AP Psychology

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596 Terms

1

absolute threshold

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

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2

accommodation

(1) the process by which the eye's lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the retina. (2) adapting our current understandings to incorporate new information

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3

achievement motivation

a desire for significant accomplishment; for mastery of things, people, or ideas; for rapidly attaining a high standard

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achievement tests

tests designed to assess what a person has learned

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5

acoustic encoding

the encoding of sound, especially the sound of words

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6

acquisition

in classical conditioning, the initial stage, when one links a neutral stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral stimulus begins triggering the conditioned response. In operant conditioning, the strengthening of a reinforced response

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7

action potential

a neural impulse; a brief electrical sharge that travels down an axon

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8

active listening

empathic listening in which the listener echoes, restates, and clarifies. A feature of Rogers' client-centered therapy

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9

adaptation-level phenomenon

our tendency to form judgments (of sounds, lights, income) relative to a neutral level defined by our prior experience

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10

addiction

compulsive drug craving and use, despite adverse consequences

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11

adolescence

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

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12

adrenal glands

a pair of endocrine glands that sit just above the kidneys and secrete hormones (epinephrine and norepinephrine) that help arouse the body in times of stress

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13

aerobic exercise

sustained exercise that increases heart and lung fitness; may also alleviate depression and anxiety

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14

aggression

physical or verbal behavior intended to hurt someone

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15

algorithm

a methodical, logical rule or procedure that guarantees solving a particular problem. Contrasts with the usually speedier - but also more error-prone - use of heuristics

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16

alpha waves

relatively slow brain waves of a relaxed, awake state

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17

altruism

unselfish regard for the welfare of others

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18

amnesia

the loss of memory

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19

amphetamines

drugs that stimulate neural activity, causing speeded-up functions and associated energy and mood changes

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20

amygdala

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

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21

anorexia nervosa

an eating disorder in which a person diets and becomes significantly (15 percent or more) underweight, yet, still feeling fat, continues to starve

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22

antianxiety drugs

drugs used to control anxiety and agitation

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23

antidepressant drugs

drugs used to treat depression; also increasingly prescribed for anxiety. Different types work by altering the availability of various neurotransmitters

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24

antipsychotic drugs

drugs used to treat schizophrenia and other forms of severe thought disorder

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25

antisocial personality disorder

a personality disorder in which the person exhibits a lack of conscience for wrong-doing, even toward friends and family members. May be aggressive and ruthless or a clever con artist

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26

anxiety disorders

psychological disorders characterized by distressing, persistant anxiety or maladaptive behaviors that reduce anxiety

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27

aphasia

inpairment of language, usually caused by left hemisphere damage either to Broca's area (imparing speaking) or to the Wernicke's area (imparing understanding)

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28

applied research

scientific study that aims to solve practical problems

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29

aptitude tests

tests designed to predict a person's future performance

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30

assimilation

interpreting our new experience in terms of our existing schemas

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31

association areas

areas of the cerebral cortext 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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32

associative learning

learning that certain events occur together. The events may be two stimuli or a response and its consequences

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33

attatchment

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

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34

ADHD

a psychological disorder marked by the appearance by age 7 of one or more of the three key symptoms extreme inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity

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35

attitude

feelings, often influenced by our beliefs, that predispose us to respond in a perticular way to objects, people, and events

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36

attribution theory

the theory that we explain someone's behavior by crediting either the situation of the person's disposition

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37

audition

the sense or act of hearing

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38

autism

a disorder that appears in childhood and is marked by deficient communication, social interaction, and understanding of others' states of mind

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39

automatic processing

unconscious encoding of incidental information, such as space, time, and frequency, and of well-learned information, such as word meanings

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40

autonomic nervous system

the part of the peripheral nervous system that controls the glands that the muscles of the internal organs. Its sympathetic division arouses; its parasympathetic division calms

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41

availability heuristic

estimating the likelihood of events based on their availability in memory; if instances come readily to mind, we presume such events are common

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42

aversive conditioning

a type of counterconditioning that associates an unpleasant state (such as nausea) with an unwanted behavior (such as drinking)

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43

axon

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

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44

babbling stage

beginning at about 4 months, the stage of speech development in which the infant spontaneously utters various sounds at first unrelated to household language

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45

barbituarates

drugs that depress the activity of the centeral nervous system, reducing anxiety but imparing memory and judgment

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46

basal metabolic rate

the body's resting rate of energy expenditure

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47

basic research

pure science that aims to increase the scientific knowledge base

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48

basic trust

according to 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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49

behavior genetics

the study of relative power and limits of genetic and environmental influences on behavior

