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Glossary of Psychology Terms and Definitions

Glossary of Psychology Terms and Definitions

The psychology terms explained in the following article would definitely help one get into the psyche of different concepts of psychology.
Shashank Nakate
An interesting branch of science, psychology portrays a whole new world of the human mind. Psychology is a systematic study of different phenomena such as cognition, perception, attention, motivation, emotion, personality, behavior, etc.

Psychology Terms and Meanings - Glossary of Psychology Terms and Definitions

The science of psychology incorporates a multitude of disciplines and concepts, which explain and further study the mind in detail. The mind is studied from different angles, aspects, and facets in a systematic manner in this branch of science. The mental behavior is understood from different perspectives, analyzed, and interpreted in order to create a knowledge pool encoded in the form of different psychology words related to the study of mind. The mind is studied not just for the sake of theoretical analysis of the complexities, but also to understand the practical application of the knowledge obtained through these studies. The field of psychology has witnessed the rise of various branches and sub-branches, which would further enrich it. This PsycholoGenie article deals with the different psychology terms and meanings, which are helpful in learning about this vast field that studies the human mind.

Psychology Terms and Definitions - Glossary of Psychology Terminology, Words and Phrases

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Abductive Reasoning
It is a process through which a person tries to show the connection between unrelated facts and uses his intuitive thinking power for the same. Induction and deduction are the states which succeed the process of abductive reasoning.

Abnormal Psychology
It is the branch of psychology that deals with the disorders/deviations or the abnormal behavior of the mind. It is a broad subject and covers the study of depression, obsession, compulsion, sexual deviation, etc. The experts, who are associated with the study of this field are the psychotherapists, clinical psychologists, and counselors.

It is a behavioral attribute that reflects the deviation of mind from its normal state or typical behavior. Abnormality being a subjective concept, it could be reflected in different forms.

In psychoanalytical terminology, the activity of reliving an experience to clear or purge the emotional baggage associated with it is called abreaction.

The activity of retaining the relevant information required for a particular purpose by generalizing it, is known as abstraction. In the process of abstraction, the original information is extracted or summarized to form a reduced, resultant content.

In this state, the subject is unable to make decisions or take an initiative. Earlier, aboulia was known as the Blocq's disease.

The activity of using or treating oneself with something that is harmful is known as abuse. The various things subjected to abuse could be a person, substance, idea, item, vocabulary, etc. Child abuse, elder abuse, animal abuse, and drug abuse are some of the categories of abuse.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
The acceptance and commitment therapy is aimed at increasing the psychological flexibility of a person. It is a branch of cognitive-behavioral therapy, and is a kind of psychological intervention based on observational, experimental, and experiential information collection methods.

The acceptance of new information, ideas, and experiences results to the alteration of the existing schemas or thoughts. The process is termed as accommodation.

A process, which is used for the presentation of certification of authority, competency, or credibility is termed as accreditation.

A cognitive architecture developed at the Carnegie Mellon University, ACT-R stands for Adaptive Control of Thought-Rational, and defines the perceptual and irreducible operations performed by the human mind to complete a task.

Acting Out
It is the term used for an action that is performed, going by the impulsive behavior, rather than constructively responding to a particular situation. Such actions are generally anti-social in nature, and the person might end up causing harm to himself or others.

Action Research
The process called action research is aimed at improving the manner, in which, problems are solved. For an action research to be fruitful, combined efforts of people striving towards a common goal are required. It is kind of an introspective process, which gives emphasis on improving the practices, strategies, and knowledge of the environment, in which, the group of people or system operates.

Action Science
It is a collaborative work developed by Chris Argyris, (New Jersey, USA) which focuses on providing practical solutions to problems through the generation of knowledge. It was created by Chris Argyris in collaboration with Robert Putnam, Donald Schon, and Diana McLain Smith.

Active Intellect
The formal aspect of the mind or intellect is referred to using the term active intellect. It is the term used in philosophical studies, and falls in line with the theory of hylomorphism. The idea of active intellect was, at first cited in the book 'De Anima', written by Aristotle.

Active Learning
The different models of instructions, which emphasize on encouraging the learners to take responsibility of learning, come under the common terminology called active learning. The concept of active learning originated and developed from the concept of discovery learning.

Activity Theory
As per the activity theory, engagement and interaction of individuals with the environment results into the creation of tools, which are the real world manifestation of their mental processes. The creation or production of these tools makes the mental processes to be communicable and accessible to people easily. This psychological meta-theory originated in Russia, and was founded by Alexei N. Leont'ev and Sergei Rubinshtein.

The term actualization, which is used in reference with self-actualization is defined as the process of realizing one's potential. The term is used to explain various theories of psychology, and was introduced by Kurt Goldstein, an organismic theorist. According to Abraham Maslow, actualization is the final stage of psychological development that is reached, after all the basic and mental needs of an individual are fulfilled.

Adaptive Behavior
The behavior used for adjusting to a different or new situation is known as adaptive behavior. Such kind of behavior is often used for substituting disruptive behavior with constructive or positive behavior.

In terms of psychology, addiction is described as excessive psychological dependence on a particular thing. A person could be addicted to drugs, money, work, gambling, eating, nicotine, pornography, computer, video games, etc.

Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
It is a psychiatric disorder commonly diagnosed in children, and is characterized by hyperactivity and attention problems. ADHD is the abbreviated form of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and around 3-5% children are affected by this problem globally.

It is the activity of balancing the needs that conflict with each other. Adjustment is a behavioral attribute found in both, human beings and animals. It also means - to overcome the obstacles presented by the environment in order to fulfill the needs.

Adjustment Disorder
It is a disorder, in which, an individual is unable to make the necessary adjustments required to fulfill the needs and to overcome the stress related problems.

Adolescent Psychology
The interests and issues pertaining to adolescents are addressed in the discipline of adolescent psychology. The emotional issues faced in the phase of adolescence i.e., during the transitional stage between childhood and adulthood are studied under this science.

The feeling or experience that is associated with an emotion is termed affect. In other context, the act of displaying or exhibiting the emotions through gestures or facial expressions can also be described as affect.

Affectional Bond
It is the term used for the attachment between two individuals, and which is displayed through their behavior. Attachment between a mother and child is the best example of affectional bond. The term was coined by John Bowlby, and it underwent development during the period between 1940s and 1970s.

Affectional Orientation
The term affectional orientation is used to define a feeling or emotion that directs an individual to fall in love with another person. It is a broad term, which includes many other emotions including sexual orientation.

Affective Disorder
The disturbances that occur in a person's mood are grouped under a common term, affective disorders. The term was replaced by mood disorder since, the former explains about the external reflection of expressions caused by the underlying emotional disturbances. Mood disorder, however, reflects the mental or emotional state of a person in an exact manner.

Affective Flattening
It is the state or condition, in which, a person doesn't exhibit emotional reactivity. Affective flattening, which is also known as blunted affect, is characterized by hypervigilance, recurring nightmares, avoidance of stress, etc.

Affective Forecasting
The activity of forecasting one's own emotional state of future is termed as affective forecasting. Systematic errors in the thought process, also known as cognitive biases, are the causes behind a person suffering from affective forecasting.

Affect Display
The exhibition of 'affect' or the emotions through gestures, facial expressions, or vocalizations (laughing, crying, etc.,) is termed as affect display. It holds importance from the point of view of interpersonal communication.

Affective Science
The scientific study of emotions or affect is known as affective science. The different subjects or components studied in this discipline are, the recognition of emotion, emotional experience, and emotion elicitation. The neurological and physiological aspects of mood, decision making, emotionally driven behavior, self regulation, and attention are studied in this field of affective science.

It is the effect of past events, which influences the mental state and daily schedule of activities of an individual. The word was coined by Eric Berne, who is known as the father of transactional analysis.

It is a kind of optical illusion, which results into an individual seeing the image of an object even after it has been removed from his sight. The afterimage of a light bulb is a common example observed in day-to-day life. The phenomenon of persistence of vision is related to afterimage since, a rapid portrayal of pictures in a series causes an illusion of a continuous motion picture.

Age Regression
The age regression technique is a part of many different therapies including hypnotherapy. Using this technique, an individual tries to access his memory which would take him to an earlier phase of life. The whole activity is aimed at finding information about those aspects of the personality which are difficult to access.

The behavior of an individual which incorporates the intention of causing harm or pain to another individual is known as aggression. Aggression could be reflected in different forms such as mental, verbal and physical. The term assertiveness is often confused with aggression.

