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PSY 1010: Exam #1 Study Guide

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by: Fariba Rana

PSY 1010: Exam #1 Study Guide 1010

Marketplace > Wayne State University > Psychlogy > 1010 > PSY 1010 Exam 1 Study Guide
Fariba Rana
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This study guide covers all of the material that we need to know for Exam #1. It includes notes from the lectures as well as notes from the textbook. E-mail me at with any question...
Introduction to Psychology
Study Guide
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This 10 page Study Guide was uploaded by Fariba Rana on Friday January 8, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to 1010 at Wayne State University taught by in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 360 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Psychology in Psychlogy at Wayne State University.


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Date Created: 01/08/16
PSY 1010 Exam #1 Study Guide Chapters that will be covered on the exam:  Chapter 1: Psychology – The Evolution of a Science o 1.1: Psychology’s Roots: The Path to a Science of Mind o 1.5: Beyond the Individual: Social and Cultural Perspectives o 1.6: The Profession of Psychology: Past and Present  Chapter 2: Methods in Psychology o 2.1: Empiricism and the Scientific Method o 2.2: Observation: Discovering What People Do o 2.3: Explanation: Discovering Why People Do What They Do  Chapter 3: Neuroscience and Behavior o 3.1: Neurons: The Origin of Behavior o 3.2: Information Processing in Neurons o 3.3: The Organization of the Nervous System o 3.4: Structure of the brain o 3.5: The Development and Evolution of Nervous Systems o 3.6: Investigating the Brain ___________________________________________________________________ Important Information from Chapter 1:  Nativism: the view that certain kinds of knowledge are innate  Philosophical Empiricism: the view that all knowledge is acquired through experience.  Psychologists work to understand the role that nature and nurture play in determining our thoughts, feelings and actions.  Descartes argued that the body and mind are very different. According to him, the body is a material substance but the mind/soul is an immaterial (or spiritual) substance.  Dualism: How mental activity can be reconciled and coordinated with physical behavior.  Hobbes disagreed with Descartes. He believed that the mind and body weren’t different. He said that the mind (our private thoughts, perceptions, feelings, memories) is what the brain does.  This is shown in how specific changes in the brain lead to specific changes in the mind.  Paul Broca was a brain surgeon and he worked with a patient named Leborgne that had a small part of his brain that was damaged. He was unable to speak but could understand everything that was said to him. He could only say the word “tan.” Damage to a specific part of his brain impaired a specific psychological function.  Descartes was proved wrong since this shows that our mental lives are created by the physical workings of our brain.  Helmholtz found a method to measure the speed of nerve impulses. He gave electric shocks to participants on different parts of their body and recorded their reaction times.  Reaction Time: The time it takes to respond to a specific stimulus.  He was able to determine how fast nerve impulses travel, dispelling the notion that mental processes occur instantly.  Wundt: A psychologist that believed that psychology should focus on consciousness. He developed structuralism.  Consciousness: A person’s subjective experience of the world and the mind.  Structuralism: The analysis of the basic elements that constitute the mind  Introspection: The research method Wundt used; a method that asks people to report on the contents of their consciousness and explain their subjective experience  James: Disagreed with Wundt’s claim that consciousness could be broken down into separate elements. He said that consciousness is like a flowing stream (not fragments) that could only be understood as a whole. He said we should focus on the purpose of consciousness rather than what it’s made of.  Functionalism: The study of the purpose that mental processes serve. Dominant approach to psychology.  There’s often no clear 1:1 relationship between a stimulus and a response. The same stimulus can cause different behaviors. Example. The viral dress picture is the stimulus. There is one stimulus but there are different responses, as some people think the dress is black/blue and others think it is gold/white.  The same behavior can also be caused by different stimuli.  Behavior is influenced by experience, emotions, social factors, and motivated states (hunger, thirst, etc).  We can measure thoughts using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging  This allows us to see which parts of the brain are active during a given task  Natural Selection: The features of an organism that help it survive/reproduce will be passed on to the following generations. James determined that the function of all psychological processes is to help people survive and reproduce.  Two important areas of psychology are social psychology and cultural psychology.  Social psychology: The study of the causes and consequences of sociality.  Cultural psychology: The study of how cultures reflect and shape the psychological processes of their members.  APS: Association for Psychological Science  Clinical psychologists: Work in private practice, often in partnerships with other psychologists or with psychiatrists  Counseling psychologists: Assist people in dealing with work or career issues and changes or help people deal with common crises such as divorce, the loss of a job, or the death of a loved one  Psychologists apply psychology research in the real world. Most psychologists are clinical. Important Information from Chapter 2:  Dogmatism: The tendency for people to cling to their assumptions.  