Chapters 3 and 4 AP psychology Balmas study guide

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bottom-up processing

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43 Terms
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bottom-up processing

analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works up to the brain's integration of sensory information

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top-down processing

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

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Transduction

The process of converting outside stimuli, such as light, into neural activity

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Visual path of Transduction

light is detected to yield nerve impulses in the rod cells and cone cells in the retina of the eye in humans and other vertebrates.

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Auditory path of transduction

the ear converts sound waves into electric impulses and sends them to the brain

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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.

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absolute threshold

the minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50 percent of the time

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just noticeable difference

the minimal change in a stimulus that can just barely be detected

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signal detection theory

a theory predicting how and when we detect the presence of a faint stimulus (signal) amid background stimulation (noise). Assumes there is no single absolute threshold and that detection depends partly on a person's experience, expectations, motivation, and alertness.

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inattentional blindness

failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere

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change blindness

when people fail to detect changes to the visual details of a scene

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phi phenomenon

an illusion of movement created when two or more adjacent lights blink on and off in quick succession

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figure-ground

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

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Gestalt

an organized whole. Gestalt psychologists emphasized our tendency to integrate pieces of information into meaningful wholes.

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semicircular canals

three fluid-filled canals in the inner ear responsible for our sense of balance

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perceptual set

a mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another

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cocktail party effect

ability to attend to only one voice among many

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unconditioned stimulus

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

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unconditioned response

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

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neutral stimulus

in classical conditioning, a stimulus that elicits no response before conditioning

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conditioned stimulus

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

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Condtioned Response

In classical conditioning, the reflexive response to a particular stimulus that has been acquired or learned on the basis of that stimulus, being linked to another stimulus, called the unconditioned stimulus

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higher-order conditioning

occurs when a strong conditioned stimulus is paired with a neutral stimulus, causing the neutral stimulus to become a second conditioned stimulus

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positive reinforcement

Increasing behaviors by presenting positive stimuli, such as food. A positive reinforcer is any stimulus that, when presented after a response, strengthens the response.

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negative reinforcement

Increasing behaviors by stopping or reducing negative stimuli, such as shock. A negative reinforcer is any stimulus that, when removed after a response, strengthens the response. (Note: negative reinforcement is not punishment.)

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positive punishment

adding an undesirable stimulus to stop or decrease a behavior

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negative punishment

the removal of a stimulus to decrease the probability of a behavior's recurring

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Thorndike's Law of Effect

responses that lead to satisfying consequences are more likely to be repeated

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acquisition

the phase of classical conditioning when the CS and the US are presented together

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Extinction

the diminishing of a conditioned response

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spontaneous recovery

the reappearance, after a pause, of an extinguished conditioned response

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Generalization

responding similarly to a range of similar stimuli

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Discrimination

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

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Shaping

an operant conditioning procedure in which reinforcers guide behavior toward closer and closer approximations of the desired behavior

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Chaining

using operant conditioning to teach a complex response by linking together less complex skills

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Latent learning

learning that occurs but is not apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate it

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intrinsic motivation

a desire to perform a behavior effectively for its own sake

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extrinstic motivation

desire to perform a behavior due to promised rewards or threats of punishment

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overjustification effect

the result of bribing people to do what they already like doing; they may then see their actions as externally controlled rather than intrinsically appealing

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biological predispositions

Genetically programmed tendencies to acquire classically conditioned fear responses to potentially life-threatening stimuli

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constraints in learning

a limitation on learning resulting from the evolutionary history of the organism

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Mirror neurons

frontal lobe neurons that some scientists believe fire when performing certain actions or when observing another doing so. The brain's mirroring of another's action may enable imitation and empathy

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Bandura's Social Learning Theory

Emphasizing learning through observation, vicarious learning and modeling

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