Social Interpersonal Growth Psychotherapy

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Glossary of Terms

A

  • abnormal behavior behavior that causes people to experience distress and prevents them from functioning in their daily lives
  • abnormal psychology the scientific study whose objectives are to describe, explain, predict, and modify behaviors associated with mental disorders psychopathology the study of the symptoms, causes, and treatments of mental disorders
  • absolute threshold the smallest intensity of a stimulus that must be present for the stimulus to be detected
  • abstinence refraining from use of alcohol, drugs, or other addictive substances
  • action potential an electric nerve impulse that travels through a neuron’s axon when it is set off by a “trigger,” changing the neuron’s charge from negative to positive
  • activation-synthesis theory Hobson’s theory that the brain produces random electrical energy during REM sleep that stimulates memories stored in the brain
  • activity theory of aging a theory that suggests that the elderly who are most successful while aging are those who maintain the interests
    and activities they had during middle age
  • actor-observer bias: the tendency to see other people’s behavior as caused
    by their dispositions, but to attribute one’s own behavior to situational factors
  • acute stress disorder (ASD) disorder characterized by flashbacks, hypervigilance, and avoidance symptoms that occur within 1 month after exposure to a traumatic stressor
  • adaptation an adjustment in sensory capacity after prolonged exposure to unchanging stimuli
  • adaptive behavior performance on tasks of daily living, including academic skills, self-care, and the ability to work or live independently
  • addiction compulsive drug-seeking behavior and a loss of control over drug use
  • addictive drugs drugs that produce a biological or psychological dependence in the user so that withdrawal from them leads to a craving for the drug that, in some cases, may be nearly irresistible
  • adjustment disorder (AD) condition involving reactions to life stressors that are disproportionate to the severity or intensity of the event or situation
  • adolescence the developmental stage between childhood and adulthood
  • advance directive written statement providing guidance for medical and health care decisions in the event the person becomes incapacitated and unable communicate his or her wishes
  • age of viability the point at which a fetus can survive if born prematurely
  • aggression the intentional injury of, or harm to, another person
  • aggressive action a behavior aimed at causing either physical or psychological
    pain
  • aggressive stimulus an object associated with aggressive responses (e.g., a
    gun) that can increase the probability of aggression by its mere presence
  • agoraphobia an intense fear of being in public places where escape or help may not be readily available
  • alcohol poisoning toxic effects resulting from rapidly consuming alcohol or ingesting a large quantity of alcohol; can result in impaired breathing, coma, and death
  • alcoholic person who has become dependent on alcohol and who exhibits characteristics of an alcohol-use disorder
  • alcoholism broad term referring to a condition in which the individual is dependent on alcohol and has difficulty controlling drinking
  • algorithm a rule that, if applied appropriately, guarantees a solution to a problem
  • all-or-none law the rule that neurons are either on or off
  • alleles the gene pair responsible for a specific trait
  • alogia lack of meaningful speech
  • altruism helping behavior that is beneficial to others but clearly requires self-sacrifice
  • alzheimer’s disease (AD) dementia involving memory loss and other declines in cognitive and adaptive functioning, A progressive brain disorder that leads to a gradual and irreversible decline in cognitive abilities
  • amnesia memory loss that occurs without other mental diffi culties
  • amniocentesis a prenatal screening procedure involving withdrawal of amniotic fluid from the fetal sac
  • amygdala brain structure associated with the processing, expression, and memory of emotions, especially anger and fear
  • analogue study an investigation that attempts to replicate or simulate, under controlled conditions, a situation that occurs in real life
  • anal stage according to Freud, a stage from age 12 to 18 months to 3 years of age, in which a child’s pleasure is centered on the anus
  • androgens male sex hormones secreted by the testes
  • anhedonia inability to experience pleasure from previously enjoyed activities
  • anorexia nervosa an eating disorder characterized by low body weight, an intense fear of becoming obese, and body image distortion, people may refuse to eat while denying that their behavior and appearance—which can become skeleton-like—are unusual
  • anterograde amnesia amnesia in which memory is lost for events that follow an injury
  • antianxiety drugs drugs that reduce the level of anxiety a person experiences essentially by reducing excitability and increasing feelings of well-being
  • antidepressant drugs medications that improve a severely depressed patient’s mood and feeling of well-being
  • antipsychotic medication medicine developed to counteract symptoms of psychosis, drugs that temporarily reduce psychotic symptoms such as agitation, hallucinations, and delusions
  • antisocial personality disorder (APD) characterized by a failure to conform to social and legal codes, a lack of anxiety and guilt, and irresponsible behaviors, individuals show no regard for the moral
    and ethical rules of society or the rights of others
  • anxiety a fundamental human emotion that produces bodily reactions that prepare us for “fight or flight”; anxiety is anticipatory—the dreaded event or situation has not yet occurred
  • anxiety disorder fear or anxiety symptoms that interfere with an individual’s day-to-day functioning, the occurrence of anxiety
    without an obvious external cause that affects daily functioning
  • anxiety sensitivity trait involving fear of physiological changes within the body
  • anxiolytics a class of medications that reduce anxiety
  • anxious distress symptoms of motor tension, difficulty relaxing, pervasive worries, or feelings that something catastrophic will occur
  • archetypes according to Jung, universal symbolic representations of a particular person, object, or experience (such as good and evil)
  • archival research research in which existing data, such as census documents, college records, and newspaper clippings, are examined
    to test a hypothesis
  • arousal approaches to motivation the belief that we try to maintain certain levels of stimulation and activity increasing or reducing them as necessary
  • asociality minimal interest in social relationships
  • assessment the process of gathering information and drawing conclusions about the traits, skills, abilities, emotional functioning, and psychological problems of an individual
  • assigned gender the gender to which a child is socially assigned at birth based on biological sex
  • association areas one of the major regions of the cerebral cortex; the site of the higher mental processes, such as thought, language, memory, and speech
  • assumed-similarity bias The tendency to think of people as being similar to oneself even when meeting them for the first time
  • asthma a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways in the lungs
  • atherosclerosis condition involving the progressive thickening and hardening of the walls of arteries due to an accumulation of fats and cholesterol along their inner linings, clogging of the arteries resulting from a buildup of plaque plaque sticky material (composed of fat, cholesterol, and other substances) that builds up on the walls of veins or arteries stroke a sudden halting of blood flow to a portion of the brain, leading to brain damage
  • attachment the positive emotional bond that develops between a child and a particular individual
  • attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, (ADHD) a disorder marked by inattention, impulsiveness, a low tolerance for frustration, and a great deal of inappropriate activity, and a childhood onset disorder characterized by persistent attentional problems and/ or impulsive, hyperactive behaviors
  • attenuated psychosis syndrome condition being researched that involves distressing or disabling early signs of delusions, hallucination, or disorganized speech that emerged or became progressively worse over the previous year; reality testing remains relatively intact
  • attitude evaluations of a particular person, behavior, belief, or concept, an enduring evaluation—positive or negative—of people, objects, and ideas; attitudes have an evaluative/emotional component, as well as a cognitive component
  • attitude accessibility the strength of the association between an object and
    a person’s evaluation of that object; accessibility is measured by the speed
    with which people can report how they feel about an issue or object
  • attitude heuristic a shortcut way of making decisions by assigning objects
    to either a favorable or an unfavorable category
  • attribution theory a description of the way in which people explain the
    causes of their own and other people’s behavior, the theory of personality that seeks to explain how we decide, on the basis of samples of an individual’s behavior, what the specific causes of that person’s behavior are
  • attributional style characteristic way of explaining why a positive or negative event occurred
  • authenticity when one’s behavior and communication are consistent with
    one’s feelings
  • atypical antipsychotics newer antipsychotic medications that are chemically different and less likely to produce the side effects associated with first-generation antipsychotics
  • aura a visual or physical sensation (e.g., tingling of an extremity or flashes of light) that precedes a headache
  • authoritarian parents parents who are rigid and punitive and value unquestioning obedience from their children
  • autobiographical memories our recollections of circumstances and episodes from our own lives
  • autonomic division the part of the peripheral nervous system that controls involuntary movement of the heart, glands, lungs, and other organs
  • autonomy-versus-shame-and-doubt stage the period during which, according to Erikson, toddlers (ages 1½ to 3 years) develop independence and autonomy if exploration and freedom are encouraged or shame and self-doubt if they are restricted and overprotected
  • autism spectrum disorder (ASD) a disorder characterized by a continuum of impairment in social communication and restricted, stereotyped interests and activities, a severe developmental disability that impairs children’s ability to communicate and relate to others
  • autistic savant an individual with autism spectrum disorder who performs exceptionally well on certain tasks (e.g., superior rote memory, artistic, or musical skills)
  • availability heuristic a mental rule of thumb whereby people base a judgment
    on the ease with which they can bring something to mind
  • aversive conditioning a form of therapy that reduces the frequency of undesired behavior by pairing an aversive, unpleasant stimulus with undesired behavior
  • avoidant personality disorder characterized by a fear of rejection and humiliation and a reluctance to enter into social relationships
  • avolition lack of motivation; an inability to take action or become goal oriented
  • axon an extension on the cell body that sends signals to neurons, some a considerable distance away, the part of the neuron that carries messages destined for other neurons

