Behavioral Science Booster Course

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Behavioral Science Module I

Lesson 1: Sensation

  1. Depth Perception – One’s cognitive understanding of how close or distant objects (or parts of objects) are located.
  2. Form Perception – One’s cognitive understanding of an object’s visible shape and configuration.
  3. Motion Perception – One’s cognitive understanding of an object’s speed and direction.
  4. Constancy Perception – One’s cognitive understanding that despite variable views of an object, it is still the same object with the same intrinsic characteristics.
  5. Visual Cues – Perceptual strategies used by our brains to perceive optic information.
    1. Binocular Cues – Visual cues that rely on visual information from both eyes.
      1. Retinal Disparity – A binocular cue based on the idea that each eye provides a slightly different view of an object and comparing these two views aides our brain with depth perception.
      2. Convergence – A binocular cue based on the idea that our eyes turn inward to a greater degree when looking at objects up close, and our brains consider the degree of inward turning to enhance their depth perception.
    2. Monocular Cue– Visual cues that rely on visual information from a single eye.
      1. Relative Size – A monocular cue based on the idea that when object A is visually smaller than object B, object A is perceived to be smaller (form perception) and farther away (depth perception).
      2. Interposition – A monocular cue based on the idea that when object A is obstructing one’s view of object B, object A is perceived to be farther away (depth perception).
      3. Relative Height – A monocular cue based on the idea that when object A is visually shorter or higher up in the visual field than object B, object A is perceived to be farther away (depth perception).
      4. Shading and Contour – A monocular cue in which shadows and outlines are used by the brain to enhance depth perception.
      5. Motion Parallax (Relative Motion) – A monocular cue in which fast-moving objects are perceived as being close and slow-moving are perceived as being distant (depth perception).
      6. Size Constancy – A monocular cue in which the brain perceives an object as having a constant largeness despite one view of it being visually larger than another view (constancy perception).
      7. Shape Constancy – A monocular cue in which the brain perceives an object as having a constant form despite one view of it being visually different than another view (constancy perception).
      8. Color Constancy – A monocular cue in which the brain perceives an object as having a constant coloration despite one view of it being visually different than another view (constancy perception).
  6. Sensory Adaptation –  The process in which receptors become less sensitive to a constant stimuli over time.
    1. Auditory Sensory Adaptation – The process in which hearing becomes less sensitive over time due to contraction of the inner ear muscle.
    2. Tactile Sensory Adaptation –  The process in which touch sensing nerves become saturated and less sensitive with constant stimuli.
    3. Olfactory Sensory Adaptation – The process that describes desensitization to smell when exposed to the same smell for an extended period of time.
    4. Sight Sensory Adaptation – The process of up or downregulation of sensitivity in order to adjust to the amount of ambient light.
  7. Weber’s Law – States that there is a linear relationship between the background intensity and the threshold of the just noticeable difference.
    1. Just Noticeable Difference – The smallest change in stimuli that can be sensed.
    2. Equation for Weber’s Law – ΔI/I = k, where I is the original intensity of the stimulus,  ΔI is the smallest noticeable difference, and k shows that this ratio equals some constant.
  8. Absolute Threshold of Sensation – The lowest amount of stimulation that can still be detected more than 50% of the time.
    1. Subliminal Stimuli – Stimuli that is perceived less than 50% of the time.
  9. Vestibular System – Apparatus that helps with balance and positioning, relies heavily on the inner ear.
    1. Cochlea – The part of the inner ear that contains the sensory receptors.
    2. Semi-Circular Canals – The anterior, lateral and posterior tubes of the inner ear that contain endolymph to help determine speed and direction of head movement.
    3. Endolymph –  The fluid in the inner ear that helps with the detection of movement.
    4. Otolithic Organs – The part of the inner ear that allows for the sensation of linear and angular acceleration (includes the utricle and saccule).
      1. Calcium Carbonate Crystals of Hair Cells – These structures allow for the detection of movement in the inner ear because they move with acceleration.
    5. Vertigo – A sensation of loss of balance or spinning resulting from issues in the inner ear.
  10. Signal Detection Theory – The idea that the perception of a stimulus is dependent on both the intensity of the stimulus and the uncertainty around the stimuli.
    1. Noise in Signal Detection – Random factors that interfere with the correct discernment of a stimuli including the physiological state of the individual and random errors with equipment.
    2. Hit in Signal Detection – When a stimulus is present and sensed.
    3. False Alarm in Signal Detection – When a stimulus is not present but something is said to have been perceived.
    4. Miss in Signal Detection – When a stimulus is present but it is not perceived.
    5. Correct Rejection in Signal Detection – When a stimulus is not perceived when not present.
    6. Conservative Strategies of Signal Detection – A method in which one will not say there is not a stimulus unless 100% certain that there is one. This minimizes false alarms, but results in many misses.
    7. Liberal Strategies of Signal Detection – A method in which one will say there is a signal unless 100% certain there is not one. This minimizes misses, but results in many false alarms.
    8. Ideal Observer – A person who minimizes misses and false alarms in signal detection.
  11. Bottom Up Processing – A method of stimulus perception that begins with the stimulus, considered to be data driven.
  12. Top Down Processing – A method of stimulus perception that begins with a person’s background knowledge, considered to be theory driven.
  13. Gestalt Principles – A set of laws that aim to explain how a whole object can be perceived differently than simply the sum of its parts.
    1. Law of Similarity – The principle that explains the grouping together of like objects.
    2. Law of Pragnanz – The principle that explains how ambiguous objects are perceived in the simplest way possible.
    3. Law of Proximity – The principle that explains the grouping together of items that are physically close to each other.
    4. Law of Continuity (Law of Good Continuation) – The principle that explains the likeliness of perceiving uninterrupted lines over perceiving sharp or jagged lines.
    5. Law of Closure – The principle that explains the grouping of items to form whole objects rather than seeing them as discontinuous segments.

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Lesson 2: Vision

  1. Sclera – The stiff, outer portion of the eye that helps it maintain its shape and give it its white color.
  2. Cornea – The transparent surface in front of the iris and pupil that allows light to pass through and helps with focusing.
  3. Conjunctiva – A clear membrane that covers much of the front of the eye for protection and moisturizing purposes.
  4. Aqueous humor – A clear fluid that supports the lens and fills the space between the lens and the cornea.
  5. Lens – A structure that sits behind the iris and focuses light on the retina.
    1. Biconvex Lens – A type of lens that curves out on both sides. This type of lens is found in the eye.
  6. Ciliary Bodies –  Structures that connect the iris to the choroid and control the shape of the lens through relaxing or contracting muscles.  
    1. Ciliary muscles – A circular smooth muscle that relaxes or contracts to control the shape of the lens in order to focus.  
    2. Suspensory ligaments – A fibrous membrane that attaches the ciliary body to the lens.
  7. Iris – A structure at the front of the eye that contracts and expands to control the amount of light passing through.
  8. Pupil – A hole that varies in size with the contraction or relaxation of the iris.
  9. Vitreous Humor – A jelly-like substance that fills up the interior of the eye to give it structure.
  10. Retina – A light sensitive structure situated in the back of the eye that contains photoreceptors and sends signals to the brain via the optic nerve.
    1. Photoreceptors – A type of nerve that can sense light and convert it into a neural response.
      1. Rods – The most common type of photoreceptor that is very sensitive to light and mostly located around the periphery of the retina.
      2. Cones – The type of photoreceptor that is sensitive to color and is concentrated around the fovea.
    2. Choroid – A black pigmented and highly vasculated structure found immediately behind the retina to supply it with nutrients.
    3. Fovea – An indent within the retina that contains many cones in order to increase visual acuity for the object in focus.
    4. Macula – A structure within the retina that includes the wider area around the fovea.
    5. Optic Nerve – A cranial nerve that sends signals from the photoreceptors of the retina to the brain.
      1. Blind Spot –  The part of the retina that contains no photoreceptors. This is where the optic nerve enters the retina.
  11. Visible Light – An electromagnetic wave that can range in frequency from 400-700 nm.
    1. Phototransduction Cascade – The molecular steps of turning off a rod in the presence of light in order to transmit a signal.
      1. Rhodopsin – A protein found in rod cells that responds to the change in shape of retinal when light is present through a conformational change and release of a subunit.
        1. Retinal – A light sensitive molecule bound to rhodopsin that changes confirmation when light is present and causes the conformational change in rhodopsin.
        2. Transducin – A G-protein that responds to the change in shape of rhodopsin by activating cGMP phosphodiesterase.
        3. cGMP Phosphodiesterase – An enzyme that converts cGMP into GMP.
      2. Photopsin – This protein functions in the same way as rhodopsin but is found in the cones rather than the rods.
      3. Bipolar Cell – A type of cell that receives signals from rods and transmits it to the retinal ganglion cells.
        1. On-Center Bipolar Cell – These cells synapse with rod cells and are activated in the presence of light due to the deactivation of rod cells.
        2. Off-Center Bipolar Cell – These cells synapse with rod cells and are deactivated in the presence of  light due to the activation of rod cells.
      4. Retinal Ganglion Cell – A type of cell that receives the signal from the bipolar cell and passes the signal onto the optic nerve.
  12. Visual Processing – Method by which the body is able to convert information from photoreceptors into an image we can make sense of.
    1. Nasal Side of the Eye – The medial portion of the eye.
    2. Temporal Side of the Eye – The lateral portion of the eye.
    3. Optic Chiasm – The point at which the optic nerves from each eye converge and information from the nasal side of the eye crosses over.
  13. Feature Detection – A concept that describes how different cells in the eye perceive specific aspects of complex stimuli.
    1. Parallel Processing – Method by which the brain is able to use the signals from many different cell types to allow us to see color, form, and motion all at once.
    2. Trichromatic Theory – The idea that there are three different types of photoreceptors that detect different wavelengths of light. One responds to short wavelengths (blue), one to medium wavelengths (red), and one to long wavelengths (red).
    3. Parvo Pathway – A group of specialized cells that are important for seeing with high spatial resolution and for seeing color. These cells have low temporal resolution.
      1. Spatial Resolution – How clear the perception of an image is when it is not moving.
      2. Temporal Resolution – How clear the perception of an image is when it is moving.
    4. Magno Pathway – A group of specialized cells that are important for seeing with high temporal resolution. These cells have low spatial resolution and do not detect color.

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Lesson 3: Audition

  1. Audition – The sense that allows us to hear.
    1. Sound Wave – Alternating areas of high and low pressure that require a medium, such as air, to travel through.
      1. Frequency – The characteristic of a sound wave that describes how often the waves repeat.
    2. Hair Cell – Receptor found in the cochlea that allows for the perception of sound.
      1. Hair Bundle – A collection of filaments at the top of a hair cell.
        1. Kinocilium – A  singular filament in the hair bundle of a hair cell.
        2. Tip Link of a Hair Cell – The small filaments that connect the kinocilium of the hair cells to each other and pull open potassium channels when stretched.
      2. Spiral Ganglion Cell – The type of cell that receives the signal from a hair cell and transmits it towards the brain.
    3. Outer Ear – The part of the ear that can be seen from the outside (Contains the pinna, external auditory medus).
      1. Pinna – Structure of the outer ear that is cartilaginous and funnels sound in.
      2. Auditory Canal (External Auditory Meatus) – The tube that connects the pinna to the tympanic membrane..
    4. Middle Ear – The part of the ear that contains three bones (the malleus, incus and stapes) as well as the tympanic membrane
      1. Tympanic Membrane (Eardrum) – A membrane in the middle ear that vibrates in response to sound.
      2. Malleus – The first bone of the middle ear that connects the tympanic membrane and incus to help transmit vibrations.
      3. Incus – The second bone of the middle ear that connects the malleus to the stapes to help transmit vibrations.
      4. Stapes – The last bone of the middle ear that connects the incus to the oval window to help transmit vibrations.
    5. Inner Ear – The deepest part of the ear that contains the cochlea and semicircular canals.
      1. Oval (Elliptical) Window – The membrane in the inner ear that vibrates in response to the movement of the stapes in order to transmit sound into the cochlea.
      2. Cochlea – A spiral shaped structure of the inner ear that contains the sensory receptors for sound.
        1. Organ of Corti – A structure inside of the cochlea that contains hair cells and supporting cells.
          1. Basilar Membrane – A membrane in the cochlea with varying sensitivity to vibration that allows hair cells at different locations on it to detect frequencies of sound.
          2. Tectorial Membrane – The membrane inside the cochlea that interacts with the kinocilium of the hair cells.  
        2. Apex of the Cochlea – Part of the cochlea that responds to lower frequency sounds.
        3. Base of the Cochlea – Part of the cochlea that responds to higher frequency sounds.
      3. Circular (Round) Window – A membrane in the inner ear that vibrates in response to the movement of fluid in the cochlea.
  2. Auditory Processing – The way the brain distinguishes and perceives sounds of different frequencies.
    1. Basilar tuning – The idea that different portions of the basilar membrane respond to different frequencies of sound, allowing the brain to distinguish between them.
      1. Tonotopical Mapping – The idea that hair cells closer to the base of the cochlea respond to high frequency sounds and the hair cells closer to the apex respond to lower frequency sounds.
    2. Primary Auditory Cortex – The region of the brain that receives the information from the cochlea; different portions of this region respond to different frequencies of sound.
    3. Auditory Nerve – The cranial nerve that contains the axons of hair cells and carries signals to the primary auditory cortex.
  3. Sensorineural Hearing Loss – Deafness that results from the inability to transduce sound waves into neural impulses.
    1. Cochlear Implants – A surgically placed device for treating sensorineural hearing loss.
      1. Receiver of a Cochlear Implant – The part of the cochlear implant that is sent a signal from the transmitter.
      2. Transmitter of a Cochlear Implant – The part of the cochlear implant that receives electrical impulses from the speech processor  and sends them to the receiver.
      3. Stimulator of a Cochlear Implant – The tube in a cochlear implant that carries signals from the receiver to the cochlea.
      4. Speech Processor of a Cochlear Implant – The portion of the cochlear implant that contains the microphone to take up sound and and convert it to an electric impulse.
  4. Somatosensation – Method by which the body senses touch and positioning.
    1. Thermoception – The sense that is responsible for the perception of temperature.
      1. TrpV1 – A receptor that is sensitive to both pain and temperature because it senses chemicals released by broken cells.
    2. Mechanoreception – The sense that is responsible for the perception of pressure.
      1. A-𝛃 Fibers – The large diameter fibers that carry nerve impulses from touch receptors towards the brain. They are heavily covered in myelin and carry impulses the fastest.
    3. Nociception – The sense that is responsible for the perception of pain.
      1. A-ẟ Fibers – The medium diameter fibers that carry nerve impulses from nociception and thermoception receptors towards the brain. They are covered in some myelin and carry impulses at an intermediate rate.
      2. C Fibers – The small diameter fibers that carry nerve impulses from nociceptive receptors towards the brain. They are not covered in myelin and carry impulses the slowest.
    4. Proprioception – The sense that is responsible for the perception of body positioning and balance, often unconsciously.
      1. Spindle Receptor – Senses contraction or stretch of muscles to help with sensing body positioning.
      2. Kinesthesia – The sense that allows for the awareness of movement, often consciously.
    5. Non-Adapting Neuron – Fires action potentials at a consistent rate in response to a constant stimulus.
    6. Slow-Adapting Neuron –  Very gradually decreases the frequency of action potentials in response to a constant stimulus.
    7. Fast-Adapting Neuron – Only fires action potentials when a stimulus is first perceived and when the signal stops.
    8. Dermatomes -Sections of the skin that are each innervated by a single specific spinal nerve.
    9. Somatosensory Homunculus – A representation of the body in the brain. Refers to to the idea that information from a certain part of the body will be processed in a certain portion of the somatosensory cortex.
  5. Sensory Adaptation –  The process by which the response to a stimulus is downregulated.
  6. Sensory Amplification – The process by which the response to a stimulus is upregulated.

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Lesson 4: Olfaction and Gustation

  1. Olfaction – The sense of smell.
    1. Pheromone – A molecule used for chemical communication, mate attraction and flighting. It is released by one animal and causes an innate response in another when detected by the olfactory sense.  
    2. Nasal Passage – The opening in the nose that allows for airflow.
    3. Olfactory Epithelium – Specialized tissue in the nasal passage that contains olfactory sensory receptors and their supporting cells.
    4. Cribriform Plate – The bone that separates the olfactory epithelium from the olfactory bulb. It contains holes that allow axons of sensory molecules to pass through.
    5. Olfactory Bulb – The part of the brain that receives signals from olfactory receptors and sends that information to other parts of the brain to be processed.
      1. Glomerulus (Olfaction) – The location in the olfactory bulb where the axons of receptor cells sensitive to the same molecule synapse with mitral or tufted cells.
      2. Mitral/Tufted Cells – The types of cells located in the olfactory bulb that receive signals from olfactory receptors and pass them to a different part of the brain, likely the amygdala.
    6. Amygdala – The part of the brain that is largely responsible for the processing of emotions, especially anger.
    7. G-Protein Coupled Receptor – A type of transmembrane receptor that activates an internal cascade response when its ligand is bound. It is the type of receptor used in the olfactory system and gustatory system for sweet, umami and bitter tastes.
    8. Vomeronasal System – The division of the olfactory sense that responds to pheromones. It consists of sensory receptors that send signals to glomeruli in the accessory olfactory bulb and causes hormonal responses.
      1. Accessory Olfactory Epithelium – The portion of the olfactory epithelium that is sensitive to pheromones and sends signals to the accessory olfactory bulb.
        1. Basal Cell in Vomeronasal System – This type of receptor cell is found at the bottom of the accessory olfactory epithelium and is sensitive to specific pheromones. It sends axons to the accessory olfactory bulb.
        2. Apical Cell in Vomeronasal System – This type of receptor cell is found at the top of the accessory olfactory epithelium and is sensitive to specific pheromones. It sends axons to the accessory olfactory bulb.
      2. Accessory Olfactory Bulb – The part of the olfactory bulb that receives signals from the accessory olfactory epithelium as a part of the vomeronasal system.
  2. Gustation – The sense of taste.
    1. Five Main Tastes – The main groups of compounds that we can detect with the gustatory sense. They include bitter, salty, sweet and sour compounds, and Umami.
      1. Umami – One of the five main tastes. It is the ability to detect and taste glutamate.
    2. Taste Bud – A group of cells on the tongue that are sensitive to each of the five main tastes.
      1. Fungiform Taste Buds – A type of taste bud found mostly at the tip of the tongue.
      2. Foliate Taste Buds – A type of taste bud found mostly on the sides of the tongue.
      3. Circumvallate Taste Buds – A type of taste bud found mostly at the back of the tongue.
    3. Gustatory Cortex – The part of the brain that receives signals from taste buds. It has separate sections for each of the five main tastes.
    4. Labelled Lines Model – The idea that receptors in the gustatory system respond to only one of the five main tastes and that these signals remain separate when processed in the gustatory cortex.
    5. Ion Channel – A type of transmembrane receptor that allows the flow of ions when activated and opened by its ligand. It is the type of receptor for sour and salty tastes.
  3. States of Consciousness – Varying levels of awareness.
    1. Alertness – The state of being awake and aware of things going on.  
    2. Daydreaming – A state of consciousness that is less aware or focused on surroundings, happens naturally or through light meditation.
    3. Drowsiness – A state of consciousness that is somewhat aware of surroundings but is nearly asleep, happens while falling asleep, waking up and through deep meditation.
    4. Sleep – A state of consciousness that is completely unaware of the surroundings.
    5. Electroencephalogram (EEG) –  A machine capable of measuring neural oscillations of the brain.
      1. Neural Oscillations – Rhythmic patterns of firing, also known as brain waves.
        1. Beta Wave – High frequency brain wave associated with alertness and concentration.
        2. Alpha Wave – Middle frequency brain wave associated with daydreaming and light meditation.
        3. Theta Wave – A low frequency brain wave that is associated with the onset of sleep.
        4. Delta Wave – The lowest frequency brain wave that is associated with deep sleep.
    6. Non-Rapid Eye Movement Sleep – The three dreamless stages of sleep.
      1. N1 – The stage of sleep experienced when first falling asleep, characterized by theta waves.
        1. Hypnagogic Hallucinations – An imagined sensation during the first stage of sleep.
          1. Hypnic Jerks – A falling sensation during the first stage of sleep that causes sudden awakening.
        2. N2 – The stage of sleep characterized by more theta waves than the first stage as well as k-complexes and sleep spindles.
          1. K-Complex – A high amplitude brain wave in the second stage of sleep that helps to keep the person asleep and helps with memory consolidation.
          2. Sleep Spindles – Bursts of brain activity in the second stage of sleep that help the person maintain a tranquil state.
        3. N3 – The deepest stage of sleep, characterized by slow, delta waves. The stage when sleepwalking and talking occur.
    7. Rapid Eye Movement Sleep (REM Sleep) – The stage of sleep when dreaming occurs, muscles are paralyzed and eyes move quickly. Characterized by brain waves similar to being awake.
    8. Circadian Rhythms – Natural physiological fluctuations that occur on a 24-hour cycle.  Controlled endogenously and influenced by external light sources.
    9. Freud’s Theory of Dreaming – The idea that dreams are unconscious thoughts or wishes.
      1. Manifest Content – The storyline or literal subject matter of a dream.
      2. Latent Content –  The meaning and unconscious wishes that underlie the actions and events of dreams.
    10. Activation-Synthesis Hypothesis – The idea that dreams are the result of the cerebral cortex trying to find meaning in the random firing of the brainstem that occurs during sleep.
    11. Sleep deprivation – Lack of sleep that can contribute to depression or obesity if it is long-term.
    12. Insomnia – A sleep disorder characterized by having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep for three or more days a week for at least 3 months.
    13. Narcolepsy – A sleep disorder characterized by an inability to control when sleep occurs, excessive daytime drowsiness, and sleep attacks.
    14. Sleep Apnea – A sleep disorder characterized by repeated disruption of breathing while sleeping that causes the person to wake up and prevents slow wave sleep.
      1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea – A sleep disorder characterized by the disruption of breathing while sleeping due to the physical blocking of airways.
      2. Polysomnography – A sleep study that records brain waves and is used to detect and diagnose sleep disorders.
      3. Central Sleep Apnea – A sleep disorder characterized by the disruption of breathing while sleeping due to malfunctions of the respiratory centers of the brain.
        1. Cheyne-Stokes Breathing – An abnormal pattern of rapid breathing followed by brief cessations of breathing that occurs during sleep.
      4. Sleep Associated Hypoventilation – Abnormally slow breathing during sleep that results in low oxygen levels and a buildup of carbon dioxide.
    15. Sleepwalking and Sleeptalking – Sleep disorders that occur during the N3 stage of sleep when the muscles are not paralyzed and the person can act out daytime activities.  
    16. Induced States of consciousness – A deviation from normal levels of alertness due to hypnosis, meditation or drugs.
      1. Hypnosis – An induced state of consciousness when people are more open to suggestion, characterized by alpha waves.
      2. Meditation – An induced state of consciousness in which people self-regulate their attention, characterized by alpha waves and occasionally theta waves.

