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    focus on observing and controlling behavior
    focused on how mental activities helped an organism adapt to its environment
    perspective within psychology that emphasizes the potential for good that is innate to all humans
    process by which someone examines their own conscious experience in an attempt to break it into its component parts
    psychoanalytic theory
    focus on the role of the unconscious in affecting conscious behavior
    understanding the conscious experience through introspection
    professional organization representing psychologists in the United States
    study of how biology influences behavior
    perspective that asserts that biology, psychology, and social factors interact to determine an individual’s health
    area of psychology that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders and other problematic patterns of behavior
    study of cognitions, or thoughts, and their relationship to experiences and actions
    area of psychology that focuses on improving emotional, social, vocational, and other aspects of the lives of psychologically healthy individuals
    scientific study of development across a lifespan
    area of psychology that applies the science and practice of psychology to issues within and related to the justice system
    study of patterns of thoughts and behaviors that make each individual unique
    consistent pattern of thought and behavior
    area of psychology that focuses on the interactions between mental and emotional factors and physical performance in sports, exercise, and other activities
    long research paper about research that was conducted as a part of the candidate’s doctoral training
    (doctor of philosophy) doctoral degree conferred in many disciplinary perspectives housed in a traditional college of liberal arts and sciences
    postdoctoral training program
    allows young scientists to further develop their research programs and broaden their research skills under the supervision of other professionals in the field
    (doctor of psychology) doctoral degree that places less emphasis on research-oriented skills and focuses more on application of psychological principles in the clinical context
    deductive reasoning
    results are predicted based on a general premise
    grounded in objective, tangible evidence that can be observed time and time again, regardless of who is observing
    objective and verifiable observation, established using evidence collected through empirical research
    able to be disproven by experimental results
    (plural: hypotheses) tentative and testable statement about the relationship between two or more variables
    inductive reasoning
    conclusions are drawn from observations
    personal judgments, conclusions, or attitudes that may or may not be accurate
    well-developed set of ideas that propose an explanation for observed phenomena
    archival research
    method of research using past records or data sets to answer various research questions, or to search for interesting patterns or relationships
    reduction in number of research participants as some drop out of the study over time
    clinical or case study
    observational research study focusing on one or a few people
    cross-sectional research
    compares multiple segments of a population at a single time
    inferring that the results for a sample apply to the larger population
    inter-rater reliability
    measure of agreement among observers on how they record and classify a particular event
    longitudinal research
    studies in which the same group of individuals is surveyed or measured repeatedly over an extended period of time
    naturalistic observation
    observation of behavior in its natural setting
    observer bias
    when observations may be skewed to align with observer expectations
    overall group of individuals that the researchers are interested in
    subset of individuals selected from the larger population
    list of questions to be answered by research participants—given as paper-and-pencil questionnaires, administered electronically, or conducted verbally—allowing researchers to collect data from a large number of people
    cause-and-effect relationship
    changes in one variable cause the changes in the other variable; can be determined only through an experimental research design
    confirmation bias
    tendency to ignore evidence that disproves ideas or beliefs
    confounding variable
    unanticipated outside factor that affects both variables of interest, often giving the false impression that changes in one variable causes changes in the other variable, when, in actuality, the outside factor causes changes in both variables
    control group
    serves as a basis for comparison and controls for chance factors that might influence the results of the study—by holding such factors constant across groups so that the experimental manipulation is the only difference between groups
    relationship between two or more variables; when two variables are correlated, one variable changes as the other does
    correlation coefficient
    number from -1 to +1, indicating the strength and direction of the relationship between variables, and usually represented by r
    dependent variable
    variable that the researcher measures to see how much effect the independent variable had
    double-blind study
    experiment in which both the researchers and the participants are blind to group assignments
    experimental group
