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Psychology M01
Psychology Key Terms (Section 2--Ch6, 7, 8, & 9)
136
Psychology
11/03/2008

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Term
Sensation
(p 190)
Definition
The detection of physical energy emitted or reflected by physical objects; it occurs when energy in the external environent or the body stimulates receptors in the sense organs.
Term
Perception
(p 190)
Definition
The process by which the brain organizes and interprets sensory information.
Term
Sense Receptors
(p 190)
Definition
Specialized cells that convert physical energy in the environment or the body to electrical energy that can be transmitted as nerve impulses to the brain.
Term
Doctrine of Specific Nerve Energies
(p 191)
Definition
The principle that different sensory modalities exist because signals received by the sense organs stimulate different nerve pathways leading to different areas of the brain.
Term
Synesthesia
(p 191)
Definition
A condition in which stimulation of one sense also evokes another.
Term
Absolute Threshold
(p 192)
Definition
The smalles quantity of physical energy that can be reliably detected by an observer.
Term
Difference Threshold
(p 193)
Definition
The smallest difference in stimulation that can be reliably detected by an observer when two stimuli are compared; also called Just Noticable Difference.
Term
Signal-Detection Theory
(p 194)
Definition
A psychophysical theory that divides the detection of a seonsory signal into a sensory process and a decision process.
Term
Sensory Adaptation
(p 194)
Definition
The reduction or disappearance of sensory responsiveness when stimulation is unchanging or repetitious.
Term
Sensory Deprivation
(p 195)
Definition
The absence of normal levels of sensory stimulation.
Term
Selective Attention
(p 196)
Definition
The focusing of attention on selected aspects of the environment and the blocking out of others.
Term
Inattentional Blindness
(p 196)
Definition
Failure to consciously perceive something you are looking at because you are not attending to it.
Term
Hue
(p 197)
Definition
The dimension of visual experience specified by color names and relatedto the wavelength of light.
Term
Brightness
(p 197)
Definition
Lightness or luminance; the dimension of visual experience related to the amount (intensity) of light emitted from reflected by an object.
Term
Saturation
(p 197)
Definition
Vividness or purity of color; the dimension of visual experience related to the complexity of light waves.
Term
Retina
(p198)
Definition
Neural tissue lining the back of the eyeball's interior, which contains the receptors for vision.
Term
Rods
(p 198)
Definition
Visual receptors that respond to dim light.
Term
Cones
(p 198)
Definition
Visual receptors involved in color vision.
Term
Dark Adaption
(p 199)
Definition
A process by which visual receptors becoming maximally sensiive to dim light.
Term
Ganglion Cells
(p 199)
Definition
Neurons in the retina of the eye, which gather information from receptor cells (by way of intermediate bipolar cells); their axons make up the optic nerve.
Term
Feature Detectors
(p 200)
Definition
Cells in the visual cortex that are sensitive to specific features of the environment.
Term
Trichromatic Theory
(p 201)
Definition
A theory of color perception that proposes three mechanisms in the visual system, each sensitive to a certain range of wavelengths; their interaction is assumed to produce all the difference experiences ofhuse.
Term
Opponent-Process Theory
(p 201)
Definition
A theory of color perception that assumes that the visual system treats pairs of colors as opposing or antagonistic.
Term
Gestalt Principles
(p 203)
Definition
Principles that describethe brain's organization of sensory information into meaningful units and patterns.
Term
Binocular Cues
(p 205)
Definition
Visual Cues to depth or distance requiring two eyes.
Term
Binocular Cues
(p 205)
Definition
Visual Cues to depth or distance requiring two eyes.
Term
Convergence
(p 205)
Definition
The turning inward of the eyes, which occurs when they focus on a nearby object.
Term
Retinal Disparity
(p 205)
Definition
The slight difference in lateral separation between two objects as seen by the left eye and the right eye.
Term
Monocular Cues
(p 205)
Definition
Visual cues to depth or distance, which can be used by one eye alone.
