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Flashcards in Psychology & the Brain Deck (71)

__________ psychology is practical and designed for real world application, while __________ psychology is focused on research of fundamental principles and theories.

Applied; basic


What are the four lobes of the human brain?

  1. Frontal: reasoning, planning, parts of speech, movement, emotions, problem solving
  2. Parietal: movement, orientation, recognition, perception of stimuli
  3. Occipital: visual processing
  4. Temporal: perception/recognition of auditory stimuli, memory, speech


Why are our brains wrinkled?

The surface of the brain is covered with neurons and wrinkles (or fissures) increase the surface area so more neurons can fit within a smaller area. These neurons form connections with one another to transmit more information.





What is brain lateralization?

Brain lateralization is the phenomenon in which a skill or function is preferably controlled by one side of the brain over the other, causing the hemispheres to have specialized functions.


True or False: Some people are more left-brained (logical), while others are more right-brained (creative).


This is a myth about brain lateralization. While the location of certain brain functions may vary amongst people, the idea that someone uses one side "more" and is therefore more logical or creative is untrue.


What is brain plasticity?

As our brains develop, there are skills or functions that are more or less important for each individual to perform. Because of this, the neuronal connections in our brains strengthen or weaken to adapt to those needed functions, especially if there is damage to other areas of the brain.


True or False: Humans only use 10 percent of the brain.


This myth came about sometime around the end of the 19th or beginning of the 20th century. Humans use 100% of the brain.


What area of the brain is located in the left inferior frontal cortex and is associated with language outputs?

Broca's area

Named for Paul Pierre Broca, a French physician whose studies on speech impairments led to this discovery.


What area of the brain is located in the left superior posterior temporal lobe and is associated with the processing of spoken words?

Wernicke's area


What are a human's five basic senses?

  1. Sight
  2. Hearing
  3. Smell
  4. Touch
  5. Taste


What is a human's dominant sense?


About 80% of human cognition is facilitated by vision.


What is change blindness?

A perceptual phenomenon that occurs when a visual change is made but goes unnoticed by an observer.


If you are zoning out in class and your teacher suddenly uses a swear word, you will snap back to attention. What is this phenomenon called?

The cocktail party effect focuses our attention on something salient, like hearing our name in a roomful of people, or hearing a teacher curse.


True or False: If you flip a coin 10 times and it lands on heads 10 times, the odds are high that it will land on tails on the 11th flip.


This is a common misconception, known as the gambler's fallacy. In actuality, the odds are 50/50 that the coin will land on tails, as each flip is independent of the others.


What is Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs?

A psychological theory introduced in 1943 by Abraham Maslow. It details human needs, from the most basic needs of life to more emotional, cognitive needs.


What are Erikson's 8 Stages of Psychosocial Development?

  1. Hopes (0-2 years)
  2. Will (2-4 years)
  3. Purpose (4-5 years)
  4. Competence (5-12 years)
  5. Fidelity (13-19 years)
  6. Love (20-39 years)
  7. Care (40-64 years)
  8. Wisdom (65+ years)


At what age do most babies speak their first word?

Most babies speak their first word between 9 and 12 months. A baby's first word is most commonly "mama" or "dada."


What do psychologists call the ability to recall information in smaller bits?


For example, we are used to chunking phone numbers into smaller bits – 3 or 4 digit groups.


The process of converting information into a form that can later be recalled is known as __________.


In order to remember information, the brain must first encode it, then store it, then eventually retrieve it.


What is the term for the ability to apply previous learning to new situations?

Transfer (of learning)


What three distinct components comprise the mind, according to Freud?

  • Id: responsible for basic human needs and desires
  • Ego: conscious, cognitive part of the mind
  • Super-ego: connection to others and culture


What is a depressant?

A depressant is any drug that reduces the activity of a certain part of the brain or body. The umbrella group "depressant" includes the following substances, among others:

  • Alcohol
  • Antipsychotics
  • Antihistamines
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Opioids


What is a stimulant?

A stimulant is any drug that induces alertness or wakefulness, and improves mental or physical functioning.

Stimulants are often used to treat ADD and ADHD, as well as narcolepsy and other sleep disorders. Legal stimulants include caffeine, nicotine, Adderall, and Ritalin. Illegal stimulants include cocaine, crystal meth, and MDMA (a.k.a. ecstacy).


Which disorder is commonly diagnosed during childhood and is characterized by lack of self-control and overactivity?

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

Approximately 3-5% of children are diagnosed with ADHD, though researchers believe more children remain undiagnosed.


The two most common types of amnesia are anterograde amnesia and retrograde amnesia. What is the difference between the two?

  • Anterograde amnesia is the inability to remember new information or events that occurred after the onset of amnesia.
  • Retrograde amnesia is the inability to remember information or events that occurred before the onset of amnesia.


