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An early school of psychology that used introspection to explore the elemental structure of the human mind. (Wilhelm Wundt)

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A school of psychology that focused on how our mental and behavioral processes function - how they enable us to adapt, survive, and flourish. (William James)

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Case Study

An observation technique in which one person is studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles.

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Naturalistic Observation

observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation. *Naturalistic observation doesn't explain, it only describes.

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a technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes or behaviors of a particular group, usually by questioning a representative, random sample of the group.

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a measure of the extent to which two factors vary together, and thus of how well either factor predicts the other. *Correlation does not show causation.

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A 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); makes it possible to study cause and effect relationships.

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Independent Variable (IV)

The experimental factor that is manipulated; the variable whose effect is being studied. Ex. studying the effects of a drug on memory, the drug is the IV.

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Dependent Variable (DV)

the experimental factor that is being measured. Ex. studying the effects of a drug on memory, memory is the DV.

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experimental group

in an experiment, the group that is exposed to the treatment, to one version of the independent variable.

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Control Group

in an experiment, the group that is not exposed to the treatment; contrasts with the experimental group and serves as a comparison for evaluating the effect of the treatment.

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Random Sample

a sample that fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusion.

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random assignment

assigning participants to experimental and control groups by chance, thus minimizing preexisting differences between those assigned to the different groups.

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an experimental procedure in which both the research participants and the research staff are ignorant (blind) about whether the research participants have received the treatment or placebo. This is commonly used in drug studies.

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a pseudo treatment, in drug studies, a pill with no drug in it.

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Hindsight Bias

the tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it. Also known as the I-knew-it-all-along-phenomenon.

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the tendency to be more confident than correct.

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normal distribution

a symmetrical, bell-shaped curve that describes the distribution of many types of data; most scores fall near the mean (68% fall with in one standard deviation of it) and fewer and fewer near the extremes.

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Correlation Coefficents

a statistical index of the relationship between two things (from -1 to +1).

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Standard Deviation

a computed measure of how much scores vary around the mean score.

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the principles of right and wrong that guide an individual in making decisions

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statistical significance

a statistical statement of how likely it is that an obtained result occurred by chance.

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fundamental attribution error

the tendency to overemphasize dispositional factors and to underestimate situational factors when making attributions about the cause of another person's behavior.

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the persuasion strategy of getting a person to agree to a modest first request as a set-up for a later, much larger, request

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door-in-the-face technique

asking for a large commitment and being refused and then asking for a smaller commitment

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Group Polarization

the tendency for groups to make decisions that are more extreme than the initial inclination of its members. Ex. a group trying to plan prom but everyone has such elaborate ideas; no one can make a decision.

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Group Think

phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an incorrect or deviant decision-making outcome. Ex. Bay of Pigs, Congress and pork barrel spending.

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Social Facilitation

the tendency for an individual's performance to improve when simple or well-learned tasks are performed in the presence of others

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the losing of one's self-awareness and personal responsibility that can occur when a person is pare of a group whose members feel anonymous. Ex. A city wins the Superbowl and while the people are celebrating in the streets, they get out of control and start flipping over cars. These people would never do something like that along; but, because there is a group of people doing it, no one will ever be able to identify everyone.

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social loafing

people making less effort to achieve a goal when they work in a group than when they work alone, the "slackers".

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Asch Conformity Experiment

subjects had to judge which line was longest, the only subject conforms and actually believes that they were right when the answer was clearly wrong, there is a need of social respect and conformity is the outcome

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Milgram Shocking Experiment

ran the obedience experiment with the "teachers" and the "learners" in which the "learners" were "shocked" every time they gave a wrong answer. 2/3 of the "teachers" shocked people to a death level.

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Zimbardo prison experiment / Stanford prison experiment

giving a person a specific role and having his/her attitude change based on the role s/he was given. Ex. Zimbardo's prison experiment.

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Diffusion of responsibility

explains the bystander effect: people are less likely to take action or feel a sense of responsibility in the presence of a large group of people. Ex. in the case of Kitty Genovese, people assumed others called the police.

