AP Psychology Exam

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1

empiricism

the view that knowledge originates in experience and that science should rely on observation and experimentation

2

structuralism

an early school of psychology that used introspection to explore the structural elements of the human mind

3

functionalism

a school of psychology that focused on how our mental and behavioral processes function- how they enable us to adapt, survive, and flourish

4

experimental psychology

the study of behavior and thinking using the experimental method

5

behaviorism

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

6

humanistic psychology

historically significant perspective that emphasized the growth potential of healthy people and the individuals potential for personal growth

7

cognitive neuroscience

the interdisciplinary study of the brain activity linked with cognition

8

psychology

the science of behavior and mental processes

9

nature-nuture issue

the longstanding controversy over the relative contributions that genes and experiences make to the development of psychological traits and behaviors

10

natural selection

the principle that among the range of inherited trait variations, those contributing to reproduction and survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations

11

biopsychosocial approach

the integrated viewpoint incorporates various levels of analysis and offers a more complete picture of any given behavior or mental process

12

levels of analysis

the differing complementary views, from biological to psychological to social-cultural, for analyzing any given phenomenon

13

biopsychosocial approach

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

14

biological psychology

a branch of psychology that studies the links between biological and psychological processes

15

evolutionary psychology

the study of the roots of behavior and mental processes using the principles of natural selection

16

psychodynamic psychology

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

17

behavioral psychology

the scientific study of observable behavior and its explanation by principles of learning

18

cognitive psychology

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

19

social-cultural

the study of how situations and cultures affect our behavior and thinking

20

psychometrics

the scientific study of the measurement of human abilities, attitudes, and traits

21

basic research

pire science that aims to increase the scientific knowledge base

22

developmental psychology

the scientific study of physical, cognitive, and social change through out the life span

23

educational psychology

the stud of how psychological processes affect and can enhance teaching and learning

24

personality psychology

the study of an individual's characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting

25

social psychology

the scientific study of how we think about, influence, and relate to one another

26

applied research

scientific study that aims to solve practical problems

27

industrial-organizational (I/O) psychology

the application of psychological concepts and methods to optimizing human behavior in workplaces

28

human factors psychology

the study of how people and machines interact an the design of safe and easily used machines and environments

29

counseling psychology

a branch of psychology that assists people with problems of living and in achieving greater well being

30

clinical psychology

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

31

psychiatry

a branch of medicine dealing with psychological disorders; practiced by physicians who often provide medical treatments as well as psychological therapy

32

hindsight bias

the tendency to believe, after learning an outcome that one would have foreseen it (i knew it all along)

33

critical thinking

thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions. it examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions

34

theory

a explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes observations and predicts behaviors or events

35

hypothesis

a testable prediction often implied by a theory

36

operational definitions

a statement of the procedures used to define research variables

37

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

38

case study

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

39

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

40

population

all the cases in a group being studied from which samples may be drawn

41

random sample

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

42

naturalistic observation

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

43

correlation

a measure of the extension to which two factors vary together and thus of how well either factor predicts the other

44

correlation coefficient

a statistical index of the relationship between two things

45

scatterplot

a graphed cluster of dots each of which represent the values of two variables

46

illusory correlation

the perception of a relationship where none exist

47

experiment

a research method in which an investigator manipulates one or more factors (independent) to obsess the effect on some behavior or mental process (dependent)

48

random assignment

assigning participants to experimental and control groups by chance, thus minimizing preexisting differences between those assigned to the different groups

49

double blind procedure

an experimental procedures in which both the research procedure in which both the research participants and the research staff are ignorant about whether the research participants have received the treatment or the placebo

50

placebo

experimental results cause by expectations alone

51

experimental group

in an experiment, the group that is exposed to the tremens, that is, to one version of the independent variable

52

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

53

independent variable

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

54

confounding variable

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

55

dependent variable

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

56

mode

the most frequently occurring score in a distribution

57

mean

the arithmetic average of a distribution

58

median

the middle score in a distribution

59

range

the difference between the highest and lowest scores in a distribution

60

standard deviation

a computed measure of how much scores vary around the mean score

61

normal curve

a symmetrical, bell shaped curve that describes the distribution of many types of data; most scores fall near the mean and fewer and fewer near the extremes

62

statistical significance

a statistical statement of how likely it is that an obtained result occurred by chance

63

culture

the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next

64

informed consent

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

65

debriefing

the post experimental explanation of a study including its purpose and any deceptions to its participants

66

biological psychologists

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

67

neuron

a nerve cell; the basic building block of the nervous system

68

sensory neurons

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

69

motor neurons

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

70

interneurons

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

71

dendrites

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

72

axon

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

73

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

74

action potential

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

75

threshold

the level of stimulation required to trigger a neural impulse

76

synapse

the junction between the axon tip of the sending neuron and the dendrite or cell body of the revive neuron