What group of disorders includes OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), and GAD (General Anxiety Disorder)?

Anxiety disorders

Treatment for anxiety disorders includes medication and therapy.


What neurodevelopmental disorder appears within the first three years of a child's life and presents through difficulty with socialization?



Some of the major symptoms associated with autism include:

  • Difficulty with social interaction
  • Slow development of speaking ability
  • Repetition of overheard phrases
  • Heightened or decreased sensitivity to external stimuli
  • Distress in response to changes in routine


What disorder results in extreme mood swings?

Bipolar disorder

Most people living with bipolar disorder are diagnosed by age 25. Approximately 5.7 million American adults have been diagnosed with this disorder.


What neurological condition presents through difficulty reading or writing?


Dyslexic people may confuse similar sounds or letters, reverse letters or words, or completely substitute certain words for others. Some studies show that nearly 5-10% of the population suffers from varying degrees of dyslexia.


What category of disorders results in abnormal and unhealthy eating habits?

Eating disorders

Includes anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder. These issues are more common in females, likely due to cultural factors.


What group of disorders is characterized by extreme feelings of sadness?

Mood disorders

One of the most common and prevalent mood disorders is major depression. It is estimated that almost 7% of Americans experience depression annually.


What disorder is characterized by racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, and fear?

Panic disorder

This disorder is more common in women, likely due to cultural factors. Additional symptoms of panic disorder include nausea, dizziness, weakness, sweating, and chest pain.


What disorder category is characterized by atypical interactions and behaviors toward people and situations?

Personality disorders

This group includes antisocial personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder, and borderline personality disorder.


A type of anxiety that manifests itself in the form of an extreme fear is called a(n) ___.


Common phobias include arachnophobia (fear of spiders), acrophobia (fear of heights), and agoraphobia (fear of being unable to escape a situation or surrounding).


What are the signs of schizophrenia?

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorganized speech or behavior

Approximately 51 million people suffer from schizophrenia.


What four factors most influence memory?

  1. Degree of attentiveness
  2. Strength of motivation
  3. Emotional state
  4. Context


Which type of memory includes memories of recent facts, as well as the more consolidated memories from the distant past?

Long-term memory

Long-term memories can last anywhere from days to years, depending on how well the information can be retrieved.

The two types of long-term memory are:

  • Explicit memory (declarative): the conscious recollection of things and facts; e.g. recalling what you ate for breakfast
  • Implicit memory (procedural): the automatic recall of a memory; e.g. riding a bike


Which type of memory results from the detection of stimuli by the senses?

Sensory memory

Sensory memory does not require any conscious attention, lasts less than one second, and is often considered to be a component of perception.


Which type of memory involves retaining and retrieving limited amounts of information for a short period of time, generally less than a minute?

Short-term memory

The information held in short-term memory normally consists of 5-9 items. An example of this is how we can temporarily remember phone numbers (10 digits).


Which type of memory is the extension of short-term memory that applies cognitive processes, such as reasoning, to the items currently held in short-term memory?

Working memory

Activities such as reading, writing, and solving math problems are all considered to be components of working memory.


What role does sleep play in the ability to retrieve a memory?

Sleep allows for the consolidation of memories stored in the brain over the course of the day. While sleep allows for the better storage of information, conversely, a lack of sleep notably hinders the learning process.


What happens in the four stages of the sleep cycle?

  1. Light sleep
  2. Temperature and heart rate decrease
  3. Transition from light to deep sleep
  4. Deep sleep (REM stage); when most dreams occur


During which stage of the sleep cycle does dreaming occur?

Dreaming can occur during both REM and non-REM sleep. Non-REM dreams are often short, with concrete and logical structure. On the other hand, REM sleep dreams are vivid, emotional, and often illogical.


On average, how many hours does an adult sleep per night?

Adults get an average of 7-8 hours of sleep per night.

The amount of sleep people receive is influenced by genetic make-up, lifestyle, and age. Typically, as humans age, sleep becomes more frequent and fragmented.


What are the two major systems of human motivation?

The Reward Circuit and The Punishment Circuit

Together these two circuits form the behavior approach system to motivation.


What is a neuron and its function?

A neuron is the electrically excitable cell that is found in the brain and nervous system and functions to process and transmit impulses through the body.

A neuron contains a cell body, dentrites, which gather and carry impulses to the cell body, and an axon, which carries information away from the cell body and towards other cells.


What is a neurotransmitter?

A neurotransmitter is a type of chemical in the brain that transmits signals between neurons.


What is the function of the neurotransmitter dopamine?

Dopamine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter involved in mood, reward circuits, sleep, pleasure, and voluntary movement.

Dopamine plays a major role in the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia.


What is the function of the neurotransmitter epinephrine?

Epinephrine is both a hormone and a neurotransmitter, and is commonly referred to as adrenaline.

