Mnemonics for the Psychology Section of the MCAT

June 25, 2024

minute read

Everyone who has prepared for the MCAT will agree that there is a lot to learn. Sometimes it seems pretty rewarding to learn new things about yourself. On other occasions, managing the volume of information you are accountable for can be overwhelming. 

At its finest, taking on MCAT-related material should feel like an ambitious goal that can be overcome with effort. 

Thank heavens there are mnemonics. Mnemonics are your best friend when laying the solid foundation necessary to perform well on the MCAT. 

If you are looking for psychology mnemonics to help you study for the MCAT, this article is for you. Read on for more information.

What Do I Need to Memorize for the MCAT Psychology Section?

Psychology topics cover 65 percent of the Psychology and Sociology part of the MCAT. 

You need to spend significant time preparing and studying for psychology. 

Here are the major psychology topics that you need to study and memorize for the MCAT Psychology and Sociology section: 

What are Mnemonics?

Mnemonics, also known as mnemonic devices, are a technique that can be used to help us remember specific concepts and ideas. 

Mnemonics can be remembered using various formats, such as rhymes, melodies, and acronyms. Additionally, they can help with learning important data and facts.

Do Mnemonics Work on the MCAT?

One of the main components of the MCAT is sociology, along with psychology. This suggests that learning social and developmental ideas requires memorization. 

The good news is that all this information (stored in long-term memory) may already be instantaneously perceived and encoded because of how your brain is organized.

With the use of MCAT mnemonics, larger amounts of information are simpler to remember, especially when presented in lists like attributes, steps, stages, components, phases, etc. 

It can be especially helpful for studying for the MCAT Psychology and Sociology and Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems portions, which contain a lot of concepts, cycles, and stages that need to be retained.

How Can I Best Utilize Mnemonics for the MCAT?

You can improve your memory by creating mnemonics. Without it, you might have to spend more time trying to remember crucial details. Mnemonics aid in memory retention and speed up test-taking, which will both help you earn a competitive MCAT score.

Here are some tips to help you best employ mnemonics. 

  • Make your own mnemonics that are representative of who you are. Make sure it is simple to recall.
  • Make it naughty, personal, outlandish, or any mix of these. Personal information and emotional ties are easier to recall.
  • Use your family, friends, personal experiences, or favorite movie to create a mnemonic that, as opposed to someone else's, is more likely to stick with you.
  • Decide which approach works best for you. Mnemonics should not be used as your primary defense method but as a last option.
  • To help you remember MCAT mnemonics, you might add flashcards into your regular MCAT practice.
  • List your mnemonics among the equations and study aids you can jot down during the instructional period before the MCAT.

Mnemonics for the Psychology Section of the MCAT

You cannot deny that studying for the MCAT psychology section requires significant time and effort. 

Psychology mnemonics are one technique to guarantee that you get to keep the facts and knowledge you need, especially with so many other topics to study for. 

Here are a few psychology mnemonics that will be useful to you while you study.

Topics

Sub-topics 

Mnemonics 

Freud’s stages of psychosexual development

Oral Stage

Anal Stage

Phallic Stage

Latent Stage

Genital Stage

Old

Aged

People

Love

Grandchildren

Piaget’s stages of cognitive development

Sensorimotor

Pre-operational

Concrete operational

Formal Operational

Some

People

Can

Fly

Erikson’s psychosocial development stages

Trust vs. Mistrust

Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt

Initiative vs. Guilt

Industry vs. Inferiority

Identity vs. Confusion

Intimacy vs. Isolation

Generativity vs. Stagnation

Integrity vs. Despair

Trust Me,

Auto Shop

In Georgia

Is Inferior and 

Incapable.

