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CLEP Introductory Psychology Cheat Sheet by

Studying for the CLEP Introductory Psychology test. We passed with a 76 & 72!!

Willhelm Wundt

first psychology lab in Leipzig Germany


It's all about STRU­CTURE

Struct­ura­lists believe consci­ousness = basic elements combine to make different percep­tions. Wanted to discover form of mental experi­ence.

Intros­pection reporting own conscious thoughts and feelings

Wundt, Titchener

Yale Univ Psychology classes


Research Methods

indepe­ndent variable = cause
experi­mental group = exposed to cause
control group = not exposed to cause
dependent variable = effect (measures how subjects behave)

blind study = subjects don't know if they get drug or placebo
double­-blind study = subjects & resear­chers don't know who gets drug/p­lacebo

correl­ation coeffi­cient = describes strength of relati­onship


Consci­ousness = a state of being aware and reflecting on the enviro­nment around us, not simply reacting to it

Circadian rhythm = predic­table factors of the human body "­through the day"

circa around, dian day


Brainstem (Medulla) = breathing & heartbeat
Reticular formation = arousal, sleep, filters stimuli
Cerebellum = voluntary movement

limbic system (Hippo HAT)
- HIPPOc­ampus = memory
- Hypoth­alamus = hunger, thirst, sexual behavior
- - pituitary gland = hormones
- Amygdala = fear, anger
- Thalamus = touch, taste, sight, hear

Crash Course Video - know your brain

Limbic System


Hippoc­ampus (campus = learni­ng/­mem­ories)
Hypoth­alamus (FFFF = Fight, Flight, Feed, Mating)
Amygdala (emotions)
Thalamus (Tell 'em = senses (except for smell))


Brain Power

motor & sensory homunculus = propor­tionate repres­ent­ation of the brain’s dedication to the parts of the body respon­sible for motor functi­ona­lity.

The more brain power involved in the planning, execution and control of a body part’s movements, the larger the body part is on the clay figure, thus giving a simple, yet accurate visual repres­ent­ation of the brain’s dedication to different areas of motor function.



When awake the brain produces alpha waves which are relatively slow
stage 1 breathing slows with irregular, erratic brain waves. alpha waves cease and are replaced with theta waves
Stage 2 deeper relaxa­tio­n/o­cca­sional bursts of rhythmic waves "­sleep spindl­es" and K-comp­lexes
Stage 3 large slow delta waves. transition to Stage 4
Stage 4 stronger more consistent delta waves. These last 2 stages are referred to as slow-wave sleep
REM Sleep dreams

Sleep Disorders

Insomnia = recurring difficulty falling asleep.

Narcolepsy = sudden and uncont­rol­lable attacks of sleep during waking hours.

Sleep apnea = stop breathing during sleep which wakes them long enough to breathe. This can occur 100's of times a night


theory of mind of the Berlin School of experi­mental psycho­logy.

Gestalt psychology tries to understand the laws of our ability to acquire and maintain meaningful percep­tions in an apparently chaotic world.

Roots in theories by Hume, Goethe, Kant.

Max Werthe­imer's unique contri­bution was to insist that the "­ges­tal­t" is percep­tually primary, defining the parts it was composed from, rather than being a secondary quality that emerges from those parts.

Perceptual Sets

predis­pos­itions to perceive one thing and not another.

Crying baby girl - weak & scared
Crying baby boy - strong and mad

Expect the mail man and hear noises but he is not there.


Phi Phenomenon

optical illusion of perceiving continuous motion between separate objects viewed rapidly in succession

Youtube video for more about Gestalt psychology

Signal Detection Theory

ability to notice stimulus varies with psycho­logical factors including motiva­tion, past experi­ence, expect­ations


Theories of emotion

Cannon­-Bard: crazed dog = Arousal & Fear

James-­Lange: crazed dog = arousal THEN fear

Two-Fa­ctor: crazed dog = Arousal & Label (cogni­tive) THEN fear

Canon-Bard Theory

see stimulus - generates arousal & emotional experience at the same time. Inform­ation to sympat­hetic nervous system (arousal) and cortex (subje­ctive experi­ence)

Dog growls = heart rate increases + realize I'm afraid

James-­Lange Theory

see it = feel emotion = become afraid because I feel my heart pounding

Without arousal I wouldn't be afraid

Two Factor Theory of Emotion

Stanley Schacter's

Emotions experi­enced depend on how arousal is labeled. What makes each experience different is what you call it.

