AP Psychology Exam Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Automatic
Involuntary
Glutamate excess
migraines, seizures
Amnesia
the loss of memory
endorphins
natural, opiatelike neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure
accommodation
make a new schema
Enviroment
every non-genetic influence, from prenatal nutrition to the people and things around us
prejudice
an unjustifiable (and usually negative) attitude toward a group and its members. Prejudice generally involves stereotyped beliefs, negative feelings, and a predisposition to discriminatory action
Norepinephrine
a neurotransmitter involved in arousal, as well as in learning and mood regulation
Maturation
biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior, relatively uninfluenced by experience. (Myers Psychology 8e p. 145)
Pinna
outer ear that collects sound.
Thalamus
The brain's sensory switchboard, located on top of the brainstem; it directs messages to the sensory receiving areas in the cortex and transmits replies to the cerebellum and medulla.
"Facilitated commnuication" would help with the problem of
autism
normal distribution
approximate distribution of scores expected when a sample is taken from a large population, drawn as a frequency polygon that often takes the form of a bell-shaped curve, called the normal curve
aggression
any physical or verbal behavior intended to hurt or destroy. (pp. 127, 749)
Cornea
transparent protective coating on the front of the eye
reaction formation
psychoanalytic defense mechanism by which the ego unconsciously switches unacceptable impulses into their opposites
Somatic/Skeletal Nervous System
Controls voluntary muscular movements.
panic disorder
characterized by recurrent, unexpected panic attacks
Egocentrism
In Piaget's theory, the preoperational child's difficulty taking another's point of view.
perceptual constancy
perceiving objects as unchanging (having consistent lightness, color, shape, and size) even as illumination and retinal images change
Howard Gardner
devised theory of multiple intelligences: logical-mathematic, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, intrapersonal, linguistic, musical, interpersonal, naturalistic
survey
a technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes or behaviors of people, usually by questioning a representative, random sample of them
learning
the modification through experience of pre-existing behavior and understanding
motor neurons
neurons that carry outgoing information to the brain and spinal cord to the muscles and glads.
cerebellum
coordinates balance and effects muscle tone
Cones
retinal receptor cells that are concentrated near the center of the retina and that function in daylight or in well-lit conditions. The cones detect fine detail and give rise to color sensations.
automatic processing
unconscious encoding of information about time, space and frequency
"Drudge Theory"
Simonton argues that eminence primarily or entirely depends on dogged determination; endless, tedious practice; and outstanding mentoring and training.
neophobia
a genetically predisposed dislike of unfamiliar foods, particularly unfamiliar animal foods.
placebo effect
experimental results caused by expectations alone; any effect on behavior caused by the administration of an inert substance or condition, which is assumed to be an active agent
conduction
one type of hearing impairment caused by mechanical problems in the ear structures
Theory
an explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes and predicts observations.
crystallized intelligence
refers to those aspects of intellectual ability, such as vocabulary and general knowledged that reflect accumulated learning. Crystallized intelligence tends to increase with age.
Retrieval
the process of getting information out of memory storage
corpus callosum
connects the left and right hemispheres of the brain that allows them to communicate
Basilar Membrane
Inside cochlea; its hair cells transduce sound waves to electrical energy conveyed up the auditory nerve to the brain
Long-Term Memory
the relatively permanent and limitless storehouse of the memory system. Includes knowledge, skills, and experiences.
acquisition
a process in classical conditioning by which the association of a neutral stimulus with a natural stimulus is first established
limbic system
a doughnut-shaped system of neural structures at the border of the brainstem and cerebral hemispheres; associated with emotions such as fear and aggression and drives such as those for food and sex. Includes the hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus.
hunger
it is regulated by the lateral hypothalamus and the ventromedial hypothalamus
Case Study
a research method involving the intensive examination of some phenomenon in a particular individual, group, or situation
Psychoanalysis
A lengthy insight therapy that was developed by Freud and aims at uncovering conflicts and unconscious impulses through special techniques, including free association, dream analysis, and transference.
figure-ground
the organization of the visual field into objects (the figures) that stand out from their surroundings (the ground)
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
circadian rhythm
the daily biological rhythms that occur in a 24-hour period
retention interval
-time that intervenes between learning and time of attempted retrieval
-forgetting increases as retention interval increases
threshold
the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse.
Nightmare
A frightening dream occurring in REM sleep.
Absolute Threshold
the minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50 percent of the time
developmental psychologist
undertand how behavior and mental processes change over the course of a lifetime
Taste receptors
sweet, salty, bitter, sour, piquancy, umani
catharsis
Emotional release - in psychology, the catharsis hypothesis maintains that "releasing" aggressive energy relieves aggressive urges
Rene Descartes
the French scientist and philosopher who concluded that "animal spirits" flowed from the brain through what we now call nerves to the muscles, provoking movement and memories formed as as experiences openened pores in the brain, into which the animal spirits also flowed; developed the first concept of how the immaterial mind and physical body communicate.
androgyny
a condition of being neither clearly male or female; having characteristics of both
Drug tolerance
A condition in which increasing amounts of a physically addictive drug are needed to produce the original, desired effect
nature-nurture controversy
deals with the extent to which heredity and the environment each influence behavior
Acoustic Encoding
the encoding of sound, especially the sound of words
Denial
A defense mechanism in which there is minimization of the importance of a situation or event or of unacceptable impulses or feelings.
