Answers - EDITION 5 Minutes to a 5

5 Steps to a 5: AP Psychology - McGraw Hill 2021

EDITION 5 Minutes to a 5

Day 1

No answer necessary.

Day 2

No answer necessary.

Day 3

No answer necessary.

Day 4

Answers will vary.

Day 5

Answers will vary.

Day 6

There are a number of sites you can go to, but many will redirect you to: to learn what event occurred on your birthday. For mine, in 1910, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of the Feeble-Minded in Lincoln, Illinois, Henry H. Goddard proposed definitions for a system for classifying individuals with mental retardation. Goddard used the terms moron, imbecile, and idiot for categories of increasing impairment. This nomenclature was the standard of the field for decades.

Day 7


Day 8

Wilhelm Wundt is considered the Father of Psychology. He conducted the first psychological experiment in 1879 by measuring the lag time between participants’ hearing a ball drop and pressing a telegraph key. He later compared lag time for more complex tasks and tried to measure what he called the “atoms of the mind.”

Day 9

Structuralism is an early school of psychology that utilizes introspection as a tool to explore the structure of the human mind. The school of thought was introduced by Edward Titchener, who was a student of Wilhelm Wundt. Like Wundt, Titchener’s goal was to discover the elements of the mind. He engaged people in self-reflective introspection to report their experiences. This practice required smart, verbally literate people. Introspection was unreliable because it varied from person to person and experience to experience. The goal of functionalism was to consider the functions of thoughts and feelings. This school of thought was introduced by William James, a student of Charles Darwin, and was established on the assumption that thinking developed because it was adaptive and contributed to our ancestors’ survival. Functionalism focused on how mental and behavioral processes function and how they enable organisms to adapt, survive, and flourish.

Day 10

Independent variable—the variable that is being manipulated within the experiment

Dependent variable—measure of performance affected by the independent variable

Extraneous or confounding variable—a variable that affects or impacts the dependent variable, which was not controlled by the experimenter

Day 11



Day 12

This is an example of how intuition may often be wrong, especially when it comes to the physical nature of things. Most people will respond that it requires 2 cubes to make a cube that is 2 cm on each side. However, the actual answer is 8 cubes. For a cube, you need 2 layers of 4 cubes each.

Day 13

Hindsight bias is the tendency to exaggerate one’s ability to have foreseen that an event would occur having already learned about the event. This is the “I knew it all along” phenomenon. If asked before the 9/11 bombing on the United States, most people would have reported that an attack on U.S. soil was highly unlikely. However, after the attacks, most people replied that they always felt a little unsafe and knew the bombings were likely to occur.

Day 14

Answers will vary.

Day 15

The mean is the arithmetic average of a set of data. This is obtained by adding all scores together and dividing by the number of scores. The median is the midpoint score if all values are arranged in numerical order from smallest to greatest. The median would be the value where 50 percent of the scores fall below and 50 percent above. The mode is the most frequent score that appears in a set of scores. All three of these values are measures of central tendency, a single value that can represent the set of values. The range of scores is the difference between the smallest and largest scores in the set. It sets the extremes of the distribution of scores. The standard deviation is a value that can be calculated to determine how much a single score varies from the mean or average score. Both range and standard deviation are measures of variation.

Day 16

Neural communication is said to be electrochemical because messages are transmitted electrically within cells and chemically between cells. The electrical communication is accomplished by the action potential and sodium-potassium pump. The chemical communication refers to the neurotransmitters released into the synapses between neurons, which trigger an action potential in the receiving neuron.

Day 17

Phineas Gage was a mild-mannered railroad foreman when, in 1848, a 3½ foot by 1¼ inch tamping rod blasted upward just under his left cheek. It propelled upward at an angle behind his left eye, destroying it, and exited through the top of his skull by the right prefrontal cortex. Surprisingly, Phineas didn’t die. In fact, he rose, stunned, and was able to walk away with assistance. His men brought him to town where he was treated by the local doctor, who cleaned the wound and closed the flap of skin. After his recovery a few months later, he could no longer make logical ethical decisions. It turns out that the tamping rod severed the connection between his amygdala and his prefrontal cortex, specifically the area that controls judgment. This left his emotions to run free without any balance and control from the prefrontal cortex.

Day 18

Phrenology is a pseudoscience that claims the shape and size of one’s cranium is an indicator of one’s character and mental abilities. Phrenology was all the rage in the early part of the nineteenth century’s salons, parties, and coffeehouses in Europe and, later, in the United States. Originally proposed by Franz Joseph Gall in 1796, and based on the idea that the mind is controlled by the brain, phrenology attempted to identify locations within the brain that controlled certain abilities, preferences, and moods, based upon the bumps and protrusions of the skull. Its importance in modern neuroscience is in its historical perspective. The practice was built on the tenets that the brain is the organ of the mind and has specific regions that control various aspects of behavior, and it was one of the first to support rehabilitation of criminals in lieu of corporal and cruel punishment.

Day 19

Brain plasticity, also referred to as neuroplasticity, refers to the brain’s ability to change at any age. The brain is a living, adaptable organ that is constantly making new neuronal connections when learning is reinforced, and pruning old connections that are no longer needed. Learning is a lifelong process, and the healthy brain is forever adapting and making new connections.

Day 20

A neuron consists of three major regions: the cell body, the axon, and the terminal branches. The cell body contains all of the cell organelles of the cytoplasm, including a nucleus. Dendrites are extensions of the cell body that have receptor sites that receive information from other neurons. The axon is a protrusion of the cell body that can vary in length. Some neurons are protected by a layer of fatty tissue, called the myelin sheath (which is produced by other cells called Schwann cells that wrap around the axon). The myelin acts as an insulator to help the speed of the impulse as it travels the length of the axon. The axon ends at the terminal branches, which are not myelinated, and forms junctions to other cells. Within the cells of the terminal branches are the vesicles that house the neurotransmitters.

Day 21

As a neuron receives a stimulus from a sense receptor, or stimulated by the chemical message of a neurotransmitter from a neighboring neuron, it fires an impulse, or action potential. This action potential is a brief electrical charge that is generated at the dendrite, travels the length of the axon, and ends at the terminal branches where it triggers the release of a neurotransmitter. The action potential involves the exchange of charged atoms, or ions, within the length of the axon. A resting axon, one that is not transmitting an impulse, has a fluid interior with an overall negative charge, as compared to the outside of the cell. The semipermeability of the cell while at rest allows for the potassium ions to easily cross from the inside to the outside, while the sodium ions outside the cell have a more difficult time crossing through. At rest, there is relatively more sodium outside the cell and relatively more potassium inside the cell. The difference in the electric potential between these two is known as the resting potential. As an action potential occurs, there is a spike of electrical activity, or impulse, created by a depolarizing current. When a neuron is stimulated by another neuron or a stimulus, polarizing is decreased or depolarized, or increased or hyperpolarized. If the polarization meets the minimum threshold, a sudden change occurs during which, for a brief instant, the cell membrane is totally permeable to sodium ions, which pour into the cell. This flood of positive ions temporarily changes the overall charge inside the cell to positive. As the potassium is forced out of the cell, the membrane quickly reverts back to a resting state.

Day 22

The all-or-none response is the principle that the action potential cannot go “just a little.” The impulse is not cumulative and either goes or does not go. It is similar to firing a gun: if you don’t pull the trigger hard enough, the gun won’t shoot. However, once pulled, you cannot stop or slow down the bullet. The trigger returns to its resting position, ready to fire again. In order for an action potential to be triggered, it must surpass the minimum threshold for that neuron; and, like a gun, once fired, it cannot be “unfired.” If the minimum threshold is not met, the action potential will not be triggered.

