psych midterm

fixed-ratio schedule

a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified number of responses

fixed-interval schedule

a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified time has elapsed

variable-ratio schedule

a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response after an unpredictable number of responses

variable-interval schedule

a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals


An amplified recording of the waves of electrical activity (not structure) that sweep across the brain's surface. These waves are measured by electrodes placed on the scalp. used for seizures and sleep disorders.


neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward. excess linked to schizophrenia, starved leads to parkinson's disease.


A neurotransmitter that enables learning, memory, and muscle action. Alzheimer's causes ACh to deteriorate.


A neurotransmitter that affects mood, hunger, sleep, and arousal. Undersupply linked to depression.


A neurotransmitter that helps control alertness and arousal. undersupply can depress mood.


a major inhibitory neurotransmitter. undersupply linked to seizures, tremors, and insomnia.


A major excitatory neurotransmitter, involved in memory. Oversupply can cause migraines or seizures.


stimulant. most used psychoactive drug in the US.


drugs that block the function of a neurotransmitter


drugs which mimic the activity of neurotransmitters


in operant conditioning, combining the steps of a sequence to progress toward a final action

human factors psychology

a branch of psychology that explores how people and machines interact

hindsight bias

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

illusory correlation

the perception of a relationship where none exists


an organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts.

shape constancy

the tendency to interpret the shape of an object as being constant, even when its shape changes on the retina

Gestalt's Principles

Figure and ground, proximity, similarity, continuation, closure

latent learning

learning that occurs but is not apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate it (subconsciously learning something).

grouping principles

proximity, similarity, continuity, closure, connectedness

split-brain surgery

procedure that involves severing the corpus callosum to reduce the spread of epileptic seizures

night terrors

happens during stages 3 and 4 of sleep. don't remember anything.


different from night terrors because you usually can remember them

parallel processing

The processing of several aspects of a problem simultaneously; the brain's natural mode of information processing for many functions, including vision. Contrasts with the step-by-step (serial) processing of most computers and of conscious problem solving.

intrinsic rewards

the personal satisfaction and enjoyment felt after attaining a goal

extrinsic award

the payoff, such as money, a person receives from others for performing a particular task. man made

cocktail party effect

Ability to concentrate on one voice amongst a crowd


an operant conditioning procedure in which reinforcers guide behavior toward closer and closer approximations of the desired behavior

Broca's area

Controls language expression - an area of the frontal lobe, usually in the left hemisphere, that directs the muscle movements involved in speech.

Wernicke's area

controls language reception - a brain area involved in language comprehension and expression; usually in the left temporal lobe

positive punishment

addition of something unpleasant to make a behavior stop

negative punishment

the removal of a good stimulus following a given behavior in order to discourage behavior

positive reinforcement

Increasing behaviors by presenting positive stimuli

negative reinforcement

Increasing behaviors by stopping or reducing negative stimuli

binocular cues

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

retinal disparity

small difference your eyes see and your brain calculates the distance

visual cliff

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

confounding variable

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

twin studies

good for nature vs nurture issue

longitudinal study

research in which the same people are restudied and retested over a long period

cross-sectional study

A study in which a representative cross section of the population is tested or surveyed at one specific time.

Psychoanalytical Perspective

the perspective that stresses the influences of unconscious forces on human behavior

Humanist Approach

a perspective focused on our inner capacities for growth and self-fulfillment. carl rogers and abraham maslow

taste aversion

a type of classical conditioning in which a previously desirable or neutral food comes to be perceived as bad because it is associated with negative stimulation

operational definition of a defendant variable

means of measuring the results

sensory adaptation

diminished sensitivity as a consequence of constant stimulation

Cognitive Psychology

the scientific study of mental processes, including perception, thought, memory, and reasoning

double-blind study

An experiment in which neither the participant nor the researcher knows whether the participant has received the treatment or the placebo

place theory

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

frequency theory

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

correlation coefficient

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

negative correlation

as one variable increases, the other decreases

positive correlation

A correlation where as one variable increases, the other also increases, or as one decreases so does the other. Both variables move in the same direction.

Ethical Guidelines for Research

- informed consent
- benefit-to-risk ratio
- confidentiality
- protection from harm

linear perspective

A monocular cue for perceiving depth; the more parallel lines converge, the greater their perceived distance.

delta waves

the large, slow brain waves associated with deep sleep

alpha waves

the relatively slow brain waves of a relaxed, awake state

beta waves

smaller and faster brain waves, typically indicating mental activity (awake, alert)

neural messages

primarily an electrical event


receive messages from the sending neuron


A junction (gap) where information is transmitted from one neuron to the next.


below one's absolute threshold for conscious awareness

absolute threshold

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

difference threshold (just noticeable difference)

the smallest level of added or reduced stimulation required to sense that a change in stimulation has occurred

central nervous system

consists of the brain and spinal cord

peripheral nervous system

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

somatic nervous system

the division of the peripheral nervous system that controls the body's skeletal muscles (voluntary)

autonomic nervous system

the part of the peripheral nervous system that controls the glands and the muscles of the internal organs (involuntary). 2 branches

sympathetic nervous system

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

parasympathetic nervous system

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


rapid eye movement, deepest stage of sleep, paralyzed body, babies spend most time in this stage, restorative


A neural center located in the limbic system that helps process memories

prefrontal cortex

part of frontal lobe responsible for thinking, planning, and language


a neural structure lying below the thalamus; directs eating, drinking, body temperature (survival drive)


a coiled, bony, fluid-filled tube in the inner ear; sound waves traveling through the cochlear fluid trigger nerve impulses. contains organ of court

drug categories

depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens

kinesthetic sense

the sense of body position and movement of body parts relative to each other

vestibular sense

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


sleep and arousal


A limbic system structure involved in fear and aggression.


the base of the brainstem; controls heartbeat and breathing


the brain's sensory switchboard, located on top of the brainstem; it directs messages

limbic system

neural system located below the cerebral hemispheres; associated with emotions and drives


the "little brain" at the rear of the brainstem; functions include processing sensory input and coordinating movement output and balance

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

monocular cues

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