Psychology 100, Exam 1

Psychology
the scientific study of behavior and mental processes

Wilhelm Wundt
structuralism; in 1879 founded first psychology laboratory in world at University of Leipzig; introspection, basic units of experience

Edward Titchener
Student of Wilhelm Wundt; founder of Structuralist school of psychology.

William James
founder of functionalism; studied how humans use perception to function in our environment

Structuralism
An early school of psychology that used introspection to explore the structural elements of the human mind

Functionalism
a school of psychology that focused on how mental and behavioral processes function – how they enable the organism to adapt, survive, and flourish.

Case study
An observation technique in which one person is studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles.

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

Survey research
gathering primary data by asking people questions about their knowledge, attitudes, preferences, and buying behavior

Random sample
method of selecting from a population in which each person has an equal probability of being selected

Positive correlation
a correlation in which large values of one variable are associated with large values of the other and small with small

Negative correlation
a correlation in which large values of one variable are associated with small values of the other

Correlation versus causation
A correlation is a predictable relationship between two variables makes it possible to predict the other. However, just because two variables are correlated does not mean that one causes the other.

Experiment
a research method in which an investigator manipulates one or more factors (independent variables) to observe the effect on some behavior or mental process (the dependent variable). By random assignment of participants, the experimenter aims to control other relevant factors.

Independent variable
The experimental factor that is manipulated; the variable whose effect is being studied.

Dependent variable
The outcome factor; the variable that may change in response to manipulations of the independent variable.

Random assignment
Assigning participants to experimental and control conditions by chance, thus minimizing preexisting differences between those assigned to the different groups.

Biological perspective
A psychological approach that emphasizes bodily events and changes associated with actions, feelings, and thoughts.

Neurons
Individual cells in the nervous system that receive, integrate, and transmit information.

Action potential
a neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon. the action potential is generated by the movement of positively charged atoms in and out of channels in the axon’s membrane

Neurotransmitters
chemical messengers that traverse the synaptic gaps between neurons

Dopamine and Parkinson’s disease
Death of dopamine producing cells leads to Parkinson’s disease, a disorder of the brain that leads to shaking and difficulty with walking, movement, and coordination.

Reticular formation and personality
Nerve network in the brainstem, controls arousal.

Shy personality is more sexually aroused.

Outgoing personality is less sexually aroused.

Left hemisphere of brain
logical, contains mathamatics, lauguage, & speech. controls right side of the body

Right hemisphere of brain
touch and movement, superior at nonverbal, visual, and spatial tasks. controls left side

Closure Grouping Principle
Filling in gaps or missing information when we perceive something as incomplete.

Plasticity
The brain’s capacity for modification, as evident in brain reorganization following damage (especially in children) and in experiments on the effects of experience on brain development

Transduction
conversion of one form of energy into another. In sensation, the transforming of stimulus energies into neural impulses

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

Perception
the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information, enabling us to recognize meaningful objects and events

Gestalt psychology
school of psychology that studies how people perceive and experience objects as whole patterns

Monocular cues
depth cues, such as interposition and linear perspective, available to either eye alone

Perceptual constancy
perceiving objects as unchanging (having consistent lightness, color, shape, and size) even as illumination and retinal images change

Expectancy effects
Results that occur when a researcher or observer subtly communicates to participants the kind of behavior he or she expects to find, thereby creating that expected reaction.

The unconscious
According to Freud, it contains thoughts, memories, and desires that are well below the surface of conscious awareness but nonetheless exert great influence on behavior.

Priming
the activation, often unconsciously, of certain associations, thus predisposing one’s perception, memory, or response

Elderly prime experiment
conducted by Bar; college students had to unscramble words with negative stereotypes about the elderly; affected how fast students walked down the hall

Picture prime experiment
those exposed to picture of einstein (below level of awareness) did bettter on test; vice versa when exposed to paris hilton

REM sleep
a recurring sleep stage during which vivid dreams commonly occur. Also known as paradoxical sleep, because the muscles are relaxed (except for minor twitches) but other body systems are active.

Sleep paralysis
state of being unable to move just after falling asleep or right before waking up

Manifest content
According to Freud, the remembered story line of a dream (as distinct from its latent, or hidden, content).

Latent content
according to Freud, the underlying meaning of a dream (as distinct from its manifest content). Freud believed that a dream’s latent content functions as a safety valve.

Activation-synthesis theory
the theory that dreams result from the brain’s attempt to make sense of random neural signals that fire during sleep

Neurocognitive theory
theory that dreams are a meaningful product of our cognitive capacities, which shape what we dream about

Parasomnias
a catergory of sleep disorders characterized by arousal or activation during sleep or sleep transitions; inclues sleepwalking, night terrors, sleep bruxism(teeth grinding), sleep-related eating disorder, and REM sleep behavior disorder

Hypnosis
a social interaction in which one person (the hypnotist) suggests to another (the subject) that certain perceptions, feelings, thoughts, or behaviors will spontaneously occur.

Behaviorism
The view that psychology (1) should be an objective science that (2) studies behavior without reference to mental processes. Most research psychologists today agree with (1) but not with (2).

John Watson
behaviorism; emphasis on external behaviors of people and their reactions on a given situation; famous for Little Albert study in which baby was taught to fear a white rat

Ivan Pavlov
discovered classical conditioning; trained dogs to salivate at the ringing of a bell

Classical conditioning
A type of learning in which an organism comes to associate stimuli. A neutral stimulus that signals an unconditioned stimulus (US) begins to produce a response that anticipates and prepares for the unconditioned stimulus. Also called Pavlovian or respondent conditioning.

Unconditioned stimulus
in classical conditioning, a stimulus that unconditionally—naturally and automatically—triggers a response.

Conditioned stimulus
in classical conditioning, an originally irrelevant stimulus that, after association with an unconditioned stimulus, comes to trigger a conditioned response

Unconditioned response
in classical conditioning, the unlearned, naturally occurring response to the unconditioned stimulus (US), such as salivation when food is in the mouth.

Conditioned response
in classical conditioning, the learned response to a previously neutral (but now conditioned) stimulus (CS).

Generalization
the tendency, once a response has been conditioned, for stimuli similar to the conditioned stimulus to elicit similar responses.

Discrimination
in classical conditioning, the learned ability to distinguish between a conditioned stimulus and stimuli that do not signal an unconditioned stimulus

B.F. Skinner
pioneer of operant conditioning who believed that everything we do is determined by our past history of rewards and punishments. he is famous for use of his operant conditioning aparatus which he used to study schedules of reinforcement on pidgeons and rats.

Operant conditioning
a type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by a reinforcer or diminished if followed by a punisher

Reinforcement
stimulus or event that follows a response and increases the likelihood that the response will be repeated

Punishment
Occurs when stimulus change immediately follows a response and decreases the future frequency of that type of behavior in similar conditions.

Fixed-ratio schedule
in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified number of responses

Variable-ratio schedule
in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response after an unpredictable number of responses

Fixed-interval schedule
in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified time has elapsed

Variable-interval schedule
in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals

Observational learning
Learning by observing others.

Bandura’s bobo doll experiment
In this experiment children watched a model attack a doll and then the children were put in a room with toys including the same doll and children it was found that the kids who watched the model were much more likely to imitate the actions.

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