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General Psychology, Midterm 1 Essay

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What is psychology?
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the scientific study of thought, behavior and emotion
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What contributions did Wundt make to psychology?
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had the first psychological laboratory; introspection-break down focus on every thought
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What are each of the modern psychological perspectives?
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Biological/neuroscientific: How physical systems affect behavior feelings and thoughts Evolutionary: natural selection of traits Behavior genetics: contribution of genes and environment to behavior Psychoanalytic/dynamic: unconscious dynamics within the person Behavioral: Learning via reinforcements and punishments Cognitive: How people reason, remember and interpret Sociocultural: How social and cultural forces shape peoples behaviors
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What contributions did Titchener make to psychology?
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structuralism-analysis of mental structures; what is the mind? what are thoughts?
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What contributions did James make to psychology?
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functionalism-the study of how the mind works; why do we have a mind? why is it important?
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What is hindsight bias?
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when a person find out an outcome, and claims they would have known that
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What is the scientific method?
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tests ideas with the use of data- evidence (empiricism)
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What are the steps in the research process?
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steps: formulate the research question, formulate the hypothesis, design the study to test the hypothesis, perform the study, interpret the data, communicate the findings
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What is a hypothesis?
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a testable prediction
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What is an operational definition?
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statement about the procedures the researcher used to measure a variable
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What is a case study? How is it limited?
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in depth analysis of one subject or more; ex: Phineas Gage
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What is a naturalistic observation? How is it limited?
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Describe and measure people and/or animals’ behavior systematically; issue: can’t assume, and people act differently when they know they are being observed
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What is the survey method?
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asking people questions about their thoughts, feelings, desires and actions while recording their answers; very efficient
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What are wording effects?
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survey method; people not going to answer truthfully at the risk of being judged
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What is response bias?
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survey method; participants present themselves in a better way that isn’t accurate, participants may not remember
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What is random sampling?
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everyone in the population has an equal chance of being studied (name generator/picking names out of a hat)
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What is the correlation method?
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examines strength and direction of relationship between two variables
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How are correlation coefficients interpreted?
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(r) measure of the strength of the association between two variables (ranges from -1.00- +1.00)
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What are positive and negative correlations? (correlation method)
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Negative: variables change in opposite directions Positive: variables change in the same direction ex: the more people use facebook the more likely they are going to be depressed
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Does correlation indicate causation?
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No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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What is experimentation?
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researcher changes one variable in a controlled situation and observes the effects of that change on other aspects of the situation
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What are experimental and control conditions(group)?
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Experimental group: receives treatment/stimulus Control group: does NOT receive treatment/stimulus (comparison group) b/c you wouldn’t know if experiment worked
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What is random assignment?
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participants have an equal chance of being in every experimental group
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What is the expectancy effect? (Experimentation)
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results when hypothesis held by experimenter leads unintentionally to behavior towards the subject that, in turn, increases the likelihood that the hypothesis will be confirmed
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What is the placebo effect? (Experimentation)
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observed improvement due to an inert treatment
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What are double-blind procedures?
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controlling expectancy and placebo effect; neither the participants nor the researchers know who has been assigned to the experimental or control group
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What is a independent variable and a dependent variable?
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IV: manipulated by the experimenter DV: outcome variable
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What is a confounding variable?
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variable that is potentially responsible for the results, but is not the variable of interest (IV)
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What is experimental control?
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researcher makes sure that no other factors are changing and thus could affect the DV
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What is generalizability?
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of an outcome to other groups and settings- Can the results apply to other situations?
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What is replication?
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repetition of a study-necessary for accuracy
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What are the measures of central tendency?
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Mean: average of all scores Median: the middle score Mode: most frequently occurring score
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What is statistical significance
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probability that results are due to chance (p-value)
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What are neurons
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chain reaction; specialized cell that transmits neural messages to other neurons, glands, and muscles; communicates with an action potential and releases neurotransmitters
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What are the dendrites?
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Part of the neuron; receives neural messages from other neurons
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What is the cell body?
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Part of the neuron; energy, houses DNA
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What are axons?
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Part of the neuron; thin tubes that transmits messages through neurotransmitters
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What is myelin sheath?
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specialized shells that are wrapped around the axon to help transmit message-makes the action potential go down the axon much quicker lack of myelin: multiple sclerosis
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What is the action potential?
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electro-chemical impulse that travels from the cell body down to the end of the axon; gets message from another neuron when getting a sensation
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What is threshold?
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the level of electric charge needed to stimulate action potential (level of sensation)
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What is the all-or-none response?
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once the electric charge of the neuron reaches a certain threshold, it fires a certain action potential; either an action potential or nothing- no in between
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What is a synapse?
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junction between 2 neurons that contains fluid
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What are neurotransmitters?
