Introduction to Psychology

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  • Lectures 191
  • Contents Video: 7.5 hours
    Other: 1 hour
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English, captions
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About This Course

Published 3/2015 English Closed captions available

Course Description

"Introduction to Psychology" is a comprehensive introduction to Psychology and self-paced online course that combines the real world immediacy and intimacy of professionally-produced video with the free, open-source, peer-reviewed textbook "Psychology" from OpenStax College. Noted academicians and researchers - including Noam Chomsky, Paul Ekman, Elizabeth Loftus, Michael Rugg, David Myers and others - offer an engaging and thorough treatment of Psychology that goes beyond key concepts and principles to provide learners an up-to-date look at the evolving field of psychological science.

Areas of exploration include:

  • How Psychologists Conduct Research
  • Neuroscience and Behavior
  • Genetic and Environmental Influences on Behavior
  • Sensing and Interpreting Sensory Messages
  • States of Consciousness
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Thinking and Language
  • Intelligence
  • Motivation and Work
  • Emotion
  • Stress and Health
  • Personality
  • Psychological Disorders
  • Therapy
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology

The course includes more than 150 topic-specific video segments - each approximately three to five minutes in duration - that incorporate expert interviews, computer graphics and animation, and real-life case studies that tell the story of psychology from a human perspective.

Introduction to Psychology can be adopted "as is" for use as a complete online course in introductory Psychology, as a quality supplement to existing courses, or as a media-rich resource for review and test preparation (e.g. CLEP Exam).

What are the requirements?

  • System requirements: PC, laptop or mobile device (with Udemy app) and broadband connectivity.
  • Course requirements: There are no pre-requisite or other course requirements.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Understand the scientific method and the range of ways in which psychological data are gathered and evaluated.
  • Define the term 'psychology' and demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology.
  • Cconsider their own personality and personal relationships by thinking critically about psychology theories and principles.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply psychology principles to personal, social, and organizational issues.
  • Understand how psychology is applied to influence and improve the lives of human beings.

What is the target audience?

  • Professors of Psychology looking to adopt low-cost, media-rich supplemental materials for their students.
  • Professionals in the areas of psychological and mental health.
  • Students currently enrolled in (or considering enrolling in) Introduction to Psychology or AP Psychology classes.
  • Anyone with in an interest in the brain and the study of human behavior.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

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Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Introduction to Psychology
Article

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 01

OpenStax College, Introduction to Psychology. (© 2014 Rice University)

Retrieved from the Connexions Web site:

http://cnx.org/content/col11629/latest/

*******************************************************************************

KEY TERMS

behaviorism- focus on observing and controlling behavior

biopsychology- study of how biology influences behavior

biopsychosocial model- perspective that asserts that biology, psychology, and social factors interact to determine an individual’s health

clinical psychology- area of psychology that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders and other problematic patterns of behavior

cognitive psychology- study of cognitions, or thoughts, and their relationship to experiences and actions

counseling psychology- area of psychology that focuses on improving emotional, social, vocational, and other aspects of the lives of psychologically healthy individuals

developmental psychology- scientific study of development across a lifespan

empirical method- method for acquiring knowledge based on observation, including experimentation, rather than a method based only on forms of logical argument or previous authorities

forensic psychology- area of psychology that applies the science and practice of psychology to issues within and related to the justice system

functionalism- focused on how mental activities helped an organism adapt to its environment

humanism- perspective within psychology that emphasizes the potential for good that is innate to all humans

introspection- process by which someone examines their own conscious experience in an attempt to break it into its component parts

personality psychology- study of patterns of thoughts and behaviors that make each individual unique

personality trait- consistent pattern of thought and behavior

psyche- Greek word for soul

psychoanalytic theory- focus on the role of the unconscious in affecting conscious behavior

psychology- scientific study of the mind and behavior

sport and exercise psychology- area of psychology that focuses on the interactions between mental and emotional factors and physical performance in sports, exercise, and other activities

structuralism- understanding the conscious experience through introspection

03:29

Studying People in Context

In order to learn about psychology, it is important to strip away what you assume is true and start with a clean slate. Hazel Markus illustrates the importance of cognitive set in perceiving a stimulus. Genetic, environmental, and cultural factors shape the ways in which people construct the world. Subtle nuances of meaning can have major impact on one's perspective.

Bishop, Joyce, Ph.D. Golden West College

Kitayama, Shinobu, Ph.D. University of Michigan

Markus, Hazel Rose, Ph.D. Stanford University

Witvliet, Charlotte, Ph.D. Hope College

Download the transcript for this video below:

02:30

Introduction of Scientific Tools and Approaches

The introduction of tools like fMRI and PET allows psychologists to determine the contribution of biology to psychology. Further advancements will someday reveal how the brain achieves its understanding of the world, and how we are able to interact with each other socially. As in physics, traditional methods of research are employed in scientific investigation.

Cacioppo, John, Ph.D. University of Chicago

Kagan, Jerome, Ph.D. Harvard University

Sejnowski, Terrence J., Ph.D. Salk Institute

Download the transcript for this video below:

Section 2: Psychological Research
Article

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 02

OpenStax College, Introduction to Psychology. (© 2014 Rice University)

Retrieved from the Connexions Web site:

http://cnx.org/content/col11629/latest/

*******************************************************************************

KEY TERMS

archival research- method of research using past records or data sets to answer various research questions, or to search for interesting patterns or relationships

attrition- reduction in number of research participants as some drop out of the study over time

cause-and-effect relationship- changes in one variable cause the changes in the other variable; can be determined only through an experimental research design

clinical or case study- observational research study focusing on one or a few people

confirmation bias- tendency to ignore evidence that disproves ideas or beliefs

confounding variable- unanticipated outside factor that affects both variables of interest, often giving the false impression that changes in one variable causes changes in the other variable, when, in actuality, the outside factor causes changes in both variables

control group- serves as a basis for comparison and controls for chance factors that might influence the results of the study—by holding such factors constant across groups so that the experimental manipulation is the only difference between groups

correlation coefficient- number from -1 to +1, indicating the strength and direction of the relationship between variables, and usually represented by r

correlation- relationship between two or more variables; when two variables are correlated, one variable changes as the other does

cross-sectional research- compares multiple segments of a population at a single time

debriefing- when an experiment involved deception, participants are told complete and truthful information about the experiment at its conclusion

deception- purposely misleading experiment participants in order to maintain the integrity of the experiment

dependent variable- variable that the researcher measures to see how much effect the independent variable had

double-blind study- experiment in which both the researchers and the participants are blind to group assignments

empirical- grounded in objective, tangible evidence that can be observed time and time again, regardless of who is observing

experimental group- group designed to answer the research question; experimental manipulation is the only difference between the experimental and control groups, so any differences between the two are due to experimental manipulation rather than chance

experimenter bias- researcher expectations skew the results of the study

falsifiable- able to be disproven by experimental results

illusory correlation- seeing relationships between two things when in reality no such relationship exists

independent variable- variable that is influenced or controlled by the experimenter; in a sound experimental study, the independent variable is the only important difference between the experimental and control group

informed consent- process of informing a research participant about what to expect during an experiment, any risks involved, and the implications of the research, and then obtaining the person’s consent to participate

longitudinal research- studies in which the same group of individuals is surveyed or measured repeatedly over an extended period of time

negative correlation- two variables change in different directions, with one becoming larger as the other becomes smaller; a negative correlation is not the same thing as no correlation

peer-reviewed journal article- article read by several other scientists (usually anonymously) with expertise in the subject matter, who provide feedback regarding the quality of the manuscript before it is accepted for publication

placebo effect- people's expectations or beliefs influencing or determining their experience in a given situation

positive correlation- two variables change in the same direction, both becoming either larger or smaller

random sample- subset of a larger population in which every member of the population has an equal chance of being selected

replicate- repeating an experiment using different samples to determine the research’s reliability

single-blind study- experiment in which the researcher knows which participants are in the experimental group and which are in the control group

statistical analysis- determines how likely any difference between experimental groups is due to chance

validity- accuracy of a given result in measuring what it is designed to measure

02:36

The Scientific Method

Research studies require measurements that can be replicated. Deciding what to measure often begins with an idea or hunch and the development of an hypothesis. Researchers must create operational definitions, specifying how variables will be measured in a given study.

Diener, Edward, Ph.D. University of Illinois

Fiske, Susan, Ph.D. Princeton University

Kagan, Jerome, Ph.D. Harvard University

Keltner, Dacher, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley

Myers, David. G., Ph.D. Hope College


Download the transcript for this video below:

03:12

Measuring Correlations to Find Relationships

In order to determine interrelationships researchers measure the same two variables for each individual involved in a study. If naturally-occurring associations can be found between two different sets of data, one factor can be used to predict the other. Correlational studies also reveal when few or no links exist. Causal studies take correlation a step further, but are tricky because one of the correlates may bring about the other, or both can be independently caused by an underlying third factor.

Diener, Edward, Ph.D. University of Illinois

Kemeny, Margaret, Ph.D. University of California, San Francisco

Myers, David G., Ph.D. Hope College


Download the transcript for this video below:

02:58

Performing Experiments

In an experiment, the ideal is to manipulate a single variable. It becomes the only element that differs between control and experimental groups. In a Carnegie Melon study, for example, primates are randomly assigned to stressed and non-stressed conditions. Levels of stress served as the independent variable; the dependent variable is a measure of the animals health status.