It is the process of accumulation of changes in an individual. The changes that take place are psychological, physiological as well as social. In psychological terms, aging results in the expansion of knowledge and wisdom of a person.

Agitated Depression
It is a state of mind which exhibits the symptoms of depression and mania simultaneously. In this state, a person might display impulsiveness, irritability, guilt, anxiety, fatigue, agitation, paranoia, panic, etc.

The state of restlessness or excitement of emotions is referred to as agitation. The extreme form of this agitation is termed as psychomotor agitation.

The state in which an individual is unable to identify or recognize persons, objects, shapes, sounds or smells is called agnosia. The condition is however, not associated with memory loss or any kind of impairment of sensory organs. It is a neurological disorder which results from damage to the occipitotemporal border, a part of the ventral stream.

It is a state or condition in which an individual is unable to remain still or motionless. The syndrome which is also known as 'acathasia', is actually a manifestation of side effects to medicines such as phenothiazines, butryophenones, thioxanthenes, etc. The Parkinson's disease could be one of the reasons behind the cause of akathasia.

Alcohol Amnestic Disorder
The alcohol amnestic disorder is caused by the deficiency of thiamine (vitamine B1) and the symptoms of this disorder include retrograde amnesia, anterogade amnesia, confabulation, apathy and lack of insight. Also known as Korsakoff's syndrome.

The disorder in which a person resorts to compulsive alcohol consumption and loses the ability to recognize its adverse effects is termed as alcoholism. It is a kind of addiction and is known as dipsomania. There are many side-effects of alcoholism including stress, degeneration of emotional health, etc.

The term alexia is used to denote the acquired form called dyslexia. The person suffering from this problem loses his ability to read.

The state in which a person face problems in dealing with emotions is known as alexithymia. The person suffering from this disorder loses his capability of understanding and conveying the emotions.

The process of disintegration of the perceptual and cognitive powers of the mind is termed as alienation.

It is another term used for psychiatrist. An alienist is a person who is certified to treat mental disorders and has received proper training for diagnostic evaluation and psychotherapy.

Liking or love felt for people despite being from different race, religion, nationality, class, gender, etc. is termed as allophilia. The word ft, which also means 'positive attitudes', is used as an antonym to 'negative prejudices' and various terms such as racism, classicism, speciesism, ageism, phallocentricism, etc.

The term alogia is used for the condition in which a person is unable to speak fluently. Alogia is also known as 'poverty of speech' and it is one of the symptoms observed in people suffering from schizophrenia. Inability to speak fluently makes it difficult to treat alogia.

Altered State of Consciousness
The term was coined by Charles Tart in 1969 and is used to describe the state of the mind which has undergone temporary change. The beta wave that is used to designate the activity of brain is altered during this phase of the mind.

Alzheimer's Disease
The Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative disease in which the patient suffers from a long term decline in the cognitive functions. Memory loss associated with difficulty to remember the facts that have been learned recently are the common symptoms of the Alzheimer's disease. In the further or advanced stages of the disease, the patient becomes irritable, aggressive and faces mood swings.

It is the state of mind in which a person has mixed emotions or conflicting feelings towards a particular thing or person. The emotions or thoughts of positive as well as negative valence are experienced by a person in this mental state. The expressions such as 'sitting on the fence' and 'cold feet' are used to describe the condition or state of ambivalence.

It is the term used for memory loss or the disturbance in the memory. The causes of memory loss could range from trauma and brain injury to the use of sedative drugs. The psychological factors like the defense mechanisms are the functional cause of amnesia. One of the examples of such kind of amnesia is hysterical post-traumatic amnesia. The transient global amnesia which is commonly observed in middle-aged people is spontaneous in nature.

The term amok is derived from the Filipino word amuk, which means 'mad with rage'. The term is commonly used in context of 'running amok' or to simply to describe a violent or wild behavior. A person who runs amok, or goes out of control, tends to injure or kill others.

The term anal-retentive is used to describe a type of personality or behavior in which a person is obsessed with or gives extra importance to the details.

Anal Stage
The anal stage is the phase in the life of a child between 1 to 2 years of age. This phase of the child's life is associated with toilet training. The successful completion of this stage depends on the interaction of parents with the children. During this phase, the child faces conflicts pertaining to ego, id and super ego.

A cognitive process employed to transfer information from the source or analog subject to the target subject is termed as analogy. A linguistic expression that corresponds to process of information transference is the result of this cognitive process. The role of analogy is considered to be important in the areas like problem solving, perception, decision making, memory, explanation, emotion and communication.

The activity of studying the psychological behavior and functioning of human beings is carried out under the term, analysand. Analysand, which is also known as psychoanalysis, could be used in the investigation of the mind, as a method of treatment for emotional or psychological illnesses and in the form of set of systematized theories of human behavior.

Analytical Psychology
It is a branch of psychology, proposed by a psychiatrist from Switzerland, Carl Jung. Analytical psychology is thus, also known as Jungian psychology. Apprehension and integration of the underlying motivations and deep forces of human behavior is the prime objective of practicing analytical psychology. The study of accumulative phenomenology in relation to the significance of folklore, dreams and mythology helps in achieving the objective.

Analytical Psychodrama
It is a kind of psychotherapy which makes use of three activities or concepts i.e. role playing, observation of mental activities and using of transfer for the purpose of treatment.

The tendency of the human mind to make use of just one piece of information or trait in order to make decisions is termed as anchoring.

A state in which a person is unable to derive pleasure from day-to-day activities like exercise, eating, social interaction, etc. is called anhedonia.

Anorexia Nervosa
It is a disorder in which the person suffers from the fear of gaining weight. Anorexia nervosa is a psychiatric illness, in which the person doesn't gain weight and his body image too, is distorted.

Anterograde Amnesia
In this disorder, the person loses his ability to create or form memories with the occurrence of the event that caused amnesia.

Anti-social Behavior
It is a type of behavior which shows no consideration for others and lack of judgment. Anti-social behavior of an individual might cause damage to the property of others. Such kind of behavior is the manifestation of the anti-social personality disorder.

The energy derived by an individual from the superego in order to run the ego is termed as anticathexis.

An emotion that involves the feeling of pleasure or anxiety with regards to an unexpected event is called anticipation. Depending on the event, emotions could either be positive or those associated with irritation. As per the psycho-evolutionary theory of Robert Plutchik, anticipation is considered to be one of the eight emotions that are basic in nature.

The term antilocution is used to define the verbal remarks that are used against a person or community without addressing them directly to the target. The term can be understood perfectly with the help of the phrase, 'talking behind someone's back'. The term which was defined by Gordon Allport a psychologist, in his book 'Nature of Prejudice' has far reaching effects causing the behavior to become prejudiced.

The term antipathy could be simply explained as the opposite of sympathy. The cause or reason behind a person exhibiting antipathy could be an experience of the past. At times, an individual might exhibit antipathy without any reason that fits in the cause-and-effect explanation theory.

A feeling that is unpleasant and which is associated with fear, uneasiness or worry is termed as anxiety. It is a psychological state characterized by emotional, cognitive, behavioral and somatic components.

Anxiety Disorder
It is an umbrella term used to cover the different types of anxieties and fears that were included in psychiatry at the end of the 19th century.

Advanced Placement Psychology (A P Psychology)
It is a course that is prepared for those who are interested in studying psychology. This course is offered under the Advanced Placement Program of the College Board, an examination board in the USA.

The state in which a person suppresses his emotions like motivation, excitement, concern, passion, etc. is known as apathy. An apathetic individual exhibits sluggishness and doesn't show interest in the social, emotional or physical life.

It is the state in which a person loses his sexual desire.

It is a disorder in which any of the language modality of a person gets impaired. In this acquired language disorder, the person is not able to understand or produce written or spoken language.

The process through which an individual assimilates and transforms a new experience with the help of the residuum of the experience of past is termed as apperception. Thus, it is the process of understanding the new experience with the help of or in relation to the older experiences.

Applied Behavior Analysis
The application of behavioral principles that are derived from experiments for bringing about an improvement in the socially significant behavior is termed as application behavior analysis.

Approach-Avoidance Conflicts
The approach-avoidance conflicts are the situations or scenarios that a person faces while choosing between something that is positive but, has negative valence. Such conflicts result from an emotional state of the mind called ambivalence and they cause stress.

Aptitude Test
It is a test conducted in order to measure the aptitude, knowledge and skills of a person. The measurement of the above mentioned attributes is done by obtaining responses of the examinee towards a certain set of questions. The test is used in the fields like education, psychology, counseling and military. Read more on psychometric testing.