Term
Perceptural Constancy
(p 205)
Definition
The accurate perception of objects as stable or unchanged despite changes in the sensory patterns they produce.
Term
Loudness
(p 210)
Definition
The dimension of auditory experience related to the intensity of a pressure wave.
Term
Pitch
(p 210)
Definition
The dimension of auditory experience related to the frequency of a pressure wave.
Term
Timbre
(p 210)
Definition
The distinguishing quality of a sound; the dimension of auditory experience related to the complexity of the pressure wave.
Term
Organ of Corti
(p 211)
Definition
A structure in the cochlea containing hair cells that serve as the receptors for hearing.
Term
Cochlea
(p 211)
Definition
A snail-shaped, fluid-filled organ in the inner ear, containing the Organ of Corti, where the receptors for hearing are located.
Term
Papillae
(p 214)
Definition
Knoblike elevations on the tongue, containing the taste buds.
Term
Taste Buds
(p 214)
Definition
Nests of taste-receptor cells.
Term
Gate-Control Theory
(p 218)
Definition
The theory that the experience of pain depends in part on whether pain impulses get past a neurological "gate" in the spinal cord and thus reach the brain.
Term
Phantom Pain
(p 219)
Definition
The experience of pain in a missing limb or other body part.
Term
Kinethesis
(p 220)
Definition
The sense of a body position and movement of body parts.
Term
Equilibrium
(p 221)
Definition
The sense of balance.
Term
Semicircular Canals
(p 221)
Definition
Sense organs in the inner ear tha contribute to equilibrium by responding to rotation of the head.
Term
Perceptural Set
(p 224)
Definition
A habitual way of perceiving, based on expectations.
Term
Priming
(p 226)
Definition
Ametod used to measure unconscious cognitive processes, in which a person is exposed to information and is later tested to see whether the informationaffects behavior or performance on another task or in another situation.
Term
Learning
(p 236)
Definition
A relatively permanent change in behavior (or behavioral potential) due to experience.
Term
Behaviorism
(p 236)
Definition
An apperoach to psychology that emphasizes the study of observable behavior and the role of the environment as a determinant of behavior.
Term
Conditioning
(p 236)
Definition
A basic kind of learning that involves associations between environmental stimuli and the organism's responses.
Term
Unconditioned Stimulus (US)
(p 237)
Definition
The classical conditioning term for a stimulus that elicits a reflexive response in the absence of learning.
Term
Unconditioned Response (UR)
(p 237)
Definition
The classical conditioning term for a reflexive response elicited by a stimulus in the absence of learning.
Term
Conditioned Stimulus (CS)
(p 237)
Definition
The clasical conditioning term for an initially neutral stimulus that comes to eicit a conditioned stimulus; it occurs after the conditioned stimulus is associated with an unconditioned stimulus.
Term
Conditioned Response (CR)
(p 237)
Definition
The classical conditioning ter for a response that is elicited by a conditioned stiulus; it occurs after the conditioned stimulus is associated with an unconditioned stimuluse.
Term
Classical Conditioning
(p 237)
Definition
The process by which a previously neutral stimulus acquires the capacity to elicit a response through association with a stimulus that already elicitys a similar or related response.
Term
Extinction
(p 238)
Definition
The weakening and eventual disappearance of a learned response; in classical conditioning, it occurs when the conditioned stimulus is no longer paired with the unconditioned stimulus.
Term
Spontaneous Recovery
(p 238)
Definition
The reappearance of a learned response after its apparent extinction.
Term
Higher-Order Conditioning
(p 238)
Definition
In classical conditioning, a procedure in which a neutral stimulus becomes a conditioned stimulus through association with an already established conditioned stimulus.
Term
Stimulus Generalization
(p 239)
Definition
After conditioning, the tendency to respond to a stimulus that resembles one involved in the original conditioning; in classical conditioning, it occurs when a stimulus that resembles the CS elicits the CR.
