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PSYCH 101 Exam #1 Study Guide

Note: this review is not a guarantee of what will be on the exam. There could be topics on here
that don’t show up, or topics not listed that do appear. Anything from the textbook and lecture is
fair game. These are just some of the main ideas that came out through lectures.
Chapter 1: Perspectives on Behavior
 What is psychology? What are the key components of thinking about psychology
 To what extent is human behavior governed by nature (genetics) vs. nurture
 Describe some of the general history of psychology (functionalism and structuralism).
 For the following perspectives: What does each approach emphasize? What are some
specific examples of this perspective in action?
o Psychodynamic
o Behavioral
o Humanistic
o Cognitive
o Sociocultural
o Biological
 Describe the three levels of analysis, and what psychologists take a look at when using
these lenses:
o Biological
o Psychological
o Environmental
Chapter 2: Methods in Psychology
 Briefly describe what ethics are and what specific ethics psychology research is bound
by. List some examples when these ethical constraints were not obeyed.
 What is empiricism, and what are its advantages/disadvantages?
 Describe the steps of the scientific method in detail, and define a “theory” vs. a
 For each of the following research methods, define the method and what tools of
collection and analysis are used. What are the strengths and weaknesses of each method?
o Descriptive
o Correlational – direction and strength
o Experimental – what is a DV, an IV, random assignment vs random sample
 What different kinds of statistical analysis are used in psychology, and what can these
statistic measurements tell us?
Chapter 3: Neuroscience and Behavior
 What is the nervous system, and what kinds of cells is it composed from?
o Describe the general structure of a neuron
 What are the three major types of neurons, where can they be found, and what function
does each perform.
 Describe the process that facilitates communication within a neuron. How does electrical
activity allow for neuronal communication?
o What happens to a neuron during an action potential? Are there such things as
“small” and “large” action potentials?
o What happens to a neuron after its action potential?
 What purpose does myelin serve for neurons?
 How do neurons communicate with each other?
 For each of the following neurotransmitters, describe what functions the neurotransmitter
performs, as well as what happens when the body has too much or too little of it:
o Acetylcholine (Ach)
o Dopamine
o Glutamate
o Norepinephrine
o Serotonin
o Endorphins
 How do drugs mimic neurotransmitters? What are the two broad categories for drugs?
 What is the difference between the central and peripheral nervous system?
o What are the major divisions (and subdivisions) within the peripheral nervous
system? What function does each system serve?
o What are the major divisions of the central nervous system?
 Describe each of the following ways scientists are able to study the brain, and what
benefits/drawbacks each method has:
o Neuropsychological tests
o Destruction and stimulation techniques
o Electrical recording (EEG)
o CT scans
o PET Scans
o fMRIs
 Describe the overall structure/function of the brain for the following regions:
o Hindbrain
 Brain stem
 Medulla
 Pons
 Cerebellum
o Midbrain
 Reticular formation
o Forebrain
 Cerebrum
 Thalamus
 Hypothalamus
 Limbic system
 Hippocampus
 Amygdala
 Cerebral cortex
o What are the four lobes? Where are they located? What roles are they associated
 How do scientists study the damaged brain? Name some historical examples and
describe what they taught us about their respective areas of the brain.
 Define neural plasticity, and describe how neurons are able to modify themselves.
 What is lateralization? What divides the brain in two? What general specialties does
each half of the brain have?
Chapter 4: Sensation & Perception
 What is the difference between sensation and perception? Where does each process
 What is the study/measurement of how we convert physical stimuli into nerve impulses
 Define the absolute threshold and describe its significance in research.
 What accounts for differences in people’s stimulus detection? How can these differences
change depending on context (participants or situations)?
 Define the difference threshold and describe how Weber’s Law relates to it.
 Is it possible for a stimulus to be sensed, but not consciously perceived? What can
 What happens to our sensation when a stimulus is ongoing? Why does this happen?
 Can different senses interact (hint: ba vs. fa)?
 Vision:
o What is light?
o Describe the parts of the eye, and trace the process of where light is taken in,
focused, and changed into neural activity.
o What are the two kinds cortical cells?
o What theories have been made to address the visual pathway?
o What are the different kinds of color-blindness, and what do they mean within the
visual pathway?
 Perception:
o What is the difference between bottom-up processing and top-down processing?
o What characteristics/factors affect attention?
o Describe the Gestalt Laws of Perceptual Organization.
o What are three perceptual processes that help us categorize the world around us?
Can these be wrong assumptions?
o Describe the depth cues that only require one eye (monocular) versus those that
require the use of both eyes (binocular).
o How is movement perceived?
o What is a critical period?
Chapter 8: Motivation & Emotion
 Define motivation.
 Describe the contrast between instinct and behavioral theories regarding motivation.
 What is homeostasis, and how does its theory relate to motivation?
 Describe the theory that talks about our relationship with approaching what we want and
avoiding what we don’t.
 What cognitive processes underlie human motivation?
 What is the psychodynamic view of motivation? Are we aware of what motivates us?
 Describe Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, highlighting what he defines as least and most
important for humans.
 Why do we get hungry? What physical changes occur when we are hungry? How does
one’s environment influence their motivation regarding food?
 Outline the major genetic and environmental factors that account for the US rise in
obesity rates.
 Why is it more difficult to gain weight as opposed to losing it?
 Define the characteristics of the two major eating disorders discussed in class, and what
physical consequences come from them.
 Why does premarital sex seem to have increased over the years?
 Describe the 4 major stages of the sexual response cycle.
 What is the general psychology behind sexual feelings? What causes deviation from this
norm/how can it differ?
 Define emotion, and list some of the practical reasons we display and perceive emotion.
 How does physiological response relate to subjective feeling of an emotion (according to
James-Lange Theory vs Cannon-Bard)?
 Define the hedonic principle.
 How do facial expressions influence our own emotions?
 What does emotion look like in the brain?
o How are physical stimuli translated into an emotional response?
o What do different areas of the brain have to do with different emotions?