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PSY 1100 Final Exam Study Guide-Complete

Final Exam Study Guide
Chapter 1 – The Science of Psychology
 Psychology: the science of behavior and mental processes
o Can be appreciated for its individual perspectives and for the whole that it makes
 Psychiatry: the medical specialization focusing on the brain and its disorders
 Historical perspectives
o Structuralism: concerned with the structure of the mind
 Introspection: looking inward
 Wundt: father of psychology
o Functionalism: concerned with the function of psychological elements
 James
o Psychoanalysis: emphasized the unconscious and childhood experience,
psychology influenced by hidden and internal emotions
 Freud: put psychology on the map
o Behaviorism: concerned with overt & observable behavior, less with inner
 Pavlov, Skinner, Bandura
o Humanism: focus on psychological health, growth and satisfying needs
 Maslow, Rodgers
 Modern perspectives
o Multiculturalism: emphasizes the influence of culture on behavior and mental
o Evolutionary psychology: view psychological processes as evolving through
natural selection
 Natural selection: traits that ensure survival are most likely passes
through generations
 Nature v nurture: is psychology the result of nature/genes or
o Cognitive psychology: investigates how we think, concerned with how we
perceive, process and remember information
o Biopsychology: current day, the study of how brain activity is linked with
psychological processes
 Ex: cognitive neuroscience
o Neuroscience: emphasizes the link between behavior and the biological
functioning of the brain
o Positive psychology: emphasizes people’s strengths and weaknesses
o Biopsychosocial theory: uniquely comprehensive and popular, emphasizes
biological, psychological and social factors as influences on behavior
 Critical thinking: necessary in psychology
o Critical thinkers can analyze the world around us
o Pseudopsychology: information that is not supported by science but still may
appear to be
Confirmation bias: a tendency to prefer information that confirms what you
thought in the first place
o Belief perseverance: a tendency to maintain a belief even when evidence
suggests it is incorrect
Descriptive research: research that describes a phenomenon without attempting to
determine what causes the phenomenon
o Examines the situation as is
o Cannot determine cause-and-effect
o Types
 Case Study: studying one individual in hopes of revealing the truth of all
 Ex: brain damage, children studies
 Survey: technique of determining the self-reported attitudes or
behaviors of people, usually by questioning a representative sample of
 Random sampling: selecting from a population/ all cases in a
group a sample/a few cases where each member has an equal
chance of inclusion into a sample; unbiased sampling
 Naturalistic observation: observing and recording behavior in naturally
occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the
Correlational research:
o Correlation: a measure (r) of the extent to which two factors vary together,
how well one predicts the other
o Correlation coefficient: -1 < r < +1
 r value indicates direction of relationship, either positive or negative
 the number indicates strength of relationship, closer to 1 stronger, closer
to 0 weaker, if 0 then no relationship
o Positive correlation: variables both move in the same direction
o Negative correlation: variables move in opposite directions
o Scatterplot: graph comprised of points generated by values of two variables
 Slope: depicts the direction
 Amount of scatter: strength of relationship
o Correlation-causation fallacy: correlation does not imply causation, does not tell
us what the direction is it only tells us there is a relationship between two
Experimental research: method in which the investigator manipulates one or more
factors or independent variables to observe the effect on behavior or mental process
or dependent variables
o Control condition: the condition of an experiment that contrasts with the
experimental condition and serves as a comparison for evaluating the effect of
treatment, participants in the control condition do not receive the
Random assignment: assigning participants to experimental and control
conditions by chance, thus minimizing preexisting differences
o Independent variables: the cause, the variable whose values is controlled by
the experimenter, it is manipulated
o Dependent variables: the effect, that which is affected by the causal influence
embodied in the independent variable, it is measured
o Experimental group: receive the treatment that is the focus of the study
o Control group: do not receive the treatment that is the focus of the study
o Placebo effect: told receiving pain reliever will feel less pain since you believe
that it is working even though it is a placebo
Scientific method
o Process=Observation>Theory>Hypotheses>Research & Observations>generate
or refine Observations
o Theory: an explanation using set of principles that organizes and predicts
behaviors or events; a broad idea or set of closely related ideas that attempts
to explain certain observations
 Ex: low self esteem leads to depression
o Hypothesis: a testable prediction, often arrived at logically from a theory
 Ex: People with low self-esteem score higher on a depression scale
o Research
 Ex: administer tests of self-esteem and depression
o Observation
 Ex: see if a low score on ones predicts a high score on the other
o Operational definitions: defining a circumstance or behavior in such a way so
that it can be objectively observed and measured
Chapter 2 – Brain and Behavior
 Neurons: microscopic cell
o Dendrites: receive information from other neurons, collecting chemical
information, sent to cell body
o Cell body (soma): collected information is sent here, main part of cell, houses
nucleus and other parts of the cell
o Axon: information sent from cell body out to other cells via axon, terminal
branches of axon where terminal buttons release chemicals to other cells,
signal is electrical
o Myelin sheath: it is fat, covers the axon, it is insulating to the axon, speeds up
the transmitting of the message that is being sent, spaces between are nodes
o Action potential: the release/firing of an electrical impulse that travels through
the axon
o Synapse: “space” where chemicals or neurotransmitters are going into
o Neural plasticity: the ability of the brain to change continuously throughout an
individual’s life
o Neurotransmitters: chemicals sent out by cell and leave by terminal buttons
Acetylcholine: associated with memories, neurons in brain produce this,
associated with moving muscle
 Loose: Altzheimer’s
 Agonist: nicotine, botox
 GABA: neural inhibitor, slow down whole nervous system
 Loose: seizures, insomnia, tremors
 Agonists: valium, xanax
 Dopamine: cells in the brain produce this, about motor movements
 Loose: Parkinson’s, have a hard time initiating motor movements
 Too much: Schizophrenia-hallucinations and delusions
 Agonist: amphetamines, heroin; addictive substances
 Antagonists: antipsychotic drugs
 Serotonin: cells in brain produce this
 Low levels: depression and anxiety
 Agonist: antidepressants (Prozac, Zoloft)
 Endorphins: the body’s natural pain reliever
 Agonists: opiate drugs, morphine, heroin
 Epinephrine:
 Bipolar: lithium is a mood stabilizer
 Low levels: depression
 High levels: mania
 Agonist: a drug or substance that is so similar to a neurotransmitter that
it acts just like one, or mimics it, it can open the channel to the
neurotransmitter and go in
 Antagonist: a drug or substance that is so similar to a neurotransmitter
that it acts just like one, or mimics it, but it can close the channel to the
neurotransmitter and block it
Brain stem: within hindbrain, where all basic life support functions are controlled
(sleeping, eating, heart beating,etc)
Cerebellum: within hindbrain, associated with balance and fine motor movements
Medulla: part of the brainstem involved in heartbeat and breathing
Thalamus: within hindbrain, at the top of the brain stem, where a lot of sensory
information is gathered and relayed to other areas of the brain (senses but smell)
Midbrain: tiny, area called substania nigra (black substance) that is associated with
parkinson’s, any voluntary motor movements have to go thru there
Limbic system: forming habits, memory consolidation
o Hypothalamus: regulating basic biological functions (sleep, eat, thirst, etc)
 Insomnia, disturbed appetite
o Hippocampus: associated with forming new memories
 HM- no new memories after surgery for epilepsy, learn motor skills
o Amygdala: means almond, associated with sensing a threat, interpreting
