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Chapter 1: Intro and Methods

  1. Distinguish psychology from pseudoscience.
  2. Compare the historical contributions of  Wilhelm Wundt  (structuralism) and William James (functionalism)
  3. Identify the key characteristics and major weaknesses of each of the following perspectives.
    1. Psychoanalytical/ psychodynamic
    2. behaviorism
    3. social learning/social cognitive
    4. cognitive
    5. sociocultural
    6. humanistic
    7. biological
  4. Distinguish between basic and applied research, and provide an example of each
  5. How does a Clinical psychologist differ from a Research Psychologist?
  6. Distinguish between psychotherapists, psychoanalysts, psychiatrists.
  7. Give an example how someone might make an error in critical thinking after reading an advertisement.
  8. Describe how each of the descriptive research methods might study “helping (altruistic)” behavior.  Also, include advantages and disadvantages of each method.

(1)     case study

(2)     observation

(a)     naturalistic observation

(b)    laboratory observation

(c)     covert observation

(d)    overt observation

(3)     psychological tests (include explanations of reliability and validity)

(4)     surveys

  1. Discuss the characteristics of correlational studies, and provide your own example of a positive and a negative correlation.
  2. Distinguish between independent and dependent variables and identify examples of each.
  3. What is the purpose of a “control group?”
  4. What is the purpose of “random selection?”  What is the purpose of “random assignment?”
  5. List and describe the types of descriptive statistics.


Chapter 7: Intelligence

  1. What is “g factor?” What evidence supports or disputes the existence of “g factor?”
  2. Discuss the objectives, uses, and criticisms of IQ tests.
  3. Describe the components of Sternberg’s theory of intelligence. Given examples of how you would use each type of intelligence.
  4. Describe Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. In which intelligence (or intelligences) do you excel?
  5. To what extent is intelligence heritable?
  6. What is a common misinterpretation of genetic studies and intelligence?
  7. List several environmental factors that can influence intelligence.
  8. Describe factors other than intelligence that contribute to academic achievement
  9. (Lecture notes) Can “animal intelligence” be distinguished from “human intelligence?”  Specify similarities and differences.

Chap 2: Personality

  1. Define personality
  2. Identify each of the  “Big Five”
  3. (Lecture notes) Describe how nature-nurture controversies are studied using: twin studies, adoption studies,  neonate (infant) studies, cross-cultural comparisons, cross-species comparisons, and gene identification.
  4. Provide an example of the interaction between genes and the environment.
  5. Compare and contrast the behavioral and cognitive social learning approaches to personality.
  6. Identify the “motivating beliefs” and their importance in achievement.
  7. What are the major differences between individualist and collectivist cultures?
  8. Describe the structure of the personality, according to Freud.
  9. Identify the general function of defense mechanisms, and characteristics of repression, projection, displacement, reaction formation, regressions, and denial.
  10. Describe Freud’s five psychosexual stages of development.
  11. What are the main differences between the ideas of Freud and Jung?
  12. Discuss the criticisms of the psychodynamic/psychoanalytical theories.
  13. Summarize the principles of humanistic psychology proposed by Maslow and Rogers.
  14. Be able to briefly state how each perspective addresses the origins of personality (psychoanalytical, behavioral, social learning, sociocultural, humanistic, and biological)


Chap 3: Lifespan, attachment, Piaget, Kohlberg, gender, Erikson

  1. Describe the importance of contact comfort monkey studies.
  2. Compare cross-cultural childrearing practices and attachment.
  3. Identify likely causes of “insecure attachment.”
  4. Contrast “assimilation” and “accommodation.”
  5. Describe Piaget’s 4 stages of cognitive development.
  6. Identify the major accomplishments of each stage of cognitive development.
  7. Discuss the criticisms of Piaget’s theory.
  8. Describe Kohlberg’s 3 stages of moral reasoning.
  9. Discuss the criticisms of Kohlberg’s theory.
  10. Identify the biological, cognitive and learning factors that influence gender development.
  11. Briefly identify Erikson’s 8 stages of psychosocial development.
  12. Discuss the criticism of Erikson’s theory.





