PSYC Exam 1

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Psychology

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142 Terms

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Psychology

scientific study of behavior and mental processes, study of people!

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Why is psychology a science?

it’s systematic with a scientific process of hypothesizing, predicting, observing, and interpreting data through experiments

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3 levels of analysis

biological, psychological, social-cultural

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Biological influences

genetic, natural selection of behavior, genes responding to environmental

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Psychological influences

learned fears, emotional responses, cognitive processing

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Social-cultural influences

presence of others, cultural and family expectations, peer and group influences, media

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Cognitive dissonance

mental conflict when your beliefs don’t line up your actions, psychology is more than common sense!

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How do we overuse common sense and make errors?

Hindsight bias, overconfidence, perceiving patterns in random events

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Hindsight bias

tendency to think we’re experts after learning an outcome, one’s ability to have overseen it, “I-knew-it-all-along” (ex: oceangate)

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Overconfidence

tendency to be more confident than correct, overestimate the accuracy of one’s beliefs (thinking I did amazing on a test)

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Perceiving patterns in random events

people tend to find order in even random and unrelated data, random sequences often do not look random (astrology)

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Neuroplasticity

adaptive brain is wired by experience, we’re flexible to learn new things, brain is highly tolerant to high levels of noise (apple)

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Parts of the nervous system

peripheral, center

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Central nervous system

Brain and spinal cord are the body’s decision makers

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Peripheral nervous system

sensory and motor neurons connect CNS to rest of the body to gather and transmit info

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Types of neurons

sensory, motor, interneurons

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Sensory neurons

carry incoming info from brain’s tissues and sensory receptors to CNS

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Motor neurons

carry outgoing info from CNS to muscles

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Interneurons

within CNS, communication internally and process between sensory and motor

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Somatic

voluntary controls of skeleton movements, intentional control

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Autonomic

controls self-regulated action of internal organs, responsible for homeostasis

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Types of autonomic control

sympathetic, parasympathetic

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Sympathetic nervous system

fight and flight, arouses and increases energy to enable voluntary control of skeletal muscle (ron)

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Parasympathetic nervous system

rest and digest, calms and conserves energy to allow routine maintenance activity (hermione)

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Spinal cord

receives signals from senses and passes them to brain

three main functions:

-transmit info

-organize rhythmic skeletal muscle activity

-organize reflexes

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Brainstem

first part spinal cord comes in contact with, basic survival functions (primitive and old)

-medulla, pons, reticular formation

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Reticular formation

helps control arousal

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Medulla

heartbeats, blood pressure, breathing

-if hit, you will die

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Pons

involuntary movement and controls sleep, complicated reflexes

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Thalamus

all sensory info travels through here except smell, relay station!

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Cerebellum

voluntary and fluid/graceful movement, life-sustaining functions

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Limbic system

separates old part of brain to evolutionary part, controls our emotions and memory

-includes hypothalamus, amygdala, hippocampus

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Hypothalamus

governs endocrine system via pituitary gland, emotion and reward

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Amygdala

anger and fear, spider sense to sense danger in environment (kicks up sympathetic system)

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Hippocampus

forming new memories, decreases in size and function with age

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Cerebral cortex

outer layer, body’s ultimate control and info processing center, has folds to retain more info

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Frontal lobe

thoughts, planning, decision making, most developing!

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Parietal lobe

sensory input for touch and body position

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Occipital lobe

vision

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Temporal lobe

auditory processing

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Association areas of the cerebral cortex

frontal, parietal, temporal, occipital

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Phineas Gage

pole through his frontal lobe that changed his entire personality to become impulsive

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Sensory homunculus

size of our brain proportionate to body parts, weird looking thing

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Corpus callosum

connects with axon fibers between the two hemispheres, R aids L and L aids R

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Apraxia

difficulty with skilled movement caused by a damaged cerebellum

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Agnosia

disorder of perception, can’t recognize everyday objects

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Sensory neglects

disorders that block out part of the world (ex: left of the world doesn't exist)

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Aphasia places in the brain

Wernicke’s and broca’s area

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Damaged Wernicke’s area

can’t understand language in spoken or written form, but unaware of their miscomprehension (word salad)

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Aphasia

loss of the ability to understand or express speech from brain damage

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Damaged Broca’s area

Understand but can’t express, difficulty in language production, adequate comprehension (broken speech)

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Lateralization

sensory information is sent to opposite hemisphere leading to the cortex (L controls R)

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Split brain

phenomena of breaking the brain into halves to seize communication and control one side at a time

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Types of brain scans

EEG, MEG, PET, fMRI, TMS

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EEG

electrodes to brain to measure electrical activity in neurons, doesn’t tell us about brain structure, detects brain activity easily

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MEG

Brain casing to record magnetic fields in the brain, high temporal resolution (reactions at the moment)

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PET

injects radioactive glucose substance into bloodstream to measure flow of substance to the brain, slow temporal resolution

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fMRI

measures blood flow to the brain by comparing MRI scans, which areas use the most energy?