B

  • babble Meaningless speech like sounds made by children from around the age of 3 months through 1 year
  • background stressors (“daily hassles”), everyday annoyances, such as being stuck in traffic, that cause minor irritations and may have long-term ill effects if they continue or are compounded by other stressful events
  • base rate the rate of natural occurrence of a phenomenon in the population studied
  • basilar membrane a vibrating structure that runs through the center of the cochlea, dividing it into an upper chamber and a lower chamber and containing sense receptors for sound
  • behavioral assessment Direct measures of an individual’s behavior used to describe personality characteristics
  • behavioral genetics The study of the effects of heredity on behavior
  • behavioral inhibition shyness
  • behavioral models models of psychopathology concerned with the role of learning in abnormal behavior
  • behavior modification a formalized technique for promoting the frequency of desirable behaviors and decreasing the incidence of unwanted ones
  • behavioral neuroscientists (or biopsychologists) Psychologists who specialize in considering the ways in which the biological structures
    and functions of the body affect behavior
  • behavioral perspective The approach that suggests that observable, measurable behavior should be the focus of study
  • behavioral treatment approaches Treatment approaches that build on the basic processes of learning, such as reinforcement and extinction, and assume that normal and abnormal behavior
    are both learned
  • behavioral undercontrol personality trait associated with rebelliousness, novelty seeking, risk taking, and impulsivity
  • benevolent sexism taking an attitude toward women that appears to be
    positive—and even chivalrous—but that is stereotypic in nature; for example
    believing that women need to be protected
  • beta-amyloid plaques clumps of beta-amyloid proteins found in the spaces between neurons in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease
  • binge drinking episodic intake of five or more alcoholic beverages for men or four or more drinks for women
  • binge eating rapid consumption of large quantities of food during a discrete period of time
  • binge-eating disorder (BED) an eating disorder that involves the consumption of large amounts of food over a short period of time with accompanying feelings of loss of control and distress over the excess eating; behaviors to compensate for overeating are not typically seen with this disorder
  • biofeedback a procedure in which a person learns to control through conscious thought internal physiological processes such as blood
    pressure, heart and respiration rate, skin temperature, sweating, and the constriction of particular muscles
  • biofeedback training a physiological and behavioral approach in which an individual receives information regarding particular autonomic functions and is rewarded for influencing those functions in a desired direction
  • biological and evolutionary approaches to personality theories that suggest that important components of personality are inherited
  • biological viewpoint the belief that mental disorders have a physical or physiological basis
  • biological vulnerability genetic or physiological susceptibility
  • biomedical therapy Therapy that relies on drugs and other medical procedures to improve psychological functioning
  • bipolar I disorder diagnosis involves at least one manic episode that has impaired social or occupational functioning; the person may or may not experience depression or psychotic symptoms,  a disorder in which a person alternates between periods of euphoric feelings of mania and periods of depression
  • bipolar II disorder diagnosis involves at least one major depressive episode and at least one hypomanic episode
  • bisexuals persons who are sexually attracted to people of the same sex and the other sex
  • blaming the victim the tendency to blame individuals (make dispositional
    attributions) for their victimization; typically motivated by a desire to see the
    world as a fair place
    blood pressure the measurement of the force of blood against the walls of the arteries and veins
  • body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) condition involving a preoccupation with a perceived physical defect or excessive concern over a slight physical defect
  • body mass index (BMI) an estimate of body fat calculated on the basis of a person’s height and weight
  • borderline personality disorder characterized by intense fluctuations in mood, self-image, and interpersonal relationships, a personality disorder which individuals have difficulty developing a secure sense of who they are
  • bottom-up processing perception that consists of the progression of recognizing and processing information from individual components of a stimuli and moving to the perception of the whole
  • brain pathology a dysfunction or disease of the brain
  • brief psychotic disorder psychotic episodes with a duration of at least 1 day but less than 1 month
  • bulimia nervosa an eating disorder in which episodes involving rapid consumption of large quantities of food and a loss of control over eating are followed by purging (vomiting, use of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas) or excessive exercise or fasting in an attempt to compensate for binges, the person will binge on large quantities of food, followed by efforts to purge the food through vomiting or other
    means
  • bystander effect the finding that the greater the number of bystanders who
    witness an emergency, the less likely any one of them is to help