Empiricism: The belief that accurate knowledge can be acquired through observation. It focuses on the importance of learning/memory and assumes that we are a “blank slate” upon which our experiences are written. It says that we are a product of our experiences. It is the essential method of the scientific method. (Aristotle)  Nativism: The belief that our behavior is prescribed in ours genes and says that our minds are like a slate with pre-loaded knowledge. (Socrates)  Scientific Method: Procedure for finding the truth by using empirical evidence.  Theory: A hypothetical explanation of a natural phenomenon  Hypothesis: A falsifiable prediction made by a theory. It is the question asked in an experiment.  Empirical Method: A set of rules and techniques for observation; a set of procedures for gathering information objectively  Objective: Not subject to thoughts, feelings, or prejudice (bias)  Humans are difficult to study because of their complexity, reactivity, and variability.  Methods of Observation: Allow us to determine what people do.  Methods of Explanation: Allow us to determine why people do it.  Observing: Using one’s sense to learn about the properties of an event/object.  Operational definition: A description of a property in concrete, measurable terms.  Instrument: Anything that can detect the condition to which an operational definition refers.  Steps of Measuring a Property: o Define the property you are measuring. You need to come up with an operational definition. It must have validity. o Find a way to detect it by designing an instrument that has reliability/power.  Validity: The goodness with which a concrete event defines a property.  Reliability: The tendency for an instrument to produce the same measurement whenever it is used to measure the same thing.  Power: An instrument’s ability to detect differences or changes in the property.  In order to draw accurate conclusions, we have to look at the following aspects of the results: Reliability, Validity (Internal/External), and Power (Statistical Significance)  Demand characteristics: Those aspects of an observational setting that cause people to behave as they think someone else wants or expects. They make it hard to measure behavior.  Bias: The influence of a pre-existing point of view. Observer bias is from the person making observations.  Experimenter Expectation: We see what we expect to see and our knowledge influences what we see.  Ways to get rid of bias: o Naturalistic Observation: A technique for gathering scientific information by unobtrusively observing people in their natural environments. o Standardizing procedures/operational definitions  Make sure every subject is treated the same way  Create precise definition of measures you and others will follow o Blind Studies  Keep the subject separate from other subjects.  Make sure the subjects used in the experiment don’t interact/influence each other.  Double-blind – An observation whose true purpose is hidden from both the observer and the person being observed.  Expectations can influence observations and reality.  Variables: Properties whose values can vary across individuals or over time.  Correlation: Variations in the value of one variable are synchronized with variations in the value of the other.  Natural Correlations: Correlations observed in the world around us  Third Variable Correlation: Two variables are correlated only because each is causally related to a third variable.  Third Variable Problem: A causal relationship between two variables cannot be inferred from the naturally occurring correlation between them because of the possibility of a third variable correlation.  Experiment: A technique for establishing the causal relationship between variables.  Experiments try to eliminate the third variable by manipulation and random assignment.  Manipulation: Changing a variable to determine its causal power.  Independent Variable: The variable that is manipulated.  Experimental Group: The group of people that experience a stimulus.  Control Group: The group of people that do not experience that stimulus.  Dependent Variable: Variable that is measured.  Confounding Variables: Things not part of the experiment that influence the results.  Random Assignment: Procedure that lets chance assign people to the control group or experimental group.  Self-Selection: Problem that occurs when anything about a person determines whether he or she will be included in the experimental or control group.  Internal Validity: An attribute of an experiment that allows it to establish causal relationships. Everything inside the experiment is working exactly as it must in order for us to draw conclusions about causal relationships.  External Validity: An attribute of an experiment in which variables have been defined in a normal, typical, or realistic way.  Population: A complete collection of people.  Sample: A partial collection of people drawn from a population.  Case method: A procedure for gathering scientific information by studying a single individual.  Random Sampling: A technique for choosing participants that ensures that every member of a population has an equal chance of being included in the sample. This allows us to make generalizations about the whole population. ______________________________________________________________________________ Important Information from Chapter 3:  Neurons: Cells in the nervous system that communicate with one another to perform information-processing tasks  Cell body: The largest component of the neuron that coordinates the information- processing tasks and keeps the cell alive.  