Cohen, Sheldon, Ph.D. Carnegie Mellon University

Gilbert, Daniel, Ph.D. Harvard University

Kemeny, Margaret, Ph.D. University of California, San Francisco


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02:25

Use of Animals in Psychological Research

The fact that experimentation with humans is restricted has led to animal research. Mice, for example, can be genetically bred to be identical allowing researchers to control all relevant conditions. Because mammalian species share certain principles the results of animal experimentation are applicable to humans. There is also an advantage to using simpler systems to learn information that can be extrapolated to more complex structures.

Barondes, Samuel, M.D. University of California, San Francisco

Laurent, Gilles, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology

McGaugh, James, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine

Myers, David G., Ph.D. Hope College


Download the transcript for this video below:

02:41

Research in Immersive Virtual Environments

Immersive virtual technology allows researchers to create a high degree of ecological realism and still have total experimental control. Researchers can manipulate a single variable as we see in the study of personal distance, proxemics. IVE also helps with replication because the experimental DVD record can be sent to anybody to copy.

Blascovich, Jim. Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara

Riggio, Ronald. Ph.D. Claremont College


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02:51

Ethics and Research

The fact that people react to being studied makes human research challenging. In order to capture responses in a pure form, some level of deception or manipulation may be employed. At universities and research institutes, experiments must be approved by committees of specialists and community representatives before they are launched. At end of the study participants are debriefed.

Eagly, Alice. Ph.D. Northwestern University

Gilbert, Daniel, Ph.D. Harvard University

Loftus. Elizabeth, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine

McGaugh, James L., Ph.D. University of California, Irvine

Myers, David G., Ph.D. Hope College


Download the transcript for this video below:

01:32

The Future of Psychological Research

No one research method is best. Each approach has its pros and cons, and all are needed to understand human behavior. Psychology is becoming more of a serious science that builds on its own successes. The next generation must continue to push, always asking “Where's the research?” and “Are we asking the right questions?”

Diener, Edward, Ph.D. University of Illinois

Gazzaniga, Michael, Ph.D. Dartmouth College

Kemeny, Margaret, Ph.D. University of California, San Francisco

Shiffrin, Richard, Ph.D. Indiana University


Download the transcript for this video below:

Check Your Understanding
6 questions
Section 3: Biopsychology
Article

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 03

OpenStax College, Introduction to Psychology. (© 2014 Rice University)

Retrieved from the Connexions Web site:

http://cnx.org/content/col11629/latest/

*******************************************************************************

KEY TERMS

action potential- electrical signal that moves down the neuron’s axon

adrenal gland- sits atop our kidneys and secretes hormones involved in the stress response

amygdala- structure in the limbic system involved in our experience of emotion and tying emotional meaning to our memories

auditory cortex- strip of cortex in the temporal lobe that is responsible for processing auditory information

autonomic nervous system- controls our internal organs and glands

axon- major extension of the soma

central nervous system (CNS)- brain and spinal cord

cerebellum- hindbrain structure that controls our balance, coordination, movement, and motor skills, and it is thought to be important in processing some types of memory

cerebral cortex- surface of the brain that is associated with our highest mental capabilities

chromosome- long strand of genetic information

computerized tomography (CT) scan- imaging technique in which a computer coordinates and integrates multiple x-rays of a given area

corpus callosum- thick band of neural fibers connecting the brain’s two hemispheres

dendrite- branch-like extension of the soma that receives incoming signals from other neurons

deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)- helix-shaped molecule made of nucleotide base pairs

electroencephalography (EEG)- recording the electrical activity of the brain via electrodes on the scalp

endocrine system- series of glands that produce chemical substances known as hormones

fight or flight response- activation of the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system, allowing access to energy reserves and heightened sensory capacity so that we might fight off a given threat or run away to safety

forebrain- largest part of the brain, containing the cerebral cortex, the thalamus, and the limbic system, among other structures

frontal lobe- part of the cerebral cortex involved in reasoning, motor control, emotion, and language; contains motor cortex

gene- sequence of DNA that controls or partially controls physical characteristics

genetic environmental correlation- view of gene-environment interaction that asserts our genes affect our environment, and our environment influences the expression of our genes

genotype- genetic makeup of an individual

glial cell- nervous system cell that provides physical and metabolic support to neurons, including neuronal insulation and communication, and nutrient and waste transport

gonad- secretes sexual hormones, which are important for successful reproduction, and mediate both sexual motivation and behavior

hemisphere- left or right half of the brain

hindbrain- division of the brain containing the medulla, pons, and cerebellum

hippocampus- structure in the temporal lobe associated with learning and memory

homeostasis- state of equilibrium—biological conditions, such as body temperature, are maintained at optimal levels

hormone- chemical messenger released by endocrine glands

hypothalamus- forebrain structure that regulates sexual motivation and behavior and a number of homeostatic processes; serves as an interface between the nervous system and the endocrine system

limbic system- collection of structures involved in processing emotion and memory

magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)- magnetic fields used to produce a picture of the tissue being imaged

medulla- hindbrain structure that controls automated processes like breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate

membrane potential- difference in charge across the neuronal membrane

midbrain- division of the brain located between the forebrain and the hindbrain; contains the reticular formation

motor cortex- strip of cortex involved in planning and coordinating movement

myelin sheath- fatty substance that insulates axons

neuron- cells in the nervous system that act as interconnected information processors, which are essential for all of the tasks of the nervous system

neurotransmitter- chemical messenger of the nervous system

occipital lobe- part of the cerebral cortex associated with visual processing; contains the primary visual cortex

pancreas- secretes hormones that regulate blood sugar

parasympathetic nervous system- associated with routine, day-to-day operations of the body

parietal lobe- part of the cerebral cortex involved in processing various sensory and perceptual information; contains the primary somatosensory cortex

peripheral nervous system (PNS)- connects the brain and spinal cord to the muscles, organs and senses in the periphery of the body

pituitary gland- secretes a number of key hormones, which regulate fluid levels in the body, and a number of messenger hormones, which direct the activity of other glands in the endocrine system

pons- hindbrain structure that connects the brain and spinal cord; involved in regulating brain activity during sleep

positron emission tomography (PET) scan- involves injecting individuals with a mildly radioactive substance and monitoring changes in blood flow to different regions of the brain

prefrontal cortex- area in the frontal lobe responsible for higher-level cognitive functioning

receptor- protein on the cell surface where neurotransmitters attach

resting potential- the state of readiness of a neuron membrane’s potential between signals

reticular formation- midbrain structure important in regulating the sleep/wake cycle, arousal, alertness, and motor activity

semipermeable membrane- cell membrane that allows smaller molecules or molecules without an electrical charge to pass through it, while stopping larger or highly charged molecules

soma- cell body

somatic nervous system- relays sensory and motor information to and from the CNS

somatosensory cortex- essential for processing sensory information from across the body, such as touch, temperature, and pain

sympathetic nervous system- involved in stress-related activities and functions

synapse- small gap between two neurons where communication occurs

temporal lobe- part of cerebral cortex associated with hearing, memory, emotion, and some aspects of language; contains primary auditory cortex

thalamus- sensory relay for the brain

theory of evolution by natural selection- states that organisms that are better suited for their environments will survive and reproduce compared to those that are poorly suited for their environments

threshold of excitation- level of charge in the membrane that causes the neuron to become active

thyroid- secretes hormones that regulate growth, metabolism, and appetite

ventral tegmental area (VTA)- midbrain structure where dopamine is produced: associated with mood, reward, and addiction

01:33

Genes- Our Biological Blueprint

Genes are DNA segments that provide the code for assembling protein molecules, the building blocks of human development. All of our abilities and behaviors have some genetic component. Whether or not the genes get turned on or off may depend the experiences we have had.

McCabe, Edward, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles

Plomin, Robert, Ph.D. King's College University

Sejnowski, Terrence J., Ph.D.


Download the transcript for this video below:

03:32

Evolutionary Psychology and Adaptation

Genetic predispositions help explain both our shared human nature as well as our individual differences. Evolutionary psychology takes a broader view, over a longer period of time, to determine the strategies that are useful for preserving the species and adapting to the challenges that confront us.

Bailey, Michael, Ph.D. Northwestern University

Cacioppo, John, Ph.D. University of Chicago

Ekman, Paul, Ph.D. University of California, San Francisco

Keltner, Dacher, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley

Myers, David G., Ph.D. Hope College

Plomin, Robert, Ph.D. King's College University

Segal, Nancy L., Ph.D. California State University, Fullerton


Download the transcript for this video below:Download the transcript for this video below:

02:58

Evolutionary Psychology and Sexual Attitudes

Although men and women differ in their attitudes toward casual sex, evolutionary psychologists point out the appeal of pairing to extend one's genetic lineage. What do men and women find attractive in the opposite sex? In a survey of over 10,000 people in 37 countries, David Buss and his researchers found that most women are looking for status and resources in a mate, whereas men are looking for homemaker qualities. In comparing the Buss data to U.N. reports on the status of women, Alice Eagly discovered that such differences tend to erode in cultures where there is more gender equality.

Bailey, Michael, Ph.D. Northwestern University

Eagly, Alice. Ph.D. Northwestern University


Download the transcript for this video below:

04:56

Studies of Twins Separated at Birth

In recent years a group of scientists known as behavior geneticists have been probing the relative impact of genetic and environmental influences using twin studies and comparing adoptive and biological siblings with one another. Because twins may copy or imitate one another, researchers attempt to study identical twins raised in separate environments. Jerry Levey and Mark Newman are a case in point. As we see in this segment, every measured human trait has some degree of genetic influence, but the degree of influence varies from trait to trait.