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Lesson 5: Psychoactive Drugs

  1. Psychoactive Drug – Chemical compound capable of altering consciousness.
    1. Depressant – A class of psychoactive drug that has a sedative effects on the nervous system and decreases processing speed, heart rate, blood pressure, and arousal.
      1. Barbiturate – A depressant that affects the central nervous system and can be used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. It causes many negative side effects and is habit forming.
      2. Benzodiazepine – A depressant that increases the effects of GABA in the central nervous system and can be used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. It has a lower addiction potential than barbiturates and is more commonly prescribed.
        1. Short/Intermediate Acting Benzodiazepine – Benzodiazepine that is used to treat insomnia.
        2. Long Acting Benzodiazepine – Benzodiazepine that is used to treat anxiety.
      3. Alcohol – A common depressant that lowers inhibition, slows the sympathetic nervous system, and inhibits REM sleep.
    2. Hallucinogen – A class of psychoactive drug that causes perceptual distortions of reality and experiences of sensations that are not present.
      1. LSD – A hallucinogen that affects serotonin transmission and causes mostly visual hallucinations.
      2. Psilocybin – A hallucinogen found in certain mushrooms.
      3. PCP – A hallucinogen that is made synthetically and causes analgesic as well as hallucinogenic effects.
      4. Marijuana (THC) – A mild hallucinogen that relieves pain and nausea, increases perceptual sensitivity, decreases inhibition and motor skills, and causes lethargy.   
    3. Opiate – A class of psychoactive drug that causes analgesic effects by acting on receptors for endorphins.
      1. Morphine – An opiate obtained from the opium plant that is prescribed for its strong analgesic effects.
      2. Heroin – An opiate obtained from the processing of morphine that is highly addictive.
      3. Opioid – An opiate that is made synthetically.
    4. Stimulant – A class of psychoactive drug that increases nervous system activity, heart rate, blood pressure and arousal.
      1. Caffeine – A stimulant that is found naturally in coffee, tea, and cocoa.
      2. Amphetamine – A stimulant that can be highly addictive and cause intense changes in mood, or be prescribed to treat ADHD.
        1. Methamphetamine – A type of amphetamine that increases levels of dopamine resulting in temporary euphoria. It is highly addictive.
        2. MDMA (Ecstasy) – A type of amphetamine that causes effects of a stimulant and a hallucinogen.
      3. Cocaine – A stimulant that blocks the reuptake of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. It temporarily increases the levels of these three neurotransmitters, and subsequently depletes the body’s reserves of them.
      4. Nicotine – A stimulant that increases heart rate and blood pressure, decreases appetite, and is found in cigarettes.
  2. Homeostasis – The ability to maintain a consistent internal environment despite environmental changes.
  3. Drug Dependence – Repeated use of a drug that results in the body adjusting and expecting the presence of that drug.
  4. Overdose – The quantity of a drug that can cause death.
  5. Oral Route of Drug Entry – The intake of a drug through the mouth. The effects of a drug taken in this way take about 30 minutes to feel.
  6. Inhalation Route of Drug Entry – The intake of a drug through snorting or breathing in. The effects of a drug taken in this way take about 10 seconds to feel.
  7. Injection Route of Drug Entry – The intake of drugs through a needle or tube directly into a vein. The effects of a drug taken in this way are felt nearly instantaneously.
  8. Transdermal Route of Drug Entry – The intake of drugs through absorption through the skin. Nicotine patches are one example.
  9. Intramuscular Injection Route of Drug Entry – The intake of drugs through a needle placed in the muscle. Epipens are one example.
  10. Reward Pathway – A dopaminergic circuit in the brain that responds to naturally positive stimuli such as food, social interactions and sex. It includes the amygdala, nucleus accumbens, and hippocampus.
    1. Amygdala – The part of the brain that is largely responsible for the processing of emotions, especially anger.
    2. Nucleus Accumbens – The part of the brain that controls motor functions and is part of the reward pathway.
    3. Hippocampus – The part of the brain responsible for creating new memories.
    4. Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA) – The part of the brain where dopamine is synthesized and sent to other parts of the brain as a part of the reward pathway.
    5. Dopamine – The type of neurotransmitter that is used in the reward pathway and its levels are often affected by addictive drugs.
    6. Serotonin – The type of neurotransmitter associated with relaxation, pleasure and satiation. Its levels decrease during the activation of the reward pathway.
  11. Prefrontal Cortex – The part of the brain responsible for attention, planning and decision making.
  12. Tolerance – Repeated use of a drug that causes a person to need more for the same effect, typically through the blocking of receptors that are affected by that drug.
  13. Withdrawal – A set of symptoms that occur when stopping drug use.
  14. Substance Induced Disorders – Problems caused by drug use including withdrawal, psychosis and substance induced mood disorder.
    1. Substance Induced Mood Disorder – Mania or depression due to the continued use of drugs.
    2. Psychosis – A state of disconnect from reality, characterized by hearing or seeing things and false beliefs.
  15. Substance Use Disorder – Drug use that impairs daily functioning. This is characterized by increased amounts of the drug used at once, an inability to lower use, increased cravings, and withdrawal symptoms when stopping.
  16. Detoxification – A part of of drug addiction treatment that involves abstinence from the drug and removing all toxins from the body.  
    1. Methadone – A drug that is given to help treat the symptoms of withdrawal from opioids by acting as an agonist on the same receptors as the opioids.
  17. Psychological Treatment for Drug Addiction – A way of reducing drug use through therapy.
    1. Inpatient Treatment – When the patient receives care in a hospital while staying there.
    2. Outpatient Treatment – When the patient receives care without residing in the hospital.
    3. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – A long-lasting, effective type of psychological treatment that aims to create more positive thought patterns and teaches the patient to identify and avoid problematic situations.
    4. Motivational Interviewing (Motivational Enhancement Therapy) – A type of psychological treatment that aims to resolve ambivalence in the patient so that they want to change and will meet their goals.
    5. Group Meetings for Drug Addiction – Often involve a 12-step process for recovering from addiction. Alcoholics Anonymous is one example.
      1. Acceptance (Addiction Recovery) – One of the goals of 12-step recovery programs when the person acknowledges that they have a problem.
      2. Surrender (Addiction Recovery) – One of the goals of 12-step recovery programs when the person accepts help offered by group or higher power.
      3. Active Involvement (Addiction Recovery) – One of the goals of 12-step recovery programs when the person begins to contribute to the group through sponsoring someone else and speaking in meetings.
  18. Relapse – Returning to drug use after a period of abstinence from it. Depends on the addictive potential of the drug, and encounters with triggering environmental cues.
  19. Attention – Selective concentration on a stimuli or a set of stimuli while ignoring other perceptible stimuli.
  20. Divided Attention – Concentration on multiple stimuli at one time.
  21. Selective Attention – Concentration on a single stimuli at one time.
    1. Exogenous Cues to Attention – Stimuli that naturally cause focus to be redirected towards it. Examples include loud or bright stimuli.
      1. Pop-Out Effect – The idea that one different looking visual cue will be noticed in a set of similar visual cues.
    2. Endogenous Cues to Attention – Stimuli that cause focus to be redirected towards it because of some internal knowledge or intention. Examples include hearing your name or following an arrow.
    3. Inattentional Blindness – The failure to perceive stimuli that are not being consciously attended to.
    4. Change Blindness – The failure to perceive a difference between a previous and current state.
    5. Shadowing Task (Dichotic Listening Task) – A method of studying selective attention that requires the participant to repeat the auditory stimuli that come in through one earphone and ignore the stimuli that come in from the other earphone.
      1. Attended Channel – The stream of information that the participant is told to focus on in a shadowing task.
      2. Unattended Channel – The stream of information that the participant is told not to focus on in a shadowing task.
    6. Broadbent’s Early Selection Theory – The idea that all stimuli come in through a sensory register and only some stimuli pass through a selective filter to go through perceptual processing and have meaning assigned.
    7. Cocktail Party Theory – The idea that a person can selectively attend to a particular stimuli while ignoring other stimuli. This ability allows a person to hold a conversation during a noisy event and redirect their attention to their name being said from across the room.
    8. Deutsch and Deutsch’s Late Selection Theory – The idea that all stimuli are sensed and assigned meaning before being selectively filtered for conscious awareness.
    9. Treisman’s Attenuation Theory – The idea that all stimuli are sensed and an attenuator weakens the unattended stimuli, but does not fully eliminate the unattended stimuli. Meaning is assigned after this initial filtering.
    10. Spotlight Model of Attention – The idea that the object in focus is seen with high acuity, and the objects or scene around it are perceived in a much cruder fashion.
      1. Priming – The effect that a previously presented stimulus has on the perception and response to another through subconscious influence.
    11. Resource Model of Attention – The idea that we have a limited amount of focus that can be applied to a given task or tasks. Task similarity, task difficulty and practice all influence the ability to divide attention and multitask.
    12. Controlled Processes – Tasks that require selective attention, cannot be performed with divided attention.
    13. Automatic Processes – Tasks that can be completed with divided attention. Related to practicing of the task.

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Lesson 6: Memory

  1. Information Processing Model – A conceptual theory of the events that occur in the brain between taking in a sensory stimuli to making a long term memory, helps explain encoding, retrieval and learning.
    1. Sensory Memory (Sensory Register) – A short term storing of information taken in from the environment.
      1. Iconic Memory – The short-term storage of information that is seen that lasts about half a second.
      2. Echoic Memory – The short-term storage of information that is heard that lasts about 3-4 seconds.
    2. Working Memory (Short Term Memory) – The storage of about 5-9 pieces of information that are being processed in a given moment.
      1. Visuo-Spatial Sketch Pad – The part of working memory that maintains visual information for manipulation. It is used for navigation and processing images.
      2. Phonological Loop – The part of working memory involved in the processing of words and numbers.
      3. Central Executive (Information Processing Model) – The part of working memory that processes all information that is taken in and sends it to either the visuo-spatial loop or the phonological loop.
      4. Episodic Buffer – The part of working memory that combines and integrates the information from the visuo-spatial sketch pad and the phonological loop.
    3. Long-term Memory – An unlimited storage of information that is retained for more than a few minutes.
      1. Explicit (Declarative) Memory – The long-term storage of information that can be consciously recalled, like knowing what you ate for dinner last night, or remembering the meaning of a word.
        1. Semantic Memory – A type of explicit memory that includes all knowledge not acquired through life events. It stores general facts, word meanings, etc.
        2. Episodic Memory – A type of explicit memory that includes information on personal events and things that were experienced. The ability to make this type of memory decreases over time.
      2. Implicit (Non-Declarative) Memory – The long-term storage of information that cannot be consciously recalled, but can affect behavior or thoughts.
        1. Procedural Memory – A type of implicit memory that includes information on completing tasks or performing behaviors.
        2. Priming – The effect that a previously presented stimulus has on the perception and response to another through subconscious guidance.
    4. Encoding – The process of creating long-term memories from working memory.
      1. Rote Rehearsal – A relatively ineffective encoding strategy that involves repeating the information over and over to memorize it.
      2. Chunking – An encoding strategy that involves grouping items into familiar categories in order to better remember them.
      3. Mnemonic Devices – Encoding strategies that involve linking the new information to information that has already been learned.
        1. Imagery Mnemonic – An encoding strategy that involves creating a visualization of the thing that you are trying to remember.
        2. Pegword Mnemonic – A way of remembering sequential information by linking the new information to a word that rhymes with or sounds like its number in the list. For example, the first word could be remembered in association with the word “bun” (rhymes with “one”).
        3. Method of Loci Mnemonic – A way of remembering sequential information by linking the new information to locations along a familiar route.
        4. Acronym Mnemonic – A way of remembering new information by using each letter of a word to stand for a piece of the new information.
      4. Self Referencing – An encoding strategy that involves linking the new information to yourself in some way.
      5. Preparing to Teach Method of Encoding – An encoding strategy that involves learning the new information in a way that could be explained to others. It requires organizing and understanding the information.
      6. Spacing – An encoding strategy that involves spreading out study time to better remember information.
  2. Retrieval – The process of recalling information that has been stored in long-term memory.
    1. Retrieval Cues – Stimuli that help with the accurate recall of information.
      1. Context Cues – Stimuli in the environment where information is learned that can cause more accurate retrieval of the information.
        1. Context Dependent Memory – A memory that is recalled better when the environment of recall matches the environment of encoding.
      2. State Dependent Memory – A memory that is recalled better when recalled while in a similar mood or set of internal conditions as were present during encoding.
    2. Free Recall – A memory task that involves presenting a list of items, waiting some amount of time, and seeing what items can be remembered.
      1. Primacy Effect – The fact that recall of the first few items in a list is often more accurate than for items in the middle.
      2. Recency Effect – The fact that recall of the last few items in a list is often more accurate than for items in the middle.
      3. Serial Position Curve – A graph that displays the probability of remembering items in a list based on their order in the list. It is higher for items at the beginning and end, and low for items in the middle.
        1. Serial Position Effect – The fact that the probability of  remembering items at the beginning or end of a list is higher than the probability of remembering items in the middle.
    3. Cued Recall – A memory task that involves presenting a list of items, waiting some amount of time, and seeing what items can be remembered when a hint such as the first few letters of a word or initials is given.
    4. Recognition Test – A memory task that involves presenting a list of items, waiting some amount of time, and seeing if the participant can identify a previously said word from another list.
    5. Reconstructive Memory – The idea that each time information is retrieved it is modified slightly due to mood, imagination or beliefs.
    6. Source Monitoring Error – A memory mistake that results from difficulty separating where information came from. It may entail believing you saw something you only heard about.
    7. Flashbulb Memory – A highly emotional, vivid memory of an event.
      1. Positively Valenced Memory – A memory that is tied to joyful emotions.
      2. Negatively Valenced Memory – A memory that is tied to strong emotions of fear or anger.
  3. Long-term Potentiation – The increase in synapse strength after repeated stimulation. It is the method by which learning is thought to occur.
    1. Synaptic Plasticity – The ability of neuronal connections to change in number or strength.
    2. Synapse – The gap between two neurons where neurotransmitters flow from one neuron to another.
      1. Presynaptic Neuron – The neuron that has its axon terminal immediately prior to the synapse.
        1. Neurotransmitters – The chemical signals released from a neuron when it is stimulated.
      2. Postsynaptic Neuron – The neuron that is found immediately after the synapse. It takes in and responds to neurotransmitters released in the synapse.
    3. Neuron Potential – The difference in electrical charge between the outside and inside of the neuron.
    4. Synapse Strength – The level of change to the postsynaptic potential that occurs after presynaptic stimulation and neurotransmitter release.
  4. Memory Decay – The ability to recall information decreases over time.
    1. Rate of Forgetting – The speed at which memory decays. It differs little between people but can be influenced by sleep, stress and psychological factors.
    2. Ebbinghaus’s Forgetting Curve – A graph that tracks memory over time. Usually has a drastic drop in accuracy over the first few days, and flattens out over time.
    3. Relearning – The second time memorizing a list that takes less time to learn with equal accuracy.
      1. Savings (Memory) – The small bit of information that is maintained even if the memory cannot be retrieved. It is what makes relearning occur faster.
    4. Retroactive Interference – The acquisition of new information that impairs the ability to recall previously learned information.
    5. Proactive Interference – Previously learned information that impairs the ability to learn and recall new information.
  5. Crystallized intelligence – The accumulation of knowledge through experience and the ability to use this knowledge. It increases with age.
  6. Emotional Reasoning – The ability to make sense of emotionally charged problems. It increases with age.
  7. Divided Attention – Concentration on multiple stimuli at one time. The ability to do this effectively decreases with age.
  8. Processing Speed – The rate at which mental tasks can be completed. This rate decreases with age.
  9. Dementia – A disorder characterized by damage to brain tissue that causes excessive forgetting that interferes with a person’s life.
    1. Alzheimer’s Disease – A condition characterized by the buildup of amyloid plaques and neuronal death. Symptoms include memory loss, inability to encode new memories, attention difficulties, and impaired language abilities.
    2. Korsakoff’s Syndrome – A type of dementia caused by a lack of thiamine (vitamin B1), which is often linked to alcoholism, eating disorders or malnutrition. Symptoms include severe memory loss and confabulation.
      1. Confabulation – Making up stories or distorting stories without the intention of manipulation or deception. It is a common symptom of Korsakoff’s Syndrome.
      2. Wernicke’s Encephalopathy – A reversible precursor to Korsakoff’s Syndrome with symptoms including poor balance, mild confusion and memory loss.
  10. Semantic Networks – A representation of the organization of knowledge in the brain based on relatedness of concepts. It can be modeled by showing each idea as a node and the distance and connections between the nodes represent how closely related the ideas are.
    1. Hierarchical Semantic Network – A representation of how knowledge is stored in the brain based on the idea that pieces of information are organized in the brain starting with broad categories and progressively get more specific.
    2. Modified Semantic Network – A representation of how knowledge is stored in the brain based on the idea that pieces of information are not stored in the brain in a hierarchical manner, but rather in a way that makes sense based on the person’s individual experiences and knowledge.
    3. Principle of Cognitive Economy – The idea that the brain stores information in effective, simple schemes.
    4. Spreading Activation – The process by which recalling one piece of information makes other related concepts more accessible to retrieval.

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Lesson 7: Cognitive Development

