PSYCHOLOGY MIDTERM REVIEW QUESTIONS

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What is the Biological Approach to Psychology? Examples of how it is practiced?

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What is the Biological Approach to Psychology? Examples of how it is practiced?

Biological Psychology is the field of Psychology that seeks to understand the interactions between the anatomy and physiology (specifically nervous system) and behavior. This may be practice by determining which part of the brain is involved in a particular behavioral process using CAT scans, MRIs, EEGs, or PET scans.

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What is the Behavioral Genetics Approach to Psychology? Examples of how it is practiced?

Behavioral Genetics is the field of Psychology that explores how particular behaviors may be attributed to specific, genetically based psychological characteristics (accounts for biological predispositions as well as environmental influences on trait). This may be practiced by investigating to what extent risk-taking behavior in adolescents is attributable to genetics.

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What is the Behaviorist Approach to Psychology? Examples of how it is practiced?

Behaviorism is the field of Psychology that focuses on observable behavior: the mind or mental events are unimportant. This may be practiced through Behavior Modifications where psychological problems are considered the product of habit and unlearned using behavioral methods.

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What experiments did Ivan Pavlov, John Watson, and B.F Skinner conduct? How did they contribute to psychology?

Ivan Pavlov identified Classical Conditioning through his experiments with making dogs salivate at the sound of a bell. John Watson performed the Little Albert experiment where he played loud noises to a 9 month old whenever he would touch something furry and made him afraid of furry objects. B.F Skinner describe operant condition through his Skinner Box in which a subject learns to associate behavior with an environmental outcome.

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What is the Cognitive Approach to Psychology?

Cognitive Psychology is an approach rooted in the idea that to understand people's behavior, we must first understand how they think. Combines elements of structuralism and functionalism (predominant approach to psychology in the United States).

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What is the Humanistic Approach to Psychology?

The Humanistic Approach to Psychology is rooted in studying the role of consciousness, free will, and awareness of the human condition. It is a holistic study of personality. Emphasizes personal values and goals and they influence behavior, rather than attempting to divide personality into smaller components.

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What is the Psychoanalytic Approach to Psychology?

The Psychoanalytic Approach was developed by Sigmund Freud to help individuals with their mental problems. This approach focuses of the unconscious and conscious mind and stresses the importance of childhood experiences and parental relationships to the development of personality. Thus, in therapy, the psychoanalytic approach focuses on the resolution of unconscious conflicts through uncovering information that has been repressed or buried in the unconscious.

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What is the Sociocultural Approach to Psychology?

The Sociocultural Approach believes that the environment a person lives in has a great deal to do with how the person behaves and how others perceive that behavior; cultural values vary from society to society and must be taken into account if one wishes to understand, predict, or control behavior.

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What is the Evolutionary Approach to Psychology?

The Evolutionary Approach draws upon darwin's theories to explain how behavior can be explained in terms of how adaptive that behavior is to our survival. For examples, fear is an adaptive evolutionary response.

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What is the Biopsychosocial Approach to Psychology?

The Biopsychosocial approach emphasizes the need to investigate the interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors contributing to a behavior or mental process.

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What is a experiment and what are the three variables?

An experiment is an investigation seeking to understand relations of cause and effect. The three variables are the independent (what is being changed), the dependent (what is changing as a result of the independent variable), and a constant variable (what is being held constant throughout the experiment).

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In order to draw conclusions about the results of the experiment, what precautions about the population being tested must be met beforehand?

The population or group being tested must be representative of the population that conclusions are being drawn about. Further, random sampling occurs to ensure maximum representativeness and the subjects are randomly assigned into the experimental and control groups.

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What are single or double-blind designs? How do they increase the reliability of an experiments results?

A single-blind experiment design is where the participants do not know whether they are in the control or experimental group. A double-blind experiment design is where neither the participants or the researchers know which group is the control and experimental group. Both of these designs help to prevent the researcher from changing the response of the subject through their actions, or the participants from acting how they believe they should.

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What is correlational research? What is a way that information for correlational studies is collected?

Correlational research involves assessing the degree of association between two or more variables or characteristics of interest that occur naturally. However, correlation does not prove causation. Information for correlational studies is often collected through surveys (there can be error in this data if people are not honest).

