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121 Cards in this Set

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  • Back

Psychodynamic Theories

View personality with a focus on the unconscious and the importance of childhood experiences.


Freudian theory: attributes thoughts and actions to unconscious motives and conflicts.

The techniques used in treating psychological disorders by seeking to expose and interpret unconscious tensions.


Freud: Reservoir of mostly unacceptable thoughts, wishes, feelings, memories.

Modern psychologists: information processing of which we are unaware.

Free Association

Psychoanalysis: method of exploring the unconscious in which the person relaxes and says whatever comes to mind, no matter how trivial or embarrassing.


A reservoir of unconscious psychic energy that, according to Freud, strives to satisfy basic sexual aggressive drives. The id operates on the pleasure principle, demanding immediate gratification.


"Executive" part of personality that mediates among the demands of the id, superego, and reality. The ego operates on the reality principle, satisfying the id's desires in ways that will realistically bring pleasure rather than pain.


Freud: represents internalized ideals and provides standards for judgment (conscience) and for future aspirations.

Psychosexual Stages

Freud: childhood stages of development (oral, anal, phallic, latency, genital) during which, the id's pleasure seeking energies focus on distinct erogenous zones.

Oedipus Complex

Freud: a boy's sexual desires toward his mother and feelings of jealousy and hatred for the rival father.


Freud: The process by which children incorporate their parents' values into their developing superegos.


Freud: lingering focus of pleasure-seeking energies at an earlier psychosexual stage, in which conflicts were unresolved.

Defence Mechanisms

In psychoanalytic theory, the ego's protective methods of reducing anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality.


In psychoanalytic theory, the basic defence mechanism that banishes from consciousness anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories.

Collective Unconscious

Carl Jung: shared inherited reservoir of memory traces from our species' history.

Projective Test

Personality test: provides ambiguous stimulus designed to trigger projection of one's inner dynamics.

Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)

Projective test: people express their inner feelings and interests through the stories they make up about ambiguous scenes.

Rorschach Inkblot Test

Hermann Rorschach: widely used projective test, set of 10 inkblots. Seeks to identify people's inner feelings by analyzing their interpretations of the blots.

Terror-Management Theory

Theory of death-related anxiety; reminders of impending death trigger provokes various defences.

Humanistic Theories

View personality with a focus on the potential for healthy personal growth.


Maslow: one of the ultimate psychological needs that arises after basic physical and psychological needs are met and self-esteem is achieved; the motivation to fulfill one's potential.

Unconditional Positive Regard

Rogers: attitude of total acceptance toward another person.

1. Paraphrase

2. Invite clarification

3. Reflect feelings


All our thoughts and feelings about ourselves, in answer to the question, "who am I?"


Characteristic pattern of behaviour or a disposition to feel and act, as assessed by self-report inventories and peer reports.

Personality Inventory

Questionnaire on which people respond to items designed to gauge a wide range of feelings and behaviours; used to assess selected personality traits.

Minnesota Multi-phasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)

Most widely researched and clinically used of all personality tests. Originally developed to identify emotional disorders (still considered its most appropriate use), this test is now used for many other screening purposes.

Empirically Derived Test

A test (such as the MMPI) developed by testing a pool of items then selecting those that discriminate between groups.

Social-Cognitive Perspective

Views behaviour as influenced by the interaction between people's traits (including their thinking) and their social context. Albert Bandura.

Reciprocal Determinism

The interacting influences of behaviour, internal cognition, and environment.

1. Different ppl choose different environments.

2. Our personalities shape how we interpret and react to events.

3. Our personalities help create situations in which we react.


Centre of personality; organizer of thoughts, feelings, actions.

Spotlight Effect

Overestimating others' noticing and evaluating our appearance, performance, and blunders.


One's feelings of high or low self-worth.


One's sense of competence and effectiveness.

Self-Serving Bias

Readiness to perceive oneself favourably. E.g., accept responsibility quickly for something done well, avoid accountability for something done poorly.


Excessive self-love and self-absorption.

Psychological Disorder

A syndrome marked by clinically significant disturbance in an individual's cognition, emotion regulation, or behaviour.

Medical Model

Concept that diseases, in this case psychological disorders, have physical causes that can be diagnosed, treated, and in most cases cured, often through treatment in a hospital.


The study of environmental influences on gene expression that occur without a DNA change.

Anxiety Disorders

Psychological disorders characterized by distressing, persistent anxiety or maladaptive behaviours that reduce anxiety.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety disorder in which a person is continually tense, apprehensive, and in a state of autonomic nervous system arousal.

Panic Disorder

Anxiety disorder marked by unpredictable episodes of intense dread in which a person experiences terror and accompanying chest pain, choking, or other frightening sensations. 1 in 75.