Term
Stimulus Discrimination
(p 239)
Definition
The tendency to repond differently to two or more similar stimuli; in classical conditioning, it occurs when a stimulus similar to the CS fails to evoke the CR.
Term
Operant Conditioning
(p 247)
Definition
The process by which a response becomes more likely to occur or less so, depending on its consequences.
Term
Reinforcement
(p 248)
Definition
The process by which a stimulus or event strengthens or increases the probability of the response that it follows.
Term
Punishment
(p 248)
Definition
The proces by which a stimulus or event weakens or reduces the probability of the response that it follows.
Term
Primary Reinforcer
(p 249)
Definition
A stimulus that isinherently reinforcing, typically satisfying a physiological need; an example is food.
Term
Primary Punisher
(p 249)
Definition
A stimulus that is inherently punishing; an example is electric shock.
Term
Secondary Reinforcer
(p 249)
Definition
A stimulus that has acquired reinforcing properties through association with other reinforcers.
Term
Secondary Punisher
(p 249)
Definition
A stimulus that has acquired punishing properties through association with other punishers.
Term
Positive Reinforcement
(p 249)
Definition
A reinforcement procedure inwhich a response is followed by the presentation of, or increase in intensity of, a reinforcing stimulus; as a result, the response becomes stronger or more likely to occur.
Term
Negative Reinforcement
(p 249)
Definition
A reinforcement procedurein which a response is followed by the removal, delay, or decrease in intensity of an unpleasant stimulus; as a result, the response becomes stronger or more likely to occur.
Term
Extinction
(p 252)
Definition
The weakening and eventual disappearance of a learned response; in operant conditioning, it occurs when a response is no longer followed by a reinforcer.
Term
Stimuls Generalization
(p 252)
Definition
In operant conditioning, the tendency for a response that has been reinforced (or punished) in the presence of one stimulus to occur (or be suppressed) in the presence of other similar stimuli.
Term
Stimulus Discrimination
(p 252)
Definition
In operant conditioning, the tendency of a response to occur in the presence of one stimulus but not in the presence of other, similar stimuli that differ from it in some dimension.
Term
Discriminative Stimulus
(p 252)
Definition
A stimulus that signals when a particular response is likely to be followed by a certain type of consequence.
Term
Continuous Reinforcement
(p 252)
Definition
A reinforcement schedule in which a particular response is always reinforced.
Term
Intermittent (Partial) Scedule of Reinforcement
(p 252)
Definition
A reinforcement schedule in which a particular response is sometimes but not always reinforced.
Term
Shaping
(p 254)
Definition
An operant-conditioning procedure in which successive approximations of a desired response are reinforced.
Term
Successive Approximations
(p 254)
Definition
In the operant-conditioning procedure of shaping, behaviorsthat are ordered in terms of increasing similarity or closeness to the desired response.
Term
Instinctive Drift
(p 255)
Definition
During operant learning, the tendency for an organism to revert to instinctive behavior.
Term
Behavior Modification
(p 257)
Definition
The application of operant conditioning techniques to teach new responses or to reduce or eliminate maladaptive or problematic behavior.
Term
Intrinsic Reinforcers
(p 261)
Definition
Reinforcers thatare inherently related to the activity being reinforced.
Term
Latent Learning
(p 265)
Definition
A form of learning that is not immediately expressed in an overt response; it occurs without obvious reinforcement.
Term
Social-Cognitive Theories
(p 266)
Definition
Theoriesthat emphasize how behavior is learned and maintained through observation and imitation of others, positive consequences, and cognitive processes such as plans, expectations, and beliefs.
Term
Observational Learning
(p 266)
Definition
A process in which an individual learns new responses by observing the behavior of another (a model) rather than through direct experience.
Term
Norms (Social)
(p 277)
Definition
Rules that regulate social life, including explicit laws and implicit cultural conventions.
