Surgical removal of tissue.
The minimum amount of physical energy necessary to produce a sensation.
Accessibility (in memory)
Memories currently stored in memory which can be retrieved when necessary are both
available and accessible.
In Piaget’s theory, the modification of existing mental patterns to fit new demands (that
is, mental schemes are changed to accommodate new information or experiences).
Changes in the shape of the lens of the eye.
Stress caused by the many changes and adaptations required when a person moves to
a foreign culture.
Acquaintance (date) rapes
Forced intercourse that occurs in the context of a date or other voluntary encounter.
The period in conditioning during which a response is reinforced.
How one tends to act toward the object of an attitude.
The nerve impulse.
An attempt to explain how dream content is affected by motor commands in the brain
that occur during sleep but are not carried out.
A person who knows how to maintain attention, avoid distractions, and actively gather
information from lectures.
The tendency to attribute the behavior of others to internal causes while attributing one’s
own behavior to external causes (situations and circumstances).
Acute stress disorder A psychological disturbance lasting up to 1 month following stresses that would produce
anxiety in anyone who experienced them.
Actions that aid attempts to survive and adapt to changing conditions.
An emotional disturbance caused by ongoing stressors within the range of common
The culturally defined period between childhood and adulthood.
Endocrine glands that arouse the body, regulate salt balance, adjust the body to stress,
and affect sexual functioning.
A hormone produced by the adrenal glands that tends to arouse the body.
Emotional needs for love and affection.
Discrimination or prejudice based on a person’s age. An institutionalized tendency to
discriminate on the basis of age; prejudice based on age.
Any response made with the intent of causing harm. Hurting another person or achieving
one’s goals at the expense of another person. Any action carried out with the intention of
harming another person.
Stimuli or signals that are associated with aggression and that tend to elicit it.
Media depictions of sexual violence or of forced participation in sexual activity.
The fear that something extremely embarrassing will happen if one leaves the house or
enters unfamiliar situations.
First stage of the GAS, during which bodily resources are mobilized to cope with a
Shortsighted thinking and perception that occurs during alcohol intoxication.
Alexi-thymia A learned difficulty expressing emotions; more common in men.
A learned set of rules that always leads to the correct solution of a problem.
Classifying objects or events as absolutely right or wrong, good or bad, acceptable or
unacceptable, and so forth.
Large, slow brainwaves associated with relaxation and falling asleep.
Altered state of consciousness (ASC)
A condition of awareness distinctly different in quality or pattern from waking
An age-related disease characterized by memory loss, mental confusion, and, in its later
stages, a nearly total loss of mental abilities.
Mixed positive and negative feelings or simultaneous attraction and repulsion.
An emotional bond marked by conflicting feelings of affection, anger, and emotional
A part of the limbic system (within the brain) that produces fear responses. A part of the
limbic system associated with fear responses.
Any of a number of male sex hormones, especially testosterone. Any of a number of
male sex hormones, especially testosterone.
The presence of both “masculine” and “feminine” traits in a single person (as masculinity
and femininity are defined within one’s culture).
Personal strategies for reducing or curbing anger.
An inability to feel pleasure.
An archetype representing the female principle.
In research, an animal whose behavior is used to derive principles that may apply to
human behavior. Animus
An archetype representing the male principle.
Active self-starvation or a sustained loss of appetite that has psychological origins.
Events that precede a response.
Loss of the ability to form or retrieve memories for events that occur after an injury or
The error of attributing human thoughts, feelings, or motives to animals, especially as a
way of explaining their behavior.
Antipsychotics (major tranquilizers)
Drugs that, in addition to having tranquilizing effects, also tend to reduce hallucinations
and delusional thinking.
Any behavior that has a negative impact on other people.
Antisocial personality (antisocial/psychopathic personality)
A person who lacks a conscience; is emotionally shallow, impulsive, selfish; and tends to
Disruptive feelings of fear, apprehension, or anxiety, or distortions in behavior that are
Anxiety reduction hypothesis,
Explains the self-defeating nature of avoidance responses as a result of the reinforcing
effects of relief from anxiety.
Apprehension, dread, or uneasiness similar to fear but based on an unclear threat.
Drugs (such as Valium) that produce relaxation or reduce anxiety.
A speech disturbance resulting from brain damage.
An explanation of the moon illusion stating that the horizon seems more distant than the night sky.
The use of psychological principles and research methods to solve practical problems.
Choosing between two positive, or desirable, alternatives.
Being attracted to and repelled by the same goal or activity.
A test that rates a person's potential to learn skills required by various occupations.
A universal idea, image, or pattern, found in the collective unconscious.
Study of the effects buildings have on behavior and the design of buildings using
The very front of the frontal lobes; involved in sense of self, reasoning, and planning.
Assumes that people prefer to maintain ideal, or comfortable, levels of arousal.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
Refers to both the creation of computer programs capable of doing things that require
intelligence when done by people, and to the resulting programs themselves.
A person not romantically or erotically attracted to either men or women.
Instruction in how to be self-assertive.
A program set up within an organization to conduct in-depth evaluations of job
In Piaget’s theory, the application of existing mental patterns to new situations (that is,
the new situation is assimilated to existing mental schemes).
All areas of the cerebral cortex that are not primarily sensory or motor in function.
The formation of simple associations between various stimuli and responses.
Astigmatism Defects in the cornea, lens, or eye that cause some areas of vision to be out of focus.
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
A behavioral problem characterized by short attention span, restless movement, and
impaired learning capacity.
A stressful condition caused when sensory stimulation, information, and social contacts
make excessive demands on attention.
A learned tendency to respond to people, objects, or institutions in a positive or negative
A collection of attitudinal statements with which respondents indicate agreement or
The mental process of assigning causes to events. In emotion, the process of attributing
arousal to a particular source. The process of making inferences about the causes of
one’s own behavior, and that of others.