Anxiety disorder marked by a persistent, irrational fear and avoidance of a specific object, activity, or situation.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

A disorder characterized by unwanted repetitive thoughts (obsessions), actions (compulsions), or both.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Disorder characterized by haunting memories, nightmares, social withdrawal, jumpy anxiety, numbness of feeling, and/or insomnia that linger for four weeks or more after a traumatic experience.

Major Depressive Disorder

Disorder in which a person experiences, in the absence of drugs or another medical condition, two or more weeks with five or more symptoms, at least one of which must be either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure.


Hyperactive, wildly optimistic state in which dangerously poor judgement is common.

Bipolar Disorder

Disorder in which a person alternates between the hopelessness and lethargy of depression and the overexcited state of mania.


Compulsive fretting; overthinking about our problems and their causes.


Psychological disorder characterized by delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, and/or diminished, inappropriate emotional expression.


False belief, often of persecution or grandeur, that may accompany psychotic disorders.

Chronic Schizophrenia

Form of schizophrenia in which symptoms usually appear by late adolescence or early adulthood. As people age, psychotic episodes last longer and recovery periods shorten. Recovery is doubtful.

Acute Schizophrenia

Form of schizophrenia that can begin at any age, frequently occurs in response to an emotionally traumatic event, and has extended recovery periods. Recovery is more likely.

Dissociative Disorders

Controversial, rare disorders in which conscious awareness becomes separated from previous memories, thoughts and feelings.

Dissociative Identity Disorder

Rare dissociative disorder in which a person exhibits two or more distinct and alternating personalities.

Personality Disorders

Inflexible and enduring behaviour patterns that impair social functioning.

Antisocial Personality Disorder

Personality disorder in which a person (usually a man) exhibits a lack of conscience for wrongdoing, even toward friends and family members; may be aggressive and ruthless of a clever con artist.

Anorexia Nervosa

Eating disorder in which a person maintains a starvation diet despite being significantly underweight; sometimes accompanied by excessive exercise.

Bulimia Nervosa

Eating disorder in which a person alternates bing eating with purging (by vomiting or laxative use) or fasting.

Binge-Eating Disorder

Significant binge-eating episodes, followed by distress, disgust, or guilt, but without the compensatory purging or fasting that marks bulimia nervosa.


Treatment involving psychological techniques; consists of interactions between a trained therapist and someone seeking to overcome psychological difficulties or achieve personal growth.

Biomedical Therapy

Prescribed medications or procedures that act directly on the person's physiology.

Eclectic Approach

An approach to psychotherapy that uses techniques from various forms of therapy.


Freud: therapeutic technique. Freud believed the patient's free associations, resistances, dreams, and transferences - and the therapist's interpretation of them - released previously repressed feelings, allowing the patient to gain self-insight.


In psychoanalysis, the blocking from consciousness of anxiety-laden material.


In psychoanalysis, the analyst's noting supposed dream meanings, resistances, and other significant behaviours and events in order to promote insight.


In psychoanalysis, the patient's transfer to the analyst of emotions linked with other relationships (such as love or hatred for a parent).

Psychodynamic Therapy

Therapy deriving from the psychoanalytic tradition; views individuals as responding to unconscious forces and childhood experiences, and seeks to enhance self-insight.

Insight Therapies

A variety of therapies that aim to improve psychological functioning by increasing a person's awareness of underlying motives and defences.

Client-Centred Therapy

Humanistic therapy developed by Carl Rogers in which the therapist uses techniques such as active listening within a genuine, accepting, empathetic, environment to facilitate clients' growth.

Active Listening

Empathetic listening in which the listener echoes, restates, and clarifies. A feature of Rogers' client-centred therapy.

Unconditional Positive Regard

Caring, accepting, nonjudgemental attitude, which Carl Rogers believed would help clients develop self-awareness and self-acceptance.

Behaviour Therapy

Therapy that applies learning principles to the elimination of unwanted behaviours.

Counter Conditioning

Behaviour therapy procedures that use classical conditioning to evoke new responses to stimuli that are triggering unwanted behaviours; include exposure therapies and aversive conditioning.

Exposure Therapies

Behavioural techniques, such as systematic desensitization and virtual reality exposure therapy, that treat anxieties by exposing people (in imagination or actual situations) to the things they fear and avoid.

Systematic Desensitization

A type of exposure therapy that associates a pleasant relaxed state with gradually increasing anxiety-triggering stimuli. Commonly used to treat phobias.

Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy

Anxiety treatment that progressively exposes people to electronic simulations of their greatest fears, such as airplane flying, spiders, or public speaking.

Aversive Conditioning

A type of counterconditioning that associates an unpleasant state (such as nausea) with an unwanted behaviour (such as drinking alcohol).

Token Economy

An operant conditioning procedure in which people earn a token of some sort for exhibiting a desired behaviour and can later exchange their tokens for various privileges or treats.

Cognitive Therapy

Therapy that teaches people new, more adaptive ways of thinking; based on the assumption that thoughts intervene between events and our emotional reactions.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

A popular integrative therapy that combines cognitive therapy (changing self-defeating thinking) with behaviour therapy (changing behaviour).