C

  • Cannon-Bard theory of emotion the belief that both physiological arousal and emotional experience are produced simultaneously by the same nerve stimulus
  • cardiovascular pertaining to the heart and blood vessels
  • case study an in-depth, intensive investigation of an individual or small group of people, an intensive study of one individual that relies on clinical data, such as observations, psychological tests, and historical and biographical information
  • cataclysmic events strong stressors that occur suddenly and typically affect many people at once (e.g., natural disasters)
  • catatonia a condition characterized by marked disturbance in motor activity—either extreme excitement or motoric immobility
  • catharsis the notion that “blowing off steam”—by performing an aggressive act, watching others engage in aggressive behaviors, or engaging in a fantasy of aggression—relieves built-up aggressive energies and hence reduces the likelihood of further aggressive behavior
  • cathartic method a therapeutic use of verbal expression to release pent-up emotional conflicts
  • caudate nuclei brain region that regulates transmission of impulses warning that something is amiss
  • central core the “old brain,” which controls basic functions such as eating and sleeping and is common to all vertebrates
  • central nervous system (CNS) the part of the nervous system that includes the brain and spinal cord
  • central route to persuasion: a situation in which people elaborate on a persuasive communication, listening carefully to and thinking about the arguments; this occurs when people have both the ability and the motivation to listen carefully to a communication
  • central route processing message interpretation characterized by thoughtful consideration of the issues and arguments used to persuade
  • central traits the major traits considered in forming impressions of others
  • cerebellum (ser-uh-BELL-um) The part of the brain that controls bodily balance
  • cerebral cortex the “new brain,” responsible for the most sophisticated information processing in the brain; contains four lobes
  • child psychopathology the emotional and behavioral manifestation of psychological disorders in children and adolescents
  • chromosomes rod-shaped structures that contain all basic hereditary information
  • chunk a meaningful grouping of stimuli that can be stored as a unit in short-term memory
  • circadian rhythm an internal clock or daily cycle of internal biological rhythms that influence various bodily processes such as body temperature and sleep–wake cycles, biological processes that occur regularly on approximately a 24-hour cycle
  • circadian rhythm sleep disorder sleep disturbance due to a disrupted sleep–wake cycle
  • civil commitment the involuntary confinement of a person judged to be a danger to the self or to others, even though the person has not committed a crime
  • classical conditioning a type of learning in which a neutral stimulus comes to bring about a response after it is paired with a stimulus that naturally brings about that response, a process in which responses to new stimuli are learned through association
  • cluster headache excruciating stabbing or burning sensations located in the eye or cheek
  • cochlea (KOKE-lee-uh) a coiled tube in the ear filled with fluid that vibrates in response to sound
  • cognitive approaches to motivation theories suggesting that motivation is a product of people’s thoughts, expectations, and goals—their cognitions
  • cognitive-behavioral approach a treatment approach that incorporates basic principles of learning to change the way people think
  • cognitive development the process by which a child’s understanding of the world changes as a function of age and experience
  • cognitive dissonance the conflict that occurs when a person holds two contradictory attitudes or thoughts (referred to as cognitions), a state of tension that occurs whenever an individual simultaneously holds two cognitions (ideas, attitudes, beliefs, opinions) that are psychologically inconsistent
  • cognitive learning theory an approach to the study of learning that focuses on the thought processes that underlie learning
  • cognitive misers the idea that people try to conserve cognitive energy in decision making by taking mental shortcuts whenever they can
  • cognitive models models based on the assumption that conscious thought mediates an individual’s emotional state and/or behavior in response to a stimulus
  • cognitive perspective the approach that focuses on how people think, understand, and know about the world
  • cognitive perspective on psychological disorders the perspective that suggests that people’s thoughts and beliefs are a central component of abnormal behavior
  • cognitive psychology the branch of psychology that focuses on the study of higher mental processes, including thinking, language, memory, problem solving, knowing, reasoning, judging, and decision making
  • cognitive restructuring cognitive strategy that attempts to alter unrealistic thoughts that are believed to be responsible for phobias
  • cognitive symptoms symptoms of schizophrenia associated with problems with attention and memory and with difficulty in developing a plan of action
  • cognitive treatment approaches treatment approaches that teach people to think in more adaptive ways by changing their dysfunctional cognitions about the world and themselves
  • collective unconscious according to Jung, a common set of ideas, feelings, images, and symbols that we inherit from our ancestors, the whole human race, and even animal ancestors from the distant past
  • communal relationships: relationships in which people’s primary concern is being responsive to the other person’s needs
  • community psychology a branch of psychology that focuses on the prevention and minimization of psychological disorders in the community
  • comorbid existing simultaneously with another condition, the presence of two or more disorders in the same person
  • comorbidity co-occurrence of different disorders
  • companionate love the feelings of intimacy and affection we feel for another person when we care deeply for the person but do not necessarily experience passion or arousal in his or her presence, the strong affection we have for those with whom our lives are deeply involved
  • competency to stand trial a judgment that a defendant has a factual and rational understanding of the criminal proceedings and can rationally consult with counsel in presenting a defense
  • compliance behavior that occurs in response to direct social pressure
  • compulsion the need to perform acts or mental tasks to reduce anxiety, an irresistible urge to repeatedly carry out some act that seems strange and unreasonable
  • compliance a response to social influence brought about by an individual’s hope for reward or fear of punishment
  • concepts a mental grouping of similar objects, events, or people
  • concordance rate degree of similarity between twins or family members with respect to a trait or disorder, The likelihood that both members of a twin pair show the same characteristic
  • concrete operational stage according to Piaget, the period from 7 to 12 years of age that is characterized by logical thought and a loss of
    egocentrism
  • concussion trauma-induced changes in brain functioning, typically caused by a blow to the head
  • conditioned response (CR) in classical conditioning, a learned response to a previously neutral stimulus that has acquired some of the properties of another stimulus with which it has been paired, (e.g., salivation at the ringing of a bell)
  • conditioned stimulus (CS) in classical conditioning, a previously neutral stimulus that has acquired some of the properties of another stimulus with which it has been paired, A once-neutral stimulus that has been paired with an unconditioned stimulus to bring about a response formerly caused only by the unconditioned stimulus
  • conduct disorder (CD) a persistent pattern of behavior that violates the rights of others, including aggression, serious rule violations, and illegal behavior
  • confidentiality an ethical standard that protects clients from disclosure of information without their consent
  • confirmation bias a tendency, once we have stated a belief, to view subsequent evidence in a biased manner so as to confirm that belief, if possible conformity: change in behavior due to the real or imagined influence of other people, the tendency to seek out and weight more heavily information that supports one’s initial hypotheses and to ignore contradictory information that supports alternative hypotheses or solutions
  • conformity a change in behavior or attitudes brought about by a desire to follow the beliefs or standards of other people
  • cones cone-shaped, light-sensitive receptor cells in the retina that are responsible for sharp focus and color perception, particularly in bright light
  • consciousness the awareness of the sensations, thoughts, and feelings being experienced at a given moment
  • constructive processes processes in which memories are influenced by the meaning we give to events
  • consummate love according to Sternberg, the blending of intimacy, passion, and commitment
  • continuous reinforcement schedule reinforcing of a behavior every time it occurs
  • contrast effect an object appears to be better or worse than it is, depending on the quality of the objects with which it is compared
  • control group A group participating in an experiment that receives no treatment
  • controlled drinking consuming no more than a predetermined amount of alcohol
  • convergent thinking The ability to produce responses that are based primarily on knowledge and logic
  • conversion disorder A major somatoform disorder that involves an actual physical disturbance, such as the inability to use a sensory organ or the complete or partial inability to move an arm or leg, (functional neurological symptom disorder) a condition involving sensory or motor impairment suggestive of a neurological disorder but with no underlying medical cause
  • coping The efforts to control, reduce,or learn to tolerate the threats that lead to stress
  • coprolalia involuntary utterance of obscenities or inappropriate remarks
  • correspondent inference: the tendency to attribute the cause of a person’s behavior to a corresponding characteristic or trait of that person
  • correlation the extent to which variations in one variable are accompanied by increases or decreases in a second variable
  • coronary heart disease (CHD) disease process involving the narrowing of cardiac arteries, resulting in the restriction or partial blockage of the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart
  • cortisol hormone released by the adrenal gland in response to stress
  • co-rumination extensively discussing negative feelings or events with peers or others
  • counter attitudinal advocacy the process of cognitive dissonance that occurs when a person states an opinion or attitude that runs counter to his or her private beliefs or attitudes
  • couples therapy a treatment aimed at helping couples understand and clarify their communications, role relationships, unfulfilled needs, and unrealistic or unmet expectations
  • course usual pattern that a disorder follows
  • criminal commitment incarceration of an individual for having committed a crime
  • cross-cutting measure assesses common symptoms that are not specific to one disorder
  • cultural relativism the belief that lifestyles, cultural values, and worldviews affect the expression and definition of mental disorders
  • cultural universality the assumption that a fixed set of mental disorders exists whose manifestations and symptoms are similar across cultures
  • culture the configuration of shared values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that is transmitted from one generation to another by members of a particular group and symbolized by artifacts, roles, expectations, and institutions
  • cyclothymic disorder condition involving milder hypomanic symptoms that are consistently interspersed with milder depressed moods for at least 2 years

