AP Psychology/Motivation, Emotion, and Personality

Introduces personality through the lens of behavior and mental processes and how they interact to produce an individual’s personality.[1]

Objectives and SkillsEdit

Topics may include:[2]

  • Theories of motivation behind human and animal behavior
  • Major theories of emotion
  • The effects of stress
  • Conceptions of personality, including behaviorist, social cognitive, humanistic, and trait theories
  • Research and assessments to measure personality

Study NotesEdit

  • Consciousness "refers to your individual awareness of your unique thoughts, memories, feelings, sensations, and environment. https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-consciousness-2795922
    • Some occur spontaneously: Daydreaming, Drowsiness, Dreaming.
    • Some are physiologically induced: Hallucinations, Orgasm, Food/Oxygen starvation.
    • Some are psychologically induced: Sensory deprivation, Hyponsis, Meditation.
Dual Track Mind
  • Conscious "high" track
  • Unconscious "low" track

Consciousness sometimes arrives late to the decision making party! New tasks require conscious attention

  • Blindsight - Damage to the visual cortex impairs the ability to consciously "see" things; the brain still receives signals from the eyes.


Irresistible tempter to whom we inevitability succumb to.

  • Circadian Rhythms - Occur about every 24 hours (the sleep-wake cycle) [light triggers the suprachiasmatic nucleus to decrease melatonin from the pineal gland in the morning and increase melatonin at night-fall; melatonin is released at night].
  • Biological Rhythms - The female menstrual cycle averages 28 days.
  • Internal desynchronization - A state when biological rhythms are not in phase with one another. Circadian rhythms are influenced by changes in routines.


How to measure sleep: About every 90 minutes, we pass through a cycle of 4 distinct sleep stages. EEG [functional]: Electrodes placed on the head and brain waves are measured.

  • Non-REM 1 [3rd]: Awake but the eyes are closed, hallucinations occur, jerks and movements, wave: Alpha
  • Non-REM 2 [4th]: body prepares for deep sleep, wave: Theta (with sleep spindles)
  • Non-REM 3 [5th]: urinates on bed possibility increases by 50%, sleepwalking, deep sleep, night terrors, wave: Delta
  • REM [6th]: Good sleep, rapid eye movement, may fall straight into REM if not enough REM sleep [REM-REBOUND] or narcolepsy could happen, wave: Beta [Dreams = Take place during REM sleep as the brain deals with stress: information-processing theory].

Paradoxical sleep is where the brain is awake but the body is "paralyzed". In REM-Rebound is when we go too long without REM sleep and we "rebound" into REM.

Sleep DeprivationEdit

  1. Fatigue and death
  2. Poor concentration
  3. 71% higher chance of getting depressed
  4. Poor immune system
  5. Car accidents increase
  6. Gain weight

Sleep DisordersEdit

  1. Insomnia - Recurring problems with falling/staying asleep.
  2. Narcolepsy - Sleep disorder characterized by uncontrollable sleep attacks.
  3. Sleep apnea - Blocked airway causes failure to breathe when asleep and repeated awakenings. Associated with obesity and snoring. Treatment is a mask-like device that keeps the airway open.
  4. Night terrors - High arousal and appearance of being terrified.
  5. Somnambulism - Sleep walking

Psychological Principles' TakeEdit

  • Manifest Contect: Storyline
  • Latent Content - Symbolic; Unconscious dribes and whims.
Information Processing
  • Dreams may help sift, sort and fix a day's experiences in our memories.
Psychological Function
  • Dreams provide the sleeping brain with periodic stimulation to develop and preserve neural pathways.
Neural Activation
  • Suggests that the brain engages in a lot of random neural activity. Dreams make sense of this activity.
Cognitive Development
  • We dream as a part of brain maturation and cognitive development.


  • Psychoactive Drug - A chemical substance that alters perceptions and mood (effects consciousness) [continued use: tolerance].
  • Withdrawal
  • Dependence
  • Addiction


Drugs that reduce neural activity and slow-body functions. They include:

  1. Alcohol
  2. Barbiturates
  3. Opiates


Allows for more binding for the neurotransmitters: Makes GABA (inhibitory) more inhibitory and blocks glutamate (excitatory) receptor sites.

  • Why is alcohol a depressant and not a stimulant?

Stimulant: Suppresses part of brain that inhibits behaviour; Long run: Depressant because of its slows down the nervous system.

Alcohol affects motor skills, judgement, and memory. Increases aggressiveness.


Tranquilizers (depress the nervous system).

  • Impairs memory and judgement.


Depresses neural activity, temporarily lessening pain and anxiety. Mimics the action of endorphins, an example being heroin. A speedball is a stimulant + opiate [fatal].


Drugs that excite neural activity and speed up body functions.

  1. Caffeine/Nicotine - Increases autonomic functions to provide energy.
  2. Cocaine - Immediate euphoria followed by a crash (dopamine trapped in synapse and binds).
  3. Ecstasy - Permanent deflation of mood/memory impairment = Damage to serotonin receptors; kicks out serotonin from the cell and binds to receptors again and again.
  4. Ampletamines - Stimulate neural activity: Accelerate body functions, mood changes, etc.
  5. Meth - 8+ hours of heightened energy and euphoria - reduces baseline dopamine, making it mor addictive by adding more meth each time; kicks out dopamine from the cell and binds to receptors again and again.


Psychedelic drugs that distort perceptions and evoke sensory images in the absence of sensory input.

  • LSD/acid - Serotonin: Interacts with your brain differently.
  • Marijuana/THC - Dopamine is inhibited.