PSYC 395 Study Guide - Final Guide: Libido, Constipation, Retina

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22 Jun 2016
Chapter 5 Terms:
Developmental psychology: a branch of psychology that studies physical, cognitive, and social
change throughout the lifespan
zygote: the fertilized egg; it enters a 2-week period of rapid cell division and develops into an
embryo: the developing human organism from about 2 weeks after fertilization through the
second month.
fetus: the developing human organism from 9 weeks after conception to birth.
teratogens: agents, such as chemicals and viruses, that can reach the embryo or fetus during
prenatal development and cause harm.
fetal alcohol syndrome: physical and cognitive abnormalities in children caused by a pregnant
woman’s heavy drinking. In severe cases, symptoms include noticeable facial misproportions.
habituation: decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation. As infants gain familiarity
with repeated exposures to a visual stimulus, their interest wanes and they look away sooner.
maturation: biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior, relatively
uninfluenced by experiences.
cognition: all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and
schema: a concept or framework that organizes and interprets information
accommodation: adapting to our current understandings (schemas) to incorporate new
Piaget’s Theory:
1. sensorimotor stage:the stage (from birth to about 2 years) during which infants know the
world mostly in terms of their sensory impressions and motor activities. Forms object
permanence (infants younger than six months seldom understand that things continue to
exist when they are out of sight, but older infants understand it) and stranger anxiety
2. Preoperational: about 2 to 6 years old. Children represent things with words and images;
using intuitive rather than logical reasoning. Uses pretend play and egocentrism (the
preoperational child’s difficulty taking another’s point of view) .
3. Concrete Operational: about 7 to 11 years old. Children think logically about concrete
events, grasping concrete analogies and performing arithmetical operations. Develops
skills in conservation (of mass, volume, etc) and mathematical transformations.
4. Formal Operational: from about 12 to adulthood. Starts to understand abstract reasoning
through abstract logic and potential for mature moral reasoning.
Theory of mind: people’s ideas about their own and others’ mental states-- about their feelings,
perceptions, and thoughts, and the behaviors these might predict.
(Autism is said to have an impaired theory of mind- cannot discern facial expressions, etc)
Attachment: an emotional tie with another person; shown in young children by their seeking
closeness to the caregiver and showing distress on separation
critical period: an optimal period early in the life of an organism when exposure to certain stimuli
or experiences produces normal development (Ex: first hours of a duck’s life; learn to recognize
and follow their mother)
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imprinting: the process by which certain animals form attachments during a critical period early
in life.
Basic trust: according to Erik Erikson, a sense that the world is predictable and trustworthy; said
to be formed during infancy by appropriate experinces with responsive caregivers
Self-concept: our understanding and evaluation of who we are
Adolescence: the transition period from childhood to adulthood, extending from puberty to
Puberty: the period of sexual maturation, during which a person becomes capable of
Primary sex characteristics: the body structures (ovaries, testes, and external genitalia) that
make sexual reproduction possible
Secondary sex characteristics: non-reproductive sexual characteristics, such as female breasts
and hips, male voice quality, and body hair.
Menarche: the first menstral period
Kohlberg’s Levels of Moral Thinking:
1. Preconventional morality: before age 9, when self-interest and obeying rules to avoid
punishment or gain concrete rewards dictates behavior.
2. Conventional morality: early adolescence, where one upholds laws and rules to gain
social approval or maintain social order.
3. Postconventional morality: adolescence and beyond; actions reflect belief in basic rights
and self-defined ethical principles.
Moral intuition: “quick gut feelings, or affectively laden intuitions”
Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development:
1. Infancy: birth to 1 year; issues in trust vs mistrust; if needs are dependably met, infants
develop a sense of basic trust.
2. Toddlerhood: 1 to 3 years; autonomy vs shame and doubt; toddlers learn to exercise
their wil and do things for themselves, or they doubt their abilities.
3. Preschool: 3 to 6 years; initiative vs guilt; preschoolers learn to initiate tasks and carry
out plans, or they feel guilty about their efforts to be independent
4. Elementary school: 6 years to puberty; competence vs inferiority; children learn the
pleasure of applying themselves to tasks, or they feel inferior.
5. Adolescence: teen years into 20s; identity vs role confusion; teenagers work at refining a
sense of self by testing roles and then integrating them to form a single identity, or they
become confused about who they are.
6. Young adulthood: 20s into early 40s, intimacy vs isolation; young adults struggle to form
close relationships and to gain the capacity for intimate love, or they feel socially
7. Middle adulthood: 40s to 60s, generactivity vs stagnation; in middle age, people discover
a sense of contributing to the world, usually through family and work, or they may feel a
lack of purpose
8. Late adulthood: late 60s and up, integrity vs despair; reflecting on his or her life, an older
adult may feel a sense of satisfaction or failure.
Social clock: the culturally preferred timing of social events such as marriage, parenthood, and
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Chapter 6 Terms:
Sensation: the process by which our sensory receptors and nervous system recieve and
represent stimulus energies from our environment
Perception: the process of organizing and intrepreting sesory information, enabling us to recieve
meaningful objects and events
Bottom-up processing: analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and working up to the
brain’s integration of sensory information
Top-down processing: information processing guided by higher-level mental processes, as
when we construct perceptions drawing on our experince and expectations
Transduction: conversion of one form of energy into another. In sensation, the transforming fo
stimulus energies, such as sights, sounds, and smells, into neural impulses our brain can
Psychophysics: the study of relationships between the physical characteristics of stimuli, such
as theri intensity, and our psychological experince of them.
Absolute threshold: the minumun stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50 percent
of the time
signal detection theory: a theory predicting how and when we detect the presence of a faint
stimulus (signal) amid background stimulation (noise). Assumes there is no single absolute
threshold and that detectioon depends partly on a person’s experience, expectations,
motivation, and alertness.
Subliminal: below one’s absolute threshold for consious awareness
Priming: the activation, often unconsiously, of certain associations, thus predisposing one’s
perception, memory, or response.
Difference threshold: the minimum difference between two stimuli required for detection 50
percent of the time. We experienced the difference threshold as just noticable difference (jnd)
Weber’s Law: the principle that, to be percieved as different, two stimuli must differ by a
constant minimum percentage (rather than a constant amount).
Sensory Adaptation: diminished sensitivity as a consequence of constant stimulaiton.
Perceptual set: a mental predisposition to percieve one thing and not another
Wavelength: the distance from the peak of one light or sound wave to the peak of the next.
Electromagnetic wavelengths vary from the short blip of cosmic rays to the long pulses of radio
Hue: the dimension of color that is determined by the wavelength of light; what we know as
color names blue, green, etc
intensity: the amount of energy in a light or sound wave, which we percieve as brightness or
loudness, as determined by the wave’s amplitude
The Eye:
Pupil: the adjustable opening in the center of the eye through which light enters
Iris: a ring of muscle tissue that forms the colored portion of the eye around the pupil and
controls the size of the pupil opening.
Lens: the transparent structure behind the pupil that changes shape to help focus images on the
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