a priori
A Medieval Latin phrase;:â (from) + priorì (former); from theory, not experience; used by Kant.
A behavior. For Guthrie, an act is a collection of movements. Brentano's "act psychology" rejected the mind as a passive recepient of sensations; emphasized the importance of mental acts. Carr described behavior as an adaptive act (adjusting to needs).
The emotional part of personality.
The Greek word for meaningful, spiritual love (as in love of God or country).
For Freud, instincts are trying to fill a need aim); behavior is directional.
anal stage
For Freud, this is a normal stage of development at age 2 1/2. If fixated at this stage, a person is either explusive (has no verbal control) or retentive (won't let anything out).
Jung maintains that there is a feminine side of men (anima) and a masculine side of women (anius). It is our bisexual ability to understand the opposite sex.
animal maze
A box with dividers in it, used to study animal behavior; invested in 1901 by Willard S. Small.
Attributing human characteristics (e.g., motivation, thinking, etc.) to animals.
A feeling of uncertainty and uneasiness. For Freud, anxiety is the result of conflict between the id and the superego.
The loss of speech and the ability to comprehend it, due to brain injury or disease. From the Greek "aphatos:" speechless.
Active perception; conscious thought. For Herbart, apperception is a readiness for new perceptual experience. For Wundt, it is an act of volition.
apperceptive mass
According to Herbart, ideas could be at varying levels of consciousness, but actively conscious ideas are attracted to each other and form a mass of perceived ideas. For Wundt, the apperceptive mass is the totality of all perception compounds and components.
The ability to think and use memory; seizing or capturing perceptions or knowledge. The "span of apprehension" is the number of items one is able to hold in memory at one time, and was studied by James McKeen Cattell.
A prototype, pattern or stamp from which influence later items; quintessence. For Jung, universal thought forms, including the concepts of Mother, hero, devil, magic, God, and wise old man.
Army Alpha; Army Beta
The first large scale tests of ability; used by the US Army in WWI to assign people to duties.
associated reflex
Similar to Pavlov's conditioned reflex, coined by Vladimire M Bechterev.
The hypothetical bond between stimulus and response. Although the term was used as an explanation of learning by Aristotle, Wundt and Watson, there is no agreement on its precise definition or its relative importance.
The smallest building block of a system; irreducible, indestructible; from the Greek "atomos" (not to cut).
To heed, focus thought or concentrate. According to Titchener there are 3 general stages of attention: involuntary (response to sudden noise), secondary (voluntary attention), and derived (habituation).
B motives
Maslow's term for growth needs (not biologically imperative).
For Lewin, barriers are obstructed goals.
basic anxiety
Horney's term for the feeling helpless caused by culturalization. Basic anxiety produces a drive for safety (security).
For existentialists, personal growth is a continuous process of becoming, not become.
Beliefs are personal opinions which we accept as being true. A belief can be shared by an entire group or be the sole possession of one person. As opinions, beliefs often are untestable statements of faith.
Bell-Magendie law
Nerves are one-way transmitters of information.
The hypothetical connection between stimulus and response, variously defined by associationists, behaviorists and others.
For Lewin, the separation of life space into regions is marked by boundaries which vary in strength.
The biological structure at the end of the spinal cord, and the hypothesized source of mental activity.
Broca's area
The speech center of the brain, discovered by Paul Broca.
castration anxiety
According to Freud, young boys fear being castrated by their fathers for having sexual thoughts. Boys avoid this conflict by indentifying with their fathers and trying to be like them.
The belief that Earth was formed by sudden, violent changes. From the Greek "katastrophe:" ruin, turn over.
categorical imperative
An absolute moral law. Kant suggests that we have an innate (categorical) understanding of what we should do (imperative). He notes: "Act as if the maxim from which you act were to become through your will a universal law."
The principle of cause and effect; the reason things occur. One of Hume's 3 laws of association.
The totality of one's moral and emotional components; personality.
During the Hellenic Period, Hippocrates described personality by relating it to bodily fluids. A choleric personality was one with a fiery temper, the result of too much yellow bile.
The religion founded on the teachings of Jesus.
classical conditioning
According to Pavlov, learning is a function of preceding an unconditioned stimulus with a conditioned stimulus. Subsequent presentation of the conditioned stimulus will produce a similar response given to the unconditioned response.
client-centered therapy
Developed by Carl Rogers, the first popular American psychotherapy.