Day 23


Day 24

An agonist is a chemical or drug that mimics the action of a neurotransmitter. It binds to the receptor site sufficiently enough to trigger an action potential in a neighboring neuron. An antagonist is a chemical or drug that binds to a receptor site and blocks the effects of a neurotransmitter. An agonist might be used when there is an undersupply of a certain neurotransmitter, whereas an antagonist would be used if there is an oversupply in the synapse and you want to suppress that activity.

Day 25

The nervous system is divided into the central and peripheral nervous systems (CNS and PNS). The CNS is comprised of the brain and spinal cord. The PNS is further divided into the autonomic and somatic nervous systems. The somatic system (SNS) controls voluntary movement of the skeletal muscles. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is responsible for the control of the self-regulated internal organs and glands. The autonomic nervous system is further subdivided into the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The sympathetic division of the ANS is responsible for arousal, while the parasympathetic division is responsible for calming.

Day 26

Responses will vary but should include the value of each machine as well as potential drawbacks. Machines should include the EEG, PET scan, MRI and fMRI, CAT or CT, and MEG.

Day 27

See your psychology text or online sources for diagrams of the brain. The following chart shows the function of each structure.



Day 28

Answers will vary.

Day 29

By studying identical twins reared apart, we are provided a unique opportunity to observe the effects of both nature and nurture on individuals. Nature refers to the genetic similarities of monozygotic twins; and nurture refers to the environment in which they were raised.

Day 30

Rosenzweig researched environmental enrichment by studying the volume of the cerebral cortex in rats raised in barren cages and those raised in cages filled with toys, ladders, and running wheels.

Day 31

Bottom-up processing is similar to initial learning, when there is no prior knowledge and you are assimilating new information. It is perception that begins with sensory input. An example is looking at an image, such as a flower, at the center of your visual field. The visual cortex processes the visual stimuli. Top-down processing is accomplished when there is prior knowledge, expectation, and experience. It is pattern recognition using contextual information. Using the example of the flower, top-down processing includes the expectation of the feel and scent of the flower. The brain perceives that the flower is fresh based on the visual clues as well as past experiences based on the look, smell, and feel of the petals.

Day 32

Product placement feeds directly into the concept of subliminal, or not so subliminal, messages. Any stimulus strength that is correctly detected less than 50 percent of the time is considered subliminal. According to advertising practices, the more a product is viewed in a movie or television show, the more likely you are primed to want or purchase that item.

Day 33

The absolute threshold is the level of stimulus that will accurately be detected 50 percent of the time. These thresholds can change depending upon expectation, environment, and experience. An exhausted new mother who will not hear the phone ring while she’s sleeping can immediately be woken by the sound of her baby crying. Older adults may lose the ability to detect the finer ranges of visual and auditory stimuli. In such cases, you may see them squint to read fine print, or ask you to repeat what you said.

Day 34

Answers will vary.

Day 35

This can be modeled in numerous ways: switch your watch to the other wrist, wallet to a different pocket, or tie your shoes a little tighter. Observe how long it takes until you no longer notice the new sensation. This can also be modeled by jumping into a cold pool. Although it feels very cold initially, after a while it no longer feels as icy. This is not because the temperature of the water changed, but because you “got used to it.”

Day 36

Wavelength of light determines the color of the light we detect; shorter wavelengths are cooler colors, such as blue and green, while longer wavelengths are warmer colors such as red and orange. Amplitude refers to the height of the waves and determines the brightness or intensity of the color; greater amplitude provides brighter colors and smaller amplitude gives dull soft colors.

Day 37

Light enters the eye through the pupil of the eye, passes through the lens, and is refracted to focus an inverse image on the fovea at the back of the cornea. The light triggers a reaction in the rods and cones located in the retina. The photochemical reaction in these cells activates the bipolar cells, which, in turn, activate the ganglion cells. The axons of the ganglia converge at the back of the eye to form the optic nerve, which transmits the neural impulse to the thalamus to the visual cortex.

Day 38

The nature of light is such that objects absorb all wavelengths of color except what you see. They reflect the color you see. If I am wearing a red sweatshirt, the fabric is absorbing all other colors of the visible spectrum and reflecting the red wavelength. In other words, you see what is reflected back to your eyes, just as a mirror, which does not absorb any light, reflects your image.

Day 39

Sound waves are amplified in the ear canal, pass through the bones of the middle ear, and create movement at the oval window. This vibration creates movement of the ciliated cells of the basilar membrane within the cochlea, where transduction occurs. The bases of these specialized cells merge to form the auditory nerve, which sends the impulse to the thalamus and on to the auditory cortex.

Day 40


The first list contained words that were all related, so the expectation was that after deciphering the first word, each consecutive word would be a vegetable as well. The second column of words is random and not as commonly used, therefore the processing of these terms was more difficult. Did you get them all right?

Day 41

Answers will vary.

Day 42

Answers will vary.

Day 43

Answers will vary but should include five of the following, as example:

Relative size can be shown by drawing buildings closer to you larger than those farther away. Interposition can be shown when a building is partially blocked by another. The brain perceives the building that is blocking the other as closer. Relative clarity can be shown in the haziness of the river. Light from objects that are farther away pass through more atmosphere, and therefore appear less distinct. Clear objects appear closer. Texture gradient can be shown by the detail in the texture in the buildings as compared to those of the mountains. Since buildings would be perceived to be closer, they would have greater texture detail than that of the mountains. Relative height can be used to show depth because those objects that are higher in the field of vision appear to be farther away. Mountains at the top of the paper will appear to be farther away than the buildings that are lower on the page. Linear perspective uses parallel lines to provide cues for depth. In the picture, the shores of the river will not be parallel, but will converge near the horizon line to give the appearance of distance. Light and shadow also provide depth cues. In the picture, objects that are closer will be lighter than those farther away, which will appear to be in shadow.

Day 44

Kinesthesis is the perception of body movement and position. It can detect even the slightest changes and rapidly adjusts to keep you balanced, without relying on information from the five senses. Your vestibular sense also keeps track of the position of your head and body position and movement. The semicircular canals of the inner ear are fluid-filled chambers that act as a level in each of the three planes. Movement of the fluid in the canals corresponds to the position of the head. As the head turns one way or the other, the fluid quickly adjusts to compensate and keep the body balanced.

Day 45

Answers will vary.

Day 46

Answers will vary.

Day 47

Answers will vary. There are many popular websites to interpret the meaning of dreams. One that is frequently used is

Day 48

Answers will vary.

Day 49

Answers will vary.

Day 50

Daydreaming: temporary blurring of contact with reality through a series of pleasant thoughts and distractions

Drowsiness: sense of lethargy and sleepiness

Dreaming: series of images, sensations, ideas, or emotions that occur during certain stages of sleep

Hallucinations: physiological experience that involves the apparent perception of something without the appropriate sensation

Orgasm: climax of sexual excitement

Sensory deprivation: lack of normal external stimuli that can result in psychological distress or hallucinations

Hypnosis: induction of an altered state of consciousness during which one can lose voluntary action and becomes highly suggestible

Meditation: focusing of thought to understand something deeply

Day 51

Stage 1: The stage between wakefulness and sleep, also known as somnolence, sometimes characterized by hallucinations or a sense of falling or floating.

Stage 2: Deeper than Stage 1, this stage is accompanied by short, quick bursts of rapid rhythmic brain wave patterns known as spindles. Sleep talking can occur in this or any deeper stage.