Artificial Creativity
The objective of artificial or computational creativity is to simulate, model or replicate the creativity through the use of a computer. The purpose that is served by the above endeavor is the creation of a computer that is capable of human-level creativity, formulation of an algorithmic perspective on the creative behavior of human beings, and creation of tools which help to enhance human creativity.

Asian Psychology
The psychological concepts which relate themselves to the Asian setting are studied in the ethnic psychology called Asian psychology.

Asperger Syndrome
The people suffering from the Asperger syndrome face difficulties in social interaction. Repetitive and restricted behavior patterns are the other symptoms of this syndrome.

It is a personality trait characterized by the behavior of communicating without being afraid to speak one's mind. Assertive people are known to defend their personal boundaries without being aggressive or passive.

Atkinson-Shiffrin Model
It is a psychological model that proposes the structure of memory. As per the Atkinson-Shiffrin model, there are three sequential stages of human memory called the short-term memory, long-term memory and sensory memory.

The behavior of person which shows or displays his proximity to another individual and which is the result of the activity of a number of behavioral systems is termed as attachment.

Attachment Theory
The theory that is concerned with the study of relationships between human beings from the psychological, ethological and evolutionary perspectives is termed as attachment theory.

Attachment Disorder
The disorder which crops up from a person's inability to develop a bond or attachment with the 'primary care giving figures' in his stages of childhood is termed as attachment disorder. This mood related disorder results into problematic expectations and behavior in the social life. Read more on reactive attachment disorder.

A cognitive process in which one tries to focus his mind on a single aspect while ignoring the others is termed as attention.

Attention Span
It is the amount of time for which an individual focuses his attention on a particular thing without getting distracted is termed as attention span.

A hypothetical concept that is used to denote the degree of like or dislike an individual exhibits for a particular thing is termed as attitude. Attitude is associated with positive or negative views that a person has about places, events or other people altogether.

A term used in social psychology, attribution refers to the manner in which an individual describes or explains the cause of events, his own behavior and also the behavior of others associated with the events.

Attribution Theory
It is a social psychology theory which deals with the study of different ways in which people try to explain their own behavior and also of those around them. Read more on attribution theory of social psychology.

Attributional Bias
The cognitive bias that affects the process of decision making as to what or who is responsible for a particular cause of events is termed as attributional bias.

Atypical Depression
It is a disorder which is characterized by mood reactivity. A person with this disorder experiences improved mood in response to positive events.

Audience Effect
The impact or effect that a passive audience has on the performance of the task taken up by a person is termed as audience effect.

It is the term used in the study of psychology and philosophy to denote the degree of truth that one holds towards his own spirit, personality, character, etc.

Authoritarian Personality
The type of personality which is characterized by the traits such as authoritarian submission, conventionalism, anti-intraception, authoritarian aggression, superstition, power, stereotypy, destructiveness, toughness, projectivity, cynicism and exaggerated concerns over sexuality is called authoritarian personality.

The disorder which is characterized by impaired communication and social interaction is termed as autism. Repetitive and restricted behavior are some of the other symptoms found in people with this disorder.

Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule
It is the standardized protocol used for the assessment of communicative and social behavior associated with autism.

It is the type of paraphilia in which a person puts himself in life-threatening situations in order to gets aroused sexually.

The term autodidacticism is used as a substitute for the self-directed learning or self-education.

The activity of sexually stimulating oneself in the absence of any external stimulus is termed as autoeroticism.

Automatic Behavior
The production of motor or verbal behavior spontaneously without the person being conscious about it, is termed as automatic behavior. Such kind of behavior is exhibited by individuals suffering from schizophrenia, epilepsy, psychogenic fugue, narcolepsy, etc. Read on famous people with narcolepsy.

Automatic Thought
The model or forms constructed by the mind in order to deal with the world and achieve the objectives and goals are known as thoughts or 'automatic thoughts'. Read more on automatic writing.

Availability Heuristic
The phenomenon in which an individual tries to predict the frequency of a particular event or the proportion that is found in a population is termed as availability heuristic.

Aversion Therapy
It is a therapy in which a stimulus is provided to the patient while simultaneously being exposed to a form of discomfort. The aversion therapy conditions the mind of the patient in such a manner that the stimulus is associated with the discomfort caused. The treatment is used to stop certain undesirable behavior.

The unpleasant stimuli that are used to induce behavioral changes through punishment are known as aversives. The use of aversives help in curbing the undesirable behavior.

Avoidance Learning
In avoidance learning the consequences are used to modify the form and occurrence of a particular behavior.

Avoidant Personality Disorder
It is a disorder in which a person exhibits characteristics like social inhibition, sensitivity to negative evaluation and feeling of inadequacy. People suffering from this disorder tend to avoid social interaction.

A psychological state in which a person lacks the desire, motivation or drive that is required to pursue a meaningful goal is termed as avolition. The patients with schizophrenia commonly exhibit this symptom and it is one of the four important symptoms of the disorder.

The ability or state in which a person can feel, perceive or is conscious about the sensory patterns, objects or events around him is termed as awareness.


Backward Conditioning
The process in which a conditioned stimulus follows the unconditioned stimulus is termed as backward conditioning.

Barnes Akathisia Scale
The 'Barnes Akathisia' is a rating scale used in the assessment of the severity of drug-induced akathisia.

Barnes Maze
It is a tool used for the measurement of memory and spatial learning in psychological laboratory experiments.

Beck's Cognitive Triad
The triad which involves negative thoughts about the self, world and the future is termed as Beck's cognitive triad. People suffering from depression exhibit such negative emotions or feelings.

The actions and reactions of an individual that he displays or exhibits in relation to the surroundings or environment is termed as the behavior of that person.

Behavior Change
The transformation or modification that takes place in a person's behavior is known as behavior change.

Behavior Modification
The improvement in behavior which is brought about by the implementation of behavior change techniques that are demonstrated empirically is termed as behavior modification. Read more on behavior modification.

Behavior Therapy
A form of psychotherapy which is used in the treatment of anxiety disorders, depression, and phobias is known as behavior therapy.

Behavioral Communication
The subject or discipline which studies various day-to-day behavior in communication is termed as behavioral communication.

Behavioral Imprinting
A kind of phase-sensitive learning during which an individual learns rapidly and which is independent of behavioral consequences is termed as behavioral imprinting or just imprinting. Behavioral imprinting occurs at a certain phase or stage of life during which the person learns the characteristics of some stimuli.

Behavioral Psychology
It is a branch of psychology which is based on the proposition that thinking, feeling and all the other actions performed by an individual are different forms of his behavior.

Behavioral Science
The science which deals with the exploration of different activities of living organisms and the interactions that takes place between them is termed as behavioral science.

It is a psychological state in which a premise or proposition is held to be true by an individual.

It is one of the needs of human beings through which they feel connected to or accepted by social groups, family, peers, etc.

The feeling or response that a person exhibits upon losing something or someone is termed as bereavement or grief.

The practice of sex between animals and human beings is termed as bestiality.

Bias Disorder
The disorder in which an individual is inclined towards violence and believes that war is the ultimate solution to problems is defined as bias disorder.

In this disorder, an individual has the habit of collecting books excessively. The problem might result into the person damaging his health and social relations.

It is a hypothesis which presents the argument that the human brain is in a state called bicameral mind. The bicameral mind operates in such a manner that one part of the brain gives orders while the other one listens to it.

Binge Eating
It is a disorder in which an individual consumes excessive amount of food rapidly. The person suffering from binge eating feels ashamed about the habit of over-eating and might suffer from depression.

Biological Psychology
The branch of science in which the knowledge of biology is applied in studying the behavior and mental processes is termed as biological psychology.

Bipolar Disorder
In this disorder, a person suffers from episodes of elevated mood and depression. Since an individual is subject to extreme conditions such as mania (elevated mood) and depression, the problem is termed as bipolar disorder.


Cabin Fever
A claustrophobic reaction that results from an individual being isolated for a considerably long period of time in a situation where he has nothing to do is termed as cabin fever.

The process in which one or more inputs are converted into more than one results is termed as calculation.

Cannon-Bard Theory
The Cannon-Bard theory states that any particular action is preceded by the person feeling its related emotions at first. The actions could be perspiration, muscular tension, etc.

Cassandra Phenomenon
A state of mind (also known as Cassandra metaphor) in which valid concerns or warnings are disbelieved is termed as Cassandra phenomenon.