    group designed to answer the research question; experimental manipulation is the only difference between the experimental and control groups, so any differences between the two are due to experimental manipulation rather than chance
    experimenter bias
    researcher expectations skew the results of the study
    illusory correlation
    seeing relationships between two things when in reality no such relationship exists
    independent variable
    variable that is influenced or controlled by the experimenter; in a sound experimental study, the independent variable is the only important difference between the experimental and control group
    negative correlation
    two variables change in different directions, with one becoming larger as the other becomes smaller; a negative correlation is not the same thing as no correlation
    operational definition
    description of what actions and operations will be used to measure the dependent variables and manipulate the independent variables
    subjects of psychological research
    peer-reviewed journal article
    article read by several other scientists (usually anonymously) with expertise in the subject matter, who provide feedback regarding the quality of the manuscript before it is accepted for publication
    placebo effect
    people's expectations or beliefs influencing or determining their experience in a given situation
    positive correlation
    two variables change in the same direction, both becoming either larger or smaller
    random assignment
    method of experimental group assignment in which all participants have an equal chance of being assigned to either group
    random sample
    subset of a larger population in which every member of the population has an equal chance of being selected
    consistency and reproducibility of a given result
    repeating an experiment using different samples to determine the research’s reliability
    single-blind study
    experiment in which the researcher knows which participants are in the experimental group and which are in the control group
    statistical analysis
    determines how likely any difference between experimental groups is due to chance
    accuracy of a given result in measuring what it is designed to measure
    when an experiment involved deception, participants are told complete and truthful information about the experiment at its conclusion
    purposely misleading experiment participants in order to maintain the integrity of the experiment
    informed consent
    process of informing a research participant about what to expect during an experiment, any risks involved, and the implications of the research, and then obtaining the person’s consent to participate
    Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
    committee of administrators, scientists, veterinarians, and community members that reviews proposals for research involving non-human animals
    Institutional Review Board (IRB)
    committee of administrators, scientists, and community members that reviews proposals for research involving human participants
    specific version of a gene
    long strand of genetic information
    deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
    helix-shaped molecule made of nucleotide base pairs
    dominant allele
    allele whose phenotype will be expressed in an individual that possesses that allele
    study of gene-environment interactions, such as how the same genotype leads to different phenotypes
    fraternal twins
    twins who develop from two different eggs fertilized by different sperm, so their genetic material varies the same as in non-twin siblings
    sequence of DNA that controls or partially controls physical characteristics
    genetic environmental correlation
    view of gene-environment interaction that asserts our genes affect our environment, and our environment influences the expression of our genes
    genetic makeup of an individual
    consisting of two different alleles
    consisting of two identical alleles
    identical twins
    twins that develop from the same sperm and egg
    sudden, permanent change in a gene
    individual’s inheritable physical characteristics
    multiple genes affecting a given trait
    range of reaction
    asserts our genes set the boundaries within which we can operate, and our environment interacts with the genes to determine where in that range we will fall
    recessive allele
    allele whose phenotype will be expressed only if an individual is homozygous for that allele
    theory of evolution by natural selection
    states that organisms that are better suited for their environments will survive and reproduce compared to those that are poorly suited for their environments
    action potential
    electrical signal that moves down the neuron’s axon
    drug that mimics or strengthens the effects of a neurotransmitter
    phenomenon that incoming signal from another neuron is either sufficient or insufficient to reach the threshold of excitation
    drug that blocks or impedes the normal activity of a given neurotransmitter
    major extension of the soma
    biological perspective
    view that psychological disorders like depression and schizophrenia are associated with imbalances in one or more neurotransmitter systems
    branch-like extension of the soma that receives incoming signals from other neurons
    glial cell
    nervous system cell that provides physical and metabolic support to neurons, including neuronal insulation and communication, and nutrient and waste transport