Stage 3: Short, transitional period before the deepest Stage 4 sleep. Large, slow delta waves first begin to appear in this stage.

Stage 4: Deepest stage of sleep, lasts for about 30 minutes at a time. Bedwetting or sleepwalking in children may occur during this stage.

REM: Rapid eye movement occurs after the first cycle from Stage 1 through 4 and back to Stage 2 again. Thereafter, upon reaching Stage 2 you enter REM sleep, characterized by rapid heartbeat and breathing and irregular eye movement. Because your brainstem still blocks the messages from the motor cortex, your muscles are quite relaxed, resulting in the paradoxical stage. Dreaming occurs in this stage as well.

Day 52

(1) According to the National Sleep Foundation, during sleep, our memories are solidified and consolidated. As we sleep, memories are transferred from short-term to long-term storage. (2) From an evolutionary standpoint, sleep helps protect us. As darkness approached and our ancestors could no longer see well enough to hunt and gather, they would seek the shelter of a cave to sleep. (3) Sleep provides time for recuperation. During sleep, the body repairs both brain and body tissues. (4) Many people use their dreams as inspiration. This is true of both literary artists and scientists. (5) Sleep is important in growth. Since the pituitary gland releases growth hormone during deep sleep, children tend to grow more at night than during the day. Adults release less growth hormone and require less sleep.

Day 53

Insomnia is a persistent difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Treatment includes both cognitive and behavioral therapies, such as relaxation training, meditation, and CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by the brain’s inability to regulate sleep cycles, resulting in extreme tendency to fall asleep, especially in comfortable or relaxing surroundings. Treatment can include stimulants, antidepressants, and modification of lifestyle such as weight loss, increased exercise, and setting routine and regular sleep hours. Sleep apnea is characterized by occurrences of one or more breathing pauses during sleep. Treatment for sleep apnea usually includes a consistent positive airway pressure device, a mask that fits over the mouth and nose during sleep and provides a gentle steady flow of air, effectively keeping the airway open. Night terrors are experienced by children more often than by adults. They include a sudden sense of fear that may or may not wake the child from deep sleep, with rapid heart rate and breathing. This is often accompanied by screaming and flailing. Treatment of the underlying disorder may be the best option. Night terrors are often coupled with sleep apnea; treating the apnea may reduce the terrors. Improving the child’s sleep habits and addressing any external stressors may help as well.

Day 54

This is a complicated question. Freud wrote an entire book, The Interpretation of Dreams, devoted to just this question. Freud discussed the hidden, or latent, content of our dreams as well as the obvious, or manifest, content. Much of his analysis of dreams could be traced back to one’s erotic desires, even though there was no obvious sexual content to the dreams. Some researchers believe that dreams provide the time and pathways needed to process the day’s information. Another theory states that, during REM, our dreaming allows for the development and preservation of neural pathways. The activation-synthesis theory states that dreams are merely the brain’s attempt to make sense of the random neural firings that occur as we sleep. Other researchers believe that dreams are a natural pathway for the brain to mature and develop.

Day 55


Day 56

Tolerance describes a condition in which it requires increasing amounts of the same drug to experience the same effect. Withdrawal is the physical and/or psychological result of an abrupt removal or decrease in a drug to which you have developed an addiction. Symptoms can include flu-like symptoms, seizures, depression, restlessness, and/or tremors. Dependence is the physiological state in which continued use of the drug is needed to prevent withdrawal symptoms. Addiction is a chronic disorder characterized by compulsive behavior to seek and use drugs despite knowledge of their negative effect.

Day 57

Answers will vary.

Day 58

Learning is a relatively permanent change in one’s behavior due to experience. We learn by making associations, connections to other events.

Day 59

Acquisition is the stage during which initial learning takes place. During this time, subjects make the connection between the neutral stimulus (tone) and unconditioned stimulus (food). Extinction is the time when the unconditioned stimulus (food) does not follow the conditioned stimulus (tone). Spontaneous recovery is when after a period of time, a conditioned response that has been extinguished (salivation) automatically recovers. Generalization is the tendency to respond to stimuli that are similar to the conditioned stimulus (different tones). Discrimination is the ability to respond to a specific conditioned stimulus and not to others that are similar.

Day 60

(N) ___Seeing Tom___ + (UCS) __Tom yells____ = (UCR) __Blood pressure rises___

(CS) ________Seeing Tom_________ = (CR) ____Blood pressure rises___

Day 61

Watson, and his graduate student, Rosalie Rayner, conducted experiments on Little Albert to classically condition him to be fearful of white rats. They began by presenting him with a white rat, a rabbit, a monkey, masks, and burning newspapers and observed the boy’s reactions. The boy initially showed no fear of any of the objects he was shown. He paired a loud noise, made by hitting a pipe with a hammer, while presenting the baby with the rat. Little Albert quickly associated the scary noise, which made him cry, with the presence of the white furry creature. After conditioning, Albert feared not just the white rat, but a wide variety of similar white objects as well. His fear included other furry objects including Rayner’s fur coat and Watson wearing a Santa Claus beard.

Day 62

Garcia studied the effects of ionizing radiation on the brain in a number of experiments on laboratory animals, specifically rats. He observed that the rats would not drink water from plastic bottles in radiation chambers. He believed the rats associated the “plastic tasting” water with the sickness that radiation causes. Through these experiments, Garcia discovered that if a rat became sick after being presented with the “plastic” taste, even if the illness occurred several hours later, the rat would avoid that taste. This contradicted the then current belief that, for conditioning to occur, the unconditioned response (sickness) must immediately follow the conditioned stimulus (the taste).

Day 63

Behaviorism is the study of psychology that supports the theory that the behavior of both humans and animals can be controlled, explained, or modified through conditioning, without any thought, feeling, or processing.

Day 64

A Skinner box is a container that assists in studying operant conditioning in small animals, such as pigeons and rats. Inside the container is a lever that is attached to a reward like water or a treat, or a punishment such as an electrical charge. Often equipped with a light to signal the lever to push, the animal is conditioned to respond to a stimulus to gain reward or avoid punishment.

Day 65

Answers will vary, but students should note that getting clues like warmer, and hot are reinforcements that strengthen the behavior (finding the hidden object). Conversely, clues like cooler, and cold are reinforcers that will decrease the behavior (move away from a particular location).

Day 66

Shaping refers to the gradual modification of behaviors, using a series of reinforcers, away from an undesirable behavior and toward the desired behavior.

Day 67

Primary reinforcers are innate pleasurable stimuli, such as food and drinks. Secondary reinforcers gain their reinforcing power through association with primary reinforcers. Examples include money, acceptance to college, good grades, etc.

Day 68

Answers will vary. Here is just one example.


Day 69

Answers will vary. Here is just one example.


Day 70

Punishment is an aversive event that should decrease unwanted behavior. Punishments can be positive or negative: You can give something as a punishment, such as a spanking, or extra work. Or you can take away something as a punishment, such as a privilege or a cell phone.

Day 71

Intrinsic motivation is an internal drive to perform or improve, without the need for an external reinforcer. Extrinsic motivation is a drive to improve performance for the gain of the reward, such as being eager to paint pictures to sell.

Day 72

Mirror neurons are located within the premotor cortex of the frontal lobe in the human brain. First discovered in monkeys, we now know that mirror neurons biologically support observational learning. The neurons fire when you perform a particular task, say cross your arms. But they also fire when you observe someone else performing the same task. So you find you and your companion both standing with your arms crossed during a conversation.