An adjective describing thinking, will or intellect; as opposed to conative (emotional).
collective unconscious
This is the most important of the unconscious for Jung. Filled with the transpersonal, ancestral past, the collective unconscious is shared by all mankind. It is part of the prehuman nature and the foundation for one's personality structure. Although Jung is unclear on how it is passed down, the collective unconscious contains the predispositions of loving one's mother, knowing God exists, and the fear of snakes. Racial memories are not inherited, but somehow brain traces (predispositions to act in selective way) are passed along.
common sense
In current usage, good judgment. As used by Aristotle, the sense which coordinates the other senses (smell, sight, etc.).
According to Adler, much of life is spent offsetting one's feelings of inferiority.
A composite of elements; an intricate, interwoven pattern. For Jung, personality segments are composed of varying clusters of emotions and attitudes. Forming around a nucleus of emotionally charge energy, ideas attract similarly charged ideas. The type of complex (e.g., inferiority complex, mother complex, power complex, etc.) can be identified by using word association tests.
Mixtures. For Wundt, compounds are clusters of sensations. They are connected by association, much as in John Stuart Mill's mental chemistry. According to Wundt, an idea is a compound of one sensation and one feeling; emotions are composed of multiple feelings.
According to McDougall, it is the goal seeking, desiring aspect of personality.
concrete operations
According to Piaget, the ability to perform abstract thinking (formal operations) is preceded by a stage of reasoning (ages 7-12) which is limited to classifying objects, manipulating numbers; conservation is acquired during this period but those at this stage of development are unable to discuss hypothetical situations.
conditioned response
According to Pavlov, the response to a stimulus which has been previously paired with a stimulus which evokes a response; the conditioned response is similar to the unconditioned response but is lower in magnitude.
conditioned stimulus
According to Pavlov, when a neutral stimulus is paired with a stimulus which evokes a response, the previously neutral stimulus (the conditioned stimulus) evokes a similar but weaker response.
A fight or battle between opposing forces, needs or desires. For Freud, conflict can be unconscious. For Lewin (and later, Dollard and Miller's studies), approach-approach conflicts are between two desireable choices; approach-avoidance conflicts are the result of an option which is both desireable and undesireable; avoidance-avoidance is the choice between to undesireable states.
From Latin "conscient:" con (joint, with), scire (know); to be aware of. To be aware of moral laws. For Freud, the conscience is the part of the superego which tells the ego what not to do.
Being aware of one's surroundings, thoughts and choices.
For Piaget, conservation is the ability to judge quantity regardless of shape (e.g., narrow tall glass holds same as short wide glass).
Used as theoretical building blocks to form theories, constructs are ideas. By systematically arranging ideas, a complex pattern of concepts can be developed. This pattern (theory), though often untestable, relates observable and abstract elements together in interesting ways.
A series of adjacent elements; connected by time, placement or relationship. One of Aristotle's laws of association (similarity, contiguity and opposites). One of Hume's 3 laws of association (contiguity, resemblance and causality).
A Gestalt principle used to organize perceptions (things close to each other); for Erickson, the continuity of past, present and future is an important consideration.
A necessary but not sufficent component of cause-effect. Originally proposed by Galton as co-relation and displayed in a scatterplot; later Pearson, Spearman and others developed statistical computations for describing monotonic and linear relationship. Values can range from +1 to -1. The sign indicates direction (+ = both variable moving same direction); magnitude indicates strngth of relationship.
The study of the universe (cosmos).
creative synthesis
For Wundt, the mind is an active process which creates new ideas by combining older ones.
Short for consonant-vowel-consonant; nonesense words used to test memory by Ebbinghaus.
D motives
According to Maslow, D motives represent deficiencies which must be met before other needs.
According to Rollo May, Dasein is the need to be in the world.
death instincts
According to Freud, death is the goal of life; return to stability.
Reasoning from general rules to specific instances. This method was favored by Descartes, Galileo, and Hobbes.
defense mechanisms
A group of mostly unconscious acts designed to fend off anxiety, according to Freud.
derived attention
According to Titchener, the habit of attending to a stimulus produces derived attention. In contrast to voluntary attention, derived attention requires less mental effort.