If you decide you're aroused because someone insulted you = angry

Noam Chomsky

Language develo­pment children have language acquis­ition device - universal built in mental system that steers us toward interp­reting and using language in particular ways.


A good video describing his theory (1:47 BBC): Noam Chomsky on Language Aquisition


Sensory fleeting awareness of what senses detect

short term (working) keep inform­ation long enough to solve problems

long term unlimited storage

Charles Spearman

Labeled general intell­igence "­g" factor


Joy Paul Guilford

United States psycho­logist, best remembered for his psycho­metric study of human intell­igence, including the distin­ction between convergent and divergent production

Convergent thinking generally means the ability to give the "­cor­rec­t" answer to standard questions that do not require signif­icant creati­vity, for instance in most tasks in school and on standa­rdized multip­le-­choice tests for intell­igence.

Divergent thinking = creativity = thinking "­outside the box"

Psycho­logical Disorders - Origins

Medical - caused by biological reasons (injury, genetics, drugs)

Psycho­ana­lytic - childhood conflicts, uncons­cious, misdir­ected anger

Cognitive - patterns of thinking are abnormal, success because of others (luck, generous), fail because of self (stupid, no talent)

Learn/­Beh­avior - problem behavior is the problem, some type of classical condit­ioning or reinfo­rcement has occurred for behavior to continue

Erikson's 8 Stages of Develo­pment


1. Nurturing = trust vs mistrust (baby-1yr)
2. Autonomy vs shame doubt (toddler-2 yr)
3. initiative vs guilt (preschool 3-5 yrs)
4. indust­rious vs inferior (6-12 yrs)
5. identity vs role confusion (12-18)
6. intimacy vs isolation (18-40)
7. genera­tivity vs stagnation (40-65)
8. integrity vs despair (65 & up)


3 stages of moral develo­­pment
1. Pre-moral a. Obedience v.s. develo­­pment

2. Conven­­tional c. good boy, girl-boys and girls are good so they are seen as being a good person. d. law and social order start

3. Post-c­­on­v­e­nt­­ional e. Social Contract f. universal ethical principle

PERSON­ALITY - Individual Difference


Measure ways people differ
Traits - patterns of behavior

Alport (boy on train) to Freud

Define person­ality - stable­/la­sting behavior patter­ns/­mot­iva­tions.

Eyesneck - stable­/un­stable, introv­ert­/ex­trovert
Big 5 Traits OCEAN
1. openness - questi­oning, indepe­ndent, curious
2. consci­ousness - depend­able, self control
3. extrav­ersion - outgoing, socially adept
4. agreea­bleness - confor­ming, likeable
5. neurot­icism - excita­bility, anxiou­sness

Psycho­logical Therapies

Psycho­ana­lytic developed by Freud. Problems from urges vs. social pressure. repressed behavior in childhood. Help individual recognize conflict, make it conscious & deal with it in socially acceptable way. - Free associ­ation "­pat­ien­t"

Humanistic help people achieve insight to causes of behavior, emphasize life now and future. "­cli­ent­". Client­-ce­ntered therapy non directive. people have own insight. provide positive regard & enviro­nment. active listening

Cognitive change thinking so see world accurately & react rationally


Biolog­ica­l/M­edical drugs surgery alter brain functions

THERAPY - Biological Medical Approach

Rely on drugs or surgery. Alter the way brain functions

Depression = low serotonin neurot­ran­smitter
Anti-d­epr­essants (Prozac, Pail, Zoloft) prevent re-uptake of serotonin (SSRI) result in elevated mood

Anti-a­nxiety drugs (Librium, Valium) reduce arousal, depress activity in CNS

Anti-p­syc­hotics (Cloza­pine, Thorazine) treat symptoms of schizo­phr­enia. block operation of neurot­ran­smitter dopamine

Barbit­urates (tranq­uil­izer) (opiate)

Opiates = opium, decreases nervous system, addictive, side effects

Aging Theories

Diseng­agement - mutual withdrawal

Activity - keep active and age well

Hierarchy of Needs

proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper "A Theory of Human Motiva­tio­n" in Psycho­logical & fully expressed in his 1954 book Motivation and Person­ality

studied what he called exemplary people such as Albert Einstein & the healthiest 1% of the college student population

largest, most fundam­ental levels of needs at the bottom and the need for self-a­ctu­ali­zation at the top


descri­ptive statistics (mean, median mode)

Standard deviation - index of how widely scattered scores tend to be around mean

Infere­ntial statistics allow inferences about popula­tions based on sample. Use statis­tical signif­icance as some differ­ences could have happened by chance.

