AP Psychology Exam Vocab Semester Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Organic disorders
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hypothesis
a testable prediction
Histrionic
excessively dramatic or emotional
Limbic system
doughnut-shaped neural system (including hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus) located below the cerebral hemispheres; associated with emotions and drives
Accommodation
adapting our current understandings (schemas) to incorporate new information
Humanistic psychology
historically significant perspective that emphasized the growth potential of healthy people and the individuals potential for personal growth
Standardization
defining meaningful scores by comparison with the performance of a pretested group
DSM-IV
the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition), a widely used system for classifying psychological disorders. Presently distributed in an updated "text revision" (DSM-IV-TR).
hallmark symptoms of somatoform disorders
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hallmark symptoms of mood disorders
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endorphins
"morphine within"- natural opiatelike neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure
phonemes
in spoken language, the smallest distinctive sound unit. english has about 40 phonemes.
ex: c-a-t = 3 phonemes
Grouping
the perceptual tendency to organize stimuli into coherent groups
Depressants
drugs (such as alcohol, barbiturates, and opiates) that reduce neural activity and slow body functions
Cognition
all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating
Intelligence
mental quality consisting of the ability to learn from experience, solving problems, and use knowledge to adapt to new situations
Industrial-organizational psychology
the application of psychological concepts and methods to optimizing human behavior in workplaces
Mean
the arithmetic average of a distribution, obtained by adding the scores and then dividing by the number of scores
Variable-interval schedule
in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals
Audition
the sense or act of hearing
Tolerance
the diminishing effect with regular use of the same dose of a drug, requiring the user to take larger and larger doses before experiencing the drug's effect
Top-down processing
information processing guided by higher-level mental processes, as when we construct perceptions drawing on our experience and expectations
Aphasia
impairment of language, usually caused by left hemisphere damage either to brocas area (impairing speaking) or Wernicke's area (impairing understanding)
Adolescence
the transition period from childhood to adulthood, extending from puberty to independence
Visual encoding
the encoding of picture images
Embryo
the developing human organism from about 2 weeks after fertilization through the second month
Plasticity
the brain's ability to change, especially during childhood, by reorganizing after damage or by building new pathways based on experience
Gender
in psychology, the biologically and socially influenced characteristics by which people define male and female
Pituitary gland
the endocrine system's most influential gland. Under the influence of the hypothalamus, the pituitary regulates growth and controls other endocrine glands
Hypochondriasis
A somatoform disorder characterized by excessive preoccupation with health concerns and incessant worry about developing physical illnesses.
Fugue
dissociative disorder in which a person forgets who who they are and leaves home to creates a new life
sampling
the process by which participants (subjects/test subjects) are selected
bipsychosocial approach
an integrated perspective that incorporates biological, psychological, and social-cultural levels of analysis
motor neurons
neurons that carry outgoing information from the central nervous system to the muscles and glands
neurotransmitters
chemical messengers that cross the synaptic gaps between neurons. When released by the sending neuron, neurotransmitters travel across the synapse and bind to the receptor sites on the receiving neuron, thereby influencing whether that neuron will generate a neural impulse
syntax
the rules for combining words into grammatically sensible sentences in a given language.
ex: white house [adjective before noun], un maison blanc [noun before adjective]
Lesion
tissue destruction; a brain lesion is a naturally or experimentally caused destruction of brain tissue
Modeling
the process of observing and imitating a specific behavior
Memory
The persistence of learning over time through the storage and retrieval of information
Manifest content
according to Freud, the remembered story line of a dream (as distinct from its latent, or hidden, content)
Imagery
mental pictures; a powerful aid to effortful processing, especially when combined with semantic encoding
Hindsight bias
the tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it. "I knew it all along"
Near-death experience
an altered state of consciousness reported after a close brush with death (cardiac arrest); often similar to drug induced hallucinations
Gender typing
the acquisition of a traditional masculine or feminine role.
Nature-nurture issue
the longstanding controversy over the relative contributions that genes and experience make to the development of psychological traits and behaviors. Today's science sees traits and behaviors arising from the interaction of nature and nurture.
Conditioned stimulus (CS)
in classical conditioning, an originally irrelevant stimulus that, after association with unconditioned stimulus (US) comes to trigger a conditioned response
Conservation
principle (which piaget believed to be a part of concrete operational reasoning) that properties such as mass, volume, and number remain the same despite changes in the forms of objects
Social
cultural psychology- the study of how situation and cultures affect our behavior and thinking
Cerebral cortex
the intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells covering the cerebral hemispheres; the body's ultimate control and information-processing center
Unconditioned response (UR)
in classical conditioning, the unlearned naturally occurring response to the unconditioned stimulus (US) such as salivation when food is in the mouth
Amygdala
two lima bean-sized neural clusters in the limbic system; linked to emotion
Wernicke's area
controls language reception- a brain area involved in language comprehension and expression; usually in the left temporal lobe
Threshold
the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse
Social clock
the culturally preferred timing of social events such as marriage, parenthood, and retirement
Down syndrome
a condition of intellectual disability and associated physical disorders caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21
Proactive interference
the disruptive effect of prior learning on the recall of new information
Fetus
the developing human organism from 9 weeks after conception to birth
Encoding
the processing of information into the memory system - for example, by extracting meaning
Dendrite
the bushy, branching extensions of a neuron that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body
Developmental psychology
the scientific study of physical, cognitive, and social change throughout the life span
Borderline
In a constant state of crisis, promiscuous, unable to tolerate anxiety-causing situations, afraid of being alone, and having intense but brief relationships
Dissociative Disorders
disorders in which conscious awareness becomes separated (dissociated) from previous memories, thoughts, and feelings
Phobias
a group of anxiety disorders involving a pathological fear of a specific object or situation
Aristiotle
suggested that the soul is not separable from the body and that knowledge (ideas) grow from experience
correlation
a measure of the relationship between two factors and how well either factor predicts the other
representativeness heuristic
judging the likelihood of things in terms of how well they seem to represent, or match, particular prototypes; may lead one to ignore other relevant information
ex: short, poetry-reading, slim man likely to be truck driver or ivy league professor?
