Vocabulary

Ability model
An approach that views EI as a standard intelligence that utilizes a distinct set of mental abilities that (1) are intercorrelated, (2) relate to other extant intelligences, and (3) develop with age and experience (Mayer & Salovey, 1997).
Acceptance and commitment therapy
A therapeutic approach designed to foster nonjudgmental observation of one’s own mental processes.
Active-constructive responding
Demonstrating sincere interest and enthusiasm for the good news of another person.
Adaptation
The fact that after people first react to good or bad events, sometimes in a strong way, their feelings and reactions tend to dampen down over time and they return toward their original level of subjective well-being.
Adaptations
Evolved solutions to problems that historically contributed to reproductive success.
Adherence
In health, it is the ability of a patient to maintain a health behavior prescribed by a physician. This might include taking medication as prescribed, exercising more, or eating less high-fat food.
Adoption study
A behavior genetic research method that involves comparison of adopted children to their adoptive and biological parents.
Affect
Feelings that can be described in terms of two dimensions, the dimensions of arousal and valence (Figure 2). For example, high arousal positive states refer to excitement, elation, and enthusiasm. Low arousal positive states refer to calm, peacefulness, and relaxation. Whereas “actual affect” refers to the states that people actually feel, “ideal affect” refers to the states that people ideally want to feel.
Affective forecasting
Predicting how one will feel in the future after some event or decision.
Aggression
Any behavior intended to harm another person who does not want to be harmed.
Agreeableness
A personality trait that reflects a person’s tendency to be compassionate, cooperative, warm, and caring to others. People low in agreeableness tend to be rude, hostile, and to pursue their own interests over those of others.
Agreeableness
A core personality trait that includes such dispositional characteristics as being sympathetic, generous, forgiving, and helpful, and behavioral tendencies toward harmonious social relations and likeability.
Altruism
A motivation for helping that has the improvement of another’s welfare as its ultimate goal, with no expectation of any benefits for the helper.
Ambivalent sexism
A concept of gender attitudes that encompasses both positive and negative qualities.
Ambulatory assessment
An overarching term to describe methodologies that assess the behavior, physiology, experience, and environments of humans in naturalistic settings.
Amygdala
A region located deep within the brain in the medial area (toward the center) of the temporal lobes (parallel to the ears). If you could draw a line through your eye sloping toward the back of your head and another line between your two ears, the amygdala would be located at the intersection of these lines. The amygdala is involved in detecting relevant stimuli in our environment and has been implicated in emotional responses.
Animism
The belief that everyone and everything had a “soul” and that mental illness was due to animistic causes, for example, evil spirits controlling an individual and his/her behavior.
Anomalous face overgeneralization hypothesis
Proposes that the attractiveness halo effect is a by-product of reactions to low fitness. People overgeneralize the adaptive tendency to use low attractiveness as an indicator of negative traits, like low health or intelligence, and mistakenly use higher-than-average attractiveness as an indicator of high health or intelligence.
Arousal: cost–reward model
An egoistic theory proposed by Piliavin et al. (1981) that claims that seeing a person in need leads to the arousal of unpleasant feelings, and observers are motivated to eliminate that aversive state, often by helping the victim. A cost–reward analysis may lead observers to react in ways other than offering direct assistance, including indirect help, reinterpretation of the situation, or fleeing the scene.
Asylum
A place of refuge or safety established to confine and care for the mentally ill; forerunners of the mental hospital or psychiatric facility.
Attachment behavioral system
A motivational system selected over the course of evolution to maintain proximity between a young child and his or her primary attachment figure.
Attachment behaviors
Behaviors and signals that attract the attention of a primary attachment figure and function to prevent separation from that individual or to reestablish proximity to that individual (e.g., crying, clinging).
Attachment figure
Someone who functions as the primary safe haven and secure base for an individual. In childhood, an individual’s attachment figure is often a parent. In adulthood, an individual’s attachment figure is often a romantic partner.
Attachment patterns
(also called “attachment styles” or “attachment orientations”) Individual differences in how securely (vs. insecurely) people think, feel, and behave in attachment relationships.
Attitude
A psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some degree of favor or disfavor.
Attractiveness halo effect
The tendency to associate attractiveness with a variety of positive traits, such as being more sociable, intelligent, competent, and healthy.
Authoritative
A parenting style characterized by high (but reasonable) expectations for children’s behavior, good communication, warmth and nurturance, and the use of reasoning (rather than coercion) as preferred responses to children’s misbehavior.
Authority stage
Stage from approximately 2 years to age 4 or 5 when parents create rules and figure out how to effectively guide their children’s behavior.
Autobiographical reasoning
The ability, typically developed in adolescence, to derive substantive conclusions about the self from analyzing one’s own personal experiences.
Automatic
A behavior or process has one or more of the following features: unintentional, uncontrollable, occurring outside of conscious awareness, and cognitively efficient.
Automatic bias
Automatic biases are unintended, immediate, and irresistible.
Automatic empathy
A social perceiver unwittingly taking on the internal state of another person, usually because of mimicking the person’s expressive behavior and thereby feeling the expressed emotion.
Automatic process
When a thought, feeling, or behavior occurs with little or no mental effort. Typically, automatic processes are described as involuntary or spontaneous, often resulting from a great deal of practice or repetition.
Automatic thoughts
Thoughts that occur spontaneously; often used to describe problematic thoughts that maintain mental disorders.
Availability heuristic
The tendency to judge the frequency or likelihood of an event by the ease with which relevant instances come to mind.
Availability heuristic
A heuristic in which the frequency or likelihood of an event is evaluated based on how easily instances of it come to mind.
Aversive racism
Aversive racism is unexamined racial bias that the person does not intend and would reject, but that avoids inter-racial contact.
Basic-level category
The neutral, preferred category for a given object, at an intermediate level of specificity.
Behavioral genetics
The empirical science of how genes and environments combine to generate behavior.
Behavioral medicine
A field similar to health psychology that integrates psychological factors (e.g., emotion, behavior, cognition, and social factors) in the treatment of disease. This applied field includes clinical areas of study, such as occupational therapy, hypnosis, rehabilitation or medicine, and preventative medicine.
Behaviorism
The study of behavior.
Benevolent sexism
The “positive” element of ambivalent sexism, which recognizes that women are perceived as needing to be protected, supported, and adored by men.
Bidirectional
The idea that parents influence their children, but their children also influence the parents; the direction of influence goes both ways, from parent to child, and from child to parent.
