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OSU / Behavioral Science / PSYCH / Why is it beneficial that we are so social?

Why is it beneficial that we are so social?

Why is it beneficial that we are so social?


The final exam will contain 80 multiple choice questions. 60 questions will  test on topics from the last 4 chapters on Social Psychology, Personality, Psychological Disorders, and Treatment of Psychological Disorders.

Why is it beneficial that we are so social?

20 questions will re-test the below topics that were missed by the greatest number of Psychology 1100 students on Midterm 1 and Midterm 2.

Chapter 13: The Connected Mind 

Why are humans so social? 

Why is it beneficial that we are so social? 

 Improves our odds of survival

 Benefits to getting along with other people extends much farther beyond  our odds of survival

o I.e. If someone is in prison and still bad, we punish them using  solitary confinement because we have nothing else to take from  them, so we take away their social connections = really powerful  motivator

o Attachment theory –people do not develop well apart from other  people and apart from positive social connections with them  Providing support beyond receiving support has benefits that can reduce  the effects of stress on us

o I.e. People taking a stressful math test and people who were giving  support to someone else actually showed less stress in their brains  and bodies (more so than people who were receiving the help)

Why is loneliness so harmful?

o It’s the idea of connecting with other people beyond the purpose of  just serving ourselves that is really beneficial  

Why is loneliness so harmful? 

 When we are isolated, we have negative health effects  Not much of a difference between real isolation and just feeling lonely o Really easy to disconnect from people / people can be  

surrounded by 100s of people and still feel alone, experiencing  these negative effects

How accurate are first impressions? 

What are “thin slices”? Generally, how accurate are our first impressions?  We are really good at assessing other people / making 1st impressions  Thin-sliced research – they will show people, for instance, a 3 second  clip of a professor teaching and people in that teeny tiny slice of time  

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

can form pretty accurate judgements about people (about their  warmth and competence / how their SEI evaluations are going to be) o Really good at picking up on cues

What is the halo effect?

We also discuss several other topics like What is the formula of GDP?

o Schemas are really relevant here

 If I pick up on one thing about you, I will often generalize  that whether it is true or not

What is the halo effect? 

 Generalizing someone after you find something out about them and it  spreading and affecting the rest of the relationship

 I.e. If you recently found out someone likes country music and you like  country music and you just met, then that positive effect would spread  When we know or think we know something about someone we  actually have a lot more information about them than just that one  piece of info If you want to learn more check out How can external validity be established?

Culture of origin has a really strong effect on what we value and what we pay attention to and how we interpret people in situations We also discuss several other topics like what is Analogical argument?

Why did that just happen? 

Attribution – judgement about the cause of a person’s behavior   Want to know why people behave the way they do

o Why? We want to be able to predict our world / we want to be  right

 We also ask questions of ourselves / we make different attributions  about ourselves than we do other people  

 When we make or explain someone’s behavior (make an attribution),  we make one of two general types of attributions / usually both of  some

o Dispositional/internal attribution – judgement assigning the  cause of a person’s behavior to personal qualities or  


 Explaining this is who they are / that person cut me off,  they are a jerk or a bad driver / it is something internal to  the person If you want to learn more check out When was arnolfini portrait painted?

o Situational/external attribution – judgement assigning the cause  of a person’s behavior to the environment

 Something about the environment not necessarily about  that person / that person cut me off because someone in  

front of them cut them off

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

We are fairly consistent and predictable in how we interpret other’s  behaviors

 Interpret other’s behavior more in terms of their dispositions than  environment We also discuss several other topics like Are the illustrations A and B intended to be visually accurate, in the sense that they represent what the eye sees? Can one say the same of D? What makes Galileo's illustration of the sunspots different from the others?

o “anyone driving slower than you is an idiot, anyone driving faster than you is a maniac”

 Assume there is no other possible reason why they could  be doing it

 Always about the other person and not you / always their  disposition

 Even when we have information about the environment, we are still  likely to make a dispositional explanation

Correspondence bias – tendency to view behavior as the result of disposition, even when the behavior can be explained by the situation in which it occurs

 We expect other people’s behavior to correspond to their dispositions  even when we know the situation is having a powerful effect  o We just want to be able to predict people

 Many cases when we behave differently from our position because of  environmental influences  

o If someone is really good at math, but does badly on a test you  may think they are bad at math, but maybe they did not sleep or something really bad happened (situational explanations) but we tend to go straight to the disposition If you want to learn more check out Who is Franz Joseph?

 At first when we make a judgement about others, more likely to rely on disposition but when we get to know them better / we understand  more of their extenuating factors, we might shift to situational  o Even in close relationships, we are likely to make the  

dispositional explanation; however with people we are in close  relationship with and if we are motivated to see them more  accurately and if we are able (if we have seen the situation and  not too distracted or tired) THEN we are more likely to kind of  adjust for that initial dispositional attribution

o Make dispositional attributions first and then sometimes we  correct for it

 Why do we make dispositional attribution first?

o We often just underestimate how powerful situations really are,  but you want to believe that our personalities are kind of King  and that they control our world, but the situation actually has a  lot of influence

o Don’t always know everything about the situation

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

o It is just easier to make a dispositional observation / saves a lot  of cognitive energy

 We want our dispositions to correspond to our behavior / we want to be able to explain a situation with some disposition / just a general bias

Fundamental Attribution Error (FAE) 

 Different approach to explaining people’s behavior  

o Humans completely ignore situational factors

 We are making a mistake, we are completely ignoring situational  factors

Defensive Attributions

 Actor-observer bias – emphasizing dispositional attributions to explain  the behavior of others while emphasizing situational attributions to  explain our own behavior

o This is a bias that relates to who is doing the observing

o Much more willing and able to come up with explanations for  ourselves

 Why? Because we have more information about ourselves / we know all the situational factors that influence us /  

motivated to be accurate in this case

 Self-serving bias – attributing success to dispositional factors while  attributing failure to situational factors

o When we interpret our own behaviors, we’re likely to interpret  our successes in a way that really benefits us and our failures in  a way to kind of protect ourselves

o When we get an A on a test, we are going to think we are smart  but when we fail a test, we are going to blame it on maybe the  teacher

o Helps us maintain our self-esteem, but it does not help us  improve very much

 More successful people take responsibility for their failures  and then they try harder and they move on

 Group-serving biases – if you are on a team that wins, then the team is  the best, but if you lose, you are rarely blaming the team itself (may a  bad ref) – more likely to do this the stronger we identify with the team  and the more we care about it

 Just-world belief - It is a short step from your behavior reflects your  disposition to you get what you deserve

o Person who fails an exam is dumb is a short step to the person  who is poor deserves to be poor

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

o We tend to believe that good things happen to good people and  bad things happen to bad people

o Leads to a lot of blaming of the victim (someone was attacked  because they somehow deserved it)

o Just-world belief is strongly correlated with negative attitudes  towards disadvantaged groups

o Process is helpful to some degree and protects our mentality, but it can also go too far  

Cultural Influences on Attribution

 Big cultural difference that we observe is that some cultures tend to  value individualism and others value collectivism 

 Individualistic cultures are many western nations including the united  states

o Stress things like individual achievement / competition / focusing on the actor the person more than the situation

o Likely to explain behaviors with disposition

o More likely to see defensive attributions

 Collectivistic cultures, Asian nations, they value cooperation as a  means for attaining goals and family and work ethics / focusing more  on the situation and the context and relationships

o More likely to place emphasis on the situation

o Still have defensive attributions but they are more likely to be  about the group

 Very possible to be in an individualistic culture but have a very  collectivistic culture in your home

 Culture of origin really affects attribution

o It affects what you are paying attention to and what you value or care about

How are our attitudes influenced by others? 

Attitudes - It is a positive or negative evaluation that predisposes us/behavior toward a person, object, or situation

 Attitude helps us determine how we interact with the world  Very related to schemas and stereotypes

 Attitude itself can kind of be a schemer

 Strong attitude predicts behavior more and it just guides a lot more of  your decision-making

 Weak attitude is easier to persuade

 We are motivated just like everything else in life to be correct… we  want to have the correct attitudes

o Much easier to navigate world and make decisions when we feel  like we are correct  

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

What are the three elements of attitudes?

 A – Affect (emotion) 

 B – Behavior 

 C – Cognition (thoughts) 

Where can attitudes come from? How can attitudes be learned?  Personal experience / we are actually experiencing our world and we  are developing some attitudes that are true to us

 We can take on closer important other people’s attitudes o Sometimes we just want to be included / want others to like us o Sometimes it’s because we like other people and we want to be  

similar to them especially when we are young / may take on  attitudes of our parents and caregivers

 Learning processes – classical conditioning… more likely to associate  new stimuli with something else that we have a strong attitude over (a  lot of advertising) / operant conditioning … may be reinforced or  punished for attitudes / observational learning  

Cognitive Dissonance - is an uncomfortable state that occurs when our  outward behavior doesn’t match our attitudes 

 We are often presented with situations where our attitudes do not  match up, and we like cognitive consistency – a preference for holding  congruent attitudes and beliefs

o Driven without a seat belt

 When we notice these discrepancies, we experience discomfort and we are motivated to resolve it

 Powerful tool for producing attitude change

 How do we resolve cognition dissonance?

o Two cognitions that contradict – add a new cognition and say but  it was just this one time, or it was in a safe environment

o Can resolve by just changing our attitude

o We can change perceived choice

o Peg-turning study

Why does persuasion happen? 

Persuasion - when our attitude changes in response to info provided by  another person

 We are constantly the objects of persuasion attempts

The Elaboration Likelihood Model 

 it explains the way we think about a persuasive message affects our  reaction to it

 Explains how we respond to persuasive messages / how we think about them determines how we react to the message itself  

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 How likely are we to elaborate or think about the message itself?   Two major pathways that we can take when we are receiving a  message

Routes to persuasion

 Central Route to Persuasion - this route we are being thoughtful o we are carefully considering messages / we are thinking about  them intently

o what is the main point?

o People persuaded through this route = attitude is durable and  stable because you arrive at the attitude with supporting  


 Peripheral Route to Persuasion - we are not thinking as thoughtfully,  but we are paying more attention to things like peripheral cues (how  attractive is that spokesperson or how easy it for me to understand the information / how fun or exciting is the ad or message)

o not considering as much the argument quality

o more likely to persuaded again later if there is another equally  enticing cue

o attitude a lot less stable

 What two factors can affect the likelihood that we’ll be in the central or peripheral route to persuasion?

o Our motivation and our ability

o More likely to correct our attributions when we have the  motivation and the ability to do so

What are some individual differences in reactions to persuasion attempts?

 Younger people are more likely to respond more emotionally than logically to persuasive arguments

 Intelligent or more well-educated people are more difficult to persuade o Reside more in the central route

o They have more facts about the world  

Why are we prejudiced? 

Humans are designed to simplify the world / like to reduce the amount of  thinking we have to do (cognitive misers or laziness) / motivated to see  ourselves as good and positive and sometimes we do that by maybe  comparing ourselves to other people (derogating and out group)

What is a stereotype? - a simplified set of traits that we have associated  with membership in a group or some type of category

 Just a generalization / if we know something about one member of the  group, we tend to apply it throughout the group  

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 Typically, with groups we do not have much experience with  Set of thoughts or cognitions that are not necessarily accurate  They’re schemas about people

 Thought structures that help simplify our world

 Can lead to attitudes towards people

What is prejudice? – a prejudgment, usually negative, of another person on  the basis of membership in a group

 When we take our stereotype and assign an attitude towards one  person and then a group of people, that is prejudice

 An attitude towards people based on their group membership  Informed by stereotypes

 Can lead to discrimination

What is discrimination? 

 This is an action or behavior

 It is unfair behavior towards someone based on their group  membership

How can stereotypes and prejudice persist despite contradictory evidence?  Confirmation bias – we ignore all of the evidence that does not support  it but hold onto one example that does proves it

 Pick up on stereotypes and prejudice even sometimes without direct  experience with the group / take someone’s word for it and so we  already have an expectation and we just confirm what we expect  Attributional biases

 Motivated to be correct – have an expectation and so we are going to  seek examples

 Subtyping – where sometimes we are aware that this does not meet  our criteria and so we just say okay well this person is just really  different, and we subtype them out

o A way of dealing with cognitive dissonance  

o Helps maintain our stereotypes

What is stereotype threat? 

 Is what someone who is a member of a stereotyped group can  experience when they are reminded that they have the opportunity to  confirm stereotype

 May produce anxiety and distract and then we are more likely to  confirm the stereotype especially if it is a negative one

What are some ways to effectively reduce prejudice? 