    membrane potential
    difference in charge across the neuronal membrane
    myelin sheath
    fatty substance that insulates axons
    cells in the nervous system that act as interconnected information processors, which are essential for all of the tasks of the nervous system
    chemical messenger of the nervous system
    psychotropic medication
    drugs that treat psychiatric symptoms by restoring neurotransmitter balance
    protein on the cell surface where neurotransmitters attach
    resting potential
    the state of readiness of a neuron membrane’s potential between signals
    neurotransmitter is pumped back into the neuron that released it
    semipermeable membrane
    cell membrane that allows smaller molecules or molecules without an electrical charge to pass through it, while stopping larger or highly charged molecules
    cell body
    small gap between two neurons where communication occurs
    synaptic vesicle
    storage site for neurotransmitters
    terminal button
    axon terminal containing synaptic vesicles
    threshold of excitation
    level of charge in the membrane that causes the neuron to become active
    structure in the limbic system involved in our experience of emotion and tying emotional meaning to our memories
    auditory cortex
    strip of cortex in the temporal lobe that is responsible for processing auditory information
    Broca’s area
    region in the left hemisphere that is essential for language production
    hindbrain structure that controls our balance, coordination, movement, and motor skills, and it is thought to be important in processing some types of memory
    cerebral cortex
    surface of the brain that is associated with our highest mental capabilities
    computerized tomography (CT) scan
    imaging technique in which a computer coordinates and integrates multiple x-rays of a given area
    corpus callosum
    thick band of neural fibers connecting the brain’s two hemispheres
    electroencephalography (EEG)
    recording the electrical activity of the brain via electrodes on the scalp
    largest part of the brain, containing the cerebral cortex, the thalamus, and the limbic system, among other structures
    frontal lobe
    part of the cerebral cortex involved in reasoning, motor control, emotion, and language; contains motor cortex
    functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
    MRI that shows changes in metabolic activity over time
    (plural: gyri) bump or ridge on the cerebral cortex
    left or right half of the brain
    division of the brain containing the medulla, pons, and cerebellum
    structure in the temporal lobe associated with learning and memory
    forebrain structure that regulates sexual motivation and behavior and a number of homeostatic processes; serves as an interface between the nervous system and the endocrine system
    concept that each hemisphere of the brain is associated with specialized functions
    limbic system
    collection of structures involved in processing emotion and memory
    longitudinal fissure
    deep groove in the brain’s cortex
    magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
    magnetic fields used to produce a picture of the tissue being imaged
    hindbrain structure that controls automated processes like breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate
    division of the brain located between the forebrain and the hindbrain; contains the reticular formation
    motor cortex
    strip of cortex involved in planning and coordinating movement
    occipital lobe
    part of the cerebral cortex associated with visual processing; contains the primary visual cortex
    parietal lobe
    part of the cerebral cortex involved in processing various sensory and perceptual information; contains the primary somatosensory cortex
    hindbrain structure that connects the brain and spinal cord; involved in regulating brain activity during sleep
    positron emission tomography (PET) scan
    involves injecting individuals with a mildly radioactive substance and monitoring changes in blood flow to different regions of the brain
    prefrontal cortex
    area in the frontal lobe responsible for higher-level cognitive functioning
    reticular formation
    midbrain structure important in regulating the sleep/wake cycle, arousal, alertness, and motor activity
    somatosensory cortex
    essential for processing sensory information from across the body, such as touch, temperature, and pain
    substantia nigra
    midbrain structure where dopamine is produced; involved in control of movement
    (plural: sulci) depressions or grooves in the cerebral cortex
    temporal lobe
    part of cerebral cortex associated with hearing, memory, emotion, and some aspects of language; contains primary auditory cortex
    sensory relay for the brain
    ventral tegmental area (VTA)
    midbrain structure where dopamine is produced: associated with mood, reward, and addiction
    Wernicke’s area
    important for speech comprehension
    biological rhythm
    internal cycle of biological activity
    circadian rhythm
    biological rhythm that occurs over approximately 24 hours
    awareness of internal and external stimuli
    tendency to maintain a balance, or optimal level, within a biological system
    consistent difficulty in falling or staying asleep for at least three nights a week over a month’s time
    jet lag
    collection of symptoms brought on by travel from one time zone to another that results from the mismatch between our internal circadian cycles and our environment
