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Contemporary psychology

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118 Terms

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Contemporary psychology

the scientific study of behavior and mental processes

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Nature vs Nurture Issue

Controversy over the contributions of genetics and experience to the development of psychological traits

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Behavioral Perspective

Study of observable behavior and explaining by principles of learning

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Biological Perspective

How genes combines with environment to influence individual differences. (body and brain enable emotion, memory and sensory experiences)

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Cognitive psychology

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

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Evolutionary psychology

Study of evolution of behavior and mind, using principles of natural selection

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Psychodynamic psychology

studies how unconscious drives and conflicts influence behavior (use that info to treat people with psychological disorders)

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Socio-cultural psychology

Study of how situations and cultures affect our behavior and thinking

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psychometrics

scientific study of measurement of human abilities, attitudes and traits

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10

Ethical Guidlines of Psych

  1. obtain participants' informed consent 2.Protect them from physical/emotional harm or discomfort 3.Keep info confidential

  2. Debriefing

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Debrief

Postexperimental explanation of a study (purpose and deceptions) to its participants

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12

Scientific Attitudes

Curiosity, skepticism and humility

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13

Scientific Method

Answer how theories advance psychological science; must have:

  1. Theory

  2. Hypothesis

  3. Operational Definition (Carefully worded statement of exact procedures used in research study)

  4. Replication

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14

Case Studies

Technique in which one individual or group is studied in depth in hopes of revealing universal principles

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Naturalistic observation

observation of behavior in its natural setting

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Survey

the collection of data by having people answer a series of questions

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Experiment

A research method in which an investigator manipulates one or more factors to observe the effect on some behavior or mental process

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Electroencephalogram (EEG)

Amplified recording of waves of electrical activity sweeping across the brain's surface. (Measured by electrodes placed on scalp)

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CT scan (computed tomography)

Series of x-ray photos taken from different angles and combined by computer into a representation of brain's structure

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PET scan (positron emission tomography)

Visual display of brain activoty that detects where radioactive form of glucose goes while brain performs given task

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MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging)

Uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer generated images of soft tissues (Show brain anatomy)

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Brainstem

the oldest part and central core of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord swells as it enters the skull; the brainstem is responsible for automatic survival functions

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Medulla

Base of brainstem, controls heartbeat and breathing

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Thalamus

brain's sensory control center, located on top of brainstem; directs messages to sensory receiving areas in cortex and transmits replies to cerebellum and medulla

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Reticular formation

Nerve network that travels through brainstem and thalamus and plays important role in controlling arousal

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Cerebellum

Rear of brainstem; processes sensory input, coordinating movement input and enabling nonverbal learning and memory

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limbic system

neural system located below the cerebral hemispheres; associated with emotions and drives (hippocampus, amygdala and hypothalamus)

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Amygdala

two lima-bean sized neural clusters in limbic system linked to emotion

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Hypothalamus

Below thalamus. Directs several maintenance activities. Helps govern endocrine system through pituitary gland, linked to emotion and reward

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cerebral cortex

interconnected neural cells covering cerebral hemispheres. Ultimate control and info processing center

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glial cells

Cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons; may also play role in learning and thinking

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frontal lobes

right behind forehead; speaking, muscle movements, plans and judgements

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Parietal lobes

top and towards rear of head; receives sensory input for touch and body position

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occipital lobes

all the way at back of head; receive info from visual fields

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temporal lobes

right above ears; includes auditory areas, each receives info from opposite ear

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motor cortex

rear of frontal lobes; controls voluntary movements

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somatosensory cortex

front of parietal lobes that registers and processes body touch and movement sensations

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association areas

involved in higher mental functions such as learning, remembering, speaking and thinking

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plasticity

the brain's ability to change, especially during childhood, by reorganizing after damage or by building new pathways based on experience

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corpus callosum

the large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carrying messages between them

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Neurotransmitter

chemical messengers that cross synaptic gaps between neurons. (Released by sending neurons, travel across synapse and bind to receptor sites on receiving neuron, influence whether that neuron will generate a neural impulse.)

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reuptake

a neurotransmitter's reabsorption by the sending neuron

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43

Split brain

results from surgery that isolates brain's two hemispheres by cutting the fibers (corpus callosum) connecting them

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Ernst Weber

1795-1878; Field: perception; Weber's Law: principle that, to be perceived as different, two stimuli must differ by a constant minimum percentage (Rather than a constant amount) JND

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Sensation

the process by which our sensory receptors and nervous system receive and represent stimulus energies from our environment (what our senses detect)

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Perception

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

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Selective Attention

the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus, as in the cocktail party effect (One voice instead of 20)

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Absolute threshold

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

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Gestalt

an organized whole. Gestalt psychologists emphasized our tendency to integrate pieces of information into meaningful wholes. (Necker cube)

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ESP (Extrasensory perception)

the controversial claim that perception can occur apart from sensory input; includes telepathy, clairvoyance and precognition

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Parapsychology

the study of paranormal phenomena, including ESP and psychokinesis

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Telepathy

Mind to mind communication

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clairevoyance

perceiving remote events, such as a house on fire in another state

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Precognition

perceiving future events, such as an unexpected death in the next month

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55

Ivan Pavlov

discovered classical conditioning; trained dogs to salivate at the ringing of a bell (Laid foundation for behaviorism)

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John B. Watson

behaviorism; emphasis on external behaviors of people and their reactions on a given situation; famous for Little Albert study in which baby was taught to fear a white rat (Loud noise as rat was presented) HE HAD IDEA THAT HUMAN EMOTIONS AND RESPONSES ARE MAINLY CONDITIONED RESPONSES

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B.F. Skinner

Designed Operant chamber (Skinner Box) The box has a bar that an animal presses to release a reward of food or water. Device that records responses. He had concept of reinforcement: any event that strengthens a preceding response

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Edward L. Thorndike

Widely known for the law of effect- the principle that rewarded behavior is likely to recur and punished behavior is unlikely to recur. This principle was the basis for BF Skinner's behavioral technology.