It is a nervous condition which causes the muscles to go rigid and the posture fixed. This condition or state is characterized by loss of sensitivity to pain.

It is a rare disease found in 5 out 10,000 people which results into the affected person losing muscle tone. People with narcolepsy are prone to this problem which is often triggered by emotions and associated with Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS).

The process of recognizing, differentiating and understanding objects and ideas is termed as categorization.

It is a syndrome that is associated with motoric and psychic disturbances such as post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, etc. It could also be related to autoimmune disorders and infections such as encephalitis. Catatonic stupor and Catatonic schizophrenia are the variations of this syndrome while catatonic excitement is another term used to refer to catatonia.

The process in which an individual invests or spends his emotional or mental energy in an idea, object or another person is referred to as cathexis.

The tendency or habit which causes a person to concentrate or focus on a single aspect or facet of a particular thing and neglect the other ones is termed as centration.

Classical Adlerian Psychology
In this therapy, the aim or objective is to help the clients overcome their insecurities by developing a deep connectedness. The psychotherapist indulges in a dialog with the client and corrects his mistaken attitudes, feelings and behavior regarding himself and the world.

Clinical Psychology
The scientific study of psychology and its application in order to understand, prevent and relieve dysfunction or distress that is psychologically-based is termed as clinical psychology. Personal development and subjective well-being are promoted through this therapy.

It is defined as the processing of thoughts and in psychological terms it is referred to as processing of information.


Daydream is roughly defined as a visionary fantasy (pleasant thoughts, ambitions, hopes, etc.) which is experienced by people while being awake. They may be related to an experience from the past or a future plan. The concept of daydream or daydreaming is hard to define because, there are many variations or types of this psychological phenomenon.

The state in which a person loses his focus and perception followed by cognition in a sudden manner is referred to as delirium. It is an acute syndrome which might develop quickly within hours or even few days.

A belief that is fixed in the mind of a person and which could either be fanciful, false or derived from a deception is known as delusion.

It is a disorder characterized by low self-esteem, low mood and lack of interest in the activities to be performed in daily life.

Developmental Psychology
It is the branch of psychology in which a scientific study is carried out regarding the psychological changes that occur in an individual during the lifetime.

Differential Psychology
It is the branch of psychology in which the measurable differences between individuals are studied.

Discursive Psychology
It is the branch of psychology which deals with the analysis of patterns or discourses of meanings in order to study the functioning of the language.

Disorganized Schizophrenia
It is the type of schizophrenia in which the patient displays disorganized speech and behavior along with schizophasia.

It is the state in which a person is confused about place, time, direction and identity. The problem of disorientation arises as a result of intoxication or delirium.

Déjà vu
It is the experience about which a person feels sure that it has happened in the past and the circumstances of the two experiences could be different. Also known as paramnesia. Read more on Deja Vu.


Early Intervention in Psychosis
The clinical approach employed in dealing with the early symptoms of psychosis is termed as early intervention in psychosis. A psychotic condition if detected early, helps in providing treatment at the right time.

The state in which a person when repeats the vocalizations made by someone else is referred to as echolalia. People suffering from disorders like Tourette syndrome, autism, Rubenstein-tayabi syndrome, aphasia, schizophrenia, developmental disability, Alzheimer's disease, Asperger syndrome, etc. may exhibit echolalia.

The state or condition in which a person involuntarily imitates or repeats the movements of others is termed as echopraxia. Echopraxia is a behavioral phenomenon and thus, it is different from what is considered to be 'tic'. The sudden, non-rhythmic, repetitive vocalization or motor movements (throat clearing, eye blinking, toe crunching, etc.) are known as tics.

Ecological Psychology
It is the term used for the study of interactions and interrelationships between an individual and his surroundings in terms of information exchange, learning, problem solving, etc.

Economic Psychology
It is the branch of psychology which studies the cognitive, emotional, social and human factors involved in the process of decision making by consumers, investors, borrowers, etc. The effects of the decisions being made on returns, market prices, allocation of resources, etc. too, is studied.

Educational Psychology
It is the scientific study of the learning process, the psychology of teaching, effectiveness of educational interventions and the social psychology of institutions like schools which impart education.

Ego Psychology
It is the psychoanalysis model derived from Sigmond Freud's concept of 'id-ego-superego'. The objective of studying ego psychology is to understand the development of ego, its management and adaptation to reality.

The state in which an individual is incapable of differentiating between the self and the world completely, is defined as egocentrism. An egocentric person understands, analyzes and interprets the world in his own terms.

Emotional Intelligence
It is the term used to describe the capacity or ability of individuals to manage the emotions of one's self and people in general.

Emotional Reasoning
A cognitive error in which a person, when makes decision in the state of nervousness or anxiousness, relies on the emotional reactions in determining a course of action.

Experimental Psychology
The objective or prime aim of experimental psychology is to discover the processes that lie beneath the cognition and behavior of individuals. The above mentioned objective is attained through different means such as studying the emotions, motivating individuals and understanding the social psychology.


It is basically a personality test which is used in the measurement of authoritarian personality. The letter 'F', included in the term stands for the word 'fascism'. The different components of authoritarianism like authoritarian aggression, conventionalism, authoritarian submission, superstition, anti-intraception, cynicism, destructiveness, toughness, projectivity, etc. are measured with the help of F-scale.

Face Perception
The process which enables a person (mind and brain) to recognize and interpret a face is referred to as face perception.

Facial Expression
A form of nonverbal communication used by humans as well as animals (mostly mammals) in conveying social information is known as facial expression.

Factitious Disorders
A states or condition in which people try to exaggerate or feign the symptoms of a disease are known as factitious disorders.

Faculty Psychology
According to faculty psychology, the human mind is defined as the collection or congregation of different faculties or modules which perform the different tasks assigned to them.

Family Therapy
It is a kind of psychotherapy which helps in nurturing the change and development that takes place among family relationships. The interactions that take place between family members have an impact on their psychological health.

The imaginative thoughts, desires or feelings of an individual that are far from reality or impossible altogether is known as fantasy. The fantasies of different persons differ with their imagination power. The fantasies could also be sexual in nature.

It is a basic survival mechanism or emotional response to a threat or specific stimuli. The stimuli or threat may be that of pain or danger of losing one's life. Fear is generally experienced by an individual with respect to a particular worsening situation.

Folk Psychology
It is the collection of constructs, assumptions and convictions which together make up a language used in daily life for the discussion of human psychology.

A property that is exhibited by a person, belief or action and which indicates the presence of poor learning abilities or low intelligence in that person or entity is termed as foolishness.

Forensic Psychology
The study of psychology, taking into account the jargon or language related to the criminal justice forms the core of forensic psychology. The ability to testify in the court and the formulation of the findings from the field of psychology into the legal language are the important aspects of forensic psychology. Read more on Forensic Psychology.


Gender Narcissism
It is a form of narcissism, in which the over-perception or over-emphasis of gender or the difference between genders during childhood results in either the over-valuation or devaluation of one gender, later in the adulthood. The concept of gender narcissism can be explained on the basis of theories like 'castration complex' and 'penis envy' posited by Sigmond Freud.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder
A disorder which is characterized by uncontrollable, irrational and excessive worry with respect to daily life activities is termed as generalized anxiety disorder. The magnitude of worry experienced by an individual with this disorder is in excess, if compared with the actual cause or problem.

Gestalt Psychology
The gestalt psychology is actually a theory which proposes that the working or functioning of the brain is in a manner that is holistic, analog and parallel. The emphasis is placed on the concept or phrase that, 'the whole is greater than the sum of parts'.

The study of gnosis i.e. the knowledge of infinite, uncreated and divine in terms of cognitive psychology is termed as gnosology.

The positive emotion which is exhibited in response or acknowledgment of a favor or benefits that one has received is termed as gratitude.

It is a facial expression that is used to display or exhibit the emotions like contempt, complacency, disapprobation, etc.

Group Polarization
The human tendency of making decisions that are extreme in nature, when in a group is termed as group polarization. An individual makes a different decision when alone.

Group Psychological Abuse
The methods through which the members of a group are psychologically abused in a systematic manner and on a frequent basis is known as group psychological abuse.

Group Psychotherapy
It is a kind of psychotherapy in which a group of people is treated by one or more psychotherapists. In this form of psychotherapy, the interrelationships between a group are explored, examined and developed by utilizing group processes or the group context.

Group Synergy
The concept of group synergy which is also known as collective intelligence is the intelligence that emerges from the shared efforts of competition and collaboration that takes place among a group of people.

