Chapters 3 and 4 AP psychology Balmas study guide

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43 Terms
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bottom-up processing
analysis that begins with the sensory receptors and works 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 experience and expectations
The process of converting outside stimuli, such as light, into neural activity
Visual path of Transduction
light is detected to yield nerve impulses in the rod cells and cone cells in the retina of the eye in humans and other vertebrates.
Auditory path of transduction
the ear converts sound waves into electric impulses and sends them to the brain
parallel processing
the processing of many aspects of a problem simultaneously; the brain's natural mode of information processing for many functions, including vision. Contrasts with the step-by-step (serial) processing of most computers and of conscious problem solving.
absolute threshold
the minimum stimulation needed to detect a particular stimulus 50 percent of the time
just noticeable difference
the minimal change in a stimulus that can just barely be detected
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 detection depends partly on a person's experience, expectations, motivation, and alertness.
inattentional blindness
failing to see visible objects when our attention is directed elsewhere
change blindness
when people fail to detect changes to the visual details of a scene
phi phenomenon
an illusion of movement created when two or more adjacent lights blink on and off in quick succession
the organization of the visual field into objects (the figures) that stand out from their surroundings (the ground).
an organized whole. Gestalt psychologists emphasized our tendency to integrate pieces of information into meaningful wholes.
semicircular canals
three fluid-filled canals in the inner ear responsible for our sense of balance
perceptual set
a mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another
cocktail party effect
ability to attend to only one voice among many
unconditioned stimulus
in classical conditioning, a stimulus that unconditionally—naturally and automatically—triggers a response.
unconditioned response
In classical conditioning, the unlearned, naturally occurring response to the unconditioned stimulus (US), such as salivation when food is in the mouth.
neutral stimulus
in classical conditioning, a stimulus that elicits no response before conditioning
conditioned stimulus
in classical conditioning, an originally irrelevant stimulus that, after association with an unconditioned stimulus, comes to trigger a conditioned response
Condtioned Response
In classical conditioning, the reflexive response to a particular stimulus that has been acquired or learned on the basis of that stimulus, being linked to another stimulus, called the unconditioned stimulus
higher-order conditioning
occurs when a strong conditioned stimulus is paired with a neutral stimulus, causing the neutral stimulus to become a second conditioned stimulus
positive reinforcement
Increasing behaviors by presenting positive stimuli, such as food. A positive reinforcer is any stimulus that, when presented after a response, strengthens the response.
negative reinforcement
Increasing behaviors by stopping or reducing negative stimuli, such as shock. A negative reinforcer is any stimulus that, when removed after a response, strengthens the response. (Note: negative reinforcement is not punishment.)
positive punishment
adding an undesirable stimulus to stop or decrease a behavior
negative punishment
the removal of a stimulus to decrease the probability of a behavior's recurring
Thorndike's Law of Effect
responses that lead to satisfying consequences are more likely to be repeated
the phase of classical conditioning when the CS and the US are presented together
the diminishing of a conditioned response
spontaneous recovery
the reappearance, after a pause, of an extinguished conditioned response
responding similarly to a range of similar stimuli
in classical conditioning, the learned ability to distinguish between a conditioned stimulus and stimuli that do not signal an unconditioned stimulus
an operant conditioning procedure in which reinforcers guide behavior toward closer and closer approximations of the desired behavior
using operant conditioning to teach a complex response by linking together less complex skills
Latent learning
learning that occurs but is not apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate it
intrinsic motivation
a desire to perform a behavior effectively for its own sake
extrinstic motivation
desire to perform a behavior due to promised rewards or threats of punishment
overjustification effect
the result of bribing people to do what they already like doing; they may then see their actions as externally controlled rather than intrinsically appealing
biological predispositions
Genetically programmed tendencies to acquire classically conditioned fear responses to potentially life-threatening stimuli
constraints in learning
a limitation on learning resulting from the evolutionary history of the organism
Mirror neurons
frontal lobe neurons that some scientists believe fire when performing certain actions or when observing another doing so. The brain's mirroring of another's action may enable imitation and empathy
Bandura's Social Learning Theory
Emphasizing learning through observation, vicarious learning and modeling