AP Psychology Final Exam Review

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He expanded Wilhelm Wundt's original ideas; believed every experience could be broken down into individual emotions and sensations. Founded by Edward Titchener.

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This view focused on how the mind allows people to function in the real world. Also focused on how behavioral traits could aid in survival. Founded by William James.

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Focuses on the role of the unconscious, and development through stages. Stressed the importance of early life experiences. Founded by Sigmund Freud.

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Gestalt Psychology

Believed that experiences could only be understood as a whole, entire event. Founded by Max Wertheimer.

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Focuses on observable behavior that can be objectively measured through classical or operant conditioning. Founded by John B. Watson.

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Humanistic Approach

Focuses on human potential, free will, and the possibility of self-actualization.

Based on the work of Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow.

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Psychoanalytic/Psychodynamic Approach

Focuses on the role of the unconscious mind and its influence on conscious behavior, early childhood experiences, the development of sense of self, and other motivations.

Based on psychoanalysis

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Cognitive Approach

Emphasizes how we think, perceive, and process information.

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Biological Approach

Emphasizes genetics, the roles of various parts of the brain, and the structure and function of individual nerve cells.

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Evolutionary Approach

Focuses on the biological bases for universal mental characteristics, such as why we lie, how attractiveness influences mate selection, the universality of fear, etc.

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Biopsychosocial Approach

Focuses on influences of hormones, brain structures, chemicals, disease, etc.; Human and animal behavior is seen as a direct result of the events in the body.

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Sociocultural Approach

Focuses on the behavior of individuals as the result of the presence (real or imagined) of other individuals, as part of groups, or as part of a larger culture

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Case Study Design

An in-depth examination of an individual, small group, or situation

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Naturalistic Observation

A research technique in which researchers observe the behavior of people or animals in their natural habitats

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Random Assignment

Procedure by which participants are assigned to experimental and control groups randomly

Will reduce the effects of confounding variables.

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An inactive substance or fake treatment often used as a control technique in drug research.

Allows researchers to separate the effects of the drug from the expectations of the participants.

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Single-Blind Study

Procedure in which the subjects do not know whether they are in the experiment or control group.

Best to use this technique when a variable such as race or gender makes blinding impossible.

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Double-blind Study

Procedure in which neither the researcher nor the participant knows which group received the experimental treatment.

Will reduce experimenter bias.

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Advantages of an Experiment

It's the only research technique that has:

  • Independent and dependent variables

  • Control and experimental conditions

  • The only approach which can be used to explore cause and effect

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Survey Design

A research technique that uses questionnaires or interviews, or a combination of both, to assess the behavior, attitudes, and opinions of a large number of people

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Random sampling

Randomly choosing a sample from the population, in which every person has an equal chance of participating

Will help minimize bias and ensure that the sample is representative

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Independent Variable

The factor that is manipulated or controlled by the experimenter

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Dependent Varaible

The factor that is measured by the experimenter. It is affected by and thus depends on the independent variable.

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Control Group

Group that is exposed to all experimental conditions except the independent variable

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Experimental Group

Group that is exposed to the independent variable

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Confounding Variable

Variables that have an unwanted influence on the outcome of an experiment.

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Longitudinal Study

Measures a single individual or group of individuals over an extended period of time

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Cross-Sectional Study

Compares individuals of various ages at one point in time

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Laboratory Observation

A research technique in which researchers observe the behavior of people or animals in artificial or controlled environments

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Correlation Coefficient

A numerical value from -1.00 to +1.00 that indicates the strength and direction of the relationship between two variables.

Important Info for Understanding Correlation Coefficients

  • Positive Correlation means both variables move or vary in the same direction

  • Negative Correlation means both variables move or vary in different directions

  • Correlation coefficients closer to +1 or -1 are strong.

  • Correlation coefficients closer to 0 are weak

  • A correlation coefficient of 0 means that there is no relationship between the variables

Keep in Mind:

  • Correlation does not prove causation. For example, there may be a strong positive correlation between SAT scores and college grades, but this doesn‚Äôt mean that your SAT score caused your college grades. Other factors like motivation, effort, and studying are what caused your high grades in college.