Dissociation Theory
Theory that we divide our concious voluntarily. Hilgard's experiment demonstrated hidden observer affect.
pitch
the highness or lowness of a sound that corresponds to the frequency of the sound wave
Behavior Modification (B-mod)
The systematic application of learning principles to strengthen adaptive behavior and weaken maladaptive behavior.
Social-Cognitive Perspective (Cognitive Psychology)
How thinking affects behavior; locus of control (where you think/believe control of your life lies), learned helplessness (thinking/believing that you are helpless even though you may not be)
variance
a measure of dispersion that is the square of the standard deviation
latent learning
learning that occurs but is not apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate it
anal psychosexual stage
18-36 months, bowl and bladder elimination; demands for control
unconditioned stimulus (UCS)
In classical conditioning, a stimulus that unconditionally—naturally and automatically—triggers a response.
Primary Reinforcer
Reinforcer that has survival value for an organism; this value does not have to be learned
Relative Brightness
a monocular cue, objects up close appear brighter than objects farther away
development norms
the average ages at which people display certain behaviors and abilities
unconditioned stimulus
the stimulus that causes the natural reflex
median
The measure of central tendency for a distribution, represented by the score that separates the upper half of the scores in a distribution from the lower half
glucose
the form of sugar that circulates in the blood and provides the major source of energy for body tissue. When its level is low, we feel hunger.
closure
we fill in gaps to create complete whole objects; we tend to make our experience as complete as possible; tendency to see wholes
Critical thinking
thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions. Rather, it examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions.
conduction deafness
-occurs when something goes wrong with the systems of conducting the sound to the cochlea (outer and middle ear)
-can be improved with surgery/treatment
biological psychology
a branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior
cerebrospinal fluid
fluid in the space between the meninges that acts as a shock absorber that protects the central nervous system
primary sex characteristic
the body structures (ovaries, testes, and external genitalia) that make reproduction possible.
fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
physical and cognitive abnormalities in children caused by a pregnant women's heavy drinking
James-Lange theory
emotions was the fi rst theory presented that tried to explain how emotions occur. Simply put, it states that emotions (fear) comes from our physiological reactions. When I feel my heartbeat, my muscles tense, my adrenaline flow, I feel fear. So, emotions follow our perception of physiological arousal. The problem with this theory is: 1) sometimes fwe experience an emotion prior to being conscious what our body is doing; and 2) different emotions (fear and happiness) might be accompanied by identical physiological responses.
theory of mind
people's ideas about their own and others' mental states - about their feelings, perceptions, and thoughts and the behaviours these might predict
validity
the extent to which a test measures or predicts what it is supposed to
receptor site
a site on the receiving neuron in which neurotransmitters dock
Erik Erikson
contended that each stage of life has its own psychological task, a crisis that needs resolution (stages of social development)
coronary heart disease
The clogging of the vessels that nourish the heart muscles. The leading cause of death in many developed countries
Partial (Intermittent) Reinforcement
Reinforcing a response only part of the time; results in slower acquisition of a response but much greater resistance to extinction than does continuous reinforcement.
PET (positron emission tomography)
The _____________ scan measures the levels of activity of different areas of the brain by tracing their consumption of a radioactive form of glucose, the brain's fuel. (p. 46)
double blind procedure
this term describes an experiment in which neither the subjects nor the experimenter knows whether a subject is a member of the experimental group or the control group
Variable Interval Schedule
In operant conditioning, a schedule of reinforcement that reinforces a response at unpredicatble time intervals.
peripheral vision
vision at edges of visual field, side vision- many superstar athletes have excellent peripheral vision
adrenal glands
a pair of endocrine glands just above the kidneys; they secrete hormones which help arouse the body in times of stress.
guilty knowledge test
a test that assesses a suspect's knowledge of details of a crime that only a guilty person should know.
somatic nervous system
the division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the body's skeletal muscles. AKA Skeletal nervous system
Gordon Allport Trait Approach
trait theory of personality; 3 levels of traits: cardinal, central, and secondary
social loafing
the tendency for people in a group to exert less effort when pooling their efforts toward attaining a common goal than when individually accountable
behavior observations
a form of research that is based on the firsthand observation of a subject's behavior
Absolute Refractory Period
minimum length of time after an action potential fires
Ex Post Facto Design
A type of design that contrasts groups of people who differ on some variable of interest to the researcher.
Hans Seyle's General Adaptation Response
model of the body's stress response consisting of three stages:  alarm, resistance, exhaustion; the body reacts the same no matter the amount or the intensity of the stress
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