Myers, David G., Ph.D. Hope College

Segal, Nancy L., Ph.D. California State University, Fullerton


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01:49

Temperament Studies

Temperament, or behavioral style, seems to be genetically influenced, as parents with several children will attest. Jerome Kagan highlights three areas in which researchers find temperamental biases: reaction to things that are new or unfamiliar, level of activity, and the ability to regulate emotions. Even when there are strong temperamental differences between siblings, environmental influences can have an impact on personality as a child matures.

Diener, Edward, Ph.D. University of Illinois

Hyde, Janet Shibley, Ph.D. University of Wisconsin

Kagan, Jerome, Ph.D. Harvard University

Segal, Nancy L., Ph.D. California State University, Fullerton


Download the transcript for this video below:

03:31

Gene-Environment Interaction

Using twin and adoption studies, behavior geneticists can mathematically estimate the degree to which variation among individuals can be attributed to their differing genes. The concept is heritability, the extent to which genes predispose certain behaviors or patterns that can be triggered by the environment. What some researchers are studying currently is gene-environment correlation, genetic propensities that encourage the selection of an environment that fosters their genetic propensity.

Travis Gibbs, Ph.D. Riverside Community College

Hinshaw, Stephen, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley

Jones, James M., Ph.D. University of Delaware

Plomin, Robert, Ph.D. King's College University


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03:20

Molecular Geneticists Search for Specific Genes that Influence Behavior

Molecular geneticists are using DNA techniques to find the combination of genes, often hundreds in number, that indicate risk for a particular trait like reading disability. Although some critics feel such knowledge may unfairly label a child, researchers point out that using DNA as an early warning system will allow parents and educators to intervene to prevent such problems before they occur.


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00:21

The Control Center

The brain is the command center that organizes and coordinates all body processes. The central nervous system comprises the brain and spinal cord and therefore has access to control all vital organs.

Greenfield, Susan, Ph.D. Oxford University


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02:55

Neural Communication

The neuron is the fundamental unit or cell in the brain. Neurons interact with each other by generating small blips of electricity which zap down an axon at rates up to 250 miles per hour. Each neuron is networked with about 10,000 other neurons. Neural connections increase as the result of experience.

Greenfield, Susan, Ph.D. Oxford University

Hobson, Allan, M.D. Harvard University

Koch, Christof, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology

Sejnowski, Terrence J., Ph.D. Salk Institute


Download the transcript for this video below:

02:41

The Influence of Neurotransmitters

After the electrical signal, also called the action potential, reaches the end of the axon it stimulates the release of chemicals called neurotransmitters. These chemical messengers carry information from the sending neuron across the synaptic gap to receptor sites on a receiving neuron. Many pharmaceuticals and recreational drugs enhance, mimic, or block the brain's natural neurotransmitters, affecting behavior, moods, and cognition.

Sejnowski, Terrence J., Ph.D. Salk Institute

Siegel, Jerome M., Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles


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02:45

Tools of Discovery

Methods for studying the brain have evolved with the technology. The development of the electroencephalogram (EEG) allows researchers to measure electrical activity in the brain. Positron emission tomography, or PET, uses radioactive isotopes to produce a snapshot of brain activity. Of all the tools of neuroscience, none have revolutionized the study of the brain like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that looks at blood flow in the brain to determine locations of brain activity rather than anatomical structure.

Albright, Thomas, Ph.D. Salk Institute

Camerer, Colin, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology

Rugg, Michael, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine


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01:46

Lower Level Brain Structures

The brain stem, which some refer to as the old reptilian brain, exists in all mammals. It is engaged in activities that regulate the body and its basic survival responses. The limbic areas are involved in generating emotion, motivation and social relatedness. Daniel Siegel demonstrates the location of each of these brain areas.

Siegel, Daniel, M.D. University of California, Los Angeles


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04:06

Splitting the Brain

Connecting the left and right hemispheres of the brain is a large bridge of nerve fibers called the corpus callosum. Little was known about this section of the brain until neurosurgeon Joseph Bogen cut the corpus callosum to relieve patients with symptoms of severe epilepsy. People who had this surgery gained relief and appeared normal, but could not name an object placed in their left visual field. These tests confirmed that in most people the left hemisphere is more verbal and the right hemisphere excels in visual perception and recognition of emotion. Damage to the right hemisphere can produce inattention, neglect, emotional instability. Both hemispheres often work in concert to produce integrated behaviors.

Bogen, Joseph, M.D. University of Southern California

Gazzaniga, Michael, Ph.D. Dartmouth College

Koch, Christof, Ph D. California Institute of Technology


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01:33

Brain Specialization: What it Involves and Does Not Involve

The brain has developed clever strategies to invest more in the development of specific abilities on one side than the other. Because the brain engages in this kind of specialization some people ask where the elements of our personalities are located? In general representation of any real behavior is a product of a system and not a product of neurons in a single place.

Bogen, Joseph, M.D. University of Southern California

Gazzaniga, Michael, Ph.D. Dartmouth College

Merzenich, Michael, Ph.D. University of California, San Francisco


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04:08

Brain Injuries

When a brain injury occurs, the deficits that follow depend on which parts of the brain are injured and the degree of damage. Matt Dykas was an 18-year-old high school senior when he suffered a paralyzing stroke after running track. In this segment we witness the intensive therapy Matt undergoes at Taub Clinic in Birmingham to create new pathways inside his brain and regain use of his disabled left hand.

Crago, Jean, Therapist, Taub Clinic

Schwartz, Jeffrey M., M.D. University of California, Los Angeles

Sejnowski, Terrence J., Ph.D. Salk Institute

Taub, Edward, Ph.D. University of Alabama, Birmingham


Download the transcript for this video below:

Check Your Understanding
9 questions
Section 4: States of Consciousness
Article

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 04

OpenStax College, Introduction to Psychology. (© 2014 Rice University)

Retrieved from the Connexions Web site:

http://cnx.org/content/col11629/latest/

*******************************************************************************

KEY TERMS

alpha wave- type of relatively low frequency, relatively high amplitude brain wave that becomes synchronized; characteristic of the beginning of stage 1 sleep

cataplexy- lack of muscle tone or muscle weakness, and in some cases complete paralysis of the voluntary muscles

central sleep apnea- sleep disorder with periods of interrupted breathing due to a disruption in signals sent from the brain that regulate breathing

circadian rhythm- biological rhythm that occurs over approximately 24 hours

collective unconscious- theoretical repository of information shared by all people across cultures, as described by Carl Jung

consciousness- awareness of internal and external stimuli

delta wave- type of low frequency, high amplitude brain wave characteristic of stage 3 and stage 4 sleep

depressant- drug that tends to suppress central nervous system activity

euphoric high- feelings of intense elation and pleasure from drug use

hallucinogen- one of a class of drugs that results in profound alterations in sensory and perceptual experiences, often with vivid hallucinations

hypnosis- state of extreme self-focus and attention in which minimal attention is given to external stimuli

insomnia- consistent difficulty in falling or staying asleep for at least three nights a week over a month’s time

K-complex- very high amplitude pattern of brain activity associated with stage 2 sleep that may occur in response to environmental stimuli

latent content- hidden meaning of a dream, per Sigmund Freud’s view of the function of dreams

lucid dream- people become aware that they are dreaming and can control the dream’s content

manifest content- storyline of events that occur during a dream, per Sigmund Freud’s view of the function of dreams

meditation- clearing the mind in order to achieve a state of relaxed awareness and focus

melatonin- hormone secreted by the endocrine gland that serves as an important regulator of the sleepwake cycle

methadone- synthetic opioid that is less euphorogenic than heroin and similar drugs; used to manage withdrawal symptoms in opiate users

methamphetamine- type of amphetamine that can be made from pseudoephedrine, an over-the-counter drug; widely manufactured and abused

narcolepsy- sleep disorder in which the sufferer cannot resist falling to sleep at inopportune times

night terror- sleep disorder in which the sleeper experiences a sense of panic and may scream or attempt to escape from the immediate environment

opiate/opioid- one of a category of drugs that has strong analgesic properties; opiates are produced from the resin of the opium poppy; includes heroin, morphine, methadone, and codeine

parinsomnia- one of a group of sleep disorders characterized by unwanted, disruptive motor activity and/or experiences during sleep

physical dependence- changes in normal bodily functions that cause a drug user to experience withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use

pineal gland- endocrine structure located inside the brain that releases melatonin

psychological dependence- emotional, rather than a physical, need for a drug which may be used to relieve psychological distress

rapid eye movement (REM) sleep- characterized by brain waves very similar to those during wakefulness and by darting movements of the eyes under closed eyelids

sleep apnea- sleep disorder defined by episodes during which breathing stops during sleep

sleep- state marked by relatively low levels of physical activity and reduced sensory awareness that is distinct from periods of rest that occur during wakefulness

spindle sleep- rapid burst of high frequency brain waves during stage 2 sleep that may be important for learning and memory

stage 1 sleep- first stage of sleep; transitional phase that occurs between wakefulness and sleep; the period during which a person drifts off to sleep

stage 2 sleep- second stage of sleep; the body goes into deep relaxation; characterized by the appearance of sleep spindles

stage 3 sleep- third stage of sleep; deep sleep characterized by low frequency, high amplitude delta waves

stage 4 sleep- fourth stage of sleep; deep sleep characterized by low frequency, high amplitude delta waves

stimulant- drug that tends to increase overall levels of neural activity; includes caffeine, nicotine, amphetamines, and cocaine

suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN)- area of the hypothalamus in which the body’s biological clock is located

theta wave- type of low frequency, low amplitude brain wave characteristic of the end of stage 1 sleep

tolerance- state of requiring increasing quantities of the drug to gain the desired effect

wakefulness- characterized by high levels of sensory awareness, thought, and behavior

withdrawal- variety of negative symptoms experienced when drug use is discontinued

01:34

What is Consciousness?