Coeffi­cient near .00 if correlated by chance.
Bigger the coeffi­cient is for the sample, the more reliable correl­ation.
Coeffi­cients > +.70 are generally reliable. (+ or - correl­ation)

Stanley Milgram Obedience Experiment (May, 1962)


0:00-9:15 Introd­uction and instru­ction
9:26-12:05 First test subject
12:05-­16:02 Second test subject
16:02-­21:58 Explan­ation and procedure
21:58-­39:18 Third test subject
39:18-­44:19 Review and variations of tests


how we process inform­ation about others

Attrib­ution theory - explan­ations generated for others behavior
- dispos­itional (internal) - explain behavior inside person (perso­nality, intell­igence, maturity)
- situat­ional (external) - explain behavior outside (luck, interf­erence from others, social etiquette)

actor-­obs­erver difference - observers attribute others' behavior to dispos­itions but own behavior to situat­ions. Actor more aware than others of how his behavior changes from 1 situation to another

cognitive dissonance theory - behave incons­istent with attitudes = dissonance (unple­asant tension) must explain behavior due to situation

Sensory Adaptation & Habitu­ation


Sensory Adaptation - neural receptors reduce sensit­ivity to continual stimulus (ie - adapt hot/cold water after brief time, eyes adjust dark room (cones 10 min, rods 30), smell own house)

Habitu­ation - decreased response to stimulus after repeated behavior, used to elicit stronger response (alcohol 1st drink vs alcoholic taking a drink, favorite food, living near train track)

sensit­ization repeated intense stimulus increases response to weaker

Inform­ational Social Influence Theory

4:35 Foot in the Door
5:30 Stanford Prison Experiment
8:00 Festin­ger's Theory of Cognitive Dissonance - when our thoughts differ from others we feel discomfort we want to resolve


Inform­ational Social Influence Theory - When we are not sure what to do we copy other people, especially in crisis or if the other person is an expert


Ink Blot tests. Schizo­phr­enics were found to answer questions about ink blot cards very differ­ently than most people.

A neat jpg of the cards as well as common answers can be found here.

Edward Thorndike

Cats & puzzle boxes.


Thorndike studied instru­mental condit­ioning, which involves an increase in the probab­ility of a response occurring as a result of a positive outcome. This type of learning would come to be called operant condit­ioning by B.F. Skinner.

Law of Effect behavior changes because of conseq­uences

Yerkes­-Dodson Law

moderate levels of arousal lead to optimal perfor­mance


Foretting Curve

Video link about the forgetting curve.

Video link about how to learn effici­ently.

Functi­onalism and Struct­uralism


Edward Titchener 1867-1927

First Psychology lab in the U.S. (1892 Professor at Cornell)

Studied under Wundt

Struct­ura­lism, Stimulus Error, Intros­pection

Analyze mind
1. identify structure elements
2. how they are grouped
3. cause of specific arrang­ement of elements


7 Perspe­ctives

Neuros­cience = physical & brain (makes emotio­ns/­mem­ories)

Evolut­ionary = Darwinism, survival of fittest, inherited behavior

Social­-cu­ltural = society & culture contribute to behavior


B.F. Skinner


Behavi­orism, -1960's
behavior of organisms

Blank Slate = molded by enviro­nment..

Pigeon operant condit­ioning, reward system

Brain Organi­zation

Brain Organi­zation

Cerebral cortex (outer cover) = motor, cognitive, sensory processes
Left/Right Hemisp­heres
Frontal Lobes = coordi­nating movement in higher level thinking (planning & predicting conseq­uences of behaviors)

- Wernicke's area = language compre­hension
- Broca's area = speech production

Parietal lobes - top of head, behind frontal lobes = touch, hands/feet

Temporal lobes - above parietal, sides of ears = hearing

Occipital lobes - base of skull in back = vision (ocular)

Left & Right Brain

Very intere­sting!


