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General Psychology- WSU Essay

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William James
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This Psychologist is associated with functionalism and considered to be the founder of American psychology.
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Wilhelm Wundt
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This school of thought argued that breaking down experience into its elemental parts offered the best way to understand thought an behavior. Their method was called “introspection”.
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Wilhelm Wundt
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Considered the “father of psychology”, he founded the first formal psychological lab in 1879 at the University of Leipzig in Germany
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Behaivorism
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A school of psychology that proposed that psychology could be a true science only if it examines observable behavior, not ideas, thoughts, feelings, or motives.
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John B. Watson
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This psychologist challenged the use of introspection and founded behaviorism as an extreme form of environmentalism viewing all behavior as coming from experience interacting with the world.
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Humanistic Psychology
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This perspective focuses on personal growth and meaning as a way of reaching one’s highest potential.
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Positive Psychology
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A scientific approach to studying, understanding, and promoting healthy and positive psychological functioning.
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Functionalism
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This school of psychology replaced structuralism, choosing to focus on why the mind works the way it does rather than describe its parts.
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Sigmund Freud
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This psychologist developed a clinically based approach to understanding and treating psychological disorders that assumes the existence of an unconscious mind that is the most powerful force behind thought and behavior.
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Gestalt Psychology
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This perspective- after the German word for “whole form”- proposed that perception occurs in unified wholes where the whole is more than the sum of its parts.
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Experiement
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A research design that includes independent and dependent variable and random assignment of participants to control and experimental groups or conditions. This research design allows the determination of cause- and- effect relationships.
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Correlational Designs
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Studies that measures two or more variables and their relationship to one another; they are not designed to show causation.
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Experimental Group
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A group consisting of those participants who will receive the treatment or whatever is predicted to change behavior.
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Control Group
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A group of research participants who are treated in exactly the same manner as the experimental group except that they do not recieve the independent variable, or treatment
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Random Assignments
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The method used to assign participants to different research conditions, so that all participants have the same chance of being in any specific group.
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Dependent Variable
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In an experiment, the outcome of or response to an experimental manipulation. The researcher manipulates something to see if it has an effect. The affected variable is called the ______
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Inferential Statistics
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Analysis of data that allows us to test hypotheses and make an inference as to how likely a sample score is to occur in a population. The researcher seeks to rule out chance as an explanation for why group scores differ.
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Correlation Coefficients
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Statistics that range from -1.0 to +1.0 and assess the strength and direction of association between two variables.
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Confounding Variable
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A variable whole influence on the dependent variable cannot be separated from the independent variable being examined.
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Independent Variable
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A property that is manipulated by an experimenter under controlled conditions to determine whether it caused the predicted outcome of an experiment.
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Central Nervous System
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This division of the nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord.
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Autonomic Nervous System
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All the nerves of the peripheral nervous system that serve involuntary systems of the body, such as the internal organs and glands.
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Neurons
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The cells that process and transmit information in the nervous systems.
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Synapse
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The junction between an axon and the adjacent neuron, where information is transmitted from one neuron to another.
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Peripheral Nervous System
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This division of the nervous system connected the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body.
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Neuroplasticty
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The brain’s ability to adopt new functions, reorganize itself, or make new neural connections throughout life, as a function of experience.
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Neurotransmitters
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Chemicals that transmit information between neurons.
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Parasympathetic Nervous System
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The branch of the autonomic nervous system that usually relaxes or returns the body to a less active, restful state.
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Hypothalamus
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A limbic structure; the master regulator of almost all major drives and motives we have, such as hunger, thirst, temperature, and sexual behavior; also controls the pituitary gland.
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Hippocampus
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A limbic structure that wraps itself around the thalamus: plays a vital role in learning and memory.
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Sympathetic Nervous System
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The branch of the autonomic nervous system that activates bodily systems in times of emergency.
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Trichromatic Color Theory
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The theory that all the color we experience results from a mixing of three colors of light (red, green, and blue).