D

  • dangerousness a person’s potential for doing harm to the self or to others
  • defense mechanisms in psychoanalytic theory, an ego-protection strategy that shelters the individual from anxiety, operates unconsciously, and distorts reality
  • deficit model early attempt to explain differences in minority groups that contends that differences are the result of “cultural deprivation”
  • deinstitutionalization the shifting of responsibility for the care of mental patients from large central institutions to agencies within local communities
  • delayed ejaculation persistent delay or inability to ejaculate within the vagina despite adequate excitement and stimulation
  • delirium an acute state of confusion involving diminished awareness, disorientation, and impaired attentional skills
  • delirium tremens life-threatening withdrawal symptoms that can result from chronic alcohol use
  • delusion a firmly held false belief, a false belief that is firmly and consistently held
  • delusional disorder persistent, nonbizarre delusions without other unusual or odd behaviors; tactile and olfactory hallucinations related to the delusional theme may be present
  • dementia condition with symptoms involving deterioration in cognition and independent functioning
  • dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) dementia involving visual hallucinations, cognitive fluctuations, and atypical movements
  • dendrites numerous short rootlike structures on the cell body whose function is to receive signals from other neurons
  • dependent personality disorder characterized by submissive, clinging behavior and an excessive need to be taken care of
  • dependent variable a variable that is expected to change when an independent variable is manipulated in a psychological experiment
  • depersonalization/derealization disorder dissociative condition characterized by feelings of unreality concerning the self and the environment
  • depressant a substance that causes a slowing of responses and generalized depression of the central nervous system
  • depression a mood state characterized by sadness or despair, feelings of worthlessness, and withdrawal from others
  • detoxification phase of alcohol or drug treatment during which the body is purged of intoxicating substances relapse a return to drug or alcohol use after a period of abstention
  • diastolic pressure arterial force exerted when the heart is relaxed and the ventricles of the heart are filling with blood
  • diathesis-stress theory theory that holds that people do not inherit a particular abnormality but rather a predisposition to develop illness (diathesis) and that certain environmental forces, called stressors, may activate the predisposition, resulting in a disorder
  • diminished capacity law standard allowing defendant to be convicted of a lesser offense due to mental impairment
  • diminished emotional expression reduced display of observable verbal and nonverbal behaviors that communicate internal emotions
  • disconfirmatory evidence information that contradicts a delusional belief
  • discrimination unjust or prejudicial treatment toward a person based on the person’s actual or perceived membership in a certain group
  • disinhibited social engagement disorder (DSED) a trauma-related attachment disorder characterized by indiscriminate, superficial attachments and desperation for interpersonal contact
  • disordered eating physically or psychologically unhealthy eating behavior such as chronic overeating or dieting with the goal of losing or controlling weight or managing emotions
  • disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD) a childhood disorder involving chronic irritability and significantly exaggerated anger reactions
  • dissociative amnesia sudden partial or total loss of important personal information or recall of events due to psychological factors
  • dissociative anesthetic a substance that produces a dreamlike detachment
  • dissociative disorders a group of disorders, including dissociative amnesia, dissociative identity disorder, and depersonalization/ derealization disorder, all of which involve some sort of dissociation, or separation, of a part of the person’s consciousness, memory, or identity
  • dissociative fugue episode involving complete loss of memory of one’s life and identity, unexpected travel to a new location, or assumption of a new identity
  • dissociative identity disorder (DID) a condition in which two or more relatively independent personality states appear to exist in one person, including experiences of possession; also known as multiple-personality disorder
  • dopamine hypothesis the suggestion that schizophrenia may result from excess dopamine activity at certain synaptic sites
  • double-blind design experimental design in which neither those helping with the experiment nor the participants are aware of experimental conditions
  • Down syndrome (DS) a chromosomal disorder (most frequently involving an extra copy of chromosome 21) that causes physical and neurological abnormalities
  • due process constitutional guarantee of fair treatment within the judicial system
  • Durham standard a test of legal insanity also known as the product test—an accused person is not responsible if the unlawful act was the product of a mental disease or defect
  • dyscalculia a condition involving difficulties in understanding mathematical skills or concepts
  • dyslexia a condition involving significant difficulties with reading skills
  • dyspareunia recurrent or persistent pain in the genitals before, during, or after sexual intercourse
  • dyssomnias disorders involving abnormalities in the quality, amount, or timing of sleep

E

  • eating conditions not elsewhere classified a seriously disturbed eating pattern that does not fully meet criteria for another eating disorder diagnosis
  • echolalia repetition of vocalizations made by another person
  • elevated mood a mood state involving extreme confidence and exaggerated feelings of energy and well-being
  • emotional lability unstable and rapidly changing emotions and mood
  • empowerment increasing one’s sense of personal strength and self-worth
  • endophenotype measurable characteristics that can give clues regarding the specific genetic pathways involved in a disorder
  • endophenotypes measurable characteristics (neurochemical, endocrinological, neuroanatomical, cognitive, or neuropsychological) that can give clues regarding the specific genes involved in disorders genetic linkage studies studies that attempt to determine whether a disorder follows a genetic pattern
  • epidemiological research the study of the prevalence and distribution of mental disorders in a population
  • epigenetics reciprocal gene-environment interactions that actually modify the expression of the genome
  • epinephrine hormone released by the adrenal gland in response to physical or mental stress; also known as adrenaline
  • erectile disorder (ED) an inability to attain or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse
  • etiological model model developed to explain the cause of a disorder
  • etiology causes of disorders
  • euphoria exceptionally elevated mood; exaggerated feeling of well-being
  • evidence-based practice treatment decisions based on best current research combined with clinician judgment and client needs
  • evidence-based therapies treatment techniques that have strong research support
  • excoriation (skin-picking) disorder distressing and recurrent compulsive picking of the skin resulting in skin lesions
  • exhibitionistic disorder urges, acts, or fantasies that involve exposing one’s genitals to strangers
  • existential approach a set of attitudes that has many commonalities with humanism but is less optimistic, focusing (1) on human alienation in an increasingly technological and impersonal world (2) on the individual in the context of the human condition, and (3) on responsibility to others as well as to oneself
  • expansive mood person may feel extremely confident or self-important and behave impulsively
  • exposure therapy treatment that involves introducing the client to increasingly difficult encounters with a feared situation
  • exorcism treatment method used by the early Greeks, Chinese, Hebrews, and Egyptians in which prayers, noises, emetics, flogging, and starvation were used to cast evil spirits out of an afflicted person’s body
  • experiment a technique of scientific inquiry in which a prediction is made about two variables; the independent variable is then manipulated in a controlled situation, and changes in the dependent variable are measured
  • experimental hypothesis a prediction concerning how an independent variable will affect a dependent variable in an experiment
  • expressed emotion (EE) a negative communication pattern found among some relatives of individuals with schizophrenia
  • externalizing disorders disruptive behavior disorders associated with symptoms that are socially disturbing and distressing to others
  • extrapyramidal symptoms side effects such as restlessness, involuntary movements, and muscular tension produced by antipsychotic medications
  • external validity the degree to which findings of a particular study can be generalized to other groups or conditions

F

  • factitious disorder condition in which a person deliberately induces or simulates symptoms of physical or mental illness with no apparent incentive other than attention from medical personnel or others
  • factitious disorder imposed on another a pattern of falsification or production of physical or psychological symptoms in another individual
  • factitious disorder imposed on self symptoms of illness are deliberately induced, simulated, or exaggerated, with no apparent external incentive
  • family systems model, model that assumes that the behavior of one family member directly affects the entire family system
  • fear an intense emotion experienced in response to a threatening situation
  • fear extinction elimination of conditioned fear responses associated with a trauma
  • female orgasmic disorder sexual dysfunction involving persistent delay or inability to achieve an orgasm with adequate clitoral stimulation
  • female sexual interest/arousal disorder distressing disinterest in sexual activities or inability to attain or maintain physiological or psychological arousal during sexual activity
  • fetal alcohol spectrum effects a continuum of detrimental neurological and behavioral effects resulting from maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy
  • fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) a condition resulting from maternal alcohol consumption during gestation that involves central nervous system dysfunction and altered brain development
  • fetishistic disorder sexual attraction and fantasies involving inanimate objects, such as female undergarments
  • field study an investigative technique in which behaviors and events are observed and recorded in their natural environment
  • first-generation antipsychotics a group of medications originally developed to combat psychotic symptoms by reducing dopamine levels in the brain; also called conventional or typical antipsychotics
  • flooding a technique that involves inducing a high anxiety level through continued actual or imagined exposure to a fear-arousing situation
  • fragile X syndrome an inherited condition involving limited production of proteins required for brain development resulting in mild to severe intellectual disability
  • free association psychoanalytic therapeutic technique in which the patient says whatever comes to mind for the purpose of revealing his or her unconscious
  • frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) dementia involving degeneration in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain causing declines in language and behavior
  • frotteuristic disorder recurrent and intense sexual urges, acts, or fantasies that involve touching or rubbing against a nonconsenting person
  • functional imaging procedures that provide data regarding physiological and biochemical processes occurring within the brain