Biological Approach

focus on unders­tanding how physio­logical & bioche­mical processes = psycho­logical phenomena

genes, nervous system, hormones, neurot­ran­smi­tters


Link to Quizlet cards about Psychology vocabulary words.



Sleeping Disorders. What happens when you sleep.

Mike Birbiglia talks about his sleepw­alking disorder. Funnny!

Dream Theories

Dream Theories

manifest content of latent desires. Disguising the wish dreamer avoids anxiety
Activation synthesis theory
brain's neurons fire randomly during sleep, as we wake, construct dream to make sense of images
Inform­ation processing
way to consol­idate inform­ation, sort thru day's events
Physio­logical Functions
dreams stimulate the brain which may help build neural connec­tions


Gestalt psycho­logists rules for brain piecing together meaningful experi­ences from fragments of sensation.



Gestalt (German for "a whole" or "­for­m") Psycho­logists were among the first to study how the brain makes things from fragments of sensat­ions.

Depth percep­tion-
both eyes work together to gather Binocular cues, which use the space between the eyes (retinal disparity) and how much the eyes turn inwards, towards the nose (conve­rgence) to roughly estimate distance.

Monocular cues=one eye.

Linear perspe­cti­ve=­par­allel lines appear to converge.

Motion parall­ax-­refers to apparent movement of stable objects as we move.

Perceptual sets: predis­pos­itions to percieve one thing and not another will affect the way reality is viewed

Sensation & Perception

Sensation - Bottom up (vision, hearing, smell) receive and relay outside inform­ation to the brain

Perception - Top Down brain interprets & organizes that inform­ation


Motion parallax

Apparent movement of stable objects as we move. Drive down the road and close objects appear to be moving backward and the nearer they are the faster they move. Far away objects move with you but more slowly as they get farther away.

Youtube video for more about Motion parallax


CLEP® Introd­uctory Psychology Book + Online (CLEP Test Prepar­ation)

Code inside front cover gives you access to online tests. Practice tests 1 & 2 are the same online as in the back of the book but the online resource gives you an assessment test which is a bit shorter than the other 2 which are 95 questions each.
Find it on


HERE is a very intere­sting article about Prosop­agnosia (Face Blindn­ess).

Includes inform­ation about: Broca, Wernicke, deja vu, Capgras syndrome

By Oliver Sacks

Invisible Gorilla

Attention, intuition


Cognitive Approach

reaction to behavi­orism

Focus on explain behavior in terms of expect­ations, feelings, thoughts

problem solving, attention, expect­ations, memory, thought processes

Jean Piaget

Cognitive Develo­pment

Sensor­imotor stage (0-2) can't differ­entiate self from enviro­nment

preope­rat­ional (2) stable world, language, symbols, fantas­y/r­eality, object perman­ence, no logical reasoning, lack conser­vation, egocentric

concrete op. (7-11) logic rules, concrete, cause/­effect, role taking

formal op. (12-) logic of science, abstract thinking, metaphors

assimi­lation = interpret sights based on current unders­tanding
accomm­odation = changed unders­tanding
equili­brium = balance
disequ­ili­brium = changes in child's unders­tanding of world

Jean Piaget


Piaget's Schema, Assimi­lation, Equili­brium


Schema = building block of knowledge

Assimi­lation = using an existing schema to deal with a new object or situation

Equili­brium = child's schemas can deal with most new inform­ation through assimi­lation

Accomm­odation = existing schema (knowl­edge) does not work, and needs to be changed to deal with a new object or situation

Franz Mesmer

18th century hypnotist

Trying to help patients with medical issues

Aligned their "­mag­netic forces­" = animal magnetism

Hypnotized people fill social role (role play) behavior controlled by normal, conscious processes. Now used for pain control.