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50

behavior therapy

therapy that applies learning principles to the elimination of unwanted behaviors

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51

behavioral medicine

an interdisciplinary field that integrates behavioral and medical knowledge and applies that knowledge to health and disease

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52

behavioral psychology

the scientific study of observable behavior, and its explination by principles of learning

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53

behaviorism

the view that psychology (1) should be an objective science that (2) studies behavior without reference to mental processes. Most research psychologists today agree with (1) but not (2)

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54

belief perseverance

clinging to one's initial conceptions after the basis on which they were formed has been discredited

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55

binge-eating disorder

significant binge-eating episodes, followed by distress, disgust, or guilt, but without the compensatory purging, fasting, or excessive exercise that marks bulimia nervosa

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56

binocular cues

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

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57

biofeedback

a system for electronically recording, amplifying, and feeding back information regarding a subtle physiological state, such as blood pressure or muscle tension

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58

biological psychology

a branch of psychology concerned with the links between biology and behavior

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59

biomedical therapy

prescribed medications or medical procedures that act directly on the patient's nervous system

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60

biopsychosocial approach

an integrated approach that incoporates biological, psychological, and social-culutral levels of analysis

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61

bipolar disorder

a mood disorder in which the person alternates between the hopelessness and lethargy of depression and the overexcited state of mania

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62

blind spot

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

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63

bottom-up processing

anaylsis that begins with sensory receptors and works up to the brain's integration of sensory information

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64

brainstem

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

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65

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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66

bulimia nervosa

an eating disorder characterized by episodes of overeating, usually of high-calorie foods, followed by vomiting, laxative use, fasting, or excessive exercise

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67

bystander effect

the tendency for any given bystander to be less likely to give aid if other bystanders are present

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68

Cannon-Bard theory

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

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69

case study

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

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70

catharsis

emotional release

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71

central nervous system

the brain and spinal cord

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72

central route persuassion

attitude change path in which interested people focus on the arguments and respond with favorable thoughts

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73

cerebellum

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

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74

cerebral cortex

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

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75

change blindness

failing to notice changes in the environment

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76

chromosomes

threadlike structures made of DNA molecules that contain the genes

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77

chunking

organizing items into familiar, manageable units; often occurs automatically

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78

circadian rhythm

the biological clock; regular body rythms that occur on a 24-hour cycle

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79

classical conditioning

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

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80

client-centered therapy

a humanistic therapy, deveolped by Carl Rogers, in which the therapist uses techniques such as active listening within a genuine, accepting, empathic environment to faciliate clients' growth

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81

clinical psychology

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

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82

cochlea

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

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83

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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84

cognition

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

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85

cognitive-behavioral therapy

a popular intgrative therapy that combines cognitive therapy (changing self-defeating thinking) with behavioral therapy (changing behavior)

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86

cognitive dissonance theory

the theory that we act to reduce the discomfort we feel when two of our thoughs are inconsistent. For example, when our awareness of our attitudes and of our actions clash, we can reduce the resulting dissonance by changing our attitudes

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87

cognitive map

a mental representation of the layout of one's environment

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88

cognitive neuroscience

the interdisciplinary study of the brain activity linked with cognition

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89

cognitive psychology

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

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90

collective unconscious

Carl jung's concept of a shared, inherited reservoir of memory traces from our species' history

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91

collectivism

giving priority to goals of one's group and defining one's identity accordingly

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92

color constancy

perceiving familiar objects as having consistent color, even if changing illumination alters the wavelengths refected by the object

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93

companionate love

the deep affectionate attachment we feel for those with whom our lives are intertwined

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94

complementary and alternative medicine

as yet unproven health care treatments intended to supplement or serve as alternatives to conventional medicine, and which typically are not widely taught in medical schools, used in hospitals, or reimbursed by insurance companies. When research shows a therapy to be safe and effective, it usually becomes part of accepted medical practice

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95

concept

a mental grouping of similar objects, events, ideas, or people

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96

concrete operational stage

in Piaget's theory, the stage of cognitive development (from about 6 - 11 years old) during which children gain the mental operations that enable them to think logically about concrete events

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97

conditioned reinforcer

a stimulus that gains its reinforcing power through its association witha primary reinforcer

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98

conditioned response

in classical conditioning, the learned response to a previously neutral (but now conditioned) stimulus

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99

conditioned stimulus

in classical conditioning, an originally irrelevant stimulus that, after association with an unconditioned stimulus, comes to trigger a conditioned response

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100

conduction hearing loss

hearing loss cause by damage to the mechanical system that conducts sound waves to the cochlea

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