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Intro to Psychology, Study Guide 1

by: Elise Gan

Intro to Psychology, Study Guide 1 PSY 0001

Marketplace > Tufts University > Psychlogy > PSY 0001 > Intro to Psychology Study Guide 1
Elise Gan

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Study guide covering : The Science of Psychology, Research Methodology, Biology and Behavior, Consciousness, Learning, and Thinking, Language, and Intelligence
Intro to Psychology
Lisa Shin, Samuel Sommers, Heather Urry
Study Guide
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This 14 page Study Guide was uploaded by Elise Gan on Friday February 19, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to PSY 0001 at Tufts University taught by Lisa Shin, Samuel Sommers, Heather Urry in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 189 views. For similar materials see Intro to Psychology in Psychlogy at Tufts University.


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Date Created: 02/19/16
Seemingly important vocabulary Emphasized in readings and class Intro to Psychology Study Guide, Test #1 Chapter 1: The Science of Psychology 1.1  What is Psychological Science? •   psychology = study of mental activity and behavior •   psychological science = study of mind, brain, and behavior through research •   must think critically about everything (even scientific findings) •   people have biases: o   ignore evidence o   misunderstand/don’t use statistics o   use sources that aren’t credible o   see relationships that don’t exist o   accept explanations after the fact o   take mental shortcuts 1.2  What Are the Scientific Foundations of Psychology? •   culture = beliefs, values, etc. of people w common language and environment •   nature/nurture debate = arguments about whether psychological characteristics are biological or acquired •   mind/body problem = discussion whether mind and body are separate •   Rene Descartes (1600s) – dualism: mind and body are separate but intertwined •   experimental psychology began with introspection o   introspection = examination of mental experiences; people reported on content of thoughts •   structuralism = approach; says conscious experience can be broken down into components •   William James (late 1800s) – stream of consciousness: person’s continuous series of thoughts •   functionalism = approach; concerned with adaptive purpose of mind/behavior •   evolutionary theory = Darwin; species change over time and some changes make survival easier (adaptations) o   natural selection = survival of the fittest; advantageous genetics help •   Gestalt theory = whole personal experience is different that sum of its parts •   Sigmund Freud- human behavior determined by mental processes below level of consciousness (unconscious) o   psychoanalysis = by Freud; bring contents of unconscious out; reveal conflicts •   behaviorism = shows effect of environment on behavior •   cognitive psychology = study of mental functions: thinking, language, etc. •   social psychology = study of how people influence others’ thoughts, feelings •   personality psychology = study of characteristic thought, behaviors in people and how they change in different social situations 1.3  What are the Latest Developments in Psychology? •   hundreds of substances play roles in brain chemistry •   human genome is the basic genetic code •   many human behaviors are universal/similar to ancestors •   globalization = flow of people, commodities, etc. •   levels of analysis o   biological: how body contributes to mind/behavior o   individual: differences in personality/mental processes/perception o   social- how group contexts affect people’s behavior o   cultural: how people are different across cultures Chapter 2: Research Methodology 2.1 How is the Scientific Method Used in Psychological Research? •   science has four goals: description, prediction, control, and explanation •   scientific method = procedure of observing and measuring phenomena; used to achieve goals of science •   theory = explanation of how phenomena work; straightforward and empirically testable •   hypothesis = specific, testable prediction; tests of theory under certain conditions; concrete; multiple per theory •   should repeat research studies to confirm results 2.2 What Types of Studies Are Used in Psychological Research? •   three research methods: descriptive, correlational, and experimental •   variable = can vary; researcher and manipulate and/or measure o   independent variable = variable that gets manipulated o   dependent variable = variable that gets measured •   operational definition = how we quantify a variable; broad concept, something measurable •   descriptive methods = describe behavior objectively and systematically o   case study = intensive examination of unusual person/organization o   observational