G

  • g or g -factor the single, general factor for mental ability assumed to underlie intelligence in some early theories of intelligence
  • gaba gamma-aminobutyric acid, an inhibitory neurotransmitter involved in inducing sleep and relaxation
  • gate-control theory of pain the theory that particular nerve receptors in the spinal cord lead to specific areas of the brain related to pain
  • gateway drug a substance that leads to use of additional substances that are even more lethal
  • gender dysphoria distress and impaired functioning resulting from an incongruence between a person’s gender identity and assigned gender
  • genito-pelvic pain/penetration disorder physical pain or discomfort associated with intercourse or penetration; fear, anxiety, and distress are also usually present
  • general adaptation syndrome (GAS) a theory developed by Selye that suggests that a person’s response to a stressor consists of three
    stages: alarm and mobilization, resistance, and exhaustion
  • generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) condition characterized by persistent, high levels of anxiety and excessive worry over many life circumstances, the experience of long-term, persistent anxiety and worry
  • generativity-versus-stagnation stage according to Erikson, a period in middle adulthood during which we take stock of our contributions to family and society
  • genes the parts of the chromosomes through which genetic information is transmitted
  • genetic preprogramming theories of aging theories that suggest that human cells have a built-in time limit to their reproduction and that they are no longer able to divide after a certain time
  • genital stage according to Freud, the period from puberty until death, marked by mature sexual behavior (that is, sexual intercourse)
  • genitals the male and female sex organs
  • genome all the genetic material in the chromosomes of a particular organism
  • genotype a person’s genetic makeup
  • gestalt laws of organization a series of principles that describe how we organize bits and pieces of information into meaningful wholes
  • gestalt psychology an approach to psychology that focuses on the organization of perception and thinking in a “whole” sense rather than on the individual elements of perception
  • grammar the system of rules that determine how our thoughts can be expressed
  • grandiosity an overvaluation of one’s significance or importance
  • group two or more people who interact with one another, perceive themselves as part of a group, and are interdependent
  • group therapy therapy in which people meet in a group with a therapist to discuss problems, a form of therapy that involves the simultaneous treatment of two or more clients and may involve more than one therapist
  • groupthink a type of thinking in which group members share such a strong motivation to achieve consensus that they lose the ability to critically evaluate alternative points of view

H

  • habit reversal a therapeutic technique in which a client is taught to substitute new behaviors for habitual behaviors such as a tic
  • hallucination a sensory experience (such as an image, sound, smell, or taste) that seems real but that does not exist outside of the mind
  • hallucinogen a substance that induces perceptual distortions and heightens sensory awareness
  • heavy drinking chronic alcohol intake of more than two drinks per day for men and more than one drink per day for women
  • hemorrhagic stroke a stroke involving leakage of blood into the brain
  • hippocampus the part of the brain involved in forming, organizing, and storing memories
  • histrionic personality disorder characterized by extreme emotionality and attention seeking
  • hoarding disorder condition involving congested living conditions due to accumulation of items and distress over the thought of discarding them
  • homeostasis state of metabolic equilibrium
  • humanism a philosophical movement that emphasizes human welfare and the worth and uniqueness of the individual
  • humanistic perspective the optimistic viewpoint that people are born with the ability to fulfill their potential and that abnormal behavior results from disharmony between the person’s potential and his or her self-concept
  • Huntington’s disease (HD) a genetic disease characterized by involuntary twitching movements and eventual dementia
  • hypersomnolence (excessive sleepiness) disorder condition involving difficulty waking up after sleeping and excessive daytime sleepiness or prolonged unrefreshing sleep
  • hypertension a chronic condition, which increases risk of stroke and heart disease, characterized by a systolic blood pressure of 140 or higher or a diastolic pressure of 90 or higher
  • hyperthermia significantly elevated body temperature
  • hypervigilance state of ongoing anxiety in which the person is constantly tense and alert for threats
  • hypnotics a class of medications that induce sleep
  • hypomania a milder form of mania involving increased levels of activity and goal-directed behaviors combined with an elevated, expansive, or irritable mood
  • hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis the system involved in stress and trauma reactions and regulation of body processes such as “fight or flight” responses
  • hypothesis a tentative explanation for certain facts or observations
  • hysteria an outdated term referring to excessive or uncontrollable emotion, sometimes resulting in somatic symptoms (such as blindness or paralysis) that have no apparent physical cause

I

  • iatrogenic disorder a condition unintentionally produced by a therapist’s actions and treatment strategies
  • iatrogenic effects unintended effects of an intervention— such as an unintended change in behavior resulting from a medication or a psychological technique used in treatment
  • illness anxiety disorder persistent health anxiety and/or concern that one has an undetected physical illness; the person has few or no somatic complaints
  • incidence number of new cases of a disorder that appear in an identified population within a specified time period
  • incest sexual relations between people too closely related to marry legally
  • independent variable a variable or condition that an experimenter manipulates to determine its effect on a dependent variable
  • inferiority model early attempt to explain differences in minority groups that contends that racial and ethnic minorities are inferior in some respect to the majority population
  • insanity defense the legal argument used by defendants who admit that they have committed a crime but plead not guilty because they were mentally disturbed at the time of the offense
  • insomnia disorder chronic difficulty falling asleep or remaining asleep
  • intellectual disability (ID) a disorder characterized by limitations in intellectual functioning and adaptive behaviors
  • intermittent explosive disorder condition involving frequent lower-intensity outbursts or low-frequency, high-intensity outbursts of extreme verbal or physical aggression
  • internal validity the degree to which changes in the dependent variable are due solely to the effect of changes in the independent variable
  • internalizing disorders conditions involving emotional symptoms directed inward
  • interoceptive conditioning when internal bodily sensations of fear and anxiety that have preceded panic attacks serve as signals for new panic attacks
  • intoxication pattern of problem behaviors or psychological changes associated with use or abuse of a substance
  • intrapsychic psychological processes occurring within the mind
  • irresistible impulse test a doctrine that contends that a defendant is not criminally responsible if he or she lacked the willpower to control his or her behavior
  • ischemic stroke a stroke due to reduced blood supply caused by a clot or severe narrowing of the arteries supplying blood to the brain

L

  • learned helplessness a learned belief that one is helpless and unable to affect outcomes
  • learning disorder (LD) an academic disability characterized by deficits in reading, writing, and math skills that bring them substantially below levels that would be expected based on the person’s age, intellectual ability, and educational background
  • least restrictive environment the least restrictive alternative to freedom that is appropriate to a person’s condition
  • lethality capability of causing death
  • lifetime prevalence the percentage of people in the population who have had a disorder at some point in their lives
  • localized amnesia lack of memory for a specific event or events
  • longitudinal research method that involves observing, assessing, or evaluating a group of people over a long period of time
  • loosening of associations continual shifting from topic to topic without any apparent logical or meaningful connection between thoughts