Six psychologists grapple with the definition of consciousness. Their attempts to explain consciousness range from calling it a state of perceptive awareness to characterizing it as an inner experience that is unique to each individual. This is such a difficult question that the author of a book on consciousness admits that within both science and philosophy there is no generally agreed upon definition.

Banaji, Mahzarin, Ph.D. Harvard University

Bargh, John, Ph.D. Yale University

Blackmore, Susan, Ph.D. Author, Consciousness, An Introduction

Denton, Derek, Ph.D. University of Melbourne

Gazzaniga, Michael, Ph.D. Dartmouth College; Greenfield, Susan, Ph.D. Oxford University


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02:23

Discounted Theories of Consciousness

Although it is widely accepted that a person's mental life is caused by neurobiological processes in the brain, we have no real understanding of how the brain gives rise to consciousness, or what brain processes are specifically responsible. The idea that consciousness is the property of the entire brain or conversely that there is a center for consciousness has little support in the scientific community. It is an open research question.

Greenfield, Susan, Ph.D. Oxford University

Koch, Christof, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology

Rugg, Michael, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine

Searle, John, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley


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02:09

Levels of Consciousness

Researchers agree that there are various levels of consciousness, from concentrated attention at one end of the spectrum to a total lack of consciousness at the other. Most of what we do tends to be on the unconscious end of the continuum. A classic example is driving to a destination and realizing that you don't really remember the half hour drive. That doesn't mean that you weren't aware of the highway or cars, but that you were not consciously monitoring the driving process.

Banaji, Mahzarin, Ph.D. Harvard University

Bargh, John, Ph.D. Yale University

Blackmore, Susan, Ph.D. Author, Consciousness, An Introduction

Gazzaniga, Michael, Ph.D. Dartmouth College

Koch, Christof, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology


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03:09

Circadian Rythms

Human alertness ebbs and flows along with other brain and body processes, a direct reflection of circadian rhythms. The hormone melatonin also contributes to the control of sleep. It is secreted in the darkness and inhibited by light. People need at least two hours of bright light exposure each day to have strong circadian rhythms. Sunlight also helps those who suffer from jet lag to get back on track.

Ancoli-Israel, Sonia, Ph.D. University of California, San Diego


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02:55

Stages of Sleep

Sleep and dream research is part of the scientific study of consciousness. Both the body and brain are quite active during sleep. The frequencies and amplitudes of the EEG recorded during sleep reveal two primary types of sleep: REM sleep (rapid eye movement) and non-REM sleep. Non-REM sleep is further broken down into four stages, from Stage 1, the lightest level of sleep to deeper levels, Stages 3 and 4. Most deep sleep takes place in the first third of the night; REM sleep in the last third.

Ancoli-Israel, Sonia, Ph.D. University of California, San Diego

Hobson, Allan, Ph.D. Harvard University


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01:33

Functions of Sleep

Although the exact functions of sleep are unknown, researchers believe it serves a restorative function, providing a period when the body can heal and get ready for the next day. Some think that sleep is related to thermoregulation of the temperature system. Others speculate that regions of the brain are shut off during non-REM sleep to allow new enzymes to be synthesized. When we don't get enough sleep, performance and concentration suffer, and memory is decreased.

Ancoli-Israel, Sonia, Ph.D. University of California, San Diego

Siegel, Jerome M., Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles


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01:51

REM Sleep

During REM sleep eye movement and brainwaves are very active, but everything else seems paralyzed. Even the thermoregulatory system does not work during REM sleep. Newborn infants sleep about 16 hours a day, half of which is REM sleep. This leads researchers to believe that REM sleep has something to do with the development of the brain. It may be that the sensory and motor systems that promote normal development are activated during REM sleep.

Ancoli-Israel, Sonia, Ph.D. University of California, San Diego

Hobson, Allan, Ph.D. Harvard University

Siegel, Jerome M., Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles


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02:36

The World of Dreams

The prefrontal cortex is deactivated during REM sleep so all the cognitive functions are impaired. But the limbic system is turned on so emotions are strong. The most common emotion in dreams is fear, followed by elation, then anger. But how the brain concocts dream images is debated. Some believe the cortex weaves a story from the chaotic mixture of signals from the lower brain. But as yet, there is no agreed upon theory of why people dream.

Hobson, Allan, Ph.D. Harvard University

Myers, David G., Ph.D. Hope College


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Check Your Understanding
6 questions
Section 5: Sensation and Perception
Article

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 05

OpenStax College, Introduction to Psychology. (© 2014 Rice University)

Retrieved from the Connexions Web site:

http://cnx.org/content/col11629/latest/

*******************************************************************************

KEY TERMS

absolute threshold- minimum amount of stimulus energy that must be present for the stimulus to be detected 50% of the time

afterimage- continuation of a visual sensation after removal of the stimulus

amplitude- height of a wave

basilar membrane- thin strip of tissue within the cochlea that contains the hair cells which serve as the sensory receptors for the auditory system

binaural cue binocular cue- two-eared cue to localize sound

binocular disparity- cue that relies on the use of both eyes slightly different view of the world that each eye receives

blind spot- point where we cannot respond to visual information in that portion of the visual field

bottom-up processing- system in which perceptions are built from sensory input

closure- organizing our perceptions into complete objects rather than as a series of parts

cochlea- fluid-filled, snail-shaped structure that contains the sensory receptor cells of the auditory system

cone- specialized photoreceptor that works best in bright light conditions and detects color

congenital insensitivity to pain (congenital analgesia)- genetic disorder that results in the inability to experience pain

cornea- transparent covering over the eye

decibel (dB)- logarithmic unit of sound intensity

figure-ground relationship- segmenting our visual world into figure and ground

fovea- small indentation in the retina that contains cones

Gestalt psychology- field of psychology based on the idea that the whole is different from the sum of its parts

good continuation- (also, continuity) we are more likely to perceive continuous, smooth flowing lines rather than jagged, broken lines

hair cell- auditory receptor cell of the inner ear

hertz (Hz)- cycles per second; measure of frequency

inattentional blindness- failure to notice something that is completely visible because of a lack of attention

incus- middle ear ossicle; also known as the anvil

interaural level difference- sound coming from one side of the body is more intense at the closest ear because of the attenuation of the sound wave as it passes through the head

interaural timing difference- small difference in the time at which a given sound wave arrives at each ear

kinesthesia- perception of the body's movement through space

lens- curved, transparent structure that provides additional focus for light entering the eye

linear perspective- perceive depth in an image when two parallel lines seem to converge

Meissner's corpuscle- touch receptor that responds to pressure and lower frequency vibrations

Merkel's disk- touch receptor that responds to light touch

Ménière's disease- results in a degeneration of inner ear structures that can lead to hearing loss, tinnitus, vertigo, and an increase in pressure within the inner ear

malleus- middle ear ossicle; also known as the hammer

monaural cue- one-eared cue to localize sound

monocular cue- cue that requires only one eye

neuropathic pain- pain from damage to neurons of either the peripheral or central nervous system

nociception- sensory signal indicating potential harm and maybe pain

olfactory bulb- bulb-like structure at the tip of the frontal lobe, where the olfactory nerves begin

olfactory receptor- sensory cell for the olfactory system

opponent-process theory of color perception- color is coded in opponent pairs: black-white, yellow-blue, and red-green

optic chiasm- X-shaped structure that sits just below the brain's ventral surface; represents the merging of the optic nerves from the two eyes and the separation of information from the two sides of the visual field to the opposite side of the brain

optic nerve- carries visual information from the retina to the brain

Pacinian corpuscle- touch receptor that detects transient pressure and higher frequency vibrations

perception- way that sensory information is interpreted and consciously experienced

pheromone- chemical message sent by another individual

photoreceptor- light-detecting cell

pinna- visible part of the ear that protrudes from the head

pitch- perception of a sound's frequency

place theory of pitch perception- different portions of the basilar membrane are sensitive to sounds of different frequencies

principle of closure- organize perceptions into complete objects rather than as a series of parts

proprioception- perception of body position

pupil- small opening in the eye through which light passes

Ruffini corpuscle- touch receptor that detects stretch

retina- light-sensitive lining of the eye

rod- specialized photoreceptor that works well in low light conditions

sensation- what happens when sensory information is detected by a sensory receptor

sensorineural hearing loss- failure to transmit neural signals from the cochlea to the brain

sensory adaptation- not perceiving stimuli that remain relatively constant over prolonged periods of time

signal detection theory- change in stimulus detection as a function of current mental state

stapes- middle ear ossicle; also known as the stirrup

subliminal message- message presented below the threshold of conscious awareness

taste bud- grouping of taste receptor cells with hair-like extensions that protrude into the central pore of the taste bud

temporal theory of pitch perception- sound's frequency is coded by the activity level of a sensory neuron

thermoception- temperature perception

timbre- sound's purity

top-down processing- interpretation of sensations is influenced by available knowledge, experiences, and thoughts

transduction- conversion from sensory stimulus energy to action potential

trichromatic theory of color perception- color vision is mediated by the activity across the three groups of cones

tympanic membrane- eardrum

vertigo- spinning sensation

vestibular sense- contributes to our ability to maintain balance and body posture

visible spectrum- portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that we can see

wavelength- length of a wave from one peak to the next peak


02:21

A World of Sensory Stimuli

As attuned as people think they are to the world, their senses take in only a fraction of the energy that surrounds them. Most animal species have many more than the five primary senses ascribed to humans. Many animals have polarized filters that allow them to avoid the visual interference of reflections. Electric sensation and dead reckoning is extremely useful to many creatures.