In Carl Rogers's terms, the ability of a therapist to be genuine and honest about his or
her own feelings.
Parents who enforce rigid rules and demand strict obedience to authority.
A personality pattern characterized by rigidity, inhibition, prejudice, and an excessive
concern with power, authority, and obedience.
Parents who supply firm and consistent guidance combined with love and affection.
The apparent movement of a stationary pinpoint of light displayed in a darkened room.
Autonomic nervous system (ANS)
The system of nerves carrying information to and from the internal organs and glands.
The system of nerves that connects the brain with the internal organs and glands.
A conflict created when growing self-control (autonomy) is pitted against feelings of
shame or doubt.
Availability (in memory)
Memories currently stored in memory are available. Aversion therapy
Suppressing an undesirable response by associating it with aversive (painful or
A stimulus that is painful or uncomfortable.
Learning to make a response in order to postpone or prevent discomfort.
Choosing between two negative, or undesirable, alternatives.
An emotional bond marked by a tendency to resist commitment to others.
Fiber that carries information away from the cell body of a neuron.
Bulb-shaped structures at the ends of axons that form synapses with the dendrites and
somas of other neurons.
End of terms. Return to top.
An unwillingness or hesitation on the part of animals to eat a particular food.
The tendency to consider a personal description accurate if it is stated in very general
The basic rate at which an event occurs over time; the basic probability of an event.
A primary form of anxiety that arises from living in a hostile world.
The first four levels of needs in Maslow’s hierarchy; lower needs tend to be more potent
than higher needs.
Basic suggestion effect
The tendency of hypnotized persons to carry out suggested actions as if they were
The application of learning principles to change human behavior, especially maladaptive
Behavior therapy Any therapy designed to actively change behavior.
Recording the frequency of various behaviors.
A formal agreement stating behaviors to be changed and consequences that apply.
Weight reduction based on changing exercise and eating habits, rather than temporary
The study of inherited behavioral traits and tendencies.
The study of behavioral factors in medicine, physical illness, and medical treatment.
Behavioral personality theories
Any model of personality that emphasizes learning and observable behavior.
Behavioral risk factors
Behaviors that increase the chances of disease, injury, or premature death.
A smaller area within an environment whose use is well defined, such as a bus depot,
waiting room, or lounge.
The school of psychology that emphasizes the study of overt, observable behavior.
What a person thinks or believes about the object of an attitude.
Small, fast brainwaves associated with being awake and alert.
A subpart of a larger population that does not accurately reflect characteristics of the
An ability to speak two languages.
Consuming five or more drinks in a short time (four for women).
Binocular depth cues
Perceptual features that impart information about distance and three-dimensional space
which require two eyes.
Biodata Detailed biographical information about a job applicant.
Information given to a person about his or her ongoing bodily activities; aids voluntary
regulation of bodily states.
Biological biasing effect
Hypothesized effect that prenatal exposure to sex hormones has on development of the
body, nervous system, and later behavior patterns.
Innate motives based on biological needs.
The attempt to explain behavior in terms of underlying biological principles.
The presumed hereditary readiness of humans to learn certain skills, such as how to use
language, or a readiness to behave in particular ways.
Organisms are more easily able to learn some associations (e.g., food and illness) than
others (e.g., flashing light and illness). Evolution then places biological limits on what an
animal or person can easily learn.
Any repeating cycle of biological activity, such as sleep and waking cycles or changes in
Emotional disorders involving both depression and mania or hypomania.
Bipolar I disorder
A mood disorder in which a person has episodes of mania (excited, hyperactive,
energetic, grandiose behavior) and also periods of deep depression.
Bipolar II disorder
A mood disorder in which a person is mostly depressed (sad, despondent, guilt ridden)
but has also had one or more episodes of mild mania (hypomania).
A person romantically and erotically attracted to both men and women.
Organizing perceptions by beginning with low-level features.
The lowest portions of the brain, including the cerebellum, medulla, pons, and reticular
Brainstorming Method of creative thinking that separates the production and evaluation of ideas.
Engineered or forced attitude change involving a captive audience.
Brief psychodynamic therapy
A modern therapy based on psychoanalytic theory but designed to produce insights
The apparent (or relative) brightness of objects remains the same as long as they are
illuminated by the same amount of light.
A language area related to grammar and pronunciation.
A self-assertion technique involving repeating a request until it is acknowledged.
Excessive eating (gorging) usually followed by self-induced vomiting and/or taking
The deliberate and repeated use of verbal or physical, direct or indirect, aggression as a
tactic for dealing with everyday situations.
A work-related condition of mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion.
Unwillingness of bystanders to offer help during emergencies or to become involved in
Excessive consumption of caffeine, leading to dependence and a variety of physical and
States that activity in the thalamus causes emotional feelings and bodily arousal to occur
The volume of greenhouse gases individual consumption adds to the atmosphere
A personality trait so basic that all of a person’s activities relate to it.
case study An in-depth focus on all aspects of a single person.
Surgical removal of the testicles or ovaries.
A sudden temporary paralysis of the muscles.
Schizophrenia marked by stupor, rigidity, unresponsiveness, posturing, mutism, and,
sometimes, agitated, purposeless behavior.
The act of causing some effect.
central nervous system (CNS)
The brain and spinal cord.
The tendency for a majority of scores to fall in the midrange of possible values.
The core traits that characterize an individual personality.
A brain structure that controls posture, muscle tone, and coordination.
The outer layer of the brain.
Personal characteristics that have been judged or evaluated; a person’s desirable or
Thread-like “colored bodies” in the nucleus of each cell that are made up of DNA.
A person’s age in years.
Cyclical changes in body functions and arousal levels that vary on a schedule
approximating a 24-hour day.