morphemes
in a language, the smallest unit that carries meaning; may be a word or a part of a word [such as a prefix].
ex: bait, beet, bat, bit, bite, boat, boot
Retroactive interference
the disruptive effect of new learning on the recall of old information
Reliability
the extent to which a test yields consistent results
Selective attention
the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus
Recall
a measure of memory in which the person must retrieve information learned earlier, as on a fill-in-the blank test
Transduction
conversion of one form of energy into another. In sensation, the transforming of stimulus energies, such as sights, sounds, and smells, into neural impulses our brains can interpret
Cochlea
a coiled, bony, fluid- filled tube in the inner ear through which sound waves trigger nerve impulses
Binocular cues
depth cues, such as retinal disparity, that depend on the use of two eyes
Biological psychology
a branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior
Statistical significance
a statistical statement of how likely it is that an obtained result occurred by chance
Flashbulb memory
a clear memory of an emotionally significant moment or event
Relearning
a measure of memory that assesses the amount of time saved when learning material for a second time
Illusory correlation
the perception of a relationship where none exists
Gate-control theory
the theory that the spinal cord contains a neurological "gate" that blocks pain signals or allows them to pass on to the brain. The gate is opened by the activity of pains signals travelling up small nerve fibers and is closed by activity in larger fibers or by information coming from the brain
Optic nerve
the nerve that carries neural impulses from the eye to the brain
Neuron
a nerve cell; the basic building block of the nervous system
Generalization
the tendency once a response has been conditioned, for stimuli similar to the conditioned stimulus to elicit similar responses
Gender identity
our sense of being male or female
Prevalence of mental illness
depression and schitzophrenia affect people of all gender and cultures over time.
operational definition
when a variable is operatioalized, the researcher explains how he/she will measure the variable. For example, to measure intelligence one might an intelligence test
naturalistic observation
observing and recording behavior in a naturally occuring environment or situation without controlling the environment
myelin sheath
a layer of fatty tissues segmentally covering the fibers of many neurons; enables vastly greater transmission speed of neural impulses
false consensus effect
tendency to overestimate that others share our beliefs and behaviors
counseling psychology
A branch of psychology that assists people with problems living (often related to school, work, or marriage) and in achieving greater well being
action potential
a neural impulse; a brief elecrical 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. Neurons either fire completely or they don't fire at all (this is known as the all-or-none principle)
prototypes
a mental image or best example of a category. Matching new items to the prototype provides a quick and easy method for including items in a category
ex: bird = sea gull, robin
babbling stage
beginning around 3 or 4 months, the stage of speech development in which the infant spontaneously utters various sounds at first unrelated to the household language.
ex: ah-goo ga ga
Blind spot
the point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye, creating a "blind" spot because no receptor cells are located there
Jean Piaget
child's mind develops in a series of stages, children reason differently
Social psychology
the scientific study of how we think about, influence, and relate to one another
Somatic nervous system
the division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the body's skeletal muscles (skeletal nervous system)
Predictive validity
the success with which a test predicts the behavior it is designed to predict
X chromosome
the sex chromosome found in both men and women. Females have two X chromosomes; males have one. An X chromosome from each parent produces a female child
Concrete operational stage
piagets theory, the stage of cognitive development (from about 6 or 7 to 11 years of age) during which children gain the mental operations that enable them to think logically about concrete events
Operant conditioning
a type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by a reinforcer or diminished if followed by a punisher
Parallel processing
the processing of many aspects of a problem simultaneously; the brain's natural mode of information processing for many functions, including vision. Contrasts with the step-by-step (serial) processing of most computers and of conscious problem solving
Passive aggressive
a disorder in which people are often uncooperative, resent being told what to do, yet they rely on others' direction. show indirect anger
mode
the score that occurs the most in a distribution
Francis Bacon
Bacon was one of the founders of modern science, especially the experimenta ( scientific) method
sympathetic nervous system
the division of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations.
CT (computer tomography) scan
a series of X-ray photographs taken from different angles and combined by computer into a composite representation of a slice through the body (CAT) scan
Perceptual adaptation
in vision, the ability to adjust to an artificially displaced or even inverted visual field
Axis I - V
Axis I Primary clinical problem or diagnosis
Axis II Ingrained aspects of personality likely to affect a person's ability to be treated (Personality Disorders or Mental Retardation).
Axis III Medical conditions relevant to the symptoms
Axis IV Social and/or environmental stressors
Axis V Global assessment of the patient's overall functioning
John Locke
Locke held that the mind is a tabula rosa or a blank sheet at birth and experiences writes on it
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