aggressive behaviors and reading reactions displaying fear, ability to feel fear
 Charles Whitman- Texas Shooter
Cerebrum (forebrain)
o Cerebral cortex: everything above the limbic system, deep grooves allow to
pact in more neurons
o Two hemispheres
 Right cerebral hemisphere: associated with spacial skills and movement,
controlling movements on left side of the body, see on left eye goes to
right side brain
 Left cerebral hemisphere: associated with controlling movements on
right side of body, language, logic, math, recognition of objects,
knowing how to use seen objects, see on right eye goes to left brain
o Corpus callosum: how both left and right hemispheres communicate with one
another, thick band of fibers that connects information together
 Split brain: epilepsy
o Frontal lobe: in the front, associated with movement, personality, decision
making, preferences, emotions, higher decision making processes
 Motor cortex: every part is associated with moving a certain part of
your body
 Broca's area: associated with speech production
 Broca’s aphasia: know what they want to say and understand what you
are saying they just cannot get it out, strokes, get frustrated
o Parietal lobe: on top and sides, associated with sensation (sensory cortex)
 Somatosensory cortex: receives all sensory information input from the
o Temporal lobe: on the sides, associated with hearing (auditory cortex)
 Wernicke's area: associated with sound and understanding speech
 Wernicke’s aphasia: damage to this area- no longer understand speech
and what they say does not make sense, not frustrated
o Occipital lobe: at the back, associated with vision (visual cortex)
 The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat- visual agnosia
Nervous system: control all behavior, thoughts, feelings
o Central nervous system: brain and spinal cord
o Peripheral nervous system: everything else, all nerves go to those parts of your
 Somatic nervous system: controlling al voluntary motor movements of
skeletal muscles
 Autonomic nervous system: controlling life sustaining functions
(digestion, breathing, heart beating), controls self-regulated action of
internal organs and glands
 Sympathetic division: arousing, activated whenever experience
flight or fight reaction
 Parasympathetic division: calming, helps you to relax (esp after
having to use sympathetic)
Study the brain
Brain imaging / MRI, CT
Live electrical stimulation
Hormones: chemicals made by glands of the endocrine system, affect certain tissues
throughout the body
Cortisol: stress hormone
Chapter 3 – Sensation and Perception
 Sensation: taking in all the raw material in your environment, all 5 senses, information
is detected by sensory receptors, how we detect physical energy from the
environment and encode it as neural signals, provides raw information
o Bottom-up processing: senses becomes a perception with no influence of
expectation or previous experiences
 Absolute threshold: the minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus
50% of the time, the minimum amount of signal that a person can detect
o Ex: ticking clock
o Signal detection theory: predicting how and when we detect the presences of a
signal amid background noise, assumes there is no single absolute threshold,
but that detection depends also on a person’s experience, expectation,
motivation and level of fatigue
 Subliminal threshold: the ability to detect information below the absolute threshold of
one’s conscious awareness
o Subliminal priming: the unconscious activation of certain associations
 Difference threshold: just noticeable difference, the minimum difference a person can
detect between any two stimuli 50% of the time
o Ex: navy blue and black socks
o Weber’s Law: the principal that two stimuli must differ by a constant minimum
percentage in order to be perceived as different, the difference threshold
increases with the magnitude of the stimulus
 Sensory adaptation: reduced sensitivity resulting from constant stimulation
o Benefit: allows us to focus on informative changes in our environment without
being distracted by the uninformative constant stimulation
 Ex: garments, odors
 Habituation: when you decrease or stop responding to a stimulus that repeats or stays
 Selective attention: paying more attention to one sensory channel than others
 Transduction: in sensation the transforming of stimulus energy (light, sound, smell)
into neural messages that our brain can interpret, it is a process
o Sensation>organ>brain
 Vision
o Stimulus energy/light>eye>brain
 We encounter waves of electromagnetic radiation
 Our eyes respond to some of these waves
 Our brain turns these energy wave sensations into colors
o Anatomy:
Cornea: outer surface of the eye, protect the eye, provides some focus
Pupil: small opening through which light enters the eye
Iris: colored muscle surrounding pupil, adjusts light intake by dilating
and constricting
 Lens: focuses the light as an image on the eye’s back surface
 Retina: the eye’s back surface that contains receptor cells that converts
light energy into neural impulses sent to the brain
 Has 3 layers: ganglion cells, bipolar cells and receptors cells
 Rods: retinal receptors that detect black, white and gray,
necessary for peripheral and twilight vision
 Cones: retinal receptors that detect fine detail and color,
function in daylight or well-lit conditions
 Wavelength/color (hue): the color of light determined by its
 Optic nerve: bundle of axons of ganglion cells, carries neural
impulses from eye to brain
 Blind spot: the point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye,
hole in retina that allows nerve to exit the brain
o Visual information processing: the images we see are not made of neural
signals, once neural signals enter the optic nerve they are sent through the
thalamus to the visual cortex
o Trichromatic theory: theory that the retina contains three different types of
color receptors, some sensitive to red, some to green and some to blue, which
when stimulated in combination can produce the perception of any color, the
retinas red, green and blue cones respond in varying degrees to different
o Color blindness: result of lacking function in red cones, green cones or both
o Opponent-process theory: theory that opposing retinal process (red-green,
yellow-blue, black-white) enable color vision, their signals are the processes by
the nervous systems opponent-process cells en route to the visual cortex
 In the retina and the thalamus some neurons are turned on by red, but
turned off by green and vice versa
o Change blindness: a failure to notice changes in your visual field simply because
you expect otherwise
o Inattentional blindness: a failure to notice something in your visual field simply
because your attention was focused elsewhere
o Stimulus energy/sound waves>ear>brain
o Sound waves: molecules of air bumping into each other creating waves of
compressed and expanded air
 Frequency: perception of pitch
 Pitch: length of the sound waves, perceived as high and low sounds
 Low Frequency=low pitched sound
 High frequency=high pitched sound
Amplitude: perception of loudness
Loudness: height or intensity of sound wave, perceived as loud and soft
 Low frequency=loud sound
 High frequency=soft sound
o Anatomy:
 Outer ear: collects sound and funnels it to the eardrum
 Middle ear: the sound waves hit the eardrum and move the hammer
anvil and stirrup in ways that amplify the vibrations. The stirrup then
sends these vibrations to the oval window of the cochlea
 Inner ear: waves of fluid move from the oval window over the cochlea’s
hair receptor cells, these cells send signals through the auditory nerves
to the temporal lobe of the brain
 Cochlea: spiral fluid filled structure in the inner ear that sends sound
waves to the brain via the auditory nerve
Olfaction/Smell: source is chemical molecules breathed in through the nose, receptors
are millions of receptors at the top of the nasal cavity
Gustation/Taste: source is the chemical molecules in the mouth, receptors are the
basic tongue receptors for sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami (savoriness)
Somatosenses/Touch: the source is pressure, warmth, cold on skin, skin receptors
detect pressure, warmth, cold and pain
Kinesthetic/body position sense: the source is any change in position of a body part
relative to each other, interacting with vision, the receptors are all over the body
Vestibular/body movement sense: the source is the movement of fluids in the innner
ear caused by head/body movement, sense of balance, the receptors are hairlike in
the semicircular canals and vestibular sacs
Perception: how interpret and organize information given by sensations, high level