A form of learning in which reflex responses are associated with new stimuli.
A nondirective therapy based on insights gained from conscious thoughts and feelings;
emphasizes accepting one's true self.
clinical case studies. A detailed investigation of a single person, especially one suffering from some injury or
Studying psychological problems and therapies in clinical settings.
A psychologist who specializes in the treatment of psychological and behavioral
disturbances or who does research on such disturbances.
coefficient of correlation
A statistical index ranging from _1.00 to _1.00 that indicates the direction and degree of
coefficient of correlation.
A statistical index ranging from -1.00 to +1.00 that indicates the direction and degree of
Being forced to change your beliefs or your behavior against your will.
Social power based on the ability to punish others.
The process of thinking or mentally processing information (images, concepts, words,
rules, and symbols).
An approach that combines behavioral principles with cognition (perception, thinking,
anticipation) to explain behavior.
An uncomfortable clash between self-image thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, or perceptions
and one’s behavior.
Use of various cues and strategies to improve the memory of eyewitnesses.
Higher-level learning involving thinking, knowing, understanding, and anticipation.
Internal images or other mental representations of an area (maze, city, campus, and so
forth) that underlie an ability to choose alternative paths to the same goal.
A therapy directed at changing the maladaptive thoughts, beliefs, and feelings that
underlie emotional and behavioral problems.
collective unconscious, A mental storehouse for unconscious ideas and images shared by all humans.
A total inability to perceive colors.
An inability to distinguish some colors.
The determination to stay in a long-term relationship with another person.
Personality traits that are shared by most members of a particular culture.
Community health campaign.
A community-wide education program that provides information about how to lessen risk
factors and promote health.
Community mental health center
A facility offering a wide range of mental health services, such as prevention, counseling,
consultation, and crisis intervention.
Form of love characterized by intimacy and commitment but not passion.
A personal standard used to evaluate rewards and costs in a social exchange.
Any attempt to overcome feelings of inadequacy or inferiority.
Counteracting a real or imagined weakness by emphasizing desirable traits or seeking to
excel in the area of weakness or in other areas.
Bending to the requests of a person who has little or no authority or other form of social
A work schedule that allows an employee to work fewer days per week by putting in
more hours per day.
Computed tomographic (CT) scanning
A computer-enhanced X-ray image of the brain or body.
Mental exercise based on attending to a single object or thought.
concept A generalized idea representing a class of related objects or events.
The process of classifying information into meaningful categories.
A generalized idea representing a category of related objects or events.
A formal rule for deciding if an object or event is an example of a particular concept.
Combining several people, objects, or events into a single dream image.
A learned response elicited by a conditioned stimulus.
conditioned emotional response (CER)
An emotional response that has been linked to a previously nonemotional stimulus by
conditioned stimulus (CS)
A stimulus that evokes a response because it has been repeatedly paired with an
conditions of worth.
Internal standards used to judge the value of one’s thoughts, actions, feelings, or
Conductive hearing loss
Poor transfer of sounds from the eardrum to the inner ear.
Visual receptors for colors and daylight visual acuity.
The tendency to remember or notice information that fits one's expectations but to forget
A stressful condition that occurs when a person must choose between incompatible or
Bringing one’s behavior into agreement or harmony with norms or with the behavior of
others in a group.
Problems or defects that originate during prenatal development in the womb.
conjunctive concepts A class of objects that have two or more features in common. (For example, to qualify as
an example of the concept an object must be both red and triangular.)
The subjective, personal, or emotional meaning of a word or concept.
Mental awareness of sensations and perceptions of external events as well as self-
awareness of internal events including thoughts, memories, and feelings about
experiences and the self.
A stimulus that is painful or uncomfortable.
Effects that follow a response.
I n Piaget’s theory, mastery of the concept that the weight mass, and volume of matter
remains unchanged (is conserved) even when the shape or appearance of objects
With respect to child discipline, the maintenance of stable rules of conduct.
Process by which relatively permanent memories are formed in the brain.
Form of love characterized by intimacy, passion, and commitment.
A pleasant and reassuring feeling human and animal infants get from touching or
clinging to something soft and warm, usually their mother.
A schedule in which every correct response is followed by a reinforcer.
Altering conditions that influence behavior.
In a controlled experiment, the group of subjects exposed to all experimental conditions
Moral thinking based on a desire to please others or to follow accepted rules and values.
Thinking directed toward discovery of a single established correct answer; conventional
thinking. conversion disorder,
A bodily symptom that mimics a physical disability but is actually caused by anxiety or
Beliefs that are important to a person and that evoke strong emotion.
Reassuring, self-enhancing statements that are used to stop self-critical thinking.
The existence of a consistent, systematic relationship between two events, measures, or
The existence of a consistent, systematic relationship between two events, measures, or
Making measurements to discover relationships between events.
A nonexperimental study designed to measure the degree of relationship (if any)
between two or more events, measures, or variables.
An increase in the relative size of the cerebral cortex.
A psychologist who specializes in the treatment of milder emotional and behavioral
A mental health professional who specializes in helping people with problems not
involving serious mental disorder; for example, marriage counselors, career counselors,
or school counselors.
Using positive imagery to reinforce desired behavior.
Use of aversive imagery to reduce the occurrence of an undesired response.
Major nerves that leave the brain without passing through the spinal cord.
The “artist” in each of us that creates a unique identity and style of life.
Cretinism Stunted growth and intellectual disability caused by an insufficient supply of thyroid
Skilled management of a psychological emergency.
Situations that arise in a job, with which a competent worker must be able to cope.
Situations during childhood that are capable of leaving a lasting imprint on personality.
A type of reflection involving the support of beliefs through scientific explanation and
An ability to evaluate, compare, analyze, critique, and synthesize information.
