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AP Psychology Flash Cards
Studying for AP Exam
67
Physiology
05/08/2010

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Term
absolute threshold
Definition
the minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50% of the time
Term
accommodation
Definition
adapting one's current understandings (schemas)to incorporate new information
Term
accommodation
Definition
the process by which the eye's lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the retina
Term
acetylcholine
Definition
a neurotransmitter that, among its functions, triggers muscle contraction
Term
achievement motivation
Definition
a desire for significant accomplishment: for mastery of things, people, or ideas; for attaining a high standard
Term
achievement test
Definition
a test designed to assess what a person has learned
Term
acoustic encoding
Definition
the encoding of sound, especially the sound of words
Term
acquisition
Definition
the initial stage in classical conditioning; the phase associating a neutral stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral stimulus comes to elicit a conditioned response. In operant conditioning, the strengthening of a reinforced response.
Term
action potential
Definition
a neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon. The action potential is generated by the movement of positively charged atoms in and out of channels in the axon's membrane.
Term
active listening
Definition
empathic listening in which the listener echoes, restates, and clarifies. A feature of Rogers' client-centered terapy.
Term
acuity
Definition
the sharpness of vision
Term
adaptation-level phenomenon
Definition
our tendency to form judgments (of sounds, of lights, of income) relative to a neutral" level defined by our prior experience
Term
adolescence
Definition
the transition period from childhood to adulthood, extending from puberty to independence
Term
adrenal glands
Definition
a pair of endocrine glands just above the kidneys. the adrenals secrete the hormones epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline), which help to arouse the body in times of stress.
Term
aerobic exercise
Definition
sustained exercise that increases heart and lung fitness; may also alleviate depression and anxiety
Term
aggression
Definition
any physical or verbal behavior intended to hurt or destroy
Term
algorithm
Definition
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.
Term
alpha wasves
Definition
the relatively sho\low brain waves of a relaxed, awake state
Term
altruism
Definition
unslfish regard for the welfare of others
Term
alzheimer's disease
Definition
a progressiv and irreversible brain disorder characterized by gradual deterioration of memory, reasoning, language, and finallyphysical functioning
Term
amphetamines
Definition
drugs that stimulate neural activity, causing speededup body functions adnassociated energy and mood changes
Term
amygdala
Definition
two almond-shaped neural clusters that are components of the limbic system and are linked to emotion
Term
aphasia
Definition
impairment of language, usually caused by left hemisphere damage either to Broca's area or to Wernicke's area
Term
applied research
Definition
scientific study that aims to solve practical probles
Term
aptitude test
Definition
a test designed to predict a person's future performance; aptitude is the capcity to learn
Term
artificial intelligence
Definition
the science of designing and grograming computer systems to do intelligent things and to simulate human thought processes, such as intuitive reasoning, learning, and understanding language
Term
attribution theory
Definition
the theory that we tend to give a causal explnationfor someone's behavior, often by crediting either the situation or the person's disposition
Term
autism
Definition
a disorder that appears in childhood and is mared by deficient communication, social interation, and understanding of others states of mind
Term
automatic processing
Definition
unconscious encoding of incidental information, such as space, time, and fequency, and of well-learned information, such as word meaning
Term
autonomic nervous system
Definition
the part of the peripheral nervous sstem that controls the glands and the uscles of the internal organs. Its sympathetic division arouses; its parasympathetic division clams.
