APP Unit 5 Vocab

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the persistence of learning over time through the encoding, storage, and retrieval of information.
the processing of information into the memory system—for example, by extracting meaning.
the process of retaining encoded information over time.
the process of getting information out of memory storage.
parallel processing
the processing of many aspects of a problem simultaneously; the brain’s natural mode of information processing for many functions. Contrasts with the step-by-step (serial) processing of most computers and of conscious problem solving.
sensory memory
the immediate, very brief recording of sensory information in the memory system.
short-term memory
activated memory that holds a few items briefly, such as the seven digits of a phone number while dialing, before the information is stored or forgotten.
long-term memory
the relatively permanent and limitless storehouse of the memory system. Includes knowledge, skills, and experiences.
working memory
a newer understanding of short-term memory that focuses on conscious, active processing of incoming auditory and visual-spatial information, and of information retrieved from long-term memory.
explicit memory
memory of facts and experiences that one can consciously know and “declare.”
effortful processing
encoding that requires attention and conscious effort.
automatic processing
unconscious encoding of incidental information, such as space, time, and frequency, and of well-learned information, such as word meanings.
implicit memory
retention independent of conscious recollection.
iconic memory
a momentary sensory memory of visual stimuli; a photographic or picture-image memory lasting no more than a few tenths of a second.
echoic memory
a momentary sensory memory of auditory stimuli; if attention is elsewhere, sounds and words can still be recalled within 3 or 4 seconds.
organizing items into familiar, manageable units; often occurs automatically.
memory aids, especially those techniques that use vivid imagery and organizational devices.
spacing effect
the tendency for distributed study or practice to yield better long-term retention than is achieved through massed study or practice.
testing effect
enhanced memory after retrieving, rather than simply rereading, information.
shallow processing
encoding on a basic level based on the structure or appearance of words.
deep processing
encoding semantically, based on the meaning of the words; tends to yield the best retention.
a neural center located in the limbic system; helps process explicit memories for storage.
flashbulb memory
a clear memory of an emotionally significant moment or event.
long-term potentiation (LTP)
an increase in a cell’s firing potential after brief, rapid stimulation. Believed to be a neural basis for learning and memory.
a measure of memory in which the person must retrieve information learned earlier, as on a fill-in-the-blank test.
a measure of memory in which the person need only identify items previously learned, as on a multiple-choice test.
a measure of memory that assesses the amount of time saved when learning material again.
the activation, often unconsciously, of particular associations in memory.
mood-congruent memory
the tendency to recall experiences that are consistent with one’s current good or bad mood.
serial position effect
our tendency to recall best the last (a recency effect) and first items (a primacy effect) in a list.
anterograde amnesia
an inability to form new memories.
retrograde amnesia
an inability to retrieve information from one’s past.
proactive interference
the disruptive effect of prior learning on the recall of new information.
retroactive interference
the disruptive effect of new learning on the recall of old information.
in psychoanalytic theory, the basic defense mechanism that banishes from consciousness anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories.
misinformation effect
incorporating misleading information into one’s memory of an event.
source amnesia
attributing to the wrong source an event we have experienced, heard about, read about, or imagined. (Also called source misattribution.) Source amnesia, along with the misinformation effect, is at the heart of many false memories.
déjà vu
that eerie sense that “I’ve experienced this before.” Cues from the current situation may unconsciously trigger retrieval of an earlier experience.
all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating.
a mental grouping of similar objects, events, ideas, or people.
a mental image or best example of a category. Matching new items to a prototype provides a quick and easy method for sorting items into categories (as when comparing feathered creatures to a prototypical bird, such as a robin).
the ability to produce novel and valuable ideas.
convergent thinking
narrows the available problem solutions to determine the single best solution.
divergent thinking
expands the number of possible problem solutions (creative thinking that diverges in different directions).
a methodical, logical rule or procedure that guarantees solving a particular problem. Contrasts with the usually speedier—but also more error-prone—use of heuristics.
a simple thinking strategy that often allows us to make judgments and solve problems efficiently; usually speedier but also more error-prone than algorithms.
a sudden realization of a problem’s solution; contrasts with strategy-based solutions.
confirmation bias
a tendency to search for information that supports our preconceptions and to ignore or distort contradictory evidence.
mental set
a tendency to approach a problem in one particular way, often a way that has been successful in the past.
an effortless, immediate, automatic feeling or thought, as contrasted with explicit, conscious reasoning.
representativeness heuristic
judging the likelihood of things in terms of how well they seem to represent, or match, particular prototypes; may lead us to ignore other relevant information.