In group problem solving, the tendency of one person’s ideas to trigger ideas from
A subjective feeling of being overstimulated by a loss of privacy or by the nearness of
others (especially when social contact with them is unavoidable).
The ability to solve problems using already acquired knowledge.
External stimuli that guide responses, especially by signaling the presence or absence of
A group that professes great devotion to some person and follows that person almost
without question; cult members are typically victimized by their leaders in various ways.
The idea that behavior must be judged relative to the values of the culture in which it
culturally skilled therapist
A therapist who has the awareness, knowledge, and skills necessary to treat clients from
diverse cultural backgrounds.
An ongoing pattern of life, characterizing a society at a given point in history.
A test designed to minimize the importance of skills and knowledge that may be more common in some cultures than in others.
curve of forgetting
A graph that shows the amount of memorized information remembered after varying
lengths of time.
Moderate manic and depressive behavior that persists for 2 years or more.
Increased retinal sensitivity to light.
A vivid waking fantasy.
A jury composed of people who favor the death penalty or at least are indifferent to it.
That part of long-term memory containing specific factual information.
Thought that applies a general set of rules to specific situations; for example, using the
laws of gravity to predict the behavior of a single falling object.
Removal of tissue within the brain by use of an electrode.
Stage 4 slow-wave sleep; the deepest form of normal sleep.
A habitual and often unconscious psychological process used to reduce anxiety.
Reduced use of full-time commitment to mental institutions to treat mental disorders.
Large, slow brainwaves that occur in deeper sleep (Stages 3 and 4).
A psychosis marked by severe delusions of grandeur, jealousy, persecution, or similar
A false belief held against all contrary evidence.
A serious mental impairment in old age caused by deterioration of the brain.
demonology In medieval Europe, the study of demons and the treatment of persons “possessed” by
Neuron fibers that receive incoming messages.
Protecting oneself from an unpleasant reality by refusing to perceive it.
The exact, dictionary definition of a word or concept; its objective meaning.
The number of people in a given space or, inversely, the amount of space available to
In an experiment, the condition (usually a behavior) that is affected by the independent
A substance that decreases activity in the body and nervous system.
A state of despondency marked by feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness.
Emotional disorders primarily involving sadness, despondency, and depression.
In development, the loss or withholding of normal stimulation, nutrition, comfort, love,
and so forth; a condition of lacking.
Features of the environment and messages from the body that supply information about
distance and space.
The ability to see three-dimensional space and to accurately judge distances.
In scientific research, the process of naming and classifying.
Mathematical tools used to describe and summarize numeric data.
A reduction in emotional sensitivity to a stimulus.
desensitization Reducing fear or anxiety by repeatedly exposing a person to emotional stimuli while the
person is deeply relaxed.
The idea that all behavior has prior causes that would completely explain one's choices
and actions if all such causes were known.
In the treatment of alcoholism, the withdrawal of the patient from alcohol.
An individual’s current state of physical, emotional, and intellectual development.
The study of progressive changes in behavior and abilities from conception to death.
Any skill that must be mastered, or personal change that must take place, for optimal
An IQ obtained statistically from a person’s relative standing in his or her age group; that
is, how far above or below average the person’s score was relative to other scores.
The minimum difference between two stimuli that is detectable to an observer.
diffusion of responsibility
Spreading the responsibility to act among several people; reduces the likelihood that
help will be given to a person in need.
Presentation of factual information by lecture, demonstration, and rote practice.
Assessing behavior through direct surveillance.
Learning based on insight and understanding.
Instruction based on encouraging students to discover or construct knowledge for
Treating members of various social groups differently in circumstances where their rights
or treatment should be identical.
Stimuli that precede rewarded and nonrewarded responses in operant conditioning.
Disease-prone personality A personality type associated with poor health; marked by persistent negative emotions,
including anxiety, depression, and hostility.
A reversal of habituation.
The removal of inhibition; results in acting out behavior that normally would be
A concept defined by the presence of at least one of several possible features. (For
example, to qualify an object must be either blue or circular.)
Schizophrenia marked by incoherence, grossly disorganized behavior, bizarre thinking,
and flat or grossly inappropriate emotions.
Redirecting aggression to a target other than the actual source of one’s frustration.
Redirecting aggression to a target other than the actual source of one's frustration.
Directing emotions or actions toward safe or unimportant dream images.
Loss of memory (partial or complete) for important information related to personal
Temporary amnesia, multiple personality, or depersonalization.
Sudden travel away from home, plus confusion about one's personal identity.
dissociative identity disorder
The presence of two or more distinct personalities (multiple personality).
Theory that memory traces weaken when memories are not periodically used or
Thinking that produces many ideas or alternatives; a major element in original or
DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid
A molecular structure that contains coded genetic information. Dogmatism
An unwarranted positiveness or certainty in matters of belief or opinion.
A gene whose influence will be expressed each time the gene is present.
A term usually applied to the side of a person's brain that produces language.
The tendency for a person who has refused a major request to subsequently be more
likely to comply with a minor request.
Double approach-avoidance conflict
Being simultaneously attracted to and repelled by each of two alternatives.
Applying different standards for judging the appropriateness of male and female sexual
An arrangement in which both participants and experimenters are unaware of whether
participants are in the experimental group or the control group, including who might have
been administered a drug or a placebo.
A genetic disorder caused by the presence of an extra chromosome; results in
Comparing yourself with a person who ranks lower than you on some dimension.
Mental filters that hide the true meanings of dreams.
Images in dreams that serve as visible signs of hidden ideas, desires, impulses,
emotions, relationships, and so forth.
Any stimulus (especially an internal stimulus such as hunger) strong enough to goad a
person to action.
The psychological expression of internal needs or valued goals. For example, hunger,
thirst, or a drive for success.