Chomsky, Noam, Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Laurent, Gilles, Ph.D., D.V.M. California Institute of Technology


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02:17

Sensing the World: The Absolute Threshold

The minimum stimulation necessary to detect reliability a particular stimuli is called the absolute threshold. Thresholds can vary depending on a person's experience and expectations, or level of fatigue. A remarkable quality of the human mind is its ability to zero in on what's relevant and ignore that which is not.

Bargh, John A., Ph.D. Yale University

Myers, David G., Ph.D. Hope College

Treisman, Anne, Ph.D. Princeton University


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02:29

Sensing the World: The Difference Threshold

Humans, as well as other animal species, have the ability to detect small variations in stimuli (the difference threshold) . The fact that sensitivity is reduced after sustained exposure to stimuli, like the clothes a person is wearing, allows a person to focus without being distracted on important changes that are occurring in the environment.

Laurent, Gilles, Ph.D., D.V.M. California Institute of Technology

Myers, David G., Ph.D. Hope College


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01:08

The Role of the Thalamus

Except for olfaction, input signals traveling along sensory pathways are routed through relay areas in the thalamus. Beyond serving as a way station, the role of the thalamus is a source of debate. Parts of the thalamus are thought to be involved in the control of eye movements and circadian rhythms.

Albright, Thomas D., Ph.D. Salk Institute for Biological Studies


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02:18

Sensory Signals: Destination Cortex

The ultimate destination for sensory signals is the cerebral cortex. The cortex is a crumpled sheet, a few millimeters thick, wrapped around the exterior of the brain. In the primary visual cortex there is a hierarchy of processing with the representations getting increasingly complex to the point that there are images of whole objects. Researchers like Semir Zeki have attempted to discover which visual areas are responsible for which types of processing, but there are many unanswered questions.

Albright, Thomas D., Ph.D. Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Koch, Christof, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology


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03:07

Features Detected by Individual Neurons

In recent decades, researchers like David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel have been able to chart patterns of neural activity in relation to certain stimuli. Too often, however, research is focused on a single neuron rather than populations of neurons listening to other neural populations. What occurs in the cortex is similar to the assembly- line processing of automobiles, with different areas specializing in different functions. There are, for example, 30 some visual areas between the primary visual cortex and the highest level of processing.

Albright, Thomas D., Ph.D. Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Laurent, Gilles, Ph.D., D.V.M. California Institute of Technology


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03:05

Does the Brain Record Sensations Without Our Conscious Awareness?

How much of what we see or hear, taste, smell, or touch, is actually recorded by the brain without our conscious awareness? One method psychologists use to study this phenomenon is to study people who have had damage to the primary visual cortex. Clearly these patients know something they don't know they know. Even in the absence of such brain damage, the “aftereffect” phenomenon illustrates that we retain certain images in our mind.

Bogen, Joseph, M.D. University of Southern California

Koch, Christof, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology

Myers, David G., Ph.D. Hope College

Simons, Daniel J., Ph.D. University of Illinois


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01:17

Connecting Despite the Loss of Sight or Hearing

Helen Keller, who was both blind and deaf, said that to her deafness was more bothersome than blindness. Her blindness, she said, kept her from things; deafness separated her from people. For David Myers who is on a trajectory toward complete deafness, sight is the primary sense. He notes that communication, voice to voice, face to face, is what enables us as humans to connect and to belong.

Myers, David. G., Ph.D. Hope College


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03:13

The Relationship Between Sensation and Perception

Sensations, the raw data we encode from our physical environment, are just a random mix of sights and sounds, tastes and smells that provide little meaning in and of themselves. To construct the outside world inside our heads requires us to select, organize, and interpret these sensations, transforming them into perceptions that create meaning.

Albright, Thomas D., Ph.D. Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Laurent, Gilles, Ph.D., D.V.M. California Institute of Technology

Myers, David. G., Ph.D. Hope College

Simons, Daniel J., Ph.D. University of Illinois


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01:35

Change Blindness

Daniel Simons and his colleagues were intrigued to learn which factors influence whether or not something is perceived. Many of the experiments they have conducted relate to what they term change blindness--changing some aspect of clothing or background detail in the middle of a conversation or action scene and seeing if people will notice. People think they will detect such changes, but as Simons relates, that's 90% overconfidence.

Simons, Daniel J., Ph.D. University of Illinois


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01:48

Selective Attention Research

The link between attention and perception was demonstrated on a basketball court in which people were asked to count how many passes the players wearing white made. After about 40 seconds, a gorilla walked on the court, thumped its chest and walked off, clearly visible for five to nine seconds. Half the people did not notice the gorilla, and were shocked when they were told what they missed. Automobile accident reports echo this finding, the unseen car. Simply directing your gaze some place doesn't guarantee perception.

Simons, Daniel J., Ph.D. University of Illinois


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01:51

Form Clues: Grouping and Closure

To bring order and form to basic sensations, our minds follow certain rules for grouping stimuli—by proximity, by similarity, and by continuity. Even young children show an awareness of these rules of form. They know, for example, that two objects can't magically pass through each other. Even when we can't see an object in its entirety, our need for closure pushes us to fill in the gaps, to create an image that is complete and whole.

Albright, Thomas D., Ph.D. Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Myers, David G., Ph.D. Hope College

Wynn, Karen, Ph.D. Yale University


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01:55

Perceiving Three-Dimensional Figures: Binocular Depth Cues

The ability to see objects in three dimensions is the result of binocular depth cues. The fact that the images that strike the retina in each eye are slightly different allows our brain to merge these different inputs into a single three-dimensional image. If the disparity is too great, if the two eyes see entirely different images as it would if a beam splitter is used, the result is a competition between the images. In this binocular rivalry each image in turn becomes visible a few seconds at a time, then reverts back.

Albright, Thomas D., Ph.D. Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Koch, Christof, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology


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02:01

Perceiving Distance, Depth and Motion

Monocular cues allow us to judge distance and depth whether we are viewing with one eye or two. For example, the image size of an object appears larger when it is close and smaller when it is far away. Parallel lines seem to come together as they move into the distance. Your brain computes motion based partly on its assumption that objects whose image on the retina is diminishing are moving away. But even that assumption is subject to error when an object is unfamiliar or when few distance cues are available.

Koch, Christof, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology


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01:42

Perceptual Constancy

The fact that we can glance at someone coming toward us and recognize them instantly as a friend regardless of angle, distance, or light conditions is a remarkable human capacity known as perceptual constancy. This flexibility enables us to take a piece of information gathered through our perceptual experience and use it for interpreting the world the next time we see it.

Albright, Thomas D., Ph.D. Salk Institute for Biological Studies

John Bargh, Ph.D. Yale University

Treisman, Anne, Ph.D. Princeton University


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Check Your Understanding
7 questions
Section 6: Learning
Article

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 06

OpenStax College, Introduction to Psychology. (© 2014 Rice University)

Retrieved from the Connexions Web site:

http://cnx.org/content/col11629/latest/

*******************************************************************************

KEY TERMS

acquisition- period of initial learning in classical conditioning in which a human or an animal begins to connect a neutral stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral stimulus will begin to elicit the conditioned response

associative learning- form of learning that involves connecting certain stimuli or events that occur together in the environment

classical conditioning- (classical and operant conditioning) learning in which the stimulus or experience occurs before the behavior and then gets paired or associated with the behavior

cognitive map- mental picture of the layout of the environment

conditioned response (CR)- response caused by the conditioned stimulus

conditioned stimulus (CS)- stimulus that elicits a response due to its being paired with an unconditioned stimulus rewarding a behavior every time it occurs

extinction- decrease in the conditioned response when the unconditioned stimulus is no longer paired with the conditioned stimulus

fixed interval reinforcement schedule- behavior is rewarded after a set amount of time

fixed ratio reinforcement schedule- set number of responses must occur before a behavior is rewarded

habituation- when we learn not to respond to a stimulus that is presented repeatedly without change

higher-order conditioning- (also, second-order conditioning) using a conditioned stimulus to condition a neutral stimulus

instinct- unlearned knowledge, involving complex patterns of behavior; instincts are thought to be more prevalent in lower animals than in humans

latent learning- learning that occurs, but it may not be evident until there is a reason to demonstrate it

law of effect- behavior that is followed by consequences satisfying to the organism will be repeated and behaviors that are followed by unpleasant consequences will be discouraged

learning- change in behavior or knowledge that is the result of experience

model- person who performs a behavior that serves as an example (in observational learning)