M

  • mainstreaming integrating mental patients as soon as possible back into the community
  • major depressive disorder (MDD) condition diagnosed if someone (without a history of hypomania/mania) experiences a depressive episode involving severe depressive symptoms that have negatively affected functioning most of the day, nearly every day, for at least 2 full weeks
  • major depressive episode a period involving severe depressive symptoms that have impaired functioning for at least 2 full weeks
  • major neurocognitive disorder condition involving significant decline in independent living skills and one or more areas of cognitive functioning
  • male hypoactive sexual desire disorder sexual dysfunction in men that is characterized by a lack of sexual desire
  • malingering feigning illness for an external purpose
  • mania mental state characterized by very exaggerated activity and emotions including euphoria, excessive excitement, or irritability that result in impairment in social or occupational functioning
  • MDD with a seasonal pattern major depressive episodes occur seasonally more than nonseasonally; at least two seasonal episodes of severe depression have occurred ending at a predictable time of year
  • medically induced coma a deliberately induced state of deep sedation that allows the brain to rest and heal
  • meta-analysis statistical method in which researchers combine and analyze the results from numerous studies focused on the same or similar phenomena
  • metabolic syndrome a medical condition associated with obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension
  • mild neurocognitive disorder condition involving a modest decline in at least one major cognitive area
  • M’Naghten rule a cognitive test of legal insanity that inquires whether the accused knew right from wrong when the crime was committed
  • motor tic a tic involving physical behaviors such as eye blinking, facial grimacing, or head jerking
  • multiple-baseline study a single-participant experimental design in which baselines on two or more behaviors or the same behavior in two or more settings are obtained prior to intervention
  • managed health care the industrialization of health care, whereby large organizations in the private sector control the delivery of services
  • mental disorder psychological symptoms or behavioral patterns that reflect an underlying psychobiological dysfunction, are associated with distress or disability, and are not merely an expectable response to common stressors or losses
  • mental health professional health care practitioners (such as psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, social workers, or mental health counselors) whose services focus on improving mental health or treating mental illness
  • mental illness a mental health condition that negatively affects a person’s emotions, thinking, behavior, relationships with others, or overall functioning
  • migraine headache moderate to severe head pain resulting from abnormal brain activity affecting the cranial blood vessels and nerves
  • mixed features concurrent hypomanic/manic and depressive symptoms
  • model an analogy used by scientists, usually to describe or explain a phenomenon or process they cannot directly observe
  • modeling process of learning by observing models (and later imitating them)
  • modeling therapy procedure involving observation of a nonphobic individual successfully coping with the phobic object or situation used to treat certain phobias
  • moderate drinking a lower-risk pattern of alcohol intake (no more than one or two drinks per day)
  • mood emotional state or prevailing frame of mind
  • moral treatment movement crusade to institute more humane treatment of people who were mentally disturbed
  • motivational enhancement therapy a therapeutic approach that addresses ambivalence and helps clients consider the advantages and disadvantages of continuing substance use
  • multicultural model contemporary attempt to explain differences in minority groups that suggests that behaviors be evaluated from the perspective of a group’s value system as well as by other standards used in determining normality and abnormality
  • multicultural psychology a branch of psychology that focuses on culture, race, ethnicity, gender, age, socioeconomic class, and other similar factors in its effort to understand behavior
  • multi-path model a model of models that provides an organizational framework for understanding the numerous causes of mental disorders, the complexity of their interacting components, and the need to view disorders from a holistic framework
  • muscle dysphoria belief that one’s body is too small or insufficiently muscular, extreme dissatisfaction with one’s muscularity

N

  • narcissistic personality disorder characterized by an exaggerated sense of self-importance, an exploitive attitude, and a lack of empathy
  • negative appraisal interpreting events as threatening
  • negative symptoms symptoms of schizophrenia associated with an inability or decreased ability to initiate actions or speech, express emotions, or feel pleasure
  • neurocognitive disorder a disorder that occurs when brain dysfunction affects thinking processes, memory, consciousness, or perception
  • neurodegeneration declining brain functioning due to progressive loss of brain structure, neurochemical abnormalities, or the death of neurons
  • neurodevelopmental disorders conditions involving impaired development of the brain and central nervous system that are evident early in a child’s life
  • neurofibrillary tangles twisted fibers of tau protein found inside the nerve cells of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease
  • neurons nerve cells that transmit messages throughout the body
  • neuroplasticity the ability of the brain to change its structure and function in response to experience
  • neurotransmitters chemical substance released by the axon of the sending neuron and involved in the transmission of neural impulses to the dendrite of the receiving neuron, OR any of a group of chemicals that help transmit messages between neurons
  • nightmare disorder condition involving frightening dreams that produce awakening
  • nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) intentional, self-inflicted harm intended to provide relief from negative feelings or to induce positive feelings; can also involve a preoccupation with engaging in self-harm
  • normal blood pressure the normal amount of force exerted by blood against the artery walls; systolic pressure is less than 120 and diastolic pressure is less than 80

O

  • obesity a condition involving a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30
  • observational learning theory theory that suggests that an individual can acquire new behaviors by watching other people perform them
  • obsession intrusive, repetitive thought or image that produces anxiety
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) condition characterized by intrusive, repetitive anxiety producing thoughts or a strong need to perform acts or dwell on thoughts to reduce anxiety
  • obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) characterized by perfectionism, a tendency to be interpersonally controlling, devotion to details, and rigidity
  • obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) a breathing-related sleep disorder involving partial or complete upper-airway obstruction
  • operant behavior a voluntary and controllable behavior, such as walking or thinking, that “operates” on an individual’s environment
  • operant conditioning a theory of learning that holds that behaviors are controlled by the consequences that follow them
  • operational definition concrete description of the variables that are being studied
  • opioid a painkilling agent that depresses the central nervous system, such as heroin and prescription pain relievers
  • oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) a childhood disorder characterized by negativistic, argumentative, and hostile behavior patterns
  • optimal human functioning qualities such as subjective well-being, optimism, resilience, hope, courage, ability to cope with stress, self-actualization, and self-determinism
  • orbitofrontal cortex brain region associated with planning and decision making
  • oxytocin a powerful hormone that affects social bonding