availability heuristic
estimating the likelihood of events based on their availability in memory; if instances come readily to mind (perhaps because of their vividness), we presume such events are common.
the tendency to be more confident than correct—to overestimate the accuracy of our beliefs and judgments.
belief perseverance
clinging to one’s initial conceptions after the basis on which they were formed has been discredited.
the way an issue is posed; how an issue is framed can significantly affect decisions and judgments.
our spoken, written, or signed words and the ways we combine them to communicate meaning.
in a language, the smallest distinctive sound unit.
in a language, the smallest unit that carries meaning; may be a word or a part of a word (such as a prefix).
in a language, a system of rules that enables us to communicate with and understand others. In a given language, semantics is the set of rules for deriving meaning from sounds, and syntax is the set of rules for combining words into grammatically sensible sentences.
babbling stage
beginning at about 4 months, the stage of speech development in which the infant spontaneously utters various sounds at first unrelated to the household language.
one-word stage
the stage in speech development, from about age 1 to 2, during which a child speaks mostly in single words.
two-word stage
beginning about age 2, the stage in speech development during which a child speaks mostly in two-word statements.
telegraphic speech
early speech stage in which a child speaks like a telegram—“go car”—using mostly nouns and verbs.
impairment of language, usually caused by left-hemisphere damage either to Broca’s area (impairing speaking) or to Wernicke’s area (impairing understanding).
Broca’s area
controls language expression—an area of the frontal lobe, usually in the left hemisphere, that directs the muscle movements involved in speech.
Wernicke’s area
controls language reception—a brain area involved in language comprehension and expression; usually in the left temporal lobe.
linguistic determinism
Whorf’s hypothesis that language determines the way we think.
mental quality consisting of the ability to learn from experience, solve problems, and use knowledge to adapt to new situations.
intelligence test
a method for assessing an individual’s mental aptitudes and comparing them with those of others, using numerical scores.
general intelligence (g)
a general intelligence factor that, according to Spearman and others, underlies specific mental abilities and is therefore measured by every task on an intelligence test.
factor analysis
a statistical procedure that identifies clusters of related items (called factors) on a test; used to identify different dimensions of performance that underlie a person’s total score.
savant syndrome
a condition in which a person otherwise limited in mental ability has an exceptional specific skill, such as in computation or drawing.
in psychology, grit is passion and perseverance in the pursuit of long-term goals.
emotional intelligence
the ability to perceive, understand, manage, and use emotions.
mental age
a measure of intelligence test performance devised by Binet; the chronological age that most typically corresponds to a given level of performance. Thus, a child who does as well as the average 8-year-old is said to have a mental age of 8.
Stanford Binet
the widely used American revision (by Terman at Stanford University) of Binet’s original intelligence test.
intelligence quotient (IQ)
defined originally as the ratio of mental age (ma) to chronological age (ca) multiplied by 100 (thus, IQ = ma/ca × 100). On contemporary intelligence tests, the average performance for a given age is assigned a score of 100, with scores assigned to relative performance above or below average.
achievement test
a test designed to assess what a person has learned.
aptitude test
a test designed to predict a person’s future performance; aptitude is the capacity to learn.
Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS)
the WAIS is the most widely used intelligence test; contains verbal and performance (nonverbal) subtests.
defining uniform testing procedures and meaningful scores by comparison with the performance of a pretested group.
normal curve
the symmetrical, bell-shaped curve that describes the distribution of many physical and psychological attributes. Most scores fall near the average, and fewer and fewer scores lie near the extremes.
the extent to which a test yields consistent results, as assessed by the consistency of scores on two halves of the test, on alternate forms of the test, or on retesting.
the extent to which a test measures or predicts what it is supposed to.
content validity
the extent to which a test samples the behavior that is of interest.
predictive validity
the success with which a test predicts the behavior it is designed to predict; it is assessed by computing the correlation between test scores and the criterion behavior.
a group of people from a given time period.
crystallized intelligence
our accumulated knowledge and verbal skills; tends to increase with age.
fluid intelligence
our ability to reason speedily and abstractly; tends to decrease during late adulthood.
intellectual disability
a condition of limited mental ability, indicated by an intelligence score of 70 or below and difficulty in adapting to the demands of life.
Down syndrome
a condition of mild to severe intellectual disability and associated physical disorders caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21.
the proportion of variation among individuals that we can attribute to genes. The heritability of a trait may vary, depending on the range of populations and environments studied.
stereotype threat
a self-confirming concern that one will be evaluated based on a negative stereotype.