 Increase contact between the groups / put them together Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

o Prejudice goes away because we will discover that the entire  group is not the same

o Need to have equal standing among groups

o Helps when groups are engaging in cooperative activities  (jigsaw)

 People have to be interdependent and removes  

competition / motivates to get to know people on a  

personal level and to be accurate because you need to  


 Gets rid of a lot of the biases that are otherwise naturally in place

 Create an environment where people are encouraged to get to actually know each other

 Competition on an equal playing field and people know each other and  feel interdependent

 Expanding the in-group

Why do we go along with the group? 

Social norms – usually unwritten or unspoken rules for behavior in social  settings

Why are we so likely to change our behavior because of the influence of  other people? 

 we care about groups and being accepted

 motivated to maintain our relationship status and our leadership width  Conformity - When we match our behavior and/or our appearance to some perceived social norm

o Not changing our behavior because of a request but just because  the mere presence of other people

o We want to conform with what we think the group wants o Asch line judgement study

o We engage in conformity for a variety of reasons

 Helps us in ambiguous situations  

 Reduces the risk of rejection

o Stanford Prison Experiment – young men who had been randomly  assigned to prisoner / guard roles quickly adopted behaviors  consistent with those roles

 Compliance - When we agree to a request from someone who has no  authority over us

o More likely to comply when the person who is giving us the request  is someone who we already want to be affiliated with in some way  when they are similar to us or attractive  

o Works well because of principle of reciprocation

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 We want to see ourselves as consistent people who can  reciprocate and who can follow up on past behavior

o 3 types

 Door in the face – persuasive technique in which compliance  with a target request is preceded by a large, unreasonable  request

 when you intentionally first ask for something that you  know you are not going to get, but then when you ask  

for something smaller, so they are more likely to agree  

 People still want to be nice and comply so by initially  

saying no, it opens up the door for what you actually  


 Foot in the door – a persuasive technique in which compliance with a small request is followed by compliance with a larger  request

 Asking for a small favor and then ask them what you  

actually want them to do and they will be more likely to  


 Works because people want to be consistent like alright, I did something that indicated that I agree with you, so I

am going to go all the way

 Low balling – making further requests of a person who has  already committed to a course of action

 once someone agrees to do something for a base  

agreement, the person can then kind of add new things  

on to it

 Obedience - Changing behavior when there is some type of clear authority o Milgram experiment - experiment focusing on the conflict between  obedience to authority and personal conscience. 

 Milgram was interested in researching how far people would  go in obeying an instruction if it involved harming another  person. 

 Learned ordinary people are likely to follow orders given by an authority figure, even to the extent of killing an innocent  

human being. Obedience to authority is ingrained in us all  from the way we are brought up 

 Proximity to subject being hurt affected obedience  

How do groups work together? 

 Social facilitation - is when the presence of other people changes our  performance

o It either helps or hinders it

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

o When other people are around us, it increases our arousal and  therefore it enhances whatever behavior is already dominant  o When you are performing an easy task, other people tend to help you

o When you are performing a difficult task, other people tend to  hurt your performance

o i.e. jogger runs faster with a buddy than when running alone  Social loafing – reduced motivation / effort shown by individuals  working in a group

o Groups do not always have the same energizing effect on people o Sometimes being in a group makes us feel like we can fly under  the radar

o i.e. a student puts less effort into a group project than into an  individual term paper

 Deindividuation – immersion of an individual within a group, leading to  anonymity

o When we are in a group and often the whole group feels  anonymous

o This is when we will see riots / bad behavior

o More obedience to harmful orders

o Shifting away from our own personal identity and our own morals and values and instead we are doing what we think the group  values

o i.e. a normally law-abiding citizen loots a store during a riot  Group polarization – intensifying of an attitude following discussion o Our attitudes that may have been neutral at the beginning of the convo, but they will intensify or polarize to the side they were  already leaning towards after a conversation with people they  typically agree with

o Could be because of conformity

o Find new reasons to like it

 Groupthink - The flawed decision-making process in which a group  does not question its decisions or evaluate its decisions critically o Sometimes groups can be made up in a way where there is a  strong end goal in mind / Pressure to make a decision and maybe there is a time limit

 Strong leader does not allow for dissension or ideas to be  presented

 Everyone is really motivated to stay on board and make  one decision

o To combat:  

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 try to identify someone who is specifically devil’s advocate, it is your job to come up with reasons why we are wrong

 Good to identify person so there is less shaming

 Encourage alternative ideas

 Sometimes groups will have leaders leave for a while and  come back later so their influence is not as strong

Chapter 12: The Individual Mind 

What is personality? 

 People’s behavior is a combination of their person and their environment  Nature versus nurture

 Broadly speaking, study of personality explores patterns and thinking,  feeling, and behaving

 How could our genetics affect our personality? 

o Maybe there are some genetic contributions to what we think of as  the person or the role of the person’s involvement

o I.e. Serotonin transporter gene – the protein that allows the  reuptake of serotonin to happen and be recycled back into the cell  Two different alleles – short and long

 Gene by environment interactions – if someone is  

homozygous (2 copies of short allele), known as the  

“risky” gene… risky because when someone has this  

genotype paired with significant early life stress, those  

individuals generally have a slightly higher likelihood for


 Two copies of the long genotype or allele are associated  with resilience / least likely to develop depression

 Geographically, not an even distribution of this short/short  genotype across the world

 Some of the lowest rates are in S Africa at about 30%

 Highly developed areas have around 40-45%

 Highest rates are in China at close to 80%

 Seems to coincide with how we define our culture as  

individualistic (values individual achievements / personal goal  setting) or collectivistic (values group harmony and group  ideals) (reward structure in two cultures is very different)

 China actually has a lower rate of depression diagnosis  than some of the more individualistic nations like  


o All this risky genotype, but lower rates of  

depression why?

 Might go back to this collectivistic society …

behavioral studies – looks like people who  

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

have two copies of the short allele are a  

little more biased towards negative info and  

pay more attention to the negative info  

compared to other genotypes… collectivistic

culture, this might actually be a good thing  

because the higher focus on negativity  

could allow them to be more sensitive to  

when others feel bad so if they are sad or  

depressed, they might be able to recognize  

that a little bit faster / intervene a little bit  

sooner where in a me first individualistic  

culture we are so worried about ourselves,  

we are not really tending to the needs of  


How do trait theories explain personality? 

Traits are stable personality characteristics  

What is factor analysis and how does it help us identify personality traits??  Really early trait theories started out by going to the dictionary and  taking as many words that could be used to describe people as they  could find (4500)… used these to explain people and kind of narrowed  it down

 Factor analysis is when we are able to look at large amounts of data  and look at correlations among a whole bunch of different items  (finding different themes in the data)

o So, we have 4500 different types of personalities or different  types of traits that explain behavior, but some must go together  (highly correlated) … factor analysis clumps things together that  are highly correlated = one factor

o Got down to 16 and now we are at 5

The Big Five theory – a trait theory that identifies 5 main characteristics that  account for most individual differences in personality  

 these traits are a continuum and really explain a lot of behavior  OCEAN 

o Openness to new experiences – how willing are you to try new  things

 Characterized by an appreciation for fantasy, feelings,  

actions, ideas, values, and aesthetics

 High end – curious, unconventional, and imaginative

 Low end – practical, traditional, and conforming

o Conscientiousness – how motivated are you to consistently work  on a task  

 Characterized by competence, order, dutifulness,  

achievement striving, self-discipline, and deliberation

 High end – reliable, work hard, and complete tasks on time Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 Low end – unreliable, somewhat lazy, and undependable o Extraversion - characterized by warmth, gregariousness,  assertiveness, activity, excitement seeking, and positive  

emotion; opposite on introversion

 Introversion – characterized by coolness, reserve, passivity, inactivity, caution, and negative emotion

o Agreeableness - (friendliness) characterized by trustworthiness,  altruism, trust, compliance, modesty, and tender mindedness  Low end – cynical, uncooperative, and rude  

o Neuroticism – are you likely to worry about a lot of things or are  you likely to just let things kind of roll off (type A – high  

neuroticism type B – low neuroticism)

 Characterized by anxiety, angry hostility, depression, self consciousness, impulsivity, and vulnerability

 Low end – emotional stability  

How do situations affect personality? 

Our personality traits can impact the environment we find ourselves in and  our environment then impacts us as well

 Social-cognitive learning theories - the way that our individual  differences affect in combination with our environment our personality  and our behavior  

o Several of these theories are going to tell us… Identifying  different environmental changes that will impact the expression  of our personality  

o If-then relationships – the way that we interpret our  

surroundings in our environment plays a key role too… you can  express a certain personality trait in certain environments but  then not in others… score does not tell us about the context… if  you can identify the correct situational factor, that is pretty  predictive  

 Locus of Control - is an individual difference in cognition / the way we  think has an impact

o Locus of control is your belief about the source of outcomes o External locus of control – the source or cause of outcomes in my life is something external to me…. Someone else is involved,  someone else gave you an opportunity, luck or chance… that  bad thing is not my fault and happened because of something  completely uncontrollable (learned helplessness) … things just  happen to me

o Internal locus of control – belief that you cause more of your  outcomes… less chance and more I worked hard, or I am  

talented… I caused this thing to happen… more likely to engage  in preventative measures and take action… a little less  


Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

o Can have different locus of control for different situations  Reciprocal Determinism - It is a general idea that we influence our  environment through our thoughts and behavior… my personality  affects the environment and then the environment then has affected  my personality  

 Self-efficacy - Your confidence and your ability to gain reinforcement  (to get the outcomes you want)

o High self-efficacy believe that I can get the accomplishments I  want

o Low self-efficacy believe they cannot and so its reciprocal = if  you think you cannot make friends, then you don’t try it =  confirms that expectation and you’ll become even more  


o Environment definitely impacts our personality, but so do our  thought patterns

What are the biological bases of personality? 

How does temperament affect personality? 

 Temperament is largely genetic in origin; a child’s pattern of mood,  activity, or emotional responsiveness linked to later personality   Reactivity – our responses to novel or challenging stimuli … can vary in intensity and in timing

o High reactivity is associated with high introversion and  neuroticism later in life

 Self-regulation – your ability to control your attention and inhibit  responding to perceived stimuli

o Most strongly associated with conscientiousness … someone who is really conscientious has higher self-regulation…. Someone who can delay gratification to see the end goal is associated with  really positive outcomes in life (socioeconomic status seems to  predict the ability to delay gratification)

 Reactivity and self-regulation are pretty genetically determined Genetics and personality 

o About 6 different genetic loci that are associated with the big 5 traits  How do twin studies contribute to our understanding of the role of  genetics in personality? 

o More often than not they are going to have similar personalities o Findings show us that twins seem to have similar personalities  pretty much regardless of how they were raised (could be raised  together or apart)

 How heritable are Big Five traits? 

o Really high heritability, but there is still all that environmental  influence

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

o Brain is a plastic organ and will change as a result of our  experiences

o Even if we think these genes are involved, there is epigenetic  changes that can happen with our environment

o Conscientiousness is generally associated with the prefrontal  cortex (executive type functions)

o Anterior cingulate cortex – size differences where on the right  side it is bigger on people who score higher in harm avoidance  (low to openness to new experiences)

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

Chapter 14: The Troubled Mind 

 Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder o Anorexia nervosa - Characterized by the maintenance of unusually  low body weight in a distorted body image

 More commonly affecting females

 The most fatal of all disorders (can be life-threatening if not  treated)

o Bulimia nervosa - Characterized by a cyclical pattern of binging,  which is consuming a whole lot of food and then purging

 Commonly associated with depression, feelings of disgust,  and just loss of control

o Binge-eating disorder - People will eat really abnormally large  amounts of food in one sitting and they’ll feel like they’re eating is  out of control, but they won’t show some of those compensatory  purging behaviors… just the binging

 Heritability is how much of the range in the whole population we think is  due to genetics

 Concordance is a specific study on identical twins, asking the question if  one twin expresses the trait, what are the odds that the other twin will  express the trait

o Higher this number, the more the argument favors genetics

What does it mean to have a psychological disorder?  A psychological disorder is a syndrome characterized by clinically  significant disturbances in an individual’s cognition, emotion regulation, or behavior that reflects a dysfunction in the psychological, biological, or  developmental processes underlying mental functioning

 What does it mean if something is comorbid?  

o If two or more disorders are comorbid, it means that they co-occur o Means diagnoses do not have to occur in isolation  

 Abnormal psychology - Branch of psychology that specifically studies  disorders

 What are some differences between normal and abnormal behaviors?  o Disorders can be hard to figure out because a lot of the behaviors  we see in disorders are extensions of behavior we would see  normally

o Abnormal behaviors are usually similar to normal, but they might  vary in terms of frequency or intensity

o Four things for how you know whether a behavior is typical or  atypical

 Is the behavior abnormal? (statistically rare)

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 Is it maladaptive? (not going to contribute to the well-being of  the person)

 Unjustifiable (cannot explain or rationalize their behavior in a  way that others can understand)

 Behavior has to be personally distressing (has to cause them  some tension / inner turmoil about the behaviors that they are doing)

How are psychological disorders diagnosed? 