Big Five
A broad taxonomy of personality trait domains repeatedly derived from studies of trait ratings in adulthood and encompassing the categories of (1) extraversion vs. introversion, (2) neuroticism vs. emotional stability, (3) agreeable vs. disagreeableness, (4) conscientiousness vs. nonconscientiousness, and (5) openness to experience vs. conventionality. By late childhood and early adolescence, people’s self-attributions of personality traits, as well as the trait attributions made about them by others, show patterns of intercorrelations that confirm with the five-factor structure obtained in studies of adults.
Biofeedback
The process by which physiological signals, not normally available to human perception, are transformed into easy-to-understand graphs or numbers. Individuals can then use this information to try to change bodily functioning (e.g., lower blood pressure, reduce muscle tension).
Biomedical Model of Health
A reductionist model that posits that ill health is a result of a deviation from normal function, which is explained by the presence of pathogens, injury, or genetic abnormality.
Biopsychosocial model
A model in which the interaction of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors is seen as influencing the development of the individual.
Biopsychosocial Model of Health
An approach to studying health and human function that posits the importance of biological, psychological, and social (or environmental) processes.
Blatant biases
Blatant biases are conscious beliefs, feelings, and behavior that people are perfectly willing to admit, are mostly hostile, and openly favor their own group.
“Bottom-up” or external causes of happiness
Situational factors outside the person that influence his or her subjective well-being, such as good and bad events and circumstances such as health and wealth.
Bystander intervention
The phenomenon whereby people intervene to help others in need even if the other is a complete stranger and the intervention puts the helper at risk.
Capitalization
Seeking out someone else with whom to share your good news.
Category
A set of entities that are equivalent in some way. Usually the items are similar to one another.
Catharsis
Greek term that means to cleanse or purge. Applied to aggression, catharsis is the belief that acting aggressively or even viewing aggression purges angry feelings and aggressive impulses into harmless channels.
C​athartic method
A therapeutic procedure introduced by Breuer and developed further by Freud in the late 19th century whereby a patient gains insight and emotional relief from recalling and reliving traumatic events.
Cause-and-effect
Related to whether we say one variable is causing changes in the other variable, versus other variables that may be related to these two variables.
Central route to persuasion
Persuasion that employs direct, relevant, logical messages.
Chameleon effect
The tendency for individuals to nonconsciously mimic the postures, mannerisms, facial expressions, and other behaviors of one’s interaction partners.
Chronic disease
A health condition that persists over time, typically for periods longer than three months (e.g., HIV, asthma, diabetes).
Clock time
Scheduling activities according to the time on the clock.
Cognitive bias modification
Using exercises (e.g., computer games) to change problematic thinking habits.
Cognitive psychology
The study of mental processes.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
A family of approaches with the goal of changing the thoughts and behaviors that influence psychopathology.
Comorbidity
Describes a state of having more than one psychological or physical disorder at a given time.
Concept
The mental representation of a category.
Confidence interval
An interval of plausible values for a population parameter; the interval of values within the margin of error of a statistic.
Conformity
Changing one’s attitude or behavior to match a perceived social norm.
Confounds
Factors that undermine the ability to draw causal inferences from an experiment.
Conscience
The cognitive, emotional, and social influences that cause young children to create and act consistently with internal standards of conduct.
Conscientiousness
A personality trait that reflects a person’s tendency to be careful, organized, hardworking, and to follow rules.
Consciousness
Awareness of ourselves and our environment.
Continuous distributions
Characteristics can go from low to high, with all different intermediate values possible. One does not simply have the trait or not have it, but can possess varying amounts of it.
Control
Feeling like you have the power to change your environment or behavior if you need or want to.
Correlation
Measures the association between two variables, or how they go together.
Cortisol
A hormone made by the adrenal glands, within the cortex. Cortisol helps the body maintain blood pressure and immune function. Cortisol increases when the body is under stress.
Cost–benefit analysis
A decision-making process that compares the cost of an action or thing against the expected benefit to help determine the best course of action.
Cultural display rules
These are rules that are learned early in life that specify the management and modification of emotional expressions according to social circumstances. Cultural display rules can work in a number of different ways. For example, they can require individuals to express emotions “as is” (i.e., as they feel them), to exaggerate their expressions to show more than what is actually felt, to tone down their expressions to show less than what is actually felt, to conceal their feelings by expressing something else, or to show nothing at all.
Cultural relativism
The idea that cultural norms and values of a society can only be understood on their own terms or in their own context.
Culture
Shared, socially transmitted ideas (e.g., values, beliefs, attitudes) that are reflected in and reinforced by institutions, products, and rituals.
Daily Diary method
A methodology where participants complete a questionnaire about their thoughts, feelings, and behavior of the day at the end of the day.
Daily hassles
Irritations in daily life that are not necessarily traumatic, but that cause difficulties and repeated stress.
Day reconstruction method (DRM)
A methodology where participants describe their experiences and behavior of a given day retrospectively upon a systematic reconstruction on the following day.
Departure stage
Stage at which parents prepare for a child to depart and evaluate their successes and failures as parents.
Dependent variable
The variable the researcher measures but does not manipulate in an experiment.
Descriptive norm
The perception of what most people do in a given situation.
Developmental intergroup theory
A theory that postulates that adults’ focus on gender leads children to pay attention to gender as a key source of information about themselves and others, to seek out possible gender differences, and to form rigid stereotypes based on gender.
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
A treatment often used for borderline personality disorder that incorporates both cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness elements.
Dialectical worldview
A perspective in DBT that emphasizes the joint importance of change and acceptance.
Dichotic listening
A task in which different audio streams are presented to each ear. Typically, people are asked to monitor one stream while ignoring the other.
Diffusion of responsibility
When deciding whether to help a person in need, knowing that there are others who could also provide assistance relieves bystanders of some measure of personal responsibility, reducing the likelihood that bystanders will intervene.
Directional goals
The motivation to reach a particular outcome or judgment.
Discrimination
Discrimination is behavior that advantages or disadvantages people merely based on their group membership.
Distribution
The pattern of variation in data.
DNA methylation
Covalent modifications of mammalian DNA occurring via the methylation of cytosine, typically in the context of the CpG dinucleotide.
DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs)
Enzymes that establish and maintain DNA methylation using methyl-group donor compounds or cofactors. The main mammalian DNMTs are DNMT1, which maintains methylation state across DNA replication, and DNMT3a and DNMT3b, which perform de novo methylation.
Durability bias
A bias in affective forecasting in which one overestimates for how long one will feel an emotion (positive or negative) after some event.
Ecological momentary assessment
An overarching term to describe methodologies that repeatedly sample participants’ real-world experiences, behavior, and physiology in real time.
Ecological validity
The degree to which a study finding has been obtained under conditions that are typical for what happens in everyday life.
