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University of Massachusetts Amherst
Psychology & Brain Sciences

Abnormal behavior: behavior that causes people to experience distress and prevents them from functioning in their daily lives. Abnormality as a legal concept: rests on insanity, cannot understand the difference between right/wrong. Abnormality as deviation from average: behaviors are rare/occur infrequently Abnormality as deviation from the ideal: considers abnormality in relation to the standard toward which most people are striving. Abnormality as sense of personal discomfort: abnormal if it produces a sense of distress/harmful to others. Abnormality as the inability to function effectively: unable to adjust to the demands of society/ function effectively.ADHD: A disorder marked by inattention, impulsiveness, a low tolerance for frustrations, and a great deal of inappropriate activity. Aggression: The intentional injury of, or harm to, another person. Agoraphobia: Fear of being in a situation in which escape is difficult Altruism: Helping behavior that is beneficial to others but clearly requires self-sacrifice.Anal: 12-18 months to 3 years, a child’s pleasure is centered on the anus.Anti-anxiety drugs: Drugs that reduce the level of anxiety a person experiences, essentially by reducing excitability and increasing feelings of well-being. Antidepressant drugs: Medications that improve a severely depressed patient’s mood and feeling of well-being. Antipsychotic drugs: Drugs that temporarily reduce psychotic symptoms such as agitation, hallucinations and delusions. Antisocial personality disorder: A disorder in which individuals who no regard for the moral and ethical rules of society or the rights of others.Anxiety Disorder: The occurrence of anxiety w/o an obvious external cause, affecting daily functioning. Archetypes: According to Jung, universal symbolic representations of a particular person, object, or experience. Assumed-similarity bias: The tendency to think of people as being similar to oneself, even when meeting them for the first time.Attitude: Evaluations of a particular person, behavior, belief, or concept. Attribution Theory: The theory of personality that seeks to explain how we decide, on the basis of samples of an individual’s behavior, what the specific causes of that person’s behavior are. Autism: A severe developmental disability that impairs children’s ability to communicate and relate to others. Aversive conditioning: A form of therapy that reduces the frequency of undesired behavior by pairing an aversive, unpleasant stimulus with undesired behavior. Behavioral assessment: Direct measures of an individual’s behavior used to describe personality characteristics. Behavioral Perspective: The perspective that looks at the behavior itself as the problem. Behavioral treatment approaches: Treatment approaches that build on the basic processes of learning, such as reinforcement and extinction, and assume that normal and abnormal behavior are both learned. Big Five: Openness to experience, Conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism. Biological and Evolutionary Approaches: Theories that suggest that important components of personality are inherited. Bipolar disorder: A disorder in which a person alternates between periods of euphoric feelings of mania and periods of depression. Borderline personality disorder: A disorder in which individuals have difficulty developing a secure sense of who they are. Cardinal Trait: single characteristic that directs most of a person’s activities.Castration Anxiety: fear of losing one’s penis becomes powerful enough to repress desires for mother and identifies with father (oedipal).Catharsis: The process of discharging guilt up aggressive energy. Central Route Processing: Message interpretation characterized by thoughtful consideration of the issues and arguments used to persuade. Central Traits: many of these make up a core personality; examples are honesty and range from 5-10.Central traits: The major traits considered in forming impressions of others. Characteristics of the message: what the message is like affects attitudes.Characteristics of the target: characteristics of the target of the message will determine if it is accepted. Cognitive Appraisal: urging clients to obtain info on their own that will lead them to discard their inaccurate thinking. Cognitive behavioral approach: An approach that incorporates basic principles of learning to change the way people think. Cognitive Dissonance: The conflict that occurs when a person holds two contradictory attitudes or thoughts. Cognitive perspective: The perspective that suggests that people’s thoughts and beliefs are a central component of abnormal behavior. Cognitive Treatment: Treatment approaches that teach people to think in more adaptive ways by changing their dysfunctional cognitions about the world and themselves.Collective Unconscious: According to Jung, a common set of ideas, feelings, images, and symbols that we inherit from our ancestors, the whole human race, and even animal ancestors from the distant past. Collectivistic orientation: Worldview that promotes the notion of interdependence.Community Psychology: A branch of psychology that focuses on the prevention and minimization of psychological disorders in the community. Companionate love: The strong affection we have for those with whom our lives are deeply involved. Compliance: Behavior that occurs in response to direct social pressure. Compulsion: An irresistible urge to repeatedly carry out some act that seems strange and unreasonable. Conditional Positive Regard: Depends on your behavior. Conformity: A change in behavior/attitudes brought about by a desire to follow the beliefs or standards of other people. Contingency contracting: The therapist and client draw up a written agreement. Conversion disorder: A major somatoform disorder that involves an actual physical disturbance, such as the inability to use a sensory organ/ the complete/partial inability to move an arm/leg. Defense Mechanisms: Freudian theory, unconscious strategies that people use