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Functionalism

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400 Terms

1

Functionalism

A school of psychology that focused on how our mental and behavioral processes enable us to adapt, survive, and flourish.

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2

Humanistic Psychology

The historically significant perspective that emphasized the growth potential of healthy people and the individual's potential for personal growth.

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3

Nature-Nurture Issue

The longstanding controversy over the relative contributions that genes and experience make to the development of psychological traits and behaviors. Today's science sees traits and behaviors arising from the interaction of the two.

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4

Biopsychosocial Approach

An integrated approach that incorporates biological, psychological, and social-cultural levels of analysis.

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5

Psychodynamic Psychology

A branch of psychology that studies how unconscious drives, the past, and conflicts influence behavior, and uses that information to treat people with psychological disorders.

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6

Cognitive Psychology

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

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7

Clinical Psychology

A branch of psychology that studies, assesses, and treats people with psychological disorders.

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8

Psychiatry

A branch of medicine dealing with psychological disorders; practiced by physicians who often provide medical (for example, drug) treatments as well as psychological therapy.

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9

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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10

Operational Definition

A statement of the procedures (operations) used to define research variables.

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11

Replication

Repeating the essence of a research study, usually with different participants in different situations, to see whether the basic finding extends to other participants and circumstances.

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12

Case Study

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

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13

Survey

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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14

Random Sample

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

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15

Naturalistic Observation

Observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation.

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16

Correlation

A measure of the extent to which two factors vary together, and thus of how well either factor predicts the other. *does not equal causation (illusory correlation - The perception of a relationship where none exists.)

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17

Correlation Coefficient

A statistical index of the relationship between two things (from -1 to +1). The closer the number to -1 or +1, the stronger the correlation.

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18

Scatterplot

A graphed cluster of dots, each of which represents the values of two variables. The slope of the points suggests the direction of the relationship between the two variables.

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19

Experiment

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). By random assignment of participants, the investigator aims to control other relevant factors.

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20

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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21

Double-Blind Procedure

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 a placebo. Commonly used in drug-evaluation studies.

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22

Placebo Effect

Experimental results caused by expectations alone; any effect on behavior caused by the administration of an inert substance or condition, which the recipient assumes is an active agent.

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23

Experimental Group

In an experiment, the group that is exposed to the treatment, that is, 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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Independent Variable

The experimental factor that is manipulated; the variable whose effect is being studied.

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26

Confounding Variable

A factor other than the independent variable that might produce an effect in an experiment.

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27

Dependent Variable

The outcome factor; the variable that may change in response to manipulations of the independent variable.

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28

Mode

The most frequently occurring score(s) in a distribution.

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29

Mean

The arithmetic average of a distribution, obtained by adding the scores and then dividing by the number of scores.

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30

Median

The middle score in a distribution; half the scores are above it and half are below it.

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31

Standard Deviation

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

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32

Normal Curve

A symmetrical, bell-shape that describes the distribution of many types of data; most scores fall near the mean (68 percent fall within one standard deviation of it) and fewer and fewer near the extremes.

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33

Statistical Significance

A statistical statement of how likely it is that an obtained result occurred by chance. P< .05

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34

Informed Consent

An ethical principle that research participants be told enough to enable them to choose whether they wish to participate.

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35

Debriefing

The post-experimental explanation of a study, including its purpose and any deceptions, to its participants.

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36

Sensory Neurons

neurons that carry incoming information from the sensory receptors to the brain and spinal cord.

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37

Motor Neurons

neurons that carry outgoing information from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles and glands.

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38

Interneurons

neurons within the brain and spinal cord that communicate internally and intervene between the sensory inputs and motor outputs.

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39

Dendrites

the bushy, branching extensions of a neuron that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body.

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40

Axon

the extension of a neuron, ending in branching terminal fibers (axon terminals), through which messages pass to other neurons or to muscles or glands.

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41

Myelin Sheath

a layer of fatty tissue segmentally encasing the fibers of many neurons; enables vastly greater transmission speed of neural impulses as the impulse hops from one node to the next - reduction of myelin can lead to multiple sclerosis

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42

Action Potential

a neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon.

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43

Threshold

the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse.

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44

Reuptake

a neurotransmitter's reabsorption by the sending neuron.

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45

Endorphins

"morphine within"—natural, opiate-like neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure.

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46

Central Nervous System (CNS)

the brain and spinal cord.

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47

Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)

the sensory and motor neurons that connect the central nervous system (CNS) to the rest of the body.

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48

Somatic Nervous System

the division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the body's skeletal muscles. Also called the skeletal nervous system.

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49

Autonomic Nervous System

the part of the peripheral nervous system that controls the glands and the muscles of the internal organs (such as the heart). Its sympathetic division arouses; its parasympathetic division calms.