P

  • panic attack episode of intense fear accompanied by symptoms such as a pounding heart, trembling, shortness of breath, and fear of losing control or dying
  • panic disorder condition involving recurrent, unexpected panic attacks with apprehension over future attacks or behavioral changes to avoid attacks
  • paranoid ideation suspiciousness about the actions or motives of others
  • paranoid personality disorder characterized by distrust and suspiciousness regarding the motives of others
  • paraphilia recurring sexual arousal and gratification by means of mental imagery or behavior involving socially unacceptable objects, situations, or individuals
  • paraphilic disorders sexual disorders in which the person has either acted on or is severely distressed by recurrent urges or fantasies involving nonhuman objects, nonconsenting individuals, or suffering or humiliation
  • parasomnias sleep abnormalities occurring during sleep or in the sleep–wake transition
  • Parkinson’s disease (PD) a progressive disorder characterized by poorly controlled motor movements sometimes followed by cognitive decline
  • pediatric bipolar disorder (PBD) a childhood disorder involving depressive and energized episodes similar to the mood swings seen in adult bipolar disorder
  • pedophilic disorder a disorder in which an adult obtains erotic gratification through urges, acts, or fantasies that involve sexual contact with a prepubescent or early pubescent child
  • personality disorder characterized by impairment in self and interpersonal functioning and the presence of pathological personality traits that are relatively inflexible and long-standing
  • personality psychopathology dysfunctional and maladaptive personality patterns
  • persecutory delusions beliefs of being targeted by others
  • persistent complex bereavement disorder diagnostic category undergoing study; proposed disorder involves persistent sorrow or preoccupation continuing a year after the death of a loved one
  • persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia) condition involving chronic depressive symptoms that are present most of the day for more days than not during a 2-year period with no more than 2 months symptom-free
  • personalized medicine use of a person’s genetic profile to guide decisions about prevention and treatment of disease and mental disorders
  • phenotype observable physical and behavioral characteristics caused by the interaction between the genotype and the environment
  • phobia a strong, persistent, and unwarranted fear of a specific object or situation
  • placebo an ineffectual or sham treatment, such as an inactive substance, used as a control in an experimental study
  • placebo effect improvement produced by expectations of a positive treatment outcome
  • pleasure principle the impulsive, pleasure-seeking aspect of our being from which the id operates
  • polymorphic variation a common DNA mutation of a gene
  • positive symptoms symptoms of schizophrenia that involve unusual thoughts or perceptions, such as delusions, hallucinations, disordered thinking, or bizarre behavior
  • possession the replacement of a person’s sense of personal identity with a supernatural spirit or power
  • positive psychology the philosophical and scientific study of positive human functioning and the strengths and assets of individuals, families, and communities
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) disorder characterized by flashbacks, hypervigilance, avoidance, and other symptoms that last for more than 1 month and that occur as a result of exposure to extreme trauma
  • predisposition a susceptibility to certain symptoms or disorders
  • prefrontal cortex the region of the cortex responsible for executive functioning; allows us to manage our attention, behavior, and emotions
  • prefrontal lobotomy a surgical procedure in which the frontal lobes are disconnected from the remainder of the brain
  • prehypertension a condition believed to be a precursor to hypertension, stroke, and heart disease, characterized by systolic blood pressure of 120 to 139 and
  • prejudice an unfair, preconceived judgment about a person or group based on their supposed characteristics
  • premature (early) ejaculation ejaculation with minimal sexual stimulation before, during, or shortly after penetration
  • premenstrual dysphoric disorder condition involving distressing and disruptive symptoms of depression, irritability, and tension that occur the week before menstruation
  • premorbid before the onset of major symptoms
  • pressured speech rapid, frenzied, or loud, disjointed communication flight of ideas rapidly changing or disjointed thoughts
  • prevalence the percentage of individuals in a targeted population who have a particular disorder during a specific period of time
  • privileged communication a therapist’s legal obligation to protect a client’s privacy and to prevent the disclosure of confidential communications without a client’s permission
  • prognosis prediction of the probable outcome of a disorder, including the chances of full recovery
  • projective personality test testing involving responses to ambiguous stimuli, such as inkblots, pictures, or incomplete sentences
  • provisional diagnosis an initial diagnosis based on currently available information
  • psychache a term created to describe the unbearable psychological hurt, pain, and anguish associated with suicide
  • psychiatric epidemiology the study of the prevalence of mental illness in a society
  • psychoactive substance a substance that alters mood, thought processes, or other psychological states
  • psychoanalysis therapy whose goals are to uncover repressed material, have clients achieve insight into inner motivations and desires, and resolve childhood conflicts that affect current relationships
  • psychodiagnosis assessment and description of an individual’s psychological symptoms, including inferences about what might be causing the psychological distress
  • psychodynamic models models that view disorders as the result of childhood trauma or anxieties and that hold that many of these childhood-based anxieties operate unconsciously
  • psychogenic originating from psychological causes
  • psychological autopsy the systematic examination of existing information after a person’s death for the purpose of understanding and explaining the person’s behavior before death
  • physiological dependence state of adaptation that occurs after chronic exposure to a substance; can result in craving and withdrawal symptoms
  • psychological resilience the capacity to effectively adapt to and bounce back from stress, trauma and other adversity
  • psychological viewpoint the belief that mental disorders are caused by psychological and emotional factors rather than biological influences
  • psychophysiological disorder any physical disorder that has a strong psychological basis or component
  • psychosexual stages in psychodynamic theory, the sequence of stages—oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital—through which human personality develops
  • psychosis loss of contact with reality, including disorganized thinking, false beliefs, or seeing or hearing things that are not there, a condition involving loss of contact with or distorted view of reality
  • psychotherapy a program of systematic intervention with the purpose of improving a client’s behavioral, emotional, or cognitive symptoms
  • psychotropic medications drugs used to treat or manage psychiatric symptoms by influencing brain activity associated with emotions and behavior
  • pure dysthymic syndrome the individual meets the criteria for persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia) and has not had a major depressive episode in the previous 2 years
  • purge to rid the body of unwanted calories by means such as self-induced vomiting or misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or other medications

R

  • rape a form of sexual aggression that involves sexual activity (oral-genital sex, anal intercourse, or vaginal intercourse) performed against a person’s will through the use of force, argument, pressure, alcohol or drugs, or authority
  • rape trauma syndrome a two-phase syndrome that rape survivors may experience, involving such emotional reactions as psychological distress, phobic reactions, and sexual dysfunction
  • rapid cycling the occurrence of four or more mood episodes per year
  • reactive attachment disorder (RAD) a trauma-related disorder characterized by inhibited, avoidant social behaviors and reluctance to seek or respond to attention or nurturing
  • reality principle an awareness of the demands of the environment and of the need to adjust behavior to meet these demands from which the ego operates
  • reappraisal minimizing negative responses by looking at a situation from various perspectives
  • recovery movement philosophy that with appropriate treatment and support those with mental illness can improve and live satisfying lives even with any limitations caused by their illness
  • relaxation training a therapeutic technique in which a person acquires the ability to relax the muscles of the body in almost any circumstance
  • reliability the degree to which a measure or procedure or test yields consistent results, (the same results repeatedly)
  • REM sleep behavior disorder condition involving dream-related vocalizations and motor behavior that occur during REM sleep
  • repressed memory memory of a traumatic event has been repressed and is, therefore, unavailable for recall
  • resistance during psychoanalysis, a process in which the patient unconsciously attempts to impede the analysis by preventing the exposure of repressed material
  • response prevention treatment in which an individual with OCD is prevented from performing a compulsive behavior
  • restricted affect severely diminished or limited emotional responsiveness
  • right to treatment the concept that mental patients who have been involuntarily committed have a right to receive therapy for their condition
  • rumination repeatedly thinking about concerns or details of past events