studies, variations: §   participant observation = researcher involved in the situation §   naturalistic observation = researcher is passive •   reactivity = participant may act different if the researched is involved §   observer bias = errors because of observer’s expectations §   experimenter expectancy effect = change in behavior of participants being observed due to expectations of observer o   self-report = people asked to provide info about themselves •   correlational methods = show how variables are related naturally o   positive correlation = both variables either increase or decrease together; slope is positive o   negative correlation = as one variable goes up, the other goes down; negative slope o   zero correlation = variables not related o   directionality problem = relationship doesn’t show causation §   both variables could be caused by a third variable •   experimental methods = researcher has max control of situation; manipulate variables and test many hypotheses o   experimental group = participants in group who receive treatment o   control group = participants who receive no treatment §   must randomly assign people to groups 2.3 What are the Ethics Governing Psychological Research? •   cannot force people to participate •   confidentiality = keeping personal information private •   anonymity = no personal information collected •   animals used in studies must be well cared for 2.4 How are Data Analyzed and Evaluated? •   construct validity = extent to which variable measure what they’re supposed to •   external validity = degree to which findings can be generalized to others •   internal validity = degree to which observations are due to independent variable and not other factors •   reliability = stability of a measure over time •   accuracy = degree to which measure is error free Chapter 3: Biology and Behavior 3.1 How Does the Nervous System Operate? •   responsible for what people think, feel, and do •   basic units are neurons •   has two divisions: central and peripheral o   central nervous system (CNS) = the brain and the spinal cord o   peripheral nervous system (PNS) = all other nerve cells in body •   types of neurons o   sensory neurons = detect info from physical world (usually through spinal cord) o   motor neurons = direct muscles to contract/relax o   interneurons = communicate w/in local or short-distance circuits •   neuron structure o   dendrites = short appendages, detect chemical signals from others o   cell body = somatic, information collected and integrated o   axon = electrical impulses transmitted §   has terminal buttons on end o   synapse = gap between neurons; chemical communication between neurons •   resting membrane potential = electrical charge of a neuron when it’s not active •   action potential = electrical impulse; surges along axon, caused by influx of positive ions o   starts in axon hillock, ends at terminal buttons o   all-or-none principle = neuron either fires or doesn’t •   neurotransmitters = chemical substances that transmit signals from one neuron to another •   receptors = specialized protein molecules, neurotransmitters bind to them •   how to terminate signal: o   reuptake = some neurotransmitters are taken back into terminal buttons o   enzyme deactivation- enzyme destroys neurotransmitters o   auto receptors monitor how much has been released and stops it •   types of neurotransmitters: o   acetylcholine (ACh) = responsible for motor control between nerves and muscles; involved in mental processes o   epinephrine = adrenaline; responsible for bursts of energy after threat or excitement o   norepinephrine = involved in states of arousal or attention o   serotonin = wide range of psychological activity: emotional states, impulse control, dreaming, etc. o   dopamine = involved in motivation and reward; motor control over voluntary movement o   GABA = primary inhibitory transmitter in the nervous system o   glutamate = primary excitatory transmitter o   endorphins = involved in natural pain reduction and reward •   drugs can affect neurotransmitters o   agonist = increases number of neurotransmitters o   antagonist = decreases number of neurotransmitters 3.2 What are the Basic Brain Structures and Their Functions? •   Broca’s area = small portion of left frontal region of brain, helps produce language •   how scientists look at the brain o   psychophysiological assessment = measurements of bodily systems influenced by mental states §   ex: lie detectors o   electrophysiology = data collection; measures electrical activity in brain §   electroencephalograph = EEG, measures electrical activity of surface of brain, detects fast brain responses o   brain imaging = measure changes in rate, speed, or flow of blood to different regions of brain §   positron emission tomography = PET, finds active areas §   magnetic resonance imaging = MRI, disrupt