In behaviorism, the ability to detect differences between stimuli.
The healthiest of Freud's defense mechanisms; kick dog, not boss.
The forward push needs have on behavior; psychic energy.
The use of two principles which are thought to be irreducible (e.g., good, bad; mind, matter). In particular, mind and body. Descartes and Locke were dualists.
A length of time; persistence.
dynamic psychology
According to Woodworth, psychology should be S-O-R (stimulus, organism, response) to account for the dynamic interaction of people and their environment.
dynamic stereotype
Pavlov coined the term to describe mental functioning: it is neurologically stable (stereotyped) but responsive to the environment (dynamic).
From the Greek "dunamis:" power. Using universal forces or processes to explain the universe. For Sullivan, a dynamism is a unit of interpersonal relationship. It includes any overt behavior or covert mental experience, and is basically a habitual way of acting. According to Sullivan there is a fear dynamism, lust hynamism, intimate dynamism, etc. See Sullivan's 7-stages of Development .
The ego is Freud's second personality component. It is mostly conscious, interacts with the real world, and mediates between the id and the superego.
ego ideal
The ego ideal is the part of the superego which tells the ego what it should do.
One of Binswanger's three modes of existence; one's own world.
An instrument or apparatus invented by the Italian physicist Assenandro Volta to produce a charge of static electricity.
Elextra complex
Freud's name for the Oedipus complex for girls (i.e., discover they have no penis, acquire penis envy).
emotional core
According to McDougall, the center of a personality is stable and unlearned.
The belief that knowledge comes from experience. In science, the use of empirical methods (testing ideas by trying them out).
According to Lashley, each part of the brain is equally important.
From Greek mythology, the god of love (sexual love). For Rollo May, the need to unite with others.
The development from one stage to another. The belief that life is becoming more complex.
experimental ethics
Watson's term for a rehab program for prison inmates.
experimental neurosis
According to Pavlov, requiring too fine of distinction caused his dogs to bark and be unmanageable.
One type of response to being fixated at the anal stage of development, according to Freud.
The reduction and elimination of a behavior as a natural consequence of removing its reinforcer.
The systematic surgical removal of portions of the brain. Used to determine the function of specific brain parts (e.g., what can't the animal do if a particular part of the brain is removed).
According to Guthrie, one way to break bonds of association is to present a stimuolus so often that response is impossible.
According to Thorndike, learning is best as practice with feedback (knowledge of effect).
field theory
Lewin's description of interpersonal relationship.
Attachment or preoccupation with a particular stage of psychosexual development.
fixed interval
Reinforcement given at set periods of time (e.g., every 3 minutes).
fixed ratio
Reinforcement given as consequence of set number of responses (e.g., every 10th lever push).
Failure to recall previously learned information; first experimentally investigated by Ebbinghaus.
A characteristic of an object; its essence. To arrange in a pattern; a prototype.
formal operations
The last of Piaget's four stages of development. At age 12 and beyond, the use of hypothetical cases and systematic solution searches are achieved.
A small bit of information in Skinner's programmed learning approach; in Gestalt theory, a point of view (frame of reference).
Inspired by William James, this "school" of psychology emphasized mental processes and functions. In contrast to the Structuralists (like Titchener), the mind was not considered to be composed of static elements of consciousness. The mind was capable of adjusting to the environment. The functionalists used introspection but did not require trained professionals and did not limit themselves to the technique.
genital stage
Freud's last period of psychosexual development; from puberty on.
Gestalt psychology
A loose collection of theorists, mostly following the work of Max Wertheimer.
ground of existence
According to Binswanger, we are free to choose within our "ground of existence" but limited by our "thrownness."
group mind
According to McDougall, emotions become stronger in groups; the combination of individual instincts.
For Hull, the tendency to respond. For Guthrie, well established movements. For Watson, personality
The pursuit of happiness, pleasure. The belief that pleasure equals goodness.
Hellenic Period (600-322 BC)
The emphasis during this time period was on the observable world. Extending up until Aristotle, the concern was in answering cosmological questions (e.g., what is the universe?).