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Perception
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A psychological process, the act of organizing and interpreting sensory experience.
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Sensory Adaptation
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The process by which our sensitivity diminishes when an object constantly stimulates our senses.
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Bottom-up processing
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The idea that perception is a process of building a perceptual experience from smaller pieces.
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Opponent Process Theory
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The theory that color vision results from cones linked together in three pairs of opposing colors, so that activation of one member of the pair inhibits activity in the other.
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Top-down processing
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Perception or the whole based on our experience and expectations, which guide our perception of smaller, elemental features of a stimulus.
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Perceptual Constancy
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The brains ability to preserve perception of objects in spite of changes in retinal image when an object changes position or distance from the viewer.
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Sensation
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A physical process, the stimulation of our sense organs by features of the outer world.
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Perceptual Set
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The effect of frame of mind on perception, or a tendency to perceive stimuli in a certain manner.
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Gestalt Laws of Grouping
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Similarity, continuity, proximity, and closure.
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Sensorimotor Stage
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Piaget’s first stage of cognitive development (ages 0-2), when infants learn about the world by using their senses and by moving their bodies.
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Secularly Attached
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An attachment style characterized by infants who will gradually explore new situations when the caregiver leaves and initiate contact when the caregiver returns after separation.
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Lawrence Kohlberg
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This famous psychologist studied the development of moral reasoning in children and adults by going them a moral dilemma and recording the reasons they they provided for their responses. He defined three developmental levels of moral reasoning.
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Formal Operational Stage
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Piaget’s final stage of cognitive development, from age 11 or 12 on through adulthood, when formal logic is possible.
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Erik Erikson
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This famous psychologist proposed a model of personality development with eight stages, each defined by an identity crisis or conflict.
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Preoperational Stage
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The second major stage of cognitive development (ages 2-5), which begins with the emergence of symbolic thought.
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Jean Piaget
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This famous psychologist outlined principles of cognitive development from birth throughout childhood describing stages at which certain cognitive capacities appear.
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Visual Cliff
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Gibson and Walk device for testing depth perception in infants. Clear Plexiglas is places over a crawl area to make it look as though there was a step drop in the middle.
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Concrete Operational Stage
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Piaget’s third stage of cognitive development, which ages 6-11, during which the child can perform mental operations- such as reversing- on real objects or events.
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Object Permanence
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The ability to realize that objects still exist when they are not being sensed.
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Cocktail Party Effect
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The particular ability to filter out auditory stimuli and then refocus attention when you hear your name called out.
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Psychoanalytic Dream Theory
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According to this dream theory, dreams are the “royal road to the unconscious” mind; Sigmund Freud.
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Circadian Rhythms
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Variations in physiological processed that cycle within approximately a 24- hour period, including the sleep- wake cycle.
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Selective Attention
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The ability to focus awareness on specific features in the environment while ignoring others.
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Cognitive Dream Theory
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According to this dream theory, dreams are not different from everyday thinking and involve the same processes that we use during our waking life.
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Biological Dream Theory
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According to this dream theory, dreams are devoid of meaning and simply the result of random brain activity.
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Mindfulness
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A heightened awareness of the present moment whether of events in one’s environment or in one’s own mind.
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Stroop Effect
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On a test, a delay in reaction time when the colors of words and their meanings differ.
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Sustained Attention
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The ability to maintain focused awareness on a target or an idea.
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REM
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Quick movements of the eye that occur during sleep, thought to mark the phases of dreaming.
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Levels of Processing
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The concept that, the more deeply people encode information, the better they will recall it.
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Flashbulb Memories
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Detailed, especially vivid memories of very specific, highly charged events.
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Mnemonic Device
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A method, such as rhyme or an acronym, devised to help people remember information.
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Short-term Memory
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The part of memory that temporarily (2-30 seconds) stores a limited amount of information before it is either transferred to long-term storage of forgotten; also called “Working Memory”.