Term
availability heuristic
Definition
estimating the likelihood of events based on their availability in memory; if instances come readily to mind,we presume such events are common
Term
aversive conditioning
Definition
a type of counterconditioning that associates an unpleasant state with an unwanted behavior
Term
barbiturates
Definition
drugs that depress the activity of hte central nervous system, reducing anxiety buy imparing memory and judgement
Term
basal metabolic rate
Definition
the body's resting rate of energy expenditure
Term
behavior therapy
Definition
theapy that applies learning principles to the elimination of unwanted behaviors
Term
behaviorism
Definition
the view that psychology should be an objective sience that studies behavior without freferenc to mental process
Term
belief bias
Definition
the tendency for one's preexisiting beliefs to distort logical reasoning, sometimes by making invalid concusions seems valid, or valid conclusions seem invalid
Term
belief perseverance
Definition
clinging to one's initial conceptions after the basis on which they were formed has been discredited
Term
binocular cues
Definition
depth cues, such as retinal disparity and convergence, that depend on th euse of two eyes
Term
bio-psycho-social perspective
Definition
a contemporary perspective which assumes that bioloical, psychological, and sociocultural factors combine and interact to produce psychological disorders
Term
biofeeedback
Definition
a system for electronically recording, amplifying, and feeding back information regarding a subtle physiological stae, such as blood pressure or muscle tentoins.
Term
biological psychology
Definition
a brand of psychology concerned ith the linds between biology and behavior
Term
biological rhythms
Definition
periodic physiological fluctuations
Term
bottom-up processing
Definition
analysis that begins with the sense receptors and works up to the brain's integration of sensory information
Term
bystander effect
Definition
the heory that an emotion-arousing stimulus simultaneously triggers physiological responses and the subjective experience of emotion
Term
cannon-Bard theory
Definition
the theory tha tan emotion-arousing stimulus simultaneously triggers physiological responses and the subjectie experience of emotion
Term
case study
Definition
an observation technique in which one person is studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles
Term
catharsis
Definition
emotional release.
Term
cerebral cortex
Definition
the intriate favric of interconnected neural cells that covers the cerebral hemispheres; the body's ultimate contral and information-processing center.
Term
circadian rhythm
Definition
the bilogical clock; regular bodily rhythms that occur on a 24 hours cycle
Term
client-centered therapy
Definition
a humanistic therapy, developed by Carl Rogers, in which the therapist uses techniques such as active listening ithin a genuine, accepting, empathic environment to facilitate clients growth.
Term
clinical psychology
Definition
a branch of psychology that studies, assesses and treats people with psychological disorders.
Term
cochlea
Definition
a coiled, bony, fluid-filled tube in the inner ear through which sound awves trigger nerve impulses
Term
cognition
Definition
all themental activities associated with thinking, knowing, rememberin, and communication
Term
cognitive dissonance theory
Definition
the theory that we act to reduce the discomfort we feel when two of our thoughts are inconsistent. For example, when our awareness of our attitudes and of our actions clasah we can reduce the relulting dissonance by changing our attitudes.
Term
cognitive therapy
Definition
therapy that teaches people new, more adaptive ways of thnking and acting; based on the assumption that thoughts intervene between events and our emotional reactions
Term
cognitive-behavior therapy
Definition
a popular integreated therapy that combines cognitive therapy with behavior therapy
Term
collective unconscious
Definition
Carl Jung's concept of a shared, inheritied reservoir of memory traces from our species' history.
Term
collectivism
Definition
giving priority to the goals of one's group and defining one's identity accordingly
Term
color constancy
Definition
perceiving familiar objects as having consistentcolor, even if changing illumination alters the wavelengths relfected by the object
Term
complementary and alternative medicine
Definition
unproven health care treatments not taught widely in medical schools, not used in hospitals, nad not usually reimbursed by insurance companies
Term
computer neural networks
Definition
computer circuits that mimic the brain's interconnected neural cells, performing tasks such as learning to recognize visual patterns and smells
Term
concrete operational stage
Definition
in Piaget's theory, the stage of cognitive development during which children gain the mental operations that enable them to thinhk logically about concete events
Term
conditioned reinforcer
Definition
a stimulus theat gains ins reinforcing power through it's associaton with a primary reinfocer; also known as secondary reinforcer
Term
conduction hearing loss
Definition
hearing loss caused by damage to the mechanical system that conducts sound waves to the cochlea
Term
cones
Definition
receptor cells that are concentrated near the center of the retina and the function in daylight or in well-lit conditoins. Th cones detect fine detali and give rise to color sensations.
Term
confirmation bias
Definition
a tendency to rearch for information thta confirms one's preconceptions