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How is clinical research often conducted? Why can conclusions about causation not be drawn from this clinical research?

Clinical Research is often conducted through case studies: intensive psychological studies of single individuals that will allow for general conclusions about similar cases. This research can not be used to draw conclusions because it may not applicable to the larger population and is not generalizable.

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What are the two important features of experimental design? How can the internal and external validity be compromised?

The two most important feature of experimental design are the operational (the way that the issue or theory will be directly observed or measured) and conceptional (the theory or issue being tested) definitions. The operational definitions have internal (the certainty with which the results of an experiment are the result of the independent variable) and external validity (the extent to which the findings of a study can be generalized to other contexts in the 'real world'). The internal validity can be compromised by confounding variables: variables that have not been controlled by the experimenter. THe external validity can be compromised by the artificial nature of the experimental environment (a lab does not resemble the real-world).

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What is naturalistic observation? What are its advantages and disadvantages?

Naturalistic observation is when researchers observe behavior outside of the lab. The advantages are that naturalistic observation allows the study of authentic real-world behaviors; however, its disadvantage is the difficulty of controlling for the numerous variables present in the real-world.

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What two systems is the Nervous system divided into?

The nervous system is divided into the central nervous system (CNS; comprised of the brain and spinal cord), and the peripheral nervous system (PNS; comprising all other nerves in the body).

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Describe the organization of the nervous system and how the different parts (motor neurons, sensory neurons, brain, and nerves) work together to perform the bodies functions.

The brain is located in the skull and is the central processing center for thoughts, motivations, and emotions. The nervous system is made up of neurons. These neurons form a network that extends from the brain to the spinal cord. In the spinal cords, the neurons are bundled into strands known as nerves. The nerves of the spine are responsible for conveying information to and from the brain. The PNS nerves sending information to the brain are sensory (afferent) neurons; those conveying information from the brain are motor (efferent) neurons. Although most movements are controlled by the brain, a small subset of movements are controlled by direct transmission from afferent neurons to efferent cells at the level of the spinal cord (reflexes).

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What can the Peripheral Nervous System be subdivided into? What movements do each of the subdivided systems control?

The peripheral nervous system can be subdivided into the somatic nervous system and the autonomic nervous system. The somatic nervous system is responsible for voluntary movement of large skeletal muscles. The autonomic nervous system is responsible for the non skeletal or smooth muscles (heart & digestive tract).

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What can the Autonomic Nervous System be subdivided into? What role do each of these systems play?

The autonomic nervous system can be subdivided into the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is associated with processes that burn energy: flight or fight reaction (increase in heart rate and respiration). The parasympathetic nervous system is associated with conserving energy: returns body to homeostasis after the sympathetic nervous system is activated.

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What three regions is the brain divided into?

The brain is divided into the hindbrain, midbrain, and forebrain.

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What are the components of the Hindbrain? What are each of their functions?

The Hindbrain is composed of the Cerebellum, Medulla Oblongata, Reticular Activating System (RAS), and pons. The cerebellum controls muscle tone and balance. The Medulla Oblongata controls involuntary actions (breathing, digestion, heart rate, and swallowing), the RAS controls arousal (alertness), and the pons (latin for 'bridge') passes neural information from one brain region to another.

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What are the components of the Midbrain? What are each of their functions?

The Midbrain is composed of the tectum (roof of brain) and tegmentum (floor of brain). Together they govern visual and auditory reflexes: orienting to a sight or sound.

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What two major components does the forebrain contain? What are each of their functions?

The forebrain is contains the Limbic System (emotional center of the brain) and the Cerebral Cortex (involved in higher cognitive functions: thinking, planning, language use, and fine motor control; receives sensory input and sends out motor information).

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What are the components of the cerebral cortex? What are each of their function?

The cerebral cortex covers the left and right cerebral hemispheres which are joined together by nerve fibers called the corpus callosum. The left hemisphere is specialized for language processing and known as Broca's area. The right side of the brain processes certain kind of visual and spatial information. These two sides of the brain can operate independently of one another. Much of the cerebral cortex is composed of associated areas which associated information in the sensory and motor cortices. There are four distinct components of the cerebral cortex: the frontal lobe (responsible for higher level thought and reasoning: paying attention, solving problems, making plans, forming judgement, and performing movements), parietal lobe (handles somatosensory information and is home of the primary somatosensory cortex: receives information about temperature, pressure, texture, and pain), temporal lobe (handles auditory input and is critical for processing speech and appreciating music), and the occipital lobe (processes visual input).

