MCAT Psych/Soc theories: A-J

Can you name the 99 MCAT P/S theories and concepts defined below? All answers start with a letter between A and J.

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The practice of making judgments about other cultures based on the values and beliefs of your own culture
The alteration of behavior by the subjects of a study due to their awareness of being observed
A model that explains social interaction and decision-making as a game, including strategies, incentives, and punishments
The association of information in short-term memory to information already stored in long-term memory
The observation that individuals in a group are less likely to respond to a person in need
Theory that behaviour is motivated by the desire to pursue rewards and avoid punishments
The changing of beliefs or behaviours in order to fit into a group or society
A theory of emotion that states that a stimulus is first received and then simultaneously processed physiologically and cognitively, allowing for the emotion to be experienced
Model of human cognition containing four key components: information intake, information analysis, situational modification, and complexity of problem
The inability to identify uses for an object beyond its usual purpose
Major and fundamental characteristics of the personality that are easy to infer
A theory of motivation that states there is a particular level of arousal required for optimal performance
A repetitive action that achieves a desired response, seen during the sensorimotor stage
Dominant traits around which an individual organizes their entire life
A shared set of beliefs, attitudes, norms, values, and behaviours organized around a central theme, found among people who speak the same language and share a geographic region
A theory of deviance which assumes that certain behaviours are undeniably, objectively deviant, regardless of the social context
A state of normlessness
A phenomenon where individuals making complex judgements substitute a simpler solution or perception
A framework explaining how parts of society fit together to create a cohesive whole, via manifest and latent functions
The process by which new information is interpreted in terms of existing schemata
A theory that explains motivation as being based on the goal of eliminating uncomfortable internal states
A theory that focuses on the tendency for individuals to infer the causes of other people's behaviour
A theory that states that people tend to associate traits and behaviour in others; in addition, people tend to attribute their own beliefs and ideas onto others
Theory that labels given to people affect not only how others respond to that person, but also the person's self-image
A model of aggression which states that we are more likely to respond aggressively when experiencing negative emotions
A form of cognition that starts with general information, and narrows it down to create a conclusion
Theory that attitudes serve four purposes: knowledge, ego expression, adaptation, and ego defense
A cognitive theory stating that both visual and verbal associations are used to encode and retrieve information
The act of searching for, storing, collecting, or exploiting food resources
In Freudian psychoanalysis, a technique used by the ego to deny, falsify, or distort reality in order to resolve anxiety caused by undesirable urges
A strategy that, once adopted, will use natural selective pressure to prevent alternate strategies from arising
An impression management strategy that uses flattery to increase social acceptance
Idea that democratic or bureaucratic systems naturally shift to being ruled by an elite group
HintAnswer
The cognitive bias that good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people
A positive feedback mechanism in which a trait with no (or negative) impact on survival becomes more exaggerated over time
A theory which holds that the retina contains two types of photoreceptors: rods, for light intensity perception, and cones, for colour perception
The social structure or institution about which societies are organized
A theory of how attitudes change through different information processing routes, based on amount of thought given to persuasive information; central or peripheral route processing
A cognitive bias in which judgements of an individual's character can be affected by the overall impression of the individual
A cognitive bias in which one focuses only on information that supports their pre-existing beliefs
A theory of personality development focusing on the development of moral reasoning, based on an individual's response to a hypothetical moral dilemma
A large institution with multiple administrative branches, emphasizing discipline, organization, and control
Using prototypical or stereotypical factors, while ignoring quantitative information, to make a decision
Social norms, attitudes, and beliefs learned in school that are not explicitly taught in the classroom
Theory of emotion that states that a stimulus results in physiological arousal, which then leads to a secondary response in which emotion is consciously experienced
The spread of norms and beliefs throughout a culture
The process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experiences, and the senses
A change of behaviour of one individual at the request of another
A retrieval cue when an individual is in a location where encoding took place
A microsociology theory that states that when interacting with others, individuals aim to minimize costs and maximize benefits
A technique of observing and immediately classifying the activities of small groups