A combined effect of two drugs that exceeds the addition of one drug's effects to the
other. drug tolerance
A reduction in the body's response to a drug.
Dual process hypothesis of sleep
Proposes that NREM sleep reduces the overall level of brain activation, allowing
unimportant memories to be forgotten while REM sleep sharpens memory for important
events from the previous day.
An authentic smile (as opposed to a posed, false smile) involving the mouth and the
small muscles around the eyes.
Genital pain before, during, or after sexual intercourse.
Moderate depression that persists for 2 years or more.
The feeling that you have already experienced a situation that you are actually
experiencing for the first time.
Early childhood education program
Programs that provide stimulating intellectual experiences, typically for disadvantaged
A brief continuation of sensory activity in the auditory system after a sound is heard.
The amount of land and water area required to replenish the resources that a human
The field that seeks to understand how people learn and how teachers instruct.
Changes in behavior due to participants' expectations that a drug (or other treatment)
will have some effect.
eflective SQ4R method
An active study-reading technique based on these steps: survey, question, read, recite,
reflect, and review.
Thought that is self-centered and fails to consider the viewpoints of others.
The ability to retain a “projected” mental image long enough to use it as a source of information.
The release of sperm and seminal fluid by the male at the time of orgasm.
Making memories more meaningful through processing that encodes links between new
information and existing memories and knowledge, either at the time of the original
encoding or on subsequent retrievals.
electrical stimulation of the brain (ESB)
Direct electrical stimulation and activation of brain tissue.
electroconvulsive shock (ECS)
An electric current passed directly through the brain, producing a convulsion.
electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
A treatment for severe depression, consisting of an electric shock passed directly
through the brain, which induces a convulsion.
Any device (such as a wire, needle, or metal plate) used to electrically stimulate or
destroy nerve tissue or to record its activity.
A device that detects, amplifies, and records electrical activity in the brain.
electroencephalograph, or EEG.
A device designed to detect, amplify, and record electrical activity in the brain.
Gestures that have widely understood meanings within a particular culture.
A socially tolerated period of extended adolescence now quite common in Western
A state characterized by physiological arousal, changes in facial expression, gestures,
posture, and subjective feelings.
Managing or controlling one’s emotional reaction to a stressful or threatening situation.
Evaluating the personal meaning of a stimulus or situation.
An especially close emotional bond that infants form with their parents, caregivers, or
emotional component One’s feelings toward the object of an attitude.
Outward signs that an emotion is occurring.
The private, subjective experience of having an emotion.
The ability to perceive, use, understand, and manage emotions.
Emotional arousal that occurs when you feel some of another person's pain, fear, or
A capacity for taking another's point of view; the ability to feel what another is feeling.
Observation that we are most likely to help someone else when we feel emotions such
as empathy and compassion.
Converting information into a form in which it will be retained in memory.
Failure to store sufficient information to form a useful memory.
A group experience that emphasizes intensely honest interchanges among participants
regarding feelings and reactions to one another.
Glands whose secretions pass directly into the bloodstream or lymph system.
Depression that appears to be produced from within (perhaps by chemical imbalances in
the brain), rather than as a reaction to life events.
In development, deliberately making an environment more timulating, nutritional,
comforting, loving, and so forth.
The sum of all external conditions affecting development, including especially the effects
Measurement and analysis of the effects an environment has on the behavior and
perceptions of people within that environment. Environmental psychology
The formal study of how environments affect behavior.
An adrenal hormone that tends to arouse the body; epinephrine is associated with fear.
(Also known as adrenaline.)
A drive that occurs in distinct episodes.
A subpart of declarative memory that records personal experiences that are linked with
specific times and places.
Social interaction that occurs on an equal footing, without obvious differences in power
An inability to maintain an erection for lovemaking
Areas of the body that produce pleasure and/or provoke erotic desire.
Reducing discomfort by leaving frustrating situations or by psychologically withdrawing
Learning to make a response in order to end an aversive stimulus.
Any of a number of female sex hormones.
Any of a number of female sex hormones.
Changes in the sexual drives of animals that create a desire for mating; particularly used
to refer to females in heat.
Placing one's own group or race at the center—that is, tending to reject all other groups
but one's own.
A person who studies the natural behavior patterns of animals.
Selective breeding for desirable characteristics. evaluation fears
Fears of being inadequate, embarrassed, ridiculed, or rejected.
The study of how human evolution and genetics might explain our current behavior.
Study of the evolutionary origins of human behavior patterns.
The first phase of sexual response, indicated by initialv signs of sexual arousal.
An insight therapy that focuses on the elemental problems of existence, such as death,
meaning, choice, and responsibility; emphasizes making courageous life choices.
An anticipation concerning future events or relationships.
Anticipation about the effect a response will have, especially regarding reinforcement.
Style of thought arising during passive experience.
Specialized knowledge and skills acquired through learning and experience.
A formal trial undertaken to confirm or disconfirm a hypothesis about cause and effect.
In a controlled experiment, the group of subjects exposed to the independent variable or
Investigating causes of behavior through controlled experimentation.
Humans (also referred to as participants) or animals whose behavior is investigated in
an experiment. Variable Any condition that changes or can be made to change; a
measure, event, or state that may vary.
Social power derived from possession of knowledge or expertise.
A memory that a person is aware of having; a memory that is consciously retrieved.
expressive (emotion-oriented) behaviors Behaviors that express or communicate emotion or personal feelings.
A cause of behavior that is assumed to lie outside a person.
The weakening of a conditioned response through removal of reinforcement.
Thirst caused by a reduction in the volume of fluids found between body cells.
Conditions or factors excluded from influencing the outcome of an experiment.
extrasensory perception (ESP)
The purported ability to perceive events in ways that cannot be explained by known
capacities of the sensory organs.
