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General Psychology Final Exam Review

by: Raquel Notetaker

General Psychology Final Exam Review PSYC 1200

Marketplace > Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute > PSYC 1200 > General Psychology Final Exam Review
Raquel Notetaker
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all chapters outlined from the textbook
General Psychology
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This 15 page Study Guide was uploaded by Raquel Notetaker on Sunday May 22, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to PSYC 1200 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute taught by Hubbell in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 78 views.


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Date Created: 05/22/16
Final Exam Review Chapter 1: Psychology and Life What Makes Psychology Unique?  Psychology is the scientific study of the behavior and the mental processes of individuals  The goals of psychology are to describe, explain, predict, and help control behavior The Evolution of Modern Psychology  Structuralism emerged from the work of Wundt and Titchener. It emphasized the structure of the mind and behavior built form elemental sensations.  The psychodynamic perspective looks at behavior as driven by instinctive forces, inner conflicts, and conscious and unconscious motivations.  The behaviorist perspective views behavior as determined by external stimulus conditions.  The humanistic perspective emphasizes an individual’s inherent capacity to make rational choices.  The cognitive perspective stresses mental processes that affect behavioral responses.  The biological perspective studies relationships between behavior and brain mechanisms.  The evolutionary perspective looks at behavior as having evolved as an adaption for survival in the environment.  The sociocultural perspective examines behavior and its interpretation in cultural context.  Functionalism, developed by James and Dewey, emphasized the purpose behind behavior.  Taken together, these theories created the agenda for modern psychology.  Women made substantial research contributions in psychology’s early history.  Each of the seven perspectives on psychology differs in its view of human natures, the determinants of behavior, the focus of study, and the primary research approach. What Psychologists Do  Psychologists work in a variety of settings and draw on expertise from a range of specialty areas.  Almost any question that can be generated about real-life experiences is addressed by some member of the psychological profession. How to Study Psychology  Devise concrete strategies for determining how much study time you need and how to distribute the time most efficiently.  Take an active approach to your lectures and the text. The PQ4R method provides six phases- Preview, Question, Read, Reflect, Recite, and Review- for enhanced learning. Chapter 2: Research Methods in Psychology The Process of Research  In the initial phase of research, observations, beliefs, information, and general knowledge lead to a new way of thinking about a phenomenon. The researcher formulates a theory and generates hypotheses to be tested.  To test their ideas, researchers use the scientific method, a set of procedures for gathering and interpreting evidence in ways that limit errors.  Researchers combat observer biases by standardizing procedures and using operational definitions.  Experimental research methods determine whether causal relationships exist between variables specified by the hypothesis being tested.  Researchers rule out alternative explanations by using appropriate control procedures.  Correlational research methods determine if and how much two variables are related. Correlations do not imply causation. Psychological Measurement  Researchers strive to produce measures that are both reliable and valid.  Psychological measurements include self-reports and behavioral measures. Ethical Issues in Human and Animal Research  Respect for the basic rights of human and animal research participants in the obligation of all researchers. Various safeguards have been enacted to guarantee ethical and humane treatment. Becoming a Critical Consumer of Research  Becoming a wise research consumer involves learning how to think critically and knowing how to evaluate claims about what research shows. Chapter 3: Statistical Supplement Analyzing the Data Chapter 4: The Biological and Evolutionary Bases of Behavior Heredity and Behavior  Species originate and change over time because of natural selection.  In the evolution of humans, bipedalism and encephalization were responsible for subsequent advances, including language and culture.  The basic unit of heredity is the gene. Genes interact with environments to yield phenotypic traits. The Nervous System in Action  The neuron, the basic unit of the nervous system, receives, processes, and relays information to other cells, glands, and muscles.  Neurons relay information from the dendrites through the cell body to the axon to the terminal buttons.  