Psychology Related Important Terms You Need To Know

Physiology Terms Healthhyme

A science such as psychology does not develop in a vacuum, subject only to internal influences. Because it is part of the larger culture, psychology also is affected by external forces that shape its nature and direction. The early years of the twentieth century saw dramatic changes in the nature of psychology all around the globe and in the type of work that psychologists were doing.

Also Read: Common Terms Related To Health Psychology

The physiological research that stimulated and guided the new psychology was a product of the scientific work of the late nineteenth century.

  1. Absolute threshold: The point of sensitivity below which no sensations can be detected and above which sensations can be experienced.
  2. Act psychology: Brentano’s system of psychology, which focused on mental activities (e.g., seeing) rather than on mental contents (e.g., that which is seen).
  3. Analytical psychology: Jung’s theory of personality.
  4. Anecdotal method: The use of observational reports about animal behavior.
  5. Apperception: The process by which mental elements are organized.
  6. Archetypes: Inherited tendencies within the collective unconscious that dispose a person to behave similarly to ancestors who confronted similar situations.
  7. Associated reflexes: Reflexes that can be elicited not only by unconditioned stimuli but also by stimuli that have become associated with the unconditioned stimuli.
  8. Association: The notion that knowledge results from linking or associating simple ideas to form complex ideas.
  9. Associative memory: An association between stimulus and response, taken to indicate evidence of consciousness in animals.
  10. Basic anxiety: Horney’s conception of pervasive loneliness and helplessness, feelings that are the foundation of neuroses.
  11. Behavior modification: The use of positive reinforcement to control or modify the behavior of individuals or groups.
  12. Behaviorism: Watson’s science of behavior, which dealt solely with observable behavioral acts that could be described in objective terms.
  13. Catharsis: The process of reducing or eliminating a complex by recalling it to conscious awareness and allowing it to be expressed.
  14. Clinical method: Posthumous examination of brain structures to detect damaged areas assumed to be responsible for behavioral conditions that existed before the person died.
  15. Cognitive psychology: A system of psychology that focuses on the process of knowing, on how the mind actively organizes experiences.
  16. Collective unconscious: The deepest level of the psyche; it contains inherited experiences of human and prehuman species.
  17. Conditioned reflexes: Reflexes that are conditional or dependent on the formation of an association or connection between stimulus and response.
  18. Connectionism: Thorndike’s approach to learning that was based on connections between situations and responses.
  19. Creative synthesis: The notion that complex ideas formed from simple ideas take on new qualities; the combination of the mental elements creates something greater than or different from the sum of the original elements.
  20. Defense mechanisms: Behaviors that represent unconscious denials or distortions of reality but which are adopted to protect the ego against anxiety.
  21. Derived and innate ideas: Derived ideas are produced by the direct application of an external stimulus; innate ideas arise from the mind or consciousness, independent of sensory experiences or external stimuli.
  22. Determinism: The doctrine that acts are determined by past events.
  23. Differential threshold: The point of sensitivity at which the least amount of change in a stimulus gives rise to a change in sensation.
  24. Dream analysis: A psychotherapeutic technique involving the interpretation of dreams to uncover unconscious conflicts.
  25. Dynamic psychology: Robert Woodworth’s system of psychology, which was concerned with the influence of causal factors and motivations on feelings and behavior.
  26. Ego: The rational aspect of personality responsible for controlling the instincts.
  27. Electrical stimulation: A technique for exploring the cerebral cortex with weak electric current to observe motor responses.
  28. Empiricism: The pursuit of knowledge through the observation of nature and the attribution of all knowledge to experience.
  29. Equipotentiality: The idea that one part of the cerebral cortex is essentially equal to another in its contribution to learning.
  30. Extirpation: A technique for determining the function of a given part of an animal’s brain by removing or destroying it and observing the resulting behavior changes.
  31. Field theory: Lewin’s system using the concept of fields of force to explain behavior in terms of one’s field of social influences.
  32. Fields of force: Regions or spaces traversed by lines of force, such as of a magnet or electric current.
  33. Free association: A psychotherapeutic technique in which the patient says whatever comes to mind.
  34. Freudian slip: An act of forgetting or a lapse in speech that reflects unconscious motives or anxieties.
  35. Functionalism: A system of psychology concerned with the mind as it is used in an organism’s adaptation to its environment.
  36. Gestalt psychology: A system of psychology that focuses largely on learning and perception, suggesting that combining sensory elements produces new patterns with properties that did not exist in the individual elements.