brain functions (experiences, motivations, expectations, etc) process the sensations,
refers to how we select, organize and interpret information, constructs raw
information into our experiences
o Top-down processing: what your expectations or previous experiences
influence what you perceive
Perceptual Principles
o Gestalt principles: means whole, our tendency to integrate pieces of
information into meaningful wholes
 Organization principles are most easily seen through visual illusions which
reveal how we organize and interpret our sensations
o Form rules:
 Figure-ground: organization of the visual field into objects/figures that
stand out from their surrounding/ground
 Grouping: the tendency to organize stimuli into coherent groups
 Proximity: tendency to group nearby figures together
 Continuity: tendency to perceive smooth, continuous patterns
rather than discontinuous ones
Closure: tendency to fill in gap to create a complete, whole
Depth rules:
 Depth perception: the ability to see objects in 3-D although the images
that strike the retina are 2-D, allows us to judge distance
 Binocular cues: depth cues that depend on the use of two eyes
 Retinal disparity: by comparing images from the two eyes the
brain compute distance
o The greater the disparity between the two images, the
closer the object
 Convergence: the extent to which the eyes converge inward
when looking at an object
o The greater the inward strain, the closer the object
 Monocular cues: depth cues that require the use of only one eye
 Interposition: when one object appears to block the view of
another, we perceive it as closer
 Relative size: if we know the relative size of certain objects, we
perceive them as further away when they appear smaller
 Linear perspective: when parallel lines appear to converge, we
perceive the convergence as further away
 Relative height: things at the top of your field of vision seem far,
things at the bottom seem close
 Relative motion: motion parallex, when we are moving, objects
that are stable appear to move, if what we are viewing moves in
the opposite direction we perceive it to be close, if what we are
viewing seems to move in the same direction we perceive it to
be far
o Constancy rules:
 Shape: we perceive the form of familiar objects as constant even while
our retinal image of them change
 Size: we perceive the size of familiar objects as constant even while our
retinal images of them change
Perceptual set: a mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another
o Determines perceptual set:
 Schemas: general knowledge about the physical and social world
 Through experience we form concepts that we use to help us
organize and interpret unfamiliar information
o Context effects: a given stimulus may trigger radically different perceptions
because of the immediate context
ESP: the debatable notion of perception without sensation
Parapsychology: the study of topics that fall outside the range of mainstream
Chapter 4 - Consciousness
 Consciousness: awareness of self and environment, affected by brain chemistry,
expectations and culture
o Dual processing: we simultaneously process info consciously and unconsciously
o Controlled process: require maximum focused attention, taking notes
o Automatic processes: require minimal attention, walking, chewing gum
o Subconscious process: below awareness, sleeping, dreaming
o No awareness: coma, anesthesia, material we have repressed
o Selective attention: focusing consciousness on something particular
o Inattentional blindness: failing to see something obvious because attention is
focused elsewhere
 Sleep
o Circadian rhythm: 24 hours biological cycle (around day)
o Stages of sleep
 Stage I: Brain powers down 50%: hypnagogic imagery, fleeting images
 Stage II: Heart rate slows, temperature drops, muscles relax
 Stage III: deep sleep
 Stage IV: deep sleep, about 45 min to get there, sleep walking, sleep
talking, wetting the bed, hard to awaken
 Stage V: REM Sleep, brain waves resemble wakefulness, sleep paralysis
 REM sleep: rapid eye movement, after stage II, as night
progresses spend more time in REM and less in deep
o Insomnia: sleep disorder, consistent difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or
achieving high quality sleep
o Narcolepsy: a disorder of sleep attacks characterized by immediate and
unexpected shifts from wakefulness to REM sleep
o Sleep apnea: sleep disorder, caused by interruptions of breathing that cause
repeat waking
 Theories of sleep: nonsense, message, generative, soul travel, visitation
o Evolutionary: help us to conserve energy, be still when predators are active
o Repair/restoration: recuperation from daily activities both body, mind and
o Memory consolidation: strengthens and stabilizes memory traces
o Supports growth: pituitary releases growth hormone during sleep
o Types
 Nonsense: dreams are just imaginary nonsense, random images and
stories to be enjoyed for what they’re with and then forgotten
 Message: dreams contain important messages, maybe from others or
from parts of yourself that need to be heard
 Generative: dreams predict the future and generate or determine it
 Soul travel: dreams are the experience of your soul wandering outside
your body
 Visitation: dreams are visits by supernatural spirits to the dreamer
 Theories of dreaming: Freud is the father of theories on dreaming
Psychodynamic: dreams provide access to the unconscious, “psychic safety
valve”, manifest content, latent content/hidden meaning, wish fulfillment
 Freud’s theory of dreaming
o Neural activation: brain tries to make sense of random firing or activation of
 aka Activation-synthesis hypothesis
o Information processing: dreams process, assimilate and update info from the
o Physiological function: regular stimulation from REM helps develop and
preserve neural pathways
o Cognitive development:
o Lucid dreaming: dreaming experience in which you have some control over the
dream while you remain asleep
Hypnosis: state of concentration and selection meditation, not a trance, not like sleep,
useful for pain, medical conditions and habit disorders
o Social influence theory: subject caught up in hypnotized role
o Divided consciousness
 Dissociation: split between consciousness levels
The path to addiction:
o Experimentation>regular use>preoccupation>dependence
 Dependence now use to feel normal
Psychoactive drugs
o Why use:
 Sociocultural influences: chronic stress + environment that promotes
substance abuse use as an escape = widespread dependence
 Addictive personality theory: factors that may predispose one to
use/abuse are impulsivity, sociability, neuroticism/tendency to
experience negative emotions (self-medication hypothesis)
o Tolerance: decreased effectiveness of a particular amount of drug
o Withdrawal: discomfort for following discontinuation
o Physical dependence: drugs act like neurotransmitters so body procures less,
need more drug to compensate for subnormal levels
o Psychological dependence: psychological need, want to reduce negative
o Types of psychoactive drugs:
 Depressants: calm neural activity & slow body functions CNS
 Action: relaxation due to reduced neural transmission
 Drugs: Alcohol, benzodiazepines, rohypnol, ketamine, GHB,
sedatives, anti-anxiety drugs
 Intoxication: disinhibition, sedation, incoordination, impair
attention or memory, mood lability
 Withdrawal: anxiety, insomnia, seizures, nausea, vomiting,
Stimulants: increase neural activity and speeds up body functions
 Action: forces dopamine, norepinephrine into synapse or
interferes with their reabsorption
 Drugs: cocaines, PCP, MDMA, Mehamphetamines, Mescalie,
Ritalin, caffeine, nicotine
 Intoxication: euphoria, hypervigilance anxiety, anger, impaired
judgement, agitation, weight loss
 Withdrawal: crash, dysphoria, fatigue, vivd nightmares, agitation
 Hallucinogens: distort perceptions, cause hallucinations
 Action: forces additional serotonin into the synapse
 Drugs: LSD, Mushrooms/psllocybin, marijuana, MDMA
 Intoxication: disinhibition, pain relief, sensory distortion,
 Withdrawal: insomnia, mood disorders
 Opiates: synthetic or naturally occurring, highly addictive, depressant,
pain and anxiety reduction and pleasure
 Action: plugs into opoid receptors and creates feelings of intense
 Drugs: heroin, morphine, opium
 Intoxication: euphoria followed by apathy, impaired judgement,
attention, memory
 Withdrawal: dysphoria, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, fever,
Meditation: activity designed to increase focused attention with the ultimate purpose
of improving your mental state
Mindfulness: awareness of your moment to moment experiences fully, deliberatively
and without distraction
Chapter 5 - Memory
 Memory: is a constructive process,