 What book do most mental health professionals use to diagnose mental  illnesses? 

o Refer to a big guidebook that they call the diagnostic and statistical  manual of mental disorders (DSM) 

o Advantages of this approach? 

 It is pretty clear, cut, and dry; It is very objective; It usually  has a checklist; Has a lot of reliability and scientific rigor

o Disadvantages of this approach?  

 Lose some of the shades of the individual experience  

 Lose some of the cultural components that might come into  play

 When using statistical approaches and we have a checklist,  these may seem distant from what a person is experiencing,  and a person may feel like they are being reduced to a certain label / does not capture the entirety of their experience in a  way that a personal narrative might

Which disorders emerge in childhood? 

 Neurodevelopmental disorders - disorders that usually emerge in  childhood but continue throughout the lifespan

 Autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Autism spectrum disorder – characterized by deficits in social relatedness  and communication skills that are often accompanied by repetitive, ritualistic behavior  

o 1 out of every 68 children are diagnosed

o much more common in boys (1 in 42) than girls (1 in 189)  three core symptoms of ASD 

o 1.) problems with social relatedness

 When child maintains very minimal eye contact (frightening or overwhelming so avoid it at every opportunity)

 Do not enjoy the social give-and-take games (peek-a-boo)  Have problems with empathy (taking the mindset of others)  Struggle with theory of mind  

o 2.) language impairments

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 May have some individuals who are completely nonverbal, but you may also have people with apparently normal language  skills but struggle to maintain a conversation and the general  flow of it

o 3.) repetitive ritualistic behavior

 Strongly prefer the same routine

 If something in their routine deviates, this can be very  

upsetting and distressing  

 Engage in repetitive behaviors (self-soothe)

 Rocking / flapping hands / bang head against wall /  


 May show extremely focused interests  

 Sensory responses generally are not what you might expect o Might be pretty insensitive to pain or extreme cold

o Likely they can cause themselves injuries because they are so  insensitive to pain

o Fairly insensitive to strong, painful, cold stimuli, but hypersensitive  to normal sound levels

 Typically show very abnormal sleep patterns

 Have digestive sensitivities  

 Genetic contributions to ASD?  

o Concordance rate between identical twins is between about 75 and  88%

 Strong genetic component but not able to say there is an  autism gene… it is hundreds of genes interacting with each  other and the environment  

 What are minicolumns and how are they different in individuals with ASD?  o See a slightly different pattern of cortical development

o Cortex is organized in a couple of different ways

 It has the layers of horizontal arrangement, but it also has  columns which are vertical patterns of arrangement and  

within these columns there can be many columns, which  

really are just the smallest single hub or processing unit in the brain

o Everyone has these minicolumns, but individuals with autism have  narrower minicolumns  

 Have the same number of cells, but they’re spacing is a little  bit different

 This biases the neurons towards small distance connections  compared to a typical brain that is going to have more long  distance / more projecting from very far away type axons

 Which brain regions show structural abnormalities in ASD? Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

o The cerebellum, the hippocampus, the amygdala, mirror neuron  system in the frontal lobe

 What are known environmental risk factors for ASD?  

o Parental age, especially paternal age

o Using specific SSRIs while pregnant increases the risk

 What does the research say on the supposed link between vaccines and  autism?  

o People believed this for a while

 Based on a paper that has since been retracted

 Primary author lost his license  

 Some investigative reporting that found they made up the  data and the data was based on eight subjects

 It was paid for by an anti-vaccine group

o Recent studies have found absolutely no link between vaccines and  autism  

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – characterized by either unusual  inattentiveness, hyperactivity with impulsivity, or both

 What is included in the “Inattention” component of the disorder?  o Just an inability to maintain sustained focus or on task behavior  for an age-appropriate amount of time

o Shows up is in classroom behavior when they have a hard time  following instructions, maybe organizing and completing their  work, or their folders

 What is included in the “Hyperactivity” component of the disorder?  o A whole lot of motor activity  

o Things that inhibit motor activity like a lot of classroom behaviors are really hard for individuals with the hyperactivity symptom  o Change behavior to being really noisy, active, boisterous, acting  impulsively  

 How do males and female differ in diagnosis patterns?  

o Twice as common in males

o Males are a lot more likely to feature the hyperactivity whereas  females are a little bit more likely to just show the inattention  without hyperactivity symptoms  

 What is the evidence for genetic contributions to ADHD?  o Heritability is due to about 70% but there are several known  environmental interactions

 Lead contamination; Low-birth weight; Prenatally exposed  to tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs

 How are the frontal lobes different in people with ADHD?  o The frontal lobes are really under active compared to a  neurotypical person

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

o If you think of the frontal lobes being super involved in inhibiting  behavior, this makes sense

 Individuals are having a harder time inhibiting unwanted  behavior and they’re acting more impulsively, so they have poor impulse control and have a really hard time delaying  gratification  

 How is the pattern of brain development different in people with  ADHD?  

o Brains with ADHD have a different maturation pattern

o Cortical thickness is actually thicker in kids than adults because  of the pruning processes

o In neurotypical kids, the peak cortical thickness occurs right  around age 7 ½ and then it slowly drops

o Kids with ADHD, it is a little bit slower and takes longer to mature  Show their peak cortical thickness right around 10 1/2

 What brain structures are different in ADHD?  

o Size of the amygdala, hippocampus, and the basal ganglia =  smaller

o There are some disruptions in the white matter of the corpus  callosum  

 Amount of disruptions seems to be predictive of the  

severity of symptoms  

o Frontal cortex and basal ganglia are areas that are hugely  sensitive to receiving dopamine

 Dopamine might be low in ADHD individuals

 What does research say about sugar and ADHD?  

o Many people believe it is caused by eating sugary foods or  certain dyes in food, but no data to support this

 What is schizophrenia? – characterized by hallucinations, delusions,  disorganized thought and speech, disorders of movement, restricted affect,  and avolition or asociality

 What does schizophrenia mean?  

o It means split mind; It is a split from reality  

 It only affects maybe about 1% of the population worldwide  positive symptoms - Things that are added to normal behavior  o Delusion - Is a very strongly held usually false belief

 Delusions of grandeur – where someone thinks they’re  

royalty or a major religious figure

 Lot of delusions of persecution  

o Hallucination - are false sensory perceptions

 most common way it manifests is through the auditory  modality (hearing voices)

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 negative symptoms - these are things that are missing (subtracted)  from the normal repertoire of behavior

o Missing emotional expression

o Have a really flat affect (emotion)

o Not having any emotional response or it’s completely  


o Another thing missing is goal-oriented behavior (avolition)   cognitive symptoms -  

o Probably the most predictive of a person’s recovery or prognosis o All about the disorganization of thought

 Disorganized speech

 Show a lot of freer associations that do not really make  sense

 Hard time identifying a goal and working towards it

 Struggle with working memory  

 motor symptoms -

o Some people may be very overactive and have a lot of motor tics / some are going to barely move / some people will show unusual behavior including grimaces and gestures that they can’t control

 Catatonia – when someone will have waxy flexibility / have  an awkward or unusual body position that they will  

maintain for hours

 aware of things around them, but they’re completely  


 What is the evidence for genetic contributions to schizophrenia? o Often referred to as the most biological of all the psychological  disorders

o There’s been a lot of genes involved in potential risk factors  Most involve the timing of developmental processes

 Going to be genes that are transcription factors that have a lot of ripple effects that are going to control when and how  much pruning is going to happen

o The concordance rates are right around 50%

 Which brain structure is typically enlarged in schizophrenia?  o Many patients show enlarge ventricles

 Really a consequence of tissue loss… when we start to see  neuronal tissue decline and shrinking, we see that the  

ventricles get bigger and they are just opportunistic and  

taking up space that’s been voided

 How is the frontal lobe activity different in people with schizophrenia? o Will show hypo frontality - less frontal lobe activity  

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

o Might account for some of the emotional disturbances (flatness  or inappropriate emotional response) as well as the social  withdrawing

o A lot have altered processing of smell (only sense that does not  go to the thalamus first)

 Predominantly processed in the frontal lobe

 How is the default mode network different in patients with  schizophrenia?  

o Show distortions in this pattern and how severe these distortions  seem to positively correlate with psychotic symptoms (delusions  and hallucinations)  

 How is the pattern of brain development different in people with  schizophrenia?  

o often categorized as a neurodevelopmental disorder like autism  and ADHD

o during adolescence the brain development pattern is just a little  bit off

o typical teens are going to show a burst of gray matter growth  right around the start of puberty and going to be a small gradual  wave of thinning until our early 20s

o teens that will develop schizophrenia – they’re pruning pattern is  like a forest fire (incredibly fast and destructive… too much)  What is the dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia?  

o Evidence for?  

 We know that if we give people amphetamines, we can  create an experience that is pretty similar to schizophrenia  Individuals who have Parkinson’s disease might be  

described something called L-dopa which is the metabolic  precursor to dopamine and that can help resolve their  

motor symptoms, but it can cause some of the delusions  

and hallucinations we see in schizophrenia

 if we block activity at a specific dopamine receptor, then  we can really reduce positive symptoms of schizophrenia in about 75% of patients (can worsen some of the motor  


o Evidence against? 

 Fact that 25% of patients do not respond, tells us there is  more

 Dopamine does not seem to have any impact on the  

negative symptoms

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 PCP or angel dust is another drug that can basically create  an effect similar to schizophrenia / does not interact with  

dopamine at all / acts on glutamate systems

 Might suggest glutamate might be involved as well

 Many patients diagnosed with schizophrenia are chain

smokers (abnormality in the nicotinic acetylcholine  

receptors / smoking behavior is way to self-medicate?)

 Which other neurotransmitters are likely involved in schizophrenia?  o Glutamate and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

 How does stress influence appearance and severity of schizophrenia  symptoms?  

o Paired with some sort of extreme stress condition

o Five times more common in individuals from a low SES  


 How can prenatal immune challenges increase risk?  

o Emerging evidence that something happens either right around  the time of birth that seems to increase the odds

o Some evidence suggesting having the flu while the mom is  pregnant can increase the odds

o Some parasites have been linked to prenatal immune challenges o Seeing if children in utero during stressful events like 9/11 and  hurricanes increase risk of schizo  

 How can marijuana usage increase risk?  

o Some individuals with the right combination of genetic alleles  using marijuana as an adolescent can double the risk of  

developing schizophrenia  

 Bipolar disorder – a mood disorder with alternating periods of mania and  depression

 Mania - A period of unrealistically elevated expansive or irritable mood o People have really, really high energy

o More likely to make risky decisions – ones that are likely to hurt  them and have painful consequences  

o Might set a goal / and they have persistently increased goal  directed activity

o Maniac episode usually followed by a period of depression that is  very similar to major depressive disorder

 Bipolar disorder and creativity

o Might be over-represented in people w/ a lot of artistic and  creative talent

o To test this, they designed assessments of creativity to see who  scores higher

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 People with bipolar disorder score about the same as  

healthy people in very creative occupations, but a lot  

higher than healthy people in non-creative occupations

 Not super common; Affects 2.5% of population  

 Ratio of women to men is not quite as extreme as some other cases we have seen

o 3:2 women to men

 Concordance rates are about 70%  

 What environmental factors have been linked with bipolar disorder?  o Looked at a lot of different countries and the general population  rate of how much omega-3 fatty acids they consumed (how  much seafood consumed)

 Countries where the diet has more fish, there was less  


 Omega-3 might be protective, especially during prenatal  development

Major depressive disorder (MDD) 

 Going to see a pretty lengthy period of depressed mood (at least 2  weeks straight)

o Feel empty or sad; Quick to cry

o Anhedonia - Loss of pleasure in normal activities

o Really altered sleep patterns; getting way too much REM sleep  and not enough of the deep stage 3 and 4 sleep

o Difficulty concentrating

o Feelings of hopelessness / possible thoughts of suicide  

 Affecting about 7% of the adult population each year

o Decreasing with age

o Diagnosis in age 19-29 are 3x more common than those who are  60+

 Women are more likely to be diagnosed than men

o What are three possible explanations for this?  

 Hormonal factor?