Dendrites: Components of the neuron that receive information from other neurons and relay it to the cell body.  Axon: Component of the neuron that carries information to other neurons, muscles, or glands.  Synapse: The junction or region between the axon of one neuron and the dendrites of another.  Myelin Sheath: An insulating layer of fatty material.  Glial Cells: Support cells found in the nervous system that make up the myelin sheath.  Sensory Neurons: Type of neurons that receive information from the external world and convey this information to the brain via the spinal cord.  Motor Neurons: Neurons that carry signals from the spinal cord to the muscles to produce movement.  Interneurons: Neurons that connect sensory neurons, motor neurons, or other interneurons.  The communication of information within/between neurons has two stages: o Conduction: Information has to travel inside the neuron via an electrical signal that travels from the dendrite to the cell body to the axon. o Transmission: When the signal is passed from one neuron to another via chemical messengers traveling across the synapse.  Resting Potential: The difference in electric charge between the inside and outside of a neuron’s cell membrane.  Action Potential: An electric signal that is conducted along the length of a neuron’s axon to a synapse.  Current: Produced by the movement of ions.  Ions move in and out of the cell through specific channels that are embedded in the plasma membrane. There are sodium channels and potassium channels. These channels can be opened or closed.  When sodium enters, the cell becomes more positively charged.  Depolarized: When the cell becomes more positively charged.  Threshold: The voltage level at which an action potential is generated.  Neurotransmitter binding produces a small change in voltage by generating a current. If the sum of all the voltage changes reaches a certain depolarized level (the threshold), a nerve impulse can be generated.  Graph from book:  Steps of Nerve Impulse: o Resting Potential: The sodium channels are closed. The inside of the membrane is negative relative to the outside of the membrane (-70 mv). o Threshold: Some sodium channels open, making the inside slightly more positive. The threshold level (-60 mv) has been reached. o Action Potential: Since the threshold has been reached, an action potential is generated. More sodium channels open and sodium rushes into the membrane making the inside very positive (+40mv). This process is called depolarization. o Hyperpolarization: Potassium ions move across the membrane and go outside to restore the resting potential, making the inside more negative. o Resting Potential is restored  The action potential is all or none: Electric stimulation below the threshold fails to produce an action potential, whereas electric stimulation at or above the threshold always produces the action potential.  Refractory period: The time following an action potential during which a new action potential cannot be initiated.  Nodes of Ranvier: Break points in the myelin sheath; electric current passing through the axon jumps from node to node  Terminal buttons: Knob-like structures that branch out from the axon. They contain vesicles that hold neurotransmitters.  Neurotransmitters: Chemicals that transmit information across the synapse to a receiving neuron’s dendrites.  Receptors: Parts of the cell membrane that receive neurotransmitters and either initiate or prevent a new electric signal.  Pre-synaptic neuron: The neuron sending the impulse.  Post-synaptic neuron: The neuron receiving the impulse.  Synaptic Transmission Steps: o Action potential travels down the pre-synaptic neuron to the terminal buttons, where it stimulates the release of neurotransmitters from the vesicles to the synapse. o The neurotransmitters float across the synapse and bind to receptors on the post-synaptic neuron. o Termination of neurotransmitter can occur through either re-uptake, breaking up by enzymes, or binding to auto-receptors. o A new electric signal is generated in posy-synaptic neuron.  Important neurotransmitters and their functions: o Acetylcholine: Voluntary motor control, regulation of attention/learning/sleeping/dreaming/memory o Dopamine: Motor behavior, pleasure, emotional arousal o Glutamate: Enhances the transmission of information between neurons. It is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain. o GABA: Primary inhibitory neurotransmitter; tends to stop the firing of neurons. o Norepinephrine: Vigilance o Serotonin: Regulation of sleep, wakefulness, eating, and aggressive behavior o Endorphins: Act within the pain pathways and emotion centers of the brain  Agonists: Drugs that increase the action of a neurotransmitter.  Antagonists: Drugs that block the function of a neurotransmitter.  Drugs can mimic neurotransmitters, prevent them from working, or prolong the activity of neurotransmitters.  Central Nervous System: The brain and spinal cord. It receives sensory information from the external world, processes and coordinates this information, and sends commands to the skeletal and muscular systems for action.  Peripheral Nervous System: Connects the CNS to the body’s organs/muscles. Has two subdivisions: The somatic nervous system and the autonomic nervous system.  Somatic Nervous System: A set of nerves that conveys information between voluntary muscles and the CNS.  Autonomic Nervous System: A set of nerves that carries involuntary and automatic commands that control blood vessels, body organs, and glands. It has two major divisions: the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system.  Sympathetic Nervous System: Prepares the body for action in challenging/threatening situations. It is associated with pupils dilating, heartbeat accelerating, and digestion inhibiting.  