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Axon "Talker"

Fiber that extends from the cell body to the terminal endings, its job is to carry messages out to other cells

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Part of neuron, branch-like extensions that receives electrical messages from other cells

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Synaptic Gap

space between the axon terminal of one neuron and the receptors of the next neuron

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Acetylcholine "Movement & Memory" (ACh)

Principal neurotransmitter involved in thought, learning and memory. In the body, it is involved in activating muscle action

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Relieve pain and stress, "Brain's natural aspirin", feelings of pleasure/euphoria

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Serotonin "Mood"

Connected to feelings of well-being and happiness (regulation of emotion). It regulates the sleep cycle along with melatonin, and also regulates intestinal movements

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Dopamine "Reward"

"Pleasure Chemical of the Brain" Released into the pleasure centers of the brain, related to reward and motivation (learning)

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Sympathetic Nervous System

Emergency response system, If something alarms, enrages, or challenges you "Fight, Flight or Freeze"

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Parasympathetic Nervous System

Functions to calm the person "Rest & Digest"

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Oldest part of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord enters the skull

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Medulla (heart beating, breathing)

Located at the end of the brainstem and top of the spinal cord (transition zone), controls life sustaining functions

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Pons (Sleep & Breathing)

The larger swelling above the medulla that connects the spinal cord to the brain, the bridge between cerebral hemispheres and both medulla & cerebellum

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The Reticular Formation (arousal)

Network of nerves that carry messages between parts of the brain stem (Integrating the nervous system)

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Thalamus (sensory switchboard)

Processes and transmits movement and sensory information. Considered the sensory "relay station/switchboard" of the brain, passing information on to the cerebral cortex

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Limbic System

Network of structures located beneath the cerebral cortex.

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Hippocampus (memory)

The hippocampus plays a critical role in the formation, organization, and storage of new memories as well as connecting certain sensations and emotions to these memories

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Hypothalamus (4 F's)

-Feeding -Fighting -Flighting -(sexual) Functioning Connects with many other regions of the brain and is responsible for controlling hunger, thirst, sexual response, emotions, body temperature regulation, and circadian rhythms

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Cerebellum (Balance & procedural memory)

Helps control posture, balance, and the coordination of voluntary movements. This allows different muscle groups in the body to act together and produce coordinated fluid movement.

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Amygdala (fear & aggression)

Primarily involved in processing emotion and survival responses such as aggression and fear

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Cerebral Cortex

Outer layer of the brain, the tissue is folded in on itself, the folding and wrinkling allows for more tissue to fit into the skull

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Occipital Lobe (vision)

Section of the brain located at the rear and bottom of each cerebral hemisphere containing the visual centers of the brain

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Parietal Lobe (sensory cortex)

Sections of the brain located at the top and back of each cerebral hemisphere containing the centers for processing sensory signals such as touch, pressure, temperature, and pain

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Temporal Lobe (hearing)

Areas of the cortex located just behind the temples containing the neurons responsible for the sense of hearing and speech

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Frontal Lobe (motor cortex, personality & judgement)

Areas of the cortex located in the front and top of the brain, associated with reasoning, motor skills, personality, higher level cognition, and expressive language

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Right Hemisphere

Appears to specialize in more widespread processing involving perception, visualization, spatial perception, recognition of patterns, faces, emotions, melodies, and expression of emotion

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Left Hemisphere

Specializes in language, speech, handwriting, calculation, sense of time and rhythm, and basically any kind of thought requiring analysis

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Neuroscientists Roger Sperry and Michael Gazzaniga

studied split-brain patients

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Brocas Area

Located in the lower portion of the left frontal lobe, controls motor functions involved with speech production and language comprehension

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Wernicke's area

It is located in the temporal lobe on the left side of the brain and is responsible for understanding/ comprehending written AND spoken speech

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corpus callosum

Bundle of nerve fibers that connects the two hemispheres, messages move from one side of the brain to the other

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Computer Tomography (CT or CAT Scan)