Psycho­logical Disorders




Spearman "­g" factor, factor analysis, spatial numeric reasoning,

Thurstone - psycho­met­rics, 7 clusters of mental abilities

Gardner - multiple abilities in different forms, savant syndrome, , 8 intell­igences

Sternberg - 3 intell­ige­nces, analyt­ical, creative, practical

divergent thinking, emotional intell­igence, eugenics,

Alfred Binet - mental age test (IQ)

Person­ality Theories

Social Cognitive

Individual Difference Trait




PERSON­ALITY - Social Cognitive

Cognition. Proposed by "­Bob­o" Bandura

Intera­ction between traits & social contexts
Watch & imitate others & think about how that affects us.
We are creators & products of the situations we surround ourselves with.

Personal control = how much control we have over our enviro­nment.

Reciprocal determ­inism - how people think and behave in their enviro­nment interacts to influence consis­tency of behavior

PERSON­ALITY - Humanistic

People basically good

Carl Rogers "Self Theory­" - person centered
true self - talents, thoughts, desires, feelings
self concept - what we think we are like
ideal self - what we think we would like to be

self actual­ization - accept who you are
conditions of worth - hinder self actual­ization

Self Esteem literature

Maslow rejected standard tests and measured self concept through therapy and questi­ona­ires.

THERAPY - Psycho­ana­lytic Approach

THERAPY - Learni­ng/­Beh­avioral

behavior modifi­cation

Use classical & operant condit­ioning to change problem behaviors directly. Believe many were condit­ioned to begin with so can be "­un" condit­ioned.

Counte­rco­ndi­tioning condit­ioning a new response incomp­atible with old

systematic desens­iti­zation relaxation replaces anxiety system­ati­cally

flooding go straight into the fearful situation. CR is exting­uished

aversive condit­ioning unpleasant response associated (alcohol + drug creating nausea UR & CR)

token economy give token (poker chip/gold star) when desired behavior performed. tokens cashed in for tangible rewards

Nervous System

Graded potential, action potential, refractory period


Testing Reliab­ility

Test-r­etest reliab­ility, internal consis­tency, split-half reliab­ility


Cronbach's alpha - measures reliab­ility (.70 or higher)

Validity, face valitidy (content), Predictive validity, construct validity


see Quizlet cards for definition of terms

Diathe­sis­-Stress Theory

Genetic predis­pos­ition (diath­esis) + enviro­nmental factors (stress) = mood disorders

SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY - Social Influence

direct­/in­direct pressures exerted by others to change one's behavior

foot-i­n-t­he-door technique - get compliance with small request first

door-i­n-t­he-face technique - make request so big it's turned down, then on to smaller request

lowballing - get commitment then increase effort­/cost required to fulfill

conformity - change behavior to follow group norms
- Solomon Asch researcher used confed­erates to influence study results

- Stanley Milgram researcher people suscep­tible to demands of authority

SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY - Aggression & Altruism

frustr­ati­on-­agg­ression hypothesis aggression is always product of frustr­ation and frustr­ation leads to aggression (wrong, sometimes frustr­ation= cry)

more testos­terone = more aggression

aggressive cues - guns, knives, black clothing = higher levels of aggression among provoked people = weapons effect


Kitty Genovese - raped and murdered 1964 in front of 38 witnesses who did not help (bystander effect)

social­-ex­change theory = maximize rewards minimize costs (minimax principle)

Encourage helping behavior: social respon­sib­ility norm help people who need it & recipr­ocity norm help people who help us. kin selection hypothesis helping family leads to our genes passed on

Whorfian Hypothesis

a theory in lingui­stics: one's language determines one's conception of the world

The strong version says that language determines thought, and that linguistic categories limit and determine cognitive catego­ries, whereas the weak version says only that linguistic categories and usage influence thought and certain kinds of non-li­ngu­istic behavior.


Interval Reinfo­rcement

reinfo­rce­ments after a response at end of a given time period

variable interval schedule time between reinfo­rce­ments changes

fixed interval schedule occur on the same day each week

ratio schedules partial reinfo­rcement schedules (reinf­orc­ement delivered based on the number of correct respon­ses).

fixed ratio schedule correct number of responses required remains the same

variable ratio schedule number of required responses changes


Something that feels good is reinfo­rcement (not punish­ment)