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Chunking
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The process of breaking down a list of items to be remembered into a smaller set of meaningful units.
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Serial Position Effect
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The tendency to have better recall for items in a list according to their position in the list.
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Effortless Processing
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Encoding of information that occurs with careful attention and conscious effort.
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Semantic Memory
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The form of memory that recalls facts and general knowledge, such as what we learn in school.
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Long-term Memory
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The part of the memory that has the capacity to store a vast amount of information for as little as 30 seconds and as long as a lifetime.
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Sensory Memory
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The part of memory that holds information in its original sensory form for a very brief period of time, usually about half a second or less.
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Operant Conditioning
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The process of changing behavior by manipulating the consequences of that behavior.
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Schedules of Reinforcement
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Patterns of intermittent reinforcement distinguished by whether reinforcement occurs after a set number or responses or after a certain amount of time has passed since the last reinforcement.
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Albert Bandura
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this psychologist expanded understanding beyond traditional conditioning with his research and development of social learning theory. His approach including modeling and observing the behavior of others.
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Ivan Pavlov
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While studying digesting in dogs, this Russian scientist discovered classical conditioning quite accidentally.
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Latent Learning
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Learning that occurs in the absence of reinforcement and is not demonstrated until later, when reinforcement occurs.
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Shaping
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In Operant Conditioning, the reinforcement of successive approximations of a desired behavior.
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B.F. Skinner
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This psychologist advanced the system of behaviorism by looking to the consequences of behavior as its most important determinant. He discovered the principles of operant conditioning.
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Classical Conditioning
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A form of associative learning in which a neutral stimulus becomes associated with a stimulus to which one has an automatic, inborn response.
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John B. Watson
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American psychologist who took note of Pavolv’s work and viewed classical conditioning as the discovery needed to propel psychology forward. he defined psychology as ” the study of behavior” and conditioned a baby to fear white rats.
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Extinction
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The weakening and disappearance of a conditioned response in the absence of the pairing of UCS and CS.
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Conditioning/ Learning Theory of Language
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Language is just like any other behavior; it exists because it is reinforced and shaped.
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Conjunction Fallacy
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An error in logic that occurs when people say the combination of two events is more likely than either event alone.
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Availability Heuristic
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A device that we use to make decision based on the ease with which estimates come to mind or how available they are to our awareness.
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Sensitivity Period for language development
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If children are not exposed to any human language before a certain age, their language abilities never fully develop.
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Represtentativeness heuristic
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A strategy we use to estimate the probability of one event based on how typical it is of another event.
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Nativist Theory of Language
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According to this theory of language development we discover language rather than learn it. Language development is an inborn tendency.
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Confirmation Bias
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The tendency to selectively attend to information that supports one’s general beliefs while ignoring information or evidence that contradicts one’s beliefs.
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Sociocultural Theory of Language
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This theory of language development emphasizes that children who hear more total and unique words and more complex sentences, develop their language faster and more richly than those who do not.
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Heuristics
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Mental shortcuts; methods for making complex and uncertain decisions and judgement.
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Mental Set
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Tendency to continue to use problem- solving strategies that have working in the past; even if better solutions are available.
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Predictive Validity
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The degree to which intelligence test scores are positively related to real- world outcomes, such a school achievement or job success, and thus have predictive value.
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Algorithm
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A step-by-step procedure or formula for solving a problem.
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G-Factor Theory of intelligence
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Spearman’s theory that intelligence is a single, general (g) factor made up of specific components.
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Fixation
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The inability to break out of particular mind-set in order to think about a problem from a fresh perspective.
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Reliability
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The consistency of a measurement, such as an intelligence test.
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Validity
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The degree to which a test accurately measures what it purports to measure, such as intelligence, and not something else, and the degree to which it predicts real-world outcomes.
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Predictive Validity
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The consistency of scores on a test over time. If you step on a scale and it read 100 pounds you would expect it to read 100 pounds if you got off and right back on again.