Chap 4:  Neurons, Hormones and the Brain

  1. Distinguish and describe the functions of the central and peripheral nervous systems.
  2. Distinguish and describe the functions of the somatic and autonomic nervous systems.
  3. Distinguish and describe the functions of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
  4. Describe the functions of the neuron: dendrite, cell body, axon, axon terminal
  5. Explain how signals are transmitted within a neuron. What is the role of ions?
  6. Explain how signals are transmitted between neurons. What is the role of neurotransmitters?
  7. Describe the main functions and dysfunctions associated with acetylcholine, dopamine, epinephrine, norepinepherine, serotonin, GABA, and endorphins.
  8. Distinguish the endocrine system from the nervous system, and describe the functions of the pituitary gland, adrenal glands, and gonads.
  9. Describe the methods of monitoring brain activity: EEG, PET scan, and MRI
  10. Describe the function of the following brain parts: pons, medulla, cerebellum, reticular activating system, thalamus, hypothalamus, amygdala, hippocampus, cortex (cerebrum), corpus callosum, right and left hemispheres.
  11. Describe the function of the following cortical areas: 4 lobes (frontal, parietal, occipital, temporal), motor cortex, somatosensory cortex, visual cortex, auditory cortex, Broca’s Area, Wernicke’s Area.


Chap 5: Consciousness: Body Rhythms and Mental States

  1. Describe circadian rhythms and the brain mechanisms associated with circadian rhythms.
  2. Describe how “jet lag” or adjusting to a new work shift might affect the biological clock.
  3. Summarize the research evidence on “PMS” and discuss whether emotional symptoms associated with “PMS” are tied to the menstrual cycle.
  4. Summarize the research evidence on whether testosterone affects mood.
  5. Summarize the theories why we sleep.
  6. Describe the common sleep disorders.
  7. Summarize the Freudian, problem-solving, mental housekeeping, and activation-synthesis theories of dreaming.
  8. What are the changes associated with the various stages of sleep?
  9. Define hypnosis and summarize its characteristics based on empirical findings.
  10. Explain how hypnosis may, or may not, improve memory.
  11. List the characteristics of the four different classes of psychoactive drugs.
  12. Describe how each class of drugs affects the synapse/neurotransmitters.
  13. What are the psychological influences on drug effects?


Chap 6: Sensation and Perception

  1. Distinguish between sensation and perception
  2. Explain sensory adaptation and selective attention
  3. Explain how  a waveform describes color, brightness, and saturation
  4. Identify the parts of the eyes and their function: cornea, iris/pupil, lens, retina, optic nerve/blind spot,  and fovea
  5. Contrast the functions of rods and cones.
  6. Describe the trichromatic theory and the opponent process theory of color vision, and the evidence supporting each theory.
  7. Identify the monocular and binocular cues to depth/distance perception
  8. Explain visual constancies
  9. Explain how a sound wave corresponds to loudness, pitch and timbre
  10. Describe how the parts of the ear convert sound to hearing: outer ear: eardrum, middle ear: bones,  inner ear: cochlea and basilar membrane
  11. Describe gustation, i.e. identify papillae and taste buds, and describe the basic tastes.
  12. Describe olfaction: the sensory organ and the stimuli, and the importance of olfaction to eating.
  13. List the 4 skin senses.
  14. Describe how perception is both innate, and learned.
  15. Discuss the evidence for ESP, and the effectiveness of “subliminal perception” tapes.





Chap 13 Emotion

  1. Give examples of how the following research strategies can be used to study nature-nurture issues in emotion: a) neonate,    b) cross-cultural, c) cross-species.
  2. Describe the role of facial feedback hypothesis.
  3. Identify how the following structures play a role in emotion:  amygdala, cortex, adrenal gland,  sympathetic nervous system, right and left hemispheres..
  4. Explain how cognitive processes can affect emotions. Also provide examples.
  5. Distinguish between primary and secondary emotions.
  6. Compare display rules in women and men.
  7. Describe Selye’s General Adaptation Syndrome.
  8. Differentiate between positive stress (eustress) and negative stress.
  9. Describe how the immune system can be affected by stress, i.e. psychoneuroimmunollgy.
  10. Define locus of control and explain its relationship to health and well-being.
  11. Distinguish between primary and secondary control.
  12. List and explain the major methods of coping with stress.