Positive reinfo­rcement - stimulus
a) presented
b) desirable
= feels good
(earn $1.00 for every magazine sold = sell more magazines)

negative reinfo­rcement - stimulus
b) desirable
= feels good
(take aspirin to remove headache)

interval schedule = odds of reinfo­rcement go up with passage of time

ratio schedule = odds of reinfo­rcement go up depending on how many responses are made
variable ratio - number of responses needed vary from one win to the next


Drive = disrupts homeos­tasis

Instinct = complex behavior, unlearned, same throughout species (baby smiles when eating sweets)

drive reduction theory - physio­logical need creates an aroused tension state (drive) motivating fulfil­lment of the need -- homeos­tasis

How your ear works

Ear Drum
Ossicles (Hamme­r/M­alleus, Anvil, Stirrup)
Cochlea (hair cells on basilar membrane) receptors for hearing


William James

Conscience and behavior helped people and animals adjust to the enviro­nment
Principles of Physio­logical Psychology (1st Psychology text book 1890)

Functi­onalist Approach

William James - Father of modern Psychology

People function like a machine (indus­trial revolu­tion)
Based on evolut­ionary thoughts (close to Darwin's "­origin of specie­s")


It's all about FUNC­TION

How mental experi­ences were adaptive & functional for people.
Believed consci­ousness and behavior in general, helped people­/an­imals adjust to enviro­nments. Understand "­min­d" = unders­tanding what the mind has accomp­lished

William James

Behavi­orist Approach

learned responses to predic­table patterns of enviro­nmental stimuli

Pavlov (classical condit­ioning)
Skinner (operant condit­ioning)

study animals to apply to humans

Associ­ative Learning


Subject links together certain events, behavior, stimuli in process of condit­ioning.

Classical Condit­ioning - Pavlovian, reflexive, elicited, pair 2 stimuli, CS + US, stimuli appear regardless of learner's behavior

Operant Condit­ioning - learning an associ­ation between stimulus and response (Reinf­orc­ement = increase in behavior Punish­men­t=d­ecr­eases behavior) BF Skinner

Observ­ational Learning - we can learn by watching others

John B Watson


1878 – 1958
Behavi­orist. establ­ished the psycho­logical school of behavi­orism.
Conducted research on animal behavior, child rearing, and advert­ising

"­Little Albert­" experiment (condition fear of a white rat into "­Little Albert­", an 11-mon­th-old boy)

How your brain works

Priming, Fast brain, Slow brain



Sensory (Afferent = To cell) receive info from senses

Motor (Efferent = Away from cell) from spine/­brain to signal muscle contra­ctions

Inter (Assoc­iation = connec­ting) Think, see, perceive


Electrical & chemical process
Dendrites, axon, myelin sheath
neuron rest = -70 mV
Glia = "­neu­ronal glue" hold neurons together, provide nutrients



Psycho­dynamic Approach

thoughts feelings behaviors come from intera­ction of drives & society restri­ctions on your ability to express them

Freud (sex/ aggressive drives most important) Much behavior uncons­cious & rooted in childhood

Sigmund Freud

1886 specia­lized in nervous disorders (talking cure)
free associate

Uber Coca 1st public­ation (about benefits of cocaine)

1900 interp­ret­ation of dreams psycho­ana­lysis

ID - pleasure principle (immediate gratif­ica­tion, impulsive) (devil)
EGO - reality principle (mediates between id & superego) (self)
SUPEREGO - morality principle (social part, get along with others) (angel)

Phobia - cause when you want something you can't have

FREUD - Psycho­sexual Stages

Psycho­sexual stages
1. Oral stage
2. Anal stage
3. Phallic stage


Defense Mechanisms

regression returning to earlier way of behaving (adult throwing temper tantrum)

ration­ali­zation attempts to justify irrational behavior with rational arguments

projection attrib­uting charac­ter­istics you don't like in yourself to other people

reaction formation involve doing opposite of what you really want to do

Sublim­ation channeling of impulses or energies regarded as unacce­ptable, especially sexual desires, toward activities regarded as more socially accept­able, often creative activities

displa­cement anger is directed elsewhere not necess­arily socially acceptably (kick the dog instead of your boss)

Humanistic Approach

people aren't merely machines with determined behaviors.

Motivated by desire for optimal growth and develo­pment

All have unique desire­s/s­kil­ls/­needs. Must be able to express them.

People basically good, focus on positive aspects of develo­pment.