 Cultural reason? Different rules for when it is okay to  

express certain emotions and how those are received by  

others (women seem to have more freedom to express  


 Might be more likely to seek treatment / diagnosis /  


 Men with depression are much more likely to show a  

comorbid substance abuse disorder / might turn to things  like alcohol

 What are some learning explanations about depression?  Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

o You get used to a lot of positive reinforcement and then there’s  no positive reinforcement or an increase in negative outcome o Can be associated to a loss of a relationship because many times relationships are a source of positive reinforcement for us and  when we suddenly lose that, we can feel problems associated  with that

o Learned helplessness - Random or uncontrolled consequences  lead to feelings of helplessness and possibly depression

 What happens is going to happen no matter what, so you  stop trying

 What are some cognitive explanations about depression?  o Depression is negative thoughts about yourself, the world, and  the future

o Incredibly pessimistic point of view

o Rumination – repetitive thoughts / someone might dwell and just  repeatedly focus on the fact that they are depressed, or they  have specific symptoms of depression or the causes of their  depression / consequences of depression – fixated on it… stuck  in a mental loop

o Attributions – those who have internal, stable, global attributions  are slightly more prone to depression

 What happens to me is my fault

 Circumstances never change / I am always this way

 Have worse grades / worse health  

 What are some social explanations about depression?  

o Addresses the idea of loneliness

o Loneliness is a social process, but it is about how you connect  with others

o Loneliness is likely to increase depression, but depression  doesn’t necessarily increase loneliness

o Make sad facial expressions and cry a little bit more – ways of  signaling that you need comfort from others … might actually  increase some social connections and decrease loneliness

 What are some biological explanations about depression?  o Really center around serotonin; involved in mood, appetite, and  sleep (impaired in individuals with depression)

 What are some stress explanations about depression?  

o Might have a different stress response to every day normal  stressors

o Physical and cognitive symptoms of high stress are not unlike  what we see in depression, but keep in mind many people with  major stressors do not go on to develop depression

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

o See that individuals with depression are less able to shut off  cortisol  

o Diathesis-stress model - If you have stress, that can interact with  the biological predisposition to produce a psychological disorder  (depression)

 Anxiety disorder – anxiety that is not proportional to a person’s  circumstances

 2 key components of an anxiety disorder 

o 1.) really strong negative emotion

o 2.) physical tension or symptoms because of the anticipation of  danger

 What is the difference between fear and anxiety?  

o Fear is a strong negative response with physical tension, but it is  due to a stimulus that is currently present

o Anxiety is a really strong response with the associated  

physiological changes but to a hypothetical stimulus (what if)  30% of Americans will have an anxiety disorder at some point o Can be diagnosed at any point in life

 We do see children’s initial temperament and just general reactivity to  stimuli can predispose them to anxiety

 Specific phobias - When someone’s fear of an object or a situation is so  strong (more than a response merits)  

o What type of stimuli are likely to generate specific phobias?  All objects and situations are not necessarily created equal  Most common are actually animals (spiders, snakes, sharks)  A lot of natural phenomenons like water, earthquakes,  


 Some certain situations like seeing blood, flying, heights,  bridges, being in an enclosed space

o How can classical conditioning explain specific phobias?   Have a conditioned stimulus that can become associated with  a negative unconditioned stimulus that results in fear, which  would be the unconditioned response so then just the  

conditioned stimulus elicits a conditioned fear response in the  phobia developed

 Someone is bit by a dog

 Not afraid of dog at first, but you are afraid of the teeth  and the bite and that causes a fear response

 Dog is going to become the conditioned stimulus and  

you learn to associate that with the teeth / bite that  

cause your fear

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 Eventually just seeing a dog across the street will be  

enough to trigger fear

o How can observational learning explain specific phobias?   If we see someone around us have a really strong reaction to  a stimulus, we think that is what we are supposed to do

 Social anxiety disorder - This is a specific social phobia

o When you have a fear of being scrutinized and criticized by others,  particularly during public speaking, or meeting new people, or being a party

o Most people feel this to some degree

o How is normal social anxiety different from disordered social  anxiety?  

 When someone has this disorder, the stress is again way out  of proportion for the particular situation  

o When does social anxiety typically begin?  

 Onset for this is usually adolescence

 Starting to develop something called a spotlight effect where  we believe that whatever we are doing, people are watching  us and judging us  

 See it more in collectivistic cultures (opinions of others might  carry more weight and shame can be very powerful)

 Panic disorder 

o panic attack – experience of intense fear and ANS (SNS) arousal in  the absence of real threat

 Occurs kind of randomly

 Symptoms typically last in the height of their intensity for 10  minutes

 Can take a person quite a while to calm down

 People think they are dying or going crazy / having a cardiac  event

o How is a panic attack different from panic disorder?  

 panic attack is this episode, but panic disorder is different   panic attacks are not uncommon, people may have 1 or 2 in  their life

 panic disorder is much more rare

 someone has repeated panic attacks and they start to  

fear future panic attacks

 this can lead to agoraphobia

o What are biological explanations for panic disorder?  

 Found that if they had people with panic disorder and injected a compound called sodium lactate into their blood supply,  they could basically say you’re having a panic attack right  

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

now and trigger it, but did not work in people who did not  have the disorder

 Sodium lactate interacts with orexin (released by  

hypothalamus and plays significant roles in wakefulness /  

vigilance / appetite)

 People with panic disorder simply have way more orexin than people without it

 When we inject this sodium lactate in, we trigger some  sort of orexin response, which causes the symptoms of  

full sympathetic nervous system activation  

o What are cognitive explanations for panic disorder? 

 Anxiety spiral – the person is having very real, very strong  symptoms in their body; spiral of doom

 Natural to assess the state of your symptoms and  

person will basically start logging them, and then they  

will think I am dying or I am going crazy, which  

increases the anxiety

 As anxiety increases, we see physical symptoms  

increase, which increases the anxiety and so on

o What are social explanations for panic disorder?  

 Are very worried about how they would appear if they have a  panic attack in public

 They think they will be perceived as crazy, which contributes  to a little bit of social anxiety, which causes more panic  

attacks, and so that can again help kind of feed into this  

anxiety spiral  

o How do different countries show different symptoms?  

 General overall fight-or-flight pattern is going to be the same  in everyone, but different countries do have some different  clusterings of symptoms that they really notice and are  

distressed by  

 From China – report excessive amounts of dizziness

 From Rwanda – focus on constipation and shortness of breath  From Thailand – focus on gastrointestinal symptoms

 Agoraphobia – unrealistic, specific fear of open spaces, being outside the  home, or being in a crowd

o Name for fear of the marketplace

o When a person usually with panic disorder becomes so afraid of the  consequences of having a panic attack in public that they start  having very narrow ranges of safety

 If they have a panic attack in a certain place, they can’t go  there anymore

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 Likely to stay at home and not leave (what-if)

o Can be debilitating (can prevent working, engaging in normal social  activities)

 Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) 

o One of the more common diagnosis

o Defined as excessive anxiety and worry for six months that is not  correlated with particular objects or situations

o Associated with real physical changes in the body

o Often comorbid with depression, specific phobia, and/ or substance abuse to self-medicate (alcohol)

o What are biological explanations for Generalized Anxiety Disorder?  Seems to have a genetic predisposition

 Benzodiazepines generally decrease anxiety

 These are going to affect Gaba (normally an inhibitory  

neurotransmitter) by increasing the way that GABA  

provides inhibition (slow things down)

 Slowing down the amygdala, which has a lot of GAPA  


 Normally amygdala is receiving some inhibitory signals from  the prefrontal cortex (not seeing this in generalized anxiety  disorder)

o What are cognitive explanations for Generalized Anxiety Disorder?  if kids develop a schema that basically says the world is a  dangerous place, they can be more prone to generalized  


 a lot of times people will think if I go through every possible  bad scenario then I’m prepared in case it happens and they  are tricking themselves by thinking that worrying is actually  helpful

o What are social explanations for Generalized Anxiety Disorder?  Twice as common in low SES

 Is poverty stressful or does anxiety skew people towards that  lower SES environment?

 Found whenever social connectivity is disrupted (break up,  divorce, death), rates of this disorder do have a tendency to  increase a little

Obsessive-compulsive and related disorders 

o Two critical components: the obsessions and the compulsions o It has to be all a person can focus on for at least one hour a day o Obsessions - Are persistent, uncontrollable, unwanted thoughts   Can have a few different themes

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 Contamination

 Any sort of doubt that you ruminate on

 Ordering things in a certain sequence  

 Any sort of inappropriate impulses

 Can be violent in nature / distressed they have these  


 Sexual imagery  

o Compulsions - A repetitive action / very ritualistic behavior that  must be done over and over in order for the person to relieve some  of the anxiety caused by the obsessions

 Contamination = washing hands  

 Doubts about safety of home = they may repeatedly  

check and uncheck and recheck and check their locks or

that their stove is off

o What are Biological explanations for OCD?  

 Concordance rate is between 63-87 percent  

 Documented cases of OCD emerging after all of the following:  a traumatic brain injury, encephalitis, seizure disorder, birth  complications, and streptococcal infections

 Several areas of brain appear more active: orbital frontal  cortex, the prefrontal cortex, the anterior cingulate cortex,  and part of the basal ganglia (caudate nucleus)

 See lower than normal amounts of serotonin activity  

 Lower the levels, the more severe obsessions and  


o What are Learning explanations for OCD? 

 Might be result of operant conditioning

 Compulsions produce a positive outcome, which is  

basically slightly reduce anxiety and physical tension  

associated with obsessive thoughts

 Positive outcome results it in being more likely to be  


 Problem that happens is many individuals cannot stop  


o What are Social explanations for OCD? 

 A lot of these compulsive behaviors will have shades of  normal behavior

 A lot of cultural and religious rituals have elements that are  actually similar to compulsions commonly seen in OCD  

(washing, wearing special colors, having a sequence of  

stereotyped actions, very rigid rules)

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 OCD takes some of those natural behaviors and just  

exaggerates them

Body dysmorphic disorder - Characterized by really unrealistic perception of  physical flaws

o People who have this might have multiple cosmetic surgeries o May try and become body builders  

 What is posttraumatic stress disorder? (PTSD) 

 Caused by some sort of experience of trauma (severe stressor)  It can lead to intrusive, unwanted flashbacks of the traumatic event, very  intense realistic dreams, hyper vigilance, potentially dramatic avoidance  of stimuli associated with the traumatic event

 Children are a little bit more vulnerable to PTSD than adults   Survivors of sexual assaults are particularly likely to experience this as  well as combat veterans  

 What are biological explanations of PTSD? 

o Correlates PTSD with a smaller hippocampus

o Less natural benzodiazepine (increase GABA)

 Less activity in frontal cortex, which could lead to a lot of self medication

 Alcohol and substance abuse very high in PTSD population o General pattern of dysregulation of circuits that allow us to process  information in its proper context / have a hard time contextualizing  the information to evaluate its actual danger

 A wolf at the zoo vs in your backyard

 PTSD treat situation same and react same

 What are learning explanations of PTSD? 

o Conditioned response – when someone experiences a traumatic  event, they may develop a conditioned fear response to many  different stimuli

o Phenomenon of generalization

 When conditioned stimulus could spread to similar stimuli  Without treatment, people with PTSD overtime will react to  more stimuli rather than less

 More inclusive in things that trigger their reaction

 What are social and cultural explanations of PTSD? 

o If individuals have low social support, this is one risk factor for who  is going to develop PTSD after trauma

o Some ethnicities are more likely to be impacted than others Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

Chapter 15: Healing The Troubled Mind 

Not everyone who has a psychological disorder seeks treatment. What are  some reasons for this? 

 May not be aware that it is available

 They do not have the funds to get it or they do not know resources to  be able to get free treatments

 Maybe there is some stigma for them (do not want to be receiving  treatment)

 Intentionally avoiding

How do psychologists provide therapy? 

 Approaches to treatment

o Biological approaches

 Understanding some of those biological underpinnings

 What may be brain abnormalities do we see when we  

experience these treatments

o Psychological approaches

 Look more at thought patterns, cognitive approaches

 Maybe see more traditional counseling

 Humanistic therapy and counseling  

o Evidence-based approaches / Clinical assessment

 When the therapist will be very intentional and  

methodological about what therapy they choose to use

 Choosing treatment based on what the research says

 A clinician using this will first construct some type of  

answerable question / search the most current scientific  

literature that is related to the question / then critically  

evaluate the relevant literature / incorporate some info about  the patient / incorporate a clinical assessment of the client -  involves interviews, observations, standardized tests to get to  know the patient and then make adjustments to research

o Psychotherapy – a treatment designed to improve symptoms of  psychological disorder through conversation between the therapist  and the patient

 The therapists

 Psychotherapist – someone who is licensed to practice some form of  therapy

o General medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, social works, nurses, and religious leaders, some laypeople  (Weight Watchers, Alcohol Anonymous) – no specific training but  do take on this mentoring and treatment type role

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

o Counselor has a PhD, PsyD, or Doctor of Education (EdD), or one  of a number of master’s degrees / specializes in problems with  adjustment

How do clinical psychologists and psychiatrists differ? 