77

neurotransmitters

chemical messengers that cross the synaptic gaps between neurons

78

reuptake

a neurotranmitter's reabsorption by the sending neuron

79

endorphins

"morphine with in" natural pain killers, linked to pain control and pleasure

80

nervous system

the body's speedy chemical communication network, consisting of all the nerve cells of the peripheral na central nervous system

81

central nervous sytem (CNS)

included the brain and spinal cord

82

peripheral nervous system (PNS)

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

83

nerves

bundled axons that form neural "cables" connecting the CNS with muscles, glands, and sense organs

84

somatice nervous system

voluntary movement; skeletal muscles

85

autonomic nervous system

controls glands and the muscle of our internal organs (heartbeat, digestions, etc)

86

sympathetic nervous system

fight or flight

87

parasympathetic nervous system

returns body to natural state

88

reflex

automatic responses to stimuli

89

endocrine system

interconnect in the nervous system that is a second communication system. "slow" chemical communication system; set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream

90

hormones

chemical messengers that travel through the bloodstream and affect other tissues, including the brain

91

adrenal glands

at the top of the kidneys; help arouse the body in times of stress; release epinephrine and norepinephrine (fight or flight response)

92

pituitary gland

a pea-size structure located in the core of the brain; releases hormones that influence growth

93

lesion

tissue destruction

94

electroencephalogram (EEG)

amplified recording of the waves of electrical activity that sweep across the brain's surface

95

CT scan

examines the brain by taking X-ray photos that can reveal brain damage

96

PET scan

depicts brain activity by showing each brain area's consumption of its chemical fuel, the sugar glucose

97

MRI

brain scans, the head is put in a strong magnetic field, which aligns the spinning atoms of brain molecules

98

fMRI

can reveal the brain's functioning as well as its structure

99

brainstem

brain's oldest and innermost region; responsible for several automatic survival functions

100

medulla

the base of the brainstem; controls heartbeat and breathing

101

reticular formation

"netlike" finger-shaped network of neurons that extends from the spill cord right up to the thalamus; plays important role in controlling arousal

102

thalamus

sitting at the top of the brainstem; the brain's sensory switchboard; directs messages to the sensory receiving areas in the cortes and transmits replies to the cerebellum and medulla

103

cerebellum

"little brain"; deals with coordinating movement output and balance

104

limbic system

includes: hippocampus, amygdala, hypothalamus; located below the cerebral hemispheres; associated with emotions and drives

105

amygdala

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

106

hypothalamus

located just blow the thalamus; important link in the chain of command governing bodily maintenance (eating, drinking, body temp)

107

cerebral cortex

a thin surface later of interconnected neural cells; the body's ultimate control and information-processing center

108

glial cells

"glue cells"; support, nourish, and protect neurons

109

frontal lobe

involved in speaking, muscles movements, planning, and judgment

110

occipital lobes

in the back of the head; includes areas that receive visual information

111

temporal lobes

just above the ears; receives auditory information

112

motor cortex

controls voluntary movement

113

sensory cortex

controls body touch and movement sensations (involuntary movement)

114

association areas

areas of the cerebral cortex that are not included in primary motor or sensory functions; learning, remembering, thinking, and speaking

115

aphasia

impaired use of language

116

Broca's area

disrupts speaking

117

Wernicke's area

disrupts understanding

118

plasticity

the brain's ability to change; ability to modify itself after some types of damage

119

neurogenesis

formation of new neurons

120

corpus callosum

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

121

split brain

a condition resulting from surgery that isolates the brain's two hemispheres by cutting the fibers

122

consciousness

awareness of ourselves and our environment

123

cognitive neuroscience

the interdisciplinary study of the brain's activity liked with out mental processes

124

dual processing

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

125

behavior genetics

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

126

environment

every non genetic influence from prenatal nutrition to the people and things around us

127

chromosomes

threadlike structures made of DNA molecules that contain the genes

128

DNA

a complex molecule containing the genetic information that makes up the chromosomes

129

genes

the biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes

130

genome

the complete instructions for making an organism consisting of all the genetic material in that organisms chromosomes

131

identical twins

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

132

fraternal twins

twins who develop from separate fertilized eggs

133

heritability

the proportion of variation around individuals that we can attribute to genes

134

interaction

the interplay that occurs when the effect of one factor depends on another factor

135

molecular genetics

the subfield of biology that studies the molecular structure and function of genes

136

evolutionary psychology

the study of the evolution of behavior and the mind using principles of natural selection

137

natural selection

the principle that, amount the range of inherited trait variations, those that lead to increased reproduction and survival will most likely be passed on to succeeding generations

138

mutation

a random error in gene replication that leads to change

139

sensation

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

140

perception

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

141

bottom-up processing

analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works ip to the brain's integration of sensory information

