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What is Psychology?

What are some important milestones in psychologys early development?

Wilhelm Hundt established the first psychological laboratory in 1879 in Germany. Two early schools were structuralism and functionalism.

How did psychology continue to develop from the 1920s through today?

Early researchers define psychology as a science of mental life. In the 1920s under the influence of John B. Watson and the behaviorists, the field's focus changed to the scientific study of observable behavior. In the 1960s, the humanistic psychologists and the cognitive psychologists revived interest in the study of mental processes. Psychology is now defined as the science of behavior and mental processes.

Contemporary Psychology

What is Psychologys historic big issue?

Psychologys biggest and most enduring issue has been the nature-nurture issue, which focuses on the relative contributions of genes and experience. Todays science emphasizes the interaction of genes and experiences in specific environments. Charles Darwins view that natural selection shapes behaviors as well as bodies is an important principle in contemporary psychology.

What are psychologys levels of analysis and related perspectives?

The biopsychosocial approach integrates information from 3 different but complementary levels of analysis: the biological, psychosocial, and social-cultural. This approach offers a more complete understanding than could usually be reached by relying on only of psychologys current perspectives (neuroscience, evolutionary, behavior genetics, psychodynamic, behavioral, and social-cultural).

What are psychologys main subfields?

Within the science of psychology, researchers may conduct basic research to increase the field's knowledge base (often in biological, developmental, cognitive, personality, and social psychology) or applied research to solve practical problems (in industrial-organizational psychology and other areas).

Those who engage in psychology as a helping profession may assist people as counseling psychologists (helping people with problems in living or achieving greater well-being), clinical psychologists, studying and assessing people with psychological issues and treating them with psychotherapy. (Psychiatrists also study, assess, and treat people with disorders, but as medical doctors, they may prescribe drugs in addition to psychotherapy.) Positive psychology attempts to discover and promote traits that help people thrive. Community psychologists work to create healthy social and physical environments.

How can psychological principles help you learn and remember?

The testing effect shows that learning and memory are enhanced by actively retrieving, rather than simply rereading, previously studied material. the SQ3R study method - survey, question, read, retrieve, review - applies principles derived from memory research. Four additional tips are (1) distribute your study time; (2) learn to think critically; (3) process class information actively; and (4) overlearn.

Thinking Critically With Psychological Science
The need for psychological science
Hindsight Bias

How do hindsight bias, overconfidence, and the tendency to preceive order in random events illustrate why science-based answers are more valid than those based on intuition and common sense.?

Hindsight bias, also called the I knew it all along phenomenon, is the tendency to believe, after learning that we would have forseen it. Overconfidence in our judgments results partly from our bias to seek information that confirms them. These tendencies, plus our eagerness to perceive patterns in random events, lead us to overestimate our intuition. Although limited by the testable questions it can address, scientific inquiry can help us overcome our intuition's biases and shortcomings.

Three main components of Critical Thinking

How do the scientific attitude's 3 main components relate to critical thinking?

The scientific attitude equips us to be curious, skeptical, and humble in scrutinizing competing ideas or our own observations. this attitude carries into everyday life as critical thinking, which puts ideas to the test by examining assumptions, discerning hidden values, evaluating evidence, and assessing conclusions.

How do Psychologists Ask and Answer Questions?

How do theories advance psychological science?

Psychological theories are explanations that apply an integrated set of principles to organize observations and generate hypotheses - predictions that can be used to check the theory or produce practical applications of it. By testing their hypotheses, researchers can confirm, reject or revise their theories. To enable other researchers to replicate the studies, researchers report them using precise operational definitions of their procedures and concepts. If others acheive similar results, confidence in the conclusion will be greater.