    hormone secreted by the endocrine gland that serves as an important regulator of the sleep-wake cycle
    study that combines the results of several related studies
    pineal gland
    endocrine structure located inside the brain that releases melatonin
    rotating shift work
    work schedule that changes from early to late on a daily or weekly basis
    state marked by relatively low levels of physical activity and reduced sensory awareness that is distinct from periods of rest that occur during wakefulness
    sleep debt
    result of insufficient sleep on a chronic basis
    sleep regulation
    brain’s control of switching between sleep and wakefulness as well as coordinating this cycle with the outside world
    suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN)
    area of the hypothalamus in which the body’s biological clock is located
    characterized by high levels of sensory awareness, thought, and behavior
    evolutionary psychology
    discipline that studies how universal patterns of behavior and cognitive processes have evolved over time as a result of natural selection
    sleep rebound
    sleep-deprived individuals will experience shorter sleep latencies during subsequent opportunities for sleep
    alpha wave
    type of relatively low frequency, relatively high amplitude brain wave that becomes synchronized; characteristic of the beginning of stage 1 sleep
    delta wave
    type of low frequency, high amplitude brain wave characteristic of stage 3 and stage 4 sleep
    collective unconscious
    theoretical repository of information shared by all people across cultures, as described by Carl Jung
    very high amplitude pattern of brain activity associated with stage 2 sleep that may occur in response to environmental stimuli
    latent content
    hidden meaning of a dream, per Sigmund Freud’s view of the function of dreams
    lucid dream
    people become aware that they are dreaming and can control the dream’s content
    manifest content
    storyline of events that occur during a dream, per Sigmund Freud’s view of the function of dreams
    non-REM (NREM)
    period of sleep outside periods of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep
    rapid eye movement (REM) sleep
    period of sleep characterized by brain waves very similar to those during wakefulness and by darting movements of the eyes under closed eyelids
    sleep spindle
    rapid burst of high frequency brain waves during stage 2 sleep that may be important for learning and memory
    stage 1 sleep
    first stage of sleep; transitional phase that occurs between wakefulness and sleep; the period during which a person drifts off to sleep
    stage 2 sleep
    second stage of sleep; the body goes into deep relaxation; characterized by the appearance of sleep spindles
    stage 3 sleep
    third stage of sleep; deep sleep characterized by low frequency, high amplitude delta waves
    stage 4 sleep
    fourth stage of sleep; deep sleep characterized by low frequency, high amplitude delta waves
    theta wave
    type of low frequency, low amplitude brain wave characteristic of the end of stage 1 sleep
    lack of muscle tone or muscle weakness, and in some cases complete paralysis of the voluntary muscles
    central sleep apnea
    sleep disorder with periods of interrupted breathing due to a disruption in signals sent from the brain that regulate breathing
    cognitive-behavioral therapy
    psychotherapy that focuses on cognitive processes and problem behaviors that is sometimes used to treat sleep disorders such as insomnia
    continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
    device used to treat sleep apnea; includes a mask that fits over the sleeper’s nose and mouth, which is connected to a pump that pumps air into the person’s airways, forcing them to remain open
    sleep disorder in which the sufferer cannot resist falling to sleep at inopportune times
    night terror
    sleep disorder in which the sleeper experiences a sense of panic and may scream or attempt to escape from the immediate environment
    obstructive sleep apnea
    sleep disorder defined by episodes when breathing stops during sleep as a result of blockage of the airway
    one of a group of sleep disorders characterized by unwanted, disruptive motor activity and/or experiences during sleep
    REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD)
    sleep disorder in which the muscle paralysis associated with the REM sleep phase does not occur; sleepers have high levels of physical activity during REM sleep, especially during disturbing dreams
    restless leg syndrome
    sleep disorder in which the sufferer has uncomfortable sensations in the legs when trying to fall asleep that are relieved by moving the legs
    sleep apnea
    sleep disorder defined by episodes during which breathing stops during sleep
    (also, somnambulism) sleep disorder in which the sleeper engages in relatively complex behaviors
    sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
    infant (one year old or younger) with no apparent medical condition suddenly dies during sleep
    opiate with relatively low potency often prescribed for minor pain
    drug that tends to suppress central nervous system activity
    euphoric high
    feelings of intense elation and pleasure from drug use
    one of a class of drugs that results in profound alterations in sensory and perceptual experiences, often with vivid hallucinations