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Multiple-factor theory of inteligence
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The idea that intelligence consists of distinct dimensions and is not just a single factor.
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Functional Fixedness
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A mind-set in which one is blind to unusual uses of common, everyday things or procedures.
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Intrinsic Motivation
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Motivation that comes from within a person and included the elements of challenge, enjoyment, mastery, and autonomy.
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James-Lange Theory of Emotion
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The idea that it is the perception of the physiological changes that accompany emotions that produces the subjective emotional experience.
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Homeostasis
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The process by which all organisms work to maintain physiological equilibrium, or balance around an optimal set point.
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Fascial Feedback Hypothesis
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Sensory feedback from the facial musculature during expression affects emotional experience.
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Broaden-and-Build Model
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Fredrickson’s model for positive emotions, which posits that they widen our cognitive perspective and help us acquire useful life skills.
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Extrinsic Motivation
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Motivation that comes from outside the person and usually involves rewards and praises.
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Display Rules
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Learned norms or rules, often taught very early, about when it is appropriate to express certain emotions and to whom one should show them.
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Yerkes-Dodson Law
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The principle that moderate levels or arousal lead to optimal performance.
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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
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A hierarchy of social needs moving upward from physiological, safety, belongingness, esteem, and to self-actualization at the top.
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Problem-focused coping
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A way of dealing with stress that aims to change the situation that is creating stress.
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General Adaptive Syndrome
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As defined by Hans Seyle, a generalized, nonspecific set of changes in the body that occur during extreme stress.
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Health Behavior Approach
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An explanation for illness or health that focuses on the role of behaviors such as diet, exercise, or substance abuse.
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Emotion Focused coping
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A way of dealing with stress that aims to regulate the experience of distress.
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Type A behavior Pattern
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A way of responding to challenge or stress, characterized by hostility, impatience, competitiveness, and time urgency.
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Exhaustion Stage
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The phase of the general adaption syndrome when all the body’s resources for fighting a threat have been depleted and illness is more likely.
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Physiological Reactivity Model
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An explanation for the casual role of stress-related bodily changes in illness.
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Emotional Disclosure
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A way of coping with stress through writing or talking about the situation.
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Alarm Stage
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The phase of the general adaption syndrome in which all of the body’s resources respond to a perceived threat.
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Resistance Stage
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In the general adaption syndrome, the body’s extended effort to deal with a threat.
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Alfred Adler
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The first “disciple” of Freud to break away, this psychologist proposed “striving for superiority” rather than sex or aggression as the major drive behind all behavior.
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Psychoanalytic theories
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Personality theories based on or variations of Freud’s seminal ideas.
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Carl Rogers
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A key figure in the humanistic-positive psychology tradition, this psychologist developed a unique form of psychotherapy based on the assumption that people naturally strive towards growth and fulfillment and need unconditional positive regard for that to happen.
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Big Five (OCEAN)
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A theory of personality that includes the following five dimensions: (1) openness to experience , (2) conscientiousness, (3) extraversion, (4) agreeableness, and (5) neuroticism.
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Projective Tests
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Personality assessments in which the participant is presented with a vague stimulus or situation and asked to interpret it or tell a story about what he or she sees.
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Humanistic Positive Theories
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This major personality perspective is optimistic about human nature, believing that humans are naturally interested in realizing their full potential.
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Signmund Freud
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The most famous of all psychologists, he proposed an overarching theory of personality (psychoanalytic theory) and a psychotherapy procedure known as psychoanalysis.
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Social-Cognititive Theories
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A major category of personality theory based on a social-congnitive learning perspective.
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Abraham Maslow
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This famous psychologist proposed a hiearchy of needs with “self-actualization” at the pinnacle of his pyramid of human needs. By studying famous people, he arrived at a list of characteristics he believed to be common in self-actualizing persons.
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Defense Mechanisms
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Unconscious strategies the mind uses to protect itself from anxiety by denying and distorting reality in some way.