Glossary Myers 10ex absolute threshold the minimum stimuation needed to detect a particualr stimulus 50% of the time. (p. 219)
accomodation adapting our current understandings (schemas) to incorporate new information. (p. 174)
accomodation the process by which the eye's lens changes shape to focus near or far objects on the retina. (p. 228)
achievement motivation a desire for significant accomplishment; for master of skillsor ideas; for rapidly attaining a high standard.
achievement test a test designed to assess what a person has learned. (p. 447)
acquisition in classical conditioning, the initial stage, when one links a neutral stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral stimulus begins triggering the conditioned response. In operant conditioning, the strengthening of a reinforced response. (p. 270)
action potential a neural impulse; a brief electrical charge that travels down an axon. (p. 50)
active listening empathic listening in which the listener echoes, restates, and clarifies. A feature of Rogers' client-centered therapy. (p. 655)
adaption-level phenomenon our tendency to form judgments (of sounds, of lights, of income) rleative to a neutral level defined by our prior experience.
addiction compulsive drug craving and use, despite adverse consequences. (p. 482)
adolesence the transition period from childhood to adulthood, extending from puberty to independence. (p. 113)
adrenal glands a pair of endocrine glands that sit just above the kidneys and secrete hormones (epinephrine and norepinephrine) that helps the body in times of stress. (p. 60)
aerobic exercise sustained exercise that increases heart and lung fitness; may also alleviate depression and anxiety. (p. 502)
aggresssion any physical or verbal behavior intended to hurt or destroy. (p. 155)
alcohol dependence (popularly known as alcoholism). Alcohol use marked by tolerance, withdrawal if suspended, and a drive to continue use. (p. 116)
algorithm a methodical, logical rule or procedure that guanantees a particular problem. Contrasts with the usually speedier - but also more error prone use of heuristics. (p. 339)
alpha wave the relatively slow brain waves of a relaxed, awake state. (p. 94)
altruism unselfish regard for the welfare of others. (p. 593)
amphetamines drugs that stimulate neural activity, causing sped-up body functions and associated energy and mood changes. (p. 117)
amygdala two lima-bean-sized neural clusters in the limbic system; linked to emotion. (p. 66)
anorexia nervosa an eating disorder in which a person (usually an adolescent female) maintains a starvation diet despite being significantly (15 percent or more) underweight. (p. 640)
anterograde amnesia an inability to form new memories. (p. 319)
antianxiety drugs drugs used to control anxiety and agitation. (p. 676)
antidepressant drugs drugs used to treat depression and some anxiety disorders. Different types work by altering the availability of various neurotransmitters. (p. 677)
antipsychotic drugs drugs used to treat schizophrenia and other forms of severe thought disorder. (p. 676)
antisocial personality disorder a personality disorder in which a person (usually a man) exhibits a lack of conscience for wrongdoing, even toward friends and family members. May be aggresive and ruthless or a clever con artist. (p. 642)
anxiety disorders psychological disorders characterized by distressing, persistent anxiety or maladaptive behaviors that reduce anxiety. (p. 614)
aphasia impairment of language, usually caused by left-hemishere damage either to Broca's area (impairing speaking) or to Wernicke's area (impairing understanding). (p. 356)
applied research scientific study that aims to solve practical problems. (p. 10)
aptitude test a test designed to predict a person's future performance; aptitude is the capacity to learn. (p. 379)
assimilation interpreting our new experiences in terms of our existing schemas. (p. 174)
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. (p. 73)
associative learning learning that certain events occur together. The events may be two stimuli (as in classical conditioning) or a response and its consequences. (p. 266)
attachment an emotional tie with another person; shown in young children by their seeking closeness to the caregiver and showing distress on separation. (p. 183)
attention deficit disorder (ADHD) a psychological disorder marked by the appearance by age 7 of one or more of 3 key symptoms: extreme inattention, hyperactivity, and implusivity. (p. 607)
attitude feelings, often influenced by our beliefs, that predispose us to respond in a particular way to objects, people and events. (p. 556)
attribution theory the theory that we explain someone's behavior by crediting either the situation or the person's dispostion. (p. 554)
audition the sense or act of hearing. (p. 243)
autism a disorder that appears in a childhood and is marked by deficient communication, social interaction, and understanding of other's state of mind. (p. 180)
automatic processing unconscious encoding of incidental information, such as space, time, and frequency, and of well-learned information, such as word meanings. (p. 302)