Natura­listic Observ­ation

inter-­judge, inner-­rater, inter-­obs­erver

Studied as occurs in real-life settings.


two photor­ece­ptors in retina, rods & cones - change physical light energy into neural messages (trans­duc­tion)

The rods more numerous, (120 million), & more sensitive than cones. But they're not sensitive to color.

The 6 to 7 million cones provide eye's color sensit­ivity. They're more concen­trated in the central yellow spot (macula). In the center of that region is the "fovea centralis ", a 0.3 mm diameter rod-free area with very thin, densely packed cones.


iris = controls pupil size and amount of light
optic nerve = eye signals to brain
retina = light sensitive inner eye surface
lens = between pupil and retina, focuses light

Opponent Process Theory

There are some color combin­ations that we never see, such as reddis­h-green or yellow­ish­-blue.

Oppone­nt-­process theory suggests that color perception is controlled by the activity of three opponent systems.

Three indepe­ndent receptor types all have opposing pairs: white and black, blue and yellow, and red and green.

Young-­Hel­mholte Theory

theory of color vision = the sensation of any color can be achieved by the superp­osition of pure red, green and blue colors

(video mentions color blindness)



Psycho­phi­sic­s-r­elating to sensation.

Absolute threshold = the intensity needed for stimulus to be detected 50% of the time it is presented

Just noticeable difference (jnd) or the difference threshold = minimum stimul­ation required for detection.

Weber's law = Difference is harder to detect in more intense stimuli.

Sensory adaptation = prolonged exposure to an unchanging stimulus causes nerves to fire less and detection dimini­shes.
Sensat­ion­=re­lated to transf­orming energy from outside stimulus into neural energy to be used for percep­tion.

Weber's Law

difference threshold increases in proportion to the intensity or magnitude of stimuli. Difference harder to notice with more intense stimuli than weaker ones.


Difference in 40 - 60 watt bulb compared to 70 - 90 watt bulb (20 watts differ­ence)

"­Vad­er'­s" Law :)


repres­ent­ative heuristic - how similar or "­rep­res­ent­ati­ve" one event is. Assessing similarity of objects and organizing them based around the category prototype.

availa­bility heuristic - judging the likelihood that an event will happen from what has happened in he past

heuristics - judgmental shortcuts generally get us where we need to go – quickly – but at the cost of occasi­onally sending us off course

(algorithm - always produces the answer, but takes longer)

Psycho­logical Disorders

Anxiety - dread, fear, terror
- Genera­lized - persistent but don't know source, sweaty palms, shake, nail bite
- Panic - sudden onset episodes
- OCD - thoughts & behavior

Mood - depres­sion, mania or both
- Major - 2 weeks of sadness, hopeless, discou­rag­ement
- Bipolar

Dissoc­iative - fragmented person­ality
- Amnesia - can't remember personal info
- Fugue - leaves work, confused, assumes new identity
- Identity Disorder (multiple person­ality)

Schizo­phrenia - halluc­ina­tions, delusions
- Paranoid - believe famous, delusions of grandeur or persec­ution
- Disorg­anized - disorg­anized speech, inappr­opriate behavior
- Catatonic - odd motor activity, echopr­axia, echolalia

Somatoform - physical symptoms can't be explained medically
- Conversion - impaired motor/­sensory function
- Hypoch­ondria

Person­ality - behavior incons­istent to culture
- Paranoid - suspic­ious, distru­stful (not delusi­onal)
- Antisocial - impulsive, no conscience
- Borderline - relati­ons­hip­/self image problems
- Narcis­sistic - needs admiration

PERSON­ALITY - Psycho­ana­lytic Psycho­dynamic

Jung, Adler, Horney, Erikson,
Freud (sex, aggres­sion) dream analysis
Freud and Jung - free associ­ation

Thematic Apperc­eption Test: pictures you narrate

Behavior motivated by uncons­cious needs
People are basically bad

Alfred Binet

First to make intell­igence test which determined test takers "­men­tal­" age. This has changed into the IQ test we are familiar with today.

A Method of Measuring the Develo­pment of Young Children

Early 1900s

mental age divided by chrono­logical age X 100 = score

Flynn Effect

nurture refers to the effects of the enviro­nment on develo­pment

"­secular rise in IQ scores­"

substa­ntial and long-s­ust­ained increase in both fluid and crysta­llized intell­igence test scores measured in many parts of the world from roughly 1930 to the present day.