Effortful control
A temperament quality that enables children to be more successful in motivated self-regulation.
Ego
Sigmund Freud’s conception of an executive self in the personality. Akin to this module’s notion of “the I,” Freud imagined the ego as observing outside reality, engaging in rational though, and coping with the competing demands of inner desires and moral standards.
Egoism
A motivation for helping that has the improvement of the helper’s own circumstances as its primary goal.
Electroencephalogram
A measure of electrical activity generated by the brain’s neurons.
Electronically activated recorder, or EAR
A methodology where participants wear a small, portable audio recorder that intermittently records snippets of ambient sounds around them.
Emotional intelligence
The ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions. (Salovey & Mayer, 1990). EI includes four specific abilities: perceiving, using, understanding, and managing emotions.
Emotion-focused coping
Coping strategy aimed at reducing the negative emotions associated with a stressful event.
Emotions
Changes in subjective experience, physiological responding, and behavior in response to a meaningful event. Emotions tend to occur on the order of seconds (in contract to moods which may last for days).
Empathic concern
According to Batson’s empathy–altruism hypothesis, observers who empathize with a person in need (that is, put themselves in the shoes of the victim and imagine how that person feels) will experience empathic concern and have an altruistic motivation for helping.
Empathy–altruism model
An altruistic theory proposed by Batson (2011) that claims that people who put themselves in the shoes of a victim and imagining how the victim feel will experience empathic concern that evokes an altruistic motivation for helping.
Empirical methods
Approaches to inquiry that are tied to actual measurement and observation.
Empiricism
The belief that knowledge comes from experience.
Epigenetics
The study of heritable changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetic marks include covalent DNA modifications and posttranslational histone modifications.
Epigenome
The genome-wide distribution of epigenetic marks.
Error management theory (EMT)
A theory of selection under conditions of uncertainty in which recurrent cost asymmetries of judgment or inference favor the evolution of adaptive cognitive biases that function to minimize the more costly errors.
Ethics
Professional guidelines that offer researchers a template for making decisions that protect research participants from potential harm and that help steer scientists away from conflicts of interest or other situations that might compromise the integrity of their research.
Etiology
The causal description of all of the factors that contribute to the development of a disorder or illness.
Eugenics
The practice of selective breeding to promote desired traits.
Evaluative priming​ task
An implicit attitude task that assesses the extent to which an attitude object is associated with a positive or negative valence by measuring the time it takes a person to label an adjective as good or bad after being presented with an attitude object.
Evolution
Change over time. Is the definition changing?
Exemplar
An example in memory that is labeled as being in a particular category.
Experience-sampling method
A methodology where participants report on their momentary thoughts, feelings, and behaviors at different points in time over the course of a day.
Experimenter expectations
When the experimenter’s expectations influence the outcome of a study.
Explicit attitude
An attitude that is consciously held and can be reported on by the person holding the attitude.
Exposure therapy
A form of intervention in which the patient engages with a problematic (usually feared) situation without avoidance or escape.
External validity
The degree to which a finding generalizes from the specific sample and context of a study to some larger population and broader settings.
Extraversion
A personality trait that reflects a person’s tendency to be sociable, outgoing, active, and assertive.
Facets
Broad personality traits can be broken down into narrower facets or aspects of the trait. For example, extraversion has several facets, such as sociability, dominance, risk-taking and so forth.
Factor analysis
A statistical technique for grouping similar things together according to how highly they are associated.
False memories
Memory for an event that never actually occurred, implanted by experimental manipulation or other means.
False-belief test
An experimental procedure that assesses whether a perceiver recognizes that another person has a false belief—a belief that contradicts reality.
Family Stress Model
A description of the negative effects of family financial difficulty on child adjustment through the effects of economic stress on parents’ depressed mood, increased marital problems, and poor parenting.
Feelings
A general term used to describe a wide range of states that include emotions, moods, traits and that typically involve changes in subjective experience, physiological responding, and behavior in response to a meaningful event. Emotions typically occur on the order of seconds, whereas moods may last for days, and traits are tendencies to respond a certain way across various situations.
Fight or flight response
The physiological response that occurs in response to a perceived threat, preparing the body for actions needed to deal with the threat.
Five-Factor Model
(also called the Big Five) The Five-Factor Model is a widely accepted model of personality traits. Advocates of the model believe that much of the variability in people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can be summarized with five broad traits. These five traits are Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism.
Fixed action patterns (FAPs)
Sequences of behavior that occur in exactly the same fashion, in exactly the same order, every time they are elicited.
Flashbulb memory
A highly detailed and vivid memory of an emotionally significant event.
Foils
Any member of a lineup (whether live or photograph) other than the suspect.
Folk explanations of behavior
People’s natural explanations for why somebody did something, felt something, etc. (differing substantially for unintentional and intentional behaviors).
Foot in the door
Obtaining a small, initial commitment.
Four-Branch Model
An ability model developed by Drs. Peter Salovey and John Mayer that includes four main components of EI, arranged in hierarchical order, beginning with basic psychological processes and advancing to integrative psychological processes. The branches are (1) perception of emotion, (2) use of emotion to facilitate thinking, (3) understanding emotion, and (4) management of emotion.
Free association
In psychodynamic therapy, a process in which the patient reports all thoughts that come to mind without censorship, and these thoughts are interpreted by the therapist.
Full-cycle psychology
A scientific approach whereby researchers start with an observational field study to identify an effect in the real world, follow up with laboratory experimentation to verify the effect and isolate the causal mechanisms, and return to field research to corroborate their experimental findings.
Functional distance
The frequency with which we cross paths with others.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging
A measure of changes in the oxygenation of blood flow as areas in the brain become active.
Functional neuroanatomy
Classifying how regions within the nervous system relate to psychology and behavior.
Functionalism
A school of American psychology that focused on the utility of consciousness.
g or general mental ability
The general factor common to all cognitive ability measures, “a very general mental capacity that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly, and learn from experience. It is not merely book learning, a narrow academic skill, or test-taking smarts. Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings—‘catching on,’ ‘making sense of things,’ or ‘figuring out’ what to do” (Gottfredson, 1997, p. 13).
Gender
The cultural, social, and psychological meanings that are associated with masculinity and femininity.
Gender constancy
The awareness that gender is constant and does not change simply by changing external attributes; develops between 3 and 6 years of age.
Gender discrimination
Differential treatment on the basis of gender.
Gender identity
A person’s psychological sense of being male or female.
Gender roles
The behaviors, attitudes, and personality traits that are designated as either masculine or feminine in a given culture.
Gender schema theory
This theory of how children form their own gender roles argues that children actively organize others’ behavior, activities, and attributes into gender categories or schemas.