  1. Sensorimotor Stage (Piaget’s Stages of Development) – The time from age 0-2 years old when cognitive development is focused around physical interactions with the environment and moving around it. This stage is said to end when the child develops a sense of object permanence.
    1. Object Permanence – The ability to recognize that an object still exists despite it not being presently seen.
  2. Preoperational Stage (Piaget’s Stages of Development) – The time from age 2-7 years old when children are egocentric, have trouble taking the perspective of others, and learn to play pretend.
  3. Concrete Operational Stage (Piaget’s Stages of Development) – The time from age 7-11 years old when the concept of conservation is being learned, and the child becomes capable of simple reasoning.
    1. Conservation (Piaget’s Stages of Development) – The ability to recognize that quantity has not changed despite a change in container. This ability develops during the concrete operational stage.
  4. Formal Operational Stage (Piaget’s Stages of Development) – The time after age 12 when children are able to think abstractly and are capable of moral reasoning.
  5. Schemas – Mental models that allow us to make sense of the world according to Piaget.  
    1. Assimilation of Schemas – The confirmation of our current schemas by  new experiences.
    2. Accommodation of Schemas – The modification of our current schemas when we are presented with information that they do not account for. This may involve making new schemas or adjusting existing ones.
      1. Disequilibrium – A state of confusion that results when information cannot fit into our current schemas. This situation requires accomodation to restore equilibrium.
  6. Problem Solving – The act of determining an action that can bring a person closer to a goal.
    1. Well-Defined Problems – Challenges that have a specific starting point and a known goal.
    2. Ill-Defined Problems – Challenges that do not have a specific starting point or a known goal.
    3. Trial and Error Problem Solving – A method of overcoming a challenge that involves testing random guesses until the goal is reached.
    4. Algorithm Strategy – A method of overcoming a challenge that involves testing guesses in a logical, methodical order that ensures that the answer will eventually be found.
    5. Heuristics – Mental shortcuts that allow a person to solve problems more quickly.
      1. Means-End Analysis – A method of problem solving that involves identifying the end goal and the main challenge in getting to that end goal. The main challenge is addressed first and then the sub-problems that ensue.
      2. Working Backwards – A method of problem solving that involves beginning from the goal state and making connections back to the current state.
      3. Availability Heuristic – Drawing on personal experience or readily accessible examples that come to mind when trying to assess probability. Often leads to the wrong conclusion because decision making can be skewed by recently learned information.
      4. Representativeness Heuristic – Using prototypes/categories and ideas of what is typical within these prototypes to make decisions or assess probability.
        1. Conjunction Fallacy – The assumption that two things occurring together is more likely that the occurrence of just one. This leads to error in judging probability.
    6. Fixation (Problem Solving) – The state of being stuck on a particular solution to a problem that has been shown not to work.
    7. Insight – A moment when the solution to a problem becomes clear seemingly out of nowhere.
    8. Incubation – A way of dealing with fixation that involves diverting attention away from the problem and waiting for a moment of insight.
    9. Biases – Personal ways of thinking that make people less likely to change their opinion.
      1. Overconfidence Bias – The tendency to overestimate one’s own capability or correctness.
        1. Fluency – Ease of processing that can contribute to overconfidence in the material.
      2. Belief Perseverance – Ignoring or rationalizing information that disproves one’s beliefs in order to maintain those beliefs.
      3. Confirmation Bias – The tendency to seek out and favor information that supports existing beliefs.
      4. Framing – The manner in which the information is presented is often capable of skewing decision making based on the information.
  7. Intelligence – A mental quality that describes the ability to acquire and use new information, solve problems and learn from experience.
    1. IQ – Intelligence quotient, a measure of intelligence based on a test that divides the test-taker’s mental age by their physical age.
    2. Theory of General Intelligence – The idea that there is one universal type of mental ability that allows for success in all fields. Each individual  has different levels of this one general ability.
      1. G-Factor – The quantitative  measure used in the theory of general intelligence.
    3. Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory of Intelligence – The idea that there are three distinct categories of mental abilities that contribute to real word success: analytical, creative and practical abilities.
      1. Analytical Intelligence – The category of mental abilities that allows for effective problem solving and learning, and can be measured with an IQ test.
      2. Creative Intelligence – The category of mental abilities that helps a person deal with novel situations by drawing on past experience and generate new ideas.   
      3. Practical Intelligence – The category of mental abilities that allows a person to adapt to their environment and to deal with ill-defined problems.
    4. Emotional Intelligence – The ability to deal with emotionally-charged problems or situations. This includes being aware of and controlling one’s own personal emotions and how they are expressed, and handling interpersonal conflicts and emotional situations successfully
    5. Fluid Intelligence – The mental ability that allows a person to solve novel problems, reason through problems, and think abstractly and logically. This tends to decrease  with aging.
    6. Crystallized Intelligence – The accumulation of knowledge through experience and the ability to apply this knowledge. This tends to increase  with aging.
    7. Heritability – The proportion of a trait or quality due to genes. This is often studied through twin studies to control for genetic and/or environmental differences.
    8. Fixed Mindset – The belief that the amount of intelligence a person possesses cannot be changed over time or with practice and experience, and is biologically based.
    9. Growth Mindset – The belief that the amount of intelligence a person possesses can be changed through experience and learning, rather than being biologically set .
    10. Theory of Primary Mental Abilities – The idea that there are seven distinct categories of intelligence. They include verbal comprehension, reasoning, perceptual speed, numerical ability, spatial visualization, associative memory, and word fluency.
    11. Theory of Multiple Intelligences – The idea proposed by Howard Gardner that suggests that there are 7 independent mental abilities that encompass much more than what can be tested with an IQ test (there are other variants that differ on the number of mental abilities, and the most commonly used form recognizes 9). The abilities Gardner considered independent include visual-spatial, verbal-linguistic, bodily-kinesthetic, logical-mathematical, interpersonal, musical, intrapersonal, and naturalistic intelligence.
      1. Visual-Spatial Intelligence – The ability to be aware of the environment and create, manipulate and recall realistic mental images. One of the original seven mental abilities included in the theory of multiple intelligences.
      2. Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence – The ability to use words effectively, both in written and in vocal communication. One of the original seven mental abilities included in the theory of multiple intelligences.
      3. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence – The ability to control body movements skillfully and recognize and use physical mechanisms successfully. One of the original seven mental abilities included in the theory of multiple intelligences.
      4. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence – The ability to reason with numbers and use various forms of reasoning. One of the original seven mental abilities included in the theory of multiple intelligences.
      5. Interpersonal Intelligence – The ability to empathize with and form effective relationships with others. One of the original seven mental abilities included in the theory of multiple intelligences.
      6. Musical intelligence – The ability t0 sing, play instruments or keep rhythm. One of the original seven mental abilities included in the theory of multiple intelligences.
      7. Intrapersonal Intelligence – The ability to self-reflect and understand oneself. One of the original seven mental abilities included in the theory of multiple intelligences.
      8. Naturalistic Intelligence – The ability to understand and nurture one’s surroundings, especially regarding nature and the environment. One of the mental abilities added to the theory of multiple intelligences.
      9. Existential Intelligence – The ability to address and understand the most profound topics regarding human existence. One of the mental abilities added to the theory of multiple intelligences.
  8. Cognitive Dissonance – The experience of discomfort due to one’s conflicting and concurrently-held beliefs, or actions that conflict with one’s held beliefs.
    1. Contradictions – Conflicts between two or more ideas. Can lead to cognitive dissonance, or can be dealt with through modifying, trivializing, denying or adding new cognitions.
  9. Language – A systematic method of communication, which can be verbal or non-verbal and has some standard and formalized rules.
    1. Aphasia – Any condition that affects language abilities.
    2. Broca’s Area – A part of the frontal lobe (typically in the left hemisphere) that is responsible for the production of speech.
      1. Broca’s (Non-Fluent) Aphasia – A condition characterized by an inability to produce speech reliably, despite being able to comprehend speech. It is often caused by damage to the left frontal lobe.
    3. Wernicke’s Area – A posterior part of the temporal lobe (typically in the left hemisphere) that is responsible for the comprehension of speech.
      1. Wernicke’s (Fluent) Aphasia – A condition characterized by the inability to comprehend speech while still being able to produce nonsense speech. It is due to damage in the posterior portion of the left temporal lobe.
    4. Global Aphasia – An inability to comprehend or produce speech. This is typically caused by damage to both the Wernicke’s and Broca’s area.
    5. Arcuate Fasciculus – The group of nerve fibers that connect Broca’s area to Wernicke’s area.
      1. Conduction  Aphasia – A speech impairment condition characterized by the inability to repeat things, despite full comprehension and ability to produce speech. This is typically caused by damage to the Arcuate Fasciculus.
    6. Agraphia – A type of aphasia characterized by an inability to write.
    7. Anomia – A type of aphasia characterized by an inability to name objects.
    8. Synaptic Plasticity – This ability allows the brain to adapt to damage and move specific functions to other parts of the brain.
    9. Corpus Callosum – The group of nerve fibers that form the connection between the two hemispheres of the brain.
      1. Split Brain Patients – People who have had their corpus callosum surgically cut, typically to treat seizures. This results in impaired communication between the two hemispheres, including an inability to name objects presented to only the left visual field (assuming that language processing occurs in the left hemisphere).
      2. Contralateral Organization – The idea that sensations that are stimulated on one side of the body  are processed in the hemisphere opposite to that side of stimuli.
  10. Linguistic Universalism/Universalism Theory of Language – The idea that thought precedes language, and language only exists to describe these thoughts.
  11. Linguistic Determinism – The theory that language determines and limits thought.
    1. Strong Linguistic Determinism (Whorfian Hypothesis) – The theory that language completely controls and limits thought by giving it structure.
    2. Weak Linguistic Determinism – The theory that language influences, but does not completely determine, thought patterns through the way thought is structured.
  12. Nativist Theory of Language Development – The idea proposed by Noam Chomsky that suggests that the ability to learn language is innate and stored in the language acquisition device in the brain. This is based on the idea that all languages share universal grammar that children are naturally able to pick up on, and that these skills have a critical period, after which they deteriorate.
    1. Universal Grammar – The underlying principles or template that govern all languages and are innate to humans, making languages easy to learn during the critical period.
    2. Critical Period – The time in a child’s life when they are the most capable of learning a language. This usually lasts from birth to age 8 or 9.
    3. Language Acquisition Device – A hypothetical part of the brain that, according to Noam Chomsky, stores the basis of universal grammar and is responsible for learning language. He thought that this is only active from birth to about age 8, which is why the critical period exists.
  13. Learning Theory of Language Acquisition – The idea supported by Skinner and behaviorists that children acquire language through reinforcement. This theory fails to account for the fact that children can produce words or sentences they have never heard.
  14. Social Interactionist Approach to Language Development – The idea that humans are innately capable of learning language and choose to do so because of social factors and the desire to interact with others.

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Lesson 8: Emotions

  1. Limbic System – A network in the brain that is situated on top of the brain stem and is heavily involved in the processing of emotions, behavior, and long-term memory.
    1. Hippocampus – The part of the limbic system responsible for creating new long-term memories, and can be considered the center of the limbic system.
    2. Hypothalamus – The part of the limbic system located below the thalamus that regulates the autonomic nervous system by controlling the release of hormones.   
    3. Amygdala – The part of the limbic system that is largely responsible for the processing of emotions, especially anger and fear.
      1. Kluver-Bucy Syndrome – A rare disorder caused by bilateral damage to the amygdala that causes hyperorality, hypersexuality, and inappropriate behavior that can be attributed to disinhibition.
    4. Thalamus – The part of the limbic system that relays and filters sensory information that comes in from afferent neurons and sends it to the appropriate areas of the cortex.
  2. Left Hemisphere – The side of the brain that shows more activity in sociable, enthusiastic people, and is activated during positive emotions.
  3. Right Hemisphere – The side of the brain that shows more activity for negative emotions, and is more active in isolative people.
  4. Prefrontal Cortex –  The part of the brain responsible for attention, planning and decision making. It can atrophy with chronic stress.
    1. Phineas Gage – A famous patient that became rude and uninhibited after an iron rod destroyed the majority of his prefrontal cortex.
  5. Autonomic Nervous System – The division of the nervous system that controls unconscious body functions, such as digestion, heart rate, and breathing.
    1. Sympathetic Nervous System – The division of the autonomic nervous system responsible for the “fight or flight” response through the release of adrenaline. This system is known to  increase heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, glucose release, and to dilate the pupils and decreases salivation/digestion.
      1. Epinephrine (Adrenaline) – The neurotransmitter that is involved in the sympathetic nervous system and the “fight or flight” response.
    2. Parasympathetic Nervous System – The division of the autonomic nervous system responsible for “rest and digest” functions, mediated through the release of acetylcholine. This system decreases heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, and glucose release, as well as dilates the pupils, and increases salivation/digestion.
  6. Emotion – A temporary, generally involuntary state or experience that causes physiological, cognitive and behavioral changes.
    1. Physiological Reactions to Emotion – Variations in the production of neurotransmitters, autonomic nervous system activity and brain activity due to the experience of a certain feeling or state.
    2. Cognitive Reactions to Emotion – Mental assessments that help to make sense of and evaluate a feeling or state.
    3. Behavioral Reactions to Emotions – Actions that can be both consciously and unconsciously caused by a change in state or feeling (e.g. smiling).
    4. Universal Emotions – States or feelings that are experienced by all people and have cross-culturally consistent facial expressions. They include happiness, sadness, fear, disgust, anger and surprise.
    5. James-Lange Theory of Emotion – The idea that the physiological response to an event precedes the experience of emotion, and it is the interpretation of this physiological response that causes the emotion to be felt.
    6. Cannon-Bard Theory of Emotion – The idea that experiencing an event simultaneously and directly causes both the physiological response and emotion.
    7. Schachter-Singer Theory of Emotion (Two-Factor Theory of Emotion) – The idea that both the physiological response and the cognitive label of the physiological response precede the experience of an emotion. The physiological response is directly caused by the event.
    8. Lazarus Theory of Emotion – The idea that the appraisal of the event causes both the emotion and physiological response simultaneously.
  7. Stress – A physiological response to a threatening event or the perception of pressure.
  8. Stressor – An event capable of causing physiological arousal.
    1. Significant Life Change Stressor – An event that impacts a person in a drastic way, such as marriage, moving, job loss, having a child, or losing a loved one.
      1. Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale – A test that gives a numerical value to the amount of stress that could be caused by 43 different significant life changes. This is used as an attempt to estimate the risk of stress-related illnesses.
    2. Catastrophe Stressor – An event that is threatening to nearly all people in a community, such as a natural disaster or war.
    3. Daily Hassle Stressors – Events that happen on a day to day basis that are appraised as irritable or generally negative, such as traffic, loud neighbors, bickering with a spouse, etc.
    4. Ambient Stressors – Anything that negatively impacts the population as a whole, such as pollution, noise, or overcrowding.
  9. Stress Reaction – The way in which a person copes with a threatening event or circumstance.
  10. Appraisal – An evaluation of an event that determines the emotional and/or behavioral response.
    1. Primary Appraisal of Stress – When an event is first evaluated as threatening or nonthreatening.
    2. Secondary Appraisal of Stress – The evaluation of a person’s ability to cope with a situation that has been deemed threatening. This is when the person examines the harm that has already been experienced, the existing threat, and the probability that the treat can be overcome.
  11. Fight or Flight Response – The body’s reaction to a stressful event through sympathetic nervous system activation. This is typically mediated by acetylcholine.
  12. Adrenal Gland – The endocrine gland located on top of the kidney that releases epinephrine/adrenaline and norepinephrine.
    1. Adrenal Medulla – The interior portion of the adrenal gland that is activated by the sympathetic nervous system and releases catecholamines (epinephrine and norepinephrine).  
      1. Catecholamines – A class of hormones produced by the adrenal gland  that includes epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine.
    2. Adrenal Cortex – The exterior portion of the adrenal gland that releases hormones as a part of the stress response, including aldosterone and cortisol.
      1. Cortisol – A glucocorticoid hormone released by the adrenal cortex that helps control glucose metabolism and regulate the immune system as a part of the stress response.
        1. Glucocorticoids – A class of steroid hormones. Often released in response to stress (e.g.  cortisol).
  13. Tend and Befriend – A response to stress that revolves around creating and using social support.
    1. Oxytocin – A hormone that contributes to social bonding, pair bonding, and childbirth.
  14. General Adaptation Syndrome – A description of the body’s response to stress that uses  three stages: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion.
    1. Alarm Phase – The initial reaction to stress that prepares the body for a fight or flight response. Heart rate and cortisol levels are elevated.
    2. Resistance Phase – The period of time spent actively coping with a stressor. Stress hormones including cortisol remain in high levels, and breathing rate and blood pressure are elevated.  
    3. Exhaustion – After a prolonged period of stress, the body depletes itself coping resources and enters this period of fatigue and decreased stress tolerance.
  15. Hypertension – Perpetually high blood pressure. It is often caused by long-term stress-related elevations in blood pressure that increase muscle mass around blood vessels, which increase rigidity, and in turn, increase blood pressure further and indefinitely.
  16. Vascular Disease – A condition that affects blood vessels. It is caused by high blood pressure damaging the vessels, resulting in plaque buildup and the narrowing of the vessels.
    1. Coronary Artery Disease – A type of vascular disease that occurs when there is plaque buildup in the coronary artery. This results in the heart not getting the nutrients it requires, which can cause a heart attack.
      1. Heart Attack – A complete block of a coronary artery that cuts off a part of the heart’s supply of oxygen.
  17. Glucagon – A hormone that promotes the conversion of glycogen to glucose. It is released during the fight or flight response (among other times).
  18. Innate Immune System – The division of the immune system that is non-specific and defends against pathogens using barriers, inflammation, and phagocytes. This system can be upregulated with stress and potentially attack the body, or it can be repressed with chronic stress and fail to protect the body.
  19. Depression – A mood disorder characterized by a prolonged period of intense sadness and a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities. This can be an effect of chronic stress.
    1. Anhedonia – The inability to feel pleasure, and is a classic symptom of depression.
    2. Anterior Cingulate – A portion of the frontal cortex that is affected in depression and stops responding to serotonin, causing an increase in the perception of stressors.
    3. Learned Helplessness – A lost ability to identify and pursue coping mechanisms due to repeated inability to successfully cope with stressors.
  20. Anxiety – Excessive fear or worrying. This can be an effect of chronic stress due to over-activation of the amygdala.
  21. Addiction – Some type of behavior (often taking a drug, but not always) that the sufferer feels compelled to perform, often impeding daily functioning. This often results when drug use is used as a coping mechanism for stress.
  22. Coping With Stress – The act of putting conscious effort in to reducing personal problems or conflicts or minimizing their effects. Success in this is related to the amount of perceived control the person feels they have over the situation, optimism, and social support.
  23. Managing Stress – There are many methods for mitigating the effects of stress, including exercise,  meditation, faith, and cognitive flexibility.

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Lesson 9: Endocrine Gland

  1. Endocrine System – The set of glands throughout the body that produce and release hormones into the bloodstream to chemically control other organs and functions.
    1. Endocrine Gland – An organ that synthesizes and releases hormones into the bloodstream.
      1. Hypothalamus – The part of the brain located below the thalamus that receives neural signals and controls the release of hormones from the pituitary gland or releases hormones itself in response to the signals. This can be considered the control center of the the endocrine system.
        1. ADH (Antidiuretic Hormone) – A hormone that helps maintain fluid levels by acting on the kidneys to control urine production and water reabsorption. It is produced by the hypothalamus and released by the posterior pituitary gland.
        2. Oxytocin – A hormone that contributes to social bonding, pair bonding, and childbirth. It is produced in the hypothalamus and released by the posterior pituitary gland.
        3. GnHR (Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone) – A hormone synthesized and  released by the hypothalamus that acts on the anterior pituitary, triggering the release of follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone.
        4. Adrenocorticotropic Releasing Hormone – A hormone synthesized and released by the hypothalamus that stimulates the anterior pituitary gland to release Adrenocorticotropic Stimulating Hormone.
        5. Thyroid Releasing Hormone – A hormone synthesized and released by the hypothalamus that stimulates the anterior pituitary gland to release thyroid stimulating hormone.
        6. Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone – A hormone synthesized and released by the hypothalamus that stimulates the anterior pituitary gland to release growth hormone stimulating hormone.
        7. Prolactin Inhibitory Factor – A hormone that is constantly being synthesized and released by the hypothalamus, except for when a woman is breastfeeding. Prolactin release is normally inhibited by this hormone, and stimulated when this hormone stops being released.
      2. Pituitary Gland – A pea-sized structure in the brain that releases many types of hormones when stimulated by the hypothalamus. These hormones control many other endocrine glands.
        1. Anterior Pituitary Gland – The portion of the pituitary gland that receives signals from the hypothalamus through the hypophyseal portal system. This portion is also the only portion that synthesizes its own hormones for release.
          1. Hypophyseal portal system – A collection of blood vessels that connect the hypothalamus to the pituitary in order to transport paracrine hormones, allowing the hypothalamus to direct the pituitary gland’s actions.
          2. Tropic Hormones – Hormones that stimulate other endocrine glands. Examples include FSH, LH, ACTH, and TSH.
            1. Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) – A hormone synthesized and released by the anterior pituitary that helps control puberty and regulate reproductive processes.
            2. Luteinizing Hormone (LH) – A hormone synthesized and released by the anterior pituitary that helps regulate the menstrual cycle in women and triggers the production of testosterone.
            3. Adrenocorticotropic Releasing Hormone (ACTH) – A hormone synthesized and released by the anterior pituitary gland that stimulates the adrenal gland.
            4. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) – A hormone synthesized and released by the anterior pituitary gland that stimulates the thyroid gland.
          3. Direct Hormones – Hormones that stimulate a part of the body that is not an endocrine gland.
            1. Growth Hormone – A hormone synthesized and released by the anterior pituitary gland that stimulates growth in long bones and muscles via the release of other effectors, like IGF-I from the liver.
            2. Prolactin – A hormone produced and released by the anterior pituitary gland that stimulates milk production and lactation.
        2. Posterior Pituitary Gland – The portion of the pituitary gland that stores and releases hormones (namely ADH and Oxytocin) made in the hypothalamus.
      3. Thyroid – An endocrine gland that plays a large role in metabolism regulation.
        1. T3 and T4 (Triiodothyronine and Thyroxine) – Hormones released by the thyroid gland that stimulate metabolism.
      4. Parathyroid – An endocrine gland located posterior to the thyroid gland that releases hormones responsible for maintaining calcium levels.
        1. Parathyroid Hormone – A hormone synthesized and released by the parathyroid gland when blood calcium levels are low. This hormone stimulates the reabsorption of calcium from bone tissue.
      5. Adrenal Gland – The endocrine gland that is located on top of the kidney that releases epinephrine/adrenaline, norepinephrine, and steroid hormones.
        1. Adrenal Medulla – The interior portion of the adrenal gland that is activated by the sympathetic nervous system and releases catecholamines (epinephrine and norepinephrine).  
          1. Catecholamines – A class of signaling molecules  that includes epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine.
        2. Adrenal Cortex – The exterior portion of the adrenal gland that releases hormones as a part of the stress response, including aldosterone and cortisol.
          1. Cortisol – A glucocorticoid hormone synthesized and  released by the adrenal cortex that helps control glucose metabolism and regulate the immune system as a part of the stress response.
          2. Aldosterone – A steroid hormone synthesized and released by the adrenal cortex that helps control blood pressure by affecting the retention of sodium and water.
          3. Cortisone – A steroid hormone synthesized and released by the adrenal cortex that has an anti-inflammatory effect.
      6. Gonads – Glands that release sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen). These are the testes in males and the ovaries in females.
        1. Ovaries – The gland in the female reproductive system that produces eggs/ova and estrogen.
          1. Estrogen – The main female sex hormone, and is responsible for development of secondary sex characteristics (e.g.. breast development, female distribution of fat, wide hips, etc.) and for regulating the reproductive system.
        2. Testes – The gland in the male reproductive system that is responsible for producing testosterone and spermatozoa.
          1. Testosterone – The male sex hormone that is responsible for development of secondary sex characteristics (e.g. facial hair, increased muscle mass, etc.).
      7. Pancreas – An endocrine gland that controls blood glucose level through the production of insulin and glucagon.
        1. Insulin – A hormone produced by the pancreas that is released when blood glucose levels are high to promote glucose absorption and storage.
        2. Glucagon – A hormone produced by the pancreas that is released when blood glucose levels are low to promote glycogen breakdown to release glucose into the blood.
    2. Hormone – A chemical that is capable of regulating specific cell or tissue  functions.
      1. Autocrine Hormones – A class of chemical messenger that acts on the same cell that produced it, or on the cells immediately around it.
        1. Interleukin – A type of autocrine hormone that is both produced by, and acts on, T-cells.
      2. Paracrine Hormones – A class of chemical messenger that acts on a regional level, affecting the cells around where it was produced.
      3. Endocrine Hormones – A class of chemical messenger that is released into the bloodstream to reach its distant target.
  2. Metabolism of Hormones – The way in which the body controls hormone levels. Hormones are constantly being broken down by the liver and filtered by the kidney to keep levels in check.
  3. Negative Feedback LoopsA self-regulating process in which one of the outputs serves to reduce the stimuli that triggered the process or another upstream event. It helps maintain equilibrium or homeostasis.
  4. Protein and Polypeptide Hormones – Chains of amino acids that serve as the majority of chemical signals in the body. They are made in the rough endoplasmic reticulum and act on receptors on the cell membranes of their target cells.
    1. Polypeptide – A small chain of amino acids (less than 100).
    2. Protein – A large chain of amino acids (more than 100).
    3. Peptide Bonds – Carbon-nitrogen single bonds that connect amino acids.
  5. Steroid Hormones – Cholesterol derived chemical signals. They have a characteristic hydrophobic 4 ring structure and can easily pass through cell membranes to affect transcription and translation inside of the cell.
  6. Tyrosine Derivative Hormones – Chemical signals that are modified versions of the amino acid tyrosine. Thyroid hormones and catecholamines are examples.
  7. Secondary Messenger Signaling – A signaling mechanism by which hormones can create an effect in the receiving cell that involves the hormone binding to a receptor on the cell membrane. This binding causes the activation of molecules within the cell that create the desired effect, and has an amplification ability referred to as the “cascade effect” .
    1. G-Protein Coupled Receptor – A type of transmembrane receptor that activates an internal cascade response when its ligand is bound.
      1. G-Protein – A type of protein involved in cell signaling that is bound to a molecule of GDP. This receptor exchanges its GDP for GTP when activated, and is deactivated by hydrolyzing its GTP into GDP and a phosphate group.
      2. Adenylate Cyclase – A protein that catalyzes the formation of  cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) from adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
      3. Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate (cAMP) – A common secondary messenger produced by adenylate cyclase that activates a variety of proteins.
      4. Signal Amplification – The idea that one hormone molecule can cause the production of a lot of secondary messengers, leading to a large intracellular effect.
  8. Primary Messenger Signaling – A signaling mechanism by which a hormone causes its desired effect by diffusing through the membrane to bind to a receptor in the cytosol or nucleus.
  9. Terpenes – A class of molecules composed of repeating units of isoprene.
    1. Isoprene – A molecule with 5 carbons, four in a chain, and one that is branched off of carbon-2. Can come together to form larger terpene molecules.
    2. Monoterpene – A molecule composed of two isoprene units.
    3. Sequiterpene – A molecule composed of three isoprene units.
    4. Diterpene – A molecule composed of two monoterpenes, or four isoprene units.
    5. Sesterterpene – A molecule composed of five isoprene units.
    6. Triterpenes – A molecule composed of three monoterpenes, or six isoprene units.
    7. Tetraterpene – A molecule composed of four monoterpenes, or eight isoprene units.
  10. Biosynthesis – The production of larger, more complex organic molecules from simpler ones within cells.
    1. Pyrophosphate – A molecule (or portion of a molecule) composed of two phosphate groups bound together. This is a weak base and a good leaving group.
    2. Dimethyl Allyl Pyrophosphate – An allylic isoprene unit that is one of the starting materials for steroid and cholesterol synthesis.
    3. Isopentyl Pyrophosphate – An allylic isoprene unit that is one of the starting materials for steroid and cholesterol synthesis.
    4. Gerenyl Pyrophosphate – A ten carbon molecule made from the reaction between dimethyl allyl pyrophosphate and isopentyl pyrophosphate. This is an intermediate in the production of steroid hormones.
    5. Farnesyl Pyrophosphate – A 15 carbon molecule that is an intermediate in steroid synthesis.
    6. Squalene – A triterpene that is made from the reaction between two farnesyl pyrophosphate molecules. This is an intermediate in steroid synthesis.
    7. Cholesterol – A molecule made from the cyclization of squalene in the liver. This is a component of cell membranes and is a precursor to steroid hormones.
    8. Steroid Backbone – A four ring carbon chain made of three cyclohexane groups and one cyclopentane group.
  11. Sex Hormones – Steroid based chemical signals that affect sexual characteristics or development.
    1. Estradiol (E2) and Estrone (E1) – Estrogen hormones that are produced by the ovaries and affect the development of female secondary sex characteristics.
    2. Progesterone – A sex hormone closely related to pregnancy and fetal development.
    3. Androgens – A class of steroid sex hormones that includes testosterone and androsterone.
      1. Androsterone – An androgen hormone that affects the development of secondary sex characteristics in males, along with testosterone.

