Psychology Exam 2-Vocab and Concepts

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144 Terms

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developmental psychology

Studying/examining physical, cognitive, and social development across life span

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embryo

the developing human organism from about 2 weeks after fertilization through the second month

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Teratogens

Agents that damage the process of development, such as drugs and viruses

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fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)

physical and cognitive abnormalities in children caused by a pregnant woman's heavy drinking. In severe cases, symptoms include noticeable facial misproportions

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Habituation

decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation. As infants gain familiarity with repeated exposure to a visual stimulus, their interest wanes and they look away sooner.

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Maturation

biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior, relatively uninfluenced by experience

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critical period

an optimal period shortly after birth (early in life) when an organism's exposure to certain stimuli or experiences produces proper development

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Cognition

all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating

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Zygote

fertilized egg

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fetus

the developing human organism from 9 weeks after conception to birth

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11

Schema

a concept or framework that organizes and interprets information

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12

asssimilation

interpreting our new experiences in terms of our existing schemas

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accommodation

adapting our current understandings (schemas) to incorporate new information

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sensorimotor stage

in Piaget's theory, the stage (from birth to about 2 years of age) during which infants know the world mostly in terms of their sensory impressions and motor activities

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object permanence

the awareness that things continue to exist even when not perceived

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preoperational stage

in Piaget's theory, the stage (from about 2 to 6 or 7 years of age) during which a child learns to use language but does not yet comprehend the mental operations of concrete logic

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conservation

the principle (which Piaget believed to be a part of concrete operational reasoning) that properties such as mass, volume, and number remain the same despite changes in the forms of objects

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Egocentrism

the inability to see the world through anyone else's eyes

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theory of mind

people's ideas about their own and others' mental states—about their feelings, perceptions, and thoughts, and the behaviors these might predict.

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Concrete operational stage

in Piaget's theory, the stage of cognitive development during which children gain the mental operations that enable them to think logically about concrete events

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formal operational stage

the stage at which people develop the ability to think abstractly/logically-normally around age 12

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Scaffold

a framework that offers children temporary support as they develop higher levels of thinking

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23

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

a disorder that appears in childhood and is marked by significant deficiencies in communication and social interaction, and by rigidly fixated interests and repetitive behaviors

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stranger anxiety

the fear of strangers that infants commonly display, beginning by about 8 months of age

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attachment

an emotional tie with another person; shown in young children by their seeking closeness to the caregiver and showing distress on separation

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Imprinting

the process by which certain animals form attachments during a critical period very early in life

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temperament

a person's characteristic emotional reactivity and intensity

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Basic Trust

according to Erik Erikson, a sense that the world is predictable and trustworthy; said to be formed during infancy by appropriate experiences with responsive caregivers

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authoritarian parenting

coercive; impose rules and expect obedience

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permissive parenting

unrestraining; make few demands, set few limits, and use little punishment

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negligent parenting

parents are uninvolved. They are neither demanding nor responsive. They are careless, inattentive, and do not seek a close relationship with their children.

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authoritative parenting

both demanding and responsive

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adolescence

the transition period from childhood to adulthood, extending from puberty to independence

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puberty

the period of sexual maturation, during which a person becomes capable of reproducing

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identity

our sense of self; according to Erikson, the adolescent's task is to solidify a sense of self by testing and integrating various roles

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social identity

the "we" aspect of our self-concept

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intamacy

the ability to form close, loving relationships

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emerging adulthood

for some people in modern cultures, a period from the late teens to mid-twenties, bridging the gap between adolescent dependence and full independence and responsible adulthood

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cross-sectional study

a study in which people of different ages are compared with one another at same point in time

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longitudinal study

a study that observes the same participants on many occasions over a long period of time

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41

social clock

the culturally preferred timing of social events such as marriage, parenthood, and retirement

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42

Sensation

the process by which our sensory receptors and nervous system receive and represent stimulus energies from our environment

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sensory receptors

sensory nerve endings that respond to stimuli

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44

pereception

the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information, enabling us to recognize meaningful objects and events

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45

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

conversion of one form of energy into another

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48

absolute threshold

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

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signal detection theory

theory regarding how stimuli are detected under different conditions

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50

subliminal

below one's absolute threshold for conscious awareness

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difference threshold

the minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50 percent of the time