 A psychiatrist is someone who has a medical degree and specialized in  psychiatry (tend to lean more towards the biological treatments for  disorders)

o MD – can use medical procedures to treat disorders / can  prescribe medicine

o Not going to do things like couples’ therapy or family therapy o Take more of the expert role delivering advice and treatments o Little less likely to develop a relationship to treat a person more  holistically  

o Much more patient / expert type of role

 A psychologist is anyone who has an advanced degree in psychology  o Can be counselors, psychotherapists, instructors, researchers o Psy.D vs PhD

 PhD is going to really heavily emphasize research methods  and scientific methods / evidence-based practice

 Psy.D is relying a lot less on science and more training in  how to treat disorders  

 Do not have as rigorous of a scientific training and so

less likely to engage in evidence-based therapy

 Clinical psychologists are more likely to provide other types of  counseling (marriage and family and couples counseling / grief  counseling)  

 Delivering psychotherapy  

o Variations in length of treatment

 Some type of therapies have you meet really frequently  (psychoanalysis type of meetings) – multiple times a week  Some meet less often (cognitive therapy / cognitive  

behavioral therapy) – once a week or once very couple of  


 Brief therapy focuses on solution building rather than problem solving

 Instead of trying to find the roots of the problem, going  to focus a little more on okay how do we fix this problem

(behavioral therapies); Anywhere from 1 to 8 sessions

 Alternatives to individual therapy / innovative delivery systems  Group therapy - When the therapist will choose who’s in the group

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

o Won’t put someone who will not contribute to the group in any way

o Have either homogenous groups (relatively similar or have  similar symptoms)

 Can be beneficial to seem someone who is really similar to see how they are progressing

o Or heterogenous groups – mix of different people / symptoms o Can split the cost of the therapist; Do not feel as isolated;  More hope in progress; Benefit to providing support to other  people

 Rise in leaderless self-help groups (weight watchers / AA)  Family therapy / couples’ therapy  

 Some innovative delivery systems technologically for therapy o Online therapy

 Contemporary challenges in treatment

o Insurance companies and providing scientifically valid treatments

Contemporary approaches to psychotherapy 

 Behavioral therapies – applications of classical and operant conditioning  principles to the treatment of symptoms of psychological disorder and  adjustment problems  

 applying these principles that we learn to associate events in our world or our behaviors with their consequences or the rewards and this either increases or decreases the likelihood of a behavior occurring again

 With classical conditioning it is really possible for fear to be developed  through this

 Behavioral therapies are really helpful in reducing unwanted behaviors  and in increasing the frequency of desirable behaviors

Why do behavioral therapies focus on specific problem behaviors and  variables that maintain them, rather than the underlying causes of those  behaviors? For which types of disorders can this approach be most effective? 

 Focus on very specific observable behaviors and the current variables  that maintain those behaviors

 Not looking at things that cannot be measured (thoughts and feelings /  past history)

o This can be really beneficial to get to the root of the problem for  ie. Why you have a phobia or something like that but in behavior  therapies, this does not matter so much

 Autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, and anxiety disorders  (phobias)

What is applied behavior analysis?  

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 Focus on what they observe, and they will make very few assumptions  about thinks that they cannot observe (thoughts and feelings)  behavioral assessment - Used to identify and asses the problem  initially / gather a whole bunch of info about the patient and situation  and what contributes to it / which situations are they more likely to  experience this / what are the consequences / are there some people  they are more likely to experience the problem with than others   Functional analysis - is where they are determining what learning based factors happen to maintain the problem / trying to find  something very specific (when this happens, this happens) / how is the  problem being maintained  

Specific types of behavioral therapy 

 Exposure therapy - confronts patients with their fear with the goal of  ultimately reducing their fear

o Based on principles of learning

o Really effective for phobias / PTSD / OCD especially

o The idea is that when someone has a fear or phobia or an  obsessive-compulsive disorder, they are doing something to  maintain it

o Therapists will actually expose the person to the thing that they  are most afraid of  

o Going to reduce / get rid of the patient’s normal response /  patient cannot engage in their compulsion or they cannot avoid  the situation

o Goal is that they relearn an association between whatever the  stimulus is (feared object or obsession) and they develop a new  healthier approach

 systematic desensitization - One type of exposure therapy o Systematically desensitizing the patient to their normal response to their stimuli

o Teaching patients to relax as they are gradually exposed to what  they fear

o Basing this on the principle of reciprocal inhibition – you cannot  experience two conflicting responses simultaneously… cannot be both relaxed and anxious at the same time

o Construct an anxiety hierarchy – ladder from situations that the  patient says are the least anxiety provoking to the most anxiety  provoking… expose to each level until patient is fully relaxed  with the fear

o Important to prevent the natural behavior in order to relearn the  new association  

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 Flooding - Another type of exposure therapy

o Exposed immediately to their greatest fear / preventing natural  behavior

o Intentionally provoking this anxiety in the absence of the  negative consequences so that extinction can proceed

o Learning a new association between the feared stimulus and a  response

 response prevention – preventing natural behavior

o Patient will not learn to unassociate the fear and response o May backfire; May reinforce all of the anxiety

 What operant procedures are beneficial in behavioral therapy?  o Using reward and punishment to shake behavior and how token  economies can do that; Reinforce desired behaviors with tokens  that people can exchange for some tangible rewards

o Aversion therapy - use punishment to decrease frequency of  undesired behaviors

Cognitive therapies 

How do cognitive therapies differ from behavioral therapies? What is the  primary focus of cognitive therapies? 

 Behavioral rely on specific behaviors that contribute to and maintain a  problem

 Cognitive therapies are based on the idea that the way we think about  our circumstances is incredibly important

 Idea is we run into trouble when we adopt irrational self-defeating ways of thinking  

o Disorders can be because or at least it can be contributed to  errors in logic or false beliefs or thoughts that can minimized our  personal accomplishments

 Good with depression, and pretty relevant with schizophrenia and  bipolar disorder

 Often have the getting to know you period or the functional analysis

What are irrational thoughts and how can they contribute to psychological  disorders? 

 Examples of negative thinking – I shouldn’t draw attention to myself /  I’ll never be good at this / everyone is smarter than me / no one likes  me / anyone could have done this

 Especially when they take a global aspect, so you really truly believe  that you will never be good enough, can contribute to disorders like  anxiety and depression

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 Overtime these cognitive distortions can occur so quickly and  automatically that we never even stop to consider whether or not they  can be true

o Become a normal part of our thought process

Cognitive restructuring - Key to this therapy is that the therapists tries to  change the patient’s irrational beliefs often through substituting a more  rational belief in the place of this irrational one; Basic goal of cognitive  therapies

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) – combo of cognitive restructuring with  behavioral treatments

 Therapist is a little confrontational and they very openly critique the  clients thinking

 Our vulnerability to certain psychological disturbance is a product of  this frequency and strength of our irrational beliefs  

 Therapist listen to patient talk and would actively confront these  thoughts

 Actively helping replace thoughts with something that is more rational  and more realistic with the goal that that is going to be the more  automatic thought you have

 May assign hw to falsify those maladaptive beliefs – get out in the  world and actually test these irrational beliefs

 Engage in cognitive restructuring first and then help initiate behavioral  changes too that can support more long-term rational cognitions   Addresses the cognitions and those behaviors

Generally, how effective is CBT? 

 It has shown to be quite effective

 At least as or more effective than drug therapies for depression  treatments

 Not going to therapy forever

 Lasting results  

 Works best with MDD

Biopsychosocial approaches – integrated approach to therapy that combines  treatments addressing the biological, personal, and social underpinnings of  disorders

What are biological therapies? 


 Also called pharmacotherapy - the use of medication to treat psychological problems

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

o Most commonly used biological treatment and treatments in general  

 Drugs will fix a chemical imbalance in the brain

 Likely work on many different neurotransmitter systems  Some seem to work not just by increasing and adding a  neurotransmitter but what they are doing is they are working on  systems that relate to either the production of that neurotransmitter or often they will be reuptake inhibitors (SSRI)

 Some common pharmacotherapies include anti-anxiety medications,  antidepressants, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics psycho stimulants,  some medications for attention problems

 What are some potential areas of concern for using medication to treat  psychological disorders? 

o The drug can mask a problem without necessarily curing it  o Can divert attention from other approaches that could be just as  effective and maybe would not need to be used throughout  entire life

o Will not learn to retrain your brain and change your behavior by  taking a medication

o May be over prescribing medication  

o Side effects – dry mouth / weight gain / can be serious  

irreversible side effects

o Danger of polypharmacy – patients are often prescribed multiple  medications and these medications may interact negatively / real overdose and interaction dangers  

 Can be really beneficial for getting over the initial hump and difficulty  and then being able to really use cognitive behavioral therapy to  retrain the brain and to engage in behaviors that will help someone get out of these maladaptive patterns

o Proved to provide really great value in the treatment process

Electroconvulsive therapy. – seizures are induced in an anesthetized patient;  used primarily in the treatment of mood disorders that have not responded  to medication or other treatments

 General seizures are applied by electricity that is applied to electrodes  specifically on the head  

 Typically, last 3 treatments per week for about 6-12 weeks  Seems to work on the neurotransmitter’s dopamine and  norepinephrine / really shown to reduce depressive symptoms  For what disorder is ECT most effective? 

o Very severe forms of depression that do not respond to any other forms of treatment

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

o Used to use it for schizophrenia patients, but often did not work  very well and had negative effects, but negative mood tended to  be lifted

 Is ECT safe? What is the most common side effect? 

o Actually, quite safe

o 1/3 of patients who undergo ECT do experience persistent  memory loss after the procedure (autobiographical memories)  

Psychosurgery – attempt to improve symptoms of disorders through  operating on the brain

 A lobotomy would stick a needle / icepick in someone’s eye and hit  frontal lobe

o Would calm down patients who were unruly but would have a lot  of other negative effects on the intended effects because they  did not know what they were doing

o It is not practiced anymore

 Psychosurgery does exist today but with much better tools and with  much better understanding of the brain and the disorders

o Specific radiation and very precise legions  

o Only in cases where patient has not responded to any other form of treatment

Brain stimulation 

 Communication within the brain is electrical / and when you apply  electrical impulses to the brain, you can change this activity o Deep brain stimulation – surgically implanted electrodes in some  very specific spots in patients’ brains; electrical stimulation  applied thru surgically implanted electrodes that is used to treat  some anxiety and mood disorders

o Can be reversed / minimally invasive / patient has control over  the application of the current

o Effective for the treatment of severe depression

o Can also do it with repeated transcranial magnetic stimulation –  can occur by touching the skull with a handheld device and  sending low-frequency magnetic waves to change activity in  cortical regions / fairly effective for certain disorders

 Neurofeedback -used to treat ADHD and seizures by teaching client to keep  measures of brain activity within a certain range

 We can use neurofeedback, which is specifically the type of  biofeedback that concentrates on the activity in the brain, to help  people overcome some disorders

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 Patients will be shown recordings of brain activity either in EEG or an  fMRI / patient specifically trained on how to keep the readings in a  desired range

 helps maintain a more biological state and can really be beneficial

mindfulness – this is the process that combines our understanding of  cognitive psychology and how important our thoughts and how they can  affect our body and physiology and our understanding of biology  

 helping someone to be aware of their thoughts and to be in more  control of them

How are specific disorders treated? 