Gender schemas
Organized beliefs and expectations about maleness and femaleness that guide children’s thinking about gender.
Gender stereotypes
The beliefs and expectations people hold about the typical characteristics, preferences, and behaviors of men and women.
Gene
A specific deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequence that codes for a specific polypeptide or protein or an observable inherited trait.
Gene Selection Theory
The modern theory of evolution by selection by which differential gene replication is the defining process of evolutionary change.
General Adaptation Syndrome
A three-phase model of stress, which includes a mobilization of physiological resources phase, a coping phase, and an exhaustion phase (i.e., when an organism fails to cope with the stress adequately and depletes its resources).
Generalizability
Related to whether the results from the sample can be generalized to a larger population.
Generalize
Generalizing, in science, refers to the ability to arrive at broad conclusions based on a smaller sample of observations. For these conclusions to be true the sample should accurately represent the larger population from which it is drawn.
Genome-wide association study (GWAS)
A study that maps DNA polymorphisms in affected individuals and controls matched for age, sex, and ethnic background with the aim of identifying causal genetic variants.
Genotype
The DNA content of a cell’s nucleus, whether a trait is externally observable or not.
Gestalt psychology
An attempt to study the unity of experience.
Good genes hypothesis
Proposes that certain physical qualities, like averageness, are attractive because they advertise mate quality—either greater fertility or better genetic traits that lead to better offspring and hence greater reproductive success.
Goodness of fit
The match or synchrony between a child’s temperament and characteristics of parental care that contributes to positive or negative personality development. A good “fit” means that parents have accommodated to the child’s temperamental attributes, and this contributes to positive personality growth and better adjustment.
Gradually escalating commitments
A pattern of small, progressively escalating demands is less likely to be rejected than a single large demand made all at once.
Happiness
The popular word for subjective well-being. Scientists sometimes avoid using this term because it can refer to different things, such as feeling good, being satisfied, or even the causes of high subjective well-being.
Hawthorne Effect
An effect in which individuals change or improve some facet of their behavior as a result of their awareness of being observed.
Hawthorne Studies
A series of well-known studies conducted under the leadership of Harvard University researchers, which changed the perspective of scholars and practitioners about the role of human psychology in relation to work behavior.
Health
According to the World Health Organization, it is a complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
Health behavior
Any behavior that is related to health—either good or bad.
Helpfulness
A component of the prosocial personality orientation; describes individuals who have been helpful in the past and, because they believe they can be effective with the help they give, are more likely to be helpful in the future.
Helping
Prosocial acts that typically involve situations in which one person is in need and another provides the necessary assistance to eliminate the other’s need.
Heritability coefficient
An easily misinterpreted statistical construct that purports to measure the role of genetics in the explanation of differences among individuals.
Heuristics
Mental shortcuts that enable people to make decisions and solve problems quickly and efficiently.
Heuristics
A mental shortcut or rule of thumb that reduces complex mental problems to more simple rule-based decisions.
HEXACO model
The HEXACO model is an alternative to the Five-Factor Model. The HEXACO model includes six traits, five of which are variants of the traits included in the Big Five (Emotionality [E], Extraversion [X], Agreeableness [A], Conscientiousness [C], and Openness [O]). The sixth factor, Honesty-Humility [H], is unique to this model.
Histone acetyltransferases (HATs) and histone deacetylases (HDACs)
HATs are enzymes that transfer acetyl groups to specific positions on histone tails, promoting an “open” chromatin state and transcriptional activation. HDACs remove these acetyl groups, resulting in a “closed” chromatin state and transcriptional repression.
Histone modifications
Posttranslational modifications of the N-terminal “tails” of histone proteins that serve as a major mode of epigenetic regulation. These modifications include acetylation, phosphorylation, methylation, sumoylation, ubiquitination, and ADP-ribosylation.
Hormones
Chemicals released by cells in the brain or body that affect cells in other parts of the brain or body.
Hostile attribution bias
The tendency to perceive ambiguous actions by others as aggressive.
Hostile expectation bias
The tendency to assume that people will react to potential conflicts with aggression.
Hostile perception bias
The tendency to perceive social interactions in general as being aggressive.
Hostile sexism
The negative element of ambivalent sexism, which includes the attitudes that women are inferior and incompetent relative to men.
Hostility
An experience or trait with cognitive, behavioral, and emotional components. It often includes cynical thoughts, feelings of emotion, and aggressive behavior.
Hot cognition
The mental processes that are influenced by desires and feelings.
Humorism (or humoralism)
A belief held by ancient Greek and Roman physicians (and until the 19th century) that an excess or deficiency in any of the four bodily fluids, or humors—blood, black bile, yellow bile, and phlegm—directly affected their health and temperament.
Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis
A system that involves the hypothalamus (within the brain), the pituitary gland (within the brain), and the adrenal glands (at the top of the kidneys). This system helps maintain homeostasis (keeping the body’s systems within normal ranges) by regulating digestion, immune function, mood, temperature, and energy use. Through this, the HPA regulates the body’s response to stress and injury.
Hypotheses
A logical idea that can be tested.
Hysteria
Term used by the ancient Greeks and Egyptians to describe a disorder believed to be caused by a woman’s uterus wandering throughout the body and interfering with other organs (today referred to as conversion disorder, in which psychological problems are expressed in physical form).
Identical twins
Two individual organisms that originated from the same zygote and therefore are genetically identical or very similar. The epigenetic profiling of identical twins discordant for disease is a unique experimental design as it eliminates the DNA sequence-, age-, and sex-differences from consideration.
Identity
Sometimes used synonymously with the term “self,” identity means many different things in psychological science and in other fields (e.g., sociology). In this module, I adopt Erik Erikson’s conception of identity as a developmental task for late adolescence and young adulthood. Forming an identity in adolescence and young adulthood involves exploring alternative roles, values, goals, and relationships and eventually committing to a realistic agenda for life that productively situates a person in the adult world of work and love. In addition, identity formation entails commitments to new social roles and reevaluation of old traits, and importantly, it brings with it a sense of temporal continuity in life, achieved though the construction of an integrative life story.
Image-making stage
Stage during pregnancy when parents consider what it means to be a parent and plan for changes to accommodate a child.
Impact bias
A bias in affective forecasting in which one overestimates the strength or intensity of emotion one will experience after some event.
Implicit Association Test
An implicit attitude task that assesses a person’s automatic associations between concepts by measuring the response times in pairing the concepts.
Implicit Association Test
Implicit Association Test (IAT) measures relatively automatic biases that favor own group relative to other groups.