It is the emotional or cognitive experience which succeeds the realization that one has violated a moral standard. The concept of remorse and guilt are closely related to each other.


A repeated behavior that occurs subconsciously i.e. without thinking directly or consciously. A habit is an activity that is performed without self-analysis and most of the time it goes unnoticed by the person exhibiting it.

Hawthorne Effect
The hawthorne effect is a type of reaction in which a person tries to improve his behavior in response to the fact that his behavior is being measured.

Health Psychology
It is the branch of psychology in which the influence of behavior, illness, health and biology is studied.

It is the term used to refer to the different techniques that are based on experience and used in learning, problem solving and discovery.

Hierarchy of Needs
The 'hierarchy of needs' is a theory proposed by Abraham Maslow which can be diagrammatically explained in the form of a pyramid having 5 levels. The physiological needs lie at the bottom of the pyramid while the self-actualization needs are placed in the topmost position.

The term hostility is defined as a form of denial or angry internal rejection. The term is generally used as a synonym for aggression or anger.

Human Behavior
The different types of behaviors exhibited by human beings and which are influenced by attitudes, cultures, values, emotions, authority, ethics, hypnosis, rapport, coercion, persuasion, etc, can be defined as human behavior.

Humanistic Psychology
The branch of psychology which deals with the human aspect of development of psychotherapy is termed as humanistic psychology.

It is the state of mind in which a person goes in a trance-like state which is induced artificially. In this state, the suggestibility is heightened and the memories might be suppressed.

It is a state in which an individual loses his self-control due to the emotional excesses or unmanageable fear. The fear might be the result of multiple past events involving conflicts or imagined problems (disease) associated with a particular body part.


Id is defined as the part of human personality that consists of all the inborn biological instincts. All the natural instincts and energies that are the cause of psychic activity are included in id. Id, ego and super-ego are the three parts of psyche as given by Freud.

Identification can be defined in two distinct ways. The first is identifying something or someone. This is known as primary identification. The other type of identification is identifying with someone or something. This is known as partial or secondary identification.

Ideas of Reference
Ideas of reference can be defined as a belief that irrelevant or unrelated objects, people or events are of personal significance. Ideas of reference or delusions of reference are a symptom of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Imitation is a type of behavior where an individual tries to copy or replicate someone else's behavior. Babies learn through imitation when they imitate their parents.

Immediate Memory
Immediate memory is a phase of memory where information and images are stored only for a short period of time. Immediate memory is also known as working memory or short-term memory.

Imprinting is defined as the phase of learning at an early age when a person forms a specific pattern of behavior. Imprinting is also observed in animals.

Inductive Reasoning
Inductive reasoning involves using specific facts or past experiences to reach a specific conclusion. Inductive reasoning is the reasoning based on facts and principles.

Insanity is defined as abnormal behavior or mental illness. Insanity is a permanent condition and in simplest way it can be defined as craziness or madness. Insanity is a symptom of schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders.

Intrinsic Motivation
Intrinsic motivation is a type of motivation when a person is inwardly motivated to perform any specific work or activity. People are said to be intrinsically motivated if they perform any activity for self satisfaction rather than monetary or other gains.

Intuition is defined as the person's capacity or ability to acquire knowledge without inference or logical reasoning. Intuition is a natural tendency used by some people to make decisions.


Jenkins Activity Survey
Jenkins Activity Survey is a popular method for evaluating Type A behavior. Jenkins Activity Survey is a questionnaire type survey of behavior.

Johari Window
Johari window is a type of exercise or tool designed for people to understand their interpersonal relationships in a better way.

Judgment is a cognitive process of assessing a person, situation or an event and using this evidence to make a decision. In psychology, judgment is used to evaluate a person's capabilities of adjudication.

Just Noticeable Difference
Just noticeable difference, also known as differential threshold, is the smallest noticeable difference between the first and the second level of sensory stimulus.


The concept of K-line which was first introduced and described by Marvin Minsky in his essay, 'K-lines: A Theory of Memory', can be defined as a mental agent which is a group or aggregated form of several mental agents which are actively involved in solving a problem or the formulation of a new idea.

The activity of interpretation of the body language, which includes gestures and facial expressions is termed as kinesics.

A state or condition in which an individual is unable to resist the urge to hoard or collect things.

Kubler-Ross Model
The Kubler-Ross Model which is also known as 'five stages of grief' was introduced by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. The model is used to describe a process through which people deal with tragedy and grief in five discrete stages. The five stages of the process in their sequential form are, 'Denial', 'Anger', 'Bargaining', 'Depression' and 'Acceptance'.

It can be defined as the process through which an individual tries to learn or understand with the help of complex cognitive processes such as perception, communication, reasoning and association.

Knowledge Management
The different practices or activities that are carried out in the identification, creation, representation, distribution and adoption of the experiences and insights are termed as knowledge management.

Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development
The Kolhberg's stages of moral development are based on a psychological theory which proposes that moral reasoning which is the basis of ethical behavior is developed in six stages. Each of the succeeding stage in the sequence is efficient or adequate than the earlier one in dealing with moral dilemmas faced by an individual.


Lacunar Lmnesia
In this state the subject loses his memory about a certain specific event and which results into the creation of a gap or lacuna.

In its simplest form language is defined as the system through which information is encoded and decoded. Read more on literary devices.

Language Disorders
The disorders that are related to the processing of linguistic information and which might involve the problems related to semantics and grammar are termed as language disorders.

It is defined as a mistake that is involuntary and which is made while writing or speaking. As per the psychoanalytic theory proposed by Sigmond Freud, lapsus is a term used to represent a deed which hides a desire that is present in the unconscious mind.

Lapsus Linguae
An error which occurs in the memory, speech or physical action because of an unconscious conflict, wish or train of thought that is interfering with their functioning is termed as lapsus linguae.

It is a condition in which an individual falls into a trance-like state where he enacts physical and/or verbal automatisms and which altogether results from a startle reflex.

Latent Learning
It is a form of learning in which the knowledge is not expressed immediately in an overt manner. The things that are learned by an individual stay in the subconscious mind and might be expressed in response to specific experiences or events.

Lateral Thinking
In this kind of thinking an individual takes a creative or indirect approach towards problem solving, instead of going by the method of following a step-by-step logic.

Legal Psychology
The psychological research that is carried out in an empirical manner with respect to legal institutions, law and the people who come in contact with law is termed as legal psychology. Read more on glossary of law terms.

It is one of the psychotherapies which focuses on finding the meaning in one's life rather than emphasizing on the doctrine of 'will to pleasure' or 'will to power'.


The condition in which a person suffers from the problem of elevated mood, unusual thought patterns and psychosis is termed as mania.

It is the feeling of gratification experienced by an individual as a result of infliction of pain or humiliation upon himself.

Mass Hysteria
It is a sociopsychological phenomenon in which the manifestation of similar symptoms of hysteria by one or more people takes place. The most common form of mass hysteria is the one in which a group of people believes that they are suffering from a disease.

Mathematical Psychology
It is one of the methods or approaches to the research in psychology which uses the mathematical modeling of cognitive, perceptual and motor processes. Read more on glossary of mathematical terms.

It is a mood disorder in which the patient suffers from low levels of eagerness and enthusiasm in performing activities of day-to-day life.

Mental Block
It is a condition in which a person is unable to continue his thought process or the painful thoughts in his mind are repressed.

Mental Retardation
In this disorder, the cognitive functioning gets impaired and the person suffers from deficits in adaptive behaviors.

Mental Health
It is the term is used to indicate a condition of emotional and cognitive well-being or the absence of any kind of mental disorder.

Mental Management
It is the activity in which different mental processes are explored, described and studied in their diversity.

It is a branch of psychology which carries out the philosophical study of psychology in a systematic manner. The objective of studying metapsychology is to understand and describe about the concepts and principles that lie beyond the laws of psychology which have been established till date.

The mind could be defined as manifestation of the different aspects of consciousness and intellect in the form of various combinations of perception, thoughts, emotions, memory, imagination and will.


Napoleon Complex
It is a kind of inferiority complex that is experienced by men with short stature. Men with this complex try to overcompensate their efforts in other aspects or areas of life for their short stature.

It is defined as the attribute or trait of personality which is characterized with self-love and other such characteristics that are associated with ego or self-image.

Narrative Therapy
It is a type of psychotherapy in which the therapist engages himself in a process which involves the client and is aimed at discovering the richer or positive narratives which originate from disparate descriptions of various experiences.