Chap 14: Love & Sex, Food

  1. Discuss the need for affiliation as a source of human motivation.
  2. Contrast passionate love and companionate love.
  3. Describe the Triangle theory of love.
  4. Explain why women and men might differ in how they express love. What are “sexual scripts?”
  5. Describe the role of testosterone in sexual desire.
  6. Describe evolutionary (sociobiological) theories of mate selection, and the criticisms of these theories.
  7. Describe the influence of culture on sexual desire
  8. Discuss the evidence on the origins of sexual orientation.
  9. Describe biological factors that affect hunger.
  10. Describe psychological factors that affect hunger.
  11. Describe how cultural factors affect weight and body image.


Chap 10: Social and Cultural Influences

Define and provide an example for each of the following terms:

  1. Norms
  2. Role
  3. Entrapment
  4. Attribution theory
  5. Situational and dispositional attribution
  6. Fundamental attribution error
  7. Self-serving bias
  8. Just-world hypothesis
  9. Attitude
  10. Cognitive dissonance
  11. Validity effect
  12. Coercive persuasion
  13. Diffusion of responsibility
  14. Bystander apathy
  15. Ethnic Identity and Acculturation
  16. Bicultural, Assimilated, Separatist, and Marginal identities
  17. Ethnocentrism
  18. Stereotype
  19. Prejudice, and origins and reduction of prejudice
  20. Discrimination


Describe the major findings from the following classic experiments:

  1. The Obedience Study, Milgram
  2. The Prison Study, Zimbardo
  3. Conformity study, Asch




Chap 8:  Memory

  1. Discuss the reconstruction of memory, and the implications for legal cases.
  2. Compare recall, recognitions, and relearning
  3. Describe the information-processing model of memory.
  4. Describe the 3-box model of memory in terms of capacities and durations.
  5. Describe the limitations of short-term memory, and discuss ways of improving STM.
  6. Describe the biological changes correlated with memory/learning.
  7. List and discuss theories of why forgetting occurs.
  8. Describe strategies for improving long-term memory


Chapter 9:  Learning: classical and operant conditioning

  1. Define “learning” and the two types of conditioning.
  2. Explain the components of classical conditioning: stimulus, response, conditioned, unconditioned, extinction, spontaneous recovery, generalization, discrimination.
  3. Describe how classical conditioning might be used in everyday life, and how it might be used in psychotherapy.
  4. Compare and contrast the principles of operant and classical conditioning.
  5. Explain the components of operant conditioning:  discriminative stimulus, response, consequences, extinction, spontaneous recovery, reinforcement.
  6. Identify and compare continuous and intermittent schedules of reinforcement.
  7. What is the difference between negative reinforcement and punishment?
  8. List and discuss the limitations of punishment in controlling behavior, and state a more effective strategy.
  9. Explain the role of classical conditioning in learning secondary reinforcers.
  10. Give an example of operant conditioning from your life.
  11. Describe how rewards might be misused.


Chap 11: Psychological Disorders

  1. Discuss the criteria for determining a psychological disorder
  2. Describe the purpose and contents of the DSM.
  3. Summarize the positions supporting and criticizing the DSM.
  4. List and describe the major characteristics of  a)anxiety disorders  b)mood disorders  c)schizophrenia  d) personality  and e)dissociative identity disorders
  5. Distinguish between “normal depression,” major depression, and bipolar disorder.
  6. Explain the various theories that attempt to account for depression.
  7. Describe the features of antisocial personality disorder and the theories explaining its causes.
  8. Describe the current controversy about the validity and nature of dissociative identity disorder
  9. List the components that interact to influence addiction and substance abuse.
  10. Summarize the various causes of schizophrenia.
  11. Explain the biological vulnerability-stress models of schizophrenia.


Chap 12: Treatment

  1. Describe the major characteristics and neurotransmitters involved with the following medications.  a)antipsychotic drugs, b) antidepressants, c)minor tranquilizers, and d) lithium in treating psychological disorders.
  2. Summarize the limitations of treating psychological disorders with drugs.
  3. Describe the risks and benefits of psychosurgery, and electroconvulsive therapy.
  4. List and explain the general goals and principles of the a)biological, b)psychodynamic, c)behavioral, d)cognitive, and e) humanistic/existential therapies.
  5. Identify the different behavioral therapies.
  6. Compare the advantages and limitations of individual psychotherapy, group therapy, and family therapy.
  7. Discuss the factors that contribute to successful outcomes in psychotherapy.
  8. Identify which therapies work best for specific problems.