Term
Role
(p 277)
Definition
A given social position that is governed by a set of norms for proper behavior.
Term
Culture
(p 277)
Definition
A program of shared rules that govern the behavior of people in a community or society, and a set of values, beliefs, and customs shared by members of that community.
Term
Entrapment
(p 282)
Definition
A gradual prcess in which individuals escalate their commitment to a course of action to justify their investment of time, money, or effort.
Term
Social Cognition
(p 284)
Definition
An area in social psychology concerned with social influences on thought, memory, perception, and beliefs.
Term
Attribution Theory
(p 284)
Definition
The theory that people are motivated to explain their own and other people's behavior by attributing causes of that behavior to a situation or a disposition.
Term
Fundamental Attribution Error
(p 285)
Definition
The tendency, in explaining other people's behavior, to overstimate personality factors and underestimate the influence of the situation.
Term
Self-Serving Bias
(p 285)
Definition
The tendency, in explaining one's own behavior, to take credit for one's good actions and rationalize one's mistakes.
Term
Just-World Hypothesis
(p 285)
Definition
The notion that many people need to believe that the world is fair and that justice is served, that bad people are punished and good people rewarded.
Term
Cognitive Dissonance
(p 287)
Definition
A state of tension that occurs when a person simultaneiously holds two cognitions that are psychologically inconsistent or when a person's belief is incongruent with his or her behavior.
Term
Familiarity Effect
(p 289)
Definition
The tendency of people to feel more positive toward a person, item, product, or other stimulus the more familiar they are with it.
Term
Validity Effect
(p 289)
Definition
The tendency of people to believe that a statement is true or valid simply because it has been repeated many times.
Term
Groupthink
(p 294)
Definition
The tendency for all members of a group to think alike for the sake of harmony and to suppress disagreement.
Term
Diffusion of Responsibility
(p 295)
Definition
In groups, the tendency of members to avoid taking action because they assume that others will.
Term
Deindividuation
(p 296)
Definition
In groups or crowds, the loss of awareness of one's own individuality.
Term
Social Identity
(p 299)
Definition
The part of a person's self-concept that is based on his or her identification with a nation, religious or polotical group, occupation, or other social affiliation.
Term
Ethnic Identity
(p 300)
Definition
A person's identification with a racial or ethnic group.
Term
Acculturation
(p 300)
Definition
The process by which members of minority groups come to identify with and feel part of the mainstream culture.
Term
Ethnocentrism
(p 301)
Definition
The belief that one's own ethnic group, nation, or religion is superior to all others.
Term
Stereotype
(p 302)
Definition
A summary impression of a group, in which a person believes that all members of the group share a common trait or traits (positive, negative, or neutral)
Term
Prejudice
(p 304)
Definition
A strong, unreasonable dislike or hatred of a group, based on a negative stereotype.
Term
Concept
(p 322)
Definition
A mental category that groups objects, relations, activities, abstractions, or qualities having common properties.
Term
Basic Concepts
(p 322)
Definition
Concepts that have a moderate number of instances and that are easier to acquire than those having few or many instances.
Term
Prototype
(p 322)
Definition
An especially representative example of a concept.
Term
Proposition
(p 324)
Definition
A unit of meaning that is made of concepts and expresses a single idea.
Term
Cognitive Schema
(p 324)
Definition
An integrated mental network of knowledge, beliefs, and expectations concerning a particular topic or aspect of the world.
Term
Mental Image
(p 324)
Definition
A mental representation that mirrors or resembles the thing it represents; mental images occur in many and perhaps all sensory modalities.
Term
Subconscious Processes
(p 324)
Definition
Mental processes occuring outside of conscious awareness but accessible to consciousness when necessary.
Term
Nonconscious Processes
(p 324)
Definition
Mental processes occurring outside of and not available to conscious awareness.
Term
Implicit Learning
(p 325)
Definition
Learning that occurs when you acquire knowledge about something without being aware of how you did so and withougt being able to state exactly what it is you have learned.