Day 73

Bandura enlisted the help of adults and a blow-up doll called Bobo the Clown to study children’s behaviors. A young child observes an adult hitting and kicking the inflatable clown while yelling, “Kick him . . . Sock him in the nose . . .” The child is removed to a different room with plenty of appealing toys. After the experimenter removes the appealing toys, explaining that they are for the other children, the child is moved to another room with fewer toys and the clown. Those children who observed the adult outbursts were more likely to display similarly aggressive behavior. Bandura’s research can be applied today to prosocial models, such as positive role models, as well as to violence on TV as a negative influence.

Day 74

No answer necessary.

Day 75


Day 76

Encoding—how we get the information into our memory

Storage—how we retain the information

Retrieval—how to get the information back out of our memory

Day 77

Semantic—encoding with meaning; the difference between a house and a car, the definition of a term. Episodic—encoding a specific, sometimes personal memory; your 16th birthday or the bombing during the Boston Marathon. Implicit—(procedural memory) occurs without conscious recall; how to tie your shoes. Explicit—(declarative memory) facts and/or experiences that require conscious recall; the capital of New York State, your first date, or how to spell a particular word.

Day 78

A flashbulb memory is a clear memory of a moment or event that is linked to strong emotion. Examples include learning about the death or birth of a loved one, buying your first car, or being surprised at your own surprise party.

Day 79

Answers will vary. Those who perform better on multiple choice exams will rely on recognition, since the correct response is included as one of the choices. The examinee merely needs to eliminate wrong choices and recognize the correct one. Those who perform better on constructed response exams depend upon recall, as the answer is not embedded in the question.

Day 80

Peg words, acronyms, acrostics, grouping or chunking, method of loci, rhymes.

Day 81

Elizabeth Loftus has shown that eyewitness testimonies of people’s memories were often flawed when recalled. In one of her well-known experiments, participants were shown a video of an accident and subsequently quizzed about what they saw. Those who were asked, “How fast were the cars going when they smashed into each other?” estimated greater speeds than those who were asked, “How fast were the cars going when they hit each other?” Follow-up questions were asked of the participants a week later, and those who were in the smashed group were twice as likely to report seeing broken glass in the video as those in the hit group. The film did not show any broken glass. Loftus reported through another experiment that repeatedly imagining actions that did not occur created and reinforced false memories.

Day 82

Encoding failure, storage decay, retrieval failure, retroactive and proactive interference, repression, amnesia.

Day 83

Language is a means of thinking and communication by written, oral, or signed words.

Day 84

A phoneme is the smallest unit of speech that has a distinct sound. There are 44 phonemes in the English language.

Day 85

A morpheme is the smallest unit of a language that has meaning. Unlike phonemes, the number of morphemes in any language can change, as language itself changes. As new prefixes and suffixes are added, new morphemes are born. So too are new words created to describe technology and advancements in science, art, literature, etc., and these new words may have new morphemes as well.

Day 86

Grammar refers to the rules of a language that govern its composition. Grammar includes proper punctuation, spelling, noun-verb agreement, etc. Semantics are the grammatical rules that provide meaning to words and phrases. An example of incorrect semantics might be “The elephant drove the sports car.” Syntax refers to the rules languages uses to properly sequence words. An example of incorrect syntax might be “I store to the go.”

Day 87

Answers will vary. Chomsky’s contribution included his proposal that children are born with a language acquisition device—an innate predisposition to acquire language skills.

Day 88

Cognitive psychology refers to the branch of psychology that studies mental processes, including memory, thinking, language, and perception.

Day 89

Concepts are the mental groups or pairings we make for similar objects, words, colors, etc. We start by developing a prototype—a rough representation of the mental image for a particular object or idea. For example, the concept of chair might include a variety of objects upon which you could sit. Your prototypical chair is the first image that pops into your mind when you hear or see the word. For me, this is a straight-backed, rough wood chair. In order to add new information into our mental construct, we need to either assimilate that information, by allowing it to fit seamlessly into our current construct, or to accommodate the construct to allow the new information. Using the example of chair and my rough-hewn prototype, it is easy to add other examples of chair into the existing construct. As I see soft chairs, school chairs, and high chairs, they all fit reasonably well within the current framework of the concept. However, if a little boy sees a toy chair and tries to sit on it, he will quickly learn that it is not truly a chair. He may need to change or modify his concept of chair to omit toy chairs. Similarly, he may learn that cars, trains, and planes all have chairs and will again need to modify his concept to allow this new information to fit the construct.

Day 90

Heuristics can be considered general “rules of thumb.” These are mental shortcuts our brain uses to help solve problems. Representativeness heuristic helps us judge things based on how well they represent a particular prototypical construct. For example, let’s say you were invited to go bowling with friends. Based on your prototypical understanding of what the bowling alley, lanes, and environment will be like, you may choose to dress casually in comfortable clothes. If you were invited to a prom, your manner of dress would be quite different. The “rule of thumb” would be to dress for the occasion. Your past experiences would tell you not to wear a ball gown or tuxedo to go bowling with friends. The availability heuristic operates based on how readily available certain information is. One example is terrorism in the United States. After September 11, 2001, people are more concerned and worried about air travel or attendance at crowded events because of the availability of information on terrorism made public through the media.

Day 91

Overconfidence is the tendency to overestimate the accuracy of your knowledge and judgments. An example of overconfidence might be a person who thinks he is invaluable to his employer when, in fact, many other people could complete the same task. Belief perseverance is the continued belief in certain thoughts and judgments despite all knowledge to the contrary. The most commonly used example is a person who continues to smoke despite the warnings on the package, citing that it is neither harmful to the body nor causes cancer.

Day 92

An algorithm is a procedure that guarantees a solution. It may take time, but you will eventually solve the problem. A heuristic is a general “rule of thumb” that uses logic. It is a shortcut that is usually based upon expectations and past experiences and will generally provide an adequate solution. Trial and error is like a shot in the dark. You just keep trying and trying until you come upon an answer. Insight is the “aha moment” when you get a burst of inspiration and, perhaps, the answer suddenly is apparent. We can use finding an item, such as a bottle of ketchup, in an unfamiliar supermarket as an example. The algorithm will tell us to start at the first aisle and continue up and down every aisle until we find the ketchup. Using a heuristic, such as the representativeness heuristic, we might say that ketchup is a condiment and, in our previous market, it was located near the mustard. This would bring us to the condiment aisle to look for it. Trial and error might have us bouncing all over the market from one aisle to another randomly chosen one until we finally stumbled on the correct aisle. Using insight we might get the idea that ketchup is often used on burgers during barbecues, and find a special seasonal display of the item in the aisle where the seasonal items would be sold.

Day 93

Two cognitive obstacles to problem solving are confirmation bias and fixation. Confirmation bias is the tendency to seek solutions that verify our ideas, rather than contradict them. Fixation is the inability to see a different solution to a problem, other than the typical solution. Functional fixedness is the failure to see the use of an object other than its original intended one. Mental set is another type of fixedness that predetermines how we think. When we tend to attack a problem in the same way we have in the past, expecting different results, we are using a mental set.

Day 94

The four perspectives on motivation and drive are instinct (evolutionary perspective) theory, drive-reduction theory, arousal theory, and hierarchy of needs.

Day 95

An instinct is a complex, fixed pattern of behavior that is evident in a species. Examples of instinctive behavior are birds flying south for the winter, bears hibernating, or human infants grasping and sucking.

