Real psychology test 1

Definition of Psychology

the scientific study of behavior and mental processes

Behavioral Perspective

how we learn observable responses

psychodynamic perspective

how behavior springs from unconscious drives and conflicts

social-cultural perspective

how behavior and thinking vary across situations and cultures

Nature vs. Nurture

genes vs environment

neuroscience perspective

how the body and brain enable emotions, memories, and sensory experiences

cognitive perspective

how we encode, process, store, and retrieve information

evolutionary perspective

how the natural selection of traits has promoted the survival of genes

hindsight bias

the tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it

naturalistic observation

a descriptive technique of observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation

case study

a descriptive technique in which one individual or group is studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles


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


A testable prediction, often implied by a theory

ethics in research

informed consent, confidentiality, debriefing, deception

random sampling

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

representative sample

A sample that reflects the characteristics of the population from which it is drawn

operational definition

a carefully worded statement of the exact procedures used in a research study


A measure of the extent to which two factors vary together, and thus of how well either factor predicts the other.

correlation coefficient

a statistical index of the relationship between two things (from -1 to +1)

independent variable

in an experiment, the factor that is manipulated; the variable whose effect is being studied

dependent variable

in an experiment, the outcome that is measured; the variable that may change when the independent variable is manipulated

random assignment

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

placebo effect

experimental results caused by expectations alone; any effect on behavior caused by the administration of an inert substance or condition, which the recipient assumes is an active agent

double-blind procedure

an experimental procedure in which both the research participants and the research staff are ignorant (blind) about whether the research participants have received the treatment or a placebo. Commonly used in drug-evaluation studies.

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.


repeating the essence of a research study, usually with different participants in different situations, to see whether the basic finding can be reproduced




Middle number


the most frequently occurring score(s) in a distribution


the difference between the highest and lowest scores in a distribution

cell body

the part of a neuron that contains the nucleus; the cell's life-support center


a neuron's often bushy, branching extensions that receive and integrate messages, conducting impulses toward the cell body


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

myelin sheath

a fatty tissue layer segmentally encasing the axons of some neurons; enables vastly greater transmission speed as neural impulses hop from one node to the next

motor neurons

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

sensory neurons

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

how a message travels through a neuron

A neuron sends a message by firing an impulse, called the action potential�a brief electrical charge that travels down its axon.


chemical messengers that cross the synaptic gaps between neurons

How Neurotransmitters Influence Us

Neurotransmitters have their own pathways which deliver specific messages that influence behavior and emotions

central nervous system

brain and spinal cord

peripheral nervous system

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

sympathetic nervous system

the division of the autonomic nervous system that arouses the body, mobilizing its energy

parasympathetic nervous system

the division of the autonomic nervous system that calms the body, conserving its energy

autonomic nervous system

the part of the peripheral nervous system that controls the glands and the muscles of the internal organs (such as the heart). Its sympathetic division arouses; its parasympathetic division calms.


a technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer-generated images of soft tissue. These scans show brain anatomy.


A technique for revealing blood flow and, therefore, brain activity by comparing successive MRI scans.


a visual display of brain activity that detects where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain performs a given task


tissue destruction. A brain lesion is a naturally or experimentally caused destruction of brain tissue


An amplified recording of the waves of electrical activity that sweep across the brain's surface. These waves are measured by electrodes placed on the scalp.


a brain-imaging technique that measures magnetic fields from the brain's natural electrical activity


the oldest part and central core of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord swells as it enters the skull; responsible for automatic survival functions


the base of the brainstem; controls heartbeat and breathing


the brain's sensory control center, located on top of the brainstem; it directs messages to the sensory receiving areas in the cortex and transmits replies to the cerebellum and medulla

reticular formation

a nerve network in the brainstem that plays an important role in controlling arousal


the "little brain" at the rear of the brainstem; functions include processing sensory input, coordinating movement output and balance, and enabling nonverbal learning and memory


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


a neural structure lying below (hypo) the thalamus; it directs several maintenance activities (eating, drinking, body temperature), helps govern the endocrine system via the pituitary gland, and is linked to emotion and reward


a neural center located in the limbic system; helps process explicit (conscious) memories�of facts and events�for storage

cerebral cortex

the intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells covering the cerebral hemispheres; the body's ultimate control and information-processing center

frontal lobes

the portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead; involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgments

Parietal lobes

the portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the top of the head and toward the rear; receives sensory input for touch and body position

Occipital lobes

the portion of the cerebral cortex lying at the back of the head; includes areas that receive information from the visual fields