Parasympathetic Nervous System: Helps the body return to a normal resting state. The pupils contract, the heartbeat slows down, and digestion is stimulated.  Spinal Reflexes: simple pathways in the nervous system that rapidly generate muscle contractions.  Major divisions of the brain: the hindbrain, the midbrain, and the forebrain.  Hindbrain: area of the brain that coordinates information coming into and out of the spinal cord.  Parts of the Hindbrain: o Medulla: Coordinates heart rate, circulation, and respiration. o Reticular formation: Regulates sleep, wakefulness, and levels of arousal. o Cerebellum: Controls fine motor skills. o Pons: A structure that relays information from the cerebellum to the rest of the brain.  Midbrain: Contains two main structures – the tectum and the tegmentum. These structures help orient an organism in the environment and they guide movement toward or away from stimuli.  Forebrain: Controls complex cognitive, emotional, sensory, and motor functions. It is divided into two main sections: the subcortical structures and the cerebral cortex. o Subcortical Structures: Under the cerebral cortex, near the center of the brain. They include the thalamus, hypothalamus, pituitary gland, hippocampus, amygdala, and basal ganglia.  Thalamus: Relays/filters sensory information and transmits the information to the cerebral cortex.  Hypothalamus: Regulates hunger, sexual behavior, thirst, and body temperature.  Pituitary gland: Releases hormones that direct the functions of many other glands in the body. It is the “master gland” of the body’s hormone producing system.  Hippocampus: Storing/integrating memories  Amygdala: Emotional processes and forming emotional memories  Basal Ganglia: Directs intentional movement o Cerebral Cortex: Outermost layer of the brain, divided into two hemispheres.  Contralateral Control: Each hemisphere controls the functions of the opposite side of the body. Ex: The left cerebral hemisphere perceives stimuli from and controls movement on the right side of your body.  Corpus Callosum: Bundle of axons that connects the two hemispheres; supports communication of information across the hemispheres. Information received in the right hemisphere can pass the corpus callosum to the left hemisphere and vice versa.  Occipital Lobe: Processes visual information.  Parietal Lobe: Processes information about touch.  Temporal Lobe: Responsible for hearing and language.  Frontal Lobe: movement, abstract thinking, planning, memory, and judgment  There are two areas of the cortex: Association areas and primary areas.  Association areas: Help provide sense/meaning to information registered in the cortex.  Primary sensory: Process sensory information from the thalamus  Primary motor: Motor output to spinal cord (voluntary movement)  Brain Plasticity: The cortex can adapt to changes in sensory inputs. Sensory cortices are not fixed. Functions that were assigned to certain areas of the brain may be capable of being reassigned to other areas of the brain to accommodate changing input from the environment .  The greatest difference between difference species is the size of the cerebral cortex. Humans have larger cerebral cortices than cats. However, brainstem structures are relatively similar.  Gene: major unit of hereditary information. Set the range of variation that an individual can express.  Chromosomes: Strands of DNA wound around each other.  Monozygotic twins: Identical twins  Dizygotic twins: Fraternal twins  Epigenetics: Area of research; environmental influences that determine whether or not genes are expressed, or the degree to which they are expressed, without altering the basic DNA sequences that constitute the genes themselves.  Methods of Investigating the Brain: o Studying people with brain damage (lesions) o Studying the brain’s electrical activity o Using brain imaging to study brain structure and watch the brain in action  Split-Brain Procedure: When the corpus callosum is severed to alleviate the severity of seizures.  This doesn’t affect behavior that much but it interferes with inter-hemispheric transfer of information.  In a person with split-brain, information entering one hemisphere just stays there.  Electroencephalograph (EEG): A device used to record electrical activity in the brain. Electrodes are placed on the head and electric signals in the brain are amplified.  Structural Brain Imaging: provides information about the basic structure of the brain and allows clinicians or researchers to see abnormalities in brain structure.  Functional Brain Imaging: provides information about the activity of the brain when people perform various kinds of cognitive or motor tasks.  Computerized Axial Tomography (CT Scan): A scanner rotates a device around a person’s head and takes a series of X-Ray photographs from different angles.  MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): Uses a strong magnetic field to line up the nuclei of specific molecules in the brain tissue. Type of structural brain imaging.  DTI (Diffusion Tensor Imaging): Used to visualize white matter pathways. Type of structural brain imaging.  Positron Emission Topography (PET): A harmless radioactive substance is injected into a person’s bloodstream. Then the brain is scanned by radiation detectors as the person performs perceptual or cognitive tasks, such as reading or speaking.  Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI): detects the difference between oxygenated hemoglobin and deoxygenated hemoglobin when exposed to magnetic pulses.  Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS): A magnetic pulse deactivates neurons in the cerebral cortex for a short period. They can then measure changes in the way a person sees, thinks, moves, speaks etc.


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