142

top-down processing

information processing guided by higher-level mental processes, as when we construct perceptions drawing on our experience and expectations

143

selective attention

the focusing of conscious awareness on a particular stimulus

144

inattention blindness

failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere

145

change blindness

failing to notice changes in the environment

146

psychophysics

the study of relationships between the physical characteristics of stimuli, such as their intensity and our psychological experience of them

147

absolute threshold

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

148

signal detection theory

predicts when we will detect weak signals; measured as our ratio to "hits" to "false alarms"

149

subliminal

below one's absolute threshold for conscious awareness

150

priming

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

151

difference threshold

"noticeable difference" is the minimum difference a person can detect between any two stimuli half the time

152

Weber's Law

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

153

sensory adaptation

our demising sensitivity to an unchanging stimulus

154

pupil

pupil

155

iris

ring of muscle tissue that forms the colored portion of the eye around the pupil and controls the size of the pupil opening

156

lens

the transparent structure behind the pupil that changes shape to help focus images on the retina

157

retina

the light sensitive inner surface of the eye containing the receptor rods and cones plus layers of neurons that begin the processing of visual information

158

accommodation

the process by which the eye's lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the retina

159

rods

retinal receptors that detect black, white and grey; necessary for peripheral and twilight vision, when cones don't respond

160

cones

retinal receptor cells that are concentrated near the center of the retina and that function in daylight or in well-lit conditions. Gives fine detail and give rise to color sensations

161

optic nerve

the nerve that carries neural impulses from the eye to the brain

162

blind spot

the point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye, no receptor cells are located there

163

fovea

the central focal point in the retina, around which the eye's cones cluster

164

feature detector

ability to respond to a scene's specific feature

165

parallel processing

processing of many aspects of a problem simultaneously

166

Young-Helmholtz (three color) theory

the theory that the retina contains three different color receptors

167

opponent-process theory

the theory that opposing retinal processes enable color vision

168

audition

the sense or act of hearing

169

frequency

the number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time

170

pitch

a tone's experienced highness or lowness; depends on frequency

171

middle ear

the chamber between the eardrum and cochlea containing three tiny bones that concentrate the vibrations of the eardrum on the cochlea's oval window

172

cochlea

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

173

inner ear

the innermost part of the ear, containing the cochlea, semicircular canals, and vestibular sacs

174

place theory

in hearing the theory that links the pitch we hear with the place where the cochlea's membrane is stimulated

175

frequency theory

in hearing, the theory that the rates of nerve impulses traveling up the auditory nerve matches the frequency of a tone, thus enabling us to sense its pitch

176

conduction hearing loss

hearing loss caused by damage to the mechanical system that conducts soul waves to the cochlea

177

sensorineural hearing loss

hearing loss caused by damage to the cochlea's receptor cells or to the auditory nerves; also called nerve deafness

178

cochlear implant

a device for converting sounds into electrical signals and stimulating the auditory nerve through electrodes threaded into the cochlea

179

conduction hearing loss

problems with the technical system that conducts sound waves to the cochlea

180

sensorineural hearing loss

damage to the cochlea's hair cell receptor or their associated nerves

181

kinesthesis

your sense of the position and movement of your body part

182

vestibular sense

the sense of body movement and position including the sense of balance

183

gate-control theory

the theory that the spinal cord contains a neurological "gate" that blocks pain signals or allows them to pass on to the brain

184

sensory interaction

the principle that one sense may influence another

185

gestalt

an organized whole. these psychologist emphasized our tendency to integrate pieces of information into meaningful wholes

186

figure-ground

the organization of the visual field into objects that stand out from their surroundings

187

grouping

the perceptual tendency to organize stimuli into coherent groups

188

proximity

groups of nearby figures

189

similarity

group similar figures together

190

continuity

perceive smooth, continuous patterns rather than discontinuous ones

191

connectedness

we perceive smooth, continuous patterns rather than discontinuous ones

192

closure

we fill in gaps to create a complete whole object

193

depth perception

seeing object in three dimension, enables us to estimate their distance from us

194

visual cliff

a laboratory device for testing depth perception in infants and young animals

195

binocular cues

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

196

retinal disparity

provides on important binocular cue to the relative distance of different objects

197

monocular cues

depth cues, such as interposition and linear perspective available to either eye alone

198

phi phenomenon

an illusion of movement created when two or more adjacent lights blind on and off in quick succession

199

perceptual constancy

perceiving objects as unchanging (having consistent shapes, size, lightness, and color) even as illumination and retinal images change

200

color constancy

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

201

perceptual adaptation

in vision, the ability to an artificially displaced or even inverted visual field

202

perceptual set

a mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another

203

extrasensory perception (ESP)

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

204

parapsychology

the study of paranormal phenomena, including ESP and psychokinesis