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MAKING THE MODERN WORLD
Stories about the lives we've made

module:Measuring the unmeasurable

An introduction to psychology

page:Glossary

A
abnormal behaviour  
Behaviour that differs from the norm.
acute mania  
Symptoms of severe elation of high spirits.
adrenaline  
A hormone produced by the adrenal glands which increases physiological arousal.
agoraphobia  
A phobia about being in open places or alone in public places.
anal stage  
The psychosexual stage, which, according to Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic theory, is characterised by a focus on activities related to elimination.
anti-anxiety drugs  
A drug that reduces anxiety.
anxiolytics  
A drug that reduces anxiety.
anti-depressant drugs  
A stimulant drug which has an agonist effect by increasing the production of serotonin and noradrenaline.
anti-manic drugs  
A drug that reduces mania.
anti-psychotic drugs  
A drug used to reduce psychotic symptoms.
asylum  
Institution for those suffering from mental disorders (historical term).
B
biological models  
These are concerned with explaining behaviour in terms of cause and effect, with the causes being represented by genetics and physiology and the effects represented by the behaviour, personality and intelligence.
C
chemotherapy  
Treating illness using drugs.
cultural relativism  
The idea that one can not judge a behaviour properly unless it is viewed in the context of the culture in which it originates.
D
drug therapy  
The use of medication to treat a mental illness.
E
eccentricity  
Bizarre and strange behaviour.
ECT  
A somatic form of therapy for mental illness where brief electric shocks are usually applied to a persons non-dominant hemisphere.
ego  
In Psychoanalytical theory, the part of the personality which maintains a balance between our impulses (id) and our conscience (superego).
F
fixation  
In Freud's theory of psychosexual development, the failure to complete a stage successfully which results in a continuation of that stage into later adulthood.
free association  
The psychoanalytic technique of allowing a patient to talk without direction or input in order to analyse current issues of the client.
Freud/Freudian  
Dr. Freud is often referred to as the father of clinical psychology. His extensive theory of personality development (psychoanalytical theory) is the cornerstone for modern psychological thought, and consists of (1) the psychosexual stages of development, (2) the structural model of personality (id, ego, superego), and (3) levels of consciousness (conscious, subconscious, and unconscious). See Psychoanalysis.
G
genital stage  
Freud's final stage of psychosexual development where healthy sexual development is defined as attraction to a same aged, opposite sexed perr.
H
hypertension  
A condition associated with very high blood pressures.
I
In Psychoanalytical theory, the part of the personality which contains our primitive impulses such as sex, anger, and hunger.
J
K
L
latency stage  
Freud's fourth stage of psychosexual development where sexuality is repressed in the unconscious and children focus on identifying with their same sex parent and interact with same sex peers.
libido  
Sigmund Freud's terminology of sexual energy or sexual drive.
lithium  
An anti manic drug that blunts emotional senses.
M
mental illness  
An illness defined by psychiatrists , often associated with problems in the brain, cognitive patterns or nervous system .
N
neuroleptics  
A drug used to reduce psychotic symptoms.
neural tissue  
Tissue consisting of nerve cells.
neurotransmitters  
A chemical substance that is released at synapses.
noradrenaline  
A biological substance that acst as both a hormone and a neurotransmitter.
norepinephrine  
A neurotransmitter.
Normal curve  
A graphical interpretation of a population that is 'bell shaped' as it has the highest frequency in the middle and this frequency diminishes the farther you get from the centre on either end. The mean, median, and mode are all equal in a perfect normal curve.
Normal distribution  
The scores of a sample or population that, when graphed, fall on or close to a normal curve. A normal distribution is often ideal in research because the data can then be said to have all of the characteristics of a normal curve.
O
oral stage  
Freud's first stage of psychosexual development where the primary sexual focus is on the mouth through sucking, tasting, and verbalising.
P
phallic stage  
Freud's third stage of psychosexual development where the primary sexual focus is on symbolism of the genitals.
Psychiatrist  
A medical doctor with training in mental illness.
Psychoanalysis  
Developed by Sigmund Freud, this type of therapy is known for long term treatment, typically several times per week, where the unresolved issues from the individual's childhood are analysed and resolved. These issues are considered to be primarily unconscious in nature and are kept from consciousness through a complex defence system.
Psychoanalytic Theory  
Theory developed by Freud consisting of the structural model of personality, topographical model of personality, defence mechanisms, drives, and the psychosexual stages of development. The primary driving force behind the theory is the id, ego and superego and the division of consciousness into the conscious mind, the pre/subconscious, and the unconscious.
Psychodynamic Therapy  
A modern adaptation of psychoanalytic therapy which has made sometimes minor and sometimes major changes to Freud's original theories.
Psychology  
The study of emotion, cognition, and behaviour, and their interaction.
psychopathology  
The scientific study of what causes mental disorders.
psychosexual development  
The development of stages that are related to the id's changing focus on different parts of the body.
psychosurgery  
A somatic method of treating psychological disorders where sections of the brain are removed or lesions are made so that areas of the brain become separate.
Psychotherapy  
The treatment of mental illness or related issues based on psychological theory.
Q
R
Rorschach Inkblot Test  
A projective technique using ambiguous inkblots as stimuli.
S
schizophrenia  
A severe mental illness where contact with reality and insight are impaired.
serotonin  
A neurotransmitter of the monoamine group that generally has an excitatory effect.
somatic treatment  
Treatment related to the body.
standard deviation  
A measure of spread within a distribution (the square root of the variance). The most popular and most reliable measure of variability but the more skewed a distribution, the more error there will be in the standard deviation because of its reliance on the mean.
superego  
In Psychoanalytical theory, the part of the personality that represents the conscience.
T
tardive dyskinsia  
Strange frog-like smacking of the lips.
U
unconscious  
Part of the mind containing information that is hard to bring into conscious awareness.
V
W
X
Y
Z

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