AP Psychology Unit 5: Cognitive Psychology

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120 Terms

1

memory

the persistence of learning over time through storage and retrieval of information.

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encoding

the processing of information into the memory system.

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storage

the retention of encoded information over time.

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retreival

the process of getting formation out of memory.

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parallel processing

the processing of many aspects of a problem simultaneously.

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sensory memory

the immediate, very brief recording of sensory information in the memory system.

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short-term memory

activated memory that holds a few items briefly, such as seven digits of a phone number while dialing.

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long-term memory

the relatively permanent and limitless storehouse of the memory system that includes knowledge, skills, and experience.

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working memory

a newer understanding of short-term memory that focuses on conscious, active processing of incoming auditory and visual-spatial information.

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explicit memory

memory of facts and experiences that one can consciously know and "declare."

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effortful processing

encoding that requires attention and conscious effort.

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automatic processing

unconscious encoding of the incidental information, such as space, time, and frequency, and of well-learned information.

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implicit memory

retention independent of conscious recollection.

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iconic memory

a momentary sensory memory of visual stimuli; a photographic or picture image memory lasting no more that a few tenths of a second.

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echoic memory

a momentary sensory memory of auditory stimuli; if attention is elsewhere, sounds and words can still be recalled for about 3 or 4 seconds.

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chunking

organizing items into familiar, manageable units; often occurs automatically.

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mnemonics

memory aids, especially those techniques that use vivid imagery and organizational devices.

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spacing effect

the tendency for distributed study or practice to yield better long term retention that is achieved through massed study or practice.

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testing effect

enhanced memory after retrieving, rather than simply reading, information. Also sometimes referred to as a retrieval practice effect or test-enhanced learning.

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shallow processing

encoding on a basic level based on the structure or appearance of words.

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deep processing

encoding semantically, based on the meaning of the words; tends to yield the best retention.

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hippocampus

a neural center that is located in the limbic system; helps process explicit memories for storage.

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flashbulb memory

a clear memory of an emotionally significant moment or event.

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long-term potentiation

an increase in a synapses' firing potential after brief, rapids stimulation. Believed to be a neural basis for learning and memory.

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recall

a measure of memory in which the person must retrieve information learned earlier, as on a fill-in-the-blank test.

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recognition

a measure of memory in which the person need only identify items previously learned, as on a multiple choice test.

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relearning

a measure of memory that assesses the amount of time saved when leaning material for a second time.

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priming

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

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mood-congruent memory

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

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serial position effect

our tendency to recall best the last and first items in a list.

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anterograde amnesia

an inability to form new memories.

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retrograde amnesia

an inability to retrieve information from one's past.

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proactive interference

the disruptive effect of old information on new information.

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retroactive interference

the disruptive effect of new information on old information.

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repression

in psychoanalytic theory, the basic defense mechanism that banishes anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories from consciousness.

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misinformation effect

incorporating misleading information into one's memory of an event.

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source amnesia

attributing to the wrong source an event we have experienced, heard about, read about, or imagined.

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deja vu

the eerie sense that "I've experienced this before." Cues from current situation may subconsciously trigger retrieval of an earlier experience.

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39

cognition

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

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concept

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

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prototype

a mental image or best example of a category. Matching new items to a prototype provides a quick and easy method for sorting items into categories.

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creativity

the ability to produce novel and valuable ideas.

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convergent thinking

narrows the available problem solutions to determine the single best solution.

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divergent thinking

expands the number of possible problem solutions (creative thinking that diverges in different directions).

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algorithm

a methodical, logical rule or procedure that guarantees solving a particular problem.

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heuristic

a simple thinking strategy that often allows us to make judgements and solve problems efficiently.

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insight

a sudden and novel realization of the solution to a problem.

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confirmation bias

a tendency to search for information that supports our preconceptions and ignore or distort contrary evidence.

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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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intution

an effortless, immediate autonomic feeling or thought, as contrasted with explicit, conscious reasoning.

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representative heuristic

judging the likelihood of things in terms of how well they seem to represent, or match, particular prototypes.

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availability heuristic

estimating the likelihood of events based on their availability in memory.

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overconfidence

the tendency to be more confident than correct--to overestimate the accuracy of our beliefs and judgments.

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belief perseverance

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

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framing

the way an issue is posed; how an issue is framed can significantly affect decisions and judgments.

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language

our spoken, written, or signed words and the ways we combine them to communicate meaning.

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phoneme

in language, the smallest distinctive sound unit.

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morpheme

in a language, the smallest unit that carries meaning; may be a word or part of a word.

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59

grammar

in a language, a system of rules that enables us to communicate with and understand others.

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60

babbling stage

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

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one-word stage

the stage in speech development, from about, from about age 1 to 2, during which a child speaks mostly in single words.

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two-word stage

beginning about age 2, the stage in speech development during which a child speaks mostly two-word statements.

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telegraphic speech

early speech stage in which a child speaks like a telegram using mostly nouns and verbs.

