because attention was engaged on another task, event, or object
olfactory receptors in the nose transduce info from odorants (molecules with odor) directly to olfactory bulb at base of frontal lobe, where info is processed and sent to other brain regions; smell is ‘chemical senses’ because they use chemoreceptors and are sensitive to chemical molecules; olfaction is the only sensory system not routed through the thalamus
outer ear captures sound, there tiny bones in middle ear transmit eardrum’s vibration to the inner ear where cochlea transforms waves into neural impulses; hearing is audition
Conduction Hearing Loss (conduction deafness)
problems with mechanics of sending sound waves to cochlea (hearing aids and surgery help)
Sensorineural Hearing Loss (nerve deafness)
damage to hair cells of auditory nerve
Skin Receptors
detects pressure, temperature, and pain; most concentrated in face and hands
Sensory Interaction
principle that one sense may influence another; ie: when the smell of food influences its taste
Taste Sensations
sweet, sour, salty, bitter
Absolute Threshold
minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus; usually defined as the stimulus needed for detection 50% of the time; too much –> must change
Signal Detection Theory
predicts how and when we detect the presence of a faint stimulus (signal); assumes that there is no absolute threshold; detection depends partly on a person’s experience, expectations, motivations, level of fatigue
Visual Cliff
crawling infants use to move to the deep end
Perceptual Constancy
perceiving objects as unchanging despite changes in retinal image (color, shape, size)
Perceptual Set
readiness to perceive stimuli in a particular manner, based on expectations
false or misleading impression produced by errors in the perceptual process or by actual physical distortions
an organized whole; tendency to integrate pieces of information into meaningful wholes
Subliminal Messages
a message passed to the human mind without the mind being consciously aware of it
Extrasensory Perception
controversial claim that perception can occur apart from sensory input
mind to mind communication
reading information in the environment (thinking of someone and the phone rings… it is the person you were thinking)
aware of something before it happens
the study of paranormal phenomena
relatively permanent change in behavior of mental processes caused by experience
process of learning associations between stimuli and behavioral responses
Father of Operant Conditioning; extended Thorndike’s law to more complex behaviors: emphasized that reinforcement and punishment should always be presented after the behavior of interest has occurred
created the law of effect: behavior changes based on consequences; responses that produce a satisfying effect are more likely to occur again, compared to those that produce a discomforting effect become less likely to occur again
discovered classical conditioning
Classical Conditioning
type of learning in which one learns to link two or more stimuli and anticipate events
Unconditioned Stimulus (US)
naturally, automatically triggers a response: food
Unconditioned Response (UR)
naturally occurring response to a US; unlearned, ex: salivation
Conditioned Stimulus (CS)
an originally irrelevant stimulus that, after association with an unconditioned stimulus (US) comes to trigger a conditioned response
Conditioned Response (CR)
the learned response to a previously neutral (but now conditioned) stimulus (CS)
diminishing of a CR; in classical conditioning when a UCS does not follow a CS
Spontaneous Recovery
sudden, temporary reappearance of a previously extinguished conditioned response (CR)
Conditioned Taste Aversion
pairing a taste with a sickness
the tendency, once a response has been conditioned, for stimuli similar to the conditioned stimulus to elicit similar response
in classical conditioning, the learned ability to distinguish between a conditioned stimulus and stimuli that do not signal an unconditioned stimulus
Operant Conditioning
type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by a reinforcer or diminished if followed by a punisher
the adding or taking away of a stimulus following a response, which decreases the likelihood of that response being repeated (tells you to stop to decrease a behavior)
Positive Punishment
administering an aversive stimulus (ex: spanking)
Negative Punishment
removing a desirable stimulus (ex: timeout, taking away privileges)
the adding or taking away of a stimulus following a response, which increases the likelihood of that response being repeated (tells you what to do, to increase behavior)
Positive Reinforcement
rewards or other positive consequences that follow’s behaviors (ex: give dog a treat when he follows a command)
Negative Reinforcement
removing an aversive stimulus; engaging in behavior to remove a “negative” stimulus (ex: fastening seatbelt to make dinging stop)
Amount of Reinforcement
has contrast effects (effect of reward is dependent on previous experiences with rewards that differed in amounts and quality; Negative Contrasts (smaller size or quality); Positive Contrasts (larger in size or quality)
number of behavioral responses
Fixed Ratio
provides reinforcement after a fixed number or responses
Variable Ratio
provides reinforcement after an unpredictable number of responses (ex: fishing – not going to catch something every time you cast a line)
passage of time
Fixed Interval
reinforce the behavior after a fixed period of time (ex: weekly paycheck)
Variable Interval
reinforce the behavior after an unpredictable period of time (ex: pop quiz)
a training method where reinforcement is delivered for successive approximations of the desired response
Latent Learning
the process in which learning takes place, but there is no demonstration of that knowledge until a reward or incentive is present (cognitive learning)
Observational Learning
Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory: much of human behavior is learned observationally through the modeling of others
any indication that learning has persisted over time; our ability to store and retrieve information
getting information into memory in the first place (imagery, mnemonics, chunking, hierarchies)
automatic processing
space (reading a TB and record place of picture on a page), time (unintentionally note the events that take place in a day), frequency (effortlessly keep track of things that happen to you
effortful processing
committing information to memory requires effort, just like learning a concept from a textbook
the encoding of meaning
the encoding of pictures
retaining memories for future use
short term memory
limited in duration and capacity; magical number 7 +/- 2
long term memory
the relatively permanent and limitless storehouse of the memory system
explicit memory
memory of facts and experiences that one can consciously know and declare; hippocampus helps to process
implicit memory
retention without conscious recollection; motor and cognitive skills; classical and operant conditioning effects
recapturing memories when we need them
the ability to retrieve info learned earlier and not in conscious awareness (ex: fill in blank test)
the ability to identify previously learned items (ex: multiple choice test)
amount of time saved when relearning previously learned information
activation, often unconsciously, of particular associations in memory
Mood congruent memory
tendency to recall experiences that are consistent with one’s current mood
state dependent memory
what is learned in one state (drunk, high, depressed) can more easily be remembered when in same state
Flashbulb Memory
some events stay in our minds and define our world as before and after; memories that are vivid, detailed, and near-permanent images from surprising or strong emotional events
Forgetting Curve
rapid initial decline in retention becoming stable thereafter
Proactive Interference
disruptive effect of prior learning on recall of new information (forward acting) [ex: French learned previously, interferes with learning Spanish now]
Retroactive Interference
disruptive effect of new learning on recall of old information (backwards acting) [ex: Spanish learned after, interferes with the previous French learned]
Memory Disorders
Organic and Dissociative
biological cause; head trauma or disease
just memory loss
can’t form new messages
can’t remember things before amnesia
memory and cognitive loss (ex: Alzheimer’s = most common)
no physical cause to memory loss
Dissociative Fugue
psychological disorder characterized by loss of personal identities and details of one’s past life and flight to an entirely different location
Dissociative Identity Disorder
psychological disorder characterized by the development of two or more distinct personalities
**The longer it takes eyewitnesses to decide if the perpetrator is in a line-up, the less confident they actually are about their decision
**Better able to identify people from own race

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