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TMS

send current through the scalp to activate or inhibit different regions of the cortex

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Developmental psychology

study of physical, cognitive, and social changes throughout the human life cycle

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What are developmental psychology’s major issues?

Morality, nature and nurture, continuity and stages, stability change

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Morality

two competing views:
-we start off as immoral or amoral (Christians)

-we start off as basically good

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Nature and nurture

three competing views:

-empiricism, nativism, constructivism

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Empiricism

learning (nurture) as a blank slate

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Nativism

brain structures (nature) as complex humans already

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Constructivism

a little bit of both (learning and interact with environment while having complex brains)

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Continuity and stages

what’s the relationship from a kid to adult?

Two views:

-slow and continuous shaping process

-genetically created series of stages

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Stability and change

How do our traits persist through life? end of history illusion

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End of history illusion

recognize we have changed, but assume we will change very little in the future as elders

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Neurogenesis

neutral growth as we develop

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Synaptic pruning

cutting back on neuron connections, neurons connect at teenage years to become more dense

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Motor development

infants begin to move, experience has little effect on this sequence with different timing

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Infant research methods

sucking responses (suck more when excited and interested), habituation (dominant method), brain scans

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Habituation

babies attend to novel things, get bored by repetition and gain interest when something new has occurred

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Jean Piaget

believed that children think in radically different ways than adults, development occurs in stages

-underestimated the competence of children

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Piaget’s stages

sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operation, formal operational

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Sensorimotor

(0-2 years)

-experience world through sensory play

-does not reason or differentiate

-stranger anxiety

-object permanence acquired in 6 months

-schemas

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Object permanence

understanding that objects exist regardless of actions or perceptions (babies believe everything disappears after they’re gone)

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Schemas

mental representations of objects, places, events, etc and differs between everyone, framework to interpret information

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How do schemas form for kids?

Assimilation and accommodation

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Assimilation

process of taking new information and fitting it into an existing schema (new object can be banged)

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Accommodation

schemas are changed or created in order to fit new information (eggs can’t be banged against the table)

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Preoperational

(2-7 years)

-objects aren’t disconnected things, connected by other principles

-symbolic thought (pretend play)

-intuitive reasoning (not logical)

-theory of mind

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Theory of mind

ideas about their own and other’s mental states and points of view, lack of is called egocentrism

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Egocentrism

“everyone knows what I know and see what I see”

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Concrete operational

(7-11 years)

-think logically about concrete events

-less egocentric

-inability to reason abstractly

-understand conservation

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Conservation

child knows that some object properties remain the same even when you change the appearance (water cups)

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Formal operational

(12 years-adult)

-no longer limited to concrete reasoning, abstract and scientific reasoning

-changing in moral reasoning

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Kohlberg’s levels of moral thinking

pre-conventional morality, conventional, post-conventional morality

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Pre-conventional morality

Self-interest, obey rules to avoid punishment and gain rewards (before age 9)

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Conventional moral

uphold laws and rules to gain social approval or maintain social order (early adolescence)

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Post-conventional morality

actions reflect belief in basic rights and self-defined ethical principles (few people reach this stage during adolescence)

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What did Piaget’s theory provide?

Interesting and falsifiable claims, rich theoretical framework, striking findings but also showed children may be more competent than the theory

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Attachment

emotional tie with another person, stranger anxiety, form attachments because of their needs (cupboard theory) but also comfort (Harlow’s monkeys)

-critical period after birth

-imprinting with animals after birth

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Depravity of attachment

Children grow up being resilient and don’t cry because they don’t receive attention, at risk for attachment problems, need a sharp break from abuse past to recover

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Strange Situation test

how do children react with parent, stranger, alone and when they reunite?

-secure, avoidant, anxious attachment

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Secure attachment

when not stressed: explore, secure base with parent and stranger

CG returns: seeks CG and is comforted

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Avoidant attachment

when not stressed: explores and indifferent to CG

CG returns: avoids CG and not comforted

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Anxious attachment

when not stressed: anxious, clingy, don’t explore

CG returns: seeks CG and pushes away, angry

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What are the limitations to strange situation test?

Doesn’t take into account genetic differences in temperament or cross-cultural differences

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