brain’s magnetic forces, good for seeing structure §   functional MRI = fMRI, use blood flow to map brain o   transcranial magnetic stimulation = disrupts activity in a specific region for short time to examine which regions are necessary for specific functions •   brain structure o   cerebellum = “little brain,” large protuberance on back of brain stem; important for motor function o   thalamus = gateway to cortex, receives incoming sensory info, organizes it, and sends it to the cortex o   hypothalamus = master regulatory system, located below thalamus, receives input from almost everywhere in body/brain, affects function of many internal organs, involved in motivated behaviors o   hippocampus = “seahorse,” new memories, involved in how we remember arrangements of objects o   amygdala = “almond,” important for survival, evaluates facial expression, processes stimuli, intensifies emotional memory o   basal ganglia = system of subcortical structures for planning and producing movement §  nucleus accumbens important for experiencing reward and motivating behavior o   cerebral cortex = outer layer of brain tissue, site of all thoughts, perceptions, and complex behaviors o   corpus callosum = bridge of millions of axons, connects hemispheres o   4 lobes §   occipital lobes = at back, devoted to vision •   primary visual cortex = major destination for visuals •   secondary = processes attributes of image §   parietal lobes = partially devoted to touch •   left side has right side touch info and vice versa •   info goes to primary somatosensory cortex o   covered by somatosensory homunculus (distorted representation of entire body) •   involved in attention §   temporal lobes = primary auditory cortex •   has specialized visual areas for faces •   fusiform face area (between temporal and occipital lobes) •   includes limbic system: hippocampus, amygdala §   frontal lobes = planning and movement •   prefrontal cortex = 30% of brain, directs and maintains attention, important for socializing, sense of self, empathy, guilt o   split brain = when corpus callosum is cut and the two hemispheres of the brain don’t receive info directly from each other 3.3 How Does the Brain Communicate with the Body? •   peripheral nervous system o   somatic nervous system (SNS) = transmits sensory signals and motor signals between CNS and skin, muscles, and joints o   autonomic nervous system (ANS) = regulates body’s internal environment, transmits sensory signals and motor signals between CNS and body’s glands and internal organs §   sympathetic division = prepares body for action §   parasympathetic division = returns body to resting state •   endocrine system = communication system; uses hormones to influence thought, behavior, and actions o   hormones = chemical substances released in bloodstream by endocrine glands (pancreas, thyroid, ovaries, etc.) §   influence in sexual behavior; gonads (male: testes, female: ovaries) 3.4 How Does the Brain Change? •   plasticity = brain changes as a result of experience or injury o   connections form, growing axons directed by chemicals o   decreases with age, but doesn’t stop •   males and females have brain differences o   male brains may have slower communication •   change in brain not in wiring or arrangement, but in strength of existing connections •   brain reorganizes in response to brain damage 3.5 What is the Genetic Basis of Psychological Science? •   environmental factors can affect gene expression o   whether gene is turned on or off •   genome = master blueprint •   chromosomes = structures made of DNA, segments comprise individual genes o   genes = segments, units of heredity §   each gene manufactures polypeptides •   polypeptides make up proteins •   Mendel’s pea plants o   dominant gene = gene expressed in offspring whenever it’s there o   recessive gene = gene expressed only when with another recessive •   genotype = organism’s genetic makeup •   phenotype = observable physical characteristics •   some characteristics polygenic, display wide variability of a characteristic •   zygote = fertilized cell o   grows through cell division o   monozygotic twins = identical twins, result from one zygote splitting into two o   dizygotic twins = fraternal twins, result from two separately fertilized eggs, no more similar than non-twin siblings §   identical twins raised in different home had similar interests and intelligence levels •   heredity = transmission of characteristics from parents to offspring •   heritability = statistical estimate of the extent to which variation in a trait in a population is due to genetics •   epigenetics = how environment affects genetics, alter DNA expression •   optogenetics = precise control over when neuron fires; uses light and gene alterations; make neurons fire Chapter 4: Consciousnesd 4.1 What is Consciousness? •   consciousness = moment-by-moment subjective experiences, resulting from brain activity o   conscious awareness involves attention §   automatic tasks don’t need much attention §   selective attention •   decisions about what to attend to are made early in perceptual process •   shut off ability to attend to anything else §   change blindness = failure to notice large changes in the environment o   unconscious processing influences behavior §   Freudian slip = unconscious thought suddenly expressed at inappropriate time/social context o   subliminal perception = unconscious cues, can influence cognition 4.2 What is Sleep? •   part of normal rhythm of life •   many brain regions more active during sleep •   brain activity/other physiological processes regulated into circadian rhythms •   sleep is an altered state of consciousness •   stages of sleep: o   stage 1: theta waves, can be easily aroused, light sleep o   stage 2: more regular breathing, sleep spindles and K-complexes o   stage 3 and 4: delta waves, slow-wave sleep, hard to wake o   REM sleep = marked by rapid eye movement, dreaming, and paralysis of motor systems §   decrease in activity in frontal cortex •   frontal cortex last to wake up §   brain active, muscles paralyzed o   non-REM sleep §   decrease brain activity •   sleep disorders o   insomnia = inability to sleep o   obstructive sleep apnea = a person stops breathing because his/her throat closes, results in frequent awakenings o   narcolepsy = people experience excessive sleepiness during normal waking hours, sometimes collapsing •   sleep is adaptive; purpose of sleep o   restorative theory = sleep allows body to repair itself §   wastes removed in sleep (neural waste) o   circadian rhythm theory = sleep evolved to keep animals quiet when it’s dark, keeps them safer §   ex: large animals vulnerable to attack sleep little •   people dream while sleeping o   dreams = products of altered state of consciousness; images and fantasies confused with reality §   REM dreams more likely to be weird §   non-REM dreams more boring and realistic o   Freud speculated dreams contain hidden content that represent unconscious conflicts in the brain §   latent content = what the dream symbolizes §   manifest content = the plot, the way the dream is remembered o   activation-synthesis theory = brain tries to make sense of random brain activity that occurs during sleep by synthesizing the activity with stored memories §   limbic system, associated with emotion and motivation, could be source of dreams’ emotional content 4.3  What is Altered Consciousness? •   hypnosis = social interaction; a person responding to suggestions experiences changes in memory, perception, and/or voluntary action; cannot force people to do things against their will/morals o   hypnotizability = degree to which an individual is responsive to standard hypnotic suggestion o   sociocognitive theory of hypnosis = hypnotized people behave as they expect hypnotized people to behave o   neodissociation theory of hypnosis = conscious awareness separated from other aspects of consciousness o   hypnotic analgesia = form of pain reduction; suggestions reduce unpleasantness of pain, but not intensity o   cannot increase accuracy of memories or recreate events in the past o   feats performed under hypnosis can be done by motivated people •   meditation = mental procedure; focuses attention on external object or on a sense of awareness o   designed to enhance self-knowledge and well-being o   concentration meditation = focus attention on one thing (ex: breathing) o   mindfulness meditation = let thought flow freely o   some forms assume specific positions o   experienced meditators have a larger corpus callosum, thicker cortex in frontal and temporal, more frontal cortex activation §   could be correlation not causation 4.4 How Do Drugs Affect Consciousness •   many people use and abuse psychoactive drugs o   addiction = drug use that remains compulsive despite negative consequences o   psychoactive drugs = people usually take for fun, change brain’s neurochemistry by activating neurotransmitter systems o   stimulants = increase behavioral and mental activity, stimulate CNS o   depressants = opposite effect of stimulants, depresses CNS o   opiates = provide intense feelings of pleasure, relaxation, and euphoria o   hallucinogens = psychedelics, produce alterations in cognition, mood, perception o   alcohol is a drug •   addiction has physical and psychological aspects o   tolerance = when people need to consume more of the drug to get the same effect o   withdrawal = physiological and psychological state; anxiety and cravings for drugs o   many people feel the need to take drugs even if it’s not enjoyable anymore Chapter 6: Learning 6.1 How Do We Learn? •   learning = relatively enduring change in behavior, from experience o   babies are tabula rasa (blank