Motivation based on obvious external rewards, obligations, or similar factors.
Ego attitude in which energy is mainly directed outward.
A person whose attention is directed outward; a bold, outgoing person.
eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
A technique for reducing fear or anxiety; based on holding upsetting thoughts in mind
while rapidly moving the eyes from side to side.
End of terms. Return to top.
An inability to identify seen objects.
facial feedback hypothesis
States that sensations from facial expressions help define what emotion a person feels.
A statistical technique used to correlate multiple measurements and identify general
A memory that can seem accurate but is not.
Familial intellectual disability
Mild intellectual disability associated with homes that are intellectually, nutritionally, and
Technique in which all family members participate, both individually and as a group, to change destructive relationships and communication patterns.
Information returned to a person about the effects a response has had; also known as
knowledge of results.
feeling of knowing
The ability to predict beforehand whether one will be able to remember something.
female orgasmic disorder
A persistent inability to reach orgasm during lovemaking.
female sexual arousal disorder
A lack of physical arousal to sexual stimulation.
Organizing a perception so that part of a stimulus appears to stand out as an object
(figure) against a less prominent background (ground).
Proposes that there are five universal dimensions of personality.
The tendency to repeat wrong solutions or faulty responses, especially as a result of
becoming blind to alternatives.
fixed interval (FI) schedule
A reinforcer is given only when a correct response is made after a set amount of time
has passed since the last reinforced response. Responses made during the time interval
are not reinforced.
fixed ratio (FR) schedule
A set number of correct responses must be made to get a reinforcer. For example, a
reinforcer is given for every four correct responses.
Memory created at times of high emotion that seems especially vivid.
In tests of creativity, flexibility is indicated by the number of different types of solutions
A work schedule that allows flexible starting and quitting times.
In tests of creativity, fluency refers to the total number of solutions produced.
The ability to solve novel problems involving perceptual speed or rapid insight.
foot-in-the-door effect The tendency for a person who has first complied with a small request to be more likely
later to fulfill a larger request.
Sexual intercourse carried out against the victim’s will, under the threat of violence or
Fragile X syndrome
A genetic form of intellectual disability caused by a defect in the X chromosome.
In thought, the terms in which a problem is stated or the way that it is structured.
Twins conceived from two separate eggs.
In psychoanalysis, the technique of having a client say anything that comes to mind,
regardless of how embarrassing or unimportant it may seem.
The idea that human beings are capable of freely making choices or decisions.
A table that divides an entire range of scores into a series of classes and then records
the number of scores that fall into each class.
A graph of a frequency distribution in which the number of scores falling in each class is
represented by points on a line.
Holds that tones up to 4,000 hertz are converted to nerve impulses that match the
frequency of each tone.
Areas of the cortex associated with movement, the sense of self, and higher mental
A negative emotional state that occurs when one is prevented from reaching a goal.
States that frustration tends to lead to aggression.
fully functioning person,
A person living in harmony with her or his deepest feelings, impulses, and intuitions.
A detailed, practical, and workable solution. functional fixedness
A rigidity in problem solving s some additional insight problems you may want tcaused
by an inability to see new uses for familiar objects.
functional MRI (fMRI)
MRI technique that records brain activity.
The school of psychology concerned with how behavior and mental abilities help people
adapt to their environments.
fundamental attribution error.
The tendency to attribute the behavior of others to internal causes (personality, likes,
and so forth)
A general ability factor proposed to underly intelligence; the core of general intellectual
ability that involves reasoning, problem-solving ability, knowledge, and memory.
galvanic skin response (GSR).
A change in the electrical resistance (or inversely, the conductance) of the skin, due to
gate control theory
Proposes that pain messages pass through neural “gates” in the spinal cord.
Psychological and social characteristics associated with being male or female; defined
especially by one’s gender identity and learned gender roles.
gender bias in research.
A tendency for females and female issues to be underrepresented in research,
psychological or otherwise.
One’s personal, private sense of maleness or femaleness.
The pattern of behaviors that are regarded as “male” or “female” by one’s culture;
sometimes also referred to as a sex role.
gender role socialization
The process of learning gender behaviors considered appropriate for one’s sex in a
Gender role stereotypes
Oversimplified and widely held beliefs about the basic characteristics of men and
gender variant Condition in which a person’s biological sex does not match his or her preferred gender.
General adaptation syndrome (GAS).
A series of bodily reactions to prolonged stress; occurs in three stages: alarm,
resistance, and exhaustion.
General intelligence test
A test that measures a wide variety of mental abilities.
A solution that correctly states the requirements for success but not in enough detail for
generalized anxiety disorder
A chronic state of tension and worry about work, relationships, ability, or impending
A conflict of middle adulthood in which self-interest is countered by an interest in guiding
the next generation.
Specific areas on a strand of DNA that carry hereditary information.
Problems caused by defects in the genes or by inherited characteristics.
Sex as indicated by the presence of XX (female) or XY (male) chromosomes.
Sex as indicated by the presence of male or female genitals. X
A school of psychology emphasizing the study of thinking, learning, and perception in
whole units, not by analysis into parts.
An approach that focuses on immediate experience and awareness to help clients
rebuild thinking, feeling, and acting into connected wholes; emphasizes the integration of
Either the possession of a high IQ or special talents or aptitudes.
The target or objective of motivated behavior.
Sex as indicated by the presence of ovaries (female) or testes (male). gonads
The primary sex glands—the testes in males and ovaries in females.
A set of rules for combining language units into meaningful speech or writing.
Techniques for presenting numbers pictorially, often by plotting them on a graph.
The degree of attraction among group members or their commitment to remaining in the
Group intelligence test
Any intelligence test that can be administered to a group of people with minimal
Prejudice held out of conformity to group views.