S

  • schema a set of underlying assumptions heavily influenced by a person’s experiences, values, and perceived capabilities, mental framework for organizing and interpreting information
  • scientific method a method of inquiry that provides for the systematic collection of data, controlled observation, and the testing of hypotheses
  • schizoaffective disorder a condition involving the existence of both symptoms of schizophrenia and major depressive or manic symptoms
  • schizoid personality disorder characterized by detachment from social relationships and limited emotional expression
  • schizotypal personality disorder characterized by peculiar thoughts and behaviors and by poor interpersonal relationships
  • schizophrenia a group of disorders characterized by severely impaired cognitive processes, personality disintegration, mood disturbances, and social withdrawal
  • schizophrenia spectrum group of disorders that range in severity and that have similar clinical features, including some degree of reality distortion
  • schizophreniform disorder psychotic episodes with a duration of at least 1 month but less than 6 months
  • sedatives a class of drugs that have a calming or sedating effect
  • selective amnesia an inability to remember certain details of an event
  • selective mutism consistent failure to speak in certain situations
  • self-actualization an inherent tendency to strive toward the realization of one’s full potential
  • self-concept an individual’s assessment of his or her own value and worth
  • self-efficacy belief in one’s ability to succeed in a specific situation
  • self-schema stable set of beliefs and assumptions about the self that are based on the person’s experiences, values, and perceived capabilities
  • self-stigma acceptance of prejudice and discrimination based on internalized negative societal beliefs or stereotypes
  • separation anxiety disorder severe distress about leaving home, being alone, or being separated from a parent
  • serotonin a neurotransmitter associated with mood, sleep, appetite, and impulsive behavior
  • sexual dysfunction a disruption of any part of the normal sexual response cycle that affects sexual desire, arousal, or response
  • sexual masochism disorder sexual urges, fantasies, or acts that involve being humiliated, bound, or made to suffer
  • sexual sadism disorder sexually arousing urges, fantasies, or acts that involve inflicting physical or psychological suffering on others
  • single-blind design experimental design in which only the participants are unaware of the purpose of the research
  • single-participant experiment an experiment performed on a single individual in which some aspect of the person’s behavior is used as a control or baseline for comparison with future behaviors
  • sleep inertia significant grogginess and impaired alertness after sleeping or napping
  • sleep terrors episodes of intense fear that occur during deep sleep
  • social anxiety disorder (SAD) an intense fear of being scrutinized in social or performance situations
  • social stigma negative societal beliefs about a group, including the view that the group is somehow different from other members of society
  • somatic symptom and related disorders broad grouping of psychological disorders that involve physical symptoms or anxiety over illness, including somatic symptom disorder, illness anxiety disorder, conversion disorder (functional neurological symptom disorder), and factitious disorder
  • somatic symptom disorder (SSD) condition involving a pattern of reporting distressing physical symptoms combined with extreme concern about health or fears of having an undiagnosed medical condition
  • somatic symptom disorder (SSD) with predominant pain SSD involving severe or lingering pain that appears to have no physical basis
  • somatic symptoms physical or bodily symptoms
  • specific phobia an extreme fear of a specific object (such as snakes) or situation (such as being in an enclosed place)
  • specifier specific features associated with a diagnostic category
  • spirituality belief in an animating life force or energy beyond what we can perceive with our senses
  • standardization sample the comparison group on which test norms are based
  • standardization the use of identical procedures in the administration of tests
  • statistical significance the likelihood that a research finding is not due to chance alone
  • stereotype an oversimplified, often inaccurate, image or idea about a group of people
  • stimulant a substance that energizes the central nervous system
  • stress the internal psychological or physiological response to a stressor
  • stressor an external event or situation that places a physical or psychological demand on a person
  • structural imaging procedures that allow for visualization of brain anatomy
  • substance abuse pattern of excessive or harmful use of any substance for mood-altering purposes
  • substance-use disorder condition in which cognitive, behavioral, and physiological symptoms contribute to the continued use of alcohol or drugs despite significant substance-related problems
  • subtype mutually exclusive subgrouping within a diagnosis
  • suicidal ideation thoughts about suicide
  • suicide the intentional, direct, and conscious taking of one’s own life
  • suicidologist a professional who studies the manifestation, dynamics, and prevention of suicides
  • sympathetic nervous system part of the nervous system that automatically performs functions such as increasing heart rate, constricting blood vessels, and raising blood pressure
  • synapse minute gap that exists between the axon of the sending neuron and the dendrites of the receiving neuron
  • syndrome certain symptoms that tend to occur regularly in clusters
  • synergistic effect the result of chemicals (or substances) interacting to multiply one another’s effects
  • systematic desensitization exposure strategy that uses muscle relaxation to reduce the anxiety associated with specific and social phobias
  • systematized amnesia loss of memory for certain categories of information
  •  systolic pressure force on blood vessels when the heart contracts

T

  • tarantism a form of mass hysteria prevalent during the Middle Ages, characterized by wild raving, jumping, dancing, and convulsing
  • Tarasoff ruling a California Supreme Court decision that obligates mental health professionals to break confidentiality when their clients pose a clear and imminent danger to another person
  • temperament innate mental, physical, and emotional traits, innate emotional predisposition or personality traits
  • tension headache head pain produced by prolonged contraction of the scalp and neck muscles, resulting in constriction of the blood vessels and steady pain
  • testosterone a male sex hormone associated with aggression
  • Thanatos according to Freud, an instinctual drive toward death, leading to aggressive actions
  • theory a group of principles and hypotheses that together explain some aspect of a particular area of inquiry
  • tic an involuntary, repetitive movement or vocalization
  • tolerance decreases in the effects of a substance that occur after chronic use
  • Tourette’s disorder (TD) a condition characterized by multiple motor tics and one or more vocal tics
  • trait a distinguishing quality or characteristic of a person, including a tendency to feel, perceive, behave, or think in relatively consistent manner
  • transference process by which a patient reenacts early conflicts by applying to the analyst feelings and attitudes that the patient had toward significant others in the past
  • transgender identity a person’s innate psychological identification as male or female does not correspond with the person’s biological sex sexual orientation sexual identity involving the gender to which a person is physically and emotionally attracted
  • transient ischemic attack (TIA) a “mini-stroke” resulting from temporary blockage of arteries
  • transvestic disorder intense sexual arousal obtained through cross-dressing (wearing clothes appropriate to a different gender)
  • traumatic brain injury (TBI) a physical wound or internal injury to the brain
  • treatment plan a proposed course of therapy, developed collaboratively by a therapist and client, that addresses the client’s most distressing mental health symptoms
  • treatment-resistant depression depressive episode that has not improved despite an adequate trial of antidepressant medication or other traditional forms of treatment
  • trephining a surgical method from the Stone Age in which part of the skull was chipped away to provide an opening through which an evil spirit could escape
  • triangle of love according to Sternberg, the three components of love: passion, intimacy, and commitment
  • trichotillomania recurrent and compulsive hair pulling that results in hair loss and causes significant distress

U

  • ultimate attribution error the tendency to make dispositional attributions about an entire group of people consistent with our prejudice against that group
  • unconditional positive regard an attitude of acceptance and respect on the part of an observer, no matter what a person says or does
  • unconditioned response (UCR) in classical conditioning, the unlearned response made to an unconditioned stimulus, a response that is natural and needs no training (e.g., salivation at the smell of food)
  • unconditioned stimulus (UCS) in classical conditioning, the stimulus that elicits an unconditioned response, the stimulus that naturally brings about a particular response without having been learned
  • unconscious a part of the personality that contains the memories, knowledge, beliefs, feelings, urges, drives, and instincts of which the
    individual is not aware
  • unconscious wish fulfillment theory Sigmund Freud’s theory that dreams represent unconscious wishes that dreamers desire to see fulfilled
  • universal shamanic tradition (UST) a set of belief and practices from nonwestern indigenous psychologies that assume special healers are blessed with powers to act as intermediaries or messengers between the human and spirit worlds
  • uninvolved parents parents who show little interest in their children and are emotionally detached
  • universal grammar Noam Chomsky’s theory that all the world’s languages share a common underlying structure

V

  • vaginismus involuntary spasm of the outer third of the vaginal wall that prevents or interferes with sexual intercourse
  • validity the extent to which a test or procedure actually measures what it was designed to measure, a degree to which an instrument measures what it was developed to measure, the property by which tests actually measure what they are supposed to measure
  • variable-interval schedule a schedule by which the time between reinforcements varies around some average rather than being fixed
  • variable-ratio schedule a schedule by which reinforcement occurs after a varying number of responses rather than after a fixed number
  • variables behaviors, events, or other characteristics that can change, or vary, in some way
  • vascular neurocognitive disorder condition involving decline in cognitive skills due to reduced blood flow to the brain
  • visual illusions physical stimuli that consistently produce errors in perception
  • vocal tic an audible tic such as coughing, grunting, throat clearing, sniffling, or making sudden, vocal outbursts
  • voyeuristic disorder urges, acts, or fantasies that involve observing an unsuspecting person disrobing or engaging in sexual activity

W

  • withdrawal adverse physical and psychological symptoms that occur after reducing or ceasing intake of a substance
  • wear-and-tear theories of aging Theories that suggest that the mechanical functions of the body simply stop working efficiently
  • Weber’s law a basic law of psychophysics stating that a just noticeable difference is a constant proportion to the intensity of an initial stimulus
    (rather than a constant amount)
  • weight set point the particular level of weight that the body strives to maintain
  • working memory a set of active, temporary memory stores that actively manipulate and rehearse information

Z

  • zone of proximal development (ZPD) According to Vygotsky, the level at which a child can almost, but not fully, comprehend or perform a task on his or her own
  • zygote The new cell formed by the union of an egg and sperm
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