Hellenistic Period
After the death of Alexander the Great and Aristotle, Greek philosophy spread to other parts of world, eventually carried everywhere by the Roman conquests in 30 BC.
here and now
According to Binswanger, people should focus on the present, not the past or the future.
heuristic function
Theories should lead to new discoveries. This theory-as-guide (heuristic) approach is speculative and selective. At each stage of discovery, diverse solutions are tried and the best of the available methods is selected. A heuristic theory emphasizes learning by discovery.
For Lewin, the regions of interpersonal space.
hormic psychology
Founded by William McDougall, the emphasis is on purposive behavior. Based on the Greek word "horme'" (urge), hormic psychology was a response to Watson's behaviorism.
human reflexology
Bechterev description of psychology; behavior is completely explainable within a S-R (stimulus-response) format.
The belief that personality is related to a balance of bodily fluids (blood, bile, etc.).
Tentative by nature, hypotheses are statements of fact which can be empirically tested. A hypothesis is presumed to be true for the purpose of an investigation. It is a conditional statement used for a limited period of time.
Hypothetico-Deductive Theory
Hull's complex theory of learning, habit strength and intervening variables.
According to Freud, the id is one of three parts of the personality. Developing first, the id is unconscious and seeks immediate gratification.
Although people think, there is little agreement on how or why they do so. Although some thoughts, ideas and concepts may be innate, most are thought to be the result of mental activity. Innate ideas, if they exist, are build-in ways to percieve and act.
For Freud, the function of the ego is to match the internal need with an external object.
One of Fromm's basic needs (uniqueness).
imageless thought
Thoughts were considered to be miniature images of external objects. Thought without images was a radical change in philosophy.
The initiating force; need seeking; burst of energy (nerve impulse).
Just as pressure can leave a visible mark on objects (e.g., pencil on paper, chisel on stone), mental experience leaves an impression. Similar to memory but suggesting an emotional imprint.
incompatible responses
Guthrie's method for breaking association bonds by substituting a more desireable response for an undesireable response (e.g., chewing gum instead of smoking).
individual differences
Psychology typically describes and bases its theories on group tendencies. Individual differences (i.e., characteristics and patterns of ability) are of great interest to psychology but are thought to be too complex and outside psychology's emphasis.
Reasion from specifics to general principles. This method of reasoning was favored by Francis Bacon.
Adler's term for feelings of inadequacy.
The sudden discovery of a concept or truth.
Unlearned, innate patterns of response.
Although intelligence is conceptualized as the ability to acquire and use knowledge, it is most often operationally defined in terms of test scores. Galton described it an a single entity, inheritted biologically, and measured by reaction time tests. For Binet, intelligence was a cluster of abilities influenced by environment. The intelligence ratio (coined by Lewis Terman) or intelligence quotient was originally proposed as the ratio of mental age to chronological age. Subsequently, the intelligence quotient (IQ, also coined by Terman) has been derived by comparing individual performance to group norms. Debate still rages on the nature of intelligence (general ability or a cluster of specialized faculties), and the relative importance of heredity and environmnet. Thorndike proposed 3 types of intelligence: abstract, social, and mechanical. For Thorndike, Abstract intelligence (also called abstract reasoning) is the ability to manipulate words and concepts. For Piaget, abstract thinking is the ability to discuss hypothetical situations and the systematic solution of problems.
Borrowed from physics, intensity is the amount of a force (electricity, heat, sound).
interpersonal fields
Borrowed from physics, fields are regions of space or force. According to Sullivan, a field of interpersonal relations surrounds each individual.
In theology and philosophy, the term is used a self contemplation. As used by early experimental psychologists, introspection was the observation (usually by trained individuals) on the internal processes and structures impacted by the presentation of a perceptual stimulus.
involuntary attention
The unplanned concentration of mental focus; usually the result of a sudden stimulus presentation (e.g., loud noise).
For Pavlov, the spread of effect to other parts of the brain; stimulus generalization.
The religion based on the life and teachings of Mohammed.
Similarity of forms or structures; for Wertheimer, apparent motion occurs in the brain but appears to be external.
James-Lange theory of emotion
Initially formulated by C.G. Lange (a Danish physiologist) and revised and popularized by William James, this theory maintains that emotion is a result of action (I see the bear, I run, I feel fear).
The popular name for William James' shortened version of Principles of Psychology.
The just noticeable difference (jnd) is that point at which an individual can detect changes in pressure, weight or temperature.
A period of dormancy.