autonomic nervous system the part of the peripheral nervous system that controls glands and the muscles of the internal organs (such as the heart). Its sympathetic division arouses; the parasympathetic calms. (p. 56)
availability heuristic estimating the likelihood of events based on their availability in memory; if instance come readily to mind (perhaps because of their vividness), we presume such events are common. (p. 341)
aversive conditioning a type of counterconditioning that associates an unpleasant state (such as nausea) with an unwanted behavior (such as drinking alcohol). (p. 659)
axon the neuron extension that passes messages through its branches to other neurons or to muscles or glands. (p. 49)
babbling stage beginning at about 4 months, the stage of speech development in which the infant spontaneously utters various sounds at first unrelated to household language. (p. 351)
barbiturates drugs that depress central nervous system activity, reducing anxiety but impairing memory and judgment. (p. 116)
basal metabolic rate the body's resting rate of energy expenditure. (p. 410)
basic research pure science that aims to increase the scientific knowledge base. (p. 10)
basic trust according to Erik Erikson, a sense that the world is predictable and trustworthy; said to formed during infancy by appropriate experiences with responsive caregivers. (p. 186)
behavior genetics the study of the relative power and limits of genetic and environmental influences on behavior. (p. 130)
behavior therapy therapy that applies learning principles to the elimination of unwanted behaviors. (p. 657)
behaviorism the view that psychology (1) should be an objective science that (2) studies behavior without reference to mental processes. Most research psychologists agree with (1) but not with (2). (p. 268)
belief persistence clinging to one's initial conceptions after the basis on which they were formed has been discredited. (p. 343)
binge-eating disorder significant binge-eating episodes, followed by distress, disgust, or guilt, but without the compensatory purging, fasting, or excessive exercise that marks bulima nervosa. (p. 641)
binocular cues depth cues, such as mental disparity, that depend on the use of two eyes. (p. 237)
biological perspective concerned with the links between biology and behavior. Includes psychologists working in neuroscience, behavior genetics, and evolutionary psychology. These researchers may call themselves behavioral neuroscientists, neuropsychologists, behavior geneticists, physiological psychologists, or biopsychologists. (p. 48)
biomedical therapy prescribed medications or procedures that act directly on the person's physiology. (p. 652)
biopsychosocial approach an integrated approach that incorporates biological, psychological, and social-cultural levels of analysis. (p. 8)
bipolar disorder a mood disorder in which a person alternates between the hopelessness and lethargy of depressions and the overexcited state of mania. Formerly called manic-depressive disorder. (p. 622)
blind spot the at which the optic nerve leaves the eye, creating a "blind" spot because no receptor cells are located there. (p. 229)
blindsight a condition in which a person can respond to a visual stimulus without consciously experiencing it. (p. 88)
bottom-up processing analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works up to the brain's integration of sensory information. (p. 356)
brainstem the oldest part and central core of the brain, beginning where the spinal cord swells as it enters the skull; the brainstem is responsible for automatic survival functions. (p. 64)
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. (p. 356)
bulima nervosa an eating disorder in which a person alternates binge eating (usually of high-calorie foods) with purging (by vomiting or laxative use), fasting, or excessive exercise. (p. 640)
bystander effect the tendency for any given bystander to be less likely to give aid if other bystanders are present. (p. 594)
Cannon-Bard theory the theory that an emotion-arousing stimulus simultaneously triggers (1) phsyiological responses and (2) the subjective experience of emotion. (p. 460)
case study an observation technique in which one person is studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles. (p. 25)
catharsis emotional release. In psychology, the catharsis hypothesis maintains that "releasing" aggressive energy (through action or fantasy) relieves aggressive urges. (p. 470)
central nervous system (CNS) the brain and spinal cord. (p. 56)
central route persuasion occurs when interested people focus on the arguments and respond with favorable thoughts. (p. 556)
cerebellum the "little brain" at the rear of the brainstem; functions include processing sensory input and coordinating movment and output and balance. (p. 65)
cerebral cortex the intricate fabric of interconnected neural cells covering the cerebral hemispheres; the body's ultimate control and information-processing center. (p. 69)
change blindness failing to notice changes in the environment. (p. 91)