negative punishment- taking away a pleasant stimulus to decrease or stop a behavior

negative reinforcement- taking away an undesirable stimulus to increase a behavior

neutral stimulus (NS)- stimulus that does not initially elicit a response

observational learning- type of learning that occurs by watching others

operant conditioning- form of learning in which the stimulus/experience happens after the behavior is demonstrated

partial reinforcement- rewarding behavior only some of the time

positive punishment- adding an undesirable stimulus to stop or decrease a behavior

positive reinforcement- adding a desirable stimulus to increase a behavior

primary reinforcer- has innate reinforcing qualities (e.g., food, water, shelter, sex)

punishment- implementation of a consequence in order to decrease a behavior

reflex- unlearned, automatic response by an organism to a stimulus in the environment

reinforcement- implementation of a consequence in order to increase a behavior

secondary reinforcer- has no inherent value unto itself and only has reinforcing qualities when linked with something else (e.g., money, gold stars, poker chips)

shaping- rewarding successive approximations toward a target behavior

spontaneous recovery- return of a previously extinguished conditioned response

stimulus discrimination- ability to respond differently to similar stimuli

stimulus generalization- demonstrating the conditioned response to stimuli that are similar to the conditioned stimulus

unconditioned response (UCR)- natural (unlearned) behavior to a given stimulus

unconditioned stimulus (UCS)- stimulus that elicits a reflexive response

variable interval reinforcement schedule- behavior is rewarded after unpredictable amounts of time have passed

variable ratio reinforcement schedule- number of responses differ before a behavior is rewarded

vicarious punishment- process where the observer sees the model punished, making the observer less likely to imitate the model's behavior

vicarious reinforcement- process where the observer sees the model rewarded, making the observer more likely to imitate the model's behavior

02:08

The Cerebral Cortex, a Learning Machine

The cerebral cortex, supported by subcortical machinery, is a learning machine, controlling, modulating and regulating those permanent changes in behavior brought on by experience. Inside the brain, information is processed by neurons forming neural networks, networks that connect one event with another. The brain is continually associating information across time.

Merzenich, Michael, Ph.D. University of California, San Francisco


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02:45

Applying Classical Conditioning to the Human Experience

Pavlov's work was important because it demonstrated that the processes of learning could be studied scientifically, and that the principles of conditioning were applicable to humans as well. One of the primary ways people learn fears is when something they're originally not afraid of gets paired with some negative experience. Some researchers discredit this idea saying pre-exposure to a situation that is safe should protect a person against a later phobia. Some associations made by the brain may have destructive effects, like the development of prejudices not based on fact. But just because something is learned doesn't mean that it can't be unlearned.

Cacioppo, John, Ph.D. University of Chicago

Gibbs, Travis, Ph.D. Riverside Community College

Mineka, Susan, Ph.D. Northwestern University

Myers, David G., Ph.D. Hope College


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01:43

The Food Aversion Conditioning Research of John Garcia

In the mid-1970s, sheep ranchers in California's Antelope Valley were at war with wild coyotes destroying their herds. By feeding the coyotes mutton laced with lithium chloride which made them ill, even coyotes in the wild no longer attacked the sheep. It zeroed lamb kills in the Antelope Valley.

Garcia, John, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles


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01:40

The Persistence of Snake Fear

Evolution appears to have equipped us to learn some lessons more quickly than others. Human subjects who weren't afraid of snakes or spiders or flowers were presented with slides of spiders and snakes accompanied by a mild electric shock. Humans subjects were conditioned to the fear even after they were told they would no longer be shocked. But when the same experiment was tried with flowers, the fear went away immediately after the shocks were withdrawn. The difference is thought to be related to the selective advantage gained from learning fears that prolong our existence.

Mineka, Susan, Ph.D. Northwestern University


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02:52

Operant Conditioning Techniques Help Victims of Brain Injuries

At the Taub Clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, Dr. Edward Taub and his team use operant conditioning to help victims of traumatic brain injuries. Virginia Garlitz is relearning to walk after he body was paralyzed by an AVM. Even her smallest improvements are reinforced with encouragement.

Crago, Jean, Therapist, Taub Clinic

Taub, Edward, Ph.D. University of Alabama, Birmingham


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04:24

The Use of Reinforcement and Punishment in Shaping a Child's Behavior

When a child throws a tantrum, a parent's sympathetic reaction may only serve to increase such outbursts. More appropriate behavior, though, can be strengthened through negative reinforcement, for example a reward for improvement in demeanor after a fit of temper. The use of physical punishment may stop unwanted behaviors, but it may also result in resentment or fear of the parent, or negative feelings toward themselves. Unacceptable behavior can also be addressed by chiding the child, withholding privileges, or shaming, a practice common in Asian cultures. Punishment should be linked with communication.

Diener, Edward, Ph.D. University of Illinois

Kagan, Jerome, Ph.D. Harvard University

Kemeny, Margaret, Ph.D. University of California, San Francisco

Kitayama, Shinobu, Ph.D. University of Michigan

Myers, David G., Ph.D. Hope College

Osborne, Ginger, Ph.D. Santa Ana Community College


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01:56

Observational Learning: The Research of Albert Bandura

Observational learning is an important part of making us who we are. We are particularly attuned to the behavior of our peers—the way they talk, the clothing they wear, their tastes and values. In the 1960s research pioneer Albert Bandura and his team conducted a series of classic observational experiments with preschool children. The group of children observing an adult model exhibiting forms of aggression toward a Bobo doll quickly mimicked the aggressive behavior they'd witnessed, while the children who were not exposed to the aggression never exhibited such belligerency.

Bandura, Albert, Ph.D. Stanford University

Myers, David G., Ph.D. Hope College


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02:47

Mass Media as a Source of Observational Learning

Mass media provides potent role models that influence children, teens, and adults. Correlation studies link children's aggressive patterns of behavior with television. A diet of televised violence tends to reduce restraints over aggression, and desensitize people to violent acts. The effects of violent videogames may leave even a greater residue of brutality. However, television and videogames also have the power to promote prosocial behaviors when such models are provided.

Bandura, Albert, Ph.D. Stanford University

Myers, David G., Ph.D. Hope College

Roberts, Donald F., Ph.D. Stanford University


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Check Your Understanding
5 questions
Section 7: Thinking and Intelligence
Article

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 07

OpenStax College, Introduction to Psychology. (© 2014 Rice University)

Retrieved from the Connexions Web site:

http://cnx.org/content/col11629/latest/

*************************************************************************************************

KEY TERMS

algorithm- problem-solving strategy characterized by a specific set of instructions

analytical intelligence- aligned with academic problem solving and computations

anchoring bias- faulty heuristic in which you fixate on a single aspect of a problem to find a solution

artificial concept- concept that is defined by a very specific set of characteristics

availability heuristic- faulty heuristic in which you make a decision based on information readily available to you

cognition- thinking, including perception, learning, problem solving, judgment, and memory

cognitive psychology- field of psychology dedicated to studying every aspect of how people think

cognitive script- set of behaviors that are performed the same way each time; also referred to as an event schema

confirmation bias- faulty heuristic in which you focus on information that confirms your beliefs

convergent thinking- providing correct or established answers to problems

creative intelligence- ability to produce new products, ideas, or inventing a new, novel solution to a problem

crystallized intelligence- characterized by acquired knowledge and the ability to retrieve it

cultural intelligence- ability with which people can understand and relate to those in another culture

divergent thinking- ability to think “outside the box” to arrive at novel solutions to a problem

dysgraphia- learning disability that causes extreme difficulty in writing legibly

dyslexia- common learning disability in which letters are not processed properly by the brain

emotional intelligence- ability to understand emotions and motivations in yourself and others

event schema- set of behaviors that are performed the same way each time; also referred to as a cognitive script

Flynn effect- observation that each generation has a significantly higher IQ than the previous generation

fluid intelligence- ability to see complex relationships and solve problems

functional fixedness- inability to see an object as useful for any other use other than the one for which it was intended

heuristic- mental shortcut that saves time when solving a problem

hindsight bias- belief that the event just experienced was predictable, even though it really wasn't

intelligence quotient- score on a test designed to measure intelligence

lexicon- the words of a given language

Multiple Intelligences Theory- Gardner's theory that each person possesses at least eight types of intelligence

mental set- continually using an old solution to a problem without results

morpheme- smallest unit of language that conveys some type of meaning

natural concept- mental groupings that are created “naturally” through your experiences

norming- administering a test to a large population so data can be collected to reference the normal scores for a population and its groups

overgeneralization- extension of a rule that exists in a given language to an exception to the rule

phoneme- basic sound unit of a given language

practical intelligence- aka “street smarts”

prototype- best representation of a concept

range of reaction- each person's response to the environment is unique based on his or her genetic makeup

representative bias- faulty heuristic in which you stereotype someone or something without a valid basis for your judgment

representative sample- subset of the population that accurately represents the general population

role schema- set of expectations that define the behaviors of a person occupying a particular role

schema- (plural = schemata) mental construct consisting of a cluster or collection of related concepts

semantics- process by which we derive meaning from morphemes and words

standard deviation- measure of variability that describes the difference between a set of scores and their mean

syntax- manner by which words are organized into sentences

triarchic theory of intelligence- Sternberg's theory of intelligence; three facets of intelligence: practical, creative, and analytical

working backwards (also, IQ)- heuristic in which you begin to solve a problem by focusing on the end result

03:20

A Case of Wrongful Termination?