slates) •   three types of learning: o   nonassociative learning- responding after repeated exposure to a single stimulus or event o   associative learning = linking two stimuli/events that occur together o   observational learning = acquiring/changing a behavior after exposure to another individual doing that behavior •   habituation = decrease in behavior after repeated exposure to a stimulus •   sensitization = increase in behavior after repeated exposure to a stimulus 6.2 How Do We Learn Predictive Associations? •   behavioral responses are conditioned •   classical conditioning = Pavlovian, associative learning; neutral stimulus elicits response when associated with a stimulus that already produces that response o   unconditioned response = UR, response that doesn’t have to be learned, reflex o   unconditioned stimulus = US, stimulus that elicits a response, reflex, without any prior learning o   conditioned stimulus = CS, stimulus that elicits response only after learning o   conditioned response = CR, response to conditions stimulus, learned o   acquisition = gradual formation of association between CS and US o   extinction = weaken CR when CS is repeated without US o   spontaneous recovery = previously extinguished CR reemerges with CS o   stimulus generalization = learning that occurs when stimuli are similar to CS and produce CR o   stimulus discrimination = differentiation between two stimuli, one is associated with US •   conditioned taste aversion = people won’t eat food that their brains associate with illness, nausea, etc. •   biological preparedness = why animals fear dangerous things and not harmless objects •   Rescoria-Wagner model = cognitive model; strength of CS-US association is determined by the extent to which US is unexpected o   after stimulus appears, something better than expected happens - positive prediction error, strengthens association o   after stimulus, nothing happens - negative prediction error weakens •   can condition fear o   phobia = acquired fear that’s out of proportion of real threat o   fear conditioning = US is not pleasant §   amygdala involved §   may cause phobias 6.3 How Does Operant Conditioning Change Behavior? •   operant conditioning = instrumental conditioning; learning process; consequence of action determines likelihood of action being repeated o   law of effect = a satisfying action is likely to be repeated •   reinforcement increases behavior o   reinforcer = stimulus that follows a response, increases likelihood of repeating action o   shaping = reinforces behaviors that are increasingly similar to desired behavior o   primary reinforcers = satisfy biological needs; food, water, etc. o   secondary reinforcers = objects such as money that are associated with other needs such as food o   positive reinforcement = stimulus increases probability of a behavior being repeated o   negative reinforcement = removal of unpleasant stimulus to increase probability of behavior being repeated •   scheduling reinforcement o   continuous reinforcement = behavior reinforced each time it occurs o   partial reinforcement = behavior only sometimes reinforced §   ratio schedule = based on times behavior occurs; ex: every third or fifth §   interval schedule = based on unit of time o   partial reinforcement extinction effect = greater persistence of behavior under partial reinforcement •   punishment decreases behavior o   positive punishment = addition of stimulus to decrease probability of a behavior being repeated o   negative punishment = removal of stimulus to decrease probability of behavior being repeated o   behavior modification = use of operant conditioning to eliminate unwanted behaviors and replace them with desirable ones •   cognitive map = visual/spatial representation of an environment •   latent learning = learning that takes place without reinforcement 6.4 How Does Watching Others Affect Learning? •   observational learning o   modeling = imitation of observed behavior §   models usually of high status, attractive, similar to selves o   vicarious learning = learning consequences by watching others being rewarded or punished for an action o   fear can be learned through observation §   baby can learn to fear what his/her parents fear by watching their faces §   mirror neurons = neurons in brain that activate when a person observes someone else doing an action and when a similar action is done §   Chapter 8: Thinking, Language, and Intelligence 8.1 What is Thought? •   cognition = includes thinking and the understandings that come from thinking o   cognitive psychology based on two ideas: §   knowledge about world is stored in brain in representations §   thinking = mental manipulation of representations of knowledge about the world •   analogical representations = some physical characteristics of objects •   symbolic representations = don’t