Day 96

Drive reduction begins with a physiological need for a primary reinforcer, such as water or food. The drive is an aroused state, such as thirst or hunger, that causes the individual to do something to reduce that drive, such as drink or eat. The stronger the need and incentive, the stronger the drive.

Day 97

Answers will vary.

Day 98

The need for food is a biological need for the body to maintain a homeostatic internal environment. To maintain normal body weight, you need adequate nutrition. Starved of that basic need, you become food-obsessed. According to research by Ancel Keys, hungry men in the study talked about food, thought about food, copied and shared recipes, and sought pictures of mouthwatering dishes.

Day 99

When the lateral hypothalamus is stimulated, the brain senses hunger. Even well-fed animals (and humans) will continue to eat, if this area of the hypothalamus is electrically stimulated. The ventromedial section of the hypothalamus depresses hunger. When this area is stimulated, even a starved animal will not seek food. If this region of the brain is destroyed, there is no end to the hunger drive and animals will rapidly gain weight.

Day 100

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder by which people drop significantly below normal weight (15 percent +). The disorder is characterized by obsessive-compulsive behaviors in which the person (often adolescents and mostly female) will obsess about becoming fat and compulsively diet to address the obsession. Anorexics are usually pathologically thin and still markedly dissatisfied with their body. The aims of treatment plans are to restore the patient’s natural weight, enhance the individual’s cooperation in the restoration of the healthy body, enlist the support of family and friends, and use cognitive therapy to help the patient understand the dangers of anorexia and identify the negative thought patterns that drive the unacceptable behavior.

Day 101

Having a BMI (body mass index) greater than 30 can have both physiological and social impact on a person. Obesity can shorten a person’s life span and increase the risk for Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, gallstones, heart disease, some cancers, and arthritis. Socially, obesity can affect how a person is treated in public. It increases costs of clothing, food, and travel. According to a 1994 study, it can even impact a person’s likelihood of getting hired for a job compared to a thin person using the same tone, words, and inflections.

Day 102

According to the Masters and Johnson study (1966), there are four stages in the human sexual response cycle. These include excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. In the excitement stage, the genitals become engorged and swollen with blood, the vagina secretes a lubricant, and breasts and nipples can become enlarged. During plateau, breathing, pulse, and blood pressure increase, the penis becomes fully engorged and secretes a clear fluid, and vaginal secretion continues as the clitoris retracts. An orgasm occurs as muscles contract rhythmically. The vagina’s contractions help to draw semen out of the penis and up into the uterus. After ejaculation, the resolution stage begins, during which time the bodies begin to slowly return to an unaroused state. In men, this includes a necessary refractory period during which time an erection and additional orgasm are not possible.

Day 103

The James-Lange theory of emotion explains that a physiological arousal precedes the emotion. For example, if you see a person coming toward you wielding a knife, your heartbeat increases, and then you feel scared. Your fear occurs after your body reacts. The Cannon-Bard theory states that the physiological and emotional responses occur simultaneously. In the same knife-wielding scenario, you would be fearful at the same time your heartbeat increases. The Schachter-Singer two-factor theory states that while you are experiencing the emotional change, your brain registers and interprets it and determines what emotion to feel. Back to the knife-wielding guy again, according to the two-factor theory, as your heartbeat increases, your brain attaches a cognitive label to the sensation and then tells the body to feel fear. According to this theory, one can experience an increased heartbeat for a variety of reasons and the cognitive factor allows time to process and determine the correct emotion.

Day 104

The autonomic nervous system controls “fight or flight” and “rest and digest.” In an aroused state, the sympathetic division prepares the body to either fight or run away. The pupils dilate to allow in more light and improve vision; salivation decreases and digestion is inhibited; the skin begins to perspire because of increased blood flow, bringing heat to the surface; heartbeat increases; and stress hormones are released from the adrenal glands. During the calming phase, the opposite occurs. The parasympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system begins to send messages to contract the pupils to reduce light, salvation and digestion increase, heart rate decreases, the skin temperature returns to normal, and adrenal glands decrease the release of stress hormones. You can think of the parasympathetic system as a parachute returning your body to rest.

Day 105

Emotion, so to say, is written all over your face. Our brains are capable of detecting even slight differences in facial expressions. We can determine if the entire face is engaged during a smile, and young physically abused children interpreted an image of a face morphed with both anger and fear as angry. Studies show us that women are more sensitive to nonverbal expression and have greater emotional literacy (Feldman Barrett et al., 2000). Gestures can be interpreted differently in different cultures. However, facial expressions are generally universal.

Day 106

Stress is a biological and psychological response to a threat that we feel we do not have the resources to deal with. Sudden and severe stress results in increase in heart rate and breathing, a decrease in digestive activity, and release of glucose from the liver. If a situation is deemed stressful, the hypothalamus triggers the pituitary gland to release adrenocorticotropic hormone, which further stimulates the adrenal glands to release stress hormones.

Day 107

Friedman and Rosenberg (1984) designated these two types to describe people’s mannerisms and habits. Those who seemed reactive, driven, hardworking, aggressive, motivated, and impatient were labeled Type A. Conversely, those who were laid-back and easygoing and appeared more relaxed were labeled Type B. The experimenters completed the 9-year study and, by the end, 257 of the 3,000 men who participated had suffered heart attacks: 69 percent of them were Type A. None of the “pure” Type B was in this group.

Day 108

Answers will vary.

Day 109

Conception, or fertilization, occurs when the nuclei of the sperm and egg fuse to form a single fertilized egg. At this point, it is called a zygote, and cell division, or mitosis, will occur rapidly, becoming two, then four, then eight cells. Within the first week after fertilization, the embryo consists of 100 or more cells and has formed a solid ball. At this point, the cells continue to multiply, forming a hollow ball, and eventually begin to differentiate, creating three distinct layers. Each layer begins to take on specific roles, developing into skin, skeleton, internal organs, muscle, etc. Shortly after 2 months, the embryo has taken on some characteristics that can appear human. It is now a fetus and has the beginning of the spine and limb buds. As it continues to grow and cells differentiate and multiply, it will become more and more evidently human. The body is larger than the head, but it is clear that the brain is developing. By the fourth month, many of the characteristics are present and the fetus will need time to grow. Before the time of birth, by about the sixth month the child can react to the mother’s voice. After approximately 9 months, the fetus has fully developed and grown to weigh about eight pounds.

Day 110

Teratogens are external agents that are harmful to the unborn child if they cross the placental filter from the mother to the fetus. Examples of teratogens include certain drugs, viruses, alcohol, and nicotine.

Day 111

Answers will vary.

Day 112

Answers will vary.

Day 113

Answers will vary.

Day 114

Answers will vary.

Day 115

Answers will vary. This is a week-long project. Several examples of reflective questions can be found online.

Day 116


Day 117

Harry and Margaret Harlow conduct experiments on monkeys’ abilities to develop attachments to their mothers or to surrogates. Infant monkeys raised in isolated cages developed a close bond to the artificial mother in the cage, made of wire and cloth, even when presented with food on another “mother” without the cloth covering. The baby monkeys sought the protection of the cloth-covered surrogate when feeling anxious or stressed.

Day 118


Day 119

Answers will vary, but students should include Kohlberg’s three stages:

Preconventional morality—one obeys rules to avoid punishment or to seek reward.

Conventional morality—one obeys rules simply because there are rules.

Post-conventional morality—using abstract reasoning, one chooses to break the rules because there is a just and right reason.

Day 120

Crystallized intelligence is our accumulated knowledge, which continues to increase as we age. Fluid intelligence is our ability to reason quickly and abstractly, which decreases slowly through our seventies and rapidly thereafter.