The person an individual actually is, including positive and negative attributes
A theory that states that people pay closer attention to intentional behaviour than accidental behaviour when making attributions, especially if the behaviour is unexpected
The inability to reject a particular belief despite clear opposing evidence
The general bias toward making dispositional attributions rather than situational attributions when analyzing another person's behaviour
The idea that personality is a reflection of behaviours that have been reinforced over time
A defense mechanism by which undesired urges are transferred from one target to another more acceptable target
The idea that, if evidence obtained during testing does not support a hypothesis, it should be discarded or revised
A theory of emotion which describes emotional expression as encompassing facial expression, as well as behavioural and physical response; claims that emotions are universal
A theoretical framework emphasizing the role of power differentials in producing social order
The tendency toward decisions that are more extreme than the individual inclinations of the group members
An impression management strategy in which one imposes an identity on another person
Sequence of physiological responses in response to stress: alarm, resistance, exhaustion
Theory that distinguishes between two major types of groups: communities, which share beliefs, ancestry, or geography, and societies, which work together toward a common goal
The subjective evaluation of a situation that induces stress
An impression management strategy in which an individual makes questionable behaviour acceptable through excuses
HintAnswer
The theory that all behaviours are conditioned
Theory that an individual helps another when they feel empathy for that person
Object recognition by parallel processing and feature detection in response to sensory stimuli
According to Jung, a thought or image with an emotional element that forms part of the collective unconscious
A traditional behaviour or way of life in a human group, which unconsciously serves as a guide for social conduct
A theoretical perspective which explains differences in levels of crime based on structural and cultural factors shaping the nature of the social order across communities
A theory of personality development structured around an individual's experience of, and response to, several conflicts between needs and social demands through their life
Theory that the amount of motivation needed to reach a goal is the result of expectation of success in reaching the goal, and the degree to which reaching the goal is valued
An impression management theory that represents the world as a stage, and individuals as actors performing to an audience
A shortcut in decision-making relying on readily available information, instead of the total body of information on a subject
Theory of identity organization that states that we let situations dictate which identity holds the most importance at any given moment
The tendency of animals to resist learning when a conditioned behaviour conflicts with the animal's instinctive behaviours
The experience and display of emotion
A category of theories that hold that personality is the result of conscious feelings we have for ourselves as we attempt to attain our needs and goals
The motivation theory that people are driven to engage in behaviours based on evolutionarily pre-programmed instincts
The idea that personality can be explained by differences in brain anatomy or gene expression
Theory that deviance can be learned through interactions with deviant others, if those interactions outnumber interactions with conforming individuals in number or importance
A bias in which an individual or group facing increasingly negative outcomes from a decision, action, or investment nevertheless continue the behaviour
According to Jung, the part of the unconscious mind shared among all humans as a result of common ancestry
A broader approach to psychological disorders that considers conditions and treatments to be dependent on biological as well as psychological and social causes
Related to Darwin's theory, a model of emotion that accepts that there are biologically predetermined expressions, but that there is a cognitive antecedent to emotional expression.
The theory that social groups and cultures must be studied on their own terms to be understood
The tendency to make situational attributions about the self, but dispositional attributions about others, regarding similar behaviors
Ways for the brain to infer missing parts of a picture when it is incomplete
An approach to psychological disorders that considers only pathophysiological causes, and offers pharmaceutical or medical solutions
The loss of the ability to recognize people, objects, or sound
When an individual's harmony is disrupted by threat of social rejection, they will conform to the norms of the group and their identity changes to reduce cognitive dissonance
The transition from high birth and death rates to lower birth and death rates as a country develops from preindustrial to industrialized
The behavioural outcome of a group discussion in which attitudes become more polarized
The violation of norms, rules, or expectations within a society
A time during development during which exposure to language is essential for eventual development of the effective use of language
A form of cognition that uses generalizations to develop a theory
The idea that people lose a sense of self-awareness and can act dramatically differently based on the influence of a group

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