chromosomes threadlike structures made of DNA molecules that contain the genes. (p. 130)
chunking organizing items into familiar, manageable units; often occurs automatically. (p. 305)
circadian rhythm the biological clock; regular rhythms (for example, of temperature and wakefulness) that occur in a 24-hour cycle. (p. 93)
classical conditioning a type of learning in which one learns to link two or more stimuli and anticipate events. (p. 268)
client-centered therapy a humanistic therapy, developed by Carl Rogers, in which the therapist uses techniques such as active listening within a genuine, accepting, empathetic environment to facilitate client's growth. (also called person-centered therapy). (p. 655)
clinical psychology a branch of psychology that studies, asseses, and treats people with psychological disorders. (p. 268)
cochlea a coiled, bony, fluid-filled tube in the inner ear; sound waves traveling through the cochlear fluid trigger nerve impulses. (p. 244)
cochlear implant a device for converting sounds into electrical signals and stimulating the auditory nerve through electrodes threaded into the cochlea. (p. 246)
cognition all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating. (p. 174)
cognitive dissonance theory the theory that we act to reduce the discomfort (dissonance) we feel when the two of our thoughts (cognitions) are inconsistent. For example, when we become aware that our attitudes and our actions clash, we can reduce the resulting dissonance by changing our attitudes. (p. 558)
cognitive learning the acquisition of mental information, whether by observing events, by watching others, or through language. (p. 267)
cognitive map a mental representation of the layout of one's environment. For example, after exploring a maze, rats act as if they have learned a cognitive map of it. (p. 289)
cognitive neuroscience the interdisciplinary study of the brain activity linked with cognition (including perception, thinking, memory, and language.) (p. 267)
cognitive therapy therapy that teaches people new, more adaptive ways of thinking; based on the assumption that thoughts intervene between events and our emotional reactions. (p. 660)
cognitive-behavioral therapy a popular integrative therapy that combines cognitive therapy (changing self-defeating thinking) with behavior therapy (changing behavior). (p. 663)
cohort a group of people from a given time period. (p. 384)
collective unconscious Carl Jung's concept of a shared, inherited reservoir of memory traces from our species' history. (p. 519)
collectivism giving priority to goals of one's group (often one's extended family or work group) and defining one's identity accordingly. (p. 150)
color constanccy perceiving familiar objects as having consistent color, even if changing illumination alter the wavelengths reflected by the object.
community psychology a branch of psychology that studies how people interact with their social envrionments and how social institutions affect individuals and groups.
companionate love the deep affectionate attachment we feel for the those with whom our lives are intertwined.
complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as yet unproven health care treatments intended to supplement (complement) or serve as alternatives to conventional medicine, and which typically are not widely taught in medical schools, used in hospitals, or reimbursed by insurance companies. When research shows a therapy to be safe and effective, it usually then becomes part of the accepted medical practice.
concept a mental grouping of similar objects, events, ideas, or people.
concrete operational stage in Piaget's theory, the stage of cognitive development (from about 6 or 7 to 11 years of age) during which children gain the mental operations that enable them to think logically about concrete events.
conditioned reinforcer a stimulus that gains its reinforcing power through its association with a primary reinforcer; also known as a secondary reinforcer.
conditioned response (CR) in classical conditioning, a learned response to a previously neutral (but not conditioned) stimulus (CS).
conditioned stimulus (CS) in classical conditioning, an originally irrelevant stiumulus that, after association with an unconditioned stimulus (US), comes to trigger a conditioned response.
conduction hearing loss hearing loss caused by damage to the mechanical system that conducts waves to the cochlea.
cones retinal receptor cells that are concentrated near the center of the retina and that function in daylight or in well-lit conditions. The cones detect fine detail and give rise to color sensations.
confirmation bias a tendency to search for information that supports our preconceptions and to ignore or distort contradictory evidence.
conflict a perceived incompatibility of actions, goals, or ideas.
conformity adjusting our behavior or thinking to coincide with a group standard.
confounding variable a factor other than the independent variable that might produce an effect in an experiment.
consciousness our awareness of ourselves and our environment.