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Albert Bandura

pioneer in observational learning (AKA social learning), stated that people profit from the mistakes/successes of others; Studies: Bobo Dolls-adults demonstrated 'appropriate' play with dolls, children mimicked play

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classical conditioning

a type of learning in which one learns to link two or more stimuli and anticipate events

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operant conditioning

a type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by a reinforcer or diminished if followed by a punisher

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Pavlov's study

measured dogs' salivary responses to the presentation of food

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Watson's work

Human emotions are mostly conditioned responses. Study with little albert. White rat in front of him but banged steel behind his head, became afraid of rat.

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Skinner Box

small animal chamber constructed by Skinner to allow sustained periods of conditioning to be administered and behaviors to be recorded unsupervised (rat presses bar for food reward.)

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continuous reinforcement

reinforcing desired response every time it occurs

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partial reinforcement (intermittent)

reinforcing a response only part of the time (Slower acquisition of response but greater resistance to extinction than continuous reinforcement)

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Fixed-ratio schedule

reinforces a response only after a specified number of reponses

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variable-ratio schedule

reinforces a response after an unpredictable number of responses

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fixed-interval schedule

reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response after a specified time elapsed

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70

variable-interval schedule

reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals

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Paul Broca and Broca's area

controls language expression- area of frontal lobe in left hemisphere, controls muscle movements involved in speech

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72

Hermann Ebbinghaus

experimental study of memory, and is known for his discovery of the forgetting curve and the spacing effect. He was also the first person to describe the learning curve. Distributed practice

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Short-term memory

Activated memory that holds a few items briefly before info is stored or forgotten (Lucky # 7)

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74

Long-term memory

Relatively permanent and limitless storehouse of memory system. Knowledge, skills and experiences

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75

Chunking

Organizing items into familiar, manageable units; often occurs automatically

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mnemonics

Memory aids, especially those that use vivid imagery and organizational devices

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77

Flashbulb memory

a clear memory of an emotionally significant moment or event

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Mood congruency

tendency to recall experiences that are consistent with one's current good mood or bad mood

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79

Prototype

a mental image or best example of a category. (Comparing feathered creatures to a prototypical bird)

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80

algorithm

a step-by-step procedure for solving a problem, always a success. Slower but more reliable than heruistics

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81

Heuristics

shortcut strategies or guidelines that suggest a solution to a problem but do not guarantee an answer

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82

Mental set

a tendency to approach a problem in one particular way, often a way that has been successful in the past

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83

Abraham Maslow

Humanistic psychologist known for his "Hierarchy of Needs" and the concept of "self-actualization"

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84

Homeostasis

Tendency to maintain a balanced or constant internal state

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85

Incentives

a positive or negative environmental stimulus that motivates behavior

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86

Yerkes-Dodson Law

the principle that performance increases with arousal only up to a point, beyond which performance decreases. (Lebron)

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87

Set point

the point at which an individual's "weight thermostat" is supposedly set. When the body falls below this weight, an increase in hunger and a lowered metabolic rate may act to restore the lost weight.

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88

James-Lange Theory

the theory that our experience of emotion is our awareness of our physiological responses to emotion-arousing stimuli. (See a bear, heart rate goes up, we feel scared)

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Cannon-Bard Theory

the theory that an emotion-arousing stimulus simultaneously triggers (1) physiological responses and (2) the subjective experience of emotion (Fear and responses occur simultaneously)

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Hierarchy of needs order

  1. Physiologic

  2. Safety & Security

  3. Love & Belongingness

  4. Esteem

  5. Self-Actualization

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91

Jean Piaget

Theory of cognitive devlopment. Four stage theory of cognitive development: 1. sensorimotor, 2. preoperational, 3. concrete operational, and 4. formal operational. Grow through interaction with physical environment

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92

Lev Vygotsky

most famous for social development theory (of child cognitive development) Zone of proximal devlopment. Believed language was important part of developing

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Konrad Lorenz

researcher who focused on critical attachment periods in baby birds, a concept he called imprinting. We look after first person we see after birth

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94

Harry Harlow

Did the experiment with monkey mothers. Showed taht we like human touch. Monkeys preferred cloth mother over the wire mother even when it had food

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95

Albert Bandura

pioneer in observational learning (AKA social learning), stated that people profit from the mistakes/successes of others; Studies: Bobo Dolls-adults demonstrated 'appropriate' play with dolls, children mimicked play

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96

Lawrence Kohlberg

Came up with 3 moral development stages. The first is Pre-conventional (acted whether they would gain rewards or punishment). The second is conventional morality (actions that uphold social rules in intent to be liked by others and gain approval). The third is post-conventional (abstract reasoning for their actions)

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97

Erik Erikson

neo-Freudian, humanistic; 8 psychosocial stages of development: theory shows how people evolve through the life span. Each stage is marked by a psychological crisis that involves confronting "Who am I?"

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Critical period

an optimal period early in the life of an organism when exposure to certain stimuli or experiences produces normal development

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Cognition

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

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Schema

a concept or framework that organizes and interprets information

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