Term
Reasoning
(p 326)
Definition
The drawing of conclusions or inferences from observations, facts, or assumptions.
Term
Algorithm
(p 327)
Definition
A problem-solving strategy guaranteed to produce a solution even if the user does not know how it works.
Term
Deductive Reasoning
(p 327)
Definition
A form of reasoning in which a conclusion follows necessarily from certain premises; if the premises are true, the conclusion must be true.
Term
Inductive Reasoning
(p 328)
Definition
A form of reasoning in which the premises provide support for a conclusion but it is still possible for the conclusion to be false.
Term
Heuristic
(p 329)
Definition
A rule of thumb that suggest a course of action or guides problem solving but does not guarantee an optimal solution.
Term
Dialectical Reasoning
(p 329)
Definition
A process in which opposing facts or ideas are weighed and compared, with a view to determining the best solution or resolving differences.
Term
Affect Heuristic
(p 332)
Definition
The tendency to consult one's emotions instead of estimating probabilities objectivly.
Term
Availability Heuristic
(p 333)
Definition
The tendency to judge the probability of a type of event by how east it is to think of examples or instances.
Term
Hindsight Bias
(p 335)
Definition
The tendency to overestimate one's ability to have predicted an event once the outcome is known; the "I knew it all along" phenomenon.
Term
Confirmation Bias
(p 336)
Definition
The tendency to look for or pay attention only to information that confirms one's own beliefs.
Term
Mental Set
(p 337)
Definition
A tendency to solve problems using procedures that worked before on similar problems.
Term
Cognitive Dissonance
(p 338)
Definition
A state of tension that occurs when a person holds two cognitions that are psychologically inconsistent, or when a person's belief is incongruent with his or her behavior.
Term
Postdecision Dissonance
(p 339)
Definition
In the theory of cognitive dissonance, tension that occurs when you believe you may have made a bad decision.
Term
Justification of Effort
(p 339)
Definition
The tendency of individuals to increase their liking for something that they have worked hard or suffered to attain; a common form of dissonance reduction.
Term
Intelligence
(p 341)
Definition
An inferred characteristicof an individual, usually defined as the ability to profit from experience, acquire knowledge, think abstractly, act purposefully, or adapt to changes in the environment.
Term
Factor Analysis
(p 342)
Definition
A statistical method for analyzing the intercorrelations among various measures or test scores; clusters of measures or scores that are highly correlated are assumed to measure the same underlying trait, ability, or aptitude (factor).
Term
G Factor
(p 342)
Definition
A general intellectual ability assumed by many theorists to underlie specific mental abilities and talents.
Term
Psychometrics
(p 342)
Definition
The measurement of mental abilities, traits, and processes.
Term
Mental Age (MA)
(p 342)
Definition
Ameasure of mental development express in terms of the average mental ability at a given age.
Term
Intelligence Quotient (IQ)
(p 342)
Definition
A measure of intelligence originally computed by dividing a person's mental age by his or her chronological age and multiplying by 100; it is now derived from norms provided for standardized intelligence tests.
Term
Triarchic Theory of Intelligence
(p 346)
Definition
A theory of intelligence that emphasizes information-processing strategies, the ability to creatively transfer skills to new situations, and the practical application of intelligence.
Term
Metacognition
(p 347)
Definition
The knowledge or awareness of one's own cognitive processes.
Term
Tacit Knowledge
(p 348)
Definition
Strategies for success that are not explicitly taught but that instead must be inferred.
Term
Emotional Intelligence
(p 348)
Definition
The ability to indentify your own and other people's emotions accurately, express your emotions clearly, and regulate emotions in yourself and others.
Term
Cognitive Ethology
(p 354)
Definition
The study of cognitive processes in nonhuman animals.
Term
Theory of Mind
(p 355)
Definition
A system of beliefs about the way one's own mind and the minds of others work, and of how individuals are affected by their beliefs and feelings.