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Lesson 10: Development

  1. Motor Development – The way in which individuals acquire the ability to move around or perform tasks. It occurs in characteristic stages.
    1. Stages of Motor Development – The distinct steps in the acquisition of movement skills in infants. The major steps include the infant lifting their head, then rolling over, sitting up, standing up with support, standing on their own, crawling, walking with support, and lastly walking on their own.
    2. Gross Motor Skills – Movements that require the use of large muscles and muscle groups. These tasks include sitting up or standing, and typically develop faster than fine motor skills.
    3. Fine Motor Skills – Movements that require the use of smaller muscles, like those in the fingers. These tasks include holding a pencil and drawing and typically develop after gross motor skills.
  2. Reflex – An innate, involuntary reaction to a stimulus.
    1. Permanent Reflexes – Involuntary reactions to stimuli that can be demonstrated by healthy newborns and do not go away with age.
      1. Breathing Reflex – The innate control of inhalation and exhalation.
      2. Eyeblink Reflex – The involuntary response to a bright light that causes one to close their eyes.
      3. Pupillary Reflex – The involuntary response to bright light that causes the constriction of the pupil.
      4. Swallowing Reflex – The innate knowledge of how to control the muscles of the tongue and throat in order to move food through the mouth to the esophagus.
    2. Neonatal Reflexes (Primitive Reflexes) –  Involuntary reactions to stimuli that can be demonstrated by healthy newborns, but will be grown out of.
      1. Rooting Reflex – The involuntary response to a touch on the cheek that causes the infant to move their head towards the stimuli. It helps the infant locate the mother’s breast or bottle, and it only lasts for the first few weeks of life.
      2. Babinski Reflex – The involuntary response to a touch on the bottom of the foot that causes an infant to curl their toes. It happens for unknown reasons and only lasts through the first year of life.
      3. Moro Reflex – The involuntary response to a quick movement of the head or a loud noise that causes the infant to spread the arms, then retract them, usually while crying and arching the back. It lasts through the first 4-6 months of life.
      4. Tonic Neck Reflex – The involuntary response to turning the neck (involuntarily or voluntarily) that causes the infant to stretch the arm that it is turned towards and bend the other. It lasts through the first 6 months of life.
      5. Galant Reflex – The involuntary response to a touch on the back that causes the infant to move towards the side that was stroked. It lasts through the first 6 months of life.
      6. Palmar Grasp Reflex – The involuntary response to an object touching the palm that causes the infant to close their fist and grasp the object. It lasts through the first 6 months of life.
      7. Sucking Reflex – The involuntary response to an object placed in the mouth that causes the infant to press their lips around it and swallow repeatedly. It lasts through the first 3-4 months of life.
      8. Stepping Reflex – The involuntary response to being held upright with feet touching the ground that causes an infant to move their legs as if they were trying to walk. It lasts through the first 2 months of life.
      9. Swimming Reflex – The involuntary response to being put in water that causes the infant to hold their breath and move the arms and legs around. It lasts through the first 6 months of life.
  3. Adolescence – The time between puberty and adulthood. It is often seen as a transition period and the exact age differs between culture.
    1. Puberty – The process of sexual maturation that typically takes about 2 years to complete in humans.
      1. Milestones of Puberty – The markings of progress in sexual maturation, usually the first ejaculation in males and the first menstrual cycle in females.
      2. Primary Sex Characteristics – The development of reproductive organs that make reproduction possible.
      3. Secondary Sex Characteristics – The development of qualities during puberty that are important, but not necessary for reproduction. Examples include the development of facial hair and a low voice in males and breasts and wide hips in females.
      4. Brain Development in Puberty – Changes in the brain include Increases in the myelination, synaptic pruning/a decrease in brain volume, and changes to specific brain regions that occur during adolescence. Specific changes include the maturation of the prefrontal cortex, limbic system (specifically the amygdala and hypothalamus), and the corpus callosum.
        1. Prefrontal Cortex –  The part of the brain responsible for attention, planning, decision making and inhibiting certain behaviors
        2. Limbic System – A network in the brain that is situated on top of the brain stem and is heavily involved in the processing of emotions, behavior, and long-term memory.
          1. Amygdala – The part of the limbic system that is largely responsible for the processing of emotions, especially anger and fear. It matures during puberty.
          2. Hypothalamus – The part of the limbic system located below the thalamus that regulates the autonomic nervous system by controlling the release of hormones.  It matures during puberty.
        3. Corpus Callosum – The group of nerve fibers that form the connection between the two hemispheres of the brain. The connections it makes between language areas stop developing after puberty.
  4. Temperament – A person’s or infant’s nature, or characteristic emotional reactivity, that seem to be relatively stable throughout life. Easy, difficult and withdrawn are common examples.
  5. Behavior Genetics – A field that examines what characteristics of personality and behavior are due to environment or heredity.
    1. Heredity – The passing of traits through genetics from generation to generation. This is the percentage of variability between organisms that is due to genetics.
      1. Traits – Distinguishing attributes that vary between individuals.
      2. Gene – A portion of DNA that codes for a single protein. They are inherited from parents and can be considered the unit of heredity.
      3. DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) –  The molecule that codes for and contains genetic information.  
        1. Chromosome – A long strand of coiled DNA. Humans typically have 46 (23 from each parent).
        2. Genome – The entire set of DNA present in each cell. Half is contributed by each parent.
    2. Twin Studies – Research design that gives insight in the nature vs. nurture debate by allowing the comparison of people that either have the same genome and the same environment, or the different genomes and the same environment.
      1. Monozygotic Twins – Organisms that develop from the same fertilized egg, and therefore have the same genome. These twins are typically exposed to the same environment.
      2. Dizygotic Twins – Organisms that develop from two different fertilized eggs, and therefore share only half of their genes, but are typically exposed to the same environment.  
    3. Adoption Studies – Research that compares trait or disease rates of children and their biological families, as well as the families that raised them, in order to provide insight in the effects of genetics and the environment.
  6. Molecular Genetics – A field that examines genes in their structure and function.
    1. Central Dogma – A section of DNA (gene) is transcribed into a strand of RNA, which is then translated into a protein.
    2. Proteins – Molecules composed of amino acids that are coded for in genes. The differences in expressions of these molecules determines traits and differences between people.
      1. Pheromones – Molecules that cause a change in the expression of proteins when they are detected by the olfactory sense.
    3. Gene Regulation – The way in which environmental and intrinsic factors control how portions of DNA are transcribed and expressed.
    4. Human Genome – The entire set of DNA a human has, including non-coding DNA and 30,000 genes, that are contained in 46 chromosomes that have been mapped out to be studied.
    5. Epigenetics – A field of study that examines the modifications to DNA that do not change the DNA sequence, but still affect the transcription and expression of genes.
      1. Methylation – The addition of a -CH3 group to a gene in order to decrease its expression.
  7. Gene-Environment interaction – The way that both nature and nurture play a role in expression of genes.
  8. Phenylketonuria (PKU) – A disease that exemplifies the interaction between genetics and the environment in controlling outcomes. It is caused by a genetic mutation in the gene for phenylalanine hydroxylase (a liver enzyme), resulting in a damaging buildup of phenylalanine in the brain. However, this only becomes a problem if the diet contains enough phenylalanine.
  9. Behavior – A response to the environment that can be both internal and external.
    1. Adaptation – A change that results in the organism being better suited for its environment (implying better reproductive results).
    2. Ethology – A field of study that examines observable animal (including human) behavior.
    3. Innate Behavior – Responses to the environment that are genetically coded, intrinsic, consistent/not easily changed, and do not develop over time.
      1. Reflex – An innate, involuntary, nearly instantaneous reaction to a stimulus that does not require thought.
      2. Orientation Behaviors – An innate response to the environment that results in the organism moving through the environment towards a more favorable place.
        1. Kinesis – An innate reaction to a stimulus that causes a change in speed or rate.
          1. Orthokinesis – An innate, involuntary change in the speed of some movement in reaction to a stimulus.
          2. Klinokinesis – An innate, involuntary change in rate or frequency of a reaction to a stimulus.
        2. Taxis – In innate reaction that causes movement towards or away from a stimulus.
      3. Fixed Action Pattern –  An innate, involuntary reaction to a stimulus that does not require thought and results in a coordinated movements.
    4. Learned Behavior – Persistent changes in reactions to stimuli as a result of experience. They are not innate, are determined by environment, and can develop over time or through practice.
    5. Complex Behavior – An innate response to stimuli that can develop over time or with practice, depending on the environment. An example of this is an animal learning to fly.
  10. Positive Feedback – A process whose outcome serves to increase the original stimulus. It requires an outside influence to stop.
  11. Negative Feedback – A process that works to decrease the stimulus that caused it. These are self-regulating and turn themselves off.
    1. Feedback Loops of the Menstrual Cycle – The release of estrogen by the ovaries triggers the release of GnRH and LH and stimulates the production of more estrogen. This is stopped when LH levels are high enough to cause progesterone to be released, lowering the levels of GnRH and LH.  
    2. Hypothalamus – The part of the brain located below the thalamus that receives neural signals and controls the release of many hormones. It releases GnRH in response to estrogen during the menstrual cycle.
      1. GnRH (Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone) – A hormone released by the hypothalamus that acts on the anterior pituitary, triggering the release of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).
    3. Pituitary –  A pea-sized structure in the brain that releases many types of hormones when stimulated by the hypothalamus.
      1. Anterior Pituitary The portion of the pituitary gland that receives signals from the hypothalamus through the hypophyseal portal system. It releases LH during the menstrual cycle when triggered by GnRH.
      2. Luteinizing Hormone (LH)  – The hormone released during the menstrual cycle when the anterior pituitary is stimulated by GnRH. It is part of a positive feedback loop, because it triggers the production of more estrogen, causing more GnRH production and release.
      3. Progesterone – A sex hormone closely related to pregnancy and fetal development. It contributes to the negative feedback loop of the menstrual cycle.
    4. Ovaries – The gland in the female reproductive system that produces eggs/ova and estrogen.
      1. Estrogen – The main female sex hormone that is produced in the ovaries. This is released in low levels and begins a positive feedback loop with LH and GnHR.

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Lesson 11: Mental Disorders Part I

    1. Mental Disorder – A condition that affects thought patterns, moods, or behaviors and leads to distress or impaired functioning.
    2. Biomedical Approach to Mental Disorders – A way of studying and treating conditions of the mind that focuses on physical abnormalities and causes.
    3. Biopsychosocial Approach to Mental Disorders – A way of studying and treating conditions of the mind that examines physical, psychological and intrapersonal/cultural factors.
    4. IDC-10 (International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision)  – A system of classifying and describing mental disorders produced by the World Health Organization.
    5. DSM 5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition) – A method of classifying and describing mental disorders produced by the American Psychiatric Association. This version started differentiating between disorders based on neurobiological causes (if known), compared to previous versions focusing solely on clinical symptoms.
      1. Top Level Category – The largest classifications in the DSM 5, based on shared clinical symptoms and neurobiological causes, with many sub-levels holding multiple mental disorders.
      2. Neurodevelopmental Disorders – A top level category in the DSM 5 for classifying mental disorders that result from an abnormally developed nervous system. These are often present from birth. Some examples of disorders in this category include intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders, and attention deficit disorders.
      3. Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders –  A top level category in the DSM 5 for classifying mental disorders that is characterized by hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech, disorganized or catatonic behavior, or negative symptoms.
        1. Schizophrenia – A mental disorder caused by a variety of genetic and environmental factors as well as high levels of dopamine. It is characterized by delusions, hallucinations, isolation, and flat affect.
          1. Delusion – A fixed belief that cannot be changed through logic and cannot be reasonably explained.
          2. Hallucinations – Imagined sensations, or perceptions that seem real but occur without the appropriate or expected stimuli for the perception.
          3. Cognitive Symptoms 0f Schizophrenia – Effects of psychosis that result in abnormal thought patterns. Examples include disorganized thinking, inability to plan, or memory dysfunction.
          4. Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia – Effects of psychosis that result in a decrease from normal function or mood. Examples include anhedonia, or lack of motivation.
          5. Positive Symptoms of Schizophrenia – Effects of psychosis that result in increased sensation. Hallucinations and delusions are examples.
          6. Prodrome – The period of time before the onset of schizophrenia when some symptoms such as delusions, paranoia, or abnormal behaviors are present.
          7. Biological Basis of Schizophrenia – Abnormalities in the brains of people with schizophrenia including larger ventricles, reduced amount of brain tissue, thinner cortex( especially in the frontal and temporal lobes), abnormal layering in the cortex, and elevated dopamine levels.
          8. Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA) -The part of the brain where dopamine is synthesized and sent to other parts of the brain as a part of the reward pathway (mesocorticolimbic pathway). Abnormalities in this area of the brain have been linked to schizophrenia and depression.
      4. Bipolar and Related Disorders – A top level category in the DSM 5 for classifying mental disorders that are characterized by abnormal and fluctuating moods.
        1. Bipolar Disorder – A mental illness that is characterized by abnormal, extreme moods and fluctuations of mood.
          1. Bipolar 1 Disorder – A mental illness that is characterized by periods of full manic states and depressive states.
          2. Bipolar 2 Disorder – A mental illness that is characterized drastic fluctuations of mood, but without entering a full manic state.
        2. Mania – A period of abnormally elevated mood and affect, often marked by delusions, poor judgement, and difficulty maintaining attention.
        3. Hypomania – A period of abnormally elevated mood and affect that does not significantly impair function. This is not severe or threatening to the person’s safety.
      5. Depressive Disorders – A top level category in the DSM 5 for classifying mental disorders that negatively affect mood and cause a decreased ability to feel pleasure.
        1. Mood – A relatively long-lasting emotional state, usually characterized by one dominant emotion.
        2. Affect – The way in which a mood or emotional state is displayed to others.
        3. Depression – A pervasive disorder characterized by long-term low mood, lack of energy, decreased focus, thoughts of helplessness and low self-esteem. Sleep and weight are commonly affected in this disorder.
          1. Biological Factors of Depression – The set of innate factors that can contribute to the onset of depression, including a genetic predisposition, decreased neuronal activity in the reward system and prefrontal cortex, lowered levels of serotonin and norepinephrine, and increased levels of stress hormones.
            1. 5HTTLP – A gene that is associated with depression, but only appears to be correlated with depression if the people with this gene are in stressful environments.
            2. Limbic System – A network in the brain that is situated on top of the brain stem. This system is heavily involved in the processing of emotions, behavior, and long-term memory. Abnormally high levels of activity in this area of the brain have been linked to depression.
            3. Raphe Nuclei – A grouping of cell bodies in the brainstem that produce serotonin and send projections to many parts of the cerebrum. Abnormalities of this area of the brainstem have been linked to depression.
            4. Locus Coeruleus – A grouping of cell bodies in the brainstem that produce norepinephrine and send projections to many parts of the cerebrum. Abnormalities of this area of the brainstem have been linked to depression.
            5. Neuroplasticity – The ability of neuronal connections to change in number or strength over time, based on their usage. Abnormalities in this function might be linked to depression.
          2. Psychological Factors of Depression – Ways of thinking that may contribute to depression. These include learned helplessness, ruminating  on negative thoughts, and pessimistic attributional style.
            1. Learned Helplessness – A lost ability to identify stressors and pursue coping mechanisms, due to repeated inability to cope with stressors adequately.
            2. Pessimistic Attributional Style – A way of explaining events that occur in the most negative way possible. This method looks at negative events as internally caused, stable, and global, and looks at positive events in the opposite manner.  
          3. Sociocultural Factors of Depression – Ways in which the environment plays a role in depression. These explain why someone is more likely to be depressed if those around them are depressed, if they are of low socio-economic status, or if they are socially isolated.
            1. Co-Rumination – The repeated discussion of, or fixation on, negative events between peers. This behavior may explain the increased likelihood of depression in people around depressed people.
      6. Anxiety Disorders – A top level category in the DSM 5 for classifying mental disorders that are characterized by excessive worrying or fear. Examples of disorders in this category are phobias and generalized anxiety disorder.
        1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder – A mental disorder that causes a constant state of excessive worrying or tenseness that lasts for six months or more. This disorder affects women more often than men, and there is often no clear source of this worrying.
        2. Panic Disorder – An anxiety disorder characterized by sudden, relatively short periods of intense fear that are associated with shortness of breath and increased blood pressure.
        3. Phobias – A type of anxiety disorder characterized by irrational, excessive fear of a specific object or situation.
      7. Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders – A top level category in the DSM 5 for classifying mental disorders that are characterized by repeated thoughts or behaviors to the point of distress.
        1. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – A mental disorder that causes intrusive, repetitive thoughts and behaviors that interfere with daily life.  
        2. Obsessions – Repeated, unwanted thoughts.
        3. Compulsions – Actions that a person feels they must complete over and over, often related to a obsession.
      8. Trauma and Stressor Related Disorders – A top level category in the DSM 5 for classifying mental disorders that result from mentally distressing experiences. An example is post-traumatic stress disorder.
        1. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – A mental disorder that is caused by a distressing experience that has a lingering memory, affecting daily life. Recurring nightmares, insomnia, or haunting memories are common with this disorder.  
      9. Dissociative Disorders – A top level category in the DSM 5 for classifying mental disorders that are characterized by loss of memory or knowledge of identity.
      10. Somatic Symptom Disorders – A top level category in the DSM 5 for classifying mental disorders characterized by a person experiencing one or more physical ailments that may not have a clear biological cause..
      11. Feeding and Eating Disorders – A top level category in the DSM 5 for classifying mental disorders that are characterized by a maladaptive relationship with food. Examples include anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.
      12. Elimination Disorders – A top level category in the DSM 5 for classifying mental disorders that are characterized by an inability to control urination or the elimination of feces.
      13. Sleep-Wake Disorders –  A top level category in the DSM 5  for classifying mental disorders that are characterized by altered circadian rhythm and sleep patterns. Examples of disorders in this category are insomnia, apneas, and sleep walking.
      14. Sexual Dysfunctions – A top level category in the DSM 5 for classifying mental disorders that are characterized by abnormalities or inabilities in performing sexual acts.
      15. Gender Dysphoria – A top level category in the DSM 5 for classifying mental disorders that are characterized by distress caused by the feeling that the wrong gender was assigned at birth.
      16. Disruptive, Impulse Control and Conduct Disorders –  A top level category in the DSM 5 for classifying mental disorders that are characterized by excessive anger or aggression.
      17. Substance Use and Addictive Disorders – A top level category in the DSM 5 for classifying mental disorders that are the result of drug use.
      18. Neurocognitive Disorders – A top level category in the DSM 5 for classifying mental disorders that are characterized by the degeneration of the brain. Examples of disorders in this category are dementia, or delirium.
      19. Personality Disorders – A top level category in the DSM 5 for classifying mental disorders that are characterized by rigid, maladaptive patterns of behavior. There are three clusters of disorders in this group.
      20. Paraphilic Disorders – A top level category in the DSM 5 for classifying mental disorders that are characterized by distress due to sexual arousal in abnormal contexts.
      21. Other Disorders – A top level category in the DSM 5 for classifying mental disorders that do not fit in another category.

