Monday, January 6, 2014

Dictionary of Psychology letter A












AB Design
A single subject research design that contains one baseline (A) and one treatment (B).

ABAB Design
A single subject research design that contains a baseline (A1), treatment (B1), a second baseline (B2) and a second treatment phase (B2)

Alpha (lowercase)
The abbreviation for probability of error in statistical results. See Type I Error. (a)

Alternative Hypothesis
The hypothesis that states there is a difference between two or more sets of data.

Absolute Zero
Characteristic of a scale of measurement that contains a point where the scale has no value.

Accommodation
The creation of new cognitive schemas when objects, experiences, or other information does not fit with existing schemas.

Action Potential
The firing on a neuron.  Occurs when the charge inside the neuron becomes more positive than the charge outside.

Acetycholine
A neurotransmitter associated with voluntary movement, sleep and wakefulness.

Aggressive
An interpersonal style where only the immediate needs of the self are considered rather than the needs of others.  (As opposed to passive or assertive)

Agoraphobia
An anxiety disorder characterized by an intense fear of leaving one's home.

All or None Law
Either a neuron completely fires or it does not fire at all.
    
Alpha (lowercase)
The abbreviation for probability of error in statistical results. See Type I Error. (a)

Alternative Hypothesis
The hypothesis that states there is a difference between two or more sets of data.

Altruism
Behavior that is unselfish and may even be detrimental but which benefits others.

Amnesia
Loss of memory.  Usually only a partial loss such as for a period of time or biographical information.

Amygdala
A part of the brain's limbic system that attaches emotional significance to information and mediates both defensive and aggressive behavior.

Anal Expulsive Personality
Stemming from the Anal stage, a child who becomes fixated due to over control transfers his or her unresolved anal (or control) issues into characteristics such as cruelty, pushiness, messiness, or disorganization.

Anal Retentive Personality
Stemming from the Anal stage, a child who becomes fixated due to under control transfers his or her unresolved anal (or control) issues into characteristics such as compulsivity, stinginess, cleanliness, organization, and obstinacy.
  
Anal Stage
Freud's second stage of psychosexual development where the primary sexual focus is on the elimination or holding onto feces.  The stage is often thought of as representing a child's ability to control his or her own world.

Analysis
See Psychoanalysis.

Analysis of Variance
An inferential statistical procedure used to test whether or not the means of two or more sets of data are equal to each other.

ANOVA
Analysis of Variance.

Anxiety
The physiological and psychological reaction to an expected danger, whether real or imagined.

Aphasia
The impairment of the ability to communicate either through oral or written discourse as a result of brain damage.

Approach-Approach Conflict
The conflict presented when two opposite but equally appealing choices are available but can not both be obtained.

Approach-Avoidance Conflict 
The conflict presented when the best positive choice will result in a negative outcome as well as positive.   

Arousal Theory
The theory stating that we are motivated by our innate desire to maintain an optimal level of arousal.

Assertive
Style of interpersonal interaction where both the needs of the self and others are considered.  (As opposed to passive or aggressive)

Assimilation
Incorporating objects, experiences, or information into existing schemas.

Associations
The phenomenon in learning that states we are better able to remember information if it is paired with something we are familiar with or otherwise stands out.

Attachment
The strong bond a child forms with his or her primary caregiver.

Attribution
An idea or belief about the etiology of a certain behavior.

Attribution Theory
The theory that argues people look for explanation of behavior, associating either dispositional (internal) attributes or situational (external) attributes.

Authoritarian [parents]
Parenting style focused on excessive rules, rigid belief systems, and the expectation of unquestioned obedience.

Authoritative [parents]
Parenting style focused on setting reasonable rules and expectations while encouraging communication and independence.

Autonomic Nervous System
Part of the peripheral nervous system that regulates the involuntary actions of the body (e.g., breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, pupil dilation).  Also regulates the Fight or Flight Phenomenon.

Availability Heuristic
A rule of thumb stating that information more readily available in our memory is more important than information not as easily accessible.

Aversion Therapy
A type of behavioral treatment where an aversive stimuli is paired with a negative behavior in hopes that the behavior will change in the future to avoid the aversive stimuli.

Avoidance-Avoidance Conflict
The conflict where both possible choices have an equal negative outcome.

Axon
The tail-like part of the neuron through which information exits the cell.

Source: Allpsych Online

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Dictionary of Psychology letter A
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Jennifer Delgado Suárez

Psicologist by profession and passion, dedicated to to string words together. Discover my Books

FEED YOUR NEURONS

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