Implicit attitude
An attitude that a person cannot verbally or overtly state.
Implicit measures of attitudes
Measures of attitudes in which researchers infer the participant’s attitude rather than having the participant explicitly report it.
Inattentional blindness
The failure to notice a fully visible, but unexpected, object or event when attention is devoted to something else.
Inattentional deafness
The auditory analog of inattentional blindness. People fail to notice an unexpected sound or voice when attention is devoted to other aspects of a scene.
Independent
Two characteristics or traits are separate from one another-- a person can be high on one and low on the other, or vice-versa. Some correlated traits are relatively independent in that although there is a tendency for a person high on one to also be high on the other, this is not always the case.
Independent self
A model or view of the self as distinct from others and as stable across different situations. The goal of the independent self is to express and assert the self, and to influence others. This model of self is prevalent in many individualistic, Western contexts (e.g., the United States, Australia, Western Europe).
Independent variable
The variable the researcher manipulates and controls in an experiment.
Individual differences
Ways in which people differ in terms of their behavior, emotion, cognition, and development.
Industrial/Organizational psychology
Scientific study of behavior in organizational settings and the application of psychology to understand work behavior.
Informational influence
Conformity that results from a concern to act in a socially approved manner as determined by how others act.
Ingroup
A social group to which an individual identifies or belongs.
Integrative ​or eclectic psychotherapy​
Also called integrative psychotherapy, this term refers to approaches combining multiple orientations (e.g., CBT with psychoanalytic elements).
Integrative or ​eclectic psychotherapy
Also called integrative psychotherapy, this term refers to approaches combining multiple orientations (e.g., CBT with psychoanalytic elements).
Intention
An agent’s mental state of committing to perform an action that the agent believes will bring about a desired outcome.
Intentionality
The quality of an agent’s performing a behavior intentionally—that is, with skill and awareness and executing an intention (which is in turn based on a desire and relevant beliefs).
Interdependent self
A model or view of the self as connected to others and as changing in response to different situations. The goal of the interdependent self is to suppress personal preferences and desires, and to adjust to others. This model of self is prevalent in many collectivistic, East Asian contexts (e.g., China, Japan, Korea).
Interdependent stage
Stage during teenage years when parents renegotiate their relationship with their adolescent children to allow for shared power in decision-making.
Internal validity
The degree to which a cause-effect relationship between two variables has been unambiguously established.
Interpersonal
This refers to the relationship or interaction between two or more individuals in a group. Thus, the interpersonal functions of emotion refer to the effects of one’s emotion on others, or to the relationship between oneself and others.
Interpretive stage
Stage from age 4or 5 to the start of adolescence when parents help their children interpret their experiences with the social world beyond the family.
Intersexual selection
A process of sexual selection by which evolution (change) occurs as a consequences of the mate preferences of one sex exerting selection pressure on members of the opposite sex.
Intrapersonal
This refers to what occurs within oneself. Thus, the intrapersonal functions of emotion refer to the effects of emotion to individuals that occur physically inside their bodies and psychologically inside their minds.
Intrasexual competition
A process of sexual selection by which members of one sex compete with each other, and the victors gain preferential mating access to members of the opposite sex.
Introspection
A method of focusing on internal processes.
Joint attention
Two people attending to the same object and being aware that they both are attending to it.
Kin selection
According to evolutionary psychology, the favoritism shown for helping our blood relatives, with the goals of increasing the likelihood that some portion of our DNA will be passed on to future generations.
Lesions
Damage or tissue abnormality due, for example, to an injury, surgery, or a vascular problem.
Lexical hypothesis
The lexical hypothesis is the idea that the most important differences between people will be encoded in the language that we use to describe people. Therefore, if we want to know which personality traits are most important, we can look to the language that people use to describe themselves and others.
Life satisfaction
A person reflects on their life and judges to what degree it is going well, by whatever standards that person thinks are most important for a good life.
Linguistic inquiry and word count
A quantitative text analysis methodology that automatically extracts grammatical and psychological information from a text by counting word frequencies.
Lived day analysis
A methodology where a research team follows an individual around with a video camera to objectively document a person’s daily life as it is lived.
Longitudinal study
A study that follows the same group of individuals over time.
Ma
Japanese way of thinking that emphasizes attention to the spaces between things rather than the things themselves.
Maladaptive
Term referring to behaviors that cause people who have them physical or emotional harm, prevent them from functioning in daily life, and/or indicate that they have lost touch with reality and/or cannot control their thoughts and behavior (also called dysfunctional).
Margin of error
The expected amount of random variation in a statistic; often defined for 95% confidence level.
Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT)
A 141-item performance assessment of EI that measures the four emotion abilities (as defined by the four-branch model of EI) with a total of eight tasks.
Medial prefrontal cortex
An area of the brain located in the middle of the frontal lobes (at the front of the head), active when people mentalize about the self and others.
Mentalizing
The act of representing the mental states of oneself and others. Mentalizing allows humans to interpret the intentions, beliefs, and emotional states of others.
Mere-exposure effect
The tendency to prefer stimuli that have been seen before over novel ones. There also is a generalized mere-exposure effect shown in a preference for stimuli that are similar to those that have been seen before.
Mere-exposure effect
The notion that people like people/places/things merely because they are familiar with them.
Mesmerism
Derived from Franz Anton Mesmer in the late 18th century, an early version of hypnotism in which Mesmer claimed that hysterical symptoms could be treated through animal magnetism emanating from Mesmer’s body and permeating the universe (and later through magnets); later explained in terms of high suggestibility in individuals.
Mimicry
Copying others’ behavior, usually without awareness.
Mind–body connection
The idea that our emotions and thoughts can affect how our body functions.
Mindfulness
A process that reflects a nonjudgmental, yet attentive, mental state.
Mindfulness-based therapy
A form of psychotherapy grounded in mindfulness theory and practice, often involving meditation, yoga, body scan, and other features of mindfulness exercises.
Mirror neurons
Neurons identified in monkey brains that fire both when the monkey performs a certain action and when it perceives another agent performing that action.
Misinformation effect
A memory error caused by exposure to incorrect information between the original event (e.g., a crime) and later memory test (e.g., an interview, lineup, or day in court).
Mixed and Trait Models
Approaches that view EI as a combination of self-perceived emotion skills, personality traits, and attitudes.
Mock witnesses
A research subject who plays the part of a witness in a study.
Monochronic (M-time)
Monochronic thinking focuses on doing one activity, from beginning to completion, at a time.
Mood-congruent memory
The tendency to be better able to recall memories that have a mood similar to our current mood.
Morph
A face or other image that has been transformed by a computer program so that it is a mixture of multiple images.