Sensory neurons receive messages form specialized receptor cells and send them toward the CNS. Motor neurons direct messages from the CNS to muscles and glands. Interneurons relay information from sensory neurons to other interneurons or to motor neurons. Mirror neurons respond when an individual observes another individual performing a motor action.  Once the summation of inputs to a neuron exceeds a specific threshold, an action potential is sent long the axon to the terminal buttons.  All-or-none action potentials are created when the opening of ion channels allows an exchange of ions across the cell membrane.  Neurotransmitters are released into the synaptic gap between neurons. Once they diffuse across the gap, they lodge in the receptor molecules of the postsynaptic membrane.  Whether these neurotransmitters excite or inhibit the membrane depends on the nature of the receptor molecule. Biology and Behavior  Neuroscientists use several methods to research the relation between brain and behavior: studying brain-damaged patients, producing lesions at specific brain sites, electrically stimulating the brain, recording brain activity, and imaging the brain with computerized devices.  The brain and the spinal cord make up the central nervous system.  The peripheral nervous system in composed of all neurons connecting the CNS to the body. The PNS consists of the somatic nervous system, which regulates the body’s skeletal muscles, and the autonomic nervous system, which regulates life support processes.  The brain stem is responsible for breathing, digestion, and heart rate.  The limbic system is involved in long-term memory, aggression, eating, drinking, and sexual behavior.  The cerebrum controls higher mental functions.  Some functions are lateralized to one hemisphere of the brain. For example, most individuals have speech localized in the left hemisphere.  Although the two hemispheres of the brain work smoothly in concert, hey play relatively greater roles for different tasks.  The endocrine system produces and secretes hormones into the bloodstream.  Hormones help regulate growth, primary and secondary sexual characteristics, metabolism, digestions, and arousal.  New cell growth and life experiences reshape the brain after birth. Chapter 5: Sensation and Perception Sensory Knowledge of the World  The task or perception is to determine what the distal stimulus is from the information contained in proximal stimulus.  Psychophysics investigates psychological responses to physical stimuli. Researchers measure absolute thresholds and just noticeable differences between stimuli.  Signal detection allows researchers to separate sensory acuity from response biases.  Researchers in psychophysics have captured the relationship between physical intensity and psychological effect.  Sensation translates the physical energy of stimuli into neural codes via transduction. The Visual System  Photoreceptors in the retina, called rods and cones, convert light energy into neural impulses.  Ganglion cells in the retina integrate input from receptors and bipolar cells. Their axons form the optic nerves that met at the optic chiasma.  Visual information is distributed to several different areas of the brain that process different aspects of the visual environment, such as how things look and where they are.  The wavelength of light is the stimulus for color.  Color sensations differ in hue, saturation, and brightness.  Color vision theory combines the trichromatic theory of three color receptors with the opponent-process theory of color systems composed of opponent elements. Hearing  Hearing is produced by sound waves that vary in frequency, amplitude, and complexity.  In the cochlea, sound waves are transformed into fluid waves that move the basilar membrane. Hairs on the basilar membrane stimulate neural impulses that are sent to the auditory cortex.  Place theory best explains the coding of high frequencies, and frequency theory best explains the coding low frequencies.  To compute the direction from which the sound is arriving, two types of neural mechanisms compute the relative intensity and timing of sounds coming to each ear. Your Other Senses  Smell and taste respond to the chemical properties of substances and work together when people are seeking and sampling food.  Olfaction is accomplished by odor-sensitive cells deep in the nasal passages.  Taste receptors are taste buds embedded in papillae, mostly in the tongue.  The cutaneous senses give sensations of pressure and temperature.  The vestibular sense gives information about the direction and rate of body motion. The kinesthetic sense gives information about the position of body parts and helps coordinate motion.  Pain is the body’s response to potentially harmful stimuli.  The physiological response to pain involves sensory response at the site of the pain stimulus and nerve impulses moving between the brain and the spinal cord. Organizational Processes in Perception  Perceptual processes organize sensations into coherent images and give you perception of objects and patterns.  Both your personal goals and the properties of the objects in the world determine where you will focus your attention.  