Day 121

Nature vs. nurture debates which influence child development more—inherited genes or the environment in which we are raised. Continuity vs. stages debates how a child develops, as a long continuous developmental process or passing in and out of progressive stages. Stability vs. change debates whether people’s personalities are persistent or change over time.

Day 122

Answers will vary.

Day 123

Answers will vary.

Day 124

Psychoanalytic perspective, humanistic perspective, trait perspective, learning perspective, and social-cognitive perspective.

Day 125

If an iceberg represents the mind, then the ego is the small 10 percent of the berg that shows above the surface, representing the conscious. The superego and the id are the part of the berg that is submerged below the surface and not readily visible. These are the unconscious mind. The preconscious mind would be the water just surrounding the iceberg—those ideas that are just outside of our conscious awareness but readily accessible.

Day 126

Freud described the id as the unconscious psychic energy that is always trying to satisfy basic drives—such as survival, reproduction, and aggression. The superego is the portion of your unconscious that seeks to be your conscience—always trying to be right, good, and just. The ego is the executive mediator that tries to balance the drives of the id with the natural tendency to want to do well. If you think of the id as the devil sitting on your shoulder, pleading with you to eat the chocolate cake, the superego is the angel sitting on your other shoulder telling you not to eat the cake because you’ll gain weight. The ego attempts to satisfy both by allowing you to eat a small slice—after a 30-minute run.

Day 127


Day 128

Repression—banishment of anxiety-ridden thoughts by sending them to the unconscious. According to Freud, this is the one defense mechanism that underlies all others. An example would be denying that you one was abused as a child.

Regression—protecting the ego by reverting to a younger, less developed psychosexual stage. An example is speaking like a little child when you want a favor from a parent.

Reaction formation—protects the ego by responding the opposite way the situation requires. An example is declaring your love for someone you detest.

Projection—protects the ego by disguising negative impulses and attributing them to others. An example is accusing someone else of being biased when it is, in fact, you who are biased.

Rationalization—protects the ego by attempting to offer what seems to be a logical explanation for the aberrant behavior. An example is getting into a fight with someone and saying he deserved it.

Displacement—protects the ego by giving you a less threatening outlet for your aggressive impulses. An example is coming home from work after being yelled at by the boss and kicking the dog.

Day 129

Answers will vary. Categorizing them is an excellent practice in factor analysis.

Day 130

Answers will vary.

Day 131

Answers will vary.

Day 132

Answers will vary.

Day 133

According to Jung, collective unconscious is the part of our unconscious mind that comes from all of the collective unconsciousness and memories of our ancestors. As a collective unconscious, this is common to all humans and not specific for an individual.

Day 134

Answers will vary. This is an image from a Thematic Apperception Test, TAT, which is deliberately designed to be ambiguous. Individual interpretations of the image can provide insight into the personality, conflicts, etc.

Day 135

Projective tests provide an ambiguous image for the patient to describe or tell a story about, in the hopes of revealing hidden and deep-seated emotions or conflicts. The Thematic Apperception Test and the Rorschach inkblot test are two examples.

Day 136

The humanistic perspective focuses on healthy people and how they work to achieve self-realization. People were considered clients, instead of patients, and were studied through self-reporting emotions, feelings, and experiences. Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers were pioneers of this perspective.

Day 137


Day 138

Rogers believed in the good nature of people and that they tend to grow toward self-actualization. In order for this to occur, Rogers felt that we require three conditions: genuineness, acceptance, and empathy. Rogers practiced empathy with his clients and believed people needed to be open with their own feelings to be genuine. When people are accepting, Rogers said they offer unconditional positive regard.

Day 139

The humanistic perspective focuses on one’s opportunities for growth, striving to reach a point of self-fulfillment. The trait perspective focuses on the stability of certain characteristics, or traits, considered to be enduring personality qualities. Followers of this perspective, such as Gordon Allport and Isabel Myers and her mother, Katharine Briggs, believe that people exhibit certain traits on a spectrum of dimensions. The range of the dimension for each trait helps to identify various aspects of personality. This perspective provides a deeper and more complex view of personality, attributing many factors to its development.

Day 140

Personality can be assessed through inventory assessments. These are questionnaires that cover a variety of feelings and behaviors. One of the more common assessments is the MMPI, Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory.

Day 141

The Big Five factors can be easily remembered by the word OCEAN or CANOE: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Each of these factors is assessed on a dimensional range, such as trusting to suspicious, fun-loving to sober, etc. In all, there are 15 endpoint poles, three for each dimension.

Day 142

The social-cognitive perspective of personality looks at how our traits and situations interact to develop personality. Bandura, who coined the term reciprocal determinism, described the person—environment interaction as equally influential. Different people choose different environments; personality shapes how we interpret and react to create an event; personality helps create situations to which we react.

Day 143

A feeling of self-worth can be found in people who feel good about themselves. This leads to better sleep at night; they are more attentive to detail and tasks, stand up to pressure to conform, and are not shy or anxious.

Day 144

Western cultures tend to be supportive of individualism, where each person relies on his or her own abilities and strategies to achieve success. Western cultures praise the individual achievement. Eastern cultures support collectivism, a philosophy through which priorities are set for the group instead of the individual. The group can refer to one’s extended family, work colleagues, team, or peers. The success of the group is prioritized over individual success.

Day 145


Solving this creative puzzle requires flexible thinking—thinking outside the box, so to speak. You must let go of the assumption that all the squares will continue to be the same size as before, and equal to each other.

Day 146

Answers will vary. Students can find many links to test for IQ. One of the easier ones to navigate is Mensa, the organization for individuals with high IQ, also has a free test you can access at

Day 147

Intelligence is the ability to learn from past experiences, solve problems, and use that knowledge to apply to new situations. IQ, or Intelligence Quotient, is a score derived from the Stanford-Binet test that measures mental age. William Stern applied this information to create a ratio, or quotient, by comparing the mental age to the chronological age. When multiplied by 100, this value is considered IQ. Howard Gardner observed that people have different abilities in various categories and proposed the concept of multiple intelligences. Some people can score quite low on a standard intelligence test, but show remarkable mathematical or musical ability. Some of the categories Gardner’s model provides are linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, and spatial intelligence. In all, there are eight categories, with a ninth proposed category of existential intelligence. General intelligence, or g, is a type of intelligence put forth by Charles Spearman, who believed that those who tended to score highly in one category, or factor, of intelligence often scored high in other areas as well.

Day 148

Achievement tests measure information you have already learned, such as your AP Psychology exam, a midterm in math, or an oral exam in French. An aptitude test is designed to predict future success or ability to learn a new skill. An example of an aptitude test is the SAT.

Day 149

To be standardized, the expected scores on a current test are compared to the performance of a previously tested similar group. SAT results are compared to the scores of previous students to assure that the results are similar, given similar variables. A reliable test will yield consistent results each time it is given. If each year my students earn an average of about an 82 on their Psychology midterm, my test is reliable. A valid test measures what it set out to. If my students have studied for a unit test on Intelligence and the test I given them is on Developmental Psychology, it is not a valid assessment of their understanding of the unit on Intelligence.

Day 150


Day 151

The heritability of intelligence refers to how much variation in intelligence in a population can be attributed to genes. This factor does not measure that of an individual, but an entire population.

