Major Field Test in Psychology

Introspection
Focusing on inner sensations, images and feelings.
Wundt used this approach as did James with the stream of consciousness.

Behaviorists
John B. Watson and B.F. Skinner dismissed introspection and redefined psychology as the scientific study of observable behavior.

Humanistic Psychology
Rebelled against both Behaviorism and Freudian psychology. Pioneers Carl Rogers and Maslow emphasized the importance of current environmental influences on our growth potential.

Psychology
Science of behavior and mental processes.

Nature-nurture issue
The controversy over the relative contributions of biology and experience to the development of our traits and behaviors.

Biopsychosocial approach
Considers the influences of biological, psychological, and social-cultural factors.

Applied research
practical research- industrial organizational psychologists

Hindsight bias
The tendency to believe after learning an outcome, that we would have foreseen it. The I knew it all along phenomenon)

Overconfidence
Humans tend to think they know more than they do.

Theory
An explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes observations and predicts behaviors or events

Hypothesis
Testable prediction

Case study
Examines one individual in depth in hope of revealing things true of us all

Naturalistic observation
Observing and recording behavior in a naturally occurring situation without trying to manipulate or control the situation

Correlation
the extent to which two factors vary together. Positive/negative ranges from -1 to 1. Correlation does not imply causation.

Experiment
Enable to the researcher to focus on the possible effects of one or more factors by 1) manipulating the factors of interest and 2) holding constant other factors

Experimental group
receives a treatment

Control group
receives a pseudotreatment

double-blind procedure
neither the participants nor the research assistants collecting the data will know which group is receiving the treatment

Dendrite
the neurons busy branching extensions that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body

Axon
The neurons extension that passes messages through its branching terminal fibers that form junctions with other neurons

Action potential
short electrical charge that travels down its axon

Synapse
the meeting point between neurons

neurotransmitters
chemical messengers that cross the synaptic gap between neurons. will travel across the synapse and bind to the receiving neuron

Somatic nervous system
Enables voluntary control of our skeletal muscles

Autonomic nervous system
controls our glands and the muscles of our internal organs

Sympathetic nervous system
arouses and expends energy. will accelerate your heartbeat, etc.

Parasympathetic nervous system
produces opposite effects it conserves the energy as it calms you by decreasing your heart beat and lowering your heart beat.

Adrenal glands
on top of the kidneys and release epinephrine and norepinephrine.

Pituitary gland
located in the center of the brain and is controlled by the hypothalamus: master gland.

brainstem
the oldest part and central core of the brain: is responsible for autonomic survival

medulla
the base of the brainstem controls your heartbeat and breathing

pons
helps coordinate movements

thalamus
brains sensory switchboard: it receives information from all of the senses except for smell and routes it to higher brain regions

reticular formation
filters incoming stimuli and relays important information to other areas of the brain

cerebellum
“little brain” coordinating movement output and balance

limbic system
neural system located below the cerebral hemispheres associated with emotions and drives

amygdala
influence aggression and fear

hypothalamus
important link in the chain of command governing bodily maintenance: hunger, thirst, body temperature, sexual behavior. linked to emotion and reward

cerebral cortex
a thin surface layer of interconnected neural cells

aphasia
impaired use of language

Broca’s area
damage to this area disrupts speaking

Wernicke’s area
damage to this area disrupts understanding

plasticity
the brains ability to modify itself after some types of damage

corpus callosum
the wide band of axon fibers connecting the two hemispheres and carries messages between them

selective attention
your conscious awareness focuses like a flashlight on a very limited aspect of your experience

cocktail party effect
your ability to attend to only one voice among many

inattentional blindness
failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere (gorilla experiment)

change blindness
failing to notice changes in the environment

circadian rhythm
the biological clock: regular bodily rhythms that occur on a 24 hour cycle

REM sleep
rapid eye movement: where vivid dreams often occur

insomnia
recurring problems in falling or staying asleep

narcolepsy
sufferers experience periodic overwhelming sleepiness

sleep apnea
a sleep disorder characterized by temporary cessations of breathing during sleep and repeated awakenings

manifest content
according to freud the remembered story line of a dream

latent content
according to freud the underlying meaning of a dream

depressants
drugs such as alcohol and opiates that calm neural activity and slow body functions

stimulants
temporarily excite neural activity and arouse body functions

social learning theory
assumes that children learn gender-linked behaviors by observing and imitating and by being rewarded or punished.