Well established relationships or rules whose truth are beyond doubt (e.g., gravity, entropy, etc.). Artistotle proposed three laws of suggestion: contiguity, resemeblans, and contrast. Hume proposed 3 laws of association: contiguity, resemblance, and causality. Thorndike proposed three laws of learning: readiness, exercise and effect. The Law of Readiness says subject must be able to perform task (e.g. cat must be hungry). According to the Law of Exercise practice strengthens bonds, Disuse weakens them. The Law of Effect says consequences of a behavior strength (or weaken) the S-R bonds.
life instincts
According to Freud, the strongest life instinct is sex.
life space
For Lewin, how you perceive the world; the totality of existence.
Little Albert
The child Watson classically conditioned to fear animal (stuffed and real).
For Lewin, the movement from region to region.
According to Fromm, the deepest fear of people is loneliness.
masculine protest
Originally presented as a description of how men who feel unmanly and inferior strive to be strong and powerful. Later, Adler used it to describe the anger of women forced to play feminine roles.
mass action
Lashley showed that the brain works as a coordinated whole, the "brain fields" of the Gestaltists do not exist.
According to the ancient Greek philosophers, matter is the formlessness which creates form and substance. In physics, matter can take the form of solid, liquid and gas.
It is either the excessive emphasis on things (often to the detriment of relationships with others), or it is the philosophy that matter is reality (thoughts, concepts, and emotions must be defined in terms of physical processes).
The input (encoding), storage and retrieval (recall) of facts and concepts.
mental chemistry
John Stuart Mill proposed that the mind is more active than a mechanical explanation would allow but less active than free will. For John Stuart Mill, the development of the mind is like chemical processes.
mental mechanics
James Mill conceived of the mind as the passive result of mental mechanics.
mental orthopedics
Alfred Binet advised the use of mental exercises to help form and reform the mind.
mental set
A term introduced by Karl Marbe. When prior experience affects subject's current judgments, they are said to be responding with a mental set. Having generated a rule to solve prior problems, they continue to use the rule on current problems.
mental tests
The term was coined by James McKeen Cattell to describe the perceptual and mental measurements he and Galton used.
During the Hellenic Period, Hippocrates described personality by relating it to bodily fluids. A melancholic personality was one with a sad temperament, the result of too much black bile.
The study and philosophy of reality and its components.
Middle Ages
As the population grew and became more prosperous, the social classes of feudal western Europe (clergy, aristocracy, and peasants) brought about a new social class (skilled craftsmen).and the establishment of universities.
The source of one's conscious thoughts, memories, will and emotions, currently believed to reside in the brain.
One on Binswanger's 3 modes of existence; with world.
Models are theories or parts of theories which have been converted into measurable variables. Modeling is the process of converting constructs to variables for empirical testing.
According to Leibnitz, this is the smallest particle of reality.
The philosophy that a single system can explain everything (mind, matter, will, etc.).
moral anxiety
One of Freud's 3 types of anxiety; overactive superego (punish self for minor infractions).
Morgan's cannon
C. Lloyd Morgan's scientific rule of thumb (cannon): use the simplest explanation available.
Hobbes maintained reality is matter and motion (change).
One of Locke's primary qualities; for Guthrie, a collection of behavioral responses.
Either that the mind has innate ideas or that it forms ideas independent of its environment.
natural selection
An explanation of evolutionary change; survival is selection by nature (having the necessary characteristics to survive in a changed environment).
Anything necessary for biological or psychological survival. Maslow proposed a need hierarchy (from biological needs to self-actualization).
negative punishment
Punishing by removing something good (take away car keys).
negative reinforcement
Rewarding by removing something bad (cancel debt).
According to Heidegger, being deprived of meaning.
nondirective therapy
Roger's client-centered therapy was originally called "nondirective therapy".
nonsense words
For Ebbinghaus, words which have no contextual meaning (a list of unrelated items).
An actual item in the real world.
object substitution
Since the image the id creates is unconscious, the ego searches reality to find an object which can substitute for the id's image.
Oedipus complex
According to Freud, boys (by the age of 5 years old) have sexual desire for their mothers, fear castration from their fathers, and resolve the conflict by becoming more like their fathers. This process was named for the Greek play Oedipus Rex.
one-shot learning
According to Guthrie, indivicual movements are learning on the first pairing; learning appears to be gradual because there are so many possible combinations of S-R pairings.