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Lesson 12: Mental Disorders Part II

  1. Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder) – A rare mental disorder characterized by two or more distinctive and separate personalities existing in one person. Each personality has its own unique mannerisms, emotional reactivity, and is in denial of the other personality (or personalities) existing.  
  2. Somatic Symptom Disorder – A mental disorder characterized by the sensation of physical pain or discomfort that is not related to a medical condition. It causes excessive worrying or anxiety surrounding the symptoms.
  3. Conversion Disorder – A mental disorder characterized by neurological symptoms such as issues with speech, swallowing, seizures or paralysis that cannot be explained on a neurobiological basis.
  4. Factitious Disorder (formerly known as Munchausen Syndrome) – A mental disorder characterized by the desire to be ill and attended to. People with this disorder will site symptoms they do not have or falsify tests.
    1. Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another (formerly known as Munchausen by Proxy)- A mental disorder characterized by false claims that another person has symptoms of an illness. A person with this disorder might cause injury or illness in another, or falsify tests in an effort to cause deception.
  5. Personality Disorders – Ten different mental disorders characterized by rigid patterns of behavior that drastically differ from the accepted behavior patterns in society.
    1. Cluster A Personality Disorders – A category of mental disorders characterized by rigid patterns of behavior that drastically differ from the accepted behavior patterns in society, specifically in an odd or eccentric way.
      1. Paranoid Personality Disorder – A mental disorder characterized by a rigid behavioral pattern of pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others.
      2. Schizoid Personality Disorder–  A mental disorder characterized by a rigid behavioral pattern of detachment in relationships and a limited emotional capability.
      3. Schizotypal Personality Disorder – A mental disorder characterized by a rigid behavioral pattern of odd or paranoid beliefs and social isolation due to social anxiety.
    2. Cluster B Personality Disorders – A category of mental disorders characterized by rigid patterns of behavior that drastically differ from the accepted behavior patterns in society, specifically in a dramatic or emotional way.
      1. Antisocial Personality Disorder – A mental disorder characterized by a lack of remorse and empathy for others that causes a rigid behavior pattern.
      2. Borderline Personality Disorder – A mental disorder characterized by a rigid behavioral pattern of overwhelmingly unstable emotions, relationships and self-image.
      3. Histrionic Personality Disorder – A mental disorder characterized by a rigid behavioral pattern of a pervasive need for attention and emotional overreaction.
      4. Narcissistic Personality Disorder – A mental disorder characterized by a rigid behavioral pattern of need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others.
    3. Cluster C Personality Disorders – A category of mental disorders characterized by rigid patterns of behavior that drastically differ from the accepted behavior patterns in society, specifically in a fearful or anxious way.
      1. Avoidant Personality Disorder – A mental disorder characterized by a rigid behavioral pattern of pervasive social inhibition due to feelings of inadequacy.
      2. Dependent Personality Disorder – A mental disorder characterized by  a rigid behavioral pattern of neediness, submissiveness, and clinging behavior.
      3. Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder – A mental disorder characterized by a rigid behavioral pattern of pervasive need for control and perfection.
  6. Parkinson’s Disease –  A neurodegenerative disease that causes motor dysfunction, due to the dying off of dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra. Slowed movement, tremor, and a shuffling gait are common symptoms.
    1. Basal Ganglia – A group of related nuclei found deep within the cerebral cortex that play a large role in the coordination of movement.
      1. Substantia Nigra – A dark colored nuclei of dopaminergic neurons in the basal ganglia that plays a role in motor coordination. It is the degeneration of this area of the brain that causes Parkinson’s Disease.  
      2. Striatum – A nuclei within the basal ganglia that receives signals from the substantia nigra and is known for facilitating voluntary movements.
      3. Lewy Bodies – Dark colored, abnormal structures within the substantia nigra of people with Parkinson’s Disease. They contain high levels of ɑ-synuclein and are markers of the dying dopaminergic neurons.
        1. α-Synuclein – A protein that is typically cleared from neurons, but will aggregate and cause the death of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson’s Disease. This protein gives Lewy bodies their dark color.

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Behavioral Science Module II

Lesson 1: Needs, Motivation and Attitude

  1. Motivation – The process that determines actions and explains why actions aimed at goals are initiated and maintained.
    1. Evolutionary View of Motivation – The idea that instincts and the innate will to survive are what drive people’s actions.
      1. Instinct – An innate pattern of behavior that helps in survival.
    2. Drive Reduction Theory of Motivation – The idea that actions are determined by needs and the desire to lessen these needs and maintain homeostasis.
      1. Drives – The desire to to return to and maintain equilibrium after homeostasis is disturbed.
    3. Optimal Arousal Theory of Motivation – The idea that actions are completed in order to create a state of arousal and alertness at which an individual can perform their best. It is possible to be not aroused enough or too aroused.
    4. Cognitive Approach to Motivation – The idea that actions are determined by mental processes, rational thinking, and decision making.
  2. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – The theory that motivation is determined by being compelled to do more basic survival functions first, and as these are achieved, more complex tasks can be the goal. 
    1. Physiological Needs – The first, most basic level of need in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It is the need for the things that allow us to survive, such as food, water, sleep, and breathing.
    2. Safety Needs (also known as “safety and security needs”) – The second set basic need in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, including the needs for health, property, and financial and personal security.
    3. Social Needs (also known as “love and belonging needs”) – The third set of needs in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that describes the need for belonging, love, and relatedness.
    4. Respect Needs (also known as “self-esteem needs”) – The fourth set of needs in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that describes the need to feel accomplished, have the respect of others, and have self-esteem and confidence in oneself.
    5. Self-Actualization – The last need of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that can only be fulfilled once all of the other needs are met, and is rarely achieved. It is when a person reaches their full potential and accomplishes everything they are capable of.
  3. Incentive Theory – The idea that rewards selectively give a positive meaning to certain behaviors, making an individual more likely to perform those behaviors again. 
    1. Reward – A reinforcer that, if obtained after a behavior, makes the behavior more likely to occur again.
    2. Positive Reinforcement – A favorable stimulus added after a behavior that makes the behavior more likely to occur again. This is what the incentive theory is focused around.
    3. Negative Reinforcement – The removal of an unpleasant stimulus after a  behavior that makes the behavior more likely to occur again.
  4. Biological Factors of Motivation for Food – The fluctuations in hormones that drive eating behavior. The hypothalamus and the secretion of leptin plays a large role in this.
    1. Lateral Hypothalamus – The portion of the brain’s center for hormone control that is involved in the positive feedback loop that signals hunger.
    2. Ventromedial Hypothalamus – The portion of the brain’s center for hormone control that is involved in the positive feedback loop that signals fullness or satiation.
      1. Leptin – A hormone that suppresses hunger.
      2. Insulin – A hormone produced by the pancreas that is released when blood glucose levels are high to promote glucose absorption and storage. The brain can detect the levels of this hormone to sense the amount of sugar in the blood.
      3. Metabolism – The sum of the catabolic and anabolic processes in the body to control nutrient (especially glucose) levels circulating. Catabolism is slowed during times of starvation.
  5. Socio-Cultural Factors of Motivation for Food – Influences on behavior that come from the environment and affect eating habits. For example, the reason people choose to eat certain foods, instead of others, can be determined by the occasion, the time, the availability of certain food.
  6. Biological Factors that Affect Sexual Behaviors – Physiological changes and functions that cause a sex drive. It begins with a period of excitement (elevated blood pressure, heart rate), then a plateau of elevated excitement, a peak of excitement (orgasm) and finally a decline in excitement.
    1. Testosterone – The sex hormone that is responsible for development male of secondary sex characteristics. Its levels in both males and females contribute to  sex drive.
  7. Socio-Cultural Factors that Affect Sexual Behaviors – The way in which environmental influences determine sex drive. Age, cultural acceptance, emotions and psychological influences are all examples of these environmental influences.
  8. Biological Factors that Affect Drug Use – Physiological difference that can make a person more likely to abuse substances. Genetic predisposition, withdrawal symptoms, and biochemical imbalances in the brain are all examples of these potential differences.
    1. Limbic System –  A network in the brain that is situated on top of the brain stem and is heavily involved in the processing of emotions, behavior, and long-term memory. Drugs that affect this region can cause positive emotions and euphoria that contribute to addiction.
      1. Dopamine – The neurotransmitter that is used in the reward pathway. This neurotransmitter’s levels are often affected by addictive drugs, and its release causes a state of euphoria associated with certain drugs.
  9. Socio-Cultural Factors that Affect Drug Use – The way in which the environment plays a role in the start or continued use of drugs. Some examples of contributors include a person’s curiosity, desire to rebel, peer pressure, stress,  self-esteem, the society’s views on users of the specific drug, or low socio-economic status.
  10. Attitude – A learned tendency in evaluating certain people, places, ideas or events based on a set of emotions, behaviors and beliefs. 
    1. Affective (Emotional) Component of Attitudes – The feelings toward a specific person, idea or place or event that affect the evaluation of that item.
    2. Behavioral Component of Attitudes – The way a person acts around a specific person, place, or situation that affects the evaluation of that item.
    3. Cognitive Component of Behavior – The beliefs or knowledge a person holds surrounding a particular person, place or event that affects the evaluation of that item.
    4. Theory of Planned Behavior – The idea that actions are the result of the evaluation of the implications of an action and the intentions behind the actions. Intentions are determined by attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control.
      1. Subjective Norms –  The perception of judgements by peers or family members (similar to social pressure) that affect the intentions of behaviors.
      2. Perceived Behavioral Control – The amount a person believes they are capable of determining the outcome of a behavior.
    5. Attitude to Behavior Process Model – The theory that an event directly causes the beliefs, actions and emotions about that event. This evaluation of the event, along with prior knowledge, then determines the action chosen.  
    6. Prototype Willingness Model – The theory that behavior is a result of six factors: previous behavior, attitudes towards the behavior, subjective norms, intentions, desire to engage, and influence of models.
    7. Elaboration Likelihood Model for Persuasion – A cognitive approach to explaining the influence of attitude on behavior that states that there are two methods of processing information: the central and peripheral routes.
      1. Central Route (Elaboration Likelihood Model) – Persuasion that occurs after careful consideration of strong arguments. A higher quality argument leads to more of an attitude change via this method of processing information.
      2. Peripheral Route (Elaboration Likelihood Model) – Persuasion that occurs based on the superficial, non-merit based judgement of an argument. Attractiveness and status play a role in this method of procesing information, rather than logic.
      3. Message Characteristics – Features of the persuading argument itself. These features include the logic, flow of argument, and quality of writing.
      4. Source Characteristics – Features of the speaker of an argument that influence how it is perceived. The venue, background, and way in which the speaker collected information can contribute to this.
      5. Target Characteristics – Features of the person receiving the argument that influence how it is perceived. These features include the person’s self-esteem, alertness, and intelligence.
    8. Foot-in-the-Door Phenomenon – The idea that a person will be compliant in increasingly larger requests once they agree to the first, small request. It is one way in which behavior can affect attitude.
    9. Door-in-the-Face Phenomenon – The idea that a person will be compliant with a smaller, more reasonable request after already being asked to do a larger task. This is one way in which behavior can affect attitude.
    10. Role Playing – The way in which a person acts as if they are fit for a new position that eventually turns into them actually being fit for that same position. It is one way in which behavior can affect attitude.

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Lesson 2: Psychological Theories

  1. Psychoanalytic Theory – A model of personality proposed by Sigmund Freud that focuses on the role of childhood experiences and unconscious motivation in determining behavior. 
    1. Libido –  The energy source that causes an unconscious drive for sex and survival that Freud thought underlied much of a person’s behavior.
    2. Psychosexual Development – The stages that Freud believed every person passed through during maturation, due to the drive from the libido.
      1. Fixation – The inability to move on from a certain pschosexual stage of develepment, due to either too much or too little gratification in that stage.
    3. Conscious – Thoughts that we are aware of that partially influence our behavior and personality.
    4. Unconscious – Thoughts, memories and drives that we are not aware of. Freud believed that this plays a large role in personality and behavior.
    5. Id – An unconscious structure of the mind in Freud’s psychoanalytic theory. This strives for instant gratification.
    6. Ego – A partially conscious structure of the mind in Freud’s psychoanalytic theory. This strives for long-term gratification and mediates between the drive of the id and the moral guidelines of the superego.
    7. Superego – A partially conscious structure of the mind in Freud’s psychoanalytic theory. It serves as the conscience and holds the moral values of society.
    8. Defense Mechanisms – Ways of coping with anxiety that are carried out by the unconscious part of the mind. 
      1. Pathological Defense Mechanisms – A group of coping strategies in which reality is distorted by the unconscious to help alleviate anxiety.
        1. Denial – A pathological defense mechanism that describes when a person ignores the truth to eliminate anxiety. It is the main defense mechanism used by most people.
      2. Immature Defense Mechanisms – A group of coping strategies carried out by the unconscious that are typically employed by children.
        1. Projection – An immature defense mechanism that describes when a person attributes their negative thoughts or qualities to someone else.
        2. Projective Identification – A possible effect of projection, in which the person who is having the negative qualities projected onto them starts to actually behave in that way.
        3. Passive Aggression – An immature defense mechanism in which a person will express frustration or anger towards another by failing to do something or completing it slowly.
      3. Neurotic Defense Mechanisms – A group of coping strategies carried out by the unconscious that often have positive short term effects and negative long term effects.
        1. Intellectualization – A neurotic defense mechanism in which a person focuses on the logical parts of a situation to ignore the emotional aspects.
        2. Rationalization – A neurotic defense mechanism in which a person uses (possibly faulty) logic to prove to themselves that they were not at fault in a situation.
        3. Regression – A neurotic defense mechanism in which a person behaves as if they were much younger.
        4. Repression – A neurotic defense mechanism in which a person pushes unpleasant conscious thoughts into the unconscious.
        5. Displacement – A neurotic defense mechanism in which a person expresses their negative emotion felt towards one person at another person.
      4. Mature Defense Mechanisms – A group of coping strategies that lead a person to feel happier or more satisfied in both the short- and long-term.
        1. Humor – A mature defense mechanism in which a person makes light of a situation or engages in self-deprecation. This can be done for the entertainment of others and for making a situation seem less grave.
        2. Sublimation – A mature defense mechanism in which a person takes unhelpful or aggressive thoughts and behaviors and channels them into a positive, socially acceptable behavior.
        3. Suppression – A mature defense mechanism in which a person consciously decides to push a thought into the unconscious.
        4. Altruism – A mature defense mechanism in which a person engages in service for others and receives satisfaction.
  2. Humanistic Theory – A model of personality that focuses on free will and the drive for self-actualization.  It is based on the idea that all people are good and are driven by the conscious desire to improve. 
    1. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – The theory that motivation is determined by being compelled to do more basic survival functions first, and as these are achieved, more complex tasks can be the goal..
      1. Physiological Needs – The first, most basic level of need in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It is the need for the things that allow us to survive, such as food, water, sleep, and breathing.
      2. Safety Needs (also known as “safety and security needs”) – The second set basic need in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, including the needs for health, property, and financial and personal security.
      3. Social Needs (also known as “love and belonging needs”) – The third set of needs in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that describes the need for belonging, love, and relatedness.
      4. Respect Needs (also known as “self-esteem needs”) – The fourth set of needs in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that describes the need to feel accomplished, have the respect of others, and have self-esteem and confidence in oneself.
      5. Self-Actualization – The last need of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that can only be fulfilled once all of the other needs are met, and is rarely achieved. It is when a person reaches their full potential and accomplishes everything they are capable of.
    2. Growth Promoting Climate – An environment that is capable of contributing to self-actualization by allowing a person to be their genuine self and providing acceptance of the genuine self. Carl Rogers proposed that this was necessary to reach self-actualization.
      1. Unconditional Positive Regard – Acceptance of a person’s genuine self that is given regardless of circumstances or what that genuine self is like. This is a key aspect in creating a growth promoting climate.
      2. Self-Concept – The way in which a person views their own personality and behaviors that is created through being genuine and receiving acceptance.
  3. Biological Theory of Personality – The idea that thought and behavior patterns are determined through inherited genetics and physiology.
    1. Twin Studies – Research that gives insight in the nature vs. nurture debate by allowing the comparison of people that either have the same genome and the same environment or the different genomes and the same environment.
    2. Social Potency Trait – The degree to which a person is inclined to take on leadership roles amongst peers. Twin studies have shown that this has a strong genetic basis.
    3. Traditionalism Trait – The degree to which a person is inclined to listen to authority. Twin studies have shown that this has a strong genetic basis.
    4. Achievement Trait – The amount of success a person has in life. Twin studies have shown that there is little biological basis for this.
    5. Closeness Trait – The degree to which a person is inclined to foster tight-knit relationships. Twin studies have shown that there is little biological basis.
    6. Dopamine-4-Receptor – Having a longer gene for this receptor has been linked to thrill-seeking behavior and risk taking.  
    7. Temperament –  A person’s or infant’s nature, or characteristic emotional reactivity that seem to be relatively stable throughout life and have a biological basis. Easy, difficult and withdrawn are common examples of this.
  4. Trait Theory – A model of personality that aims to describe the consistent patterns of behavior that make up a person’s personality. 
    1. Trait – A characteristic that causes a stable pattern of behavior.
    2. Allport’s Trait Theory – The model of personality that states that there are 4,500 different personality characteristics and each person has a specific set of these characteristics.
      1. Cardinal Traits – Characteristics that dominate the majority of a person’s personality and influence all behaviors.
      2. Central Traits – Characteristics that are expressed to a lesser degree than cardinal traits, but still have a large influence on personality and some behaviors.
      3. Secondary Traits – Characteristics that influence only a small subset of behaviors.
    3. Cattell’s Trait Theory – The model of personality that states that there are 16 different characteristics that we all possess, just in varying levels.
    4. Eysenck’s Trait Theory – The model of personality based on 3 characteristics that every person has in varying levels. These three characteristics are psychoticism, extraversion, and neuroticism.
      1. Extraversion – The trait that describes a person’s level of sociability and their desire to be around people. It is a universal trait found in all people, according to both Eysenck’s theory and the Big 5 theory.
      2. Neuroticism – The trait that describes a person’s emotional stability. It is a universal trait found in all people, according to both Eysenck’s theory and the Big 5 theory.
      3. Psychoticism – The trait that describes a person’s aggressiveness, hostility or general anti-social behavior. According to Eysenck, it is possible for a person not to possess any of this trait.
    5. Big 5 Personality Theory – The model of personality based on the idea that there are 5 universal traits that every person has in varying levels. These traits are openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.
      1. Openness – One of the big 5 personality traits that describes a person’s creativity, curiosity, and independence (non-conforming).
      2. Conscientiousness – One of the big 5 personality traits that describes a person’s organization, self-discipline and carefulness.
      3. Agreeableness – One of the big 5 personality traits that describes a person’s friendliness, compassion and cooperativity.
    6. Factor Analysis – A statistical analysis that determines the relationship between variables. Use of this analysis technique allowed for the creation of Cattell’s theory, Eysenck’s theory, and the Big 5 theory to be made.
  5. Behavioral Theory of Personality – The idea that thought and behavior patterns are entirely determined by interactions with the environment. This states that personality can develop throughout the lifespan and is focused on behaviors that can be measured and observed.
    1. Operant Conditioning – A learning mechanism that uses rewards and punishments to make behavior more or less likely to occur again. This was first identified by B.F Skinner.
    2. Classical Conditioning – A learning mechanism that pairs two stimuli to create a novel involuntary response.
      1. Pavlov’s Dog Experiment – A study that demonstrated the idea of classical conditioning by ringing a bell every time food was given to a dog. Over time, the dog salivated in response to the bell, even without the food being present.
  6. Social-Cognitive Theory of Personality – The idea that thought and behavior patterns are learned and developed from paying attention to others’ behavior, memory of their actions, the ability to imitate, and an innate motivation to imitate.
    1. Observational Learning – The way in which watching another individual’s behaviors can cause replication of these behaviors in the onlooker.
      1. Bobo Doll Experiment – A study conducted by Albert Bandura that consisted of adults displaying violent behaviors towards a blow up toy and observing the children’s interactions with the toy after they watched this. The result was that most children showed the same violent behavior towards the toy, demonstrating the idea of observational learning.
      2. Learning-Performance Distinction – The idea that just because a behavior is not displayed, this does not mean the behavior was not acquired. This was demonstrated through a Bobo Doll experiment that bribed the kids to behave in the way the adults did towards the doll when they originally were not engaging in the behavior.