    synthetic opioid that is less euphorogenic than heroin and similar drugs; used to manage withdrawal symptoms in opiate users
    methadone clinic
    uses methadone to treat withdrawal symptoms in opiate users
    type of amphetamine that can be made from pseudoephedrine, an over-the-counter drug; widely manufactured and abused
    one of a category of drugs that has strong analgesic properties; opiates are produced from the resin of the opium poppy; includes heroin, morphine, methadone, and codeine
    physical dependence
    changes in normal bodily functions that cause a drug user to experience withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use
    psychological dependence
    emotional, rather than a physical, need for a drug which may be used to relieve psychological distress
    drug that tends to increase overall levels of neural activity; includes caffeine, nicotine, amphetamines, and cocaine
    state of requiring increasing quantities of the drug to gain the desired effect
    variety of negative symptoms experienced when drug use is discontinued
    state of extreme self-focus and attention in which minimal attention is given to external stimuli
    clearing the mind in order to achieve a state of relaxed awareness and focus
    height of a wave
    decibel (dB)
    logarithmic unit of sound intensity
    electromagnetic spectrum
    all the electromagnetic radiation that occurs in our environment
    number of waves that pass a given point in a given time period
    hertz (Hz)
    cycles per second; measure of frequency
    (also, crest) highest point of a wave
    perception of a sound’s frequency
    sound’s purity
    lowest point of a wave
    visible spectrum
    portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that we can see
    length of a wave from one peak to the next peak
    continuation of a visual sensation after removal of the stimulus
    binocular cue
    cue that relies on the use of both eyes
    binocular disparity
    slightly different view of the world that each eye receives
    blind spot
    point where we cannot respond to visual information in that portion of the visual field
    specialized photoreceptor that works best in bright light conditions and detects color
    transparent covering over the eye
    depth perception
    ability to perceive depth
    small indentation in the retina that contains cones
    colored portion of the eye
    curved, transparent structure that provides additional focus for light entering the eye
    linear perspective
    perceive depth in an image when two parallel lines seem to converge
    monocular cue
    cue that requires only one eye
    opponent-process theory of color perception
    color is coded in opponent pairs: black-white, yellow-blue, and red-green
    optic chiasm
    X-shaped structure that sits just below the brain’s ventral surface; represents the merging of the optic nerves from the two eyes and the separation of information from the two sides of the visual field to the opposite side of the brain
    optic nerve
    carries visual information from the retina to the brain
    light-detecting cell
    small opening in the eye through which light passes
    light-sensitive lining of the eye
    specialized photoreceptor that works well in low light conditions
    trichromatic theory of color perception
    color vision is mediated by the activity across the three groups of cones
    basilar membrane
    thin strip of tissue within the cochlea that contains the hair cells which serve as the sensory receptors for the auditory system
    binaural cue
    two-eared cue to localize sound
    fluid-filled, snail-shaped structure that contains the sensory receptor cells of the auditory system
    cochlear implant
    electronic device that consists of a microphone, a speech processor, and an electrode array to directly stimulate the auditory nerve to transmit information to the brain
    conductive hearing loss
    failure in the vibration of the eardrum and/or movement of the ossicles
    congenital deafness
    deafness from birth
    partial or complete inability to hear
    hair cell
    auditory receptor cell of the inner ear
    middle ear ossicle; also known as the anvil
    interaural level difference
    sound coming from one side of the body is more intense at the closest ear because of the attenuation of the sound wave as it passes through the head
    interaural timing difference
    small difference in the time at which a given sound wave arrives at each ear
    middle ear ossicle; also known as the hammer
    Ménière's disease
    results in a degeneration of inner ear structures that can lead to hearing loss, tinnitus, vertigo, and an increase in pressure within the inner ear
    monaural cue
    one-eared cue to localize sound
    visible part of the ear that protrudes from the head
    place theory of pitch perception
    different portions of the basilar membrane are sensitive to sounds of different frequencies
    sensorineural hearing loss
    failure to transmit neural signals from the cochlea to the brain
    middle ear ossicle; also known as the stirrup
    temporal theory of pitch perception
    sound’s frequency is coded by the activity level of a sensory neuron
    tympanic membrane
    spinning sensation
    congenital insensitivity to pain (congenital analgesia)
    genetic disorder that results in the inability to experience pain
    inflammatory pain
    signal that some type of tissue damage has occurred
    perception of the body’s movement through space
    Meissner’s corpuscle