o Stages of Memory
 Encoding: entering information into memory
 Storage: retaining information in memory
 Retrieval: pulling information out of memory
 Information Processing Model: encoding, storage, retrieval
o Sensory memory>encoding>working/short term
memory>encoding/retrieval>long term memory storage
o Sensory Memory: capacity is 17 items, auditory duration is 2-4 seconds, visual
duration is ½ second, initial input of sensory information is unconscious,
independent registration of physical characteristics
 Echoic memory: auditory sensory memory, all the info your ears took in
during the past few seconds
 Iconic memory: visual sensory memory, all the info your eyes took in
during the last fraction of a second
Short-Term/Working memory: capacity is 7 +/- 2 items so 5-9 items, duration is
30 seconds
 Chunking: can increase capacity of information by chunking, use it to
hold more information at one time in short memory
 Maintenance rehearsal: repeating it over and over again in your head
and hoping it sticks
o Working memory
 auditory rehearsal: mentally repeating things long enough to remember
short term
 visual spacial information: mentally visualizing information, place, etc
 central executive: focuses attention
o Long- term memory: capacity is unlimited, duration is unlimited
 Implicit memory: hard to verbalize or talk about
 Procedural memory: usually a memory from motor skill (ride a
 Classically conditioned memory: automatic reflexes (taste
 Explicit/declarative memory: easy to verbalize, have verbal answers
 Semantic memory: memories for facts, information that is
usually disconnected from personal experiences, basic
 Episodic memory: for own personal life experiences, can tell
stories based on memories, feelings, expressions, experiences
o Flashbulb memory: experience very intense that is a vivid
lasting memory, don’t have good photographic memory
but do have extremely strong sense of certainty even
though we have re constructed it over time
 Elaborative rehearsal: when you take a concept and elaborate on it,
relates information, what it means, what it is, come up with example
o Retrieval: when we get information out of our long term memory
 Retrieval cues: question is trying to cue you to retrieve that specific
piece of information
 Recognition cue: just need to recognize, the answer is there, just
need to know which one the select, compare what is in long
term memory
 Recall cue: you have to provide the information, the answer is
not there, you have to provide the answer on your own
o Context dependent memory: ability to retrieve information based on the
context we are in, feeling a certain way triggers certain memories that has the
same feeling context you are in
Levels of Processing Model
o Levels of processing: how deeply info is processed aka deep processing
o Shallow processing: currently thinking about but not committing to long term
memory, not learning that information,
Deep processing: accomplished by using elaborative rehearsal
Decay: the dwindling or loss of info for memory due to the passing time
Interference: problems remembering newer info caused by older info
Serial position effect: tendency to remember the first and last items better than the
items in the middle
Primacy effect: tendency to remember the first items in a series particularly well
Recency effect: tendency to remember the last items in a series particularly well
Spacing effect: tendency to have better long-term memory for info when attempts to
study it are spaced apart rather that crammed together
Massed practice: many repetitions at once, like cramming
Distributed practice: repetitions spread over time
Amnesia: inability to remember some or all information, temporarily or permanently
Eyewitness testimony: an account given by people of an event they have witnessed
Misinformation effect: tendency of false or misleading info presented after the fact to
be mistakenly incorporated into memory
Hindsight bias: remembering your predictions incorrectly after the outcome is
Repressed memories: real memories that have been pushed out of consciousness
because they are emotionally threatening
Motivated forgetting: people may forget unwanted memories either consciously or
Chapter 6 - Learning
 Learning: acquiring new and relatively enduring information or behaviors
o Associative learning: certain events happen together
 Conditioning: process of learning associations
 Behaviorism: a perspective in psychology that emphasizes observable behavior over
internal mental processes
 Classical conditioning: learning to associate two things and respond involuntarily
o Pavlov: animal physiologist, studying digestive system of dogs via salivatory
responses, discovered and conditioned reflexes, used different types of stimuli
and responses
o Watson: conducted Little Albert experiment
 Little Albert: experiment where a baby was conditioned to feel fear
upon seeing a white fluffy rat by associating the rat with a loud bang,
began to generalize all white fluffy things by showing fear at anything
with that description; generalization and discrimination
o Unconditioned Stimulus: no learning had to take place in order to get a
response, stimulus causes a response automatically
o Unconditioned Response: automatic response to a stimulus that occurs
naturally, no need for learning
o Neutral Stimulus: should not illicit or cause any response
o Conditioned Stimulus: formerly neutral stimulus that now causes response
because of its link to an unconditioned stimulus
Conditioned Response: response to a conditioned stimulus acquired through
o Acquisition: point in the learning process at which the neutral stimulus
becomes a conditioned stimulus because it causes the conditioned response
o Extinction: point in the learning process at which the conditioned stimulus no
longer causes the conditioned response because it is no longer linked to the
unconditioned stimulus
o Generalization: process by which stimuli that are similar to the conditioned
stimulus cause the same conditioned response
o Discrimination: process by which stimuli that are different from the
conditioned stimulus fail to cause the same conditioned response
o Spontaneous Recovery: after a temporary period of inactivity the return of a
conditioned response that had become extinct
o Taste Aversion: dislike towards a certain food or flavor due to a bad experience
(getting sick, food poisoning) caused by that particular food
Operant conditioning: learning to associate a behavior we do voluntarily with its
consequence (reward or punishment), active, consequences of voluntary behavior
affect the likelihood that the behavior will recur
o B.F. Skinner: psych professor of U of Minnesota, Indiana University and
Harvard, inspired by Thorndike, spent career conducting extensive studies on
animal behavior, expand what we know about the low of effect and operant
conditioning, fame—ability to apply findings about animal behavior to human
behavior, “all behavior is determined by its consequences, so we have no free
will to act as we want” controversial claim
o Reinforcement: any consequence of a behavior that makes that behavior more
likely to recur
 Positive: getting something desirable for a behavior so behavior
 Negative: removing something undesirable so a behavior continues
o Primary reinforcer: innate reinforcer that requires no learning to have a
reinforcing effect because it satisfies a biological need
o Secondary reinforcer: reinforcer that requires learned link to a primary
reinforcer to have a reinforcing effect
o Continuous reinforcement: pattern by which a behavior is reinforced every time
it occurs
o Partial reinforcement: intermittent, pattern by which a behavior is reinforced
only some of the time
o Punishment:
 Positive: decrease frequency of behavior by getting something bad
 Negative: decrease frequency of behavior by removing something good
o Shaping: process of gradually learning a complex behavior through the
reinforcement of each of its small steps
Observational learning: learning occurs as a result of observing others’ behavior and
consequences rather than your own
Latent learning: learning that has taken place but cannot be directly observed
Insight: perception of a solution to a problem that results from cognitive
understanding rather than from trial and error
Learned helplessness: absence of any attempt to help oneself that results from
previously learning that such attempts are useless
Chapter 7 - Cognition: Thinking, Language, and Intelligence
 Cognition: what your brain does with information, including understanding it,
organizing it, analyzing it and communicating it
o Concepts: mental representation of a category of similar things, actions or