The Gestalt psychologists provided several lows of perceptual grouping, including proximity, similarity, good continuation, closure, and common fate.  Perceptual processes integrate over both time and space to provide and interpretation of the environment.  Binocular, motion, and pictorial cues all contribute to the perception of depth.  You tend to perceive objects as having stable size, shape, and lightness.  Knowledge about perceptual illusions can provide constraints on ordinary perceptual processes. Identification and Recognition Processes  During the final stages of perceptual processing= identification and recognition of objects- percepts are given meaning through processes that combine bottom-up and top-down influences.  Ambiguity may arise when the same sensory information can be organized into different percepts.  Context, expectations, and perceptual sets may guide recognition of incomplete or ambiguous data in one direction rather than another equally possible one. Chapter 6: Mind, Consciousness, and Alternate States The Contents of Consciousness  Consciousness is an awareness of the mind’s contents.  The contents of waking consciousness contrast with nonconscious processes, preconscious memories, unattended information, and the unconscious, and conscious awareness.  Research techniques such as think-aloud protocols and experience sampling are used to study the contents of consciousness. The Functions of Consciousness  Consciousness aids your survival and enables you to construct both personal and culturally shared realities.  Researchers have studied the relationship between conscious and unconscious processes. Sleep and Dreams  Circadian rhythms reflect the operation of a biological clock.  Patterns of brain activity change over the course of a night’s sleep. REM sleep is signaled by rapid eye movements.  The amount of sleep and relative proportion of REM to NREM sleep change with age.  REM and NREM sleep serve different functions, including conservation and restoration.  Sleep disorders such as insomnia narcolepsy, and sleep apnea have a negative impact on people’s ability to function during waking time.  Freud proposed that the content of dreams is unconscious material slipped by people with special cultural roles.  Some dream theories have focused on biological explanations for the origins of dreams.  Lucid dreaming is an awareness that one is dreaming. Altered States of Consciousness  Hypnosis is an alternate state of consciousness characterized by the ability of hypnotizable people to change perception, motivation, memory, self-control in response to suggestions.  Meditation changes conscious functioning by ritual practices that focus attention away from external concerns to inner experience. Mind-Altering Drugs  Psychoactive drugs affect mental processes by temporarily changing consciousness as they modify nervous system activity.  Among psychoactive drugs that alter consciousness are hallucinogens, opiates, depressants, and stimulants. Chapter 7: Learning and Behavior Analysis The Study of Learning  Leaning entails a relatively consistent change in behavior or behavior potential based on experience.  Behaviorists believe that much behavior can be explained by simple learning processes.  They also believe that many of the same principles of learning apply to all organisms. Classical Conditioning: Learning Predictable Signals  In classical conditioning, first investigates by Pavlov, an unconditioned stimulus elicits an unconditioned response. A neutral stimulus paired with UCS becomes a conditioned stimulus which elicits a response, called the conditioned response.  Extinction occurs when the UCS no longer follows the CS.  Stimulus generalization is the phenomenon whereby stimuli similar to the CS elicit the CR.  Discrimination learning narrows the range of CSs to which an organism responds.  For classical conditioning to occur, a contingent and informative relationship must exist between the CS and UCS.  Classical conditioning explains many emotional responses and drug tolerance.  Taste-aversion learning suggests that species are genetically prepared for some forms of associations. Operant Conditioning: Learning About Consequences  Thorndike demonstrated that behaviors that bring about satisfying outcomes tend to be repeated.  Skinner’s behavior analytic approach centers on manipulating contingencies of reinforcement and observing the effects on behavior.  Behaviors are made more likely by positive and negative reinforcement. They are made less likely by positive and negative punishment.  Contextually appropriate behavior is explained by the three-term contingency of discriminative stimulus-behavior-consequences.  Primary reinforcers are stimuli that function as reinforcers even when an organism has not had previous experience with them. Conditioned reinforcers are acquired by association with primary reinforcers.  Probable activities function as positive reinforcers.  Behavior is affected by schedules of reinforcement that may be varied or fixed and delivered in intervals or in ratios.  Complex responses may be learned through shaping.  