Epinephrine is involved in the activation of the sympathetic nervous system and assists in the body's fight-or-flight response; it works to regulate heart rate, blood pressure, air passage diameters, and metabolic shifts.


What is the function of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine?

Norepinephrine is both a neurotransmitter and a hormone, and is commonly referred to as noradrenaline.

Norepinephrine is involved in the body's fight-or-flight response and the activation of the sympathetic nervous system. It acts to increase heart rate and blood pressure, trigger the release of glucose, and increase blood flow to skeletal muscles.


What is the function of the neurotransmitter serotonin?

Serotonin is an inhibitory neurotransmitter involved in the regulation of mood, sleep, appetite, and memory. Serotonin is derived from the amino acid tryptophan.


According to modern scientists, what seems to be the purpose of pain?

The purpose of pain is to make a person aware that his/her body is damaged or is about to be damaged, propelling them to change their actions to remove the danger.


Describe Pavlov's famous experiment and its contribution to the field of psychology.

  1. Pavlov observed a dog salivate when given meat powder.
  2. Pavlov rang a bell before giving the dog the meat powder. This was done consistantly over many feedings.
  3. The dog began to salivate at the sound of the bell, even when the meat powder was not present. This demonstrated a "conditioned response."


What are the five tastes humans perceive?

  1. salty
  2. sweet
  3. bitter
  4. sour
  5. umami (savory or meaty tastes)


Which psychologist developed social learning theory and conducted the Bobo Doll experiment, which demonstrated how children learn from observation?

Albert Bandura (1925 – )


Which behaviorist psychologist is known for the development of the operant conditioning chamber and its associated research?

B.F. Skinner (1904 – 1990)

He is also recognized for his contributions to the field of educational psychology, particularly for the teaching machine and the concept of programmed instruction.


Who is considered the founder of analytical psychology?

Carl Jung (1875 – 1961)

He developed concepts such as extroversion and introversion.


Which psychologist is known as the Father of Educational Psychology?

Edward Thorndike (1874 – 1949)

He is best known for his work in comparative psychology.


Which psychologist is famous for his classical conditioning experiments?

Ivan Pavlov (1849 – 1936)


Which psychologist is best known for his theory of cognitive development?

Jean Piaget (1896 – 1980)


Which psychologist is best known for his contributions to educational psychology and reform, and is recognized as a founder of functional psychology?

John Dewey (1859 – 1952)


Which developmental psychologist studied children's cognition and social learning, and developed the concept of the Zone of Proximal Development?

Lev Vygotsky (1896 – 1934)


Which scientist is recognized as the Father of Psychoanalysis and is particularly famous for his analysis of dreams and the subconscious?

Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939)


Which psychologist is known as the Father of Experimental Psychology, and started the first laboratory for psychological research in 1879?

Wilhelm Wundt (1832 – 1920)


An example of the nature vs. nurture controversy is whether intelligence derives from __________ or is __________.

experience; inherited


What was the Stanford Prison Experiment and what did it demonstrate?

This experiment demonstrated the effects of taking on the role of prisoner or prison guard. It was conducted in 1971 by Philip Zimbardo. Students took on mock roles and their behavior was observed.

Even though the two groups of peers were equals in the real world, the mock prison guards began behaving very harshly toward the "prisoners", and the prisoners became submissive to the guards. The controversial experiment only lasted six days but was pivotal in illustrating how quickly one's personality can change depending on power or social status.


What are some well-known theories of human intelligence?

  • Multiple Intelligences: individual's intelligence varies over seven main abilities (linguistic, logical/mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily/kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal)
  • Triarchic Theory of Intelligence: individual's intelligence is split into analytical, creative, and practical
  • Piaget's Theory of Intelligence: developmental stages from birth to age 16
  • g factor: (not so much a theory as it is a way of measuring intelligence)


Which questionnaire is meant to reveal how people perceive the world differently, specifically one's dominant sense (sensation, intuition, feeling, or thinking)?

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Inspired by the ideas of Carl Jung, the Indicator was developed by Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers, and published in 1921.


Playing a piece of music exactly as it's written could be an example of __________ thinking, while playing free-form jazz may be considered __________ thinking.

convergent; divergent

Convergent thinking is thinking that results in only one solution, while divergent thinking believes that there may be many answers to a problem.


What is the common name for an error in speech that is believed to be the result of some unconscious belief or desire?

Freudian slip


What are some common methods for observing brain activity?

  • CAT (Computerized Axial Tomography) scan: takes x-ray slices of the brain; used to diagnose a stroke
  • EEG (Electroencephalogram): detect electrical currents in the brain; used to diagnose dementia and epilepsy
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): detect the energy of proton shifts in the body; different areas release different amounts of energy, which creates the image
  • PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scan: detect brain activity through emitted gamma rays, visible as a result of an injection of radioactive glucose; used to determine active and inactive areas of the brain