people; the most basic building blocks of thinking, the pieces that you use to
string together thoughts
o Prototype: the most typical or best example within a concept
o Algorithm: formula-like method of problem solving
o Heuristic: an educated guess or rule of thumb method of problem solving
o Mental set: the limits you place on your approach to problem solving based on
what has worked in the past
o Confirmation bias: tendency to prefer information that confirms what you
thought in the first place
o Framing: particular way a question or problem is presented, which can
influence how you respond to it
o Representativeness heuristic: an educated guess based on similarity to a
o Availability heuristic: educated guess based on information that most quickly
and easily comes to mind
o Anchoring heuristic: educated guess in which the starting point has a strong
influence on the conclusion you ultimately reach
o Affect heuristic: tendency to consult one’s emotions instead of estimating
probabilities objectively
o Affective forecasting: efforts to predict one’s emotional reactions to future
o Functional fixedness: tendency to think of things only in terms of their usual
functions, an impediment to problem solving
 Language: our spoken, written or signed words and the ways we combine them to
communicate meaning
o Chomsky’s Nativist theory: the view that language development is best
explained as an innate, biological capacity
o Formalist theory of language development: (aka Behaviorism) economic theory
that teaches that the logic people use to pursue economic goals is culturally
universal and can be explained by universal economic models
o Social-pragmatic theory: perspective of language development that considers
communication as the basic function of language
o One-word Stage: stage in speech development from 1-2 during which a child
speaks mostly in single words
Intelligence: mental potential to learn from experience, solve problems and use
knowledge to adapt to new situations
o Spearman's general intelligence (g): basic intelligence predicts our abilities in
varied academic areas
o Fluid intelligence: Catell, our ability to reason speedily and abstractly, tends to
decrease during late adulthood, solve new problems
o Crystallized intelligence: stored knowledge
o Practical Intelligence: the street smarts needed to successfully complete the
tasks necessary in daily life
o Successful Intelligence: kind of street smarts that help you get by in your day to
day lives just as much as book smarts do
o Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences: Seven defined types of intelligence
 Linguistic: writing, speaking and understanding language
 Logical-mathematical: math, science, logic and problem solving
 Musical: playing instruments, singing and creating and appreciating
 Visual-spatial: reasoning about physical objects in three-dimensional
 Bodily-kinesthetic: dancing, sports and movement-related tasks
 Interpersonal: interacting with others as well as understanding others’
thoughts and feelings
 Intrapersonal: self-awareness
o Naturalistic: understanding and appreciating plants, animals, weather and
other aspects of the environment
o Existential: contemplating the meaning of life and other deep philosophical
o Emotional Intelligence: ability to perceive, understand, manage and use
emotions, sense and manage emotions in yourself and others
o Intelligence test: method for assessing an individual’s mental aptitudes and
comparing them with those of others, using numerical scores
 Intelligence Quotient (IQ): defined originally as the ratio of mental age
to chronological age multiplied by 100 (IQ=ma/ca*100), contemporary
intelligence tests, average performance for a given age is assigned a
score of 100
 Normal curve: a symmetrical, bell shape graph that describes the
distribution of many types of data, most scores fall near the mean (68%
fall within one standard deviation of it) and fewer and fewer near the
 Scores: large number, host, crowd, multitude
 Giftedness: an extreme intelligence defined as having an IQ score of 130
or above
 Intellectual disability: condition of limited mental ability, indicated by an
intelligence score of 70 or below and difficulty in adapting to the
demands of life, varies from mild to profound
Reliability: ability of a test to yield very similar scores for the same
individual over repeated testings
Validity: extent to which a test measures or predicts what it is supposed
Test bias: situation in which different decisions or predictions are made
for members of two groups even when they obtain the same score on
an instrument
Culture-fair intelligence tests: intelligence tests devised using items
common to many cultures
Stereotype threat: self-confirming concern that one will be evaluated
based on a negative stereotype
Chapter 8 - Motivation and Emotions
 Motivation: a need or desire that energizes and directs behavior
o Intrinsic motivation: desire to perform a behavior because the behavior itself is
o Extrinsic motivation: desire to perform a behavior to obtain an externa reward
o Incentive: positive or negative environmental stimulus that motivates
behavior, object or situation outside yourself that you are motivated to acquire
o Instinct theory: theory of motivation stating that humans, like all other
animals, are motivated primarily by instinct
o Drive-reduction theory: theory of motivation stating that unmet biological
drives cause unpleasant sensations that motivate you to meet those needs
o Arousal theory: theory of motivation stating that you are motivated to obtain
and maintain an optimal level of arousal
o Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: explanation of motivation created by Abraham
Maslow based on the idea that certain needs must be satisfied before others
 Emotion: all aspects of feeling, including changes to the body behavior and
o James-Lange theory: theory of emotion stating that you experience emotion by
noticing bodily changes first and then interpreting them as particular feelings
o Cannon-Bard theory: theory of emotion stating that you experience emotion by
simultaneously becoming aware of bodily changes and feelings
o Schachter-Singer theory: theory of emotion stating that the label you assign to
your bodily reaction determines your mental reaction
o Cognitive appraisal theory: theory or emotion stating that what you think about
a stimulus causes the emotion
o Facial Feedback Theory: theory of emotion stating that your brain can influence
your emotions by monitoring your facial expressions
o Emotional regulation: your ability to manage the type, intensity, length and
expression of your own emotions
o Display rules: norms within a group about the acceptable verbal and nonverbal
expression of emotion
o 6 Basic facial expressions: anger, sadness, fear, happiness, disgust and surprise
Chapter 9 - Development Across the Life Span
 Developmental psychology: study of the changes to bod, mind and interpersonal
interaction that people experience across their life span
 Cross-sectional designs: research design in which people of different ages are
compared to each other at the same point in time
 Longitudinal designs: research design in which the same group of people is compared
to itself at different points in time
 Nature and Nurture: question of what determines how we change over time, an
inborn blueprint that unfold inevitably or the influences of the world around us
 Teratogen: any substance that harms the embryo or fetus
 Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development: theory about cognitive development
involving schemas, assimilations, accommodations, stages of cognitive development
o Schema: concept or mental representation that guides the way you make sense
of new information
o Assimilation: making sense of new information by sorting it into already
existing schemas
o Accommodation: making sense of new information by revising or creating new
o Stages of Cognitive Development
 Sensorimotor: first stage, from birth to age 2, when babies understand
the world through sensory experience, babies know something is real
by seeing, hearing, smelling touching or tasting it
 Preoperational: from age 2 to age 7, when children can use language
and other symbols for real objects but still can’t complete many mental
operations, period when kids develop that ability to represent things in
their mind
 Concrete Operational: from age 7 to age 11, children acquire the ability
to think logically about concrete things, they master conservation
 Formal Operational: from age 11 through adulthood, person becomes
able to think logically about abstract things
o Object permanence: ability to realize that an object continues to exist even