Rewards and punishments (such as approval or disapproval) administered by groups to
enforce conformity among members.
The network of roles, communication pathways, and power in a group.
Psychotherapy conducted in a group setting to make therapeutic use of group dynamics.
A compulsion by members of decision-making groups to maintain agreement, even at
the cost of critical thinking.
A hormone, secreted by the pituitary gland, that promotes body growth.
In Maslow’s hierarchy, the higher-level needs associated with self-actualization.
Intentional visualization of images that are calming, relaxing, or beneficial in other ways.
guilty knowledge test
Polygraph procedure involving testing people with knowledge only a guilty person could
The sense of taste. habits
A deeply ingrained, learned pattern of behavior.
A decrease in perceptual response to a repeated stimulus.
Receptor cells within the cochlea that transduce vibrations into nerve impulses.
A community-based facility for individuals making the transition from an institution
(mental hospital, prison, and so forth) to independent living.
An imaginary sensation—such as seeing, hearing, or smelling something that does not
exist in the external world.
An imaginary sensation, such as seeing, hearing, or smelling things that don't exist in the
A substance that alters or distorts sensory impressions.
The tendency to generalize a favorable or unfavorable first impression to unrelated
details of personality.
A preference for the right or left hand in most activities.
A personality style associated with superior stress resistance.
Any distressing, day-to-day annoyance.
Study of the ways in which behavioral principles can be used to prevent illness and
The transmission of physical and psychological characteristics from parents to offspring
The belief that heterosexuality is better or more natural than homosexuality.
A person romantically and erotically attracted to members of the opposite sex. heuristic
Any strategy or technique that aids problem solving, especially by limiting the number of
possible solutions to be tried.
A detached part of the hypnotized person's awareness that silently observes events.
A rank-ordered series of higher and lower amounts, levels, degrees, or steps.
hierarchy of human needs,
Abraham Maslow’s ordering of needs, based on their presumed strength or potency.
higher order conditioning
Classical conditioning in which a conditioned stimulus is used to reinforce further
learning; that is, a CS is used as if it were a US.
A brain structure associated with emotion and the transfer of information from short-term
memory to long-term memory.
A part of the limbic system associated with storing memories.
A graph of a frequency distribution in which the number of scores falling in each class is
represented by vertical bars.
A steady state of body equilibrium.
Marriage of two people who are similar to one another.
A person romantically and erotically attracted to same-sex persons.
Sex as indicated by a preponderance of estrogens (female) or androgens (male) in the
A glandular secretion that affects bodily functions or behavior.
human factors psychology
A specialty concerned with making machines and work environments compatible with
human perceptual and physical capacities.
Those traits, qualities, potentials, and behavior patterns most characteristic of the human species.
human-computer interaction (HCI)
The application of human factors to the design of computers and computer software.
An approach that focuses on human experience, problems, potentials, and ideals.
An approach to psychology that focuses on human experience, problems, potentials,
A buildup of cerebrospinal fluid within brain cavities.
Difficulty focusing nearby objects (farsightedness).
A persistent, troubling excess of sexual desire.
Excessive daytime sleepiness.
An altered state of consciousness characterized by narrowed attention and increased
One's capacity for becoming hypnotized.
hypoactive sexual desire
A persistent, upsetting loss of sexual desire.
A person who complains about illnesses that appear to be imaginary.
A preoccupation with fears of having a serious disease. Ordinary physical signs are
interpreted as proof that the person has a disease, but no physical disorder can be
A small area at the base of the brain that regulates many aspects of motivation and
emotion, especially hunger, thirst, and sexual behavior.
A small area of the brain that regulates emotional behaviors and motives.
A statement of the predicted outcome of an experiment or an educated guess about the relationship between variables.
(now called somatoform disorders) An outdated term describing people with physical
symptoms (such as paralysis or numbness) for which no physical causes can be found.
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A message that states the effect someone else’s behavior has on you.
A mental image or visual representation.
An idealized image of oneself (the person one would like to be).
Twins who develop from a single egg and have identical genes.
Feeling emotionally connected to a person and seeing oneself as like him or her.
A conflict of adolescence involving the need to establish a personal identity.
Thought that is intuitive, haphazard, or irrational.
A misleading or misconstructed perception.
Gestures people use to illustrate what they are saying.
Most often, a mental representation that has picture-like qualities; an icon.
An attempt to match one’s own behavior to another person’s behavior.
A memory that a person does not know exists; a memory that is retrieved unconsciously.
A testing procedure that simulates the individual decisionmaking challenges that
A group with which a person identifies.
inattentional blindness A failure to notice a stimulus because attention is focused elsewhere.
The value of a goal above and beyond its ability to fill a need.
State that exists when there is a discrepancy between one’s experiences and self-image
or between one’s self-image and ideal self.
Thinking marked by a series of small steps that lead to an original solution.
In an experiment, the condition being investigated as a possible cause of some change
in behavior. The values that this variable takes are chosen by the experimenter.
Individual intelligence test
A test of intelligence designed to be given to a single individual by a trained specialist.
Personality traits that define a person’s unique individual qualities.
Information that helps define a person as an individual, rather than as a member of a
group or social category.
Thinking in which a general rule or principle is gathered from a series of specific
examples; for instance, inferring the laws of gravity by observing many falling objects.
Industrial/organizational (I/O) psychologists
A field that focuses on the psychology of work and on behavior within organizations.
A conflict in middle childhood centered on lack of support for industrious behavior, which
can result in feelings of inferiority.
Mathematical tools used for decision making, for generalizing from small samples, and
for drawing conclusions.
Meaningful units of information, such as numbers, letters, words, or phrases.