Instinctual drift may overwhelm some response-reinforcement learning. Cognitive Influences on Learning  Some forms of learning reflect more complex processes than those of classical or operant conditioning.  Animals develop cognitive maps to enable them to function in a complex environment.  Other species may be able to encode concepts such as same versus different.  Behaviors can be vicariously reinforced or punished. Humans and other animals can learn through observation. Chapter 8: Memory What is Memory?  Cognitive psychologists study memory as a type of information processing.  Memories involving conscious effort are explicit. Unconscious memories are implicit.  Declarative memory is memory for facts; procedural memory is often viewed as a three-stage process of encoding, storage, and retrieval. Memory Use for the Short Term  Iconic memory has large capacity but very short duration.  Short-term memory has limited capacity and lasts only briefly without rehearsal.  Maintenance rehearsal can extend the presence of material in STM indefinitely.  STM capacity can be increased by chunking unrelated items into meaningful groups.  The broader concept of working memory includes STM.  The four components of working memory provide the resources for moment- by-moment experiences of the world. Long-Term Memory Encoding and Retrieval  Long-term memory constitutes your total knowledge of the world and of yourself. It is nearly unlimited in capacity.  Your ability to remember information relies on the match between circumstances of encoding and retrieval.  Retrieval cues allow you to access information in LTM.  Episodic memory is concerned with memory for events that have been personally experienced. Semantic memory is memory for the basic meaning of words and concepts.  Similarity in context between learning and retrieval aids retrieval.  The serial position curve is explained by distinctiveness in context.  Information processed more deeply is typically remembered better.  For implicit memories, it is important that the processes of encoding and retrieval be similar.  Ebbinghaus studied the time course of forgetting.  Interference occurs when retrieval cues do not lead uniquely to specific memories.  Memory performance can be improved through elaborative rehearsal and mnemonics.  In general, feelings-of-knowing accurately predict the availability of information in memory. Structures in Long-Term Memory  Concepts are the memory building blocks of thinking. They are formed when memory processes gather together classes of objects or ideas with common properties.  Concepts are often organized in hierarchies, ranging from general, to basic level, to specific.  Schemas are more complex cognitive clusters.  All these memory structures are used to provide expectations and a context for interpreting new information.  Remembering is not simply recording but is a constructive process.  People encode flashbulb memories in response to events with great emotional significance, but those memories may not be more accurate than everyday memories.  New information can bias recall, making eyewitness memory unreliable when contaminated by postevent input. Biological Aspects of Memory  Difference brain structures have been shown to be involved in different types of memories.  Experiments with individuals with memory disorders have helped investigators understand how different types of memories are acquired and represented in the brain.  Brain-imaging techniques have extended knowledge about the brain bases of memory encoding and retrieval. Chapter 9: Cognitive Processes Studying Cognition  Cognitive psychologist study the mental processes and structures that enable you to perceive, use language, reason, solve problems, and make judgements and decisions.  Researchers use reaction time measures to break up complex tasks into underlying mental processes. Language Use  Language users both produce and understand language.  Speakers design their utterance to suit particular audiences.  Speech errors reveal many of the processes that go into speech planning.  Language understanding often requires the use of context to resolve ambiguities.  Memory representations of meaning begin with propositions supplemented with inferences.  Studies of language evolution have focused on grammatical structure.  The language individuals speak may play a role in determining how they think. Visual Cognition  Visual representations can be used to supplement propositional representations.  Visual representations allow you to think about visual aspects of your environment.  People form visual representations that combine verbal and visual information. Problem Solving and Reasoning  Problem solvers must define initial state, goal state, and the operations that get them from the initial to the goal state.  Creativity is often assessed using test of divergent and convergent thinking.  Deductive reasoning involves drawing conclusion from evidence based on its likelihood or probablilty Judgement and Decision Making  Much of judgement and decision making is guided by heuristics- mental shortcuts that can help individuals reach solutions quickly.  