New test subjects take older tests, almost every case average scores are signif­icantly above 100. Test score increases continuous & approx. linear from earliest years of testing to present

Carol Gilligan


Mother - imprint (Konrad Lorenz)

(Harry Harlow - experi­ments with monkeys and attachment to mothers)

Boys = justice
Girls = caring

moral develo­pment based on relati­onship with mothers

Altered States


Hypnosis, Halluc­ina­tions, Psycoa­ctive drugs (effect brain) (pain)

Dissoc­iation - detach from surrou­ndings while still conscious (split consci­ous­ness)

Depres­sants - alcohol, opiate, barb. (morphine, heroine)
- too much opiate ingestion and body stop making natural opiates (endor­phins) = withdrawal

Stimulants - caffeine, nicotine, amphet­amines (meth, ecstasy, cocaine)

Halluc­inogens - plant, fungal, synthetic (LSD, psyche­delics)

Pregnancy - First Trimester

Zygote = 1 cell, sperm & egg

Embryo = attaches to uterine wall

Fetus = movement occurs

Teratogen = substance that causes birth defects

reflexes = suck, swallow, touch

Infant Reflexes

Babinski, Moro, Palmar Reflexes


Moro Reflex

Normal reflex in newborns - 3-4 months.


Absence of reflex may suggest injury to bones or spinal cord.

AKA: Startle response; Startle reflex; Embrace reflex

Babinski Reflex

Normal in children up to 2 years old, disappears as the child gets older (maybe as early as 12 months)

Present in a child older than 2 years/­adult, often a sign of a brain or nervous system disorder -
•Amyot­rophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig disease)
•Brain tumor or injury
•Multiple sclerosis
•Spinal cord injury, defect, or tumor


Palmar Reflex

flexion of the fingers following tickling of the palm in infants.

Reappe­arance may be attributed to certain neurol­ogical conditions (dementia, lesions, stroke)

Helping Behaviors

Social Exchange Theory human relati­onships are formed by the use of a subjective cost-b­enefit analysis and the comparison of altern­atives

Social Respon­sib­ility norm obligation to act for the benefit of society at large

Bystander effect in a crowd, no one helps https:­//w­ww.y­ou­tub­e.c­om/­wat­ch?­v=c­gE5­q5rDlaA

Recipr­ocity norm

We feel obligated to help those who have helped us.

The kin-se­lection hypothesis is one explan­ation.


Frustr­ation Agression Hypothesis

Frustr­ation produces a readiness for aggression if triggered


Sensory Memory

implicit (proce­dural) = being aware of how to do something without consci­ously know how

explicit (decla­rative) = being aware of what you know

iconic = brief photog­raphic memory of an image

echoic = brief memory of an auditory stimulus

flashbulb = vivid memories of emotio­nally charged events

working = short-term memory


Youtube playlist with even more Psychology videos.


Arousal Theory A theory of motivation suggesting that people are motivated to maintain an optimal level of alertness and physical and mental activa­tion.

Instinct Theory all organisms are born with innate biological tendencies to help them survive. All behaviors are driven by instincts (goal-­dir­ected and innate patterns of behavior that are not the result of learning or experi­ence). (babies root)

Drive Reduction Theory physio­­lo­gical need creates an aroused tension state (drive) motivating fulfil­­lment of the need -- homeos­­tasis

Theory X type X indivi­duals are inherently lazy and unhappy with their jobs. Therefore, an author­itarian management style is required to ensure fulfil­lment of the indivi­duals' object­ives.

Theory Y managers assume employees can be ambitious, self-m­oti­vated and exercise self-c­ontrol. Employees enjoy their mental and physical work duties and for them, work is as natural as play


The notes are very updated and easy to grasp .I think they will be more vivid if videos and diagrams are attached to them.

I don't know what happened to the videos. There was a preview of each video in the box that linked to the youtube video when we made this sheet. I have tried to include links below the box where each video was originally.

Any way you can make this two columns? PDF cuts off part of the third column.

Omg this is so good I took an Ap Psychology course in high school and this is like a perfect summary of everything we learned.

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