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Lesson 3: Conformity and Obedience

  1. Social Psychology – The study of intrapersonal interactions, including individuals’ thoughts, feelings, and behavior during these interactions.
    1. Conformity – The tendency people have to change their behavior to fit group norms.
      1. Informative Influence – The tendency of individuals to assume that the actions of the group are correct when in an ambiguous situation.
      2. Normative Influence – The tendency of individuals to conform to the behaviors of the group, out of fear or rejection.
      3. Privately Conforming – The tendency of individuals to change one’s beliefs and behaviors to fit with the group.
      4. Publicly Conforming – The tendency of individuals to change beliefs outwardly, while maintaining one’s own beliefs privately, to fit in with the group.
      5. Compliance – A tendency to go along with the orders of an authority figure, due to the rewards of obedience or the threat of consequence in the case of disobedience.  
      6. Identification – A driving force of conformity, through which a person is motivated to behave in a certain way, due to respect and a desire to be like another person.
      7. Internalization – A strong driving force of conformity, through which an idea has been both publicly and privately adopted by a person.
    2. Group Polarization – A phenomenon in which a decision made by a group tends to be more extreme than the opinions of any of the individuals.
      1. Confirmation Bias – The tendency of an individual or group to seek out information that reinforces their pre-existing beliefs. This often contributes to group polarization.
    3. Group Think – A phenomenon in which group unity or agreement is favored over analyzing information and making the correct decision. A strong leader and a feeling of invincibility in a group often play a role in this.
    4. Obedience – A tendency of individuals to comply with authority figures and their recommendations, actions and ideas.  
    5. Asch Conformity Studies – Experiments that used many confederates that intentionally gave the wrong answer to an obvious question in order to observe the tendency of the subject of  the study to give the same wrong answer. These studies found that 75% of subjects gave the wrong answer at least once in order to agree with the group.
      1. Gestalt Psychology – A way of studying the mind that focuses on the whole individual in terms of the environment in which they live.
      2. Confederate – An actor that takes part in a study. This actor is supposed to look like another participant, but is really working for the study.
      3. Ecological Validity – The degree to which a study predicts real world behavior.
      4. Demand Characteristics – The tendency of a participant in a study to change their behavior to more closely match what they believe the experimenter wants them to do.
    6. Milgram Studies on Conformity –  A group of experiments designed to observe participants’ willingness to act against their morals to obey an authority figure. The most famous experiment used confederates who instructed subjects to administer increasingly large (with some marked potentially lethal) electric shocks and confederates who pretended these shocks were real. 65% of subjects would continue obeying the authority figure up through the largest shock, well past the lethal warning.
      1. Just World Phenomenon – The belief that people have earned or deserved their outcomes or consequences, clearly placing blame on any individual in a negative situation. An example of this is blaming the victim of the shocks in the Milgram studies for answering questions wrong and earning the punishment for this.
      2. Passing Responsibility – A phenomenon that often contributes to a person completing violent acts because they attribute the blame to the person ordering the violent act, not themself for executing the act.  
      3. Self-Serving Bias – A cognitive distortion of facts to maintain self-esteem. This often is seen as an individual attributing success to intrinsic factors and failures to extrinsic factors
      4. Fundamental Attribution Error – The cognitive distortion in which negative actions of people in the outgroup are attributed to personal flaws, but the negative actions of that individual and their ingroup are attributed to their situation.
    7. Zimbardo (Stanford) Prison Experiment – An unethical study by today’s standards that aimed to examine how social norms influence the actions of groups of participants with different authority and power. Half of the participants  were told to play the prisoners, whereas the other half were told to acts as guards, in a mock prison setting.
      1. Situational Attribution – The idea that behaviors that can be explained by the context or environment, rather than by intrinsic factors. This helps explain why the guards and prisoners behaved as they did in the Zimbardo Prison Experiment.
      2. Dispositional Attribution – The idea that behaviors that can be explained by intrinsic personality factors.
      3. Deindividuation – An effect of belonging to a group that results in the loss of self-awareness or identity. This often leads to individuals taking actions as part of a group that they would not perform when alone
      4. Cognitive Dissonance –  The experience of discomfort due to one’s conflicting and concurrently-held beliefs, or actions that conflict with one’s held beliefs.
      5. Internalization – The process of changing one’s own beliefs to better align with those belonging to the group.
      6. Selection Bias – Issues and confounding variables resulting from a participant group that was not randomly chosen, or was selected for some specific feature.
    8. Factors that Affect Conformity – Specific aspects of the group that make a person more likely to go along with the beliefs or actions of the group. The influences that make a person more likely to go along with a group include a group size of 3-5 people, unanimity within the group, a seemingly elevated  status of the group, group cohesion, observation by others, public response, insecurity, and prior commitments to the group or others.
    9. Factors that Affect Obedience –  Aspects of the situation that make a person more or less likely to listen to an authority figure. These influences include closeness (physical or psychological) to the authority, legitimacy of authority, institutional qualifications, depersonalization of victim, and role models of authority.

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Lesson 4: Socialization

  1. Bystander Effect – The influence of being a part of a large group that makes an individual less likely to take action in a situation. Diffusion of Responsibility – An effect of being part of a group that makes a person less likely to get personally involved or take action, because they assume someone else will act or has already acted.
    1. Kitty Genovese Case – A woman who was murdered in Queens, NY with 38 witnesses, none of whom called the police or stepped in. This tragedy exemplifies the bystander effect.
  2. Deindividuation – An effect of belonging to a group that results in the loss of an individual’s self-awareness or identity. This helps explain how seemingly normal, moral people can commit violent acts in a group, such as rioting or wartime actions.
  3. Social Facilitation – The idea that the presence of a group and the arousal that it causes improves performance. This happens when the most dominant, practiced response is a positive, desired behavior. 
  4. Social Loafing – The tendency of an individual within a group to put less effort into a task if there is no evaluation of individual performance.  This can be reduced by giving a role to each individual or by making the task more challenging. 
  5. Socialization – The lifelong process of learning how to interact with others and how to behave within social norms. 
    1. Agents of Socialization – People, groups, or institutions that help a person learn about social norms or how to interact with others.
      1. Hidden Curriculum – The values, norms, and beliefs that are learned in schools not through formal communication, but rather through the nature of the learning environment and subtle suggestions by teachers.
      2. Peer Pressure – Influences on behavior that are caused by the actions and beliefs of one’s friends.
      3. Mass Media – An agent of socialization that encompasses the information conveyed through television, news, internet, radio, books and magazines.
  6. Norms – Standards for acceptable behavior in a certain situation or around certain people. They are often unwritten and unstated, but based on the internalized moral guidelines of the group.
    1. Folkways – The most informal type of norm that includes commonplace, courteous behaviors that have no severe or consistent consequences. Examples include holding a door for someone or saying “bless you”.
    2. Mores – A type of norm that is based on a moral standard and typically elicit a reaction, but no formal consequences, when they are violated. Truthfulness and religious prohibitions are examples.
    3. Laws – A type of norm that is based on moral standards and has formal, stated consequences and punishments for violations. Examples include petty crime and loan sharking.
    4. Taboos – A type of norm that controls a prohibited behavior and can often be punished by law, and always causes a large reaction or outrage when broken. Incest and cannibalism are examples.
  7. Deviance – Violation of a social norm. This is dependent on context and can differ based on the groups or societies. 
    1. Symbolic Interactionist Perspective – A theory that focuses on the idea that society is a product of the social interactions of individuals. In this theory, deviance is behavior that is different than normal everyday interactions in that given society.
      1. Theory of Differential Association – The idea that deviance is a learned behavior that comes from interactions with others who violate norms. This is part of the symbolic interactionist perspective.
      2. Labeling Theory – The idea that deviance occurs when a pre-existing behavior is deemed as deviant or as a violation of norms. This is a part of the symbolic interactionist perspective.
    2. Primary Deviance – A behavior that violates societal norms, but results in very mild reactions from society and does not affect a person’s self esteem.
    3. Secondary Deviance – A behavior that violates societal norms, resulting in serious consequences in society, including a stigmatizing label.
    4. Strain Theory – The idea that individuals turn to deviance due to frustration in their inability to reach a socially acceptable goal through conventional, approved of means. 
  8. Collective Behavior – Deviant actions displayed by a large number of individuals, often driven by deindividualization. This involves a non-exclusive group of people that only interact for a limited time and do not have strong, established norms. 
    1. Fads – A type of collective behavior that becomes very popular in a large group of people for a small, transient amount of time.
    2. Mass Hysteria – A type of collective behavior characterized by delusions and anxiety regarding these delusions experienced by a large group of people at one time. This is often caused by exaggerated news.  
      1. Mass Psychogenic Hysteria (Epidemic Hysteria) – A collective behavior characterized by a large group of people believing that they are experiencing the same symptoms or disease, despite the lack of disease.
    3. Riots – A type of collective behavior characterized by large group of people engaging in deviant or violent behavior that go against social norms. This often results in large amounts of property damage, theft or other violations of laws.
  9. Group Behavior – Actions of many individuals that spend a prolonged period of time together that fit in their established set of norms.
  10. Social Cognitive Theory – The idea that the environment, cognitions, and behaviors all contribute to an individual’s learning. This idea emphasizes the role of interactions with peers in learning. 
    1. Reciprocal Determinism – A theory that explains the way in which behaviors, cognitions, and the environment can all causally influence each other. This was originally proposed by Albert Bandura.
    2. Observational Learning – The way in which watching behaviors performed by others can cause replication of these behaviors in the watchers.
    3. Locus of Control – The amount of influence a person believes they personally have and that the environment has over their behavior and the outcomes of those behaviors.
      1. Internal Locus of Control – The belief that a person can control their own behaviors and outcomes. Individuals with this belief often do better in school and have lower rates of depression.
      2. External Locus of Control – The belief that a person’s behaviors and outcomes are largely influenced by the environment, rather than internal influence. Examples of this are believing outcomes are to due fair/unfair conditions or luck. 
      3. Learned Helplessness – A lost ability to identify stressors and pursue coping mechanisms, due to repeated inability to cope with stressors outside of an individual’s control.
    4. Tyranny of Choice – The idea that having excessive options will significantly stress an individual,  which often results in dissatisfaction.
      1. Information Overload – The difficulty in making a decision or fully understanding an issue when too much data is provided.
      2. Decision Paralysis – The inability to make a choice that can be caused by an information overload.
  11. Self Control – The ability to push off instant gratification for the pursuit of long term goals. People with more of this quality tend to do better in school, better social skills, use less drugs,  and have better overall self-management.
    1. The Marshmallow Test – An experiment that places a single marshmallow in front of a preschool child, allowing them to eat it or wait 15 minutes for the reward of getting to eat double the amount of marshmallows.  This tests self control and delay of gratification. 
    2. Ego Depletion – The theory that every person has a limited amount of self control, and using it in one scenario results in having less self control in the future.
    3. Operant Conditioning –  A learning mechanism that uses rewards and punishments to make behavior more or less likely to occur again. This can be used to reduce the need for self control.
    4. Classical Conditioning – A learning mechanism that pairs two stimuli to produce an involuntary response to a previously-neutral stimulus. It can be used to reduce the need for self control.
    5. Deprivation – Removing the object of temptation in an attempt to reduce the desire for that object. This often causes a stronger desire for the object.

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Lesson 5: Classical and Operant Conditioning

  1. Classical Conditioning – A learning mechanism that pairs two stimuli to produce an involuntary response to a previously-neutral stimulus. 
    1. Unconditioned Stimulus – Something that causes a natural response, such as a food that causes salivation.
    2. Unconditioned Response – A behavior or state that arises naturally after the the experience of an unconditioned stimulus. An example would be salivating after sensing an appropriate food nearby
    3. Neutral Stimulus – Something that can be detected by a sense, but causes no natural response. An example could be smelling granite.
    4. Conditioned Stimulus – Something that naturally causes no response, but when it occurs at the same time or immediately before something that does elicit a response, it begins to cause that response on its own.
    5. Conditioned Response – A behavior or state that arises after the pairing of a neutral stimulus to an unconditioned stimulus.
    6. Generalization – The way in which a stimulus similar to the conditioned stimulus tends to elicit a response similar to the conditioned response. 
    7. Discrimination – When an animal or person learns to respond to a particular set of stimuli and not other (potentially similar) stimuli.
    8. Extinction – The weakening of a learned response, causing the behavior triggered by a conditioned stimulus to be displayed less or not at all.
    9. Spontaneous Recovery – The random display of a previously conditioned response after a period of extinction.
  2. Operant Conditioning –  A learning mechanism that uses rewards and punishments to make a specific behavior more or less likely to occur again.
    1. Reinforcement – A consequence of behavior that makes the behavior more likely to occur again.
      1. Positive Reinforcement – A consequence of a behavior that makes the behavior more likely to occur again through the addition of a pleasant stimuli. An example of this would be giving food after the specific behavior is performed.
      2. Negative Reinforcement – A consequence of behavior that makes the behavior more likely to occur again by removing an unpleasant stimuli. An example of this would be to stop using an annoying air horn after the specific behavior is performed.
    2. Punishment – A consequence of behavior that makes the behavior less likely to occur again.
      1. Negative Punishment – A consequence of behavior that makes the behavior less likely to occur again by removing a pleasant stimuli. An example of this would be taking away a child’s access to dessert after the specific behavior has been performed.
      2. Positive Punishment – A consequence of behavior that makes the behavior less likely to occur again through the addition of an unpleasant stimuli. An example of this would be to start using an annoying air horn after the specific behavior is performed.
    3. Shaping – Learning a behavior through reinforcement of behaviors that progressively are more and more similar to the target behavior.
      1. Target Behavior – The action that has been selected to be changed or learned. The ultimate goal of shaping is to perform this.
    4. Partial Reinforcement Schedule – A situation in which a target behavior is rewarded only some of the times it is performed. This typically results in a behavior that is more resistant to extinction than one that is rewarded every time. 
      1. Fixed-Ratio Schedule – A situation in which a behavior is not reinforced every time, but rather after a set number of responses. This results in a relatively high response rate.
      2. Variable-Ratio Schedule – A situation in which a behavior is not reinforced every time, but rather after a random number of responses. This results in the highest response rate, even if the average number of reinforcements per performance of the action is equal to that of the fixed-ratio or interval schedules.
      3. Variable-Interval Schedule – A situation in which a behavior is not reinforced every time, but rather after a random amount of time has passed.  This usually causes a relatively high rate of responding.
      4. Fixed-Interval Schedule – A situation in which a behavior is not reinforced every time, but rather after a set amount of time if the behavior occurred at least once in that time. This usually causes a slow rate of responding than variable-interval schedules and ratio schedules.
    5. Innate Behavior – Responses to the environment that are genetically coded, intrinsic, consistent, not easily changed, and do not develop over time.
      1. Reflex – An innate, involuntary, nearly instantaneous reaction to a stimulus that does not require conscious thought.
      2. Taxis – An innate reaction that causes movement towards or away from a stimulus.
      3. Kinesis – An innate reaction to a stimulus that causes a change in speed or rate of movement or causes random movement.
      4. Fixed Action Pattern –  An innate, involuntary reaction to a stimulus that does not require thought and results in a coordinated movements.
      5. Migration – An instinctive, seasonal movement of an entire population.
      6. Circadian Rhythm –  Natural physiological fluctuations that occur over a 24-hour cycle.  This is innately controlled and influenced by external light sources.
    6. Learned Behaviors – Persistent changes in reactions to stimuli as a result of experience. They are not innate, are determined by environment, and can develop over time or through practice. 
      1. Habituation – A learning process in which an individual decreases their response to the same stimulus over time. This aims to avoid unnecessary responses.
    7. Aversive Control – The use of negative reinforcement or positive punishment to affect behavior, so that the behavior is performed less often. This change is motivated by the threat of an unpleasant outcome.  
      1. Escape Learning (Escape Conditioning) – A change in behavior patterns that is motivated by the desire to avoid or remove an ongoing, unpleasant stimulus.
      2. Avoidance Learning – A change in behavior patterns that is motivated by the desire to not experience an unpleasant stimulus.
  3. Non-Associative Learning – A change in behavior in response to an unchanging stimulus. Habituation and sensitization are examples.
    1. Sensitization – An increase in the number of responses or the degree of responding by an individual with repeated exposure to the same stimulus. 
  4. Biological Predisposition to Learning – The idea that animals are innately more likely to learn associations that can occur in their natural environment.
    1. Taste Aversion – An individual will avoid a certain food because it made them sick in the past.
    2. Phobias – A type of anxiety disorder characterized by irrational, excessive fear of a specific object or situation.  This is more like to occur towards a naturally threatening stimulus, such as heights or snakes.

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Lesson 6: Social Development

  1. Development – The age-related changes that occur in an individual’s lifespan. 
    1. Psychosexual Theory of Development – The childhood stages that Freud believed every person passes through that shape a person’s personality.
      1. Fixation – The inability to move on from a certain pschosexual stage of develepment, due to either too much or too little gratification during that stage.
      2. Libido –  The energy source that causes an unconscious drive for sex and survival that Freud thought underlied much of a person’s behavior.
      3. Oral Stage – The first step in Freud’s psychosexual theory of development. This describes the time from ages 0-2, when the libido is focused around the mouth and gratification is found through eating.
        1. Fixation in the Oral Stage – A personality that arises from either too much or too little gratification in the first stage of psychosocial development will be characterized by aggression, dependence, and a tendency to smoke, over eat, or bite nails. 
      4. Anal Stage – The second step in Freud’s psychosexual theory of development. This describes the time from ages 1-3 when the libido is focused around the anus, and gratification is found through controlling the bladder and bowel movements.
        1. Fixation in the Anal Stage – A personality that arises from either too much or too little gratification in the second stage of psychosocial development will be characterized by extreme orderliness or messiness.
      5. Phallic Stage – The third step in Freud’s psychosexual theory of development. This describes the time from ages 3-6,  when the libido is focused around the genitals, and development occurs when the Oedipus or Electra complex is resolved.
        1. Oedipus Complex – The idea that, during the phallic stage of psychosexual development, boys will begin to desire their mother and envy their father.
        2. Electra Complex – The idea that, during the phallic stage of psychosexual development girls, will begin to desire their father and envy their mother.
        3. Fixation in the Phallic Stage – A personality that arises from either too much or too little gratification in the third stage of psychosocial development will be characterized by sexual dysfunction.
      6. Latent Stage – The fourth step in Freud’s psychosexual theory of development. This describes the time from ages 6-12 that has no single focus of the libido, and development of cognitive and social skills occurs.
      7. Genital Stage – The fifth and final step in Freud’s psychosexual theory of development. This describes the time after the onset of puberty, in which the libido is focused around the genitals and sexual interest develops.
    2. Psychosocial Theory of Development – The idea proposed by Erik Erikson that suggests changes that the changes an individual experiences in their personality are caused by facing 8 sequential conflicts that every person will face. This suggests that personality changes throughout the person’s lifespan.  
      1. Trust vs. Mistrust – The first stage in psychosocial development, this occurs between the ages of 0-1, when the child learns if they can depend on their caregivers. Dealing with this conflict results in either hope or suspicion and fear.
      2. Autonomy vs. Shame or Doubt – The second stage in psychosocial development, this occurs between the ages of 2-3, when the child learns to be independent through exploring their environment. Dealing with this conflict results in either self esteem or a feeling of inadequacy.
      3. Initiative vs. Guilt – The third stage in psychosocial development, this occurs between the ages of 3-5, when the child learns to play with others, lead others, and ask questions.  Dealing with this conflict results in either a sense of purpose or passivity.
      4. Industry vs. Inferiority – The fourth stage in psychosocial development, this occurs between the ages of 6-12, when the child learns specific skills and competencies. Dealing with this conflict results in  either a sense of confidence in their capabilities or a lack of confidence.
      5. Identity vs. Role Confusion – The fifth stage in psychosocial development, this occurs between the ages of 12-18, when the adolescent learns or decides what their role is going to be as an adult. Dealing with this conflict results in either a sense of understanding who they are as an individual or rebellion and a missing sense of who they are.
      6. Intimacy vs. Isolation – The sixth stage in psychosocial development, this occurs during the ages of 20-40, when an individual forms long-term, committed relationships. Dealing with this conflict results in either connectedness or a lack of social support.
      7. Generativity vs. Stagnation – The seventh stage in psychosocial development, this is when an individual learn to contribute to society by raising children or through professional accomplishments. Dealing with this conflict results in either caring for others or feeling unproductive.
      8. Integrity vs. Despair – The last stage in psychosocial development, this is  when an individual evaluates the productivity of their life. Dealing with this conflict results in a either sense of wisdom or dissatisfaction.
    3. Sociocultural Development Theory – The idea, originally proposed by Lev Vygotsky, that suggests that learning occurs through actively engaging with the environment. This emphasizes the role of family members, peers, cultural beliefs and language in a person’s learning and cognition. 
      1. Elementary Mental Functions – Cognitive processes that humans are innately capable of. These include attention, sensation, perceptions and memory.
      2. Higher Mental Functions – Cognitive processes that are learned through the internalization of instructions. These require the use of elementary mental functions.
      3. More Knowledgeable Other – A person with a greater understanding of the task and is capable of teaching the learner.
      4. Zone of Proximal Development – The set of skills or abilities that a person could learn with the guidance of a more knowledgeable other that they could not learn on their own.   
      5. Private Speech – The act of speaking out loud to oneself. This is often used by children to plan activities and process thoughts.
      6. Inner Speech – Internal thoughts that require the use of language to be expressed. These do not have any vocal expression.
    4. Moral Development Theory – The idea originally proposed by Lawrence Kohlberg that suggests that there are three stages of maturity that each person passes through, based on cognitive function and learning the difference between right and wrong. 
      1. The Heinz Dilemma – A fictitious story used by Kohlberg to gauge an individual’s moral reasoning. This story describes a man who stole medicine that he could not afford to save his dying wife and a chemist who refused to give him the medicine for cheaper.
      2. Pre-Moral (Pre-Conventional) Stage – The first step in the development of ethical reasoning, most often observed when a child does not have their own set of ethical guidelines.
        1. Obedience vs. Punishment – The first part of the pre-moral stage in development, in which a child sees rules as fixed and makes decisions to avoid consequences.
        2. Individualism and Exchange – The second part of the pre-moral stage in development, in which a child begins to see that there is not just one right view.
      3. Conventional Stage – The second step in moral development, in which an individual begins to internalize moral guidelines.
        1. Good Boy and Good Girl – The first part of the conventional stage of moral development, in which an individual acts in a moral way so as to be seen as moral by others. Conformity and kindness are emphasized in this stage.
        2. Law and Order – The second part of the conventional stage of moral development, in which decisions are made to follow the rules of society and avoid guilt.
      4. Post-Conventional Stage – The last step in moral development, in which an individual makes decisions based on their own ethical code.
        1. Social Contract – The first part of the post-conventional stage of moral development, in which an individual learns that moral dilemmas are not always clear-cut, and there are situations in which rules or laws should not be followed.
        2. Universal Ethical Principles – The last step in moral development, in which an individual establishes their own moral guidelines that apply to human rights, justice and equality. Very few people reach this level of moral development.