Day 152

Twin studies provide evidence for environmental influences on personality, as well as intelligence. Test scores on fraternal twins raised together were quite similar and higher than those of identical twins raised apart. Early intervention can help nurture and increase intelligence potential, while severely reduced interactions with adults can lead to delayed development. Appropriate nutrition and the number of years a child remains in school can also contribute factors to increase intelligence.

Day 153

Answers will vary.

Day 154

Insanity is a legal term that refers to a person’s inability to determine right from wrong when committing a crime. A psychological disorder is an ongoing pattern of thoughts, feelings, and actions that are atypical, disturbing to self or others, unjustifiable, and maladaptive.

Day 155

The medical model began with Philippe Pinel, in the 18th century, when he removed patients from their prison-like cells and provided more humane treatments such as cleanliness, conversation, and a gentle touch. Today, the medical approach provides modern biological treatments for psychological disorders. The biopsychosocial approach is an attempt to treat the whole person, believing that all behavior, normal or disordered, has its roots in the interaction between nature and nurture. Mental illness is considered a sickness that can be treated. This approach has its roots in the biological, psychological, and sociocultural influences.

Day 156

Unlike the previous editions, the DSM-5 does not have a multiaxial assessment system. Instead, it is organized in chapters by disorder. Each chapter is further organized by developmental lifespan and within individual diagnostic categories. Each disorder is described by those typically diagnosed first in childhood, then adolescence, followed by adulthood.

Day 157

Generalized anxiety disorder is a low-level feeling of tenseness and unease with no reasonable explanation. Panic disorder is marked by a sudden episode of intense fear or dread, which can last for a few brief minutes. Phobias are caused by an irrational fear of an object, activity, or situation, such as being in open spaces, closed spaces, or fear of spiders. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is evidenced by a person’s continued focus, or obsession, on a particular object and his or her behavior to address that object, known as the compulsion. Being obsessed with germs might cause a person to compulsively wash his hands over and over again. Post-traumatic stress disorder has been described as “shell shock,” or “battle fatigue.” Typical symptoms include haunting memories, nightmares, withdrawal from social opportunities, and evidence of anxiety such as jumpiness. PTSD has been seen in veterans, as well as others who have been in major accidents, kidnap victims, and even victims of the Holocaust.

Day 158

Somatoform disorders are psychological disorders in which the symptoms appear to have a physical or bodily form without an evident physical cause. An example might be a person who complains of pain in her arm when there is no medical basis for the pain; there is no muscle fatigue, no injury, and no nerve damage. Another example is conversion disorder, a rare mental condition in which a person has blindness, paralysis, or other nervous system symptoms that cannot be explained by medical evaluation. Hypochondriasis is a more common somatoform disorder in which people misinterpret normal sensations as symptoms of something much more serious.

Day 159

Dissociative identity disorder is characterized by a major break from ordinary consciousness. In this controversial disorder, individuals may have two or more distinct identities alternately controlling the individual’s behavior. These identities may exhibit different personalities, genders, preferences, ages, and experiences. Root causes may be attributed to chronic major trauma or abuse in childhood or adolescence, much of which may have been unimaginably severe. There can be a history of severe sexual abuse, physical abuse, and psychological abuse.

Day 160

Major depressive disorder is characterized by emotional symptoms of sadness, a sense of hopelessness and, often, guilt. Physical symptoms include a change in appetite, constipation, changes in sleep patterns, chronic aches and pains, and loss of energy or restlessness. A patient can be diagnosed with major depressive disorder when at least five symptoms of depression are apparent and last two or more weeks at a time, when not caused by drugs or other medical condition. Bipolar disorder is characterized by episodes of depression followed by episodes of mania, which include euphoria and excitement, high energy or frenzied, disjointed thinking, and wildly inflated self-esteem.

Day 161

Dysthymia involves chronic, low-level depression that produces discomfort but does not impair one’s ability to function. Similarly, seasonal affective disorder does not usually prevent the person from daily work, but involves episodes of depression that occur in the darker, cooler seasons, fall and winter, and disappear in the spring and summer.

Day 162

Schizophrenia is actually a group of disorders that may appear in late adolescence. It is slightly more prevalent in men than women, and affects all cultures similarly. It is characterized by disorganized or delusional thinking, which may stem from a breakdown of selective attention, disturbed perceptions, inappropriate emotions and/or actions, and hallucinations. There are five subtypes of schizophrenia: paranoid, disorganized, catatonic, undifferentiated, and residual. Schizophrenia patients can have both positive and negative symptoms. Positive symptoms are the presence of unusual characteristics, and negative symptoms are the lack of appropriate behaviors that are found in normal people and absent in schizophrenics. Brain studies indicate increased levels of dopamine and abnormal activity in multiple areas. Studies have shown large fluid areas of the brain that correspond to the shrinking of cerebral tissue. One of the correlations is the presence of maternal viruses during pregnancy. Genetic and psychological factors can also play a role.

Day 163

Personality disorders all share odd, eccentric thinking or behavior patterns that can impede one’s social functioning. They can be divided into three major clusters, which include paranoid, schizoid, and schizotypal personality disorder in Cluster A; antisocial, borderline, histrionic, and narcissistic personality disorder in Cluster B; and avoidant, dependent, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder in Cluster C. Each of these subcategories display other symptoms in addition to those listed above.

Day 164

Autism is a spectrum disorder, characterized by a range of positive and negative symptoms. Some individuals are nonverbal; some are gifted in a particular area such as mathematics, art, or music; some lack eye contact; some may rock, bang their heads, or shut down when frustrated. Approximately one in 100 children will be diagnosed with autism, and the ratio of boys to girls is 4:1. It has been repeatedly shown that vaccines do not cause autism, but advanced paternal age, exposure to certain prenatal agents, infectious agents, and genes do play a role. In identical twins, the likelihood of the second twin developing it is 77 percent; however, in fraternal twins, the concordance ratio drops to 31 percent; and in nontwin siblings, the ratio drops to about 20 percent. This data indicates that sharing identical genes or the same womb are not the only causes. Ms. Chung explains that the cause may be a single gene, or a combination of few or many genes. Mr. Klin reports that it may be due to the interactions of as many as 600 genes. The lack of direct eye contact in autistic children has been used as a means to create strategies for early intervention. Mr. Klin discussed the financial impact of autism in teens and adults to be in the billions each year. If autism can be identified and an intervention strategy developed within the window of opportunity, say within the first three years of life, it will reduce the financial, social, and educational impact dramatically. Future treatments may include targeted medications, educational strategies to differentiate instruction, new technologies, and community awareness.

Day 165

Answers will vary.

Day 166

Contrary to common belief, psychoanalysis is, perhaps, the least directive therapy option. In this type of therapy, the therapist relies on information from the patient to interpret and redirect back again. Patients are asked to maintain dream journals, discuss events in their childhood, and recall any early conflicts in their lives. The therapist refocuses and redirects as necessary, but it is the patient who achieves the breakthrough, with little intervention on the part of the therapist. Client-centered therapy focuses on the client’s conscious self-perceptions, in a nondirective way. The therapist empathically listens to the client without judgment or interpreting the client’s thoughts. Healing comes when the client understands and accepts his or her feelings and thus is able to move on. Behavior therapy is directive in that the therapist’s goal is to help a client change a particular behavior. There is no attempt to look deeply below the surface for inner causes. Therapists address the aberrant behavior and help the client replace it with positive, more socially acceptable behaviors.

Day 167

Answers will vary. One possible plan might be the following:

1. Patient visualizes herself entering the building.

2. Patient visualizes herself walking the length of the hallway towards the elevators.

3. Patient visualizes herself pressing the button for the elevator.

4. Patient visualizes herself waiting for the elevator.

5. Patient visualizes herself watching the doors open.

And so on.