Motivated skepticism
A form of bias that can result from having a directional goal in which one is skeptical of evidence despite its strength because it goes against what one wants to believe.
Narrative identity
An internalized and evolving story of the self designed to provide life with some measure of temporal unity and purpose. Beginning in late adolescence, people craft self-defining stories that reconstruct the past and imagine the future to explain how the person came to be the person that he or she is becoming.
Natural selection
Differential reproductive success as a consequence of differences in heritable attributes.
Need for closure
The desire to come to a decision that will resolve ambiguity and conclude an issue.
Negative feelings
Undesirable and unpleasant feelings that people tend to avoid if they can. Moods and emotions such as depression, anger, and worry are examples.
Negative state relief model
An egoistic theory proposed by Cialdini et al. (1982) that claims that people have learned through socialization that helping can serve as a secondary reinforcement that will relieve negative moods such as sadness.
Neural impulse
An electro-chemical signal that enables neurons to communicate.
Neuroendocrinology
The study of how the brain and hormones act in concert to coordinate the physiology of the body.
Neuroticism
A personality trait that reflects the tendency to be interpersonally sensitive and the tendency to experience negative emotions like anxiety, fear, sadness, and anger.
Normative influence
Conformity that results from a concern for what other people think of us.
Nurturing stage
Stage from birth to around 18-24 months in which parents develop an attachment relationship with child and adapt to the new baby.
Obedience
Responding to an order or command from a person in a position of authority.
O*Net
A vast database of occupational information containing data on hundreds of jobs.
Openness to Experience
A personality trait that reflects a person’s tendency to seek out and to appreciate new things, including thoughts, feelings, values, and experiences.
Operational definitions
How researchers specifically measure a concept.
Other-oriented empathy
A component of the prosocial personality orientation; describes individuals who have a strong sense of social responsibility, empathize with and feel emotionally tied to those in need, understand the problems the victim is experiencing, and have a heightened sense of moral obligations to be helpful.
Outgroup
A social group to which an individual does not identify or belong.
Pace of life
The frequency of events per unit of time; also referred to as speed or tempo.
Parameter
A numerical result summarizing a population (e.g., mean, proportion).
Participant demand
When participants behave in a way that they think the experimenter wants them to behave.
Perceived social support
A person’s perception that others are there to help them in times of need.
Performance assessmen​t
A method of measurement associated with ability models of EI that evaluate the test taker’s ability to solve emotion-related problems.
Peripheral route to persuasion
Persuasion that relies on superficial cues that have little to do with logic.
Personal distress
According to Batson’s empathy–altruism hypothesis, observers who take a detached view of a person in need will experience feelings of being “worried” and “upset” and will have an egoistic motivation for helping to relieve that distress.
Personality
Enduring predispositions that characterize a person, such as styles of thought, feelings and behavior.
Personality traits
Enduring dispositions in behavior that show differences across individuals, and which tend to characterize the person across varying types of situations.
Person-centered therapy
A therapeutic approach focused on creating a supportive environment for self-discovery.
Person-situation debate
The person-situation debate is a historical debate about the relative power of personality traits as compared to situational influences on behavior. The situationist critique, which started the person-situation debate, suggested that people overestimate the extent to which personality traits are consistent across situations.
Phenotype
The pattern of expression of the genotype or the magnitude or extent to which it is observably expressed—an observable characteristic or trait of an organism, such as its morphology, development, biochemical or physiological properties, or behavior.
Photo spreads
A selection of normally small photographs of faces given to a witness for the purpose of identifying a perpetrator.
Placebo effect
When receiving special treatment or something new affects human behavior.
Planning fallacy
A cognitive bias in which one underestimates how long it will take to complete a task.
Pluralistic ignorance
Relying on the actions of others to define an ambiguous need situation and to then erroneously conclude that no help or intervention is necessary.
Polychronic (P-time)
Polychronic thinking switches back and forth among multiple activities as the situation demands.
Population
A larger collection of individuals that we would like to generalize our results to.
Positive feelings
Desirable and pleasant feelings. Moods and emotions such as enjoyment and love are examples.
Practitioner-Scholar Model
A model of training of professional psychologists that emphasizes clinical practice.
Prejudice
Prejudice is an evaluation or emotion toward people merely based on their group membership.
Primed
A process by which a concept or behavior is made more cognitively accessible or likely to occur through the presentation of an associated concept.
Problem-focused coping
A set of coping strategies aimed at improving or changing stressful situations.
Projection
A social perceiver’s assumption that the other person wants, knows, or feels the same as the perceiver wants, know, or feels.
Prosocial behavior
Social behavior that benefits another person.
Prosocial personality orientation
A measure of individual differences that identifies two sets of personality characteristics (other-oriented empathy, helpfulness) that are highly correlated with prosocial behavior.
Prototype
A typical, or average, member of a category. Averageness increases attractiveness.
Proximity
Physical nearness.
Psychoanalytic therapy
Sigmund Freud’s therapeutic approach focusing on resolving unconscious conflicts.
Psychodynamic therapy
Treatment applying psychoanalytic principles in a briefer, more individualized format.
Psychogenesis
Developing from psychological origins.
Psychological adaptations
Mechanisms of the mind that evolved to solve specific problems of survival or reproduction; conceptualized as information processing devices.
Psychological essentialism
The belief that members of a category have an unseen property that causes them to be in the category and to have the properties associated with it.
Psychological reactance
A reaction to people, rules, requirements, or offerings that are perceived to limit freedoms.
Psychoneuroimmunology
A field of study examining the relationship among psychology, brain function, and immune function.
Psychophysics
Study of the relationships between physical stimuli and the perception of those stimuli.
Psychosomatic medicine
An interdisciplinary field of study that focuses on how biological, psychological, and social processes contribute to physiological changes in the body and health over time.
Punishment
Inflicting pain or removing pleasure for a misdeed. Punishment decreases the likelihood that a behavior will be repeated.
P-value
The probability of observing a particular outcome in a sample, or more extreme, under a conjecture about the larger population or process.
Quantitative genetics
Scientific and mathematical methods for inferring genetic and environmental processes based on the degree of genetic and environmental similarity among organisms.
Quasi-experimental design
An experiment that does not require random assignment to conditions.
Random assignment
Using a probability-based method to divide a sample into treatment groups.
Random assignment
Assigning participants to receive different conditions of an experiment by chance.
Random sampling
Using a probability-based method to select a subset of individuals for the sample from the population.
Realism
A point of view that emphasizes the importance of the senses in providing knowledge of the external world.
Reappraisal, or ​Cognitive restructuring
The process of identifying, evaluating, and changing maladaptive thoughts in psychotherapy.