Naturalistic Observation
The activity of carrying out the observation of subjects by behavioral scientists and psychologists in their natural habitats is termed as naturalistic observation.

It is defined as a necessary thing which helps the humans in leading a healthy life. Needs could be physical, objective and subjective.

It is a state of mind in which a person has a negative perception of life and specifically the events that might happen in the future.

The psychologists who followed the basic principles posited by Sigmond Freud but changed or altered them to some extent are known as Neo-Freudians.

The science which deals with overt behaviors and psychological processes related to the structure and functions of brain is termed as neuropsychology.

It is a dream that is unpleasant in nature and results into a strong emotional response that is mostly associated with fear or horror.

Noetic Psychology
It is the field of psychology which deals with finding out the meaning and purpose, integration of cognition (thinking) with effect (emotion) and the resolution of existential angst.


It is the activity through which an individual receives knowledge from the outside world by making use of the senses.

Observational Learning
The process of learning in which a person first observes, retains and then replicates or imitates the behavior that is executed by others is termed as observational learning.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
It is a mental disorder in which an individual suffers from anxiety that results from various intrusive thoughts.

Occupational Health Psychology
The study of occupational health psychology deals with psychosocial causative agents or factors associated with the workplaces and which are responsible for various health-related problems of working people.

Occupational Psychosis
It is a condition in which an individual develops a biased attitude which results from the influence of his career or occupation.

Occupational Therapy
It is a therapy which is aimed at incorporating purposeful and meaningful occupation in order to enable individuals with impairments or other limitations to participate in the activities of day-to-day life.

Operant Behavior
A network of events and factors that are involved in the behavior of both human beings and animals is termed as operant behavior.

Operant Conditioning
It is an activity which is used for modifying the form and occurrences of behavior by making use of the consequences. In operant conditioning, the modification of the operant behavior or voluntary behavior of an individual is carried out.

It is the process of defining a fuzzy concept in order to make it measurable in the form of variables that consist of specific observations.

Opponent-process Theory
It is a neurological and psychological model which is used to account for a variety of behaviors including color vision. The model was proposed by Leo Hurvich and expanded by Richard Soloman of the University of Pennsylvania.

It is the functionality of the mind which creates awareness of time, person and place.


Panic Attacks
The periods of intense anxiety, fear, physiological arousal, discomfort, stomach problems, etc. which occur suddenly and are discrete in nature are termed as panic attacks. The panic attacks are associated with a variety of cognitive and somatic symptoms.

A thought process which is characterized by excessive fear or anxiety is termed as paranoia. The degree or extent of paranoia could be so high that it might sometimes lead to the patient suffering from delusions and his thought process affected by irrationality.

It is a field in which efforts are directed at finding out the existence and causes of various psychic abilities and the concept of 'life after death' with the help of scientific methods.

An intense emotion or feeling associated with a particular thing or person and which exhibits an eager interest or desire for the same is termed as passion.

Performance Psychology
The study of various factors which allow individuals and societies in general to flourish is termed as performance psychology. The study of knowledge and psychological skills required for developing the performing guidelines in the field of business, sports, performing arts and fitness is also included in performance psychology.

It is defined as the fear experienced by an individual about situations, things, activities or people and which could be intense, irrational and persistent. Read more on phobias.

The study of behavior and functioning of the human psychology by means of investigating the mind is termed as psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis is carried out for systematizing the theories of human behavior and to treat the different psychological and emotional illnesses.

Psychoanalytic Theory
The psychoanalytic theory is concerned with the definition and dynamics of the development of personality. The psychoanalytic theory was proposed by Sigmond Freud and till date has undergone many modifications.

The form of human development which is used in exploring the issues, problems, dreams, concerns and highest aspirations of groups, organizations, systems and people in general, by means of dramatic action is termed as psychodrama. Read more on psychology of dreams.

The psychological forces that underlie the human behavior are systematically studied in the branch of psychology. The emphasis is given on the interplay that happens between the conscious and unconscious motivation.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
It is the therapy used for alleviating psychic tension by revealing the unconscious content of a client's or patient's psyche.

The study of different neurobiological and psychological factors that enable human beings in acquiring, using, comprehending and finally producing a language is termed as psycholinguistics.

Psychological Testing
It is the field in which generalizations about an individual are inferred on the basis of sample behaviors. Read more on psychological testing.

Psychology of Learning
The psychology of learning is based on the assumption that the study of effects of conditioning, environment and reinforcement provides the psychologists with the best information about the human behavior.


Quantitative Psychological Research
Psychological research which entails and includes mathematical modeling in addition to statistical estimation or statistical interference, is termed as quantitative psychological research.

Quantitative Psychology
The development of psychological theory in connection with mathematics and statistics is done through the research in quantitative psychology. It is the study of techniques and ways to measure human attributes and mathematical and statistical patterning of psychological processes and analysis of psychological data.

Quantum Psychology
Quantum Psychology refers to an approach which involves being aware of our automatic responses and its triggers in addition to the inherent mechanism of those responses.
Radical Behaviorism
It is the philosophy which lies at the base of the approach of experimental analysis of behavior towards psychology.

The transformation that takes place from activism or passiveness to militant, revolutionary or extreme posture is termed as radicalization.

A mental state in which an individual reaches the extreme position of the intensity spectrum of anger is termed as rage.

The commonality of perspective or the state in which a person is 'in sync' or 'on the same wavelength' as that of the person with whom he is communicating is termed as rapport.

The cognitive process in which one seeks reasons for conclusions, beliefs, feelings and actions is termed as reasoning.

The act of retrieving or recalling from the long term memory, a fact, incident or other item is termed as recognition.

It is a defense mechanism through which the ego temporarily reverts to an earlier state of development. During regression, the thoughts are pushed from consciousness to unconsciousness.

Regulatory Focus Theory
The regulatory focus theory examines or studies the relation between an individual's motivation and the way in which he approaches his goals.

The methods used to retrain the neural pathways in order to improve or regain neurocognitive functioning which has been damaged by traumatic injury or disease are termed as rehabilitation.

It is an emotion of personal regret felt by an individual after committing an act that is considered to be hurtful, shameful or violent.

Retrograde Amnesia
It is a form of amnesia in which the affected person is unable to recall or retrieve the events which had occurred before the amnesia.

Reverse Psychology
It is a persuasion technique which involves falsely advocating the beliefs and behaviors instead of what should actually be advocated.

It is one of the three ancient arts of discourse along with logic and grammar and is used in persuasion.


The term sadism is used to refer to the enjoyment an individual derives by inflicting pain on others.

The ability of applying knowledge, experience, understanding or common sense and insight is known as sapience.

Satanic Ritual Abuse
The term satanic ritual abuse refers to any form of physical or psychological mistreatment involving the use of satanic rituals.

Sauce-Bearnaise Syndrome
A syndrome which suggests that conditioned taste aversion can occur when an individual associates the taste of a certain food item with the symptoms caused by a toxic, or spoiled substance.

Savant Syndrome
Savant syndrome is a disorder wherein a particular person with diminished mental skill demonstrates extraordinary proficiency in one specific isolated skill.

Schema A
In psychology, schema is a mental structure representing some aspects of the world.

Schizoaffective Disorder
Schizoaffective disorder is a disorder characterized by the symptoms of both, a major mood disorder and schizophrenia. Read more on schizoaffective disorder.

Schizoid Personality Disorder
Schizoid personality disorder is a personality disorder characterized by extreme shyness, reclusive nature, discomfort with other people around and incapability of forming close relationships.

Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder characterized by problems with perceptions or expressions of reality, significant social problems, disorganized thinking, and delusions or hallucinations.

Schizophreniform Disorder
Schizophreniform disorder is a disorder identical to schizophrenia, with the duration of prodromal, active and residual phases being shorter than 6 months.

Schizotypal Personality Disorder
Schizotypal personality disorder is a personality disorder characterized by unconventional beliefs, odd behavior, thinking and a need for social isolation.

School Refusal
In psychology, school refusal is a condition in which children and adolescents demonstrate severe symptoms of anxiety and refuse to attend school.

Seasonal Affective Disorder
A bout of depression occurring during certain times of the year when there is less sunlight, usually during the winter months is known as seasonal affective disorder.

Security Blanket
A blanket (such as a toy) that is given to a child or the child carries around in order to reduce anxiety is known as security blanket.

Selective Abstraction
Selective abstraction is a type of cognitive bias wherein only one detail is chosen of the context and believed, while everything else in the context is ignored.

