This page was last updated:

 PSY 101 Introductory Psychology

Instructor: Vincent W. Hevern, S.J., Ph.D.

 Fall 2011

Study Guide for Test #1
  Key Concepts & Vocabulary Key Issues Key Persons
Psychology in General
Ch. 1
Psychology as empirical
Psychology as theoretically diverse
Sociohistorical context for psychology
Multiple causes for behavior
Cultural heritage & behavior
Joint effects of heredity &
Experience of world as subjective
  • Definition of Psychology as Science & Profession
  • Principal psychological specialties: clinical, counseling, & others
  • Most important trends in the last 50 to 60 years
    • Rise of clinical psychology following World War II
    • Concern for How we think (cognitive psychology) and the relationship between brain & behavior (physiological psychology)
    • Concern for psychology of culturally-diverse, non-Western world
    • Emergence of evolutionary psychology
    • Positive psychology
Watson & Crick (Discoverers of the shape of
    the DNA molecule)
Edward O. Wilson (sociobiology/evolutionary
Biological Bases of Behavior
Ch. 3
Glial cells
Axonal hillock
Myelin sheath
Terminal button
synapse (synaptic cleft)
sodium-potassium pump
receptor sites
synaptic pruning
post-synaptic potential (PSP)
Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)
Somatic Nervous System
Autonomic Nervous System
"Fight or Flight" response
Sympathetic Nervous System
Parasympathetic Nervous System
Spinal Cord
Reticular Formation
Limbic System
Medial Forebrain Bundle
Cerebral Cortex
Cerebral Hemispheres
Corpus callosum
Primary motor strip
Primary somatosensory strip
Primary auditory cortex
Primary visual cortex
Broca's area
Wernicke's area
Polygenetic determinism
Diathesis = genetic vulnerability
  • Role of glial cells: structural support in brain, nourish, decontaminate
  • Origin of brain tumors
  • The neuron at rest as a tiny, leaky battery
  • Resting potential
  • Action potential
  • All-or-Nothing Law
  • Role of myelin in conduction of nerve impulse
  • Excitatory vs. inhibitory postsynaptic potential
  • Roles of neurotransmitters
    • Acetylcholine (Ach)
    • Dopamine (DA)
    • Norepinepherine (NE)
    • Serotonin (5-HT)
    • GABA
    • Glutamate
    • Endorphins
  • Agonist vs. antagonist effects of molecules at receptor sites
  • Organization of the Nervous System: PNS, CNS
  • Neuro-imaging Techniques in the Brain
    • Computerized Tomography (CT)
    • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
    • Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
    • Functional Magnetic Imaging (fMRI)
    • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
  • General functions of brain lobes
    • Frontal
      • Mirror Neurons
    • Parietal
    • Temporal
    • Occipital
  • Split brain operation: what it shows about hemispheres
  • Hemispheric Specialization
    • Left hemisphere
    • Right hemisphere
  • Strategies to research role of heredity vs. environment on behavior
    • family studies
    • twin studies (monozygotic vs. dizygotic twins)
    • adoption studies
  • What did Charles Darwin claim to be the means of evolution?
    • fitness
    • natural selection
  • Modern refinements of Darwin's theory
    • adaptation
    • behaviors as adaptive traits
Walter Cannon (Fight or flight)
Paul Broca (expressive aphasia)
Carl Wernicke (receptive aphasia)
Roger Sperry (Split-brain)
Research in Psychology
Ch. 2
Scientific Theory
Operational definition
Independent Variable
Dependent Variable
Case Study
Naturalistic Observation
Experimental group
Control group
Confounding variable
Random assignment
Positive Correlation
Negative Correlation
Zero correlation
Sample bias
Convenience sample
Social desireabilty response
Response sets in experiments
Experimenter bias
Double-blind research

  • Goals of Science: Description, Prediction, Control
  • What science means by "theory"
  • Testability: Falsification (falsifying theory)
  • Approach to Research: hypothesis, research study design, collecting data, analyzing data & drawing conclusions, reporting findings
  • What is an experiment?
  • Types of variables
  • Types of groups in experiments
  • Problems faced in doing experiments
    • Extraneous variables
    • Confounding variables
    • Non-random assignment
  • Advantages & disadvantages of experiments
  • Meaning of correlations: strong when approaching +/- 1.0; absent when approaching 0.0
  • Cause/effect vs. linkages
  • Descriptive/correlational research: purpose
  • Types of flaws in experimental research
  • Placebo effect
  • Types of distortions in self-report data

Sensation & Perception
Ch. 4
Vestibular Sense
Kinesthetic-Proprioceptive Sense
Optic Disk/Blind Spot
Left vs. Right Visual Fields
Optic Nerve
Optic Chiasm
Lateral Geniculate Nucleus
Visual Cortex
Contrast effects in vision
Reversable figure
Perceptual set
Phi Phenomenon
Gestalt Psychology of vision
Retinal disparity

  • Forms of Energy perceived by the senses: light, sound, chemical, mechanical, gravity, acceleration/deceleration
  • Structures of the Eye
  • Types of cones
  • Function of cones
  • Function of rods
  • Layers of the retina
  • Types of adaptation: light & dark
  • Transduction
  • The visual pathways
  • Feature Detection (simple, complex, hypercomplex cells)
  • The relationship between the physical properties of light and perception (wavelength/hue-color; amplitude/brightness; purity/saturation)
  • Ability to perceive 2,000,000 different colors
  • Trichromatic Color Perception (in the retina)
  • Types of light mixing: additive vs. subtractive
  • Opponent-process color perception (at the level of the ganglion cells/lateral geniculate nucleus)
  • Types of color blindness
  • Feature analysis
    • Top down vs. bottom-up processing
  • The perceptual rules of Gestalt Psychology
    • Figure vs ground
    • Proximity
    • Closure
    • Similarity
    • Contiguity
    • Simplicity (Law of Pragnanz)
  • Binocular cues for depth perception
  • Monocular cues for depth perception
  • Pictorial depth cues
    • Linear perspective
    • Texual gradients
    • Interposition
    • Relative size
    • Height in plane
    • Light & shadow
David Hubel & Thorsten Wiesel
Max Wertheimer (Phi Phenomenon)

Human Memory
Ch. 7
Encoding (of memory)
Storage (of memory)
Retrieval (of memory)
Levels of Processing
Sensory Memory
Short-term Memory
Visual imagery
Flashbulb memory
Working memory
Semantic network
Connectionist/PDP model
Procedural memory
Declarative memory
Semantic memory
Episodic memory
Misinformation effect
Source monitoring error
Retroactive interference
Proactive interference
  • Levels of processing theory: structural, phonemic, semantic
  • Atkinson & Shiffrin's Model of Memory
  • Miller's Theory of STM as 7 +/- 2 chunks of information
  • Components of "working memory" model
  • How is long-term memory stored/organized?
  • Types of memory systems
  • Problems of retrieval from memory
  • What is forgetting? Theories
    • Decay
    • Interference
    • Ineffective coding
    • Retrieval failure
    • "Motivated" forgetting
Atkinson & Shiffrin
Allan Paivio
George A. Miller (7 +/- 2)
Alan Baddeley (Working memory)
Endel Tulving (semantic vs. episodic memory)
Sigmund Freud (repression)
   This page was first posted 09/29/06 and last revised on 9/29/2011