A tool used to measure and study the eye.
oral stage
According to Freud, the first stage of psycholosexual development (birth to 18 months). If fixated at this stage, gullible (swallow anything) or sarcastic (biting).
For Ebbinghaus, continuing to study after a list has been learned error free.
The belief that the mind and body are correlated but causally linked.
One of Sullivan's 3 modes of experience; the development of superstitions and relationships.
penis envy
According to Freud, the conflict a girl feels when she discovers she has no penis.
According to Jung, the self can take the form of a mask, a public personality.
personal unconscious
According to Sullivan, complex dynamisms composed of feelings, attitudes and self images.
phallic stage
According to Freud, the psychosexual stage at which the Oedipus complex occurs.
phi phenomenon
The apparent motion of lights when flashed sequentially (e.g., lights on theater marquees).
Brotherly love.
During the Hellenic Period, Hippocrates described personality by relating it to bodily fluids. A choleric personality was one with a slow temperament, the result of too much phlegm.
The belief that variations in the skull indicate mental processes and personality characteristics.
pineal gland
Descartes thought to be the place where the soul resides, this gland id now thought to be one's seasonal and daylight biological clock.
pleasure principle
The underlying rule the id uses is to find pleasure, immediately.
positive punishment
The giving of something bad.
positive reinforcement
The giving of something good.
Postulates are formal assertions of truth presented as a basis of argument. More narrow than a presupposition, postulates can be implied or stated as a premise.
Literally, good form; the Gestalt principle which states that perceptions tend to organized in best form (e.g., abstract figures are described in terms of concrete objects and shapes).
The term was coined by C.S. Peirce but popularized by William James. James' lectures of the subject were published in 1907 (Pragmatism: A New Name for Old Ways of Thinking) and were widely read. For James, ideas should be testable. Untestable theories are meaningless, or at least useless. Truth must be testable. Consequently, an idea is true if it works.
One of Freud's 3 levels of consciousness (conscious, unconscious, pre-conscious); partly aware of one'sown processes.
For Piaget, the stage at which children acquire language (ages 2-7).
primary process
The process by which the id makes an image of what it desires.
When basic truths has some predictability, they are called principles. These elemental rules can describe a fixed social policy or a function of natural science.
programmed instruction
A method of instruction based on Skinner's behaviorism; small instructional steps, each followed by immediate feedback.
One of Freud's defense mechanisms; attributing one's characteristics to others (e.g., finding one's faults in others).
proprioceptive stimuli
According to Guthrie, stimuli produced by muscle movement.
According to Sullivan, flowing sensations.
A Gestalt principle of grouping by closeness in time or space.
The soul or spirit. In Latin, psıchê; in Greek psukhê.
psychic dynamics
The interaction of psychic forces, according to Herbart.
psychic secretions
Pavlov's term for a conditioned response.
psychosexual stages of development
According to Freud, people develop in a series of fixed stages, each of which involves both sexual and psychological factors.
Anything which tends to reduce the frequency of behavior.
purposeful behaviorism
According to Tolman, behavior is purposeful, goal directed, and molar (not reducible to instincts or reflexes).
Thorndike's apparatus for studying problem solving in animals.
Pythagorean theorem
Proposed by Pythagorus (6th century BC), it is the mathematical rule that the hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the sum of the squared-sides.
For Locke (as learned from Robert Boyle), quality is the producer of ideas. Locke differtiated between primary (essential perceptual components such as shape) and secondard qualities (less important elements such as taste). For Titchener, quality is the distinguishing characteristic of an experience.
The philosophy of reason; the belief that truth comes from reason (not from empirical evidence or spiritual revelation).
Added by Ernest Jones (a follower of Freud) as a defense mechanism; excuse for poor performance.
reaction formation
In this Freudian defense mechanism, the individual does the opposite of what they want to do.
reality anxiety
According to Freud, the concern which comes from real problems.
reality principle
The ego works on the reality principle; interacting with the objective world.
The use of logic; a function of the mind.
The retrieval part of memory.
Perception is the collect of sensations; memory is their re-collection.
In general, any automatic (involuntary) response. Alexander Bain was among the first to differentiate between voluntary and reflexive behavior. The Hering-Breuer reflex:shows that there are receptors in the lungs which automatically control respiration. Motor reflexes include muscle movements such as knee jerk, etc.