 Treating obsessive

compulsive disorder

o Treated with


medication or  


 Treating body

dysmorphic disorder


 Treating

posttraumatic stress


o Exposure

therapy with or

without SSRI


Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

Most-Missed Topics from Exam 1 and 2

Exam 1

Measuring the Mind: The Scientific Enterprise 2-1c

The Scientific Enterprise 

 Science seeks to develop theories, which are sets of facts and  relationships between facts that can be used to explain and predict  phenomena

 Scientific theories not only explain and organize known facts, but also  generate new predictions

o A scientific prediction is more than a guess or hunch

o Usually stated in a rigorous, mathematical form that allows the  scientist to say that under a certain set of circumstances, a  certain set of outcomes are likely to occur

Scientific Method - Phenomenon, theory, hypothesis, methods, results,  discussion and conclusions

Developing and Testing a Theory - Generate hypotheses that are then  systematically tested; Hypotheses not rejected contribute to the theory and  help generate new hypotheses

Generating Good Hypotheses - A hypothesis is a type of inference, or an  educated guess, based on prior evidence and logical possibilities  A good hypothesis links concrete variable based on your theory and  makes specific predictions

 Scientists can never “prove” that a hypothesis is true because some  future experiment might show the hypothesis to be false

Communicating Science

 Peer review is the process of having other experts examine research  prior to its publication

 Only if other experts conclude that new research is important,  accurate, and explained thoroughly will it be added to the existing  body of scientific knowledge

 Results often undergo replication, which means that other scientists  independently attempt to reproduce the results of the study in  question

Measuring the Mind: Experimental Methods 2-2c

Experimental Methods 

 Experiment is a method testing hypotheses, allowing conclusions  about causality

 Unlike descriptive methods, the researcher has a great deal of control  over the situation

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 Unlike correlational methods, use of formal experiment allows us to  talk about cause

 Researchers begin designing an experiment with a hypothesis o Independent variable (variable controlled and manipulated by  researcher) and dependent variable (the “result”) used to  

manipulate and measure changes

o Need a control group to establish a baseline behavior under the  experimental conditions… the group will experience the  

experimental procedures except exposure to the independent  variable

o Experimental group is the group of participants who are exposed  to the independent variable

o Random assignment - each participant has an equal chance of  being assigned to any group in the experiment… important to  ensure the dependent variables reflect outcomes of independent  variables only instead of individual differences

o Confounding variables are the variables that are irrelevant to the  hypothesis being tested and can alter the conclusions

 Limitations

o Experiments can be somewhat artificial

o Participants may vary their behavior since they know they’re in a study

 Another issue arises from differences in the choices of independent  and dependent variables (many ways to operationalize variables in  practical terms)

o These variables have to be defined and implemented in some  concrete fashion

o Operationalization is the process of translating abstract  independent and dependent variables into measurable forms  1) identify concept to be measured

 2) determine quantitative measures of the concept

 3) find method for obtaining this measure


 Meta-analysis is a statistical analysis of many previous experiments on  the same topic, often providing a clearer picture than do single  experiments observed in isolation

o Progress in our understanding results from the work of many  scientists using diverse methods to answer the same question  A meta-analysis is only as good as the studies on which it is based o Published studies available to researchers conducting meta analysis might be subject to publication bias, or the possibility  that they are not representative of all the work done on a  

particular problem

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

o A “file drawer” problem also exists - journals are more likely to  publish studies that demonstrate significant effects than studies  that show no significant effects

Double-blind procedure - controls for placebo effects; neither participant nor  experimenter knows whether the participant was given an active substance  or treatment or a placebo

Placebo is an inactive substance or treatment that cannot be distinguished  from a real, active substance or treatment

Biological Mind: The Spinal Cord, Brainstem, and The  Cerebral Cortex 4-3a/c

The Spinal Cord, Brainstem, and Cerebellum 

 The spinal cord serves as a major conduit for information flowing to  and from the brain

 Total of 31 pairs of spinal nerves that exit spinal cord

 Many reflexes are initiated by the spinal cord without the brain  Functions of three types of nerve cells (neurons)

o Sensory neurons carry information from the external  

environment or from the body back to the CNS

o Motor neurons carry commands from the CNS back to the  muscles and glands on the body

o Interneurons are neurons that have neither sensory nor motor  functions, forming bridges between sensory and motor neurons  The brainstem is the part of the brain containing the midbrain, pons,  and medulla

o Contains structures responsible for reflexive behaviors, heart  rate, breathing, arousal, sleep, preliminary sensory analysis,  balance, and movement

o The spinal cord merges with the medulla (brainstem structure  that lies just above the spinal cord)

 Contains large bundles of nerve fibers traveling to and  

from higher levels of the brain; Manages heart rate,  

breathing, and blood pressure

o The pons is the part of the brainstem located between the  medulla and the midbrain

 Manages sleep, arousal, and facial expressions

 Pons means “bridge”

 Serves as a bridge between the higher and lower  

portions of the brain

 Connects the cerebellum (a structure attached to the

brainstem that participates in skilled movement and,  

in humans, complex cognitive processing) to the rest  

of the brain

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

o Essential for maintaining balance and motor  


o Contains more nerve cells than the rest of the  

brain combined; Richly connected with the rest

of the CNS

o The midbrain is the part of the brainstem that lies between the  pons and the cerebral hemispheres

 Contains structures involved in sensory reflexes,  

movement, and pain

 Periaqueductal gray of midbrain manages pain because it  contains receptors for endorphins, which reduce the  

perception of pain

 Two imp chemical messengers – serotonin and  

norepinephrine (arousal, mood, appetite, and aggression)

o The reticular formation runs length of the brainstem’s core from  upper medulla into the midbrain, participating in management of mood, arousal, and sleep

The Cerebral Cortex 

 Above the brainstem, we find the two large cerebral hemispheres,  which are connected by a large bundle of nerve fibers known as the  corpus callosum 

 The thin layer of cells (neurons/gray matter) covering the outer surface of the cerebral hemispheres is the cerebral cortex 

 The remaining bulk of the hemispheres is mostly made up of white  matter, or nerve fiber pathways, that connects cortex with other parts  of nervous system

 Cortex is convoluted or wrinkled, which positively correlates with  general intellectual capacities of a species

 Each hemisphere may be divided into four lobes

o Frontal lobe – location of the primary motor cortex and areas  responsible for some of the most complex cognitive processes o Parietal lobe – location of the primary somatosensory cortex  (processes information about touch, pain, body position, and skin temperature) 

o Occipital lobe – location of the primary visual cortex

o Temporal lobe – location of the primary auditory cortex  Localization of Functions in the Cerebral Cortex

 Functions performed by different areas of the cerebral cortex within the lobes fall into three categories: sensory, motor, and association  The sensory cortex processes incoming information from the sensory  systems, such as vision or hearing 

 The primary motor cortex provides the highest level of voluntary  control over movement. 

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 Areas of the cortex that do not have specific sensory or motor  functions are known as association cortex, which helps us form bridges between sensation and action, language, and abstract thought 

The Frontal Lobe

 Home of primary motor cortex

 Number of important, sophisticated cognitive functions also o Broca’s area participates in the production of speech

o Prefrontal cortex is the most forward portion of the frontal lobe  that is involved with the planning of behavior, attention, and  judgement  

o The orbitofrontal cortex is part of the prefrontal cortex located  right behind the eyes that participates in impulse control

 Plays an important role in our emotional lives

 Damage here results in dramatic deficits in social  

behavior / experience of emotion / controlling impulses /  

making good decisions

The Occipital Lobe

 Home to primary visual cortex

 Primary visual cortex begins the process of interpreting input from the  eyes by responding to basic information about an image, such as its  borders, shading, color, and movement but does not allow you to  actually interpret 

 Two important pathways link the occipital lobe with the rest of the  brain 

o A pathway connecting the occipital lobe with the temporal lobe  allows you to recognize objects you see 

o A second pathway connects the occipital lobe with the parietal  lobe and allows you to process the movement of objects 

The Temporal Lobe

 Home to primary auditory cortex, allows us to process sounds  Processes some higher visual system tasks, including the recognition of objects and the faces of familiar people

 Wernicke’s area (another language area located in temporal lobe)

The Parietal Lobe

 Home to primary somatosensory cortex

 Processes input about taste and engages in some complex processing  of vision (tells us how quickly something is moving towards us)

Right Brain and Left Brain

 Special type of localization of function is known as lateralization, or the localization of a function in either the right or the left cerebral  hemisphere

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 Basic type occurs in the somatosensory and voluntary motor systems  in the brain

o Movement and sensation on the right side of the body are  processed by the left hemisphere and vice versa

 For most, activity in the left hemisphere is correlated with positive  emotions while activity in the right hemisphere is correlated with more  negative emotions

 Language has lateralization (left hemisphere)

 Other suspected lateralized processes include mathematical  computation and logical reasoning (left hemisphere) and some music  functions, spatial information, intuition, and visual arts (right  hemisphere)

Right-Left Brain Myths

 Idea that individual differences in artistic talent or logical thinking  correlate with a person’s dominant hemisphere. Hemisphere  dominance, as measured by the relative size of the hemispheres and  the localization of language and handedness, does not predict  occupational choice or artistic talent 

The Function of Lateralization

 Provide organisms with the ability to multitask

 Made language possible

Biological Mind: Neural Signaling 4-5b

Neural Signaling 

o a neuron is a sophisticated communication and information-processing  system that receives input, evaluates it, and decides whether to  transmit information to neurons downstream

o 2 step process

o In the first step, which takes place in the signaling neuron’s axon, the neuron generates an electrical signal known as an action  potential 

o In the second step, which takes place between 2 neurons, the  arrival of an action potential at the axon terminal of the 1st neuron signals the release of chemical messengers, which float  across the extracellular fluid separating the two neurons 

Electrical Signaling

o The resting potential of a neuron is the measure of the electrical  charge across a neural membrane when the neuron is not processing  information

o Our recording will show that the interior of the neuron is  negatively charged relative to its exterior

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

o Neurons can respond to incoming chemical signals by becoming either  depolarized (moved closer together / difference between electrical  charges across the neural membrane is decreasing) or hyperpolarized  (farther apart / difference is increasing)

o When a neuron is depolarized by sufficient input, it reaches a threshold for producing an action potential

o Reaching threshold initiates a sequence to produce an action  potential

 Opening and closing of pores or channels in the neural  membrane, allowing certain chemicals / ions to move in  

and out

 The channels allow sodium to rush into the neuron, and at  the peak of the action potential, the interior of the cell is  

now more positively charged than the outside

o Near peak, channels open to allow potassium to move across  As potassium leaves the cell, the interior loses its positive  charge and goes in the negative direction again

o Following the action potential, the neuron requires a time-out or  refractory period, during which it returns to its resting state o Next step is propagation- The duplication of the electrical signal down  the length of the axon to the axon terminal, where it initiates the  release of chemical messengers

o Myelinated axons have to form less action potentials to travel  down the axon, making it less time-consuming and lowering the  energy needed to return to the resting potential

o Once the action potential reaches the axon terminal, the neural  communication system switches from electrical to chemical

Chemical Signaling

o The point of communication between two neurons is known as a  synapse

o At the synapse, neurons are separated by tiny gaps filled with  extracellular fluid

o Electrical signals are unable to jump this gap, so neurons send  chemical messengers called neurotransmitters 

o Important neurotransmitters

 Acetylcholine (ACh) influence movement, memory, and the autonomic nervous system function

 Epinephrine (adrenalin) influences arousal

 Norepinephrine (noradrenalin) influence arousal and  


 Dopamine influences movement, planning, and reward

 Serotonin influences mood, appetite, and sleep

 Glutamate influences excitation of brain activity

 GABA influences inhibition of brain activity

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 Endorphins influences pain

o The arrival of the action potential at the axon terminal releases the  synaptic vesicles from their protein anchors, which migrate and fuse  with the cell membrane, spilling neurotransmitters into the synaptic  gap

o The neurotransmitters will come into contact with special channels on  the receiving neuron (receptors) that work like locks and keys o After binding, neurotransmitters drift away from gap, are broken down,  or return to the axon terminal from which they were released called  reuptake 

o In reuptake, special channels in the axon terminal membrane  known as transporters allow neurotransmitters to come back into neuron to be reused

o This interaction can have 1 of 2 effects on the receiving neuron:  excitation or inhibition

o an excitatory effect depolarizes the receiving neuron, increasing  the chance that the neuron will reach threshold and initiate an  action potential 

o an inhibitory effect hyperpolarizes receiving neuron, moving the  cell farther from threshold / reducing the chance it will initiate an  action potential 

o If there is sufficient depolarization, the neuron generates an action  potential. If not, it remains at rest. The neuron’s “decision” to generate  an action potential or not is called summation; the neuron is adding up  all incoming messages and deciding based on that information 

Biological Mind: Types of Neurotransmitters 4-5c

Types of Neurotransmitters 

o Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter found in many systems important  to behavior, serves as a key neurotransmitter in the autonomic  nervous system, intimately involved in the brain circuits related to  learning and memory

o Norepinephrine activity in brain leads to arousal and vigilance o Released by the sympathetic nervous system

o Dopamine is involved with systems that govern movement, planning,  and reward

o Serotonin is involved with systems regulating sleep, appetite, mood,  and aggression

o Endorphins, morphine produced by the body, modify our natural  response to pain

Perceiving Mind: How Does Sensation Lead to Perception? 5-1

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

How Does Sensation Lead to Perception? 

 The process of sensation (process of detecting environmental stimuli or stimuli arising from the body) brings info to the brain that arises in the  reality outside our bodies, like a beautiful sunset, or originates from  within, like an upset stomach. 