when you can’t see, hear or otherwise sense it
o Conservation: mental operation in which an amount or quantity remains the
same regardless of the shape it takes
o Egocentrism: inability to understand a situation from a point of view other than
their own
 Attachment: close emotional bond between 2 people, particularly a young child and
o Harlow's experiment with monkeys: an experiment where monkeys were
placed with 2 mothers, one made of cloth the other of wire, the reactions to
the mothers were studied and attachment to the cloth mothers was observed
highlighted how fundamentally important attachment is in humans and other
animals as well
Ainsworth's attachment styles
 Secure: babies appeared the most stable and well adjusted, when mom
was present, they were comfortable enough to explore the new toys
and interact with the stranger, these babies seemed to use mom as a
secure home base
 Insecure avoidant: babies didn’t seem to care much when mom left,
avoided her when she returned
 Insecure-resistant: babies upset when mom left, didn’t entirely
welcome her return, mixed reaction involving both seeking out mom
and angrily resisting the comfort she offered
 Disorganized: babies seem confused about how to respond when mom
leaves and returns, at different times babies resemble babies in each of
the three other types
Parenting styles
o Authoritarian: parents require children to obey unquestionable strict rules,
parents demand compliance without explanation and with the threat of harsh
o Permissive: parents place minimal demands on children and allow them to run
their own lives
o Authoritative: parents set rules, also explain and negotiate those rules with
their children, parents are more engaged in their kid’s lives than permissive but
not as inflexible controlling as authoritarian, why
Temperament: basic emotional responsiveness that characterizes a person throughout
his or her life span
o 3 types of temperament:
 Easy: well, easy-going, optimistic, positive, acclimate quickly to new
situations and can be calmed in a predictable and manageable way
 Difficult: quick to react negatively to unfamiliar people and things, don’t
fall into predictable sleeping or eating patterns, harder to please or
comfort when they get upset
 Slow to warm: take a long time to get used to new people or situations,
first reaction is to shy away, quiet, low levels of activity
Adolescence: developmental period that encompasses the transition from childhood
to adulthood
o Imaginary audience: believe that their lives are continuously being watched
and evaluated by other people
o Personal fable: common way of thinking among adolescents, believe
themselves to be special or invulnerable
Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Reasoning: moral decision making strategies
o Preconventional morality: driven by potential rewards and punishments of the
decision, what’s right is what maximizes benefit and minimizes hardship, make
decisions to serve own needs
o Conventional morality: driven by the desire to follow society’s norms and laws,
what’s right is what puts you in line with your culture’s expectations of you
Postconventional morality: driven by fundamental rights and ethical principals,
personal consequences of the decisions and how well the decision fits with
society’s preferences take a backseat at this point
Erikson's 8 Psychosocial Stages
o Trust vs. mistrust: infancy, hope, will people around me take care of me
o Autonomy vs. shame and doubt: early childhood, will, can I control myself
o Initiative vs. guilt: preschool, purpose, can I do things on my own
o Industry vs. inferiority: elementary school, competence, can I keep up with my
o Identity vs. role confusion: adolescence, fidelity, can I determine who I am
o Intimacy vs. isolation: young adulthood, love, can I form lasting connection with
another person
o Generativity vs. stagnation: middle adulthood, care, can I contribute something
o Ego integrity vs. despair: older adulthood, wisdom, was my life well lived
Emerging Adulthood: recently proposed development stage during which the person
gradually moves from adolescence to adulthood, typically during late teens and
twenties in modern western cultures
Chapter 10 - Diversity in Psychology: Multiculturalism, Gender, and Sexuality
 Culture: set of shared beliefs, values and patterns of behavior within a group of people
o Worldview: comprehensive culturally influences way of approaching and
understanding the world around you
o Dynamic sizing: ability to simultaneously know the norm for a group and
recognize that the norm might not apply to every member of that group
 Multiculturalism: psychological approach that highlights the importance and value of
multiple cultural groups within a society
 Acculturation: managing a life that involves the coexistence of more than one culture
o Acculturation strategies
 Assimilation: person adopts the new culture and rejects the old culture
 Separation: person retains the old culture and rejects the new culture
 Marginalization: person rejects both the new culture and the old culture
 Integration: person adopts both the new culture and the old culture
o Acculturative stress: physical or psychological stress that comes from
 Individualism: worldview that emphasizes the well-being of the individual over the
well-being of the group
 Collectivism: worldview that emphasizes the well-being of the group over the wellbeing of the individual
 Cultural intelligence: ability to live and interact effectively in a multicultural society
 Microaggressions: everyday actions or comments (often unintentionally) that contain
hostile or off-putting messages for members of certain cultures
 Sex: your biological maleness or femaleness
Gender: your psychological and behavioral experience of maleness and femaleness
o Cisgender: a person whose gender and sex match
o Transgender: a person whose gender and sec do not match
o Transition: choose to take steps to live as the gender that matches their
identity rather than their biologically assigned gender
Sexual orientation: a person’s pattern of romantic attraction to a particular group or
groups of other people
o Lesbian: a woman who is attracted to members of the same sex
o Gay: a man who is attracted to members of the same sex
o Bisexual: attracted to people of both the other and the same sex
o Queer/questioning: still in the process of examining or reexamining who is
o LGBTQ+: a community of members of sexual minorities
Chapter 11 - Stress & Health
 Stress: the process by which we perceive and respond to certain events, called
stressors, that we appraise as threatening or challenging, unpleasant emotional state
that results from the perception of danger
o Flight-or-flight response: an emotional and physiological reaction to an
emergency that increases readiness for action, parasympathetic
o Stressor: anything that causes stress, source of stress
o Primary appraisal: the first step in assessing stress, which involves estimating
the severity of a stressor and classifying it as either a threat or a challenge
o Secondary appraisal: the second step in assessing a threat, which involves
estimating the resources available to the person for coping with the stressor
 Health Psychology: a subfield of psychology that provides psychology’s contribution to
behavioral medicine
 General Adaptation Syndrome: Seyle’s concept that the body responds to stress with
alarm, resistance and exhaustion
o Stages:
 Alarm: organism recognizes stress, begins to respond
 Resistance: organism mobilizes body’s resources for coping
 Exhaustion: only occurs if stress continues and adaption is not
 Immune system: stress hormone suppress immune system activity
 Psychophysiological illnesses: “mind-body” illness, any stress related physical illness
such as hypertension and headaches
 Personality types
o Type A: people who are competitive, driven, hostile, ambitious
o Type B: more relaxed, easy going and less quick to anger
o Type C: pleasant but repressed person, tends to internalize his or her anger and
anxiety and who finds expressing emotions difficult
o Type D: people who experience emotions that include anxiety, irritation and
depressed mood
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): a prolonged and sever stress reaction to a scary
event, chronic stress
Coping: type of problem solving, managing taxing circumstances, expending effort to
solve problems, seeking to reduce stress
o Problem-focused coping: attempting to alleviate stress directly by changing the
stressor or the way we interact with that stressor
o Emotion-focused coping: attempting to alleviate stress by avoiding or ignoring a
stressor and attending to emotional needs related to one’s stress reaction