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chemical messengers that travel across the synapse from one neuron to receptors on the next cell; affect the way we feel in several different ways depending on what the neurotransmitter is (certain receptors for certain neurotransmitters)
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What is reuptake
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sending neruon, reabsorbs excess neurotransmitters; the neuron that releases the neurotransmitters sucks the extra back up
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What are inhibitory and excitatory signals?
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Inhibitory- not to release neurotransmitters to the next neuron Excitatory- increase likelihood that neurons will fire
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Acetylcholine
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Type of neurotransmitter: muscle action, learning and memory; muscle contractions (what the motor neurons are releasing); blockage=paralysis too much= muscle convulsion and death low levels= Alzheimer’s
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Endorphins
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Type of neurotransmitter: natural opiates; reduce pain and promote pleasure (exercise)
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Dopamine
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Type of neurotransmitter: voluntary movement, reward, learning and memory
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Serotonin
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Type of neurotransmitter: affects neurons involved in sleep, appetite, pain suppression, mood
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GABA
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Type of neurotransmitter: inhibitory, calming; Anxiety; low levels Seizures; low levels
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Epinephrine and Nor-epinephrine
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Type of neurotransmitter: involved in stress response, causes sympathetic nervous system reflexes, fight or flight response
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Agonists
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bind to the same receptors that the neurotransmitter bind to and therefore have the same affect; or increase neurotransmitter production; or block reuptake
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Antagonists
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blocks the neurotransmitters from fitting into the receptors ex: Botox blocks acetylcholine neurotransmitters
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Motor neurons
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carry signals from the brain or spinal cord to muscles, skin and glands
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Sensory neurons
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carry messages from receptors to spinal cord and brain
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Interneurons
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receive signals from sensory neurons and other interneurons and send impulses to other interneurons or motor neurons
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What is the central nervous system?
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brain and spinal cord; responds to sensory info, sends messages to muscles, glands and organs
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Spinal cord
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extension of the brain; handles both incoming and outgoing messages, acts as bridge between brain and body below neck injury: cannot get communication to the motor neurons to get movement to parts of body
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What are reflexes?
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automatic responses that occur without any brain involvement; spinal cord sends to muscles, faster because message doesn’t have to go to the brain ex: doctor tapping on knee and knee kicks out ex: touching something hot and pulling away
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What is the peripheral nervous system?
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All of the nervous system outside brain and spinal cord, allows communication between CNS and sensory systems
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Somatic and autonomic nervous system
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Part of peripheral nervous system Somatic- voluntary; sensory and motor pathways Autonomic- automatic; sympathetic and parasympathetic NS
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Sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system
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Sympathetic: increases physiological arousal and energy (fight or flight response) Parasympathetic: decreases arousal, calms the body
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What is the endocrine system?
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hormones, pituitary gland, adrenal gland
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What are hormones?
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chemicals secreted by endrocrine glands into bloodstream
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What is the pituitary gland?
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“master gland” growth hormone (children, muscle repair), oxytocin
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What are the adrenal glands?
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important in mood, energy level, coping with stress, one on each kidney, epinephrine and nor epinephrine
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How do we learn about the brain?
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Lesion method, EEG, fMRI
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What is the Lesion method?
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damaging or removing sections of the brain in order to study which sections of the brain are important for what functions
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What is the Electroencephalogram (EEG)
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detect electrical activity of neurons in particular regions of the brain
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What is the fMRI?
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look at activity of the brain as someone is doing a certain task
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What is the brain stem?
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involuntary behaviors (heart beating, breathing) and “primitive behaviors under voluntary control”
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What is the medulla?
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Part of the brain stem: controls bodily functions that do not have to be consciously done; most important part of the brain for life
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What is the Pons?
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Part of the brain stem: motor info, regulates sleep and arousal; coordinates movement
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What is the thalamus?
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Part of brain; Relay station; in charge of taking in sensory information and taking that to the part of the brain where that information can be processed (except smell); sense receptors to cerebral cortex Damage: loss in sensory abilities
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What is the recticular formation?
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Part of brain; controls arousal (sleep, wake); filters out not needed info ex: all kinds of sounds in a room but being able to focus on one thing
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What is the cerebellum?
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Part of brain; concerned primarily with coordination of movement; balance, muscle coordination, muscle memory, language, planning, reasoning ex: alcohol can inhibit this
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What is the limbic system?
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Part of brain; emotions, memory, additional control over instinctive behaviors
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Amygdala?
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(part of the limbic system) emotions; aggression, fear, depression Damage: cannot process the emotion of fear
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Hypothalamus?
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(part of the limbic system) in charge of the endocrine system; regulars eating, drinking, sexual behavior
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Hippocampus?
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(part of the limbic system) “gateway to memory” form new memories about facts and events Damage: does not affect memories that are already formed