to reduce anxiety by concealing the source of anxiety from themselves and others.Defense mechanisms: psychological strategies to protect themselves from unacceptable unconscious impulses.Deinstitutionalization: The transfer of former mental patients from institutions to the community. Denial: People refuse to accept or acknowledge an anxiety- producing piece of information.Diagnostic, statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: System devised by the American Psychiatric Association, used to diagnose and classify abnormal behavior (Axis I: Clinical Disorders: Disorders that produce distress and impair functioning. Axis II: Personality Disorders, Mental Retardation: Enduring, rigid behavior patterns. Axis III: General Medical Conditions: Physical disorders that may be related to psychological disorders. Axis IV: Psychosocial and Environmental Problems: Problems in a person’s life such as stressors/life events that may affect the diagnosis, treatment, and outcome of psychological disorders. Axis V: Global Assessment of Functioning: Overall level of mental, social, occupational, and leisure functioning.)Dialectical behavior therapy: A form of treatment in which the focus Is on getting people to accept who they are, regardless of whether it matches their ideal. Diffusion of responsibility: The tendency for people to feel that responsibility for acting is shared, or diffused, among those present. Discrimination: Behavior directed toward individuals on the basis of their membership in a particular group.Displacement: Expression of an unwanted feeling or thought is redirected from a more threatening powerful person to a weaker one.Dispositional causes (of behavior): Perceived causes of behavior that are based on internal traits/personality factors. Dissociative Amnesia: A disorder in which a significant, selective memory loss occursrepressed memories. Dissociative disorders: Psychological dysfunctions characterized by the separation of different facets of a person’s personality that are normally integrated. Dissociative fugue: A form of amnesia in which the individual leaves home and sometimes assumes a new identity. Dissociative identity disorder: A disorder in which a person displays characteristics of two/more distinct personalities. Door in the face technique: someone makes a large request, expecting it to be refused, and follows it with a smaller one. Dopamine Hypothesis: Suggests that schizophrenia occurs when there is excess activity in the areas of the brain that use dopamine. Dream interpretation: examining dreams. Drug Therapy: Control of psychological disorders through the use of drugs. Ego: Begins to develop soon after birth, balances the desires of the id and realities of the outside world, mediates id and superego.Electroconvulsive therapy: A procedure used in the treatment of severe depression in which an electric current of 70 to 150 volts is briefly administered to a patient’s head. Ethnocentric: viewing the world from their own perspective and judging others in terms of their group membership. Exposure: Treatment for anxiety in which people are confronted, either suddenly/ gradually, with a stimulus that they fear. Expressed Emotion: interaction style characterized by criticism, hostility, and emotional intrusiveness by family members.Family Therapy: An approach that focuses on the family and its dynamics. Fixations: Conflicts or concerns that persist beyond the developmental period in which they first occur. Foot in the door technique: compliance w/ the more important request increases significantly when the person first agrees to the small favor. Free Association: Freud, tell patients to say aloud whatever comes to mind. Freudian Slip: revealing speaker’s unconscious sexual desires.Fundamental attribution error: A tendency to over-attribute others’ behavior to dispositional causes and the corresponding minimization of the importance of situational causes. Generalized anxiety disorder: The experience of long-term, persistent anxiety and worry. Genital Stage: Period from puberty until death, marked by mature sexual behavior. Group Therapy: Therapy in which people meet in a group with a therapist to discuss problems.Group: Two/more people who interact with one another, perceive themselves as part of a group, and are interdependent. Groupthink: A type of thinking in which group members share such a strong motivation to achieve consensus that they lose the ability to critically evaluate alternative points of view. Halo Effect: A phenomenon in which an initial understanding that a person has positive traits is used to infer other uniformly positive characteristics.Hans Eysenck: three dimensions; extraversion (degree of sociability), neuroticism(emotional stability), psychoticism(degree which reality is distorted). Humanistic Approaches: Theories that emphasize people’s innate goodness and desire to achieve higher levels of functioning. Humanistic Perspective: The perspective that emphasizes the responsibility people have for their own behavior, even when such behavior is abnormal, Carl Rogers, and Maslow. Humanistic therapy: Therapy in which the underlying rationale is that people have control of their behavior, can make choices about their lives, and are essentially responsible for solving their own problems. Hypochondriasis: A disorder in which people have a constant fear of illness and a preoccupation w/their health. Id: Raw, unorganized, inborn part of personality satisfies basic drives and irrational thought. Identification: Process of wanting to be like another person as much as possible, imitating that person’s behavior and adopting similar beliefs and values. Impression formation: process by which an individual organizes information about another person to form an overall impression of that person. Individualist orientation: emphasizes personal identity and the uniqueness of the individual. Industrial organizational psychology: The branch of psychology focusing on work and job related issues, including worker motivation, satisfaction, safety, and productivity.Infe
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