PSY Exam 2 Study Set

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What do genes contain instructions for?

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107 Terms


What do genes contain instructions for?

Making proteins

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Overall, is the blueprint for a brain conserved across evolution?

It is highly conserved

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What is a genotype?

the sequence of letters of your genome (often research focuses on a particular spot). This is mostly (but not exclusively) inherited from parents

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What is a phenotype?

a measurable trait - height, weight, how high you can jump, how many fun-size Twix you can eat in a single sitting

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Do genes work in isolation?


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How do genes, phenotypes, and environments interact?

Our environment changes phenotypes not by changing the genes themselves, but by changing when and how they act

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What is epigenetics?

The study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself.

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What is heritability?

How much of a phenotype is inherited, presumably due to genetic factors

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What do twin studies show about the heritability of phenotypes?

Twin studies find many phenotypes are somewhat heritable, and more heritable in monozygotic versus dizygotic twins.

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Are differences in "success" or widely desired behavioral traits heritable (e.g., reading scores)?

No, it's about the environment.

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Why can we not make accurate predictions about a phenotype based on genotype?

Random (stochastic) processes can influence the outcome of mutations and genetic variation present in one generation can influence phenotypic traits in the next generation, even if individuals do not inherit this variation.

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Which neurotransmitter is important in making predictions, particularly if the outcome is surprising?

Dopamine neurons

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What is learning?

the acquisition of knowledge or skills through experience, study, or by being taught.

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What is nonassociative learning?

Simple learning to Reduce (habituation) or Increase (sensitization) the amount of responding we do to stimuli that innately drive a response

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What is associative learning?

Linking up stimuli and experiences because something that was previously Neutral Predicts something important (good or bad)

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What is habituation?

Reducing your responses to something that repeats in your environment and doesn't predict anything.

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What is sensitization?

Increasing your responses to something that repeats in your environment and is potentially noxious

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What is classical conditioning?

A behavioral procedure in which a biologically potent physiological stimulus (e.g. food) is paired with a neutral stimulus (e.g. the sound of a musical triangle).

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What is the unconditioned stimulus (sometimes abbreviated as US or UCS) and the unconditioned response (sometimes described as UR or UCR)?

US- Dog Food and UR- Dog Salivating.

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What are the conditioned stimulus (CS) and conditioned response (CR)?

CS- Bell Ring and CR- Dog Salivating.

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Are classical conditioning responses voluntary or involuntary?


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What is acquisition?

The initial learning of the US-CS link in classical conditioning

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What is extinction?

Active learning process where the CR is weakened in response to the CS if it is frequently presented in the absence of the US

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What is spontaneous recovery?

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

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What is blocking?

If you already know how to predict the future there is no need to learn about a second predictive stimulus

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What is the Garcia effect?

A phenomenon in which conditioned taste aversions develop after a specific food becomes associated with a negative reaction, such as nausea or vomiting.

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What is latent inhibition?

If you already experienced a cue and nothing happened before You may have trouble learning that the cue predicts anything at all

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What is operant conditioning?

A learning process where behaviors are modified through the association of stimuli with reinforcement or punishment.

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How is it different from classical conditioning?

Classical conditioning involves associating an involuntary response and a stimulus, while operant conditioning is about associating a voluntary behavior and a consequence.

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What is stimulus generalization?

the tendency for the conditioned stimulus to evoke similar responses after the response has been conditioned

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What is discrimination?

Biased actions against an individual or group

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What is a conditioned taste aversion?

a taste associated with nausea is avoided in the future

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How is operant conditioning different from classical conditioning?

classical conditioning: involves associating an involuntary response and a stimulus

operant conditioning: is about associating a voluntary behavior and a consequence.

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What was Thorndike's Law of Effect?

any behavior that is followed by pleasant consequences is likely to be repeated, and any behavior followed by unpleasant consequences is likely to be stopped.

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What is insight?

a sudden realization of a problem's solution

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What is shaping and chaining?

Shaping: a technique whereby successive approximations of a behavior are reinforced

Chaining: a technique whereby an organism is required to perform several different behaviors in sequence before receiving the reinforcement.

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What is insight learning?

The process of learning to solve a problem or do something new by applying what is already known.

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What is observational learning?

learning a new behavior or gaining information by watching others

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What are the four kinds of outcomes in operant conditioning?

positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment, and negative punishment.

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What is the Modal Model of Memory (also called the three-stage model)?

As information enters the brain, it is encoded and stored in memory systems, including the sensory register, short-term memory, and long-term memory

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What is Sensory memory?

To take in information via your 5 senses and then store them for memory.

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What is sensory memory capacity, duration, and function?

Function- To sustain sensations for identification.

Capacity- Very large ("scenic").

Duration- Very short (½ - 3 sec).

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How did the Sperling study measure the duration and capacity of sensory memory?

Our iconic memories capture the whole picture but it disappears before we can access it all

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What are echoic and iconic memories?

Echoic memory: Auditory memories.

Iconic memory: Visual memories.

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What is the duration of each of echoic and iconic memories?

Very short.

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What is Short-term memory?

The capacity for holding a small amount of information in an active, readily available state for a short interval.

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What is short-term memory capacity, duration and function?

Capacity- 7 plus or minus 2 items or "chunks".

Duration- 10-15 sec.

Function- To do conscious work; to think.

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What is chunking?

A process by which small individual pieces of a set of information are bound together to create a meaningful whole later on in memory.

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What is the magic number?

7 plus or minus 2

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How did Peterson and Peterson study the duration of short-term memory?

By conducting a laboratory experiment with a sample of 24 psychology students. The students had to recall meaningless three-letter trigrams (for example, THG, XWV) at different intervals (3, 6, 9, 12, 15 or 18 seconds).

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What is attention?

Selects information from sensory memory.