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Lesson 7: The Self

  1. Self-Concept – The way in which a person perceives or thinks about themselves. 
    1. Existential Self – The part of the self-concept that gives a sense of being consistent and unique from others.
    2. Categorical Self – The part of the self-concept that gives a sense of one’s own qualities in relationship to others.
  2. Humanistic Psychology – An approach to studying thoughts and behavior, originally proposed by Carl Rogers, that focuses on free will and the drive for self-actualization.  This is based on the idea that all people are good and driven by the conscious desire to improve. 
    1. Self-Image – The view an individual has of themself. 
    2. Self-Esteem – A sense of respect that one holds for themself.
    3. Ideal Self – The person or set of qualities that an individual strives to become.
  3. Social Identity Theory – An idea of explaining self-concept that describes how a person views themself personally and socially.
    1. Personal Identity – The part of the self-concept that describes a person’s unique inner qualities.
    2. Social Identity – The part of the self-concept that describes a person’s relationship with others, the groups they are part of, and their role in the community.
  4. Categorization – The natural tendency of individuals to group others based on their physical and personality characteristics.
  5. Identification – The tendency of an individual to behave in a way that fits the category they have put themselves in. This can influence a person’s actions and self-esteem.
  6. Social Comparison – The natural tendency to evaluation oneself or one’s groups in relation to others and other groups. This often influences self-esteem.
  7. Self-Efficacy – A sense of confidence in one’s capabilities and ability to succeed in a given situation. Having a high level of this results in strong interests, commitment, and resilience.
    1. Mastery of Experience – The way in which practice and successful completion of a task in the past influences self-efficacy.
    2. Social Modeling – A learning mechanism that involves observing the actions of others. This can contribute to self-efficacy when another person of equal capabilities is observed successfully complete a task.
    3. Social Persuasion – Verbal encouragement or discouragement that affects self-efficacy.
  8. Locus of Control –  The amount of influence a person believes that they individually have  the environment has over their behavior and the outcomes of these behaviors.
    1. Internal Locus of Control – The belief that a person can control their own behaviors and those behaviors’ outcomes. Individuals with this belief often do better in school and have lower rates of depression.
    2. External Locus of Control – The belief that a person’s behaviors and those behaviors’ outcomes are largely influenced by the environment, rather than by internal influence. Examples of this are believing outcomes are to due fair/unfair conditions or luck.
  9. Social Influence – The way in which interactions with others affects an individual’s thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. 
    1. Imitation – A form of social behavior that involves copying the behavior of others. This requires knowledge of the separation of the self and others, and can be exhibited only 12-21 days after birth.
      1. Mirror Neurons – Specific cells in the brain that respond in the same way to others performing a task as they do to the individual actually performing a task.
    2. Roles – A form of social behavior in which an individual alters their behavior based on the expectation that they have regarding that specific context and social norms.
    3. Social Norms – Standards for acceptable behavior in a certain situation or around certain people. They are often unwritten and unstated, but based on the internalized moral guidelines of the group.
      1. Zimbardo (Stanford) Prison Experiment – A study that aimed to examine how social norms influence the actions of groups of participants with different authority and power. Half of the participants of participants who were told to play the prisoners, whereas the other half and those that were told to acts as guards, in a mock prison setting.
    4. Reference Group – A group that an individual refers to in evaluating themself, or a group the individual aspires to be like, typically based on their beliefs, attitudes and behaviors.
    5. Culture – Shared beliefs, behaviors, and characteristics of a society.
    6. Socialization – The lifelong process of learning to interact with others and how to behave within social norms.
  10. Preparatory Stage – The first step in social development, according to George Herbert Mead, in which children interact with others through imitation.
  11. Play Stage – The second step in social development, according to George Herbert Mead, in which children are focused on taking the perspectives of others and engage in pretend play.
  12. Game Stage – The last step in social development, according to George Herbert Mead, in which a person learns to consider the attitudes and beliefs of the generalized other, not just the people closest to them. Individuals in this stage learn that people have multiple roles and often behave based on what society expects of them. 
    1. Generalized Other – A personification of society’s expectations. When someone tries to imagine what is expected of them, they take on this perspective.
    2. Me – The part of a person’s self-concept that is how they believe the generalized other sees them. This is also known as the social self and is often seen as more passive than the self-concept of I.
    3. I – The part of the person’s self-concept that describes the person’s response and thoughts about the social self. This is often seen as more active than the self-concept of me.
  13. Looking Glass Self –  The idea proposed by Charles Cooley that describes how a person’s self-concept develops in terms of how they believe others think of them. It requires that the person thinks about how they appear to others, how they think others evaluate them, and a re-evaluation of themselves based on this.
  14. Social Psychology – The study of intrapersonal interactions, including individuals’ thoughts, feelings, and behavior during these interactions.
    1. Situational Approach to Behavior – A method of explaining actions that focuses on the impact of the environment and external factors on these actions.
      1. Attribution – An inference about the causes of events or behaviors.
        1. Attribution Theory – The idea that people tend to explain their behavior and the behavior of others in terms of the perceived causes of the behavior. This involves deciding if a behavior had external influences, internal  influences, or both.
          1. External (Situational) Attribution – An explanation of the causes of a person’s behavior that focuses on the influence of the current environment. This involves evaluating a behavior as distinctive from behavior in other situations and as similar to how others behavior in that situation.  
          2. Internal (Dispositional) Attribution – An explanation of the causes of a person’s behavior that focuses on the influence of personality or intrinsic factors. This involves evaluating a behavior as consistent across situations within an individual. 
          3. Covariation Model – The idea that consistency, distinctiveness and consensus play a role in attributions of behavior. The more consistent a behavior is performed by an individual in a variety of environments, the more likely it is to be assumed to have an internal attribution; the more consensus there is regarding a behavior in a certain environment, the more likely it is to be assumed as having an external attribution.  
          4. Fundamental Attribution Error – The tendency to overestimate the influence of internal factors on another person’s behavior. This tends to be higher in individualist societies.
          5. Actor-Observer Bias – The tendency to overestimate the influence of internal factors on another person’s behavior and external factors on one’s own behavior, especially regarding to failures.
          6. Individualist Cultures – Societies that place a large influence on the achievements and needs of singular people rather than on the group as a whole. This includes many societies in North America and Europe. Societies with this ideology tend to overestimate the influence of internal factors in success and external factors on failure.
          7. Collectivist Cultures – Societies that place a large influence on the achievements and needs of the group over the individual. This includes many societies in Asia and Africa. Societies with this ideology tend to overestimate the influence of of external factors on success and internal factors on failure.
          8. Self-Serving Bias – The tendency to overestimate the influence of internal factors on success and external factors on failure, in order to protect one’s self-esteem. This tendency is more prevalent in individualist cultures.
    2. Impression Management – The way in which people alter their behavior in order to influence the perceptions of other people around them.
    3. Dramaturgy – The process through which people attempt to control others’ perceptions of them.
    4. Dramaturgical Approach – The theory proposed by Erving Goffman that describes how people manage the impressions they make on others. This process is often compared to actors in a performance setting. 
      1. Front Stage – The actions and behaviors that are visible to others.
      2. Back Stage – The private actions and behaviors that are not visible to others and often allow a person to be ready for their interactions with others.

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Lesson 8: Social Perception

  1. Stereotype – A widely accepted cognition that overgeneralizes the qualities of a group of people. This allows for a quick assessment of people in a social setting, but is often inaccurate.
    1. Stereotype Threat – Exposure to a negative assumption or belief about a group that a person identifies as  a part of that causes a decrease in a person’s performance.
  2. Prejudice – A negative attitude towards a group of people based on a stereotype. This often leads to discriminatory action. 
    1. Authoritarian Personality – A consistent pattern of thought, behavior and emotion that is characterized by a tendency to be controlling, rigid, harsh, and oppressive. This is often caused by a harsh or disciplinary upbringing, and is thought to contribute to prejudice.
    2. Scapegoating  – The channeling of negative emotions and aggression for a powerful figure onto another group of people.
    3. Frustration Aggression Hypothesis – A theory that explains a possible cause of prejudice that focuses on the channeling of negative emotions felt towards  a powerful person or group of people that is displaced onto another group of people. 
    4. Hypothesis of Relative Deprivation – A theory that focuses on a possible cause of prejudice: people turn to prejudice when they feel they are being denied something that they are entitled to.
  3. Discrimination – A behavior that is driven by a prejudice that acts to differentiate or negatively impacts a certain group.
    1. Race – A group of people that is defined by certain physical characteristics that carry some amount of social significance.
    2. Ethnicity – A group of people that shares cultural practices and heritage. The differences that define these groups are learned practices, including language, religion, and a shared history. 
  4. Self-Fulfilling Prophecy – A belief or prediction that becomes more true over time because the belief influences behavior. This acts like a positive feedback loop, because the belief influences behavior, and the more the behavior is exhibited, the stronger that original belief becomes.
  5. Power – The amount of control a person has on their own life, politics or money. This often is disproportionally allocated to the dominant group at the expense of minorities, because the dominant group has more people and can control votes and unfair hiring policies that can favor the majority group.  
  6. Social Class – Divisions between groups based on income and prestige.
    1. Just World Phenomenon –  The belief that people have earned or deserved their outcomes or consequences, clearly placing blame on any individual in the negative situation. An example of this is blaming the victim of the shocks in the Milgram studies for answering questions wrong and earning that shock treatment..  
  7. Prestige – Respect that is often linked to occupation and success. 
  8. Stigma – Disapproval of an individual by society that is associate with a certain quality of that individual. This can be propagated by media and/or policies of society.
    1. Social Stigma – The disapproval that individuals feel for exhibiting a certain quality in society.
    2. Self Stigma – An internalization of prejudice and discrimination that causes an individual to feel damaged, oftentimes because of an illness.  This can lead to denial of the illness, a lack of motivation to seek treatment, or further mental illness. 
  9. Primacy Bias – The idea that the first impression is often more memorable and impactful than other encounters.
    1. First Impression – The preliminary encounter and judgement of a certain individual, which tends to have a lasting memory, is hard to overcome, and often leads the person to seek out only information that supports this primary judgement.
  10. Recency Bias – The idea that the most recent impressions or actions are more memorable and impactful than other encounters.
  11. Halo Effect – The idea that a strong overall impression of an individual will cause their specific qualities to be perceived as better than they truly are.
  12. Devil Effect (Reverse Halo Effect) – The idea that a negative overall impression of an individual will cause their specific qualities to be perceived as worse than they truly are. 
  13. Attribution Theory – The idea that people tend to explain their behavior and the behavior of others in terms of the perceived causes of the behavior. This involves deciding if a behavior had external influences,  internal influences, or both.
  14. Ethnocentrism – Judging another culture’s religion, politics, food, or traditions against the standards of one’s own culture.
  15. Cultural Relativism – The perspective that suggests equality between cultures and values differences. Taking on this perspective prevents judging other traditions using one’s own cultural standards.
  16. In Group – A collection of people that an individual identifies as being a part of.
    1. In Group Favoritism – A pattern of behavior that benefits a collection of people that an individual identifies as being a part of.
  17. Out Group – A collection of individuals that an individual does not identify as being a part of.
    1. Out Group Derogation – A pattern of behavior that disadvantages or discriminates against a collection of people that an individual does not identify as being a part of. This is especially prevalent when this group is threatening to the individual’s group in some way.
  18. Group Polarization – A phenomenon in which a decision made by a group tends to be more extreme than the opinion of any of the individuals.
  19. Individual Discrimination – One person that acts in a way that disadvantages a certain group of people.
  20. Institutional Discrimination – Actions made by a society or a particular established organization that disadvantages a certain group. This can be either intentional and unintentional.
    1. Unintentional Discrimination – Actions made by a society or a particular organization that disadvantages a certain group, despite the fact that this was not the intent of these actions.
      1. Side-Effect Discrimination – The way in which the actions of one institution that disadvantage a certain group can influence the actions of another institution, causing the second institution to act in a way that disadvantages the same group unintentionally.
      2. Past-in-Present Discrimination – The way in which the negative actions of the past continue to affect the actions today.

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Lesson 9: Attraction and Aggression

  1. Proximity Effect – The phenomenon that explains that people are more likely to mate with people who are geographically closer to them, simply because they are more likely to meet.
  2. Mere Exposure Effect – The phenomenon that explains that the more a person is familiar with something, the more likely they are to prefer that thing. This can apply to mate preference, food choice, music taste, etc.
  3. Universal Attractiveness – Physical qualities that make a person appealing across cultures and throughout time. Facial symmetry, unrelated physiological arousal, average features, and prominent sexual dimorphism characteristics play a role.
    1. Sexual Dimorphism – A difference in physical characteristics between men and women besides the sex organs. People are often attracted to people based on their expression of these qualities, i.e. men with broad shoulders or women with a small waist.
  4. Effects of Similarity on Attraction – The way in which shared interests and physical qualities between oneself and another person tend to increase the likelihood of befriending the other person or finding them attractive. People tend to find mates that share social status, race, education level, etc.
  5. Attachment – A social bond that connects two people. The bond between a mother and child is an example. 
    1. Harlow Monkey Experiments – A series of studies that aimed to test attachment that involved separating a monkey from its mother at a young age and tested its attachments to a figure that offered food and a cloth figure that offered comfort. These studies showed that the monkey spent a large amount of time clinging to the cloth mother, showing that the basis of attachment is likely comfort, rather than food provision.
      1. Secure Base – The comfort found in a sensitive and attentive figure of attachment that allows an animal or child to explore away from this figure, knowing the figure will still be there when it returns. The cloth mother in the Harlow Monkey Experiments was an example of this.
    2. Mary Ainsworth’s Strange Situation – An experimental setting that separated a mother from their child in an unfamiliar room with a stranger to test the child’s reactions. Studying this led to the conclusion that there are two main attraction styles: insecure and secure.
      1. Secure Attachment – A style of relationship between a child and its mother that presents in the Strange Situation as a child that is willing to explore the room while the mother is there, distressed behavior when the mother leaves, and a quick acceptance of the mother on her return. Sensitive parenting styles seemed to contribute to this relationship style.
        1. Secure Attachment in Adults – A relationship style, correlated to a similar relationship style between a child and its mother, that is characterized by trusting their partner and seeing them as a source of comfort and security.
      2. Insecure Attachment – A style of relationship between a child and its mother that presents in the Strange Situation as a child that clings to the mother, is not willing to explore the room, shows distressed behavior when the mother leaves, and does not quickly accept the mother on her return. Insensitive or inconsistent parenting styles seemed to contribute to this relationship style.
        1. Insecure Attachment in Adults – A relationship style, correlated to a similar relationship style between a child and its mother, that is characterized by mistrusting their partner or being anxious in relationships.
  6. Aggression – Behaviors that intend to harm another either physically or mentally. This has a biological basis. 
    1. Amygdala – The part of the brain that is largely responsible for the processing of emotions, especially anger. This part of the brain influences aggressive behaviors.
    2. Frontal Lobe – The part of the brain responsible for attention, impulse control and decision making. Decreased activation of this area can contribute to aggressive behaviors.
    3. Testosterone – The male sex hormone that is responsible for development of secondary sex characteristics (e.g. facial hair, increased muscle mass, etc.). This is present in both men and women, and high levels of this can lead to aggressive behaviors.
    4. Frustration-Aggression Principle – The idea that aggression is caused by the channeling of negative emotions towards the victim of the aggression (whom is often unrelated to the source of the negative emotions).
    5. Reinforcement – A favorable stimulus that follows a behavior that makes the behavior more likely to occur in the future. This can contribute to aggression if an aggressive behavior has led to a reward in the past.
    6. Modeling –  A learning mechanism that involves observing the actions of others. This can contribute to aggression if family members or peers exhibit aggression.
    7. Deindividuation – An effect of belonging to a group that results in the loss of self-awareness or identity. This helps explain how seemingly normal, moral people can commit aggressive or violent acts in a group.
    8. Social Scripts – Behaviors that are expected in a certain situation, especially as displayed by media or society. This can contribute to aggression because these portrayed behaviors are often violent.
  7. Altruism – A behavior that is driven by selfless concern for others. People are more likely to display this type of behavior if it favors a family member, if they are more likely to interact with the person again, and if they can signal their abilities to bolster their reputation.
    1. Reciprocal Altruism – A behavior that benefits another person with the expectation that the other person will act in a way that benefits the original actor in the future.
    2. Cost Signaling – The act of engaging in an altruistic behavior for the purpose of demonstrating one’s abilities and access to resources, bolstering their own reputation in the process.
    3. Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis – A theory that explains the motivation behind actions that benefit others . This is based on the correlation between scoring high in tests of understanding others and engaging in work for the benefit of others.
  8. Social Support – The various types of assistance provided by others. Having more of this can contribute to living longer, healthier lives; having less of these can contribute to increased mortality with the same disease, anxiety, depression, or increased drug use.  
    1. Emotional Support – Assistance provided by others that deals with the individual’s feelings. This can be through affection, empathizing and listening and is often provided by the people that are closest to the individual.
    2. Esteem Support – Assistance provided by others that serves to encourage or show belief in the individual’s capabilities.
    3. Informational Support – Assistance provided by others that serves to provide knowledge. This can come from someone close to the individual receiving it or from an anonymous source.
    4. Tangible Support – Assistance provided by others that is in the form of a physical good or service. This can come from someone close to the individual, from a bank, or charity.
    5. Companionship Support – Assistance provided by others that gives a sense of social belonging or relatedness.
  9. Status – The position someone holds in a particular social setting. This can differ for the same individual in different situations.
    1. Ascribed Status – A social position that is assigned at birth and cannot be controlled.
    2. Achieved Status – A social position that is earned through hard work and acquired through merit. 
    3. Role Strain – The stress experienced when there are conflicting expectations of one status that an individual holds. The stress of completing all assignments as a student is an example.
    4. Role Conflict – The stress experienced when there are conflicting expectations of two different statuses that an individual holds. The stress of completing all assignments as a student while keeping obligations as a friend is an example. 
  10. Primary Group – A relatively small collection of individuals with a shared identity. People within these groups have concern for each other and loyalty to the group that is based on a sense of belonging.
  11. Secondary Group – A collection of individuals that are brought together temporarily for a certain purpose or goal. People within these groups have impersonal relationships.
  12. Organizations – Institutions that are designed to achieve a collective goal efficiently.
    1. Utilitarian Organizations – Institutions that pay its voluntary members for their contributions. Examples of this include the government, universities, or businesses.
    2. Normative Organizations – Institutions made up of members who voluntarily come together for a common purpose despite the lack of reward or pay. Mothers Against Drunk Driving and religious groups are examples.
    3. Coercive Organizations – Institutions that are involuntarily joined and are highly structured with a lot of rules. Prisons and the military are examples. 
    4. Bureaucracy – The way in which organizations are organized in order to maximize efficiency.
      1. Bureaucratization – The process by which organizations become increasingly controlled by procedures or policies.
      2. Characteristics of an Ideal Bureaucracy – Five commonalities between organizations that do not differ based on the goal of the organization. These include division of labor, 
        1. Division of Labor – One of the five characteristics of the ideal bureaucracy that describes the assignment of different roles to different people in an organization in order to increase efficiency or to tailor to individual expertise. This can in some cases cause alienation between workers and trained incapacity as workers become too specialized in their roles.
        2. Hierarchy of Organization – One of the five characteristics of the ideal bureaucracy that describes the assignment of higher positions in an institution in order to clarify the sense command. This can in some cases cause an individual to shirk responsibilities because they are following orders, and hiding mistakes because no one is overseeing everything.
        3. Written Rules and Regulations of Bureaucracy – One of the five characteristics of the ideal bureaucracy that describes stated laws of an organization that clarify expectations and creates continuity as workers come and go. This can in some cases discourage creativity and initiative.
        4. Impersonality of Bureaucracy – One of the five characteristics of the ideal bureaucracy that describes equal treatment of subordinates within an organization though unbiased actions and a lack of favoritism. This can in some cases cause alienation of employees and discourage loyalty.
        5. Employment Based on Technical Qualifications – One of the five characteristics of the ideal bureaucracy that describes merit based hiring methods that serves to decrease discrimination. This can in some cases lead to the Peter Principle.
          1. Peter Principle – The idea that people receive promotions within an organization until they reach a level of incompetence where they are not good at their job so they will not be promoted further.
    5. Iron Rule of Oligarchy – The idea that all organizations become less democratic overtime and the power shifts towards a small group of people.
    6. McDonaldization – Changes in organizations due to the increased emphasis on efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control.