Temporal lobes

the portion of the cerebral cortex lying roughly above the ears; includes the auditory areas, each receiving information primarily from the opposite ear

association areas

areas of the cerebral cortex that are not involved in primary motor or sensory functions; rather, they are involved in higher mental functions such as learning, remembering, thinking, and speaking

somatosensory cortex

an area at the front of the parietal lobes that registers and processes body touch and movement sensations

motor cortex

an area at the rear of the frontal lobes that controls voluntary movements

left hemisphere

controls the right side of the body; analytical, language, math

right hemisphere

controls the left side of the body; creative, intuitive, spacial

corpus callosum

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

split brain

a condition resulting from surgery that isolates the brain's two hemispheres by cutting the fibers (mainly those of the corpus callosum) connecting them

brain plasticity

the brain's ability to change, especially during childhood, by reorganizing after damage or by building new pathways based on experience

nucleus accumbens

a dopamine-rich area in the forebrain that is critical in the physiology of reward


above" or "in addition to" (epi) genetics; the study of the molecular mechanisms by which environments can influence genetic expression (without a DNA change)

natural selection

the principle that inherited traits that better enable an organism to survive and reproduce in a particular environment will (in competition with other trait variations) most likely be passed on to subsequent generations

evolutionary psychology

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

identical twins

individuals that develop from a single fertilized egg that splits in two, creating two genetically identical organisms

fraternal twins

individuals that develop from separate fertilized eggs. They are genetically no closer than ordinary siblings, but they share a prenatal environment

PsychENCODE project

enables researchers to examine differences between the brains of healthy people and those with various disorders

limbic system

neural system (including the amygdala, hypothalamus, and hippocampus) located below the cerebral hemispheres; associated with emotions and drives

Empirical Approach

an evidence-based method that draws on observation and experimentation


a descriptive technique for obtaining the self-reported attitudes or behaviors of a particular group, usually by questioning a representative, random sample of the group

The specialist most likely to have a medical degree is a


The birth of psychology is often attributed to Wilhelm Wundt because he pioneered the investigation of mental processes using

scientific methods

biological psychology

the scientific study of the links between biological (genetic, neural, hormonal) and psychological processes

Mathematical computations by a computer are faster than your quickest mathematical computations because the top speed of a neural impulse is about ________ times slower than the speed of electricity through the wired circuitry in a computer.

3 million

glial cells

cells in the nervous system that support, nourish, and protect neurons; they may also play a role in learning, thinking, and memory


Enables muscle action, learning, and memory


Influences movement, learning, attention, and emotion


Affects mood, hunger, sleep, and arousal


Helps control alertness and arousal


A major inhibitory neurotransmitter


A major excitatory neurotransmitter; involved in memory


Neurotransmitters that influence the perception of pain or pleasure

An electrical current traveling down a wire is to ________ as an electrical current not moving is to ________.

Action Potential; Resting Potential

The ________ the body region, the ________ the somatosensory cortex area devoted to it.

More sensitive; larger

false news

Some misinformation gets fed to us intentionally


In experiments, statements become more believable when they are repeated

group identity

committing to an identity that is based on values and ideology of the groups one is connected to

The simplified reality of laboratory experiments is most helpful in enabling psychologists to

develop general principles that help explain behavior

When an arithmetic average is reported in the news, it is most important for readers to

consider whether it is distorted by a few extreme cases

When confronted by a large and potentially dangerous snake, Alissa experienced a surge of energy triggered by the release of ________ into her bloodstream.


Sensory neurons transmit signals to


Dr. Santaniello conducts research on how children's moral thinking changes as they grow older. It is most likely that Dr. Santaniello is a(n) ________ psychologist.


Behavior geneticists are most interested in assessing the extent to which heredity and environment contribute to our

individual differences

Environmental influences on personality traits are most clearly highlighted by comparing

identical twins raised together with identical twins raised apart

People who suffer partial paralysis as a result of damage to the ________will sometimes obstinately claim they can move a paralyzed limb.

Right Cerebral Hemisphere

The process of forming new neurons within the brain is called


People from around the world are able to communicate through facial expressions, such as a smile or a frown. This demonstrates that

the same underlying processes guide people everywhere

A majority of respondents in a national survey agreed that "classroom prayer should not be allowed in public schools." Only 33 percent of respondents in a similar survey agreed that "classroom prayer in public schools should be banned." These differing fi

wording effects

To identify which of Lucy's brain areas was most active when she talked, neuroscientists gave her a temporarily radioactive form of glucose and a(n)

PET scan

To detect Mr. Ziegler's loss of brain tissue from a degenerative disease, his physicians are most likely to request that he receive a(n)

MRI scan

Contemporary psychology is best defined as the science of

behavior and mental processes

In which brain structure are nerves from the left side of the brain routed to the right side of the body?


Zack's doctor performed a test to reveal both the function and structure of his brain. Which brain scan was used?


To identify which specific brain areas are most active during a particular mental task, researchers would be most likely to make use of a(n)


Dr. McAllister is studying anger as it relates to violent criminal offenders. He is particularly interested in how environmental circumstances relate to feelings of anger among these offenders, as well as how feelings of anger affect thought processes. He

cognitive perspective