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Positive coefficient correlation means __

both variables move or vary in the same direction

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Negative correlation means __

both variables move or vary in different directions

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Correlation Coefficients closer to +1 or -1 are strong. Correlation coefficients closer to 0 are __


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A correlation coefficient of 0 means__

There is no relationship between the variables

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Placebo effect

The phenomenon in which the expectations of the participants in a study can influence their behavior

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Hindsight Bias

The tendency to falsely believe, through revision of older memories to include newer info, that one could have correctly predicted the outcome of an event

Example: "Ha! I knew it!!" moment

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The tendency people have to be more confident in their own abilities, such as driving, teaching, or spelling, than is objectively reasonable

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Critical thinking

Thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions. Rather, it examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions.

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A measure of central tendency that provides the average score.

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A measure of central tendency that divides a frequency distribution exactly in half

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Standard Deviation

A measure of variability that indicates the average differences between the scores and their mean

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A measure of variability that indicates the difference between the lowest and highest scores

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Parts of a Neuron - Axon

Long, tube-like structures that convey impulses away from a neuron's cell body toward other neurons or to muscles and glands

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Parts of a Neuron - Myelin Sheath

A white, fatty covering wrapped around the axons of some neurons which increases the rate at which nerve impulses travel along the axon

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Parts of a Neuron - Dendrites

Branch-like extensions that receive neural impulses from other neurons and convey impulses to the cell body

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Parts of a Neuron - Synapse (Synaptic Gap)

The microscopic space between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite and/or cell body of the receiving neuron

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Parts of the Brain - Thalamus

Receives input from all of the senses, except smell, and directs this information to the appropriate cortical areas.

Injury to this area can result in blindness and deafness

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Parts of the Brain - Medulla

Part of the hindbrain that controls vital life functions such as breathing, heartbeat, and swallowing

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Parts of the Brain - Amygdala

An almond-shaped part of the limbic system linked to the regulation of emotional responses especially fear and aggression

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Parts of the Brain - Frontal Cortex

Linked to the regulation of voluntary movement, expressive language and higher level executive functions (such as capacity to plan, organize, initiate, self-monitor and control one's responses in order to achieve a goal)

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Parts of the Brain - Parietal Cortex

Provides higher levels of sensory information, spatial reasoning, and processing of tetsensations

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Parts of the Brain - Occipital Cortex

Also called the visual cortex. Brain region that processes visual information.

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Parts of the Brain - Temporal Cortex

Brain region that processes information about sound and is involved in consciously remembering past events, and for facial recognition.

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Parts of the Brain - Hypothalamus

Often called the brain's "master control center" because it controls the pituitary gland is closely associated with communication between the central nervous system and the endocrine system.

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Parts of the Brain - Endocrine System

A network of glands located throughout the body that manufacture and secrete hormones in to the bloodstream

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Parts of the Brain - Pituitary Gland

Know as the "master gland" because it regulates the activity of several other glands

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Parts of the Brain - Corpus Callosum

The bundle of nerve fibers connecting the brain's left and right hemispheres.

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Parts of the Brain - Right Hemisphere

Specializes in nonverbal abilities such as art and music and visual recognition tasks.

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Parts of the Brain - Left Hemisphere

Specializes in verbal and analytical functions.

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Split Brain

In a procedure known as split-brain surgery, neurosurgeons cut the corpus callosum to prevent the spread of epileptic seizures by disrupting the communication between the right and left hemispheres.

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The process by which our sensory receptors respond to light, sound, odor, textures, and taste, and transmit that information to the brain

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The process by which the brain actively selects, organizes, and assigns meaning to incoming neural messages sent from sensory receptors

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Absolute Threshold

The minimum intensity at which a stimulus can be detected at least 50 percent of the time.

Ex: Humans can barely detect a candle flame from 30 miles away on a clear, dark night.

