Unit 2 Psychology Key Words

Unit 2 Psychology Key Words


Unit 2: Topic 1 – Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive Development,

The process of developing mental ability involving

memory, language, problem solving, perception

and thought.

Cornea, Transparent cover on the front of the eye that

allows light in while also protecting it.

Eye, Sense organ that is sensitive to light.

Eye Witness Testimony, The account of an event (usually a crime) that a

person who was a witness to the event makes,

relying only on their memory.

Gestalt principles; whole


The emphasis on the whole (perceptual image) is

always greater than the sum of its parts. This

means that the visual image is more than just a

sum of component parts.

Iris, A circular muscle that contracts and relaxes

depending on light intensity.

Lens, The lens, by changing shape, functions to change

the focal distance of the eye so that it can focus on

objects at various distances.

LTM, (Long-Term Memory) A long-term store for items and events that are


Memory, The mental process by which we are able to input,

store and retrieve information about events in the

world that have happened to us.

Optic nerve, Carries information from the eye to the brain.

Perception, The process of changing information received

from the environment into an experience of

objects, sounds etc.

Piaget's Stages of Cognitive


The sensori-motor stage;

The pre-operational stage;

Concrete operational stage;

Formal operational stage;

Pupil, A hole in the middle of the iris.

Retina, Contains the cells that are sensitive to light.

Scaffolding, Interaction with the world can increase a child's

cognitive capacity.

Schemas (Constructive Memory), An organised store of knowledge about previous

experiences which helps us make decisions about

future events. They also help us to fill in any gaps

in our knowledge based on past information.

GCSE Psychology Teachers’ Guide 32

Stereotypes, A way of defining a person (or people) using

readily available features (e.g. skin colour or

gender) in ways that focus on these rather than

the individual.

STM, (Short-Term Memory) A short-term store for items that are remembered.

Visual illusion/

Visual perception,

The process of interpreting, organising and

elaborating information received through the visual

system (sensory information).

Zone of Proximal Development –


The child can move from their zone of actual

development into the zone of proximal

development through interaction with peers and


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Unit 2: Topic 2 – Individual Differences

ADHD (Extreme) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder –

a childhood disorder characterised by high levels of

activity and failure to concentrate.

Chemotherapy, A therapy for mental illness involving giving the

client drugs to change chemical levels in the brain.

Depression; (unipolar – bipolar) Extreme feelings of sadness and low self-esteem.

Deviation from social norms, Abnormal behaviour defined by a group norm/not

behaving in a way that society would expect e.g.

kissing strangers.

ECT Electro Convulsive Therapy. A treatment for

depression involving an electrical shock current

being introduced to the body.

Implosion/Flooding, A treatment for phobias involving the person facing

up to their fear in an unconscious way.

Phobias, An anxiety disorder/a persistent and unreasonable

fear of an object or situation.

Psychosurgery, A treatment for mental disorder involving removal of

brain tissue to change levels in the brain and

psychological behaviour.

Schizophrenia, Serious mental illness characterised by disruptions

in psychological functioning.

Statistical infrequency, A definition of psychology based around behaviour

that is statistically rare in the population.

Systematic Desensitisation, A treatment for phobias involving creating an anxiety

hierarchy based around the fear.

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Unit 2: Topic 3 – Ethics and Research Issues in Ps

Aim, A statement of what the researchers intend to find


Case Studies, A detailed investigation of one person or a small


Consent, Giving permission.

Correlation, A method to establish the strength of a relationship

between two variables.

Deception, When participates are not told the truth about the

purpose of the research.

Dependent Variable, The variable that is measured.

Ethics, Understanding of behaviour.

Experiments, A method involving the manipulation of the

independent variable in order to measure the effect

on the DV.

Hypothesis, A testable statement to prove or disprove a theory

or statement.

Independent Groups, Two separate groups are studied under different

experimental conditions to aid manipulation of the


Independent Variable, The variable that is manipulated to test the effect

on the DV.

Matched Pairs, Two separate groups are studied and participants

are matched on every possible characteristic, e.g.

age, gender, IQ, in order to reduce individual


Measures of central tendency, A way of describing numerical data including


Mean, The added values of a set of numbers divided by

the number of values.

Mode, Most occurring number.

Median, Middle score in a range of scores.

Observations, A method that involves watching and recording


Repeated Measures, Using the same group of participants in both

experimental conditions.

Sampling, The method used to select participants from a

given population including systematic, random,

opportunity and volunteer.

Surveys, A method of investigation that gathers data by

asking people (questionnaires and interviews).

Ways of displaying data E.g. scattergraph/bar chart.

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