Confusing Pairs in Psychology
Independent Variable (What is tested) vs. Dependent Variable (What is measured)
(Ex: violent video games causing aggression: indep variable = games, dep = violence displayed)
• Random selection (of people for a study) vs.
• Random Assignment (of subjects to experimental or control groups in a study)
• Experimental Group (group that is tested) vs.
• Control Group (compared to the experimental,
i.e. receives the placebo in a drug experiment.)
• Left Brain (Language and Logic) vs.
• Right Brain (Creative and Spatial)
• Corpus Callosum (divides the brain) vs.
Cerebral Cortex (covers the brain)
• Sympathetic Nervous System ("flight-or-fight") vs. • Parasympathetic (calming)
• Neurotransmitters (in the nervous systemsuper fast) vs.
• Hormones (in the endocrine system- work slowly) Lateral hypothalamus
• Lateral Hypothalamus (stimulates hunger) vs.
Ventromedial Hypothalamus (suppresses hunger) Broca’s
• Broca's Area (makes words) vs.
• Wernicke’s Area (comprehends words)
• Identical Twins (Same fertilized egg) vs.
Fraternal Twins (Two separate eggs)
• Afferent Neurons (Sensory, body to the brain) vs. Efferent Neurons Motor, brain to the body)
• Assimilation (All four-legged animals are
• Accommodation ("Doggies are different than
• Concrete Operations (logical thinking) vs.
Formal Operations (Philosophical thinking)
• Sensation (Bottom-up Processing) vs.
Perception (Top-Down Processing)
• Rods (night vision)
• vs. Cones (color vision)
• Classical Conditioning (Involuntary- neutral stimulus is trained and becomes conditioned) vs. • Operant Conditioning (Voluntaryconsequences of your actions)
• Positive Reinforcement (any reward following a desirable behavior that increases the behavior) vs.
• Negative Reinforcement (ending “time-out” for bad behavior in playtime increases good behavior in playtime)
• Primacy Effect (first items remembered) vs.
Recency Effect (last items remembered)
• Also called “serial position effect”
• Proactive Interference (loss of the new info) vs. • Retroactive Interference (loss of the old info)
• Implicit Memory (nondeclarative; skills) vs.
Explicit Memory (declarative, facts)
• Recall Memory (no cues/fill-in) vs.
• Recognition Memory (Some hints/multiple choice, matching)
• Parenting style : Authoritarian ( total control)
• Parenting style : Authoritative (negotiation combined with limits- recommended)
• Algorithms (step-by-step) vs.
• Heuristics (Rule-of-thumb)
• Representative Heuristics (Stereotypes) vs.
• Availability Heuristics (Based on available info, planes safer than cars)
• Phonemes (Basic sound units) vs. Morphemes
(Basic units of meaning)
• Fluid Intelligence ("Brain power“ decreases with age) vs.
• Crystallized Intelligence (Acquired knowledge) increases with age (wisdom)
• Validity (test measure what it should) vs.
Reliability (Same scores on a retest)
• Achievement test (What you've learned) vs.
• Aptitude test (what you can do) Intrinsic
• Intrinsic Motivation (for personal satisfaction) vs.