Availability, representativeness, and anchoring all allow for efficient judgements under uncertainty.  Decision making is affected by the way in which different options are framed.  The possibility of regret makes some decisions hard, particularly for individuals who are maximizers rather than satisficers. Chapter 10: Intelligence and Intelligence Assessment What is Assessment?  Psychological assessment has a long history, beginning in ancient China. Many important contributions were made by Sir Francis Galton.  A useful assessment tool must be reliable, valid, and standardized. A reliable measure gives consistent results. A valid measure assesses the attributes for which the test was designed.  A standardized test is always administered and scored in the same way; norms allow a person’s score to be compared with the average of others of the same age, sex, and culture. Intelligence Assessment  Binet began the tradition of objective intellifence testing in Francis in the early 1900s. Scores were given in terms of mental ages and were meant to represent children’s current level of functioning.  In the United States, Terman created the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale and popularized the concept of IQ.  Wechsler designed intelligence tests for adults, children, and preschoolers.  The definitions of both intellectual disability and giftedness focus both on IQ scores and day-to-day performance. Theories of Intelligence  Psychometric analyses of IQ suggest that several basic abilities, such as fluid and crystallized aspects of intelligence, contribute to IQ scores.  Contemporary theories conceive of and measure intelligence very broadly by considering the skills and insights people use to solve the types of problems they encounter.  Sternberg differentiates analytical, creative and practical aspects of intelligence.  Gardner identifies eight types of intelligence that both include and go beyond the types of intelligence assessed by standard IQ measures. Recent research has focused on emotional intelligence. The Politics of Intelligence  Almost from the outset, intelligence tests have been used to make negative claims about ethnic and racial groups.  Because of the reasonably high heritability of IQ, some researchers have attributed the lower scores of some racial and cultural groups to innate inferiority.  Environmental disadvantages and stereotype threat appear to explain the lower scores of certain groups. Research shows that group differences can be affected through environmental interventions. Assessment and Society  Though often useful for prediction and as an indication of current performance, test results should not be used to limit an individual’s opportunities for development and change.  When the results of an assessment will affect an individual’s life, the techniques used must be reliable and valid for that individual and for the purpose in question. Chapter 11: Human Development across the Life Span Studying Development  Researchers collect normative, longitudinal, and cross-sectional data to document change. Physical Development Across the Life Span  Environmental factors can affect physical development while a child is still in the womb.  Newborns and infants possess a remarkable range of capabilities. They are prewired for survival.  Through puberty, adolescents achieve sexual maturity.  Some physical changes in late adulthood are consequences of disuse, not inevitable deterioration. Cognitive Development Across the Life Span  Piaget’s key ideas about cognitive development include development of schemes, assimilation, accommodation, and the four-stage theory of discontinuous development. The four stages are sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational.  Many of Piaget’s theories are now being altered by ingenious research paradigms that reveal infants and young children to be more competent than Piaget had thought.  Children develop a theory of mind, which is the ability to explain and predict other people’s behavior based on an understanding of their mental states.  Cross-cultural research has questioned the universality of cognitive developmental theories.  Age-related declines in cognitive functioning are typically evident in only some abilities. Social Development Across the Life Span  Social development takes place in a particular context.  Erik Erikson conceptualized the life span as a series of crises with which individuals must cope.  Children begin the process of social development with different temperaments.  Socialization beings with an infant’s attachment to a caregiver.  Failure to make this attachment leads to numerous physical and psychological problems.  Adolescents must develop a personal identity by forming comfortable social relationships with parents and peers.  The central concerns of adulthood are organized around the needs of intimacy and generativity.  People become less socially active as they grow older because they selectively maintain only those relationships that matter most to them emotionally.  People assess their lives, in part, by their ability to contribute positively to the lives of others. Sex and Gender Differences  Research has revealed biologically based sex differences between the brains of men and women.  