Thursday, March 26, 2009

Psychology GRE Study Guide Page 5

I’m too lazy to link all of the previous pages, but you can find them in the archives and under the label “GRE”. Page 1 has a link to the official Practice GRE from which this guide is developed.

35. Children begin to form two word sentences at about 1yr.
a. Pretend play is a fantastical, symbolic method of play beginning at about 2yrs.
b. Conservation of volume relates to understanding the concept behind an idea like fluid displacement and usually begins at about 11yrs. (Conservation of number is achieved at about 6yrs and is concerned with understanding the number of objects remains the same when oriented differently.)
c. Metalinguistic awareness is the interaction between language and written text, especially in bilingual literacy development. In children, it refers to the ability to concentrate on sounds and language patterns usually beginning at school age.
d. Visually guided reaching is the control of reaching behaviour towards an object of particular size and depth. It is said to occur in infancy, but I came across one study questioning the actual mechanism of infant reaching.
e. The Palmer grasp reflex occurs the first week after birth and is so strong the baby can support its own weight.

36.
a. An ill-defined problem has no clear goal, start, or evaluation method such as the search for happiness.
b. A systematic random search is when possible solutions are tested in relation to sets of rules.
c. A confirmation bias is when one seeks out evidence to support their hypothesis.
d. Functional fixedness is the tendency to see objects and their functions in a fixed and typical way. A person with this view might see a spoon as only an eating utensil and not as a shovel that can be used to bury a dead cat. Mental sets are established patterns of perception and thought which are usually an effective problem solving strategy.
e. The framing effect is when an option presented in a different way alters a person’s decision.

37.
a. Automatisation is the process of learning by which the subject is first learned with full, conscious effort and then later using connections to make recall automatic.
b. Second-order conditioning is using a conditioned stimulus to condition a second signal. An example is pairing a bell with food for a dog which conditions salivation and then pairing a rock with the bell which will also induce salivation. Finally, when the dog is presented with the rock alone, salivation will occur. Second-order associations are used in marketing by pairing something desirable, a box full of kittens, with something else, a used tissue.
c. Sensory preconditioning refers to an association between two (or more) stimuli before conditioning. An example would be exposing a kitten to both a light and a bell. Afterwards, the kitten is conditioned to clean its own cat box at the sound of the bell. However, upon being exposed to a flash of light, without direct conditioning, the kitten will start scooping its own waste.
d. Chaining is the reinforcement of behaviours occurring in a subsequent fashion.
e. Autoshaping is a Pavlonian-type conditioning experiment, but done with a light and pigeons instead of a tone and dogs.

38. Schema are clusters of information and facts that are organised in a knowledgeable way into structured relations. An example is understanding that a towel is not only a piece of cloth, but is used to dry oneself after showering or swimming, needs to be hung to dry properly, and is usually found in the bathroom. In terms of memory, schema makes recall more efficient since you only have to remember general knowledge. However, it can also lead to false memories because of these general associations.

39.
a. Connectionism models behaviour based on the emergent processes of neural networks.
b. Information processing systems are physiological brain structures that have developed to process environmental information in order to solve problems. Cognitive psychologists use this system to explain behaviours.
c. The ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) model uses acceptance, mindfulness, and behavioural changes to increase psychological flexibility.
d. The Atkinson-Shiffrin model states there are two types of memory storage, long-term and short-term. Sensory memory was added later as a third category.
e. The encoding specificity theory states that for material that is to be learned for later recall, there must be a connection made between the cue and the material at the time of learning. If you are trying to remember the Schrödinger equation and are using a picture as a learning aid, it might be helpful to think of a cat in a box. Or, if you are trying to remember the word ‘vase,’ you may associate that word with the word ‘flower.’ Whatever the cue is, it has to be learned at the time of memorisation, otherwise there is no specific connection between the cue and the material in the brain.

40.
a. Eidetic imagery is often called photographic memory and represents total recall of a previous experience.
b. Proactive inhibition is a theory of forgetting in which old memories inhibit the recall of new ones. Retroactive inhibition is when new memories interfere with the recall of older ones.
c. The complexity of expression phenomenon is the relation of an event using more complicated language structure and incorporating more aspects into the description. (I made that up, but it sounds right enough.)
d. The tip of the tongue phenomenon is knowing something that can not be recalled.
e. The template model is the storage of knowledge in easily accessible templates, representations of object categories.

41. A morpheme is the smallest unit that carries meaning, usually consisting of single words, prefixes, and suffixes (‘tie’ has one morpheme and ‘untie’ and ‘ties’ have two). A phoneme is the smallest significant sound unit in speech. Babies have many more sounds than adults and phonemes vary between languages (in English, a speaker does not differentiate between the ‘p’ sound in ‘paw’ or ‘stamp’).

42. The bystander effect is the reluctance to help another when others are around because of diffusion of responsibility and the belief that someone has already, or will, assist. A related idea is social loafing which is the tendency to put less effort into a task when working in a group rather than alone.

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