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MCAT: AAMC SB > Psych/Soc > Flashcards

Flashcards in Psych/Soc Deck (43):

What is shadowing?

Speech shadowing is an experimental technique in which subjects repeat speech immediately after hearing it (usually through earphones)


What is the mean and standard deviation of the Wechsler Scale of Intelligence?

Mean = 100
SD = 15


What is the 68, 95, 99 rule of statistics?

68% of values fall within +/- one standard deviation of the mean. About 95% of the values fall within +/- two standard deviations from the mean. Almost all of the values — about 99.7% — fall within +/- three standard deviations from the mean.


What type of synapses have gap junctions?

Electrical synapses -- no neurotransmitter required


What is the difference between electrical synapses and chemical?

Electrical synapses are connected together through gap junctions (no cleft). They are faster than chemical synapses but they lack gain (the signal is either the same or smaller because it doesn't integrate like chemical). Electrical synapses don't use chemical messengers.


What are examples of agents of socialization?

Popular culture, school, family, religion -- teach the norms and values of society


What is the difference between a proximal stimulus and distal stimulus?

Proximal stimulus is the stimulation that actually occurs when your sensory receptors are activated... the neural activity.

Distal stimulus is the actual stimulus or object in the real world that you end up sensing and then perceiving, which results in the proximal stimulus.


What is the operational span?

The max number of words that can be recalled


What is operational span testing?

Test to see the general capacity of working memory tasks


Does retention function increase or decrease with age?

decrease -- ability to retain info decreases


What is psychophysical discrimination testing?

Investigates the relationship between physical stimuli and the sensations and perceptions they produce and discriminate between the two.


What is methods of limits?

This test our perception of stimuli in relation to their true physical properties.

In the ascending method of limits, some property of the stimulus starts out at a level so low that the stimulus could not be detected, then this level is gradually increased until the participant reports that they are aware of it. The descending is the opposite.


What is partial vs whole report technique?

Partial: When in sensory memory testing they flash a square with 9 numbers total and ask the subject to recall only one row they are able to do it perfectly.

Whole: recall the entire square


What is repression vs suppression?

Repression: unconscious forgetting

Suppression: conscious forgetting


Stages of Kohlberg's theory of moral development?

Pre-conventional: obedience/punishment, self interest
Conventional: law and order, social approval
Post-conventional: universal ethics, morals


What is an operational definition?

Any variable a researcher wants to measure must be operationally defined such that the researcher knows what the variable should look like, how it could be described qualitatively/quantitatively, how it could be measured, etc. And in order to determine these things, conditions must be set so that the variable can actually be observed. You want to know what someone's like when they're motivated, what drives them to do something to get something, you have to take away something they're motivated to get


What is proactive interference vs retroactive?


Proactive: Old info interfering with new info
Retroactive: New info interfering with old info


What is statistical adjustment?

Controlling for variables that could affect the relationship between the independent variable and the dependent variable of a study. Taking into account confounding variables.


What is the sensitive/critical period?

A point in early development that can have a significant influence on physiological or behavioral functioning in later life.


What is the difference between drive and incentive theory of motivation?

Drive has to do with an internal motive and Incentive has to do with an external motive


What is the push versus pull theory of motivation?

the drive theory pushes in direction based on internal stimuli/tension; incentive theory pulls in direction based on external stimuli


CT vs MRI vs fMRI vs PET vs EEG

EEG: measure electrical activity in the brain
PET: localization of brain activity using
combination of radioactive tracers and molecules, measures decay
CT: computerized image using compilation of x-rays, cheap, fast, shows brain structures and if bleed is occuring
MRI: structural imaging, very detailed
fMRI: measure blood flow, shows which tissue is active


Stage 1 sleep

Usually occurs BETWEEN SLEEP AND WAKEFULNESS, and sometimes between periods of deeper sleep and periods of REM. The brain transitions from alpha waves to theta waves. Sudden twitches and hypnic jerks may be associated sleep onset. Some people may also experience hypnagogic hallucinations during this stage


Stage 2 sleep

Theta activity is observed and sleepers become gradually harder to awaken; the alpha waves of the previous stage are interrupted by abrupt activity called sleep spindles and K-complexes.


Sleep spindle

a burst of oscillatory brain activity visible on an EEG that occurs during stage 2 sleep


Stage 3 sleep

Slow-wave, deep sleep. Consisting of delta activity, it is thought to be the most restful form of sleep in which the sleeper is less responsive to the environment. This is the stage in which night terrors, nocturnal enuresis, and sleepwalking occur


REM sleep

Most muscles are paralyzed, and heart rate, breathing and body temperature become unregulated, and the sleeper may experience vivid dreams. Although exhibiting high-frequency EEG waves similar to a waking state, the sleeper is harder to arouse than at any other sleep stage


Activation-synthesis theory

physiological processes happening in the brain create dreams


Piaget's stages of cognitive development

Sensorimotor (ages: 0-2 years): Involves learning to perceive the world using senses. During this stage they learn object permanence.

Preoperational Stage (ages: 2-7 years): symbolic thinking (images, words), egocentric

Concrete Operational Stage (ages: 7-11 years): During this period of time the child learns the principle of conservation, logical thinking

Formal Operational Stage (ages 12- adulthood): During this period of time people learn how to reason based on morals, how to form hypotheses, and other forms of abstract reasoning.


Nucleus accumbens

part of the reward system, involved in addiction, in basal forebrain


When does stranger anxiety develop?

7-8 months


When does separation anxiety develop?

1 year


What is the role of acetylcholine in CNS and PNS?

CNS-attention and arousal
PNS- transmit nerve impulses to muscles


What is common factor "g"?

general intelligence, the existence of a broad mental capacity that influences performance on cognitive ability measures


Counterbalance technique

It's a way of controlling for order effects in a repeated measure design. Basically, participants are presented with the same variables in a different order in order to control for 'the order' being a potential confounding variable.


What is negative vs positive priming?

Priming is a key player in implicit memory; priming occurs when exposure to a stimulus influences the response to another stimulus. Positive priming speeds up the reaction to the stimulus, while negative priming slows down the reaction to the stimulus.


Implicit vs explicit memory

Implicit (procedural) memory refers to the ability to subconsciously use previous experiences to aid in future tasks. Implicit memory takes no effort, such as remembering how to drive a car. Explicit memory on the other hand, takes conscious effort


Unidirectional vs reciprocal relationship

Unidirectional: one variable as a cause and another as the effect - x causes y but y does not cause x

Reciprocal means that the cause can act to further cause itself again. Like depression—stressor causes depression, and then that depression causes further stressors. x causes y and y causes x.


Difference threshold

The difference threshold is the smallest difference in stimulation that can be detected 50 percent of the time. The difference threshold is sometimes called the just noticeable difference (jnd), and it depends on the strength of the stimulus.


Signal detection theory

Used to predict when and how a signal will be recognized amidst other sensory information. There are four possible outcomes: hit, miss, false positive, accurate rejection


The generalized other

rest of society


Me vs I

Me: society's (the generalized other's) expectations

I: what we ourselves want to do, goes against what society would want


Sanctions - formal vs informal

Sanctions are a reaction of approval or disapproval to the behavior or actions of others.

formal - reward or punishment given by a formal organization or regulatory agency, such as school business, or government

informal - a spontaneous expression of approval or disapproval given by an individual or a group