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Virginia Commonwealth University
PSYC 101

Psych 101 Notes827What is Psychology Scientific study of behavior and mental processes thoughts feelings actions emotions Behavior cognition how youthink how you feel Scientific Approach requires Humility Curiosity Skepticism Subject Matter is immediately available to useveryone is thinking feeling doing etc Most everyone has their own implicit theories about why they do the things they do Why do people do what they do Columbine Aurora CO Hurricane Katrina Picking Cotton829 Correlational Research When one trait or behavior accompanies another we say the two correlate or are associated with each other Correlation Coefficient a statistical measure of the relationship between two variables Correlation is not the same as causationCorrelation is relation but does not prove that one thing causes another Scatterplots graphs comprised of points that are generated by values of two variables The slope of the points depicts the direction while the amount of scatter depicts the strength of the relationship Correlation a mathematical score used to describe the strength and direction of the relationship between two variablescan range from 1 to 1 The higher the correlation bt two variables the better we are able to predict the value of one variable if we know the value of the other variable The correlation in eye color is a good example of almost a perfect positive correlation r 99 Positive upNegative down ex correlation strength 094080 Illusory Correlation the perception of a relationship where no relationship actually exists Parents conceive children after adoption Critical Thinking critical thinking does not accept arguments93 Structure of the Nervous System Central nervous systembrainbrain stemspinal cordPeripheral systemspinal and cranial nervesSomatic system connects central system to voluntary muscles1Autonomic system connects CNS to nonvoluntary muscles and glands sympathetic system catabolic arousing readies body for activity use of energy STRESS RESPONSE parasympathetic system anabolic calming readies body for restoration of energyRELAXATION RESPONSE Biological Psychthe scientific study of links bt biological and the psychological processes Parts of the brainneuron a nerve cell dendrites receives messages from other cells axon passes messages away from the cell body to other neurons muscles or glands cell body cells lifesupport center neural impulse action potential electrical signal traveling down the axon myelin sheath covers the axon of some neurons and helpsefficiency and speed of neural impulsesnodes of Ranvier gaps in the myelin sheath axon terminals forms junctions with other cells The synapsejunction bt one neurons axon and anothers dendritescell bodyneural communication is an electrical chemical processneurotransmitters cross the synapseplays a fundamental role in the communication between neurons Action Potentialelectrical charge gathered by dendrites and cell bodyelectrical charge travels down the axon to synapsestimulates the release of neurotransmitters into synapseoccurs only when the electrical signal is at a certain level threshold allornone electrical impulse is the same no matter how much stimulation the neuron receivesneuron returns to resting state after electrical charge is transmittedExocytosis neurotransmitter being forced out of the vesicle and out into the synapse Wave of electrical energy fires down the axon action potential Vesicles fuse with membrane in terminal buttons2
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