    touch receptor that responds to pressure and lower frequency vibrations
    Merkel’s disk
    touch receptor that responds to light touch
    neuropathic pain
    pain from damage to neurons of either the peripheral or central nervous system
    sensory signal indicating potential harm and maybe pain
    olfactory bulb
    bulb-like structure at the tip of the frontal lobe, where the olfactory nerves begin
    olfactory receptor
    sensory cell for the olfactory system
    Pacinian corpuscle
    touch receptor that detects transient pressure and higher frequency vibrations
    chemical message sent by another individual
    perception of body position
    Ruffini corpuscle
    touch receptor that detects stretch
    taste bud
    grouping of taste receptor cells with hair-like extensions that protrude into the central pore of the taste bud
    temperature perception
    taste for monosodium glutamate
    vestibular sense
    contributes to our ability to maintain balance and body posture
    organizing our perceptions into complete objects rather than as a series of parts
    figure-ground relationship
    segmenting our visual world into figure and ground
    Gestalt psychology
    field of psychology based on the idea that the whole is different from the sum of its parts
    good continuation
    (also, continuity) we are more likely to perceive continuous, smooth flowing lines rather than jagged, broken lines
    pattern perception
    ability to discriminate among different figures and shapes
    perceptual hypothesis
    educated guess used to interpret sensory information
    principle of closure
    organize perceptions into complete objects rather than as a series of parts
    things that are close to one another tend to be grouped together
    things that are alike tend to be grouped together
    period of initial learning in classical conditioning in which a human or an animal begins to connect a neutral stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral stimulus will begin to elicit the conditioned response
    classical conditioning
    learning in which the stimulus or experience occurs before the behavior and then gets paired or associated with the behavior
    conditioned response (CR)
    response caused by the conditioned stimulus
    conditioned stimulus (CS)
    stimulus that elicits a response due to its being paired with an unconditioned stimulus
    decrease in the conditioned response when the unconditioned stimulus is no longer paired with the conditioned stimulus
    when we learn not to respond to a stimulus that is presented repeatedly without change
    higher-order conditioning
    (also, second-order conditioning) using a conditioned stimulus to condition a neutral stimulus
    neutral stimulus (NS)
    stimulus that does not initially elicit a response
    spontaneous recovery
    return of a previously extinguished conditioned response
    stimulus discrimination
    ability to respond differently to similar stimuli
    stimulus generalization
    demonstrating the conditioned response to stimuli that are similar to the conditioned stimulus
    unconditioned response (UCR)
    natural (unlearned) behavior to a given stimulus
    unconditioned stimulus (UCS)
    stimulus that elicits a reflexive response
    person who performs a behavior that serves as an example (in observational learning)
    observational learning
    type of learning that occurs by watching others
    vicarious punishment
    process where the observer sees the model punished, making the observer less likely to imitate the model’s behavior
    vicarious reinforcement
    process where the observer sees the model rewarded, making the observer more likely to imitate the model’s behavior
    artificial concept
    concept that is defined by a very specific set of characteristics
    thinking, including perception, learning, problem solving, judgment, and memory
    cognitive psychology
    field of psychology dedicated to studying every aspect of how people think
    category or grouping of linguistic information, objects, ideas, or life experiences
    cognitive script
    set of behaviors that are performed the same way each time; also referred to as an event schema
    event schema
    set of behaviors that are performed the same way each time; also referred to as a cognitive script
    natural concept
    mental groupings that are created “naturally” through your experiences
    best representation of a concept
    role schema
    set of expectations that define the behaviors of a person occupying a particular role
    (plural = schemata) mental construct consisting of a cluster or collection of related concepts
    set of rules that are used to convey meaning through the use of a lexicon
    communication system that involves using words to transmit information from one individual to another
    the words of a given language
    smallest unit of language that conveys some type of meaning
    extension of a rule that exists in a given language to an exception to the rule
    basic sound unit of a given language
    process by which we derive meaning from morphemes and words
    manner by which words are organized into sentences
    Glossary Entries
    Image Caption Link Source
    American Psychological Association
    biopsychosocial model
    clinical psychology
    cognitive psychology
    counseling psychology
    developmental psychology
    forensic psychology
    personality psychology
    personality trait
    sport and exercise psychology
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