Day 168

Aversive conditioning attempts to replace a negative, or aversive, response with one that is more positive when responding to a particular stimulus. To stop alcohol dependency, the therapist can add a nausea-producing drug to an alcoholic beverage. The drug would be considered the unconditioned stimulus and the nausea the unconditioned response. Once acquisition occurs, the client associates the alcohol to nausea and quits drinking. This type of therapy is not always successful, especially in cases of substance abuse, as the drug is only added to the substance while in therapy. Outside in a social situation, one can expect that his drink would be free from drugs, making the acquisition difficult.

Day 169

Answers will vary, but you should be sure to include the therapeutic objectives of each of the perspectives. Behavioral therapists will try to change the habit through classical or operant conditioning. Cognitive therapists will use strategies to help you change the way you think while performing the bad habit, or moving toward the positive one. They may use rational emotive behavior therapy to engage in false self-talk, causing cognitive dissonance and moving toward a change in emotion. A biological therapist would seek to use treatments that include specific medical procedures and/or medications, such as an antidepressant or anxiolytic to help relieve the tension of the presence or absence of the habit. Finally, the sociocultural model might incorporate group or family therapy to help the client achieve his goal. Group therapy provides an opportunity to meet and share experiences with others who are seeking similar treatment; Alcoholics Anonymous and Weight Watchers are two well-known examples. Family therapy will involve members of the client’s family and inner circle of friends to share how the habit (or lack of) is affecting the family team.

Day 170

A) Tina is exhibiting a conversion disorder, a mental disorder that presents as neurological symptoms with no medical explanation. Treatment might include an eclectic approach, or biopsychosocial therapy through which the therapist can treat the client cognitively, behaviorally, and medically.

B) David is probably suffering from a generalized anxiety disorder. Medical treatment would include an anxiolytic, coupled with cognitive behavioral therapy to focus on developing the skills needed to return to normal activity.

C) Tammy is suffering from bipolar disorder. This, too, can be treated with an eclectic approach, using medication to even the highs and lows, while cognitive therapy can be used to help Tammy address her thoughts during the cycles.

Day 171

Counselor: Minimum bachelor’s degree. Works with special groups, families, and individuals to improve mental health by addressing concerns such as substance abuse groups, aging, bullying, anger management, etc.

Clinical social worker: Minimum master’s degree in social work. Works with individuals, groups, and communities to improve their well-being, developing skills and the ability to use their own resources.

Psychologist: Minimum master’s or doctoral degree in psychology. Focuses on psychotherapy and treating mental and emotional disorders through a varied and eclectic approach.

Psychiatrist: Minimum medical doctor degree. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in treating psychiatric disorders. Psychiatrists can use any of the approaches mentioned above, and are the only ones who can prescribe medical treatments, such as medications or surgeries.

Day 172

A lobotomy is a surgical procedure that severs the connection between the frontal lobes and the amygdala of the limbic system. Although it is rarely used today, it is still an option when patients’ symptoms have resisted all other courses of treatment. Lobotomies were widespread by the mid-1930s, thanks to Egas Moniz, who invented the procedure. Walter Freeman later developed a faster method to lobotomize patients using a transorbital orbitoclast, or icepick. The lobotomy procedure fell out of favor as new, more humane treatments became available including major advances in pharmacology.

Day 173

Answers will vary.

Day 174

Fundamental attribution error is the tendency to overestimate the contribution of one’s personal disposition and underestimate the contribution of the situation. Although answers will vary, a common example is when you have a bad experience with a waitress in a restaurant and declare to your tablemates that she is a terrible waitress, attributing her behavior to her personal disposition, and failing to assess the fact that she might be overworked because the restaurant is short staffed, which is situational. As you decide to “teach her a lesson” and leave a terrible tip, she comes over to apologize and explain the situation. Attributing her behavior to an enduring personality trait instead of the temporary situation is fundamental attribution error.

Day 175

Answers will vary, but you should be sure to discuss how the participants, who were randomly selected to be either a prisoner or a guard, quickly assumed that persona and acted within the role-appropriate capacity as prisoner or guard. The simulation became too real and the guards devised some degrading and cruel punishments for the prisoners. Soon the prisoners began to revolt or passively resigned. The 2-week study was ended after only 6 days.

Day 176

When our attitudes and actions differ, we experience tension, or cognitive dissonance. To ease the tension, we tend to bring our attitudes in line with our actions. Hence, fake it until you make it. The greater the dissonance, the more likely we are to try to modify our attitudes to help justify the act.

Day 177

Solomon Asch’s experiment on conformity showed how people tend to adjust their thinking or behavior to align with a group standard. In his experiment, he provided participants with three different sized lines and asked them to compare them to a standard line. All but one person in the room were confederates of the experimenter. The single participant became obviously uncomfortable when the other “participants” all identified the wrong line. When others were in the room to provide wrong answers, the participant was more likely to give the same wrong answer than when he was alone in the room. The social pressure to conform is obvious. Stanley Milgram conducted a now-famous experiment where participants were asked to “punish” another person if he didn’t respond correctly. The participant was seated at a large electronic board with switches labeled with different intensities, from slight to XXX. A second person was ushered to a different room where he was hooked up to a wire connected to the electric shock panel. As the “teacher” read a list of words, the “learner” responded with a corresponding word. If incorrect, the teacher hit the first switch and the teacher heard the learner grunt. As the teacher continued to flip switches, the learner complained. Nearby, an experimenter was there to encourage the teacher to continue if there was resistance. More than 60 percent of the time, the teacher continued the shock treatments even as the learner’s protests became stronger and stronger, clearly in agony. As it turns out, the learner was a confederate and there was no true shock, just a recording of the complaints and shrieks. However, 63 percent of the learners complied completely with the experimenter’s directions and gave the series of shocks to the strongest level, 450 volts. Milgram’s study on obedience shows us that when authority is nearby, we are more likely to conform.

Day 178

Social facilitation is the tendency to perform differently in the presence of others than when alone. An example can be taken from Olympic trials. In speed skating, two racers skate at a time, but both are racing against the clock. When skating alone, their times tend to be slower than when racing with an opponent. The opposite can also be true. On more challenging tasks, you will tend to perform worse when in the presence of others.

Day 179

Social loafing is the tendency to do less work while in a group. An example is the effort you exert in a team tug-of-war compared to a solo tug-of-war. In a team game, you tend to work less, assuming that others will help pull the weight. When you are on your own, you tend to pull harder because you are the only participant. Deindividuation is the loss of self-identity and self-awareness while in a group situation. This will foster anonymity and a willingness to do things you may not normally do. One example of this is the mob mentality that appears at some rock concerts or ball games, or even at worship, where an individual can become more attuned to the mood of the group and respond in kind.

Day 180

Several factors contribute to prejudice. Social inequalities, the perception of the “haves” and “have nots” generally cause people to develop attitudes that justify the way things are. Discrimination increases stereotyping as well. We live in a world where we choose to be part of a group, the in-group, and contrast ourselves from other groups, the out-group. We tend to develop the strongest dislike for groups that are our closest rivals. Identification with belonging to a group creates an in-group bias, which tends to show more favorable feelings toward the in-group. Prejudice also is an expression of anger. We use scapegoats as a way to place blame on others to best provide a target for our anger and frustration. Lastly, our world is categorized in every imaginable way. A preferred recognition for own-race faces, known as the other-race effect or own-race bias, begins to show during infancy and often continues through adulthood.