Selective Distortion
The term selective distortion refers to the tendency of the individuals to interpret a piece of information in a particular way which will support their existing beliefs.

Self-actualization is taking a holistic approach towards life, thus allowing oneself to reach the highest potential, without possessing any greed of success.

The term self-criticism is used to refer to indulgence in critical scrutinizing of one's own beliefs, thoughts, actions and behavior.

Self-loathing or self-hatred, is a disorder characterized by extreme dislike of oneself.

Self Motivation
Self motivation is the ability to motivate oneself, without requiring influence by some other person.

The act of placing one's own interests or desires above the needs of others is known as selfishness.

Semantic Dyslexia
Semantic dyslexia is a subtype of dyslexia characterized by inability to properly attach words to their meanings when reading.

Semantic Memory
The memory of meanings, understandings, and other various concept-based knowledge is known as semantic memory or long-term memory.

The ability of the organism to respond to any form of physical stimuli is known as sensitivity.

Sensory Preconditioning
The phenomenon of classical conditioning which facilitates learning of an association between two conditioned stimuli is known as sensory preconditioning.

Sensory Threshold
A theoretical concept used in psychophysics, sensory threshold is the minimum level of stimulation which can be possibly detected.

Separation Anxiety Disorder
A psychological condition wherein an individual experiences excessive anxiety regarding separation from home or from people with whom he is closely attached.

Sexual Arousal
The term sexual arousal is used to refer to the arousal of sexual desires as preparations for sexual behavior.

Sexual Orientation
The pattern of emotional, romantic, and sexual attractions between males and females is referred to as sexual orientation.

Sexual Response Cycle
The sexual response cycle is a four-phase model of physiological responses (excitement phase, plateau phase, orgasmic phase, and resolution phase) triggered during sexual stimulation.

Sexuoerotic Tragedy
The term sexuoerotic tragedy refers to an intense, memorable and influential event which plays a pivotal role in changing the person's perception of what is sexually arousing and what is not.

Shell Shock Battle Fatigue
In psychology, the term shell shock battle fatigue is used to refer to a mental disorder caused due to excessive stress of active warfare.

Shock Value
The potential of a medium of communication, such as image or text, to provoke a reaction, such as disgust, shock, anger or fear is referred to as its shock value.

Short-term Memory
The capacity of the human mind to hold a small amount of information in an active, easily accessible state for a brief period of time is referred to as short-term memory.

Siege Mentality
The shared feeling of helplessness, defensiveness or victimization is referred to as siege mentality.

Simulation Heuristic
It is a psychological heuristic, which was theorized as a specialized adaptation of the availability heuristic in order to explain counter-factual thinking and regret.

Situation Awareness
Social awareness means the perception of environmental elements within a volume of time and space, comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status in the near future.

Size-weight Illusion
The tendency for an individual to underestimate the weight of a bigger object when compared to a similar smaller object of the same mass is known as size-weight illusion.

Skinner Box
It is a laboratory apparatus created by B.F. Skinner, used in analyzing the behavior of animals. The apparatus is also known as operant conditioning chamber and is mostly used to experiment on animals like pigeons, rodents and primates.

Sleep learning is the method of conveying information to a sleeping person, usually by playing a sound recording to him.

Social Anxiety
Social anxiety is a psychiatric disorder characterized by persistent, intense, and chronic fear of being judged, embarrassed or humiliated by others, owing to one's own actions.

Social Cognition
The study of how people process social information, emphasizing on encoding, storage, retrieval and application in social situations, is referred to as social cognition.

Social Desirability Bias
It is the tendency of responding to a question in such a manner that the answer be viewed favorably by people. The social desirability bias could take two forms: the one in which a respondent exhibits an overreporting good behavior and the other in which underreporting bad behavior is displayed.

Social Influence
The term social influence is used to refer to a condition wherein an individual's thoughts or actions are affected or altered by other people.

Social Inhibition
The conscious or unconscious constraint, by an individual, of a process or behavior that is considered to be objectionable in the social settings is known as social inhibition.

Social Loafing
The term social loafing is used to refer to the phenomenon wherein people make less efforts to achieve the set goal when they work in groups than they make when they work alone.

Social Psychology
Social psychology is the branch of psychology that studies individuals and their relationships with each other, with groups and with the society as a whole.

Social Rhythm Therapy
In this behavioral therapy, the disruptions in circadian rhythms are treated. In this therapy, the biopsychological model of treatment is adapted, instead of using medications only.

Somatization Disorder
It is a disorder in which psychological conflicts present in the mind are expressed unconsciously in the form of physical symptoms which do not have any actual or physical origin behind them.

Somatoform Disorder
Somatoform disorder is a psychiatric disorder characterized by physical symptoms that mimic disease or injury whose physical cause cannot be identified.

The treatment of mental illness by physical means, such as medication or psychosurgery, rather than psychotherapy is known as somatotherapy.

Spatial Memory
In cognitive psychology, spatial memory is the part of memory assigned to record information about one's environment and its spatial orientation.

Spatial-temporal Reasoning
It is defined as the ability of visualizing the spatial patterns and manipulating them mentally in a time-ordered sequence of spatial transformations.

Specious Present
The time duration in which one's perceptions are considered to be in the present is known as the specious present.

Speech Perception
The term speech perception refers to the process by which humans are able to interpret various sounds used in language.

Spiritual Psychology
Spiritual psychology or transpersonal psychology is the domain in psychology which deals with the transpersonal or spiritual aspects of the human experience.

Spontaneous Recovery
The reemergence of a conditioned response which had been previously extinguished owing to various factors, including injury.

Sport Psychology
Sport psychology is a domain in psychology which deals in the scientific study of people and their behavior in the context of sports and the practical application of this knowledge.

In psychology, the term stimulus is used to refer to anything that effectively impinges upon the sensory system of any living organism.

Stream of Consciousness
The continuous flow of ideas or feelings that facilitate an individual's conscious experience is referred to as stream of consciousness.

The trait of willingly yielding to the will of another person or a superior force is referred to as submissiveness.

SUDS (Subjective Units of Disturbance Scale or a Subjective Units of Distress Scale) is a scale of 10 used to measure the subjective intensity of disturbance experienced by an individual.

The act of killing oneself is termed as suicide or self-annihilation. Read more on teenage suicide.

It is a science which deals with the study of suicide. The various disciplines including psychology, phusiology, psychiatry and sociology are studied under suicidology.

Superiority Complex
The subconscious neurotic mechanism of compensation developed by the individual owing to extensive feelings of inferiority is referred to as superiority complex.

Superman Complex
The unhealthy belief in an individual that everyone else lacks the capacity to successfully perform any task except oneself is referred to as superman complex.

In psychology, syllogism is the deductive reasoning wherein the conclusion is derived from two premises.

Sylvia Plath Effect
The term Sylvia Plath effect refers to the theory which states that creative writers are more susceptible to mental illness.

Symbolic Violence
Violence including actions having discriminatory or injurious implications, for instance gender dominance or racism, is referred to as symbolic violence.

An association of several clinically recognizable features, signs, symptoms, phenomena or characteristics that occurs together is referred to as syndrome.

Systematic Desensitization
Systematic desensitization is a type of behavioral therapy which helps the subject to effectively overcome various phobias and anxiety disorders.

Systems Psychology
In this branch of applied psychology, the study of human behavior with respect to complex systems is conducted. Systems psychology which is based on the works of Roger Barker, Humberto Maturana and Gregory Bateson is inspired by systems thinking and systems theory.

Systems Intelligence
The human action that connects sensitivity pertaining to systemic environment with systems thinking, thus enhancing a person's problem solving capabilities.


Talking Cure
Talking cure or talking therapy is a therapy used in psychiatry to relieve the subject from the hysterical symptoms referred to as somatoform disorders.

Tarantism is a nervous disorder, characterized by an intense urge to dance, which is most often attributed to bite of the tarantula species of spider.

Telepathy means transfer of information on thoughts or feelings from one mind to another without the use sensory perceptions.

Temperament, in psychology, is the inborn component of an individual's personality.

Tension Myositis
It is a condition in which the patient exhibits psychosomatic musculoskeletal and nerve symptoms. The term tension myositis was coined by Dr. John E. Sarno and it is also characterized by back pain.

Ternus Illusion
An illusion of visual perception regarding apparent motion in humans is referred to as ternus illusion.

Thematic Apperception Test
A projective personality test wherein the subject is given a series of pictures depicting various scenes which are ambiguous enough to trigger a variety of interpretations, but still push the subject in a particular direction making him associate with a certain thing or event.