  37. Habit strength: The strength of the stimulusresponse connection, which is a function of the number of reinforcements.
  38. Historiography: The principles, methods, and philosophical issues of historical research.
  39. Humanistic psychology: A system of psychology that emphasizes the study of conscious experience and the wholeness of human nature.
  40. Hypothetico-deductive method: Hull’s method for establishing postulates from which experimentally testable conclusions can be deduced.
  41. Id: The source of psychic energy and the aspect of personality allied with the instincts.
  42. Imageless thought: Külpe’s idea that meaning in thought can occur without any sensory or imaginal component.
  43. Individual psychology: Adler’s theory of personality; it incorporates social as well as biological factors.
  44. Inferiority complex: A condition that develops when a person is unable to compensate for normal inferiority feelings.
  45. Insight: Immediate apprehension or cognition.
  46. Instincts: To Freud, mental representations of internal stimuli (such as hunger) that motivate personality and behavior.
  47. Intervening variables: Unobserved and inferred factors within the organism that are the actual determinants of behavior.
  48. Introspection by analogy: A technique for studying animal behavior by assuming that the same mental processes that occur in the observer’s mind also occur in the animal’s mind.
  49. Introspection: Examination of one’s own mind to inspect and report on personal thoughts or feelings.
  50. Isomorphism: The doctrine that there is a correspondence between psychological or conscious experience and the underlying brain experience.
  51. Just noticeable difference: The smallest difference that can be detected between two physical stimuli.
  52. Law of acquisition: The strength of an operant behavior is increased when it is followed by the presentation of a reinforcing stimulus.
  53. Law of effect: Acts that produce satisfaction in a given situation become associated with that situation; when the situation recurs, the act is likely to recur.
  54. Law of exercise: The more an act or response is used in a given situation, the more strongly the act becomes associated with that situation.
  55. Law of mass action: The efficiency of learning is a function of the total mass of cortical tissue.
  56. Law of parsimony: (Lloyd Morgan’s Canon): The notion that animal behavior must not be attributed to a higher mental process when it can be explained in terms of a lower mental process.
  57. Law of primary reinforcement: When a stimulusresponse relationship is followed by a reduction in a bodily need, the probability increases that on subsequent occasions the same stimulus will evoke the same response.
  58. Libido: To Freud, the psychic energy that drives a person toward pleasurable thoughts and behaviors.
  59. Locus of control: Rotter’s idea about the perceived source of reinforcement. Internal locus of control is the belief that reinforcement depends on one’s own behavior; external locus of control is the belief that reinforcement depends on outside forces.
  60. Materialism: The doctrine that considers the facts of the universe to be sufficiently explained in physical terms by the existence and nature of matter.
  61. Mechanism: The doctrine that natural processes are mechanically determined and capable of explanation by the laws of physics and chemistry.
  62. Mediate and immediate experience: Mediate experience provides information about something other than the elements of that experience; immediate experience is unbiased by interpretation.
  63. Mental age: The age at which children of average ability can perform certain tasks.
  64. Mental tests: Tests of motor skills and sensory capacities; intelligence tests use more complex measures of mental abilities.
  65. Mentalism: The doctrine that all knowledge is a function of mental phenomena and dependent on the perceiving or experiencing person.
  66. Mind-body problem: The question of the distinction between mental and physical qualities.
  67. Monadology: Leibnitz’s theory of psychic entities, called monads, which are similar to perceptions.
  68. Naturalistic theory: The view that progress and change in scientific history are attributable to the Zeitgeist, which makes a culture receptive to some ideas but not to others.
  69. Nonsense syllables: Syllables presented in a meaningless series to study memory processes.
  70. Oedipus complex: At ages four to five, the unconscious desire of a boy for his mother and the desire to replace or destroy his father.
  71. Operant conditioning: A learning situation that involves behavior emitted by an organism rather than elicited by a detectable stimulus.
  72. Operationism: The doctrine that a physical concept can be defined in precise terms related to the set of operations or procedures by which it is determined.
  73. Perceptual constancy: A quality of wholeness or completeness in perceptual experience that does not vary even when the sensory elements change.
  74. Personal unconscious: The reservoir of material that once was conscious but has been forgotten or suppressed.
  75. Personalistic theory: The view that progress and change in scientific history are attributable to the ideas of unique individuals.