For Lewin, areas of relationship; parts of self.
Going back to something. In Freudian thought, regression to a previous psychosexual stage. In research, going back to a straight line drawn through the data points.
In education, reiteration of teachings. In Skinner's model, anything which occurs after a behavior which tends to increase the likelihood of its reoccurring.
Memory; to recollect the past.
Similarity. One of Hume's 3 laws of association.
The amount of facts memorized. Ebbinghaus provided the first experiemental description of a retention curve (the amount of recall over time).
For Freud, the tendency to not express emtions, particularly at the anal stage of development.
During the Hellenic Period, Hippocrates described personality by relating it to bodily fluids. A sanquine personality was one with a cheerful temperament, the result of having enough blood.
For Ebbinghaus, the number of time needed to relearn a list.
The pattern of response usually seen in fixed interval schedules of reinforcement; little activity until just prior to approximate time reinforcement is available, followed by high levels of response until reinforcement is received.
schedules of reinforcement
For Skinner, patterns of response related to when reinforcement is given. Types include: continuous (reinforcement of every correct response), fixed interval (given for a correct response after a set period of time), fixed ratio (given for a correct response after a set number of correct responses), variable interval (given for a correct response after a varying period of time), and variable ratio (give for a correct response after a varying number of correct responses).
secondary process
According to Freud, the ego's control of action is secondary to the id's primary process of creating images it desires.
The essence of a person. William James differentiated between self as knower (internal knowledge) and self as known (the self other people know). Willaim James used Self as Knower and Self as Known to differentiate between the view we have of ourselves and the view others have of us.
According to Maslow, the highest level of personal development.
Being conscious of one's desires, interests, and processes. George Herbert Mead emphasized self awareness as a function of psychological evolution.
The rewards one gives to one's self; internal motivation.
According to Piaget, the first two years of life are spent developing motor control. In this sensorimotor stage of development, thinking is limited to gaining control of the body and developing language.
According to McDougall, this is the tendency toward action caused by two or more instincts being attached to the same object.
The darker side of nature. Instincts held over from lower forms. Past animal nature.
Avoiding stimulus cues which produce undesirable responses (e.g., staying away from the bad crowd; moving to start a new life).
They maintained that sensory information couldn't be trusted. They also mistrusted Plato's concept of pure form.
Skinner box
A name given by others to Skinner's experimental apparatus; a container which allows the subject free movement, limited correct response mechanisms (e.g., level), and systematic control of stimuli and schedules of reinforcement.
social interest
Adler's theory of social interest was optimistic and nativistic. He held that people are innately disposed to be social and that they are tied to others through their occupations, general societal obligations, and love. As people grow, they become other directed.
Woodworth's dynamic psychology emphasized the importance of the O (organism), as well as the stimulus and response.
Used interchangably, the soul or spirit is eternal element of human life, composed of mind, will, emotion, etc.
specific response relationship
According to Holt, learning is a molar, purposive process where one learns an entire response relationship (e.g., walking), not just segments of the process.
Spencer-Bain principle
Behavior will increase if followed by pleasure, decrease if followed by pain.
spontaneous recovery
The tendency for responses to return to higher levels of frequency after fatigue even though no reinforcement is given.
spread of effect
For Pavlov, the tendency for stimuli similar to the conditioned stimulus to produce a conditioned response caused by adjacent neurons being impacted by the conditioning.
stamped in
For Thorndike, problem solving is not insight but trial and error until the correct response is discovered; the impact of the positive consequence which follows that discovery (law of effect) makes a permanent relationship (stamps in) between problem and solution.
stamped out
For Thorndike, learning is permanent unless erased by negative consequences after the response.
For Sullivan, personifications people hold in common. For Pavlov (dynamic stereotyping), a neurological mapping of the environment.
stimulus generalization
The tendency for stimuli similar to the conditioned stimulus to produce a conditioned response.
Since the universe is orderly, good and outside of our control, the Stoics asserted that we should be content with what happens. The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) was a stoic.
stream of consciousness
William James conceived of consciousness as a constantly moving process, like a brook or stream.