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64

aphasia

impairment of language, usually caused by left-hemisphere damage either to Broca's area (impairing speaking) or to Wernicke's area (impairing understanding).

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Broca's area

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

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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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linguistic determinism

Whorf's hypothesis that language predetermines the way we think

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intelligence

mental quality consisting of the ability to learn from experience, solve problems, and use knowledge to adapt to new situations.

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factor analysis

a statistical procedure that identifies clusters of related items (called factors) on a test; used to identify different dimensions of performance that underlie one's total score.

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70

general intelligence (g)

a general intelligence factor that according to Spearman and others underlies specific mental abilities and is therefore measured by every task on an intelligence test.

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savant syndrome

a condition in which a person otherwise limited in mental ability has an exceptional specific skill, such as in computation or drawing.

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emotional intelligence

the ability to perceive, understand, manage, and use emotions.

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intelligence test

a method for assessing an individual's mental aptitudes and comparing them with those of others, using numerical scores.

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mental age

a measure of intelligence test performance devised by Binet; the chronological age that most typically corresponds to a given level of performance. Thus, a child who does as well as the average 8-year-old is said to have a mental age of 8.

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Stanford-Binet

the widely used American revision (by Terman at Stanford University) of Binet's original intelligence test.

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achievement test

a test designed to assess what a person has learned.

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aptitude test

a test designed to predict a person's future performance; aptitude is the capacity to learn.

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intelligence quotient (IQ)

defined originally as the ratio of mental age (ma) to chronological age (ca) multiplied by 100 [thus, IQ = (ma/ca) x 100]. On contemporary intelligence tests, the average performance for a given age is assigned a score of 100.

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79

Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS)

the WAIS is the most widely used intelligence test; contains verbal and performance (nonverbal) subtests.

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80

standardization

defining meaningful scores by comparison with the performance of a pretested standardization group.

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normal curve

the symmetrical bell-shaped curve that describes the distribution of many physical and psychological attributes. Most scores fall near the average, and fewer and fewer scores lie near the extremes.

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82

content validity

the extent to which a test samples the behavior that is of interest (such as a driving test that samples driving tasks).

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83

predictive validity

the success with which a test predicts the behavior it is designed to predict; it is assessed by computing the correlation between test scores and the criterion behavior. (Also called criterion-related validity.)

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reliability

the extent to which a test yields consistent results, as assessed by the consistency of scores on two halves of the test, on alternate forms of the test, or on retesting.

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validity

the extent to which a test measures or predicts what it is supposed to. (See also content validity and predictive validity.)

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86

Down syndrome

a condition of retardation and associated physical disorders caused by an extra chromosome in one's genetic makeup.

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mental retardation

a condition of limited mental ability, indicated by an intelligence score of 70 or below and difficulty in adapting to the demands of life; varies from mild to profound.

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stereotype threat

a self-confirming concern that one will be evaluated based on a negative stereotype.

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Alfred Binet

the indvidual that published the first measure of intelligence in 1905. The purpose of his intelligence test was to correctly place students on academic tracks in the French school system.

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Lewis Terman

professor at Stanford who revised the Binet test for Americans. The test then became the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test. He is also known for his longitudinal research on gifted kids.

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David Wechsler

researcher that worked with troubled kids in the 1930's in NYC. He observed that many of these kids demonstrated a type of intelligence that was much different than the type of intelligence needed to succeed in the school system (STREET SMARTS). He created tests to measure more than verbal ability.

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Charles Spearman

theorist who proposed that intelligence consisted of both general intelligence, ability to do complex work like problem solve and intelligence which included specific mental abilities, ability to do verbal or math skills

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L.L. Thurstone

proposed that intelligence consisted of 7 different primary mental abilities

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Howard Gardner

Harvard researcher that has identified at least eight types of intelligences: linguistic, logical/mathematical, bodily/kinesthetic, musical, spatial (visual), interpersonal (the ability to understand others), intrapersonal (the ability to understand oneself), and naturalist (the ability to recognize fine distinctions and patterns in the natural world).

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triarchic theory

theory proposed by Robert Sternberg that states that intelligence consists of three parts including Analytic = the ability to solve problems, Creative = the ability to deal with new situations, and Practical = the ability to adjust and cope with one's environment

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mild mental retardation

Mentally retarded individuals with an IQ range of 50-69. The largest percentage of retarded people is in this group. Adults have the mental ability of about 8-12 year olds. They can learn basic skills in school are sometimes classified as educable.

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moderate mental retardation

Mentally retarded individuals with an IQ range 35-49. They can learn simple tasks, therefore are sometimes classified as trainable.

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severe mental retardation

Mentally retarded individuals with an IQ range of 20-34. they score no better on IQ tests than a two or three year old.

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profound mental retardation

Mentally retarded individuals with an IQ range below 20 that show almost no response to their environment.

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100

divergent thinking

a type of thinking that is associated with creativity - seeing lots of solutions to a problem

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