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What are the components of the Limbic System? What are each of their functions?

The Limbic System is composed of the thalamus, hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus. The thalamus directs and receives sensory information from visual and auditory systems. The Hippocampus is involved in the processing and integrating of memories; if the hippocampus is damaged, it does not erase memories, only prevents them from forming. The Amygdala is implicated in the expression of anger, frustration, and fear. The Hypothalamus controls the temperature and water balance; controls hunger and sex drives; orchestrates the activation of the sympathetic system and endocrine system; and can be divided into the lateral hypothalamus ('on switch' for eating') and ventromedial hypothalamus ('off switch for eating').

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Describe the structure of a neuron and how the components function to transmit chemical signals.

Each neuron has a nucleated cell body called the Soma. Protruding from the Soma are dendrites which receive input from other neurons from receptors on their surface. The axon is a tubelike structure that responds to input from the dendrites and soma by transmitting a neural message down its length to pass onto other cells. The myelin sheath is a fatty coat that surrounds the axon and speeds up the rate of transmission: the more insulated the the axon, the faster transmission occurs. The axons end in terminals where the neurotransmitters are released across the synapse to bind to receptors on neiborghing neuron's dendrites.

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What role does the endocrine system play in relaying information throughout the body?

The endocrine system sends signals through the bloodstream called hormones. Hormones affect cell growth and proliferation. These hormones are released by glands, the primary being the pituitary gland located beneath the hypothalamus. The pituitary gland releases hormones which in turn control hormonal release by other glands. For example, the pituitary gland releases ACTH which stimulates the adrenal gland to release epinephrine and norepinephrine which activate fight or flight reactions.

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What are excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters?

Excitatory transmitters serve to excite the cell or cause a neuron to fire. Inhibitory transmitters prevent a cell from firing.

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What two functions does consciousness serve?

Consciousness is responsible for keeping track of ourselves, our environments, and our relationship with the environment. It is also responsible for planning our responses to the information gathered through this monitoring.

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Describe the preconscious level of consciousness?

The preconscious level contains information that is available to the consciousness but is not always in the consciousness: directions to frequently visited places, riding a bike, etc...

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Describe the continuum of consciousness.

Consciousness exists on a continuum starting with controlled processing (very aware of what we are doing) to automatic processing (perform tasks mechanically) to daydreaming (a state where consciousness can be regained in a moment), to sleep, and then to coma & unconsciousness.

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What is alcohol's effect on the CNS? How does it affect the brain and body? Behavior?

Alcohol acts as a depressant of the central nervous system. In effect, it decreases dopamine levels and causes dizziness, slurred, speach, impaired judgement, and death in high doses.

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What are Barbiturates' effect on the CNS? How do they affect the brain and body? Behavior?

Barbiturates (seconal & nembutal) act as a depressant on the central nervous system. In effect they inhibit the neural arousal centrals and decrease anxiety, increases relaxations, and cause death in high does.

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What are tranquilizers' effect on the CNS? How do they affect the brain and body? Behavior?

Tranquilizers (xanax, valium, & librium) act as a depressant on the central nervous system. In effect the inhibit the neural arousal centers and reduce anxiety without inducing sleep.

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What is caffeine's effect on the CNS? How does it affect the brain and body? Behavior?

Caffeine acts as a stimulant on the central nervous system. In effect, it accelerates heart rate, constricts blood vessels, reduces levels of adenosine. Although it can lead to irritability, anxiety, and insomnia.

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What are amphetamines effect on the CNS? How do they affect the brain and body? Behavioral?

Amphetamines (diet pills & ritalin) act as stimulant on the central nervous system. In effect, they increase the bodies temperature, heart rate, and the production of dopamine and norepinephrine. This produces feelings of euphoria but high does can lead to motor dysfunction.

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What is cocaine's effect on the CNS? How does it affect the brain and body? Behavior?

Cocaine acts as a stimulant on the central nervous system. In effect, it stimulates heart rate and blood pressure, increases dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine release, and makes users feel as though they have increased mental and social abilities.