It I

Generally Stagnant and

Insultingly Disappointing

Kubler-Ross stages of grief

Denial

Anger

Bargaining

Depression

Acceptance

Death

Always

Brings

Definite

Acceptance

Types of reinforcement

Positive

Negative

Primary

Conditional

People

Need 

Proper

Care

Theories of personality

Psychoanalytic

Humanistic

Trait

Social/Cognitive

Behaviorism

Peter

Hates

Traveling 

So

Bad

Three components of parallel processing

Color

Motion

Shapes

Crayons

Make

Shapes

Three components of attitude

Affective

Behavioral

Cognitive

A B C

Five elements of personality

Openness

Conscientiousness

Extraversion

Agreeableness

Neuroticism

O C E A N

*It can also be C A N O E, depending on your preference.

Three most important features of attraction

Similarity

Reciprocity

Proximity

Special

Relationship 

Partner

Most common mental and psychiatric disorders

Depression

Anxiety

Bipolar Disorder

Phobia

Autism

Schizophrenia

Dad

And

Brother

Protect 

And

Save

Symptoms of major depressive disorder

Loss of:

Concentration

Appetite

Interest

Guilt

Energy

Will to leave

Sleep

Can

All

Individuals

Go

Everywhere

Without

Shoes?

Components of self-determination theory

Competence

Autonomy

Relatedness

C A R

Four primary factors for motivation

Drives

Arousal

Needs

Instincts

Does

Anyone

Need

Ice?

Components of general adaptation syndrome

Alarm

Resistance

Exhaustion

Alice

Reads

Everyday

Four cores of ethical tenets

Beneficence

Justice 

Nonmaleficence

Autonomy

Bill and

Jill

Need

Apples

Sequential order of brain waves

Beta

Alpha

Theta

Delta

Bruce

Arrives on

Time

Daily

Seven regions of the brain

Anterior Cingulate Cortex

Broca's Area

Caudate Nucleus

Cerebellum

Frontal Pole

Prefrontal Cortex

Primary Visual Cortex

Anyone Caught 

Bringing

Candies and Nuts in

Containers

From Poland and

Peru Can be

Punished Very Certainly

Functions of meninges

Reabsorb CSF

Anchor brain

Protect brain

R A P

Layers of meninges

Pia mater

Arachnoid space

Dura mater

P A D

Four primary stimuli

Chemical

Pressure

Light 

Temperature

Cute

Puppies

Love

Throw and catch

Stages of sleep

Wake

Light Sleep

Deep Sleep

REMRepeat

We

Love

Drawing

Red

Ribbons

Universal emotions

Anger

Surprise

Disgust

Enjoyment

Fear 

Sadness

Aunt

Susan

Doesn’t

Enjoy

Feeding

Snakes

Types of stressors

Nutritional 

Environmental

Emotional

Dental

N E E D

Physiological markers of emotions

Changes in:

Pulse

Adrenaline

Temperature 

Respiration rate

Blood pressure

Put

All 

The

Rubbish in the

Bin.

Remember that these psychology mnemonics are meant to aid you in memorizing important ideas for the MCAT. 

As we have already indicated, you may always use your imagination and customize them to suit your needs.

Additional FAQs – Mnemonics for the Psychology Section of the MCAT

How Many Psychology Questions are There in the MCAT?

Psychology topics cover 65% of the MCAT Psychology & Sociology section. This means that around 39 questions in this MCAT section will focus on psychology. 

As you prepare for the MCAT psychology, ensure that you devote enough time to acquaint yourself with the different topics that will be covered.

Are Mnemonics Helpful in the MCAT?

Yes, mnemonics (or mnemonic devices) are one of the most effective tools you can use while preparing for the MCAT. 

It helps you retain necessary information that would otherwise be difficult to remember without mnemonics. You can refer to the MCAT psychology mnemonics above for your reference. 

Remember that you may alter them to make it easier for you if you want. 

Is MCAT Psychology All Memorization?

The MCAT Psychology and Sociology section relies heavily on memorization. This implies that while most of the questions require you to recall important and relevant information, some require you to apply major concepts. 

The key is to identify which concepts need to be memorized and which ones need application.

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