Psychology 2035A/B Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Psychosexual Development, Reality Principle, Operant Conditioning
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Chp. 2 Key Terms
Archetypes: emotionally charged images and thought forms that have universal
Behaviorism: theoretical orientation based on the premise that scientific psychology
should study observable behaviour.
Classical Conditioning: type of learning in which a neutral stimulus acquires the cpacity
to evoke a response that was originally evoked by another stimulus.
Collective Unconscious: storehouse of latent memory traces inherited from people’s
ancestral past that is shared with the entire human race.
Compensation: defense mechanism characterized by efforts to overcome imagined or
real inferiorities by developing one’s abilities.
Conditioned Response: learned reaction to a conditioned stimulus that ovvurs because
of previous conditioning.
Conditioned Stimulus: previously neutral stimulus that has, through conditioning
acquired the capacity to evoke a conditioned response.
Conscious: whatever one is aware of at one particular time.
Defense Mechanisms: largely unconscious reactions that protect a person from
unpleasant emotions such as anxiety and guilt.
Displacement: diverting emotional feelings from their original source to a substitute
target (usually anger).
Ego: decision-making component of personality that operates according to the reality
Evolutionary Psychology: examines behavioural processes in terms of their adaptive
value for members of a species over the course of many generations.
Extinction: gradual weakening and disappearance of a conditioned response.
Fixation: failure to move forward from one stage of psychosexual development to
Heritability Ratio: an estimate of the proportion of the trait to be passed down to other
Hierarchy of Needs: systematic arrangement of needs, according to priority, in which
basic needs must be met before advancing to other needs. (Pyramid)
Hindsight Basis: common tendency to mold one’s interpretation of the past to fit how
events actually turned out.
Humanism: emphasizes the unique qualities of humans, especially their free will and
their potential personal growth.
Id: primitive, instinctive component of personality that operates according to the pleasure
Identification: bolstering self-esteem by forming an imaginary or real alliance with some
person or group.
Incongruence: disparity between one’s self-concept and one’s actual experience.
Need for Self-actualization: need to fulfill one’s potential, the highest priority in
Negative Reinforcement: strengthening of a response because it is followed by the
removal of an unpleasant stimulus.
Observational Learning: learning through observation of others.
Oedipal Complex: a child’s erotically tinged desires for the other sex parent,
accompanied with feelings of hostility for the same sex parent.
Operant Conditioning: form of learning in which voluntary responses come to be
controlled by their consequences.
Positive Reinforcement: strengthening of a response because it is followed by the arrival
of a pleasant stimulus.
Preconcious: material just beneath the surface of awareness that can easily be recovered.
Projection: attributing one’s own thoughts, feelings, or motives to another person.
Projective Tests: personality tests that ask subjects to respond to vague, ambiguous
stimuli in ways that may reveal the subjects needs, feelings or traits. (ie, inkblot test)
Psychodynamic Theories: diverse theories stemming from Freud’s work that focus on
unconscious mental forces.
Psychosexual Stages: developmental periods with a characteristic sexual focus that leave
their mark on adult personality.
Punishment: the weakening of a response because it is followed by the arrival of a
Rationalization: creating false but plausible excuses to justify unacceptable behaviour.
Reaction Formation: behaving in a way that is exactly opposite of one’s true feelings.
Regression: reversion to immature patterns of behaviour.
Self-concept: collection of beliefs about one’s basic nature, unique qualities and typical
Self-efficacy: belief about one’s ability to perform behaviours that should lead to
Self-report Inventories: personality scales that ask individuals to answer a series of
questions about their characteristic behaviour.
Sensation Seeking: generalized preference for high or low levels of sensory stimulation.
Sublimation: defense mechanism that occurs when unconscious, unacceptable, impulses
are channeled into socially acceptable, perhaps even admirable, behaviours.
Superego: the moral component of personality that incorporates social standards about
what represents right and wrong.
Twin Studies: research method in which researchers assess hereditary influence by
comparing the resemblance of identical twins and fraternal twins on a trait.
Unconditioned Response: an unlearned reaction to an unconditioned stimulus that
occurs without previous conditioning.
Unconditioned Stimulus: stimulus that evokes an unconditioned response with out
Unconscious: thoughts, memories, desires that are well below the surface of conscious
awareness but that nonetheless exert great influence on our behaviour.