Group Therapy

Therapy conducted with groups rather than individuals, permitting therapeutic benefits from group interaction.

Family Therapy

Therapy that treats the family as a system. Views an individual's unwanted behaviours as influenced by, or directed at, other family members.


A procedure for statistically combing the results of many different research studies.

Evidence-Based Practice

Clinical decision making that integrates the best available research with clinical expertise and patient characteristics and preferences.

Therapeutic Alliance

A bond of trust and mutual understanding between a therapist and client, who work together constructively to overcome the client's problem.


The study of the effects of drugs on mind and behaviour.

Anti-Psychotic Drugs

Drugs used to treat schizophrenia and other forms of severe thought disorder.

Anti-Anxiety Drugs

Drugs used to control anxiety and agitation.

Anti-Depressant Drugs

Drugs used to treat depression, anxiety disorders, OCD, and PTSD (SSRIs -- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors).

Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT)

A biomedical therapy for severely depressed patients in which a brief electric current is sent thought the brain of an anesthetized patient.

Repetitive Trans-Cranial Magnetic Stimulation (RTMS)

The application of repeated pulses of magnetic energy to the brain; used to stimulate or suppress brain activity.


Surgery that removes or destroys brain tissue in an effort to change behaviour.


A psychosurgical procedure once used to calm uncontrollably emotional or violent patients. The procedure cut the nerves connecting the frontal lobes to the emotion-controlling centres of the inner brain.


The personal strength that helps most people cope with stress and recover from adversity and even trauma.

Post-Traumatic Growth

Positive psychological changes as a result of struggling with extremely challenging circumstances and life crises.

Oral Psycho Sexual Stage

0-18 months, mouth (sucking, biting, chewing)

Anal Psycho Sexual Stage

18-36 months, bowel and bladder elimination; coping with demands of control.

Phallic Psycho Sexual Stage

3-6 yrs, pleasure zone in the genitals; coping with incestuous sexual feelings.

Latency Psycho Sexual Stage

6 yrs to puberty, phase of dormant sexual feelings.

Genital Psycho Sexual Stage

Maturation of sexual interests.

Neo-Freudian Theorists

More emphasis on the conscious mind, doubted that sex and aggression were all consuming motivations. E.g., Alfred Adler, Karen Horney


Attributing our own threatening impulses to others.

Reaction Formation

Trading unacceptable impulses for their opposite.

Humanistic Theorists

Abraham Maslow & Carl Rogers; emphasized human potential.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Seek physiological needs, then personal safety, then seek to love, be loved and to love ourselves, then self esteem, and finally self actualization.

Roger's Growth Promoting Climate

Genuineness, acceptance, empathy; enable people to grow.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

126 questions which sort individuals according to Carl Jung's personality types.

Big Five Factors; basic trait dimensions

How stable are these traits?

How heritable are they?

Do these traits reflect differing brain structure?

Have these traits changed over time?

How well do these traits apply to various cultures?

Personality Traits Show Themselves in...

Our music preferences, bedrooms and offices, online spaces, written communications.

Self-Esteem Types

Defensive: sustaining itself; failure and criticism feel threatening.

Secure: less fragile (less contingent on external evaluations).

In Psychology/Psychiatry aims to...

1. Predict the disorder's future course.

2. Suggest appropriate treatment.

3. Prompt research into its causes.

Attention Deficit/Hyper-Activity Disorder (ADHD)

A psychological disorder marked by extreme inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity.

When do disorders usually appear?

75% by early adulthood.

Anti-Social Personality Disorder on average appears around age 8.

Phobias on average appear around age 10.

Alcoholism, OCD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia on average appear near 20.

Major Depressive Disorder often by 25.

Stimulus Generalization

Occurs when a person experiences a fearful event and later develops a fear of similar events.

To be diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder, a person must...

Display at least two of the following symptoms:

Difficulty with decision making and concentration

Feeling hopeless

Poor self-esteem

Reduced energy levels

Problems regulating sleep

Problems regulating appetite

Positive Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Hallucinations, deluded and disorganized speech, inappropriate laughter, tears or rage.

Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Toneless voices, expressionless faces, mute and rigid bodies.

Impaired Theory of Mind

Difficulty perceiving facial emotions and reading others' states of mind.

Fugue States

Sudden loss of memory or change in identity, often in response to an overwhelmingly stressful situation.


Philippe Pinel, Dorothea Dix; pushed for gentler, more humane treatments and for constructing mental hospitals.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

People reflect on trauma while triggering eye movements, supposedly enabling them to unlock and reprocess previously frozen memories. 84-100% report that this is effective. Three 90 min sessions.

Three Benefits of Psychotherapy

1. Hope for demoralized people

2. A new perspective leading to new behaviours

3. Empathetic, trusting, caring relationship