Psychology/Sociology (Ours) Flashcards Preview

MCAT Psychology/Sociology > Psychology/Sociology (Ours) > Flashcards

Flashcards in Psychology/Sociology (Ours) Deck (67)
Loading flashcards...

conflict theorists example 

Discussion of traditions preventing the advancement of women, and capitalism in particular, as well as discussion of power inequalities, is expected from conflict theorists

This perspective is concerned with structural processes that maintain social inequalities.



The theoretical paradigm LEAST suited to microsociological studies is the:

options: constructionist perspective, symbolic interactionist perspective, dramaturgical perspective, and conflict theory perspective

conflict theory perspective

Theories with a micro level orientation are concerned with the nature of social interactions on the scale of the individual; theories with macro level orientation, in contrast, are concerned with the broader social structure. The main microsociological perspective is symbolic interactionism, which includes the dramaturgical approach. Social constructionism has both macro and micro versions, which reflects the fact that social realities are constructed both through greater social structures and through face-to-face social interactions. Conflict theory, however, is a macrosociological perspective concerned with social inequalities as a result of the greater social structure, which is of particular concern in capitalistic societies. 


Spreading activation model

says that the mind maintains networks of words that are associated with each other to varying degrees. When one word is activated, those words with the strongest associations to the activated word are also activated. The way verbal insight problems use words that lead to incorrect activations is best explained by the spreading activation model


Feature-detection theory

is a theory of visual perception that proposes that different neurons fire in response to detecting different features; in other words, some neurons fire only in response to vertical lines or motion or contrast. Feature-detection theory cannot explain how verbal insight problems most likely activate the wrong set of internal representations because these problems are word-based and not image-based. While feature-detection theory may help explain how we learn to read, it does not help explain how word problems would trick us the way the verbal insight problems do


Weber's Law 

states that two sensory stimuli must differ by a minimum constant proportion (not a constant amount) in order for us to notice the difference


Bottom-up processing

suggests that we start with the information gathered by sensory receptors and build up to a final representation in our brain; this type of processing tends to be used more with novel stimuli


If researchers wanted to include a participant with severe damage to her lateral geniculate nucleus, they would need to revise the procedure by:

reading the problems aloud rather than providing the participants with the text

The lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) is the area behind the retina that serves as an intermediate way station for electrochemical signals passed from the retina to the visual cortex of the brain. Accordingly, the vision of a participant with damage to the LGN would be impaired, requiring that the problems be read aloud rather than presented in text form


damage to Broca's area, the left hemisphere of the brain would lead to

expressive aphasia, the loss of the ability to produce spoken or written language

Expressive aphasia is the loss of the ability to produce spoken or written language. This ability would be directly affected by damage to Broca's area, the corresponding language production region in the left hemisphere. 



a defect in recognizing pitch or other aspects of music, is not localized in the left hemisphere



is characterized by difficulty in learning to comprehend written language, which is a receptive rather than productive skill 


auditory verbal agnosia

the inability to comprehend speech, concerns receptive language skills


As they embarked upon deliberations during a trial nine jurors were leaning towards finding the defendant guilty, while three jurors thought the defendant was not guilty. During deliberations the nine who believed that the defendant was guilty tended to confer with one another,  while the three who believed he was not guilty also conferred more with one another than with the other nine jurors. This tendency resulted in the jury members all becoming more entrenched in their initial positions than they had been before. This exemplifies what concept in social psychology?

Group polarization 

Group polarization is the phenomenon whereby groups make more extreme decisions acting together as a group than the individual members would if acting alone. Accordingly, as individuals these jurors believed in their points of view from the beginning, but after they formed oppositional groups they became even more entrenched in their respective positions


Cognitive appraisal 

is a process whereby a physiological arousal is assessed in the brain and processed for the appropriate physiological and psychological coping strategies


Informational influence 

is a group effect whereby individuals look to other members in order to know how to behave in a given situation; it arises from a desire to be correct and to understand how best to act


Social categorization

is the process by which people sort themselves into categories

ex) When we meet a new professor, for example, we may classify her as a woman, as middle-aged, as Asian, as an academic, etc


Men and women display different characteristics with respect to their aggressive behavior. Women are more likely to engage in:

verbal aggression

Women are more likely to engage in verbal aggression (e.g., hurling insults, spreading rumors, or disparaging someone), whereas men are more likely to be physically aggressive. Differences in the average size and strength of males and females, along with a strong societal bias against female physical aggression, may account in part for this gender disparity. There is no evidence to suggest that women are more likely than men to commit aggressive acts associated with a social ritual. Women rarely commit sexually aggressive acts, which are much more commonly associated with males. 


Socialized medicine is a term used to describe governmental regulation of health care, with this public administration of health services being funded through taxation. This is also often referred to as universal health care. In the United States, there are some socialized insurance programs, such as military medicine. However, despite the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, private companies continue to provide most of the nation's health care. Public opinion has been slow to accept the notion of universal health care, as evidenced by the opposition to presidential reform efforts during the Truman, Clinton, and Obama administrations. This hesitation could be attributed to several factors, such as the public's agreement with conservative critics. and best matches the approach to inequalities described in the theories of:

Max Weber

The theoretical perspective most concerned with social inequalities is conflict theory. Classical sociologists associated with this theory include Karl Marx, Ludwig Gumplowicz, and Max Weber. 

The persistent opposition to forms of socialized medicine best reflects the theories of Max Weber.  Unlike the other theorists, Weber argued that the presence of inequalities would not necessitate the collapse of capitalism. He suggested that responses to inequalities are moderated through additional social factors, such as agreement with authority figures (e.g., public political figures). 


Emile Durkheim

is associated with structural functionalism, which is focused on contributions to social stability


Karl Marx

Marx argued that social inequalities, and subsequent conflict and internal tensions as a result of power differentials, would lead to the rise of socialism. The Marxist perspective then suggests the rise of socialized medicine, as opposed to the continuation of capitalistic private systems


Ludwig Gumplowicz 

Expanded on Marx's ideas via proposing that society is shaped by war and conquest and that cultural and ethnic conflicts lead to certain groups becoming dominant over other groups


object permanence 

the awareness that physical objects exist even when they are not seen or experienced through any other physical sense

object permanence is attained by roughly 18-24 months.


A-not-B error

individual perseveres in looking for an object in a location in which it was previously placed, even with the knowledge that it has been placed elsewhere - most common in infants under 12 months of age


Ambivalent attachment - part of Mary Ainsworth's Stranger Paradigm

Infants with ambivalent attachment show stress when their parents leave, but do not want to be comforted when their parents return


conservation - part of Piaget’s concrete operational stage of development (ages 7-11)

child’s capacity to determine that a certain quantity remains the same despite adjustment of the container, shape, or apparent size


Gestalt Law of continuity

we tend to see smooth continuous patterns rather than discontinuous ones


Gestalt principle of proximity

we tend to group nearby things together


Gestalt principle of similarity

we tend to group similar things together



the most controversial lie detection instrument

purports to expose lying by gauging the physiological effects presumably associated with it


fight-or-flight response 

increased heart rate, sweating, pupils dilate, inhibition of salivation