  76. Phenomenology: Stumpf’s introspective method that examined experience as it occurred and did not try to reduce experience to elementary components. Also, an approach to knowledge based on an unbiased description of immediate experience as it occurs, not analyzed or reduced to elements.
  77. Phi phenomenon: The illusion that two stationary flashing lights are moving from one place to another.
  78. Positive regard: The unconditional love of a mother for her infant.
  79. Positivism: The doctrine that recognizes only natural phenomena or facts that are objectively observable.
  80. Pragmatism: The doctrine that the validity of ideas is measured by their practical consequences.
  81. Primary and secondary qualities: Primary qualities are characteristics such as size and shape that exist in an object whether or not we perceive them; secondary qualities are characteristics such as color and odor that exist in our perception of the object.
  82. Psychoanalysis: Sigmund Freud’s theory of personality and system of psychotherapy.
  83. Psychophysics: The scientific study of the relations between mental and physical processes.
  84. Psychosexual stages: In psychoanalytic theory, the developmental stages of childhood centering on erogenous zones.
  85. Purposive behaviorism: Tolman’s system combining the objective study of behavior with the consideration of purposiveness or goal orientation in behavior.
  86. Recapitulation theory: Hall’s idea that the psychological development of children repeats the history of the human race.
  87. Reductionism: The doctrine that explains phenomena on one level (such as complex ideas) in terms of phenomena on another level (such as simple ideas).
  88. Reflex action theory: The idea that an external object (a stimulus) can bring about an involuntary response.
  89. Reflex arc: The connection between sensory stimuli and motor responses.
  90. Reinforcement schedules: Conditions involving various rates and times of reinforcement.
  91. Reinforcement: Something that increases the likelihood of a response.
  92. Repetition: The notion that the more frequently two ideas occur together, the more readily they will be associated.
  93. Repression: The process of barring unacceptable ideas, memories, or desires from conscious awareness, leaving them to operate in the unconscious mind.
  94. Resistance: A blockage or refusal to disclose painful memories during a freeassociation session.
  95. Self-actualization: The full development of one’s abilities and the realization of one’s potential.
  96. Self-efficacy: One’s sense of self-esteem and competence in dealing with life’s problems.
  97. Simple and complex ideas: Simple ideas are elemental ideas that arise from sensation and reflection; complex ideas are derived ideas that are compounded of simple ideas and thus can be analyzed or reduced to their simpler components.
  98. Social interest: Adler’s conception of an innate potential to cooperate with other people to achieve personal and societal goals.
  99. Stimulus error: Confusing the mental process under study with the stimulus or object being observed.
  100. Stream of consciousness: William James’s idea that consciousness is a continuous flowing process and that any attempt to reduce it to elements will distort it.
  101. Structuralism: E. B. Titchener’s system of psychology, which dealt with conscious experience as dependent on experiencing persons.
  102. Successive approximation: An explanation for the acquisition of complex behavior. Behaviors such as learning to speak will be reinforced only as they come to approximate or approach the final desired behavior.
  103. Superego: The moral aspect of personality derived from internalizing parental and societal values and standards.
  104. Synthetic philosophy: Herbert Spencer’s idea that knowledge and experience can be explained in terms of evolutionary principles.
  105. Systematic experimental introspection: Külpe’s introspective method that used retrospective reports of subjects’ cognitive processes after they had completed an experimental task.
  106. Transference: The process by which a patient responds to the therapist as if the therapist were a significant person (such as a parent) in the patient’s life.
  107. Trial-and-error learning: Learning based on the repetition of response tendencies that lead to success.
  108. Tridimensional theory of feelings: Wundt’s explanation for feeling states based on three dimensions: pleasure/displeasure, tension/relaxation, and excitement/depression.
  109. Tropism: An involuntary forced movement.
  110. Two-point threshold: The threshold at which two points of stimulation can be distinguished as such.
  111. Variability hypothesis: The notion that men show a wider range and variation of physical and mental development than women; the abilities of women are seen
    as more average.
  112. Vicarious reinforcement: Bandura’s notion that learning can occur by observing the behavior of other people, and the consequences of their behavior, rather than by always experiencing reinforcement personally.
  113. Voluntarism: The idea that the mind has the capacity to organize mental contents into higher-level thought processes.
  114. Zeigarnik effect: The tendency to recall uncompleted tasks more easily than completed tasks.
  115. Zeitgeist: The intellectual and cultural climate or spirit of the times.

Source: A History of Modern Psychology (10th Edition), Duane P. Schultz and Sydney Ellen Schultz

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