A shadow jury listens carefully to opposing attorneys characterize the events that led a quality control manager, Elena Gonzales, to file a lawsuit against her former employer. Is this a case of wrongful termination? What arguments will these mock jurors find credible? One juror's pre-established prototypes of the relationship between production and quality control influences the way he looks at the conflict. Others approach problem systematically, trying one approach after another to see what works. Still others make their decision using simple cues.

Cacioppo, John, Ph.D. University of Chicago

Kahneman, Daniel, Ph.D. Princeton University

Myers, David G., Ph.D., Hope College


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02:29

Factors That Affect Human Judgment

Most people are overconfident in their judgments. How an issue is formulated, or “framed,” can influence preferences. For example, 10% mortality and 90% survival mean the same thing, but do not have the same impact. An affective forecast is at the heart of most decisions. How will this decision affect me? Most people overestimate how bad it will be if they fail and how good it will be if they succeed, and as a result they do not take on challenges because the risk of failure seems too great.

Camerer, Colin, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology

Gilbert, Daniel, Ph.D. Harvard University

Kahneman, Daniel, Ph.D. Princeton University


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01:33

How Pre-existing Beliefs Distort Logical Reasoning

Pre-existing beliefs can distort logical reasoning as demonstrated in an experiment related to attitudes toward homosexuality. Both sides of the ideological spectrum were equally biased. People are much more skeptical about information they do not want to believe than information they do. A challenge, however logical, only entrenches people in their own position.

Ditto, Peter, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine


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00:57

Intuition and Decision Making

People make intuitive, immediate judgments sometimes based on nothing more than a tone of voice on the other end of a conversation. People also make more reflective decisions based on thought and reasoning. Daniel Kahneman notes that intuition is like perception, except that we can have intuitions about abstract ideas, the past and the future, triggered by language.

Kahneman, Daniel, Ph.D. Princeton University


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02:34

Language: Its Complexity and Essence

Language, many believe, provides concrete evidence of our ability to think. Fundamentally, all languages have the same basic parameters, with variations occurring as a result of how the “switch box “linked to these parameters is programmed. The complexity of semantics, syntactic and phonological sound structures comes primarily from a biological endowment which is shared. Once the building blocks of human languages were discovered, we gained insight into the human mind.

Chomsky, Noam, Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Curtiss, Susan, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles


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03:31

A Child's Remarkable Ability to Acquire Language

Young children gain access to language in well-documented stages, from cooing and babbling to an explosion of words at about 18 months. B. F. Skinner thought that language acquisition relied on operant conditioning and reinforcement, whereas Noam Chomsky believes it is an interaction between genetic coding and the laws of nature. Exposure to language is absolutely critical in the early life of a child. In fact, research has shown that the wide range of phonemes the baby can respond to is pared away and only a subset of sounds present in the native language will be retained.

Chomsky, Noam, Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Curtiss, Susan, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles

Merzenich, Michael, Ph.D. University of California, San Francisco

Myers, David G., Ph.D. Hope College

Sejnowski, Terrence J., Ph.D. Salk Institute

Singleton, Jenny L., Ph.D. University of Illinois

Wynn, Karen, Ph.D. Yale University


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04:35

The Story of Genie, a Child Without Language

Genie was in her early teens when she escaped a life of captivity caged in a room without language, clothing, or human companionship by a father who considered her subhuman. Susan Curtiss, then a graduate student at UCLA, became part of a grant-supported team of people selected to work with Genie. As she soon discovered, Genie was an eager learner who developed a large vocabulary but did not learn to use the small connecting words that turn strings into grammatical sentences. When grant support was eventually withdrawn, Genie was moved into the foster care system, but the lessons learned as a result of interaction with Genie was substantial.

Chomsky, Noam, Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Curtiss, Susan, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles


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03:30

Does Language Influence the Way We Think?

The linguistic relativity hypothesis suggests that the language a person speaks influences the way he thinks. Asian languages are often described as high context languages (what you say may or may not be what you mean, depending on the context), whereas English is low context (what you say generally is what you mean). In Korea people often think of thinking and speaking as separate activities Some people think most clearly in terms of visual imagery. But whatever the mode of thought, thinking is a sequential process that occurs from moment to moment as one though brings forth another.

Chomsky, Noam, Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Clark, Herbert H., Ph.D. Stanford University

Kitayama, Shinobu, Ph.D. University of Michigan

Markus, Hazel Rose, Ph.D. Stanford University

Sejnowski, Terrence J., Ph.D. Salk Institute


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02:01

What is Intelligence?

No one agrees on what intelligence is. An early 1900s symposium proposed two main characteristics: the ability to adapt to the environment and the ability to learn from experience. Charles Spearman in 1904 introduced the idea that intelligence is a single ability, described as general intelligence G. More recently researchers talk about multiple intelligences that are seemingly independent of each other.

Myers, David G., Ph.D. Hope College

Sternberg, Robert J., Ph.D. Yale University


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01:32

Standardized Tests—What Do They Really Measure?

Standardized tests, when used properly, can provide valuable objective information, highlighting academic strengths and weaknesses that might go unnoticed. Originally, that was their intent, to predict success in school and identify children who need extra help. But today such tests are often controversial. The question is what do they actually measure—verbal linguistics, memory and analytical abilities. Should they look at different kinds of skills as well?

Bishop, Joyce; Golden West College

Myers, David G., Ph.D. Hope College

Sternberg, Robert J., Ph.D. Yale University


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04:51

Triarchic Theory of Intelligence

To uncover different facets of intelligence Robert Sternberg developed the triarchic theory exemplified by three of his students at Yale. The first, Alice, was good at taking tests, strong in memory and analytical skills, but not good at coming up with her own ideas. A second student he called Barbara had poor test scores but was highly creative and had published her own research. The third skill was exemplified by Celia who was good but not great in a number of areas, but was highly successful in the workplace because she was strong in practical intelligence and common sense.


Salovey, Peter, Ph.D. Yale University

Sternberg, Robert J., Ph.D. Yale University;


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02:35

Multiple Intelligences

In elementary school, psychology professor Joyce Bishop, had difficulty making sense of long sentences and paragraphs. When she first read Howard Gardner's research on multiple intelligences, she realized the problem she had faced. Teachers, he said, tend to focus on two learning styles: verbal linguistics and logical mathematical. But there are other styles as well like spatial intelligence and bodily kinesthetic that he encourages teachers to be aware of as they observe student learning styles and design activities that will maximize student success.

Bishop, Joyce; Golden West College


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04:08

Environmental and Genetic Influences on Intelligence

Intelligence represents an interaction between genes and environment. Genes for abilities may not be totally additive, a concept known as emergenesis. Hundreds of genes may contribute a small amount of variance to a particular trait like reading disability. By determining a child's genetic risk, interventions specific to a particular disability can be put in place.

Bishop, Joyce; Golden West College

Plomin, Robert, Ph.D. King's College University

Sternberg, Robert J., Ph.D. Yale University


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Check Your Understanding
5 questions
Section 8: Memory
Article

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 08

OpenStax College, Introduction to Psychology. (© 2014 Rice University)

Retrieved from the Connexions Web site:

http://cnx.org/content/col11629/latest/

*******************************************************************************

KEY TERMS

Atkinson-Shiffrin model (A-S)- memory model that states we process information through three systems: sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory

acoustic encoding- input of sounds, words, and music

amnesia- loss of long-term memory that occurs as the result of disease, physical trauma, or psychological trauma

anterograde amnesia- loss of memory for events that occur after the brain trauma

arousal theory- strong emotions trigger the formation of strong memories and weaker emotional experiences form weaker memories

automatic processing- encoding of informational details like time, space, frequency, and the meaning of words

bias- how feelings and view of the world distort memory of past events

blocking- memory error in which you cannot access stored information

chunking- organizing information into manageable bits or chunks

construction- formulation of new memories

declarative memory- type of long-term memory of facts and events we personally experience

effortful processing- encoding of information that takes effort and attention

elaborative rehearsal- thinking about the meaning of the new information and its relation to knowledge already stored in your memory

encoding- input of information into the memory system

engram- physical trace of memory

episodic memory- type of declarative memory that contains information about events we have personally experienced, also known as autobiographical memory

equipotentiality hypothesis- some parts of the brain can take over for damaged parts in forming and storing memories

explicit memory- memories we consciously try to remember and recall

false memory syndrome- recall of false autobiographical memories

flashbulb memory- exceptionally clear recollection of an important event

forgetting- loss of information from long-term memory

implicit memory- memories that are not part of our consciousness

levels of processing- information that is thought of more deeply becomes more meaningful and thus better committed to memory

long-term memory (LTM)- continuous storage of information

memory consolidation- active rehearsal to move information from short-term memory into long-term memory

memory-enhancing strategy- technique to help make sure information goes from short-term memory to long-term memory

memory- system or process that stores what we learn for future use

misattribution- memory error in which you confuse the source of your information

misinformation effect paradigm- after exposure to incorrect information, a person may misremember the original event

mnemonic device- memory aids that help organize information for encoding

persistence- failure of the memory system that involves the involuntary recall of unwanted memories, particularly unpleasant ones

proactive interference- old information hinders the recall of newly learned information

procedural memory- type of long-term memory for making skilled actions, such as how to brush your teeth, how to drive a car, and how to swim

recall- accessing information without cues

recognition- identifying previously learned information after encountering it again, usually in response to a cue

reconstruction- process of bringing up old memories that might be distorted by new information

rehearsal- conscious repetition of information to be remembered

retrieval- act of getting information out of long-term memory storage and back into conscious awareness

retroactive interference- information learned more recently hinders the recall of older information

retrograde amnesia- loss of memory for events that occurred prior to brain trauma

self-reference effect- tendency for an individual to have better memory for information that relates to oneself in comparison to material that has less personal relevance

semantic encoding- input of words and their meaning

semantic memory- type of declarative memory about words, concepts, and language-based knowledge and facts

sensory memory- storage of brief sensory events, such as sights, sounds, and tastes

short-term memory (STM)- (also, working memory) holds about seven bits of information before it is forgotten or stored, as well as information that has been retrieved and is being used

storage- creation of a permanent record of information

suggestibility- effects of misinformation from external sources that leads to the creation of false memories

02:45

The Memory Phenomenon

Memory is the mind's storehouse. It holds information necessary for survival, and embraces the richness and texture of individual lives. It can be a tool to fame and fortune or a traitor at the most inopportune moment. Leading memory experts share their insight into the many facets of memory.