o Mindfulness: the state of being alert and mentally present for one’s everyday
o Hardiness: set of attitudes marked by a sense of control over events,
commitment to life and work, and courage and motivation to confront
stressful events
o Optimism: a general tendency to expect good outcomes
Chapter 12 - Personality
 Personality: pattern of enduring, distinctive thoughts, emotions and behaviors that
characterize the way an individual reacts to the world
 Psychodynamic Theory of Personality, Freud
o Unconscious: according to Freud a reservoir of mostly acceptable thoughts,
wishes, feelings and memories. According to contemporary psychologists
information processing of which we are unaware
o Freudian slips: unintentional error regarded as revealing subconscious feelings
o Id: a reservoir of unconscious psychic energy that according to Freud strives to
satisfy basic sexual and aggressive drives, operates on the pleasure principle
demanding immediate gratification
o Ego: the largely conscious, “executive” part of personality that according to
Freud mediates among the demands of the id, superego and reality. Ego
operates on the reality principle, satisfying the id’s desires in ways that will
realistically bring pleasure rather than pain
o Superego: the part of personality that according to Freud represents
internalized ideals and provides standards for judgment/the conscience and for
future aspirations
o Defense mechanisms: egos solution to reducing the anxiety created by the
battle between id and superego
 Repression: in psychoanalytic theory, the basic defense mechanism that
banishes from consciousness anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings and
 Denial: psychoanalytic defense mechanism by which people refuse to
believe or even to perceive painful realities
 Displacement: psychoanalytic defense mechanism that shifts sexual or
aggressive impulses toward a more acceptable or less threatening
object or person, as when redirecting anger toward a safer outlet
Sublimation: socially unacceptable impulses or idealizations are
transformed into socially acceptable actions or behaviors
o Psychosexual Stages of Development (Freud)
 Oral stage: first stage, pleasure is centered in the mouth, 0-18 months
 Anal stage: second stage, child learns to control bodily excretions, 18-36
 Phallic stage: third stage, focuses on genitals
 Latency stage: fourth stage, primary focus is on further development of
intellectual, creative, interpersonal and athletic skills, 6-puberty
 Genital stage: last stage, puberty-adulthood, sexual conflicts of
childhood resurface at puberty and are often resolved during
 Fixation: energy that is stuck in a psychosexual stage of development
and manifests in personality later on if energy is not addresses properly
early in life
 Oedipus complex: describe a child’s feelings of desire for his or her
opposite-sex parent and jealousy and anger towards his or her samesex parent
 Electra complex: Oedipus complex but in young girls
Humanistic Theory of Personality, Rogers, Maslow
o Positive regard: viewing oneself in a positive light due to positive feedback
received from interaction with others
o Conditions of worth: conditions a person must meet in order to regard himself
or herself positively
o Real self: who I am
o Ideal self: who I want to be
o Self-concept: a sense of one’s identity and personal worth
o Incongruence: having feelings not aligned with your actions
o Congruence: the matching of experience and awareness
Social-Cognitive Theory of Personality
o Reciprocal determinism: Bandura, idea that though our environment affects us,
we also affect our environment
o Self-efficacy: one’s sense of competence and effectiveness
o Internal locus of control: the perception that you control your own fate
o External locus of control: the perception that change or outside forces beyond
your personal control determine your fate
Trait theory of Personality
o Five-Factor Model of Personality (Big Five): trait theory of personality that
identifies the 5 as the fundamental building blocks of personality
 Neuroticism: a degree of emotional instability or stability
 Extraversion: personality dimension describing someone who is
sociable, gregarious and assertive
 Openness to experience: how intellectual, imaginative, curios and
broad-minded one is
Conscientiousness: how dependable, responsible, achievement-oriented
and persistent one is
 Agreeableness: how trusting, good-natured, cooperative and softhearted one is
Personality tests: patient is given an ambiguous stimulus and the patient interprets
meaning that reflects the self
o Objective Personality Tests:
 MMPI-2: measures personality/psychosocial disorders
o Projective Personality Tests:
 Rorschach inkblot technique: patient looks at an inkblot image and the
patient gives an explanation of hat they see tells of unconscious
Chapter 13 - Social Psychology
 Social Psychology: branch of psychology that deals with social interactions, including
their origins and their effects on the individual
 Social cognition: how people process, store and apply information about other people
and social situations
o External attribution: the inference that a person is behaving a certain way
because of something about the situation he or she is in, the assumption is that
most people would respond the same way in that situation
o Internal attribution: the inference that a person is behaving in a certain way
because of something about the person such as attitude, character or
o Attribution: inferences that people make about the cause of events and
o Attribution theory: people are motivated to discover the underlying cause of
behavior as part of effort to make sense of it
o Fundamental attribution error: tendency for observers when analyzing
another’s behavior to underestimate the impact of the situation and to
overestimate the impact of personal disposition
o Attitude
 Social Role: defined pattern of behavior that are expected of a person in
a given setting or group
 Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment: studied perceived power,
struggle between prisoners and guards
 Cognitive dissonance: an unpleasant state that arises when a person
recognizes the inconsistency of his or her actions, attitudes or beliefs
 Social influence: change in behavior that one person causes in another intentionally or
o Conformity: changes in an individuals behavior to correspond to the behavior
of a group of other people
Obedience, Milgram's study of obedience: an experiment in which Stanley
Milgram found that people will usually obey authority, even if they might think
what they are doing is wrong
o Deindividuation: occurs when immersion in a group causes people to become
less aware of their individual values
o Social facilitation: states that individuals performance improves or gets worse
depending on the presence of others
o Social loafing: each persons’ tendency to exert less effort in a group because of
reduced accountability for individual efforts
o Groupthink: occurs within a group of people in which the desire for harmony or
conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision
making outcome
Social relations
o Prejudice: unjustified negative or positive attitude toward a person based on
her/his group membership
o Stereotype: generalization about a groups characteristics that doesn’t consider
variations from one individual to another
o Discrimination: behavior directed toward an individual on the basis of her
membership in a group
o Ingroup: group you associate with
o Outgroup: group that you don’t belong to
o Aggression: physical or verbal behavior intended to hurt someone
o Attraction
 Proximity: physical closeness produces emotional closeness
 Mere exposure: the more we are exposed to a stimulus the more we
like it
 Physical attractiveness: we are enlightened by being in the presence of
beautiful people but most people find average looking people most
 Similarity: similarity doesn’t drive us toward others, rather dissimilarity
drives us away from others
 Reciprocal liking: people like others better when they believe the other
person likes them
Prosocial behavior: any action intended to help others
o Altruism: concern for others, generosity
o Bystander effect: tendency for any given bystander to be less likely to give aid if
other bystanders are present
o Diffusion of responsibility: tendency for individuals to feel diminishes
responsibility for their actions when they are surrounded by others who are
acting the same way
Chapter 14 - Psychological Disorders
 Psychological Disorder: mental disorder, patterns of behavioral or psychological
symptoms that impact multiple areas of life