Continuity vs stages
Is development in a gradual continuous process or does it proceed through a sequence of separate stages

Stability vs change
do our early personality traits persist through life or do we become different persons as we age?

rooting reflex
when something touches their cheek babies turn toward that touch open then mouth and root for a nipple.

Schemas
concepts or molds into which we pour our experiences

assimilate
piaget stated that we interpret new things in terms of our current understanding (schemas)

accommodate
adjust our schemas to incorporate information provided by new experiences

Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development
1. Sensorimotor- experiencing world through senses
2. Preoperational- representing things with words
3. concrete operational- thinking logically
4. formal operational- abstract reasoning

object permanence
out of sight/out of mind. The awareness that objects continue to exist when not perceived.

conservation
the principle that the quantity remains the same despite changes in shape

egocentric
preschool childrens difficultly perceiving things from another’s point of view

theory of mind
peoples ideas about their own and others mental states

critical period
an optimal period when certain events must take place to facilitate proper development

imprinting
the process by which certain animals form attachments

authoritarian parenting style
impose rules and expect obedience

permissive parents
submit to their children’s desires

authoritative
parents that are both demanding and responsive.

kohlbergs stages of morality
1. preconventional morality- self interest
2. conventional morality- caring for others
3. actions are judged “right” because they flow from peoples rights

Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development
1. trust vs. mistrust
2. autonomy vs shame
3. initiative vs guilt
4. industry vs inferiority
5. identity vs role confusion
6. intimacy vs isolation
7. generativity vs stagnation
8. integrity vs despair

crystallized intelligence
our accumulated knowledge as reflected in vocab and tests

fluid intelligence
our ability to reason speedlily and abstractly

Sensation
the process by which our sensory receptors and nervous system receive and represent stimulus energies from the environment

perception
the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information

bottom-up processing
sensory analysis that starts at the entry level

top-down processing
information processing guided by higher-level mental processes as we construct perceptions drawing on our experience and expectations

absolute threshold
minimum stimulation necessary to detect a particular stimulus. the point at which we detect a stimulus half the time

difference threshold
also called the just noticeable difference is the minimum difference a person can detect between any two stimuli half the time

Webers law
for their difference to be perceptible, two stimuli must differ by a constant proportion

sensory adaptation
our diminishing sensitivity to an unchanging stimulus

wavelength
the distance from one wave peak to the next

hue
the color that we experience

intensity
the amount of energy in a light wave: influences our perception of its brightness

cornea
light enters the eye here (bends the light and protects the eye)

rods
retinal receptors that detect black white and gray and are necessary for peripheral and twilight vision

cones
retinal receptors that are concentrated near the center of the retina and that function in daylight. they detect fine detail

optic nerve
carries information to your brain (where the thalamus will receive and distribute the information)

blind spot
where the optic nerve leaves the eye

fovea
the retina’s area of central focus

Young-Helmholtz trichromatic (three-color) theory
the theory that the retina contains three different color receptors- one most sensitive to red, one to green, and one to blue which in combination can produce the perception of any color.

Hering’s opponent-process theory
the theory that opposing retinal processes (red-green, blue-yellow, white-black) enable color vision.

kinesthesis
your sense of position and movement of your body parts

nociceptors
sensory receptors that detect harmful temperatures, pressures, or chemicals.

gestalt
an organized whole. Psychologists emphasized our tendency to integrate pieces of information into meaningful wholes.