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Difference Threshold

The smallest difference between two stimuli that is detectable 50 percent of the time

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Subliminal Perception

The processing of information by sensory systems without conscious awareness

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Sensory Adaption

The decline in sensitivity to a constant stimulus.

Ex: The longer an individual is exposed to a strong odor, the less aware of the odor the individual becomes.

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How do rods and cones compare to each other in terms of sensistivity?

Rods are more sensitive

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Gate Control Theory of Pain

Theory that explains how the nervous system blocks or allows pain signals to pass to the brain

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Kinesthetic Sense

Sense of the location of body parts in relation to the ground and each other

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Vestibular Sense

The sense of body movement and position, including the sense of balance. The structures for this sense are located in the innermost parts of the ear (the semicircular canals and otolith organs)

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Parts of the Eye - Rods

(be able to locate it as well)

Allow you to see black and white or shades of grey.

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Parts of the Eye - Cones

(be able to locate it as well)

Allow you to see colors and work best in light.

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Parts of the Eye - Lens

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Parts of the Eye - Lens

(be able to locate it as well)

Transmit and focus light onto the retina.

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Parts of the Eye - Cornea

(be able to locate it as well)

Bends light waves so the image can be focused on the retina. Light waves enter the eye through here. Protects the structures inside the eye.

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Olfaction (olfactory sense)

The sensation of smell

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The sensation of taste

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Parts of the Outer Ear - Pinna

The flap of skin and cartilage attached to each side of our head. This catches sound waves and channels them into the auditory canal

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Parts of the Outer Ear - The Auditory Canal (aka Ear Canal)

Sound waves travel down the auditory canal and bounce into the eardrum

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Parts of the Outer Ear - Tympanic Membrane (aka Eardrum)

A tightly stretched membrane located at the end of the auditory canal.

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Parts of the Middle Ear - Hammer, Anvil, and Stirrup

Three tiny bones that amplify the vibrations from the eardrum

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Parts of the Middle Ear - Oval Window

Small membrane separating the middle ear from the inner ear. It relays the vibrations to the cochlea.

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Parts of the Inner Ear - Cochlea

Snail-shaped structure that is filled with fluid that surrounds the basilar membrane.

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Parts of the Inner Ear - Basilar Membrane

Delicate structure that holds tiny hair cells that act as crucial receptors for hearing.

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Parts of the Inner Ear - Hair Cells

Sensory receptors embedded in the basilar membrane. They transduce the physical vibration of the sound waves into neural impulses.

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Where are the ear's sensory receptors located?

On the basilar membrane, located in the cochlea, located in the inner ear.

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A person's awareness of everything that is going on around him or her at any given moment, which is used to organize behavior

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Selective Attention

The ability to focus on only one stimulus from among all sensory input

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Inattentional Choice Blindness

Refers to ways in which people are blind to their own choices and preferences. Also the failure to recall a choice immediately after we made that choice.

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Inattentional Change Blindness

Failure to detect a substantial visual change

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Circadian Rhythm

A cycle of bodily rhythm that occurs over a 24-hour period

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Suprachiasmatic Nucleus

Site of circadian rhythm

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Recurring problems in falling or staying asleep

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Sleep Apnea

Disorder in which the person stops breathing for nearly half a minute or more

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Sleep disorder in which a person falls immediately into REM sleep during the day without warning

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REM Sleep

Stage of sleep with dreaming, no muscle tone, high rate and breathing, high mental activity, and rapid eye movement

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NREM3 (deep) sleep

Stage of sleep with muscle tone, low heart rate and breathing, sometimes night terrors, sleep walking, and sleeptalking occur in this stage

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Drug Tolerance

The tendency for larger doses of a drug to be required over time to achieve the same effect

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Drug Withdrawal

Physical symptoms that can include nausea, pain, tremors, crankiness, and high blood pressure, resulting from a lack of an addictive drug in the body systems.

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Type of Drug - Stimulants

Drugs that increase the functioning of the nervous system

Ex: Cocaine, caffeine, nicotine, ecstasy, methamphetamine

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