A school of psychology which looked for mental structures; primarily advanced by Titchener.
style of life
At various times, Adler used the term to describe individuality, style of creative, style of problem solving, and goal achieving behavior. He maintained that faulty life styles are the result of feeling inferior, being pampered as a child (causing the Oedipus complex), or by having been neglected.
subvocalized speech
For Watson, thinking is the behavior of talking to oneself at inaudiable (subvocalized) levels of sound.
Growing out of the ego as a function of parental and societal pressure, the superego is the third component of Freud's personality model.
One of Sullivan's three modes of experiencing; use of words and numbers.
systems of psychology
Before WWII, psychology was divided into contrasting systems of thought. These orderly, systematic approaches have been replaced by more general, loosely organized movements.
tabula rasa
Blank slate; lack of innate ideas. Rasa (nothing, blank) and tablua or tableau (from the French word "tablel," a table or an area readied for painting).
For Fromm, the inherited, unchangeable aspects of one's personality.
Pressure between forces. For Lewin, the disequilibrium between inner and outer realities. For Sullivan, psycholigcal tension is caused by needs or anxieties.
More than a collection of facts, a theory is a systematically organized body assumptions, principles, rules and knowledge. Theories explain the pattern of relationships between observable events. Although they need not include formal propositions, theories summarize what is known and lay the base for future research
thought elements
According to Buhler, non-sensory thoughts and processes.
For Guthrie, the gradual increase of stimulus strength without producing unwanted responses (e.g., gradually entering a pool to conqueor fear of water).
According to Binswanger, thrownness is the life circumstances we can not change.
For Lewin, the pattern of interpersonal fields, different for each person.
transfer of training
For Thorndike, learning new tasks is related to how similar they are to previously learned tasks.
transformational grammar
According to Chomsky, language is an innate capacity, subject to rules of transformational-generative grammar (i.e., it is produced creatively, not as a result of Skinner's operant conditioning).
trial and error learning
For Thorndike, learning is not insight, but a process of trying all alternatives until a sucessful response is found.
tridimentional theory of emotion
Wundt's theory that emotion can be charaterized by 3 dimensions: excitement-calm; pleasure-displeasure; and tension-relaxation.
unconditional regard
According to Rogers, total acceptance; unconditional positive regard.
unconditioned response
The natural response to a stimulus before conditioning (e.g., salivating at food).
unconditioned stimulus
The natural stimulus which produces natural responses (e.g. sight or smell of food).
Introduced by Leibnitz, levels of conscious awareness of one's motives and actions became part of Freud's theory of personality. According to Jung, personal unconscious is nearest to conscious, and contains repressed and forgotten memories.
A unified body or community of teaching/learning; an institution which offers graduate degrees.
One of Binswanger's three modes of existence; around the world.
Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) proposed that decisions should not be based on right and wrong but on the usefulness (utilitarianism) of the outcome.
For Lewin, indicators of one's wants and desires.
There are four main types of variables. Dependent variables depend on what a subject does. In contrast to a dependent variable (which is an outcome measure), independent variables are independent of the subjects. Independent variables are manipulated by the experimenter and often are hidden from the subject. Tolman introduced the intervening variable as a description of indirect influence. An intervening variable is caught in-between two other variables. State variables (a term introduced by Skinner) indicate initial, antecedent conditions before stimulation begins.
variable interval
One of Skinner's schedules of reinforcement; given for a correct response after a varying period of time.
variable ratio
One of Skinner's schedules of reinforcement; given for a correct response after a varying number of correct responses.
As used by LewBiosin, the impact of one's wants and fears; vectors of psychic force.
According to Hartley, nerves transmit vibrations to the brain. Faint ideas and impressions are the result of faint vibrations; strong stimuli produce strong vibrations. Memory is the reactivating the original vibrations.
For Wundt, volition is the active process of the will. When ideas are added together, the result is not always the same. According to Wundt, the reason for the creative synthesis of ideas is the active participation of the mind. Wundt maintained that the mind is active but he was not a proponent of free will.
Weber's law
Although the concept was initially proposed by Ernst Weber, the majority of the work was conducted by Gustav Fechner. Weber's law (also called Fechner's law) shows a logarithmic relationship between stimulus strength and sensation.
For Binswanger, the personal world each person develops.
The process of choosing; the part of the soul which makes deliberate decisions; a statement of intention.


Copyright 2010 Ken Tangen