figure-ground
the organization of the visual field into objects (the figures) that stand out from their surroundings

grouping
the tendency to organize stimuli into coherent groups

visual cliff
a laboratory device for testing depth perception in infants and animals

associative learning
linking two events that occur closely together

classical conditioning
we learn to associate two stimuli and thus anticipate events. ivan pavlow

operant conditioning
we learn to associate a response (our behavior) and its consequence and thus to repeat acts followed by good results

observational learning
we learn from others experiences

acquisition
initial learning of the stimulus-response relationship

extinction
the diminished responding that occurs when the CS (tone) no longer signals an impending US (food)

generalization
tendency to respond to stimuli similar to the CS

discrimination
being able to distinguish between a conditioned stimulus and other irrelevant stimuli

respondent behavior
actions that are automatic responses to a stimuli

law of effect
B.F. Skinner- rewarded behavior is likely to recur

shaping
reinforcers gradually guide an animals actions toward a desired behavior

reinforcer
any even that strengthens a preceding response

positive reinforcement
strengthens a response by presenting a typically pleasurable stimulus after a response

negative reinforcement
strengthens a response by reducing or removing something undesirable or unpleasant

primary reinforcers
getting food when hungry. are unlearned

second reinforcers (conditioned reinforcers)
get their power through learned association with primary reinforcers

continuous reinforcement
reinforcing the desired response every time it occurs

partial (intermittent) reinforcement
responses are sometimes reinforced, sometimes not

fixed-ratio schedules
reinforce behavior after a set number of responses

variable-ratio schedules
provide reinforcers after an unpredictable number of responses

punishment
any consequence that decreases the frequency of a preceding behavior

mirror neurons
frontal lobe neurons that fire when performing certain actions or observing another doing so (use PET scan)

encoding
the processing of information into the memory system

storage
the retention of encoded information over time

retrieval
the process of getting information out of memory storage

short-term memory
activated memory that holds a few item briefly

long-term memory
the relatively permanent and limitless storehouse of the memory system

working memory
active processing of incoming auditory and visual-spatial information

rehearsal
conscious repetition (Ebbinghaus)

spacing effect
we retain information better when our rehearsal is distributed over time

mnemonic
memory aids, especially those techniques that use vivid imagery

chunking
we can more easily recall information when we can organize it into familiar manageable chunks

magic number seven plus or minus two
short-term memory is limited to storing about seven bits of information (George miller)

long-term potentiation
an increase in a synapses firing potential after brief, rapid stimulation

flashbulb memories
a clear memory of an emotionally significant moment or event

amnesia
unable to form new memories

implicit memory
retention independent of conscious recollection

explicit memory
memory of facts and experiences that one can consciously know and “declare”

hippocampus
a neural center that is located in the limbic system: helps process explicit memories for storage

priming
the activation of particular associations in memory

proactive interference
occurs when something you learned earlier disrupts your recall of something you experience later

retroactive interference
occurs when new information makes it harder to recall something you learned earlier

misinformation effect
incorporating misleading information into one’s memory of an event

source amnesia
we retain the memory of the event but not of the context in which we acquired it

algorithms
step by step procedures that guarantee a solution

heuristics
a simple thinking strategy that often allows us to make judgments efficiently: usually speedier

confirmation bias
we seek verifying ideas more eagerly than we seek evidence that might refute them

representative heuristic
judging the likelihood of things in terms o how well they seem to represent, or match particular prototypes

availability heuristic
operates when we base our judgments on the mental availability of information

babbling stage
around 4 months of age babies enter this stage in which they spontaneously utter a variety of sounds

one-word stage
around 1 children enter this stage and the stage in which most children speak in single words

two-word stage
beginning about age 2, the stage in speech development during which a child speaks two-word statements

telegraphic speech
early speech stage in which a child speaks in mostly nouns and verbs

general intelligence
(g) according to spearman underlines specific mental abilities

emotional intelligence
the ability to perceive emotions, understand emotions, and use emotions

Standford-Binet
the widely used American revision of binets original intelligence test