correspond to physical features, abstract o   concepts are symbolic representations o   concept = category or class of related items, consists of mental representations §   prototype model = within each concept there’s a best example that represents it §   exemplar model = all members of concept are examples; they form the category together •   use schema in brain for two reasons o   common situations have consistent rules o   people have specific roles within situational context •   stereotypes = cognitive schemas; easy, fast processing of information about people based on their membership in groups •   scripts = schema that directs behavior over time within a situation 8.2 How Do We Make Decisions and Solve Problems? •   decision making = selecting best alternative from options o   normative decision theories = attempt to define how people should make decisions o   descriptive decision theories = attempt to predict how people actually make choices; not ideal choices o   heuristics = shortcuts used to reduce amount of thinking in decision making §   availability heuristic = making a decision based on answer that comes most easily §   representativeness heuristic = placing a person/object in a category if similar to prototype of category §   affective forecasting = people overestimate how events will make them feel in the future o   anchoring = tendency in judgment to rely on first piece of information or information that comes to mind o   framing = emphasize potential losses or gains §   loss aversion = people tend to be more motivated to not lose an item rather than gain the same amount o   paradox of choice = people are more indecisive and less likely to choose if they have more choices •   problem solving = removing obstacles to reach a goal o   restructuring = new way of thinking about a problem; helps find solution o   mental sets = problem solving strategies that worked in the past §   people usually revert to these o   functional fixedness = having a fixed idea about the typical function of an object o   insight = sudden realization of a solution to a problem 8.3 What is Lanaguage? •   language = system of communication using sounds, symbols, and grammar o   morphemes = smallest language units with meaning; pre- and suffixes o   phonemes = basic sounds of speech •   aphasia = language disorder; deficits in language comprehension and production o   Wernicke’s area = left hemisphere where temporal and parietal lobes meet; involved in speech comprehension •   linguistic relativity theory = claim; language determines thought •   language develops in an orderly way o   telegraphic speech = tendency for toddlers to speak using sentences that are missing words but follow logical syntax and contain meaning o   children overgeneralize rules of grammar; try to apply things they’ve learned to new situations •   there is an inborn capacity for language o   surface structure = sound and order of words o   deep structure = implicit meanings of sentences o   all people born with language acquisition device that contains universal grammar •   deaf children who learn sign language learn at the same pace as hearing children •   reading needs to be learned o   phonics = method of teaching reading, focuses on association between letters and phonemes o   whole language = method of teaching, emphasizes learning meanings of words and understanding how they’re connected in sentences 8.4 How Do We Understand Intelligence? •   intelligence = ability to use knowledge to reason, make decisions, understand complex ideas, etc. o   achievement tests = assess current levels of skill and of knowledge o   aptitude tests = predict what tasks people will be good at in the future o   intelligence quotient = IQ, computed by dividing a child’s mental age by their chronological age and multiplying by 100 §   mental age = assessment of child’s intelligence in comparison with peers §   adults compared with others in age range •   general intelligence = g; one general factor underlies intelligence o   fluid intelligence = reflects ability to process information, think logically, etc. o   crystallized intelligence = reflects knowledge acquired through experience and ability to use that knowledge •   emotional intelligence = EQ, social intelligence, emphasizes abilities to manage, recognize, and understand emotions •   genes and environment influence intelligence o   white Americans shows to score 10-15 points higher than African Americans on measures of intelligence §   African Americans often raised in disadvantaged environments §   content of tests usually favors cultural and educational experiences of the white middle class o   stereotype threat = apprehension about confirming negative stereotypes related to a person’s group §   pessimism to discrimination may cause underperformance


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