Children’s gender stereotypes are most rigid between ages 5 and 7.  Beginning at birth, parents and peers help bring about the socialization of gender roles. Moral Development  Kohlberg defined stages of moral development.  Subsequent research has evaluated gender cultural differences in moral reasoning. Learning to Age Successfully  Successful cognitive aging can be defined as people optimizing their functioning in select domains that are of highest priority to them and compensating for losses by using substitute behaviors. Chapter 12: Motivation Understanding Motivation  Motivation is a dynamic concept used to describe the processes directing behavior.  Motivational analysis helps explain how biological and behavioral processes are related and why people pursue goals despite obstacles and adversity.  Drive theory conceptualizes motivation as tension reduction.  People are also motivated by incentives, external stimuli that are not related to physiological needs.  Instinct theory suggests that motivation often relies on innate stereotypical responses.  Social and cognitive psychologists emphasizes the individual’s perception of, interpretation of, and reaction to a situation.  Although real human motivation is more complex, Maslow’s theory provides a useful framework for summarizing motivational forces. Eating  The body has a number of mechanisms to regulate the initiation and cessation of eating.  Cultural norms have an impact on what and how much people eat.  Genes play an important role in obesity but the impact of genes is affected by environmental factors.  If individuals become restrained eaters, their diets may result in weight gain rather than weight loss.  Eating disorders are life-threatening illnesses that may arise from genetic factors, misperceptions of body image, and cultural pressures. Sexual Behaviors  From an evolutionary perspective, sex is the mechanism for producing offspring.  In animals, the sex drive is largely controlled by hormones.  The work of Masters and Johnson provided the first hard data on the sexual response cycles of men and women.  Evolutionary psychologists suggest that much of human sexual behavior reflects different mating strategies for men and women.  Sexual scripts define culturally appropriate forms of sexual behavior.  Homosexuality and heterosexuality are determined both by genetics and personal and social environments. Motivation for Personal Achievement  People have varying needs for achievement. Motivation for achievement is influenced by how people interpret success and failure.  Two attributional styles, optimism and pessimism, lead to different attitudes toward achievement and influence motivation.  Organizational psychologists study human motivation in work settings. Chapter 13: Emotion, Stress, and Health Emotions  Emotions are complex patterns of changes made up of physiological arousal, cognitive appraisal, and behavioral and expressive reactions.  As a product of evolution, all humans may share a basic set of emotional responses.  Cultures, however, vary in their rules of appropriateness for displaying emotions.  Classic theories emphasize different parts of emotional response, such as peripheral bodily reactions or central neural processes.  More contemporary theories emphasize the appraisal of arousal.  Moods and emotions affect information processing and memory.  Subjective well-being is influenced by both genetics and life experiences. Stress of Living  Stress can arise from negative or positive events. At the root of most stress are change and the need to adapt to environmental, biological, physical, and social demands.  Physiological stress reactions are regulated by the hypothalamus and a complex interaction of the hormonal and nervous system.  Depending on the type of stressor and its effect over time, stress can be a mild disruption or lead to health-threatening reactions.  Cognitive appraisal is a primary moderator variable of stress.  Coping strategies either focus on problems or attempting to regulate emotions.  Cognitive reappraisal and restructuring can be used to cope with stress.  Social support is also a significant stress moderator, as long as it is appropriate to the circumstances.  Stress can lead to positive changes such a posttraumatic growth. Health Psychology  Health psychology is devoted to treatment and prevention of illness.  The biopsychosocial model of health and illness looks at the connections among physical, emotional, and environmental factors of illness.  Illness prevention focuses on lifestyle factors such as smoking and AIDS-risk behaviors.  Psychological factors influence immune function.  Psychosocial treatment of illness adds another dimension to patient treatment.  Individuals who are characterized by Type A, Type B, and optimistic behavior patterns will experience different likelihoods of illness.  Health-care providers are at risk for burnout, which can be minimized by appropriate situational changes in their helping environment.


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