conservation the principle (which Piaget believed to be a part of concrete operational reasoning) that properties such as mass, volume, and the number remain the same despite changes in the forms of objects.
content validity the extent to which a test samples the behavior that is of interest.
continuous reinforcement reinforcing the desired response every time it occurs.
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.
coping alleviating stress using emotional, cognitive, or behavioral methods.
coronary heart disease the clogging of the vessels that nourish the heart muscle; the leading cause of death in many developed countries.
corpus callosum the large band of neural fibers connecting the two brain hemispheres and carrying messages between them.
correlation 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).
counseling psychology a branch of psychology that assists people with problems in living (often related to school, work, or marriage) and in achieving greater well-being.
counterconditioning a behavior therapy procedure that uses classical conditioning to evoke new responses to stimuli that are triggering unwanted behaviors; includes exposure therapies and aversive conditioning.
creativity the ability to produce novel and valuable ideas.
critical period an optimal period early in the life of an organism when exposure to certain stimuli or experiences produces normal development.
critical thinking thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions. Rather, it examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions.
cross-sectional study a study in which people of different ages are compared with one another.
crystallized intelligence our accumulated knowledge, and verbal skills; tends to increase with age.
culture the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, values, and traditions shared by a group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next.
debriefing the postexperimental explanation of a study, including its purpose and any deceptions, to its participants.
deep processing encoding semantically, based on the meaning of the words, tends to yield the best retention.
defense mechnasims in psychoanalytic theory, the ego's protective methods of reducing anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality.
deindividuation the loss of self-awareness and self-restraint occuring in group situations that foster arousal and anonymity.
deja vu that eerie sense that "I've experienced this before." Cues from the current situation may subconsciously trigger retrieval of an earlier experience.
delta waves the large, slow brain waves associated with deep sleep.
delusions false beliefs, often of persecution or grandeur, that may accompany psychotic disorders. (p 632)
dendrites a neuron's bushy, branching extensions that receive messages and conduct impulses toward the cell body. (p 49)
dependent variable the outcome factor, the variable that may change in response to manipulations fo the independent variable. (p 34)
depressants drugs (such as alcohol, barbiturates, and opiates) that reduce neural activity and slow body functions. (p 115)
depth perception the ability to see objects in three dimensions although the images that strike the retina are two-dimensional allows us to judge distance.(p 236)
developmental psychology a branch of psychology tha studies physical, cognitive, and social change throughout the life span. (p169)
difference threshold the minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50 percent of the time. We experience the difference threshold as a just noticeable difference. (p 220)
discrimination in classical conditioning, the learned ability to distinguish between a conditioned stimulus and stimuli that do not signal an unconditioned stimulus. (p 273)
discrimination unjustifiable negative behavior toward a group and its members. (p 572)
dissociation a split in conscious awareness becomes separated (dissociated) from previous memories, thoughts, and feelings. (p 638)
dissociative identity disorder (DID) a rare dissociative disorder in which a person exhibits two or more distinct and alternating personalities. Formerly called multiple personality disorder. (p 638)
DNA (deoxyribosenucleic acid) a complex molecule containing the genetic information that makes up the chromosomes.
double-blind procedure an experimental procedure in which both the research participants and the research staff are ignorant (blind) about whether research participants have received the treatment or a placebo. Commonly used in drug evaluation studies (p. 33)
Down Syndrome a condition of mild to severe intellectual disability and associated physical disorders caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21. (p 388)
dream a sequence of images, emotions, and thoughts passing through a sleeping person's mind. Dreams are notable for their hallucinatory imagery, disontinuities, and incongruities, and for the dreamer's delusional acceptance of the content and later difficulties remembering it.(p. 105)
drive-reduction theory the idea that a physiological need creates an aroused tension state (a drive) that motivates an organism to satisfy the need. (p. 405)