 Once we move from the process of sensation to that of perception (the  process of interpreting sensory information/input) individual differences become more evident

Sensory Information Travels to the Brain 

 Sensation begins with the interaction between a physical stimulus and  our biological sensory systems 

 Before you can use information from your senses, it must be  translated into a form the nervous system can understand o This process of translation from stimulus to neural signal  is known as transduction 

The Brain Constructs Perceptions from Sensory Information  Once information from the sensory systems has been transduced into  neural signals and sent to the brain, the process of perception begins  Perception allows us to organize, recognize, and use the info provided  by the senses

 Important gateway to perception is the process of attention, defined as a narrow focus of consciousness

o Attention often determines which features of the environment  influence our subsequent thoughts and behaviors

o Stimuli likely to grab our attention: unfamiliar, changing, or high  intensity

o Sensory adaptation is the tendency to pay less attention to a  nonchanging source of stimulation

o Most of the time we experience divided attention, in which we  attempt to process multiple sources of sensory information  To prioritize input, we use selective attention or the ability  to focus on a subset of available information and exclude  

the rest

 We refer to the brain’s use of incoming signals to construct perceptions as bottom-up processing (perceptions based on building simple input  into more complex perceptions)

 Brain also imposes a structure on the incoming information, known as  top-down processing, in which memory and other cognitive processes  are required for interpreting incoming sensory information / use  knowledge gained from prior experience with stimuli to perceive them

 We always use bottom-up processing, or the information would not be  perceived

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

o It is possible that bottom-up processing alone allows us to  respond appropriately to simple stimuli, but as a stimulus  

becomes more complicated, we are more likely to engage in top down processing also

Measuring Perception

 Psychophysics is the study of relationships between the physical  qualities of stimuli and the subjective responses they produce  (methods for studying the relationships between stimuli (the physics  part) and the perception of those stimuli (the psyche or mind part))

 Methods of psychophysics allow us to establish the limits of awareness, or thresholds, for each of our sensory systems

o The smallest possible stimulus that can be detected at least 50% of the time is known as absolute threshold (ie. Seeing light from  a candle flame 30 miles away on a dark night)

o A difference threshold is the smallest difference between two  stimuli that can be detected at least 50% of the time (ie. Being  able to detect the difference between two different weights) Signal Detection

 Many perceptions involve some uncertainty

o Ie. Jury’s decision about whether a person is guilty… based on  frequently uncertain and conflicting evidence, jurors must weight their concerns about convicting an innocent person or letting a  real criminal go

 Situation is different from thresholds because it adds the cognitive  process of decision making to the process of sensation

 Signal detection (correctly identifying when a faint stimulus is or is not  present) is the analysis of sensory and decision-making processes in  the detection of faint, uncertain stimuli… it is a two-step process  involving

o The actual intensity of the stimulus, which influences the  observer’s belief that the stimulus did occur, and

o The individual observer’s criteria for deciding whether the  stimulus occurred

o Ie. Radiologist correctly detecting cancer from a mammogram  Many decisions we make are based on ambiguous stimuli o Ie. Signal detection theory helps us understand how an individual doctor balances the risks of missing a cancer (miss rate) and  those of alarming a healthy patient (false alarm rate)

 Possible Outcomes in Signal Detection

o Participant response = yes; stimulus present = hit; stimulus  absent = false alarm

o Participant response = no; stimulus present = miss; stimulus  absent = correct rejection

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

Perceiving Mind: Color Vision 5-2c

Color Vision

 The primary colors of lights are red, green, and blue, and mixing them  together produces white light

 Trichromatic theory – a theory of color vision based on the existence of  different types of cones for the detection of short, medium, and long  wavelengths

o Consistent with the existence of three types of cones in the  retina that respond best to short (blue), medium (green), or long  (red) wavelengths

o Our perception of color results from a comparison of the  responses of the red, green, and blue cones to light

o Color deficiency occurs when a person has fewer than 3 types of  cones

 Opponent process theory – a theory of color vision that suggests we  have a red-green color channel and a blue-yellow color channel in  which activation of one color in each pair inhibits the other color

o Cannot see color like reddish green or bluish yellow because the  two colors share the same channel

o Activity in one color group reduces activity in the other color  group

o Helps explain the color afterimages

 American flag yellow/black/green or red/white/blue

 Fatigue one the color in one channel, so you see the other  color after

 The trichromatic theory provides a helpful framework for the  functioning of the 3 types of cones in the retina  

 As we move from retina to higher levels of visual analysis, the  opponent process theory seems to fit observed phenomena neatly

The Aware Mind: Sleep 6-2c

      Stage 1

o Is really brief (only in it for a few minutes at a time)

o If someone were to be woken up during this stage, they would  probably even deny the fact that they were asleep

o The head dance / when you’re nodding off (start of stage 1) o The brain wave (the EEG) would really kind of be a transition from  that wakeful state to kind of a more slowly synchronized state o Going to start to see some theta periods of activity

o Hypnic myoclonia sleep muscle contraction (when you’re just  starting to fall asleep, and all of the sudden your body just jumps,  and you have this muscle contraction)

o Vestibular sense is just sending a false signal to you right then Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

o Interprets lying on your back as falling through the air, and so  you jump

o A lot more common in a moving car or plane / strange  

unfamiliar place / really common in newborn children

      Stage 2

o Still kind of a transitional period where you’re going a little more  into deep sleep

o We spend a lot of time of our sleeping in here

o If you are woken up in this stage, you do know that you were  asleep, going to be really groggy and tired

o Parasympathetic nervous system is kicking in a little bit more /  heart rate decreasing / muscle tonus is decreasing

o Sleep spindle wave unique to stage 2

o Really quick burst of high frequency activity (quick little  ripples)

o K-complex is also unique

o Really jagged deflection in the EEG

o Both these signals come from the thalamus (helping how we  monitor our environment and some of the external stimuli) – waking to meaningful stimuli

      Stage 3 / Stage 4

o Deep sleep

o If awoken, you are going to be pretty confused and disoriented  because your brain pattern / waves are just very different from your  normal wakefulness states

o Emergence of delta waves, and they become more prominent in  stage 4 sleep

o This is when your brain is going to release growth hormone (imp for  children and adolescents) / can affect their growth potential / health later on  

o Chronic sleep deprivation might be a risk factor for things like  Alzheimer’s disease

      REM SLEEP

o This is where most of the dreams are going to occur

o Often called paradoxical sleep, because it’s kind of like a paradox o Brain activity is different from stage 4; It almost looks like you’re  awake

o Very much more similar to the awake EEG

o Really light stage of sleep / easy to be woken up  

o You have a lot of brain activity, but your body is paralyzed from the  neck down

o Sleep talking is not affected by this

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

o Often when you are woken from REM sleep, you will report that you  were just dreaming; Can dream at other times, but this is where you will report it

o Newborns spend a lot more time in REM sleep

o Supports consolidation of memories

o Proportion of REM sleep does decrease as we age

o First half of night’s sleep will be spent more in 3 and 4 and the  second half of the same 8-hour night’s sleep will be a lot more in  REM

o The more you miss out on REM sleep; it gets bumped up in priority o REM rebound – going to enter REM sleep sooner in the night  and your stage 3 and 4 (most important for tissue repair /  recovery) gets bumped down - can really start you down path  to a lot of health problems

o Hallmark sign for psychological disorders is an abnormal sleep  pattern

o REM rebound seen commonly in patients with depression

How do dreams in REM and non-REM sleep differ?

 A lot of times dreams in REM sleep are little snippets of something /  really extreme shifts with no continuous thread

 REM dreams are also associated with a little bit more amygdala activity o More likely to interpret our dreams or have dreams about  threatening things

o More likely to be emotionally impacted

 Can have dreams elsewhere probably in stage 3 stage 4 sleep o These dreams are boring and quick / monotonous

o Do not have REM paralysis so this is where we can see  sleepwalking behavior

o Night terrors / sleep terrors (sleeper does not usually remember) What do dreams mean?  

 Activation synthesis

o Your brain stem, particularly the pons, will have these random  bursts of activity in REM sleep; Travel to the area of the thalamus that process auditory and visual stimuli / thalamus is just a relay  station and is going to send it to the primary visual and auditory  cortex and it will be processed as if it was real

o Having a response to the internally generated sensations o Will have common themes and sometimes it might be totally  random

o Thought to help integrate new experiences with the existing  neural architecture

o Frontal cortex does not like all this randomness, so it is trying to  do its best to make sense of the story, which is why we have an  attempt at a plotline, but it seems like it changes randomly What is a lucid dream?

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 Knowing that you’re in a dream while you’re dreaming it and you can  control it

 Most of the time the prefrontal cortex is actually going to be kind of  quiet, which is why it does a poor job of making a story

 When people are lucid dreaming, they do show much higher levels of  prefrontal cortex activity

What are some key behavioral differences between nightmares and sleep  terrors? What stage of sleep is each associated with?  

 Nightmares occur in REM / sleep terrors occur in stage 3 or 4  Nightmares you remember and might leave you feeling scared and you can be comforted

 Sleep terrors you do not remember / and you don’t respond if someone is trying to ask what is wrong

The Aware Mind: Commonly Used Psychoactive Drugs 6-4b

What is drug tolerance?

 This is when you need more of the same drug to achieve the same  effect

What is drug withdrawal?  

 Using a drug causes some really strong chemical changes in the  neurons, and neurons like to keep at about a baseline level, so you’re  going to have the drug effect going one way, and then the neurons are going to try and compensate for that and go the other way

 When you stop the drug, you still have that compensation by neurons,  so much different activity pattern before drug use

 So, when drug is absent, the behavioral symptoms of withdrawal are  the exact opposite of the drug

How is addiction defined?  

 A compulsive physical and/or psychological dependence on a  substance or some activity that continues despite negative  consequences

What does it mean if a drug is categorized as a hallucinogen, a stimulant, or  a depressant?

 Hallucinogen – a drug that in some way creates perceptions o Internally generated

 Stimulant – tend to increase brain activity

 Depressant – slow activity down

What is the mechanism of action for marijuana?  

 Categorized as a mild hallucinogen

 It is going to stop the inhibition of dopamine release

What is the mechanism of action for LSD?  

 Very potent hallucinogen (visual)

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 Chemically similar to serotonin, and can act on serotonin  receptors

What is the mechanism of action for Caffeine?

 Another compound related to adenosine

 When adenosine build up that makes us feel tired (pretty  inhibitory)

 Have blood vessels dilate, get more excitation, and have more  alertness

 Inhibiting the inhibitory adenosine

 stimulant

What is the mechanism of action for nicotine?  

 Going to act on acetylcholine receptors, which are found  throughout the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous  system and brain

 Heart rate and blood pressure increase

 Mental alertness, but have muscle relaxation

 stimulant

What is the mechanism of action for cocaine and amphetamines?   Going to change the way the dopamine transporter works, which  takes dopamine back into the presynaptic cell

 This stops that by blocking or reversing flow, so the dopamine  once released is trapped in the synapse, and it’s just going to  repeatedly keep activating those receptors

What is the mechanism of action for Methylphenidate (Ritalin, ADHD  treatment)?  

 Boost dopamine at the synapse / block dopamine transporter  Affects signals of norepinephrine and make those a little but  stronger (thought to help with focus)

 stimulants

What is the mechanism of action for MDMA (Ecstasy)?  

 Powerful hallucinogen and this is going to affect serotonin  Cells respond to ecstasy more than the natural serotonin  Taken into the serotonin transporter, going back into the cell, and

this will affect how serotonin gets packaged into the vesicles  Basically, going to make them dump all contents out (so massive flood of serotonin) and get trapped in synapse

What is the mechanism of action for Alcohol?  

 Enhance GABA based inhibition

 Slow down and reduce the effect of glutamate, which is normally  excitatory

 Alcohol slows down behavior so depressant  

What is the mechanism of action for Opioids?  

 Breathing is going to get so slowed down, that it can slow down  to the point of being fatal

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

What is Narcan and what is its mechanism of action?