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Lesson 10: Society and Culture Part 1

  1. Functionalism – A social theory developed by Emile Durkheim that is based on the ideas that society aims to maintain a social equilibrium and that changes will be made to institutions when they are absolutely necessary to fill the needs of that society and maintain the equilibrium. 
    1. Social Fact – A necessary structure or belief that arises from society that everyone accepts to be true and that will persist through generations. This typically affects individuals’ behaviors without them noticing.
    2. Manifest Functions of Institutions – The intended effects of social organizations, like the education of children in schools.
    3. Latent Functions – The unintended effects of social organizations, like the socialization or exposure to extracurriculars that happen in schools.
    4. Evolution of Society (Functionalism) – The tendency, according to functionalism, of a society to move from a small group of independent people to a large, interdependent society. This is largely driven by population growth.
    5. Social Change in Functionalism – Something that interrupts the equilibrium in society by affecting the production, distribution or coordination of goods and services, causing the other factors in that society to adapt and re-establish equilibrium.
  2. Conflict Theory -The idea developed by Karl Marx that explains the changes that happen to society over time as being based on the interactions between  two or more contrasting ideas that are held by different groups of people within society. Change occurs when either one of these ideas wins out or a compromise is reached.
    1. Evolution of Society in Conflict Theory – The idea that society changes from feudalism to capitalism to socialism over time. This process is driven by the inequalities within society and the push for equality.  
    2. Thesis of Society – The current, existing state of society.
    3. Antithesis of Society – The opposite of the accepted state of society, this is created by a society in reaction to the accepted state.
    4. Synthesis of Society – A middle ground between the thesis and antithesis of society that is created through compromise of conflicting groups.
  3. Social Constructionism – The theory that explains how societies function based on accepted understandings of the world giving meaning to objects or concepts. An example of this is how the value placed on money only exists because society has given it this meaning.
    1. Weak Social Constructionism – The idea that societies form accepted understandings based on brute facts and institutional facts.
      1. Brute Facts – Truths that do not rely on any other truths and cannot be explained by any other statements.
      2. Institutional Facts – Truths that are accepted by society and can be explained by other truths.
    2. Strong Social Constructionism – The idea that all of the ideas in society are created based on assigning accepted meaning, and that  there are no brute facts. 
  4. Symbolic Interaction – The microsociology theory that people within a society act based on their past experience and the meanings that they have assigned to objects or concepts.  This theory says that action depends on meaning, meaning is influenced by interpersonal communication, and that meaning can change based on experience. 
  5. Feminist Theory – The idea that women face marginalization and discrimination that may or may not be apparent in a patriarchal society, in which primarily men hold government and leadership positions. This idea focuses on constructed gender roles and the values of masculinity and femininity.
  6. Rational Choice Theory – The idea that the actions of a society and of a individual are determined by weighing the costs and benefits of a given behavior. This assumes completeness, transitivity, and independence of irrelevant alternatives when ranking behaviors.
    1. Completeness (Rational Choice Theory) – The assumption of the rational choice theory that all possible behaviors can be ranked in terms of their benefits.
    2. Transitivity (Rational Choice Theory) – The assumption of the rational choice theory that if option A is better than B, and B is better than C, A is better than C.
    3. Independence of Irrelevant Alternatives – The assumption of the rational choice theory that option Z will not affect the rankings of A, B, and C if it is unrelated.
  7. Exchange Theory – The idea that behavior is based on the desire to maximize reward and minimize punishment. This is based on the assumptions that people wish to maximize profits, that actions resulting in a reward are more likely to be repeated, and that the more often a reward is presented, the less value it has. 
  8. Macrosociology – A large scale perspective of the drivers of social structure and change that looks at entire societies in order to analyze social structures. Conflict theory and functionalism are examples of this.
  9. Microsociology – A small scale perspective of the drivers of social structures and change that looks at interactions between individuals or small groups to explain larger social structures. Symbolic interactionism is an example of this.
  10. Social Institutions – A group of people that come together for a joint purpose and maintain order by giving structure to and determining behavior within a society. These must be able to continue as individuals join and leave;families, healthcare, and schools are examples of these. 
    1. Conservative View of Institutions – The idea that organizations naturally form in society as a way of meeting the needs of individuals within the society.
    2. Progressive View of Institutions – The idea that organizations are artificial creations that need to be continuously changed to be helpful to society.
    3. Education Institution – The organization that is responsible for schooling and teaches academics and values through the hidden curriculum to the youngest members of society. There are often inequalities within this organization, since certain schools receive more funding.
      1. Hidden Curriculum – The values, norms, and beliefs that are learned in schools not through formal communication, but rather through the nature of the learning environment and subtle suggestions by teachers.
    4. Family Institution – The organization of people based on blood relations, marriage or adoption. The definition of this can change based on the society, but in the U.S., this is largely focused on parents and their children, rather than including grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins.
      1. Serial Monogamy – Engaging in long term, but not permanent, exclusive, sexual relationships. This practice can lead to many divorces.
      2. Abuse in Families – Behavior that physically harms another family member. This includes physically harming or neglecting children, the mistreatment of elderly family members, or hurting a spouse.
    5. Religion Institution – The different organizations of faith and worship within a society.
      1. Churches – Organized, well established religious organizations.
      2. Sects – Smaller religious groups that have broken off of an established church. These revive many of the same ideas the established church holds while leaving other ideas behind.
      3. Cults – Groups that devote themselves to religion and reject outside society. These are typically short lived and are reliant on one strong leader.  
      4. Secularization – The process by which religious power is weakened in society. Modernization and less overall religious involvement play roles in this process.
      5. Fundamentalism (Religion) – The return to strict worshiping and faithful beliefs as a reaction to secularization.
    6. Government Institution –  The organization that holds political control over its people.
      1. Democracy – A form of government that takes into account the will of the people through a voting system that elects the representatives that hold power.
      2. Dictatorship – A form of government in which one leader holds absolute power.
      3. Communism – A form of government in which there are no classes in society and all property and wealth is shared between the citizens.
      4. Monarchy – A form of government in which there is one ruler who has inherited his or her power. There can be other parts of this government, but the defining characteristic is the one ruler who serves as the head of government.
      5. Capitalism – An economic system in which there is a market economy based on competition, supply and demand.
      6. Socialism – An economic system in which the production and distribution of goods is controlled by the community as a whole in order to theoretically benefit society as a whole. This economic system is based on functionalism, meaning each person is expected to have a function within society.
    7. Healthcare and Medicine Institution – Organizations that aim to improve or maintain mental and physical health.
      1. Medicalization – The process by which human conditions become diagnosed, treated or studied. An example of this is defining the inability to be attentive as ADD and prescribing treatments for this condition. .
      2. Sick Rule – The idea that a temporary absence  from obligations is allowed when someone is ill. These obligations will return once that individual is healthy again.
      3. Access to Healthcare – The ability of individuals in society to receive medical treatment. Medicare, Medicaid, and the Child Health Insurance Program are examples of public programs aimed at improving this, but there are many inequalities in determining who receives care.  
      4. Illness Experience – The way in which people cope and live with a disease. This is affected by the stigma of certain diseases (like mental disorders or HIV),  access to care, and social support.

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Lesson 11: Society and Culture Part II

  1. Demographics – A statistical designation that allows for the study of populations. Sex, ethnicity, immigration status, and age are all examples of these. 
    1. Urbanization –  The movement of people away from a rural setting into a city environment. This is often driven by opportunities for jobs, access to schools, and better healthcare and utilities.
      1. Rural Areas – A community that has a low population density (less than 1,000 people per square mile).
      2. Urban Area – A community with a high population density (more than 1,000 people per square mile).
        1. City – A community with more than 1,000 people per square mile but less than 500,000 total people.
        2. Metropolis – A community of more than 500,000 people.
        3. Megalopolis – A grouping of metropoli. The area between Boston and Washington D.C. is an example.
      3. Suburbs – The area outside of cities that is often sought after because it can offer some of the same resources of the cities while still offering some of the benefits of  a small community.
      4. Exurbs – The area outside of suburbs that is still close enough to cities to commute in for jobs, but is far enough away to feel secluded from the city.
      5. Urban Decline – The process by which the inner city deteriorates due to people moving out to suburbs, decreased economic opportunities and increased crime.
      6. Urban Renewal – The rebuilding of parts of a city that have deteriorated in order to raise property value and target a wealthier population. This can lead to gentrification.
      7. Gentrification – The process of rebuilding and improving a neighborhood that forces out the current residents, due to an increase in the cost of living caused by increasing the standards of living in that neighborhood.
      8. Urban Rebound – The movement of people out of cities and back into rural areas.
      9. Functionalist Perspective to Urbanization – The idea that cities are necessary because they promote diversity and provide opportunities.
      10. Conflict Theory Perspective to Urbanization – The idea that cities are full of inequalities because of the varying economic successes between individuals and a large amount of poverty. These differences are increased by the large amount of diversity.
    2. Population Dynamics – The way in which the number of people in an area changes over time. This is affected by fertility, migration and mortality rates.
      1. Fertility – The rate at which babies are born into a population. This is usually stated as the number of births per 1000 people per year.
      2. Migration – The rate at which people move in and out of an area or country. This is usually stated as the number of people moving in or out per 1000 people per year.
        1. Internal Migration – The movement from one region of a country to another region within the same country.
        2. Immigration – The amount of people moving into a population.
        3. Emigration – The amount of people moving out of a population.
      3. Mortality – The rate at which people die in a population. This is usually stated as the number of deaths per 1000 people per year.
      4. Population Pyramid – A graph that demonstrates the amount of people there are of each gender at different ages in a given population. This graph has age on the y-axis, and percentage of the population on the x-axis, which is split into two halves to separate males and females.
        1. Expansive Pyramid – A graph of a population with a high fertility rate and a high mortality rate. This is relatively wide because of the large number of young people and small number of older people.
        2. Stationary or
        3. Constrictive Pyramid – A graph of a population with a low fertility rate and a low mortality rate that is common in developed countries. This is relatively narrow because of the small number of young people and larger number of older people.
      5. Mortality (Life) Table – A graph that shows the likelihood of dying in a certain age range in a given country or region.
      6. Growth Rate – The number of births added to the number of people that have immigrated that has the number of deaths subtracted from it.. This is typically measured by year per 1000 people, and a positive number means an increase in population.
    3. Demographic Transition – A model that explains how a population changes during the development of a nation over time that occurs in 5 sequential stages. 
      1. Stage 1 in Demographic Transition – The time in a nation’s development with high birth and high death rates.
      2. Stage 2 in Demographic Transition – The time in a nation’s development in which death rates begin to drop because of better sanitation and food, but birth rates are still high.
      3. Stage 3 in Demographic Transition – The time in a nation’s development in which birth rates begin to drop as social values change and contraception becomes more accessible.  
      4. Stage 4 in Demographic Transition – The time in a nation’s development in which birth and death rates are low but the population is high.
      5. Stage 5 in Demographic Transition – The time in a nation’s development after the birth and death rates have been low for a while. No nation has reached this yet, so the way in which the population changes has yet to be determined.
      6. Malthusian Theory of Population – The idea that the amount of people grows exponentially, whereas food supply grows linearly, which result in a health crisis that levels off the population growth.
      7. Anti-Malthusian Theory of Population – The idea that the population will stabilize on its own, rather than stabilization being caused by a public health crisis. This idea believes the population will not exceed the available resources because resources continue to get cheaper and populations stabilize as people have fewer children. 
    4. Globalization – The integration of social and cultural aspects of societies throughout the world that is driven by international economic reliance and advancement of technology and communication.
      1. World System Theory – A model of globalization based on the idea that nations can be divided into three categories: core countries, periphery countries, and semi-periphery countries.
        1. Core Countries – These nations, such as the U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia and much of Eastern Europe, are mostly independent of control by other nations because of their own economic and military success. These nations are economically diverse, have a large middle class and have a large tax base to support their strong governments.
        2. Periphery Countries – Nations, such as much of Latin America and Africa, that are subject to the control of another nation or corporations. These are typically dependent on one type of economic industry and have a large amount of inequality between classes.
        3. Semi-Peripheral Countries – Nations that were periphery countries and are moving up in power, or core countries with declining power, so that they share some characteristics with both core countries and periphery countries.
      2. Modernization Theory – A model of globalization that describes the progression from traditional to developed that is possible as uniform for all nations.
      3. Dependency Theory – A model of globalization that describes the inability of third world countries to improve on their own because of their current social structures and unfavorable economy.
      4. Hyperglobalist – A perspective on globalization that predicts that divisions between nations will become less relevant over time as interdependence between nations becomes more prominent.
      5. Skeptical Perspective of Globalization – The idea that divisions between nations are not becoming less relevant over time and that the current global economy is not moving towards integration of nations and global capitalism.
      6. Transformationalist – A perspective on globalization that emphasizes the changing role of government in a global economy, but is not specific as to how its role changes.
      7. Transnational Corporations – Large scale companies that expand internationally for cheaper labor. Countries that these companies move into often become reliant on these companies as an income source.
      8. International Trade Agreements – Settlements between nations that regulate the movement of goods between countries by reducing tariffs and improving customs procedures. The North American Free Trade Agreement is an example of these.
      9. International Trade Organizations – Institutions that regulate the flow of goods between countries. The World Trade Organization is an example of these.
    5. Social Movement – A group action that aims to change the structure of society and is essential to the evolution of society.
      1. Activists Social Movement – A group action that aims to change a structure of society often because of oppression or injustice related to that structure.
      2. Reactionary (Regressive) Social Movement – A group action that aims to resist a change to the structure of society.
      3. Relative Deprivation Theory – The idea that social change stems from a group of people that identify an inequality in society and work together to address that inequality.
      4. Resource Motivation Theory – The idea that social change is only possible when there are necessary funds and publicity for the movement.
      5. Rational Choice Theory – The idea that social patterns stem from individuals that weigh the costs and benefits of certain actions and chose the action that benefits them the most.
    6. Age Cohorts – A demographic distinction based on generations and living through the same events.
      1. Baby Boomers – An age cohort made up of people born in the U.S. between the years 1946 and 1964. People in this cohort were born following the end of World War II.
      2. Silent Generation – An age cohort made up of people that were born between the Great Depression and World War II (approximately 1925-1945).
      3. GI Generation – An age cohort that is the oldest group of people alive today, and were born before the mid 1920’s.
      4. Dependency Ratio – A measurement that approximates the amount of working and non-working people in a society. It is found by comparing the amount of people 14 and under added to the number of people 65 and older, to the number of people between the ages of 14-64. 
      5. Life Course Theory – A model of aging that examines the biological, social and psychological changes that occur from birth through death.
      6. Age Stratification Theory – A model of aging that explains age as an influence on behavior, believing that people behave based on expectations for their age cohort.
      7. Activity Theory – A model of aging that explains how older people view themselves through their levels of social engagement and physical abilities.
      8. Disengagement Theory – A model of again that explains how older people seperate from society as a whole when they retire and age. This allows for self-reflection and is considered a natural process of aging.
      9. Continuity Theory – A model of aging that explains how older people strive to maintain the same lifestyle and structure within their lives as they grow older.
    7. Race – A group of people that is defined by certain physical characteristics that carry some amount of social significance.
      1. Racial Formation Theory – The way in which physical characteristics come to define groups of people because of social, political, and economic factors.
      2. Racialization – The process by which a group of people is labeled by racial or ethnic divisions.
      3. Discrimination – A behavior that is driven by a prejudice that acts to differentiate or negatively impact a certain group.
    8. Ethnicity – A group of people that shares cultural practices and heritage. The differences that define these groups are learned practices, including language, religion, and a shared history.
    9. Sex – A biologically determined distinction between males and female.
    10. Gender – The social construction of the roles of a person of a given sex within a society. Every person identifies as male or female to a certain extent, and expresses themselves as male or female to an extent.
      1. Cisgender – A person whose biological sex and the gender they identify with match.
      2. Transgender – A person whose biological sex and gender they identify with do no match.
      3. Genderqueer – A person who does not fully identify as strictly male or female.
    11. Sexual Orientation – The social construct that describes sexual and emotional attraction. Labeling this takes into consideration a person’s biological sex, their gender identification, their gender expression, and the sex(es) they are attracted to sexually and emotionally.
    12. Minority Group – A group of people that makes up less than half of society and is treated differently than the majority.

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Lesson 12: Society and Culture Part III

  1. Social Movements – A group action that aims to change the structure of society and is essential to the evolution of society. This requires organization, leadership and funds to be successful.  
    1. Activists Social Movement – A group action that aims to change a structure of society often because of oppression or injustice related to that structure.
    2. Reactionary (Regressive) Social Movement – A group action that aims to resist a change to the structure of society.
    3. Mass Society Theory – The idea that social movements stem from socially isolated people who join movements for refuge and to find a sense of community. This helps to explain why people join extremist, irrational movements, such as fascism or communism.
    4. Relative Deprivation Theory – The idea that social change stems from a group of people that identify an inequality in society and work together to address it. This occurs when people believe they deserve more than what the present state of society can offer.
    5. Resource Motivation Theory – The idea that social change is only possible when there are necessary funds, publicity, organization, strong leadership and political influence for the movement to be successful.
    6. Rational Choice Theory – The idea that social patterns stem from individuals that weigh the costs and benefits of certain actions and chose the action that  benefits them the most.
    7. Incipient Stage of Social Movements – The point in time when the public becomes aware of an injustice of society and people begin to organize to change this. 
  2. Culture – Shared beliefs, behaviors, and characteristics of a society. This differs in regions of the world, constantly evolves, and influences how people think and interact with others.
    1. Subculture – A group of people within a society that shares beliefs, behaviors and characteristics that differs from those of the larger society, but still shares some similarities. This is at a meso-level in society, meaning that it is not quite large scale (macro) or small scale (micro), and could be as large as a community or tribe.
    2. Subcommunity – A small community that remains separate from the larger society and often has its own subculture.
    3. Microculture – A small scale group of people that shares beliefs, behaviors and characteristics that differs from those of the larger society and only influences a person for a part of their life. A greek life organization, sports team, and high school are examples of these.
    4. Dominant Group – A sector of people that can determine social expectations in society because they are larger or more powerful than others.
    5. Counterculture – A group of people within a society that shares beliefs, behaviors and characteristics that differ completely from and/or conflict with those held by the dominant group. 
    6. Culture Lag – The idea that technological advances often occur faster than the ideas and beliefs of society can evolve to accommodate these changes. This often results in social conflicts.
      1. Material Culture – The physical objects that make up a society. This often changes more rapidly than the ideas of society which results in culture lag.
      2. Non-Material Culture – The ideas and beliefs of a society that resist change. This resistance contributes to culture lag.
    7. Culture Shock – The feeling of disorientation experienced by an individual that is typically caused by being introduced to a new set of values, beliefs and behaviors of a different society.
  3. Society – A description of a population of people that live in a geographically bound area, interact with each other, and form a culture over time.
    1. Institution – A group of people that come together for a joint purpose and maintain order by giving structure and determining behavior within a society. They must be able to continue as individuals join and leave; families, healthcare, and schools are examples of these.  
  4. Diffusion of Ideas – The way in which new beliefs or information spreads throughout a society or between societies. Mass media, tourism, migration, exploration and missionary work are examples of how these new beliefs or information spread. 
    1. Mass Media – The various mediums through which information spreads throughout a society or between societies. This can include newspapers, radio, books, television, and the internet.
      1. Functionalist View of Mass Media – The perspective that explains the need for various mediums through which information spreads, believing it is because these different mediums serve a purpose in society by bringing information, acting as an agent of socialization, and enforcing social norms.
        1. Agents of Socialization – People, groups, or institutions that help a person learn about social norms or how to interact with others.
      2. Conflict Theory View of Mass Media – The perspective that explains the role of various mediums through which information spreads, claiming that these different mediums  work to enforce divisions between people or act as a gatekeeper.
        1. Gate Keeping – The process through which a small amount of companies and individuals control the information presented by the mass media.
        2. Stereotypes – A widely accepted cognition that overgeneralizes the qualities of a group of people. These cognitions are often spread through mass media
        3. Tokenism – The use of a single minority member to create a false sense of diversity in a TV show or movie.
      3. Feminist Theory View of Mass Media – The perspective that explains the role of various mediums through which information spreads, claiming that these different mediums work to propagate stereotypes and promote the views of the dominant group of society. This focuses on the way women are underrepresented and traditional gender roles are emphasized.
      4. Interactionist Perspective to Mass Media – The perspective that explains the role of various mediums through which information spreads, claiming that these different mediums change the way people communicate with others. The common forms of communication and societal norms around communication constantly evolve as different mediums become available.
  5. Evolutionary Component of Culture – The way in which natural selection is influenced by the values, beliefs, and behaviors of a society. An example of this is the gene for a lactose-digesting protein being selected for in a population that relies on drinking milk for sustenance.
    1. Theory of Evolution – A model that explains the change in characteristics of a population from generation to generation because of the way certain favorable traits can make an individual more likely to reproduce successfully are selected for.
    2. Cultural Universals – A specific institution, trait or value that is found in every society, which suggests that the traits for this might have been selected for evolutionarily. Example of this is the medical institution, death ceremonies, and language, which all can differ greatly between societies but are always present in some form.

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