DSM-IV-TR the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, with an updated "text revision"; a widely used system for classifying psychological disorders. (p. 610)
dual processing the principle that information is often simultaneously processed on separate conscious and unconscious tracks. (p. 88)
echoic memory a momentary sensory memory of auditory stimuli; if attention is elsewhere, sounds and words can still be recalled within 3 or 4 seconds. (p. 304)
eclectic approach an approach to psychotherapy that, depending on the client's problems, uses techniques from various forms of therapy. (p. 652)
Ecstacy (MDMA) a synthetic stimulant and mild hallucinogen. Produces euphoria and social intimacy, but with short-term health risks and longer-term harm to serotonin-producing neurons and to mood and cognition. (p. 120)
effortful processing encoding that requires attention and conscious effort. (p. 302)
ego the largely conscious "executive" part of personality that, according to Freud, mediates among the demands of the id, superego, and reality. The ego operates on the reality principle, satisfying the id's desires in ways that will realistically bring pleasure rather than pain. (p. 516)
egocentrism in Piaget's theory, the preoperational child's difficulty taking another's point of view. (p. 177)
electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) a biomedical therapy for severely depressed patients in which a brief electric current is sent through the brain of an anesthesized patient. (p. 679)
electorencephalogram (EEG) 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. (p. 62)
embodied cognition in psychological science, the influence of bodily sensations, gestures, and other states on cognitive preferences and judgments. (p. 254)
embryo the developing human organism from about 2 weeks after fertilization through the second month. (p. 169)
emerging adulthood for some people in modern cultures, a period from the late teens to mid-twenties, bridging the gap between adolescent dependence and full independence and responsible adulthood. (p. 199)
emotion a response of the whole organism, involving (1) physiological arousal, (2) expressive behaviors, and (3) conscious experience. (p. 460)
emotional intelligence the ability to perceive, understand, manage, and use emotions. (p. 375)
emotion-focused coping attempting to alleviate stress by avoiding or ignoring a stressor and attending to emotional needs related to one's stress reaction. (p. 498)
empirically derived test a test (such as the MMPI) developed by testing a pool of items and then selecting those that discriminate between groups. (p. 529)
encoding the procesing of information into the memory system - for example, by extracting meaning. (p. 301)
endocrine system the body's "slow" chemical communication system; a set of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream. (p. 59)
endorphins "morphine within" - natural, opiatelike neurotransmitters linked to pain control and to pleasure. (p. 54)
environment every nongenetic influence, from prenatal nutrition to the people and things around us. (p. 150)
epigenetics the study of influences on gene expression that occur without a DNA change. (p. 138)
equity a condition in which people receive from a relationship in proportion to what they give to it. (p. 592)
estrogens sex hormones, such as estradiol, secreted in greater amounts by females than by males and contributing to female sex characteristics. In nonhuman female mammals, estrogen levels peak during ovulation, promoting sexual receptivity. (p. 421)
evidence-based practice clinical decisions making that integrates the best available research with clinical expertise and patient characteristics and preferences. (p. 670)
evolutionary psychology the study of the evolution of behavior and the mind, using principles of natural selection. (p. 139)
experiment a research method in which an investigator manipulates one or more factors (independent variables) to observe the effect on some behavior or mental process (the dependent variable). by random assignment of participants, the experimenter aims to control other relevant factors. (p. 32) experimental group in an experiment, the group that is exposed to the treatment, that is, to one version of the independent variable. (p. 33)
explicit memory memory of facts and experiences that one can consciously know and "declare." (Also called declarative memory). (p. 302)
exposure therapies behavioral techniques, such as systematic desensitization and virtual reality exposure therapy, that treat anxieties by exposing people (in imaginiation or actual situations) to the things they fear and avoid. (p. 658)
external locus of control the perception that chance or outside forces beyond your personal control determine your fate. (p. 537)
extinction the diminishing of a conditioned response; occurs in classical conditioning when an unconditioned stimulus (US) does not follow a conditioned stimulus (CS); occurs in operant conditioning when a response is no longer reinforced. (p. 271)