IQ
defined as the mental age/chronological age

hierarchy of needs
maslows pyramid of human needs, beginning at the base with physiological needs that first must be satisfied

james-lange theory
the theory that our experience of emotion is our awareness of our physiological responses to emotion-arousing stimuli

cannon-bard theory
the theory that emotion-arousing stimulus stimultaneously triggers 1) physiological responses and 2) the subjective experience of emotion

catharsis
emotional release

problem-focused coping
attempts to alievate stress directly

emotion-focused coping
attempting to alieviate stress by avoiding or ignoring a stressor and attending to emotional needs

personality
a persons characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting

free association
freud told his patient to relax and say whatever came to mind no matter how trivial

psychoanalysis
freuds theory of personality that attributes thoughts and actions to unconscious motives and conflicts

id
unconscious psychic energy that constantly strives to satisfy basic drives to survive, reproduce, and agress. Pleasure priniciple: seeks immediate gratification

ego
reality principle: seeks to gratify the ids impulses in realistic ways that will bring long-term pleasure

superego
moral compass that forces the ego to consider the ideal- how we ought to behave

psychosexual stages
oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital.

defense mechanisms
tactics that function to reduce anxiety

Karen Horney
agreed with Frued that childhood is important but social, not sexual tensions are crucial for personality formation

collective unconscious
a common reservoir of images derived from our species universal experiences (carl jung).

projective tests
ask test-takers to describe an ambiguous stimulus or tell a story about it

Carl Rogers
Growth-promoting climate required three conditions: 1) genuiness 2) acceptance – unconditional positive self regard and 3) empathy

traits
people’s characteristic behavior patternsn and conscious motives

external locus of control
the perception that chance or outside forces determine your fact

internal locus of control
the perception that they can control their own destiny

learned helplessness
the hopelessness an animal or human learns when unable to avoid repeated aversive events

spotlight effect
overestimating others and noticing and evaluating our appearance, performance and blunders

self-serving bias
our readiness to perceive ourselves favorable

anxiety disorder
marked by distressing persistent anxiety or dysfunctional anxiety-reducing behaivor

somatoform disorders
the distressing symptoms take a somatic form without apparent physical causes

conversion disorder
anxiety presumably is converted into a physical symptom (blindness)

dissociative disorders
disorders in which conscious awareness becomes separated from previous memories

major depressive disorder
a mood disorder in which a person experiences in the absence of drugs or a medical condition two or more weeks of significantly depressed moods, feelings of worthlessness

bipolar disorder
a mood disorder in which the person alternates between mania and depression

eclectic approach
using a blend of therapies

psychodynamic therapists
try to help people understand their current symptoms by focusing on themes across important relationships

insight therapies
psychoanalytic and humanistic therapies attempt to help troubled people by reducing their inner conflicts and increasing self-understanding

client-centered therapy
carl rogers: the therapist listens to the persons conscious self-perceptions without judging, interpreting, or directing the client toward certain insights

exposure therapy
behavior therapy: that treats anxieties by exposing people to the things they fear and avoid

systematic desensitization
a type of exposure therapy that associates a pleasant relaxed state with gradually increased anxiety-triggering stimuli

aversive conditioning
opposite of systematic desensitization- its goal is to substitute a negative response for a positive response to a harmful stimulus

cognitive-behavioral therapy
aims not only to alter the way people things but also alter the way they act

biomedical therapy
physically changing the brains functioning by altering its chemistry with drugs, or affecting its circuitry with various kinds of direct stimulation

attribution theory
we usually attribute others behavior either to their internal dispositions or their external situations

fundamental attribution error
overestimating the influence of personality and underestimating the influence of situations

foot in the door phenonomen
a tendency for people to first agree to a small action to comply later with a larger one

cognitive dissonance theory
the theory that we act to reduce the discomfort we feel when two of our thoughts are inconsistent

conformity
adjusting our behavior or thinking toward some group standard (aschs line experiments)

obedience
milgrams experiments

social facilitation
stronger performance in others presence

social loafing
the tendency for people in a group to exert less effort when pooling their efforts than when individually accountable

group polarization
the enhancement of a groups prevailing inclinations through discussion within the group

groupthink
the mode of thinking that occurs when the desire for harmony in a decision-making group overrides a realistic appraisal of alternatives

altruism
the unselfish regard for the welfare of others