Received social support
The actual act of receiving support (e.g., informational, functional).
Reciprocal altruism
According to evolutionary psychology, a genetic predisposition for people to help those who have previously helped them.
Redemptive narratives
Life stories that affirm the transformation from suffering to an enhanced status or state. In American culture, redemptive life stories are highly prized as models for the good self, as in classic narratives of atonement, upward mobility, liberation, and recovery.
Reflexivity
The idea that the self reflects back upon itself; that the I (the knower, the subject) encounters the Me (the known, the object). Reflexivity is a fundamental property of human selfhood.
Relational aggression
Intentionally harming another person’s social relationships, feelings of acceptance, or inclusion within a group.
Relationship bank account
An account you hold with every person in which a positive deposit or a negative withdrawal can be made during every interaction you have with the person.
Representativeness heuristic
A heuristic in which the likelihood of an object belonging to a category is evaluated based on the extent to which the object appears similar to one’s mental representation of the category.
Resilience
The ability to “bounce back” from negative situations (e.g., illness, stress) to normal functioning or to simply not show poor outcomes in the face of adversity. In some cases, resilience may lead to better functioning following the negative experience (e.g., post-traumatic growth).
Right-wing authoritarianism
Right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) focuses on value conflicts but endorses respect for obedience and authority in the service of group conformity.
Sample
The collection of individuals on which we collect data.
Satisfaction
Correspondence between an individual’s needs or preferences and the rewards offered by the environment.
Satisfactoriness
Correspondence between an individual’s abilities and the ability requirements of the environment.
Schema
A mental representation or set of beliefs about something.
Schema
A mental model or representation that organizes the important information about a thing, person, or event (also known as a script).
Schema (plural: schemata)
A memory template, created through repeated exposure to a particular class of objects or events.
Schemas
The gender categories into which, according to gender schema theory, children actively organize others’ behavior, activities, and attributes.
Scientist-practitioner model
A model of training of professional psychologists that emphasizes the development of both research and clinical skills.
Scientist-practitioner model
The dual focus of I/O psychology, which entails practical questions motivating scientific inquiry to generate knowledge about the work-person interface and the practitioner side applying this scientific knowledge to organizational problems.
Security of attachment
An infant’s confidence in the sensitivity and responsiveness of a caregiver, especially when he or she is needed. Infants can be securely attached or insecurely attached.
Selective listening
A method for studying selective attention in which people focus attention on one auditory stream of information while deliberately ignoring other auditory information.
Self as autobiographical author
The sense of the self as a storyteller who reconstructs the past and imagines the future in order to articulate an integrative narrative that provides life with some measure of temporal continuity and purpose.
Self as motivated agent
The sense of the self as an intentional force that strives to achieve goals, plans, values, projects, and the like.
Self as social actor
The sense of the self as an embodied actor whose social performances may be construed in terms of more or less consistent self-ascribed traits and social roles.
Self-categorization theory
Self-categorization theory develops social identity theory’s point that people categorize themselves, along with each other into groups, favoring their own group.
Self-efficacy
The belief that one can perform adequately in a specific situation.
Self-esteem
The extent to which a person feels that he or she is worthy and good. The success or failure that the motivated agent experiences in pursuit of valued goals is a strong determinant of self-esteem.
Self-expansion model
Seeking to increase one’s capacity often through an intimate relationship.
Self-report assessment
A method of measurement associated with mixed and trait models of EI, which evaluates the test taker’s perceived emotion-related skills, distinct personality traits, and other characteristics.
Sex
Biological category of male or female as defined by physical differences in genetic composition and in reproductive anatomy and function.
Sexual harassment
A form of gender discrimination based on unwanted treatment related to sexual behaviors or appearance.
Sexual orientation
Refers to the direction of emotional and erotic attraction toward members of the opposite sex, the same sex, or both sexes.
Sexual selection
The evolution of characteristics because of the mating advantage they give organisms.
​Sexual strategies theory
A comprehensive evolutionary theory of human mating that defines the menu of mating strategies humans pursue (e.g., short-term casual sex, long-term committed mating), the adaptive problems women and men face when pursuing these strategies, and the evolved solutions to these mating problems.
Silent language
Cultural norms of time and time use as they pertain to social communication and interaction.
Simulation
The process of representing the other person’s mental state.
Simulation
Imaginary or real imitation of other people’s behavior or feelings.
Social and cultural
Society refers to a system of relationships between individuals and groups of individuals; culture refers to the meaning and information afforded to that system that is transmitted across generations. Thus, the social and cultural functions of emotion refer to the effects that emotions have on the functioning and maintenance of societies and cultures.
Social and emotional learning (SEL)
The real-world application of EI in an educational setting and/or classroom that involves curricula that teach the process of integrating thinking, feeling, and behaving in order to become aware of the self and of others, make responsible decisions, and manage one’s own behaviors and those of others (Elias et al., 1997)
Social categorization
The act of mentally classifying someone into a social group (e.g., as female, elderly, a librarian).
Social cognition
The study of how people think about the social world.
Social constructivism
Social constructivism proposes that knowledge is first created and learned within a social context and is then adopted by individuals.
Social dominance orientation
Social dominance orientation (SDO) describes a belief that group hierarchies are inevitable in all societies and even good, to maintain order and stability.
Social identity theory
Social identity theory notes that people categorize each other into groups, favoring their own group.
Social integration
The size of your social network, or number of social roles (e.g., son, sister, student, employee, team member).
Social learning theory
This theory of how children form their own gender roles argues that gender roles are learned through reinforcement, punishment, and modeling.
Social proof
The mental shortcut based on the assumption that, if everyone is doing it, it must be right.
Social referencing
This refers to the process whereby individuals look for information from others to clarify a situation, and then use that information to act. Thus, individuals will often use the emotional expressions of others as a source of information to make decisions about their own behavior.
Social referencing
The process by which one individual consults another’s emotional expressions to determine how to evaluate and respond to circumstances that are ambiguous or uncertain.
Social reputation
The traits and social roles that others attribute to an actor. Actors also have their own conceptions of what they imagine their respective social reputations indeed are in the eyes of others.
Social support
A subjective feeling of psychological or physical comfort provided by family, friends, and others.
Social support
The perception or actuality that we have a social network that can help us in times of need and provide us with a variety of useful resources (e.g., advice, love, money).
Social time
Scheduling by the flow of the activity. Events begin and end when, by mutual consensus, participants “feel” the time is right.
Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP)
A professional organization bringing together academics and practitioners who work in I/O psychology and related areas. It is Division 14 of the American Psychological Association (APA).
Somatogenesis
Developing from physical/bodily origins.