extrasensory perception (ESP) the controversial claim that perception can occur apart from sensory input; includes telepathy, clarivoyance, and precognition. (p. 259)
extrinsic motivation a desire to perform a behavior to receive promised rewards or avoid threatened punishment. (p. 289)
facial feedback effect the tendency of facial muscle states to trigger corresponding feelings such as fear, anger, or happiness. (p. 474)
factor analysis a statistical procedure that identifies clusters of related items (called factors) on a test; used to identify different dimensions of performance that underlie a person's total score. (p. 368)
family therapy therapy that treats the family as a system. Views an individual's unwanted behaviors as influenced by, or directed at, other family members. (p. 664)
feature detectors nerve cells in the brain that respond to specific features of the stimulus, such as shape, angle, or movement. (p. 231)
feel-good, do-good phenomenon people's tendency to be helpful when already in a good mood. (p. 479)
fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) physical and cognitive abnormalities in children caused by a pregnant woman's heavy drinking. In severe cases, symptoms inlcude noticeable facial misproportions. (p. 170)
fetus the developing human organism from 9 weeks after conception to birth. (p. 169)
figure-ground the organization of the visual field into objects (the figures) that stand out from the surroundings (the ground). (p. 235)
fixation according to Freud, a lingering focus of pleasure-seeking energies at an earlier psychosexual stage, in which conflicts were unresolved. (p. 517)
fixed-interval schedule in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified time has elapsed. (p. 279)
fixed-ratio schedule in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified time has elapsed. (p. 279)
flashbulb memory a clear memory of an emotionally significant moment or event. (p. 311)
flow a completely involved, focused state of consciousness, with diminished awareness of self and time, resulting from optimal engagement of one's skills. (p. 441)
fluid intelligence our ability to reason speedily or abstractly; tends to decrease during late adulthood. (p. 384)
fMRI (functional MRI) a technique for revealing bloodflow and, therefore, brain activity by comparing successive MRI scans. fMRI scans show brain function. (p. 62)
foot-in-the-door phenomenon the tendency for people who have first agreed to a small request to comply later with a larger request. (p. 557)
formal operational stage in Piaget's theory, the stage of cognitive development (normally beginning about age 12) during which people begin to think logically about abstract concepts. (p. 179)
fovea the central focal point in the retina, around which the eye's cones cluster. (p. 229)
framing the way an issue is posed; how an issue is framed can significantly affect decisions and judgements.
fraternal twins twins who develop from separate (dizygotic) fertilized eggs. They are genetically no closer than brothers or sisters, but they share a fetal envrionment. (p. 132)
free association in psychoanalysis, a method of exploring the unconscious in which the person relaxes and says whatever comes to mind, no matter how trivial or embarrassing. (p. 514)
frequency the number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time (for example, per second). (p. 244)
frequency theory in hearing, the theory that the rate of nerve impluses traveling up the auditory nerve matches the frequency of a tone, thus enabling us to sense its pitch. (p. 247)
frontal lobes portion of the cerebral cortex lying just behind the forehead; involved in speaking and muscle movements and in making plans and judgements. (p. 69)
frustration-aggression principle the principle that frustration - the blocking of an attempt to achieve some goal - creates anger, which can generate aggression. (p. 581)
fundamental attribution error the tendency for observers, when analyzing another's behavior, to underestimate the impact of the situation and to overestimate the impact of personal disposition. (p. 554)
gate-control theory the theory that the spinal cord contains a neurological "gate" that blocks pain signals or allows them to pass on to the brain. The "gate" is opened by the activity in larger fibers or by information coming from the brain. (p. 250)
gender in psychology, the biologically and socially influenced characteristics by which people define male and female. (p. 142)
gender identity our sense of being male or female. (p. 159)
gender role a set of expected behaviors for males or for females. (p. 159)
gender-typing the acquistion of a traditional masculine or feminine role. (p. 159)
general adaptation syndrome (GAS) Selye's concept of the body's adaptive response to stress in three phases - alarm, resistance, exhaustion. (p. 489)
general intelligence (g) a general intelligence factor that, according to Spearman, and others, underlies specific mental abilities and is therefore, measured by every task on an intelligence test.
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