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Cognitive Dissonance
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The feeling of discomfort caused by information that is different from a person’s concept of himself or herself as a reasonable and sensible person.
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Fundamental Attribution Error
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The tendency to explain others’ behavior in dispositional rather than situational terms.
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Bystander Effect
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A phenomenon in which the greater the number of bystanders who witness an emergency, the less likely any one of them will help.
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Social Loafing
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The phenomenon in which the presence of others causes one to relax one’s standards and slack off.
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Out-group hoogeneity
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The tendency to see all members of an out-group as the same.
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Social Exchange Theory
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The idea that we help others when we decide that the benefits to ourselves are likely to outweigh the costs.
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In-group/ Out-group Bias
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The tendency to show positive feelings toward people who belong to the same group as we do, and negative feelings toward those in other groups.
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Self-serving bias
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The tendency to make situational attributions for our failures by dispositional attributions for our successes.
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Social Facilitation
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When the presence of others improves one’s performances.
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Milgram’s Study of Obedience
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Famous Destructive Obedience study: “At the hight voltages, when the experiementer told them the experiment must continue in spite of the “learner’s” protests, 60% of the “teachers” continued to administer “shocks”.
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Phobia
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An anxiety disorder: an ongoing and irrational fear of a particular object, situation, or activity.
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Borderline Personality Disorder
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A dramatic emotional personality disorder characterized by out-of-control emotions, fear of being abandoned by others, and vacillation between idealizing and despising people who are close to the person with the disorder.
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Comorbidity
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The occurrence of two or more psychological disorders at the same time.
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Dissociative Disorders
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Psychological disorders characterized by extreme splits or gaps in memory, identity, or consciousness.
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Bipolar Disorder
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A mood disorder characterized by substantial mood fluctuations, cycling between very low depressive) and very high (manic) moods.
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Paranoid Personality Disorder
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An odd-eccentric personality disorder characterized by extreme suspicions and mistrust of others in unwarranted and maladaptive ways.
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Schizophrenia
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A psychotic disorder characterized by significant disturbances in thought and emotion, specifically problems with perception, including hallucinations.
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Obsessive-compulsive Disorder
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An anxiety disorder in which obsessive thoughts lead to compulsive behaviors.
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Psychotic Disorders
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Psychological disorders of thought and perception, characterized by inability to distinguish between real and imagined perceptions.
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Diathesis-stress model
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An explanation for the origin of psychological disorders as a combination of biological predispositions (diathesis) plus stress or an abusive environment.
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Behavior Therapies
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Therapies that apply the principles of classical and operant conditioning in the treatment of psychological disorders.
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Free Association
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A psychotherapeutic technique in which the client takes one image or idea from a dream and says whatever comes to mind, regardless of how threatening, disgusting, or troubling it may be.
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Client-Centered Therapy
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A form of humanistic therapy in which the therapist shows unconditional positive regard for the patient.
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Systematic Desensitization
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A behavioral therapy technique, often used for phobias, in which the therapist pairs relaxations with gradual exposure to a phobic object, generating a hierarchy of increasing contact with the feared object.
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Dialectical Behavior Therapy
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Treatment that integrates elements of CBT with exercises aimed at developing mindfulness without meditation and is used to treat borderline personality disorders.
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Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy
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An approach that combines elements of CBT with mindfulness meditation to help people with depression learn to recognize and restructure negative thought patterns.
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Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
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An approach to treating psychological disorders that combines techniques for restructuring irrational thoughts with operant and classical conditioning techniques to shape desirable behaviors.
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Flooding
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Form of in vivo exposure in which the client experiences extreme exposure to the phobic object.
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Psychoanalytic Therapy
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Based on Freud’s ideas, a therapeutic approach oriented toward major personality change with a focus on uncovering unconscious motives, especially through dream interpretation.
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Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
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Drugs prescribed primarily for depression and some anxiety disorders that word by making more serotonin available in the synapse.
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Cognitive Therapy
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Any type of psychotherapy that works to restructure irrational thought patterns.