Specific abilities
Cognitive abilities that contain an appreciable component of g or general ability, but also contain a large component of a more content-focused talent such as mathematical, spatial, or verbal ability; patterns of specific abilities channel development down different paths as a function of an individual’s relative strengths and weaknesses.
Statistic
A numerical result computed from a sample (e.g., mean, proportion).
Statistical significance
A result is statistically significant if it is unlikely to arise by chance alone.
Stereotype Content Model
Stereotype Content Model shows that social groups are viewed according to their perceived warmth and competence.
Stereotypes
The beliefs or attributes we associate with a specific social group. Stereotyping refers to the act of assuming that because someone is a member of a particular group, he or she possesses the group’s attributes. For example, stereotyping occurs when we assume someone is unemotional just because he is man, or particularly athletic just because she is African American.
Stereotypes
Stereotype is a belief that characterizes people based merely on their group membership.
Stereotypes
Our general beliefs about the traits or behaviors shared by group of people.
Strange situation
A laboratory task that involves briefly separating and reuniting infants and their primary caregivers as a way of studying individual differences in attachment behavior.
Stress
A threat or challenge to our well-being. Stress can have both a psychological component, which consists of our subjective thoughts and feelings about being threatened or challenged, as well as a physiological component, which consists of our body’s response to the threat or challenge (see “fight or flight response”).
Stress
A pattern of physical and psychological responses in an organism after it perceives a threatening event that disturbs its homeostasis and taxes its abilities to cope with the event.
Stressor
An event or stimulus that induces feelings of stress.
Structuralism
A school of American psychology that sought to describe the elements of conscious experience.
Subjective well-being
The name that scientists give to happiness—thinking and feeling that our lives are going very well.
Subjective well-being scales
Self-report surveys or questionnaires in which participants indicate their levels of subjective well-being, by responding to items with a number that indicates how well off they feel.
Subtle biases
Subtle biases are automatic, ambiguous, and ambivalent, but real in their consequences.
Superior temporal sulcus
The sulcus (a fissure in the surface of the brain) that separates the superior temporal gyrus from the middle temporal gyrus. Located in the temporal lobes (parallel to the ears), it is involved in perception of biological motion or the movement of animate objects.
Supernatural
Developing from origins beyond the visible observable universe.
Support support network
The people who care about and support a person.
Sympathetic nervous system
A branch of the autonomic nervous system that controls many of the body’s internal organs. Activity of the SNS generally mobilizes the body’s fight or flight response.
Synchrony
Two people displaying the same behaviors or having the same internal states (typically because of mutual mimicry).
Syndrome
Involving a particular group of signs and symptoms.
Systematic observation
The careful observation of the natural world with the aim of better understanding it. Observations provide the basic data that allow scientists to track, tally, or otherwise organize information about the natural world.
Temperament
Early emerging differences in reactivity and self-regulation, which constitutes a foundation for personality development.
Temperament
A child’s innate personality; biologically based personality, including qualities such as activity level, emotional reactivity, sociability, mood, and soothability.
Temporal parietal junction
The area where the temporal lobes (parallel to the ears) and partial lobes (at the top of the head toward the back) meet. This area is important in mentalizing and distinguishing between the self and others.
Temporal perspective
The extent to which we are oriented toward the past, present, and future.
The Age 5-to-7 Shift
Cognitive and social changes that occur in the early elementary school years that result in the child’s developing a more purposeful, planful, and goal-directed approach to life, setting the stage for the emergence of the self as a motivated agent.
The “I”
The self as knower, the sense of the self as a subject who encounters (knows, works on) itself (the Me).
The “Me”
The self as known, the sense of the self as the object or target of the I’s knowledge and work.
The norm of reciprocity
The normative pressure to repay, in equitable value, what another person has given to us.
The rule of scarcity
People tend to perceive things as more attractive when their availability is limited, or when they stand to lose the opportunity to acquire them on favorable terms.
The triad of trust
We are most vulnerable to persuasion when the source is perceived as an authority, as honest and likable.
Theories
Groups of closely related phenomena or observations.
Theory of mind
The human capacity to understand minds, a capacity that is made up of a collection of concepts (e.g., agent, intentionality) and processes (e.g., goal detection, imitation, empathy, perspective taking).
Theory of mind
Emerging around the age of 4, the child’s understanding that other people have minds in which are located desires and beliefs, and that desires and beliefs, thereby, motivate behavior.
Theory of mind
Children’s growing understanding of the mental states that affect people’s behavior.
Tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon
The inability to pull a word from memory even though there is the sensation that that word is available.
“Top-down” or internal causes of happiness
The person’s outlook and habitual response tendencies that influence their happiness—for example, their temperament or optimistic outlook on life.
“Traitement moral” (moral treatment)
A therapeutic regimen of improved nutrition, living conditions, and rewards for productive behavior that has been attributed to Philippe Pinel during the French Revolution, when he released mentally ill patients from their restraints and treated them with compassion and dignity rather than with contempt and denigration.
Trephination
The drilling of a hole in the skull, presumably as a way of treating psychological disorders.
Trigger features
Specific, sometimes minute, aspects of a situation that activate fixed action patterns.
Twin studies
A behavior genetic research method that involves comparison of the similarity of identical (monozygotic; MZ) and fraternal (dizygotic; DZ) twins.
Type A Behavior
Type A behavior is characterized by impatience, competitiveness, neuroticism, hostility, and anger.
Type B Behavior
Type B behavior reflects the absence of Type A characteristics and is represented by less competitive, aggressive, and hostile behavior patterns.
Typicality
The difference in “goodness” of category members, ranging from the most typical (the prototype) to borderline members.
Unconditional positive regard
In person-centered therapy, an attitude of warmth, empathy and acceptance adopted by the therapist in order to foster feelings of inherent worth in the patient.
Under-determined or misspecified causal models
Psychological frameworks that miss or neglect to include one or more of the critical determinants of the phenomenon under analysis.
Universalism
Universalism proposes that there are single objective standards, independent of culture, in basic domains such as learning, reasoning, and emotion that are a part of all human experience.
Violence
Aggression intended to cause extreme physical harm, such as injury or death.
Visual perspective taking
Can refer to visual perspective taking (perceiving something from another person’s spatial vantage point) or more generally to effortful mental state inference (trying to infer the other person’s thoughts, desires, emotions).
Weapons effect
The increase in aggression that occurs as a result of the mere presence of a weapon.
White coat hypertension
A phenomenon in which patients exhibit elevated blood pressure in the hospital or doctor’s office but not in their everyday lives.
Work and organizational psychology
Preferred name for I/O psychology in Europe.