Medical student syndrome: perceive themselves to be experiencing the symptoms of a
disease they are studying, associated with fear of contracting the disease in question
Abnormality: behavior that is deviant, maladaptive, personally distressful over a long
period of time
o Infrequency: rare, statistically unusual
o Deviation from social norms: abnormal behavior seen as a deviation from
unstated rules about how one ought to behave, anything that violates these
rules is considered abnormal
o Personal distress: a motive for helping others in distress that may arise from a
need to reduce one’s own distress
o Impairment in daily functioning
Theories of Abnormality
o Biological: biological factors within the human body, brain structures,
neurochemicals and genes are the primary causes of psychological disorders
o Psychological: emotions, behaviors and traits are the primary causes of
psychological disorders
o Sociocultural: social and cultural factors surrounding the person, rather than
factors within the person are the primary causes of psychological disorders
o Biopsychosocial: combination of biological, psychological and sociocultural
factors contribute to psychological disorders
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5): system for
classifying disorders, includes symptoms and prevalence, does not explain the cause
of disorders, criticized because it puts a label on people
Anxiety disorders
o Generalized anxiety disorder: involving anxiety symptoms that persist for a long
time across a wide range of situations and activities
o Panic disorder: anxiety disorder marked by unpredictable minutes, long
episodes of intense dread in which a person experiences terror and
accompanying chest pain, choking or other frightening sensations
o Specific phobia: disorder that involves an irrational fear of a particular object or
situation that markedly interferes with an individuals ability to function
o Social anxiety disorder: intense fear of social situations, leading to avoidance of
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): anxiety disorder characterized by unwanted
repetitive thoughts and/or actions
Major depressive disorder: mood disorder, person experiences in the absence of drugs
or medical condition two or more weeks of significantly depressed moods, feelings of
worthlessness and diminished interest or pleasure in most activities
Bipolar disorder: mood disorder, person alternates between the hopelessness and
lethargy of depression and the overexcited state of mania
Eating disorders
o Anorexia nervosa: irrational fear of weight gain leads people to starve
Bulimia nervosa: episodes of overeating, usually of high calorie foods followed
by vomiting, laxative use, fasting or excessive exercise
o Binge-eating disorder: significant binge-eating episodes, followed by distress,
disgust or guilt but without the compensatory purging, fasting or excessive
exercise that marks bulimia.
Schizophrenia: group of sever disorders characterized by disorganized and delusional
thinking, disturbed perceptions and inappropriate emotions and actions
o Psychosis: a persons perceptions and thoughts are fundamentally removed
from reality
o Hallucinations: sensory experiences that occur in the absence of stimuli
o Delusions: false, unusual, magical beliefs not a part of culture
o Flat affect
o Cognitive symptoms
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): psychological disorder marked by
extreme inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity
Autism Spectrum Disorder: characterized by deficits in social relatedness and
communication skills that are often accompanied by repetitive, ritualistic behavior
Dissociative disorders
o Dissociative amnesia: inability to recall important personal information that
would not typically be lost with ordinary forgetting, caused by trauma or stress
o Dissociative identity disorder: rare, person exhibits two or more distinct and
alternating personalities, multiple personality disorder
Personality disorders:
o Antisocial personality disorder: person exhibits a lack of conscience for
wrongdoing, even toward friends and family members, may be aggressive and
ruthless or a clever con artist
o Borderline personality disorder: condition marked by extreme instability in
mood, identity and impulse control
Chapter 15 - Therapies
 Psychotherapy
o Psychodynamic therapy: therapy deriving from the psychoanalytic tradition
that views individuals as responding to unconscious forces and childhood
experiences that seeks to enhance self-insight
 Psychoanalysis: system of psychological theory and therapy which aims
to treat mental disorders by investigating the interaction of conscious
and unconscious, bringing up repressed fears and conflicts into he
conscious mind
 Free association: mental process by which one word or image may
spontaneously suggest another without any apparent connection
 Dream analysis: dream interpretation
 Transference: redirection to a substitute of emotions that were
originally felt in childhood usually to therapist
Resistance: patients directly or indirectly exhibit paradoxical opposing
behaviors in a clinically initiated push and pull of change process
o Person-centered therapy: nondirective insight therapy based on the work of
Carl Rogers in which the client does all the talking and the therapist listens
 Empathy: understanding another person thoughts, feelings and
condition from their point of view instead of ones own
 Unconditional positive regard: valuing the person as doing their best to
move forward in their lives constructively and respecting the person
right to self determination no matter what they choose to do
 Genuineness: congruence, most important concept in counseling
according to Rodgers, therapists ability to be authentic
o Behavior Therapy: teaches people new, more adaptive ways of thinking and
acting, based on the assumption that thoughts intervene between events and
our emotional reactions
 Exposure therapy: treat anxiety disorders, exposing the target patient to
the anxiety source or its context without the intention to cause any
danger, thought to help them overcome anxiety
 Systematic desensitization: treats anxiety by teaching the client to
associate deep relaxation with increasingly intense anxiety producing
o Cognitive Therapy: Therapy that emphasizes that cognitions and thoughts are
the main source of psychological problems. Attempts to change individuals
feelings and behaviors by changing cognitions. This therapy differs because it
focuses on overt symptoms, not deep-seated unconscious thought. There is
less concern about origin
o Cognitive distortions: ways our mind convinces us of something that isn’t really
o Cognitive-Behavior Therapy: popular integrated therapy that combines
cognitive therapy of changing self defeating thinking with behavior therapy
changing behavior
o Eclectic Approach: strategy in which psychotherapist selects the best treatment
for a particular client based on evidence from studies of similar clients
o Integrative Approach: strategy in which psychotherapist blends styles or
techniques to create a new form of psychotherapy
Group therapy: brings together individuals who share a psychological disorder in
sessions led by a professional
Self-help group: voluntary organizations of individuals who get together on a regular
basis to discuss topics of common interest
Evidence based practice: clinical decision making that integrates the best available
research with clinical expertise and patient characteristics and preferences
Therapeutic alliance: a bond of trust and mutual understanding between a therapist
and client, who work together constructively to overcome the client’s problem
Cultural competence: ability to understand, communicate with and effectively interact
with people across cultures
Confidentiality: state of keeping private, ethical guidelines, information between
patient and therapist cannot be shared with anyone
Biomedical Therapy: physiological interventions that focus on reduction of symptoms
associated with psychological disorders
o Psychopharmacology: study of the use of medications in treating mental
 Antipsychotic drugs: used to manage psychosis (schizophrenia, bipolar
 Antianxiety drugs: relieves symptoms of anxiety
 Antidepressant drugs: used to prevent or treat depression
 Mood stabilizing drugs: treat disturbances in mood (mania, depression)
o Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT): biomedical therapy for severely depressed
patients in which a brief electric current is sent through the brain of an
anesthetized patient
o Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS): use of strong magnets to briefly
interrupt normal brain activity as a way to study brain regions