Information bits grouped into larger units.
informational view (of conditioning)
Perspective that explains learning in terms of information imparted by events in the
initiative A conflict between learning to take initiative and overcoming feelings of guilt about doing
A legal term that refers to a mental inability to manage one's affairs or to be aware of the
consequences of one's actions.
An anxious emotional bond marked by both a desire to be with a parent or caregiver and
some resistance to being reunited.
An anxious emotional bond marked by a tendency to avoid reunion with a parent or
A sudden mental reorganization of a problem that makes the solution obvious.
Difficulty in getting to sleep or staying asleep.
instrumental (goal-directed) behaviors
Behaviors directed toward the achievement of some goal; behaviors that are
instrumental in producing some effect.
A conflict in old age between feelings of integrity and the despair of viewing previous life
events with regret.
(formerly mental retardation) The presence of a developmental disability, a formal IQ
score below 70, or a significant impairment of adaptive behavior.
An overall capacity to think rationally, act purposefully, and deal effectively with the
Intelligence quotient (IQ)
An index of intelligence defined as mental age divided by chronological age and
multiplied by 100.
The tendency for new memories to impair retrieval of older memories, and the reverse.
A cause of behavior assumed to lie within a person—for instance, a need, preference, or
Social attraction to another person. interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT)
A brief dynamic psychotherapy designed to help people by improving their relationships
with other people.
(formerly hermaphrodite) A person who has genitals suggestive of both sexes.
A face-to-face meeting held for the purpose of gaining information about an individual’s
personal history, personality traits, current psychological state, and so forth.
The challenge of overcoming a sense of isolation by establishing intimacy with others.
Feelings of connectedness and affection for another person.
The most private space immediately surrounding the body (up to about 18inches from
Thirst triggered when fluid is drawn out of cells due to an increased concentration of
salts and minerals outside the cell.
Motivation that comes from within, rather than from external rewards; motivation based
on personal enjoyment of a task or activity.
To look within; to examine one's own thoughts, feelings, or sensations.
Ego attitude in which energy is mainly directed inward.
A person whose attention is focused inward; a shy, reserved,
Quick, impulsive thought that does not make use of formal logic or clear reasoning.
Thinking that makes little or no use of reasoning and logic.
Tiny openings through the axon membrane.
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States that emotional feelings follow bodily arousal and come from awareness of such arousal.
A method of reducing prejudice; each student receives only part of the information
needed to complete a project or prepare for a test.
A detailed description of the skills, knowledge, and activities required by a particular job.
Making a job more personally rewarding, interesting, or intrinsically motivating; typically
involves increasing worker knowledge.
The degree to which a person is comfortable with or satisfied with his or her work.
Belief that people generally get what they deserve.
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As an aid to memory, using a familiar word or image to link two items.
Study of the meaning of body movements, posture, hand gestures, and facial
expressions; commonly called body language.
The senses of body movement and positioning.
knowledge of results (KR)
Workers who add value to their company by creating and manipulating information.
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Words or symbols, and rules for combining them, that are used for thinking and
Large group awareness training
Any of a number of programs (many of them commercialized) that claim to increase self-
awareness and facilitate constructive personal change.
The hidden or symbolic meaning of a dream, as revealed by dream interpretation and
Learning that occurs without obvious reinforcement and that remains unexpressed until reinforcement is provided.
Differences between the two sides of the body, especially differences in the abilities of
the brain hemispheres.
Law of effect
Responses that lead to desirable effects are repeated; those that produce undesirable
results are not.
leaderless group discussion.
A test of leadership that simulates group decision making and problem solving.
A learned inability to overcome obstacles or to avoid punishment; learned passivity and
inaction to aversive stimuli.
Motives based on learned needs, drives, and goals.
Any relatively permanent change in behavior that can be attributed to experience.
A psychologist interested in the ways that learning shapes behavior and explains
Social power based on a person’s position as an agent of an accepted social order.
A geometric shape used as a symbol for a word.
Life skills training
A program that teaches stress reduction, self-protection, decision making, self-control,
and social skills.
A disease related to health-damaging personal habits.
Stage 1 sleep, marked by small irregular brainwaves and some alpha waves.
A relationship based on intimacy, but lacking passion and commitment.
A system in the forebrain that is closely linked with emotional response.
linguistic relativity hypothesis
The idea that the words we use not only reflect our thoughts but can shape them as well. lobes of the cerebral cortex
Areas on the left and right cortex bordered by major fissures or defined by their
The research strategy of linking specific structures in the brain with specific
psychological or behavioral functions.
lock and key theory of olfaction
Holds that odors are related to the shapes of chemical molecules.
Drawing conclusions on the basis of formal principles of reasoning.
Reasonable consequences that are defined by parents.
long-term memory (LTM)
The memory system used for relatively permanent storage of meaningful information.
Brain mechanism used to form lasting memories by strengthening the connection
between neurons that become more active at the same time.
A strategy in which commitment is gained first to reasonable or desirable terms, which
are then made less reasonable or desirable.
A dream in which the dreamer feels awake and capable of normal thought and action.
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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
An imaging technique that results in a three-dimensional image of the brain or body,
based on its response to a magnetic field.
Silently repeating or mentally reviewing information to hold it in short-term memory.
major depressive disorder.
A mood disorder in which the person has suffered one or more intense episodes of
Major mood disorders
Disorders marked by lasting extremes of mood or emotion and sometimes accompanied
by psychotic symptoms.
Behavior arising from an underlying psychological or biological dysfunction that makes it
difficult to adapt to the environment and meet the demands of day-to-day life. male orgasmic disorder
A persistent inability to reach orgasm during lovemaking.
management by objectives,
A management technique in which employees are given specific goals to meet in their
Combining praise, recognition, approval, rules, and reasoning to enforce child discipline
A circular design representing the balance, unity, and completion of the unconscious
The surface, “visible” content of a dream; dream images as they are remembered by the