Bjork, Robert A., Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles

Loftus, Elizabeth, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine

McGaugh, James L., Ph.D. University of California, Irvine


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01:44

The Multistore Model of Memory

Rich Shiffrin was a graduate student in psychology when he and Dick Atkinson, then a member of the Stanford faculty, began working on a series of experiments related to memory. Their research became the basis for a theoretical framework they called the Multistore Model of Memory, a three-stage process. It begins with sensory input, when sensory registers allow the brain to capture information from the environment. Working memory is held in a short-term store for a brief period of time before it is either forgotten or encoded for long-term storage.

McGaugh, James L., Ph.D. University of California, Irvine

Shiffrin, Richard M., Ph.D. Indiana University


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03:01

Encoding: Getting Information In

Most of what we encode into memory is information that is a byproduct of everyday life and will soon be forgotten. It is only information or events that we give attention and attach meaning to that are likely to be remembered later. Organizing information into meaningful categories and associating it with a vivid image will also help. What does not help is repeating the information over and over, massing study on a given topic, or studying in the same place all of the time.

Bjork, Robert A., Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles

McGaugh, James L., Ph.D. University of California, Irvine

Rugg, Michael, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine


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02:07

Storage: Retaining Information

Short-term memory, without further processing or rehearsal, will last no more than 30 seconds and is limited in how many unrelated items can be stored at any one time. In contrast, long-term memory does not seem to be limited. Evidence points to the fact that storage of information in long-term human memory creates capacity.

Bjork, Robert A., Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles

McGaugh, James L., Ph.D. University of California, Irvine

Rugg, Michael, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine


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02:21

Other Brain Structures Involved in the Memory Game

Different parts of the prefrontal cortex are involved in storing information referred to as the working memory. The more distinctive a memory trace, the more likely it can be retrieved later. If something interesting or emotionally exciting occurs, the stress hormones adrenalin and cortisol are released. The amygdale in the medial part of the temporal lobe also becomes activated. It serves as a modulator, making sure that the memory is stored more permanently and with greater strength. However, an event that is too emotionally arousing may activate a class of hormones called glucocorticoids which affect the hippocampus and counteract the ability to remember.

McGaugh, James L., Ph.D. University of California, Irvine

Rugg, Michael, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine

Sejnowski, Terrence J., Ph.D. Salk Institute


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03:09

Forgetting

Sometimes efforts to retrieve memory fail. Context or content cues, or multiple cues for the same memory increases the likelihood that the information can be accessed. In some cases, it is important to forget what has been learned, to replace one memory with another. That is why memory is considered constructive or reconstructive.

Bjork, Robert A., Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles

Loftus, Elizabeth, Ph.D. University of California, Irvine

McGaugh, James L., Ph.D. University of California, Irvine

Shiffrin, Richard M., Ph.D. Indiana University


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Check Your Understanding
5 questions
Section 9: Lifespan Development
Article

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 09

OpenStax College, Introduction to Psychology. (© 2014 Rice University)

Retrieved from the Connexions Web site:

http://cnx.org/content/col11629/latest/

*******************************************************************************


KEY TERMS

accommodation- adjustment of a schema by changing a scheme to accommodate new information different from what was already known

adolescence- period of development that begins at puberty and ends at early adulthood

adrenarche- maturing of the adrenal glands

assimilation- adjustment of a schema by adding information similar to what is already known

attachment- long-standing connection or bond with others parents

authoritarian parenting style- place a high value on conformity and obedience, are often rigid, and express little warmth to the child

authoritative parenting style- parents give children reasonable demands and consistent limits, express warmth and affection, and listen to the child's point of view

avoidant attachment- characterized by child's unresponsiveness to parent, does not use the parent as a secure base, and does not care if parent leaves

cognitive development- domain of lifespan development that examines learning, attention, memory, language, thinking, reasoning, and creativity

cognitive empathy- ability to take the perspective of others and to feel concern for others

concrete operational stage- third stage in Piaget's theory of cognitive development; from about 7 to 11 years old, children can think logically about real (concrete) events

conservation- idea that even if you change the appearance of something, it is still equal in size, volume, or number as long as nothing is added or removed

continuous development- view that development is a cumulative process: gradually improving on existing skills

critical (sensitive) period- time during fetal growth when specific parts or organs develop

developmental milestone- approximate ages at which children reach specific normative events

discontinuous development- view that development takes place in unique stages, which happen at specific times or ages

disorganized attachment- characterized by the child's odd behavior when faced with the parent; type of attachment seen most often with kids that are abused

egocentrism- preoperational child's difficulty in taking the perspective of others

emerging adulthood- newly defined period of lifespan development from 18 years old to the mid-20s; young people are taking longer to complete college, get a job, get married, and start a family

fine motor skills- use of muscles in fingers, toes, and eyes to coordinate small actions

formal operational stage- final stage in Piaget's theory of cognitive development; from age 11 and up, children are able to deal with abstract ideas and hypothetical situations

gonadarche- maturing of the sex glands

gross motor skills- use of large muscle groups to control arms and legs for large body movements

hospice- service that provides a death with dignity; pain management in a humane and comfortable environment; usually outside of a hospital setting

menarche- beginning of menstrual period; around 12–13 years old

motor skills- ability to move our body and manipulate objects

nature- genes and biology

newborn reflexes- inborn automatic response to a particular form of stimulation that all healthy babies are born with

normative approach- study of development using norms, or average ages, when most children reach specific developmental milestones

nurture- environment and culture

object permanence- idea that even if something is out of sight, it still exists

permissive parenting style- parents make few demands and rarely use punishment

physical development- domain of lifespan development that examines growth and changes in the body and brain, the senses, motor skills, and health and wellness

placenta- structure connected to the uterus that provides nourishment and oxygen to the developing baby

prenatal care- medical care during pregnancy that monitors the health of both the mother and the fetus

preoperational stage- second stage in Piaget's theory of cognitive development; from ages 2 to 7, children learn to use symbols and language but do not understand mental operations and often think illogically

primary sexual characteristics- organs specifically needed for reproduction

psychosexual development- process proposed by Freud in which pleasure-seeking urges focus on different erogenous zones of the body as humans move through five stages of life

psychosocial development- process proposed by Erikson in which social tasks are mastered as humans move through eight stages of life from infancy to adulthood

psychosocial development- domain of lifespan development that examines emotions, personality, and social relationships

resistant attachment- characterized by the child's tendency to show clingy behavior and rejection of the parent when she attempts to interact with the child

reversibility- principle that objects can be changed, but then returned back to their original form or condition

schema- (plural = schemata) concept (mental model) that is used to help us categorize and interpret information

secondary sexual characteristics- physical signs of sexual maturation that do not directly involve sex organs

secure attachment- characterized by the child using the parent as a secure base from which to explore

secure base- parental presence that gives the infant/toddler a sense of safety as he explores his surroundings

sensorimotor stage- first stage in Piaget's theory of cognitive development; from birth through age 2, a child learns about the world through senses and motor behavior

socioemotional selectivity theory- social support/friendships dwindle in number, but remain as close, if not more close than in earlier years

spermarche- first male ejaculation

stage of moral reasoning- process proposed by Kohlberg; humans move through three stages of moral development

temperament- innate traits that influence how one thinks, behaves, and reacts with the environment

teratogen- biological, chemical, or physical environmental agent that causes damage to the developing embryo or fetus

uninvolved parenting style- parents are indifferent, uninvolved, and sometimes referred to as neglectful; they don't respond to the child's needs and make relatively few demands

zygote- structure created when a sperm and egg merge at conception; begins as a single cell and rapidly divides to form the embryo and placenta

02:48

How Influential is the Shared Family Environment?

The environment is the nature portion of the human equation—those factors along with genetics that shape the emerging individual. From the time of Freud, it was assumed that the shared family environment was primarily responsible for similarities among brothers and sisters. Research now points to nature, not nurture as the basis for this similarity, and the non-shared environment as the mechanism that triggers distinct differences between children who share the same parents.

Jones, James M., Ph.D. University of Delaware

Plomin, Robert, Ph.D. King's College University

Segal, Nancy L., Ph.D. California State University, Fullerton

Sejnowski, Terrence, Ph.D. Salk Institute


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