Theoretical Psychology
An interdisciplinary field in psychology which is concerned with theoretical and philosophical aspects of psychology, which involves psychologists specializing in different fields in psychology, ranging from clinical to critical psychology.

Theory of Cognitive Development
A theory developed by Jean Piaget, according to which there are four different stages of mental representation which a child passes through on his way to an adult level of intelligence.

Theory of Deadly Initials
An hypothesis which suggests that there is a strong link between the lifespan of human males and their initials is known as the theory of deadly initials.

Theory of Mind
The theory of mind is a theory that stresses on the individual's ability to understand that other people also have beliefs, desires and intentions which may be different from his own.

Theory of Multiple Intelligences
The theory of multiple intelligences is a theory in psychology which defines the concept of intelligence and addresses whether methods which claim to measure intelligence are truly scientific or not.

A mental process which allows human beings to model the surroundings, and deal with the situation according to their goals, plans and desires.

Thought Broadcasting
A delusion which makes the person feel that he has the ability of inserting thoughts into another person's minds, or that others can perceive his thoughts is known as thought broadcasting.

Thought Disorder
In psychology, the term thought disorder is used to describe a pattern of disordered language use which is assumed to be related to disordered thinking.

Thought Field Therapy
The thought field therapy is an innovative therapy used as a component of psychotherapy to solve psychological problems developed out of extensive knowledge about the energy system of the body.

Thought Insertion
In psychology, the delusion which makes the person feel that thoughts are being inserted into his mind by another person is referred to as thought insertion.

Thought Withdrawal
In psychology, the delusion which makes a person feel that thoughts have been 'taken out' of his mind is referred to as thought withdrawal.

Thousand-yard Stare
The term thousand yard stare is used to describe the unfocused gaze, a characteristic combat stress reaction, of a battle-weary soldier.

Token Economy
Token economy is a form of behavior therapy in which patients are rewarded with tokens, for good behavior, which may be cashed in for rewards later.

Tolerance is the ability of a person to tolerate various beliefs or practices which are followed by fellow human beings.

Touch Illusions
The illusion that exploits the sense of touch, which is one of the five senses humans depend on, is known as touch illusion.

Traffic Psychology
Traffic psychology is a behavioral study of road users and the psychological processes that form the base of this behavior.

Transduction is the process of transforming one form of energy into another.

Transfer of Training
The process wherein knowledge or abilities acquired in a specific area are used to solve problems or acquire knowledge in other areas.

In psychoanalysis, transference is the process of passing emotions from one person to another.

Transference Neurosis
A term introduced by Sigmund Freud which describes a new form of the analysand's infantile neurosis that is observed during the psychoanalytic process.

Transpersonal Experience
A transcendent experience characterized by an intense shift in consciousness, while experiencing the feeling of being one infinite or unbroken life.

Transpersonal Psychology
A distinct school of psychology that stresses on the study of transpersonal or spiritual aspects related to human experience.

Transvestic Fetishism
Transvestic fetishism is defined as a person's sexual or erotic interest in cross-dressing.

Transvestism is the practice of acquiring the sexual role or adopting the clothes and the behavior of a person of opposite sex.

In psychiatry, the term trauma is used to refer to emotional shock often characterized by long-lasting effects.

Tree of Knowledge (ToK) System
In psychology, Gregg Henriques' Tree of Knowledge (ToK) System is a theoretical approach introduced for the unification of subject.

Trust Metric
Trust metric is a tool in psychology that is used to measure how much a particular member of a group is trusted by the other members.

Type A and Type B Personality Theory
The Type A and Type B personality theory is a personality type theory comprising description of various behavior patterns which were previously considered to be a risk factor for coronary heart disease.


Unconditional Positive Regard
In psychology, the term unconditional positive regard refers to a broad acceptance and support of an individual irrespective of what the individual says or does.

Unconscious Mind
Unconscious mind is a part of the mind that triggers a collection of thoughts which inhibit our mind without us being aware of them.

Undifferentiated Schizophrenia
Undifferentiated schizophrenia is a schizophrenic condition wherein the patient does show psychotic symptoms, but without meeting the criteria for paranoid or catatonic types.

Universal Law of Generalization
It's a law in psychology which states that the probability of the response to one stimulus will be generalized to another.

Universalization is a tool of supportive intervention used by various therapists in order to reassure or encourage their patients.


The term valence is used to refer to the positive or negative emotional charge of a particular event, object or situation.

Evaluation which reveals more about nature, quality, abilities of a particular person than what is really known.

Value Theory
A theory in psychology, that states how people value various things and concepts, the reasons they utilize for this evaluation, and the scope of applications of various legitimate evaluations across the society.

Vegetotherapy is a form of psychotherapy which involves the physical manifestations of various emotions.

Vertical thinking
Vertical thinking is a distinct approach towards problem solving using selective, analytical and sequential methods.

Vigilance is an act of watching or anticipating something happen; to be watching out for danger to be precise.

Vision-logic is post-formal, but personal level of cognitive development mentioned by Ken Wilber in his integral theory.

Visual Hallucination
Visual hallucination is a visual perception which is triggered in a conscious state in the absence of any possible source of external stimuli.

Visual Learning
Visual learning is a process of learning, wherein the ideas, concepts as well as the data are presented in the form of images and techniques.

Visual Perception
Visual perception is the ability of the brain to interpret the images seen through eyes, to eventually make sense of what is being seen.

Visual Thinking
Visual thinking is the process of thinking by processing the information visually, instead of processing it linguistically or verbally.

Volition is one of the three primary human psychological faculties, which stresses on the study of will, choice and decision.

Voodoo Death
Voodoo death is a common term used in stress literature, that is used to refer to the phenomena of being literally scared to death.

Voyeurism is an act of perversion which helps an individual to obtain sexual gratification by seeing the genital organs of others or watching them indulging in a sexual act.

An individuals susceptibility to physical or emotional injury or attack is known as vulnerability.


Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, abbreviated as WAIS, is a general intelligence test which was first released in 1955 as a revision of the Wechsler-Bellevue test that was released in 1939.

A recurring phase in the life of all the organisms, characterized by consciousness, wherein various behaviors necessary for survival are executed.

Waxy Flexibility
Waxy flexibility is a psycho-motor symptom of catatonic schizophrenia which is characterized by decreased response to external stimuli, due to which the individual remains in immobile posture.

Weapon Focus
Weapon focus is a factor affecting the reliability of the testimony of an eyewitness, because the attention of the witness, present at the crime scene, is focused on the weapon the criminal is holding, which makes him ignore other aspects of the crime scene and eventually leads to memory impairments when he tries to recollect the crime scene details.

Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children
The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) is a general intelligence test, that can be completed without reading or writing, designed for children in the age groups of 6 to 16.

Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence
It is an intelligence test developed by David Wechsler in the year 1967. It is used to test children between the age group 2 years, 6 months and 7 years, 3 months.

Wernicke's Aphasia
Wernicke's aphasia is the inability to communicate verbally owing to impairment of receptive abilities.

White Bear Principle
White Bear Principle, also referred to as Ironic processing, is a psychological process wherein an individual is frequented by certain thoughts when he deliberately attempts to suppress or avoid.

Womb Envy
In psychology, the term womb envy is used to refer to the alleged unconscious, unexpressed desire of a man to possess a womb.

Word Salad
Word salad, also known as schizophasia, refers the utterance of a jumble of meaningless words and phrases by an individual.

Working Memory
Working memory is the ability of an individual to hold a small amount of material in memory for a short period of time, while he simultaneously processes the same or any other material.

Working Through
Working through is a process of repeating, elaborating and amplifying various interpretations in psycho-dynamic psychotherapy.


No Term Under 'X'


Yerkes-Dodson Law
The Yerkes-Dodson law is a relationship between arousal and performance which was derived from experiment and observation by psychologists, Robert M. Yerkes and John Dillingham Dodson.


Zener Cards
Zener cards is a set of twenty-five cards, each featuring one of the five symbols, used by experts to test claims like extra sensory perceptions.

Zero-defects Mentality
Zero-defects mentality is a state which is when a command-and-control structure stops tolerating mistakes.

The study of psychology spreads across various disciplines and is useful in understanding the different aspects of the mind related to health, human development, sports, media, law and even industry. The psychology terms presented in the above article would act as a handy resource for studying the different concepts included in psychology.

I hope you are not psyched out by now. With inputs from Abhijit Naik, Madhura Pandit and Medha Godbole.