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What is rehearsal?

Sends information to long-term store.

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What is encoding?

Brings information from LTM to working memory.

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What is retrieval?

Maintains information in working memory.

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What is Long-term memory?

The stage of the Atkinson-Shiffrin memory model in which informative knowledge is held indefinitely.

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What are long-term memory capacity, duration, and function?

Capacity- Enormous (essentially unlimited).

Duration- Very long (essentially permanent).

Function- To tie together the past with the present.

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Who is Clive Wearing?

Brilliant conductor and expert in early music who has total amnesia because of damage to the hippocampus by herpes virus attacking Central nervous system

Shows implicit memory in the form of priming effects

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What is the serial position effect?

The tendency of a person to recall the first and last items in a series best, and the middle items worst.

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What is recency?

A cognitive bias in which those items, ideas, or arguments that came last are remembered more clearly than those that came first.

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What is primacy?

The tendency to recall information presented at the start of a list better than information at the middle or end.

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What are the different kinds of long-term memory?

(1) Explicit: things that happened in the past

(a) Episodic: memory for specific events

(b) Semantic: decontextualized knowledge

(2) Implicit: things that effect you outside your awareness

(a) Procedural: activities that you do without thinking. Ex Tying shoes

(b) classical conditioning: making decision based on training from the past. Ex - shocked when smoking to quit smoking

(c) priming: priming means activating a specific part of your brain, so you're more likely to recognize something in front of you. Ex - read a article and then fill in the blanks. You are more likely to use word from that article in the blanks

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What is a mnemonic?

Memory devices that help learners recall larger pieces of information, especially in the form of lists like characteristics, steps, stages, parts, etc.

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What is imagery?

Representations and the accompanying experience of sensory information without a direct external stimulus.

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What is the method of loci?

A strategy for memory enhancement, which uses visualizations of familiar spatial environments in order to enhance the recall of information.

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What is the keyword method?

A mnemonic device or mechanism such as an image or rhyme used to help memorize something.

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What is the misinformation effect?

incorporating misleading information into one's memory of an event

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What are source monitoring errors?

misidentifying the origins of our knowledge

ex: see someone in the street, recognize the street, can't remember how you know them

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What kinds of things increase the likelihood of false memories?

misinformation and misattribution of the original source of the information.

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What are the different types of levels of processing for memory?

structural processing, phonemic processing, and semantic processing

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How is elaboration important?

It requires that you make associations between new information and old information already represented in your brain, which is essential for deep encoding

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What is anterograde amnesia?

inability to form new memories

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What is retrograde amnesia?

inability to recall previosly encoded information

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What is the role of the amygdala in memory?

helps us recall emotions associated with fear-provoking events

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What is a flashbulb memory?

a clear memory of an emotionally significant moment or event

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What is encoding specificity?

Your memory is best when the context you encoded is the same in which you retrieved it--testing in the same seat you study in

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Who was Ebbinghaus?

- German philosopher/psychologist in the 1800s

- the first person to look at decay in human memory

- found his rate of forgetting very fast, but if he remembered it after the initial stage it leveled out

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In forgetting, what is the difference between decay and interference?

Decay theories: consider that over time memory fades away.

Interference theories: sustain that when similar memories are encoded, they become more prone to confusion.

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What is retroactive interference?

new information interferes with old information

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What is proactive interference?

Older Memories interfere with the new

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What is the tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon?

the temporary inability to remember something you know, accompanied by a feeling that it's just out of reach

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What are heuristics?

- a problem-solving approach

- a mental shortcut that allows us to find solutions quicker than the rest

- reduces the # of solutions we need to try by taking an approach as to what possibilities could exist and eliminating trying unlikely possibilities

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What are algorithms?

very specific, step-by-step procedures for solving certain types of problems

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What is inductive reasoning?

bottom-up reasoning where you create a theory via generalizations. Not as foolproof as deductive reasoning

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What is a descriptive approach?

The idea that the world is a set of places and each place can be studied and is distinct

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What is a normative approach?

measures of behavior are taken on large numbers of individuals and age-related averages are computed to represent typical development

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What are base rates?

how common a characteristic or behavior is in the general population

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What is the availability heuristic?

estimating the likelihood of events based on their availability in memory

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What is the representativeness heuristic?

when you look for a representative prototype and use that to make decisions/inferences

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What is confirmation bias?

the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one's existing beliefs or theories.

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What is deductive reasoning?

Deductive reasoning uses general premises to make specific predictions

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In problem-solving, what is the initial state, the goal state, and the current state?

Initial state is where we start off

goal state is where we're trying to get to (may be more than one)

current state is state we're in right now

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What is a weak method of problem-solving?

A problem-solving technique you can apply to any problem. People do this in the absence of expertise and when they don't have a lot of prior knowledge of the domain.

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What is forward chaining?

1st step is taught, then 2nd, then 3rd, and continues until sequence is mastered (all steps are prompted except for the first one)

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What is backward chaining?

last step is taught, then 2nd to last, then 3rd to last until sequence is mastered (all steps are prompted excpet for the last step)

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What is the difference between experts and novices in problem-solving?

Experts: start with general equations

Novices: start with specific equations.

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What is the paradox of expertise?

The better that someone is at solving a certain problem, less likely they can tell others how they solved the problem. They no longer have conscious awareness of steps on how to solve the problem

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How can analogies be helpful?

Solving simpler analogies can help us solve tougher problems

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What are Functional fixedness and Duncker's candle problem?

the cognitive bias that makes it difficult to use familiar objects in unfamiliar ways.

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What is linguistic determinism?

the concept that language and its structures limit and determine human knowledge or thought, as well as thought processes such as categorization, memory, and perception.

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What is linguistic relativity?

the language that you speak determines how you perceive, think about, and remember the world around you

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