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What is nicotine's effect on the CNS? How does it affect the brain and body? Behavior?

Nicotine acts as a stimulant on the central nervous system. In effect, it stimulates acetylcholine transmission and increases heart rate. Thus, it has depressant behavioral effects such as decreasing appetite and increases heart rate and respiration.

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What are narcotics' effect on the CNS? How do they affect the brain and body? Behavior?

Narcotics (oxycodone & heroin) act as a depressant on the central nervous system. In effect, they activate receptors for endogenous endorphins causing relaxation, euphoria, and pain relief.

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What are hallucinogens' effect on the CNS? How do they affect the brain and body? Behavior?

Hallucinogens (LCD & Marijuana) distort the sensory perceptions of the central nervous system. In effect, it increases serotonin levels and may induce sensory anesthesia or perceptual alterations.

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What did Freud believe was the purpose of dreams? What is the activation-synthesis hypothesis of dreaming? What is the problem-solving theory of dreaming?

Freud believed dreams were the expression of unconscious wishes or desires. The activation-hypothesis of dreaming postulates that dreams are the product of our awareness of neural activity due to sensory input (if raining, you will dream of waterfall). The problem-solving theory of dreaming states that dreams provide a chance for your mind to work out issues that occupy its attention during waking hours.

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How does the eye receive light input and convert it into an image?

First, light passes through the cornea (protective layer on the outside of the eye) and the lens (curved to accommodate for distance). The retina located at the back of the eye then serves a screen onto which the proximal stimulus is projected. The retina is covered in receptors called cones (concentrated in center; sensitive to bright light can color) and rods (periphery; sensitive to low light). The information then passes through horizontal cells to bipolar and amacrine cells. The stimulus then travels to the cells of the optic nerve (blind spot occurs where optic nerve exits retina). Then the optic nerve sends half the information from each visual field to the opposite side of the brain. From here, information travels to the primary visual cortex areas for processing. Feature detector neurons see different parts of the pattern and amalgamate them to produce the pattern in the environment. Once lines and colors have been sensed, the information travels through two pathways: the dorsal (integrates visual information with other senses) stream and ventral (connects to the prefrontal cortex and allows a person to recognize an object) stream.

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What processes contribute to our ability to see color?

Trichromatic theory: the cones in the retina are activated by light waves associated with blue, red, and green which mic to see all colors. Opponent Processing Theory: cells within the thalamus response to opponent pairs of receptor sets [black/white, red/green, blue/yellow]. If one color of the set is activated, the other is essentially turned off.

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Describe the process of sound being sensed and processed?

The sound waves enter and are magnified by the outer ear. The vibrations then enter the middle ear and vibrate the tympanic membrane. Then the ossicles (malleus, incus, and stapes) vibrate which vibrates against the oval window. The oval window is the beginning of the innter eat and the vibrations begin to jiggle the cochlea. Within the cochlea are receptor cells (hair cells) that move in response to the vibrations and transfer sound energy to the auditory nerve and then to the temporal lobe of the auditory cortex.

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How does olfaction (smell) occur?

The scent molecules reach the olfactory epithelium deep in the nasal cavity and contact receptor cells. Axons from these receptors project directly to the olfactory bulb of the brain. From there, information travels to the olfactory cortex and the limbic system.

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How does Gustation (taste) occur?

The tongue is coated in small protrusions known as papillae which have taste buds on them. The taste buds are receptors for taste and they relay information to the medulla oblongata and then to the pons and thalamus. This information is then relayed to the gustatory areas of the cerebral cortex as well as the hypothalamus and limbic system.

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How is touch sensed?

The skin has cutaneou and tactile receptors that provide information about pressure, pain, and temperature. The receptors sensitive to pressure and movement send information to the spinal cord. Then the information goes to the medulla oblongata, the thalamus, and finally to the somatosensory cortex. The pain signal first teaches the spinal cord and triggers the release of a chemical signal that alerts the spinal cord of the a pain stimulus. Then the signal travels to the thalamus and the cingulate cortex and the brain reduces the intensity of the pain signal. T

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What cells do sensory organs have that are designed to detect specific types of energy (light waves, sound waves, etc...)?

Our sensory organs have receptor cells that are located in an area called the receptive field.

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