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52

Priming

the activation, often unconsciously, of particular associations in memory

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53

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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sensory adaptation

diminished sensitivity as a consequence of constant stimulation

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perceptual set

a mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another

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56

Wavelength

The distance between two corresponding parts of a wave

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hue

the dimension of color that is determined by the wavelength of light; what we know as the color names blue, green, and so forth

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Intensity

the amount of energy in a light or sound wave, which we perceive as brightness or loudness, as determined by the wave's amplitude

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Retina

Light sensitive layer of the eye; contains rods and cones

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accommodation

the process by which the eye's lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the retina

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Rods

retinal receptors that detect black, white, and gray;more sensitive to movement

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Cones

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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optic nerve

the nerve that carries neural impulses from the eye to the brain

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blind spot

the point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye, creating a "blind" spot because no receptor cells are located there

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Fovea

the central focal point in the retina, around which the eye's cones cluster

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66

Young-Helmholtz trichromatic (three-color) theory

the theory that the retina contains three different color receptors—one most sensitive to red, one to green, one to blue—which, when stimulated in combination, can produce the perception of any color.

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67

opponent-process theory

the theory that opposing retinal processes (red-green, yellow-blue, white-black) enable color vision.

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68

feature detectors

nerve cells in the brain's visual cortex that respond to specific features of the stimulus, such as shape, angle, or movement

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parellel processing

the processing of many aspects of a problem simultaneously

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Gestalt

an organized whole

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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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grouping

the perceptual tendency to organize stimuli into coherent groups

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depth perception

the ability to see objects in three dimensions although the images that strike the retina are two-dimensional

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74

visual cliff

a laboratory device for testing depth perception in infants and young animals

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binocular cues

depth cues, such as retinal disparity, that depend on the use of two eyes

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retinal disparity

a binocular cue for perceiving depth

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monocular cues

depth cues available to either eye alone

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78

phi phenomenon

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

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79

perceptual constancy

perceiving objects as unchanging even as illumination and retinal images change

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80

perceptual adaptation

in vision, the ability to adjust to an artificially displaced or even inverted visual field

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81

audition

the sense or act of hearing

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82

Frequency

the number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time

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83

pitch

a tone's experienced highness or lowness; depends on frequency

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middle ear

the chamber between the eardrum and cochlea containing three tiny bones (hammer, anvil, and stirrup) that concentrate the vibrations of the eardrum on the cochlea's oval window

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85

cochlea

a coiled, bony, fluid-filled tube in the inner ear through which sound waves trigger nerve impulses

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inner ear

the innermost part of the ear, containing the cochlea, semicircular canals, and vestibular sacs

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87

sensorineural hearing loss

hearing loss caused by damage to the cochlea's receptor cells or to the auditory nerves; also called nerve deafness

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88

Conduction Hearing Loss (Middle Ear)

less common form of hearing loss caused by damage to the mechanical system that conducts sound waves to the cochlea

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cochlear implant

a device for converting sounds into electrical signals and stimulating the auditory nerve through electrodes threaded into the cochlea

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90

place theory

in hearing, the theory that links the pitch we hear with the place where the cochlea's membrane is stimulated

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91

frequency theory

in hearing, the theory that the rate of nerve impulses traveling up the auditory nerve matches the frequency of a tone, thus enabling us to sense its pitch

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92

gate-control theory

the theory that the spinal cord contains a neurological "gate" that blocks pain signals or allows them to pass on to the brain.

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93

hypnosis

a social interaction in which one person suggests to another that certain perceptions, feelings, thoughts, or behaviors will spontaneously occur

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Dissociation

a split in consciousness, which allows some thoughts and behaviors to occur simultaneously with others

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posthypnotic suggestion

a suggestion, made during a hypnosis session, to be carried out after the subject is no longer hypnotized; used by some clinicians to help control undesired symptoms and behaviors

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Olfaction

sense of smell

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97

kinesthesia [kin-ehs-THEE-zhuh]

our movement sense—our system for sensing the position and movement of individual body arts.

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vestibular sense

the sense of body movement and position, including the sense of balance

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99

sensory interaction

the principle that one sense may influence another

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embodied cognition

the influence of bodily sensations, gestures, and other states on cognitive preferences and judgements

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