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50

Sympathetic Nervous System

the division of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy in stressful situations

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51

Parasympathetic Nervous System

the division of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body, conserving its energy.

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52

Endocrine System

the body's "slow" chemical communication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream - chemical messengers that are manufactured by the endocrine glands, travel through the bloodstream, and affect other tissues.

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53

Pituitary Gland

the endocrine system's most influential gland. Under the influence of the hypothalamus, the pituitary regulates growth and controls other endocrine glands.

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54

Lesion

tissue destruction. A naturally or experimentally caused destruction of brain tissue.

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55

Electroencephalogram (EEG)

an amplified recording of the waves of electrical activity that sweep across the brain's surface. These waves are measured by electrodes placed on the scalp.

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56

Computed Tomography (CT) scan

a series of X-ray photographs taken from different angles and combined by computer into a composite representation of a slice through the body. Also called CAT scan.

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57

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan

a visual display of brain activity that detects where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain performs a given task.

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58

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

a technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer-generated images of soft tissue. They scans show brain anatomy.

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59

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

a technique for revealing bloodflow and, therefore, brain activity by comparing successive MRI scans. These scans show brain function.

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60

Brainstem

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

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61

Medulla

the base of the brainstem; controls heartbeat and breathing.

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62

Reticular Formation

a nerve network in the brainstem that plays an important role in controlling arousal.

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63

Thalamus

the brain's sensory switchboard, located on top of the brainstem; it directs messages to the sensory receiving areas in the cortex and transmits replies to the cerebellum and medulla.

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64

Cerebellum

the "little brain" at the rear of the brainstem; functions include processing sensory input and coordinating movement output and balance.

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65

Limbic System

doughnut-shaped neural system (including the hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus) located below the cerebral hemispheres; associated with emotions and drives.

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66

Amygdala

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

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67

Hypothalamus

a neural structure lying below (hypo) the thalamus; it directs several maintenance activities (eating, drinking, body temperature), helps govern the endocrine system via the pituitary gland, and is linked to emotion and reward.

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68

Cerebral Cortex

the intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells covering the cerebral hemispheres; the body's ultimate control and information-processing center.

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69

Glial Cells (glia)

cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons.

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70

Frontal Lobes

portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead; involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgments.

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71

Parietal Lobes

portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear; receives sensory input for touch and body position.

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72

Occipital Lobes

portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the back of the head; includes areas that receive information from the visual fields.

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73

Temporal Lobes

portion of the cerebral cortex lying roughly above the ears; includes the auditory areas, each receiving information primarily from the opposite ear.

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74

Motor Cortex

an area at the rear of the frontal lobes that controls voluntary movements.

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75

Sensory Cortex

area at the front of the parietal lobes that registers and processes body touch and movement sensations.

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76

Association Areas

areas of the cerebral cortex that are not involved in primary motor or sensory functions; rather, they are involved in higher mental functions such as learning, remembering, thinking, and speaking.

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77

Broca's Area

controls language expression—an area, usually in the left frontal lobe, that directs the muscle movements involved in speech.

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78

Wernicke's Area

controls language reception—a brain area involved in language comprehension and expression; usually in the left temporal lobe.

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79

Plasticity

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

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80

Corpus Callosum

the large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carrying messages between them. (Split Brain studies)

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81

Dual Processing

the principle that information is often simultaneously processed on separate conscious and unconscious tracks.

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82

Identical Twins

twins who develop from a single fertilized egg that splits in two, creating two genetically identical organisms.

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83

Fraternal Twins

twins who develop from separate fertilized eggs. They are genetically no closer than brothers and sisters, but they share a fetal environment.

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84

Heritability

the proportion of variation among individuals that we can attribute to genes. This may vary, depending on the range of populations and environments studied.

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85

Sensation

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

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86

Perception

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

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87

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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88

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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89

Selective Attention

the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus.

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90

Inattentional Blindness

failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere.

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91

Change Blindness

failing to notice changes in the environment.

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92

Absolute Threshold

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

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93

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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94

Priming

the activation, often unconsciously, of certain associations, thus predisposing one's perception, memory, or response.

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95

Difference Threshold

the minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50 percent of the time. Also called the just noticeable difference (jnd).

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96

Weber's Law

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

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97

Sensory Adaptation

diminished sensitivity as a consequence of constant stimulation.

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98

Transduction

conversion of one form of energy into another. In sensation, the transforming of stimulus energies, such as sights, sounds, and smells, into neural impulses our brains can interpret.

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99

Wavelength

the distance from the peak of one light or sound wave to the peak of the next. Electromagnetic versions of this vary from the short blips of cosmic rays to the long pulses of radio transmission.

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100

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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