Two-dimensional x-ray photographs used to discover the shape and position of brain structures Can see major structural problems. Identify a muscle or bone disorder, tumor, or blood clot

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI Scan)

Brain-imaging method using radio waves and magnetic pulses from the body to produce three-dimensional detailed images of the brain

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Positron Emission Tomography (PET Scan)

Uses trace amounts of short-lived radioactive material to track metabolic activity and map functional processes in the brain (glucose)

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Functional MRI (fMRI):

Measuring blood flow and oxygen levels in the brain that occur in response to neural activity (more oxygen = increases to active area)

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Electroencephalograph (EEG)

Measurement of the electrical activity of the brain by recording from electrodes placed on the scalp

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Pituitary Gland "Master Gland" "Most Influential"

Pea-sized structure located in the core of the brain, where it is controlled by an adjacent brain area, the hypothalamus

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Adrenal Glands

a pair of endocrine glands that sit just above the kidneys and secrete hormones (epinephrine and norepinephrine) that help arouse the body in times of stress.

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Thyroid Gland

Located inside the lower neck, secretes a hormone called thyroxin that regulates metabolism, growth, and appetite

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a periodic, natural loss of consciousness. Throughout the night, the body experiences many sleep cycles, each one lasting around 90 minutes. Each cycle has 5 stages (1, 2, 3, 4, REM)

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Beta waves

waves of someone who is wide awake.

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alpha waves

the relatively slow brain waves of a relaxed, awake state.

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Delta waves

the larger, slow brain waves associated with deep sleep.

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sleep spindles

short bursts of brain waves detected in stage 2 sleep

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Stage one

the first stage that lasts about 5 minutes, emit theta waves, may experience hallucinations and hynagogic sensations (feelings of floating or falling).

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stage two

the second stage that lasts for about 20 minutes, clearly asleep and

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stage three

the third stage of sleep that is a transition stage into stage four, first emission of delta

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REM Sleep

rapid eye movement sleep; a recurring sleep stage during which vivid dreams commonly occur. Also known as paradoxical sleep because the muscles are relaxed (except for minor twitches) but other body systems are active.

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non-rapid eye movement sleep; encompasses all sleep stages except for REM sleep.

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Night Terrors

a sleep disorder characterized by high arousal and an appearance of being terrified; unlike nightmares, night terrors occur during Stage 4 sleep, within two or three hours of falling asleep, and are seldom remembered.

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a sleep disorder characterized by uncontrollable sleep attacks. These attacks are usually caused by excitement. The sufferer may lapse directly into REM sleep, often at inopportune times.

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a sleep disorder in which a person has recurring problems in falling or staying asleep.

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Sleep Apnea

a sleep disorder characterized by temporary cessations of breathing during sleep and repeated momentary awakenings. Sleep apnea is associated with obesity. It is suggested people lose weight to help curb the sleep apnea. Wearing an air pump while sleeping helps also.

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a social interaction in which one person (the hypnotist) suggests to another (the subject) that certain perceptions, feelings, thoughts, or behaviors will spontaneously occur.

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drugs (such as caffeine, nicotine, and the more powerful amphetamines, cocaine, and Ecstasy) that excite neural activity and speed up body functions.

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drugs (such as alcohol, barbiturates, and opiates) that reduce neural activity and slow body functions.

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psychedelic ("mind-manifesting") drugs that distort perceptions and evoke sensory images in the absence of sensory input.

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the discomfort and distress that follow the discontinued use of a drug.

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Absolute Threshold

Smallest level of stimulus that can be detected, usually defined as at least half the time (Point something becomes noticeable)

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Weber's Law

the principle that, to be perceived as different, two stimuli must differ by a constant minimum percentage (rather than a constant amount)

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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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the ability to see

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the adjustable opening in the center of the eye through which light enters

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the transparent structure behind the pupil that changes shape to help focus images on the retina

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the light-sensitive inner surface of the eye, containing the receptor rods and cones plus layers of neurons that begin the processing of visual information

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retinal receptors that detect black, white, and gray; necessary for peripheral and twilight vision, when cones don't respond

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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.

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