 Way of helping someone who’s had an overdose from an opiate  Going to block the receptors that the opiates are acting on, so it  will either slow down or reverse the effects

Exam 2

Knowing Mind: How is Long-Term Memory Organized? 9-4

 Organization of Long-Term Memory

o Connectionism views mind as network made up of simpler units  or concepts

 Idea that memories are often linked together

o The spreading activation model is a connectionist theory  proposing that people organize general knowledge based on  their individual experiences

 Free association – say one concept that triggers another  concept

 No memory exists in isolation

o Schemas are a set of expectations about objects and situations  Stereotypes are schemas, but not all schemas are  


 Schema for an event is often called a script

 Learned phenomenon

 Details consistent with our schemas are more likely to be  retained, whereas inconsistent details are more likely to be  left out

Knowing Mind: What is the Biology of Memory? 9-7

 Memory at the level of the synapse

o Experience, learning or memory, can actually change the  number and type of synapses that we have in our brain

 Habituation causes decreases in synapses

 Sensitization causes increase in synapses

o Long-term potentiation is the enhancement of communication  between two neurons resulting from their synchronous activation  Closest thing we have to a physical trace of memories in  our brain

 Neurons that fire together, wire together / stronger  


 Potentiation means to make more powerful

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 It creates this functional network of neurons so if the  

activity in one is really strong and frequent that is going to  make it easier to activate the next neuron

 Sending neuron will have more synaptic vesicles and  

neurotransmitters and the receiving neuron will have a lot  more receptors than they had before

 Working memory in the brain

o Visuospatial sketchpad – whenever you are trying to mentally  image something and you’re holding onto a picture, you are  activating this part of the working memory

o Other times you activate the phonological loop and that’s when  you’re using words to think about the information, you’re  


o Episodic buffer – really going to tie into those autobiographical  aspects

o One common thing in working memory is the involvement of the  prefrontal cortex – hypothesized as the central executive  

because it helps us distribute what we’re paying our attention to  Hippocampus – important role in memory / very important for new  declarative memories

o Consolidation of episodic / semantic and location information into long-term memory

o Patient HM – ability to form new memories was profoundly  reduced but could learn new procedural tasks but would deny  every performing the task

 Procedural memories intact, but declarative memories  

were nonexistent

 Cerebral Cortex – semantic memories seem to be widely distributed  across the cerebral cortex

 Episodic memories reduced if DMN, temporal lobe, insula, or prefrontal  cortex (amnesia) damaged

 Procedural memories and the basal ganglia – trouble learning new  procedures if damaged

 Biochemistry and memory

o Acetylcholine really helps with memory encoding

o Subtype of glutamate receptor called the NMDA receptor – really  necessary for long-term potentiation… if you block receptor, you  block the potentiation, and you block learning

Adaptive Mind: Classical Conditioning Phenomena 8-3b

Classical Conditioning Phenomena

 Acquisition is the development of a learned response

o Classical conditioning takes time to learn

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

o The specific process in which we make the association is called  acquisition

o It takes repeated trials

 Extinction is the reduction of a learned response

o It occurs when the UCS no longer follows the CS

o Learned responses do not necessarily last forever (may not  response to the same exact sound of the lunch bell from your  high school anymore because you may have heard that sound  elsewhere and it was not paired with freedom to go to lunch and  so you unlearned that response)

o When you have situations where that unconditioned stimulus  does not follow the conditioned stimulus that’s when extinction is likely to occur

 just have originally neutral signal, it’s not paired together  and loses meaning quickly; Relearn to not associate

 Spontaneous recovery is during extinction training, the reappearance  of CRs after periods of rest / show you do not unlearn

 Inhibition is a feature of classical conditioning in which a conditioned  stimulus predicts the nonoccurrence of an unconditioned stimulus o Ie. Establish excitatory conditioning by pairing a signal – light –  with a shock

 Rats learn to fear the light

 Continue presenting light-shock pairings, but we add other  training trials that include the inhibitory CS – a sound – by  presenting the light and sound together, followed by no  


 Rat learns to not fear the light in the presence of sound  Generalization is the tendency to respond to stimuli that are similar to  an original CS

o Dogs are scared of loud noises / scared of thunderstorms which  they generalize and so are also scared of fireworks

 Discrimination is a learned ability to distinguish stimuli

 Higher-order conditioning is learning in which stimuli associated with a  CS also elicit CR

o This is basically when you stack conditioned stimuli together o i.e. Kids are afraid of shots, which they then associate with  whoever is giving it, which they then associate with the doctor’s  office and so on

 Latent inhibition is the slower learning that occurs when a CS is already familiar compared to when CS is unfamiliar

o Means that when you’re already familiar with the conditioned  stimulus, it’s harder / takes more pairings to learn to associate it  with an UCS

o Ie. Going to harder to train us to associate our cell phone text  message sound because we hear it all the time

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

Adaptive Mind: Applying Classical Conditioning 8-3d

Applying classical conditioning

 Overcoming fear

o Aversion therapy is an application of counterconditioning in  which a CS formerly paired with a pleasurable UCS is instead  paired with an unpleasant UCS / way of changing your behavior – usually if you want to stop doing something

o i.e. wear a rubber band and snap it every time you think of  something … associating it with something unpleasant

o Systematic desensitization is a type of counterconditioning in  which people relax while being exposed to stimuli that elicit fear  Addiction

o people can have the desire to change their behavior and go  through treatment, but going to see the tendency for relapse or  spontaneous recovery

o when they are in environments or contexts that are associated  with when they used drugs, they can start serving as conditioned stimulus, which will cause the cravings because they have been  conditioned based on previous stimuli ie. Peers, smell, sight  Attitudes and prejudice

o A positive or negative association or reaction to a stimulus in the  environment is developed through classical conditioning  

o Easier to learn association between people who are not like you  (latent inhibition)

o Ie. Meet a Michigan fan who is a jerk and so you generalize  Michigan fans as jerks, but if you meet an ohio state fan who is a  jerk you’ll just think that guy is a jerk and not generalize  

 Creativity and schizophrenia

o Less latent inhibition

o Reduced latent inhibition might account for the creative person’s  ability to see familiar things in new ways 

Adaptive Mind: Types of Consequences (operant  conditioning) 8-4a

What is operant conditioning?

 When you think of this think of an organism operating or acting on its  environment and then there are some consequences

 Ultimately talking about a behavior

 Trying to increase or decrease the likelihood of the behavior to occur  again

 Reinforcement - want to increase likelihood of behavior being repeated  Punishment – want to eliminate or reduce the frequency of behavior

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 Positive or negative does not mean good or bad / mean it more in an  additive or subtractive way

 Positive means we are adding a new stimulus to the environment   Negative you are removing something from the environment to  ultimately impact the behavior

o Positive reinforcement – add a desirable stimulus in environment in order to hopefully increase the likelihood of a behavior  occurring in the future

 Ie. If professor wants you to do your hw more, professor  might add some type of reward in order for us to do our hw more / give a dog a treat to train it to sit

o Negative Reinforcement – a method for increasing behaviors that allow an organism to escape or avoid an unpleasant  


 Take something away to increase behavior

 ie. Take away chores if you do your hw

o Positive punishment is a consequence that eliminates or  reduces the frequency of a behavior by applying an aversive  stimulus

 Adding something undesirable to decrease behavior

 Ie. Parents spanking child to stop talking at night

 Ie. Spraying cat so it does not sit on the counter

o Negative punishment is a method for reducing behavior by  removing something desirable whenever the target behavior  occurs

 Take something good away to decrease behavior

 Conditioned reinforcer is a reinforcer that gains value from being  associated with other things that are valued; also known as a  secondary reinforcer

o Primary

 Relates to a basic need

o Secondary, or conditioned

 We have ascribed some value to it, but in itself does not  have value

 organism learning about associations in the world – classical  conditioning / or associations between its own actions and  consequences – operational conditioning

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

Developing Mind: What are the Building Blocks of  Behavior? 3-2

Building blocks of behaviors

 Genotype = your genetics / DNA / an individual’s profile of alleles  Phenotype = physical appearance / how genes are expressed /  influence by genes and environment / observable characteristic  Gene = a small segment of DNA located in a particular place on a  chromosome that produces a protein

 Gene expression = when a gene actually codes for a protein / the  process in which genetic instructions are converted into a feature of a  living cell

 Allele = one of the variant forms that genes can come in o Homozygous alleles is when you have the same allele, while  heterozygous is when you have two different alleles

 Dominant allele is a variation of a gene that will produce a phenotype,  even in the presence of other alleles

 Recessive allele will not be expressed if in the presence of a dominant  allele.

 Male genotype = XY (heterozygous)

 Female genotype = XX (homozygous)

 Hemophilia: problem with blood clotting / x-linked and more commonly  found in males / it is associated with the X chromosome / females have a backup X chromosome

 Colorblindness: x-linked

Developing Mind: Parenting Styles 11-6c

Parenting styles

 Parental support is the way it’s described so empathy and kind of  understand that the child has this perspective too. Understanding your  kid is going through something and they may have a different  perspective that you do and recognize that and bring yourself down to  their level.  

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 Behavioral regulation is how much they try to control and supervise  their children’s behavior / how consistent the discipline is that they  have / how much they actually conveyed the expectation that they  have with children  

High parental  


Low parental  


High behavioral  


Authoritative –  

associated with the  best outcomes for  children / strict but  loving

Authoritarian – tiger  mom

Low behavioral  


Indulgent – really  permissive and  

really present

Uninvolved - not  

associated with  

positive behavior

Thinking Mind: General and Specific Abilities 10-4b

What statistical approach did Charles Spearman use to measure intelligence?  1904 used factor analysis to try and determine what intelligence was o Bunch of correlations = one factor that measure the same thing,  and another set all correlate and are another factor and so on o Intelligence is like an umbrella – it is an overarching skill that  cuts across a lot of different domains… he called this factor  general intelligence

 General intelligence (g) is a measure of an individual’s overall  intelligence as opposed to specific abilities

 Fluid intelligence is the ability to think logically without the need to use learned knowledge

o It is really the ability to adapt. Described as problem-solving o Older peoples’ fluid intelligence drops down a little bit because  their ability to have that flexibility / adapt to a new way of doing  things is challenging

 Crystallized intelligence is the ability to think logically using specific  learned knowledge; Your intelligence that is set

o The specific knowledge that you have learned over time and it  accumulates

o Typically, as you get older your crystallized intelligence increases o Stable as we progress through our life, it might even kind of  uptick as we get older just because you have the benefit of more  experience

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 Savants – have really extreme intelligence in one area. Very  documented but rare. The fact that they exist does support that there  are specific abilities

Thinking Mind: Biological Influences on Intelligence 10-4d

Biological influences on intelligence

 Intelligence tests are how we operationally define intelligence. We  typically have to pick one correlate and we typically use IQ tests.  Circular reasoning fallacy - You make some sort of an assumption, and  then you gather evidence to support your finding, and then you say  look this assumption is true because of all this evidence and so you are seeing the assumption is supported by the evidence that you got  based on your assumption so of course it is supported

 IQ scores do tend to positively correlate with overall brain volume. o Disclaimer: generally, men have more brain volume than women  In intelligent people these areas of brain are especially thick o Prefrontal cortex – connected with executive functioning o temporal lobe – where we have a lot of our language linguistic  processing

 Efficiency hypothesis of intelligence 

o Intelligence is really about the distributed spread of networks  and how information is communicated across different brain  regions

o Some emerging evidence that people who are highly intelligent  just might be faster at processing

 So, they might have a faster neural conduction velocity so  their neurons just might go faster (maybe they have a  

bigger diameter of their axons or better myelination or  

maybe they have a more efficient path of pruning)

o If you take a person of average intelligence and a person of  really high intelligence and you give them the same cognitive  task, the person who is going to score higher on the IQ test, is  going to show less brain activation

o Someone of lower intelligence is going to have to work a little bit  harder on the same task. (like having a more well-trained athlete  and someone who never runs run a mile)

 Traumatic brain injury to frontal lobe

o It is going to affect fluid intelligence a lot more than crystallized  intelligence

o Fluid intelligence really depends on working memory, you have  to hold onto the information and manipulate it

o Working memory basically means you are solving a problem  which is clearly linked to the frontal lobe

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 Children with an average IQ they show a peak of cortical thickening  around age 8 but children with higher IQs they will peak a little bit later around 13  

 Breastfeeding and Intelligence

o Infants who are breastfed generally have higher IQ scores than  those who are not IF they have one allele of a particular gene  otherwise there is not impact

o If people have generally a higher socioeconomic status, they  usually have a little bit more flexibility at their jobs to maintain  breastfeeding or they might be able to stay at home.  

Breastfeeding itself is correlated with higher socioeconomic  status and having a higher socioeconomic status is correlated  with having a higher IQ (breastfeeding – 3rd variable?)

 Heritability of intelligence

o All about the population and the bell curve

o The heritability of intelligence is about 0.75 on a 0 to 1 scale  Flynn Effect

o Says worldwide IQ scores are increasing at about 3 points per  decade.

o Could be because of improvements in nutrition and overall better health, nation’s freedom from disease – early childhood  

experiences can affect your intelligence and so if you are living in a relatively disease-free environment where your parents are  there you have better conditions

Healthy Mind: The Epigenetics of Stress 16-2e

 The environment plays a significant role in determining  whether and when a particular gene is expressed

 Epigenetics is the influence on traits by factors that determine  how genes perform; the field of epigenetics explores gene– environment interactions

o Rats and human children who were well nurtured by their mothers have shown to be more resilient to stress later  

in life

o Severe stress early in life produces lasting challenges,  

including increased HPA axis responses to stress,  

hyperactivity of the norepinephrine system, reduced  

volume in the hippocampus and heightened responses  

by the amygdala to threat stimuli

o Genes and life stress also interact to produce MDD

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

 MDD is often accompanied by dysfunction in  

systems using the neurotransmitter serotonin

 Life stress affects people differently depending on  

whether they possess a short form, or a long form  

of a gene related to serotonin function

 Having the long or short version of the gene  

interacts with life stresses to produce  

different levels of activity in the amygdala  

and hippocampus, differences in the  

pathways connecting the amygdala and  

hippocampus with other regions of the brain,  

differences in gray matter, and different  

levels of rumination, the repetitive rethinking

of problems that is particularly characteristic  

of depressed people  

Final Exam Review Psych 1100 Dr. Supe and Dr. McGinty

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