Chapter 1


The psychological processes through which people manage or cope with the demands and challenges of everyday life.


Any overt (observable) response or activity by an organism.

case study

An in-depth investigation of an individual subject.

clinical psychology

The branch of psychology concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of psychological problems and disorders.

control group

Subjects in an experiment who do not receive the special treatment given to the experimental group.


The extent to which two variables are related to each other.

correlation coefficient

A numerical index of the degree of relationship that exists between two variables.

dependent variable

In an experiment, the variable that is thought to be affected by manipulations of the independent variable.


The premise that knowledge should be acquired through observation.


A research method in which the investigator manipulates an (independent) variable under carefully controlled conditions and observes whether there are changes in a second (dependent) variable as a result.

experimental group

The subjects in an experiment who receive some special treatment in regard to the independent variable.

hedonic adaptation

The phenomenon that occurs when the mental scale that people use to judge the pleasantness and unpleasantness of their experiences shifts so that their neutral point, or baseline for comparison, is changed.

independent variable

In an experiment, a condition or event that an experimenter varies in order to see its impact on another variable.


Forgetting information because of competition from other learned material.

mnemonic devices

Strategies for enhancing memory.

naturalistic observation

An approach to research in which the researcher engages in careful observation of behavior without intervening directly with the subjects.


The science that studies behavior and the physiological and mental processes that underlie it and the profession that applies the accumulated knowledge of this science to practical problems.


A study system designed to promote effective reading that includes five steps: survey, question, read, recite, and review.

subjective well-being

Individuals’ personal assessments of their overall happiness or life satisfaction.


Structured questionnaires designed to solicit information about specific aspects of subjects’ behavior.


See dependent variable; independent variable.





Chapter 2


Emotionally charged images and thought forms that have universal meaning.


A theoretical orientation based on the premise that scientific psychology should study observable behavior.

classical conditioning

A type of learning in which a neutral stimulus acquires the capacity to evoke a response that was originally evoked by another stimulus.

collective unconscious

According to Jung, a storehouse of latent memory traces inherited from people’s ancestral past that is shared with the entire human race.


A defense mechanism characterized by efforts to overcome imagined or real inferiorities by developing one’s abilities.

conditioned response (CR)

A learned reaction to a conditioned stimulus that occurs because of previous conditioning.

conditioned stimulus (CS)

A previously neutral stimulus that has, through conditioning, acquired the capacity to evoke a conditioned response.


According to Freud, whatever one is aware of at a particular point in time.

defense mechanisms

Largely unconscious reactions that protect a person from unpleasant emotions such as anxiety and guilt.


Diverting emotional feelings (usually anger) from their original source to a substitute target.


According to Freud, the decision-making component of personality that operates according to the reality principle.

evolutionary psychology

A field of psychology that examines behavioral processes in terms of their adaptive value for members of a species over the course of many generations.


The gradual weakening and disappearance of a conditioned response tendency.


In Freud’s theory, a failure to move forward from one stage to another as expected.

heritability ratio

An estimate of the proportion of trait variability in a population that is determined by variations in genetic inheritance.

hierarchy of needs

A systematic arrangement of needs, according to priority, in which basic needs must be met before less basic needs are aroused.


A theoretical orientation that emphasizes the unique qualities of humans, especially their free will and their potential for personal growth.


In Freud’s theory, the primitive, instinctive component of personality that operates according to the pleasure principle.


Bolstering self-esteem by forming an imaginary or real alliance with some person or group.


The disparity between one’s self-concept and one’s actual experience.

need for self-actualization

The need to fulfill one’s potential; the highest need in Maslow’s motivational hierarchy.

negative reinforcement

The strengthening of a response because it is followed by the removal of a (presumably) unpleasant stimulus.


A broad personality trait associated with chronic anxiety, insecurity, and self-consciousness.

observational learning

Learning that occurs when an organism’s responding is influenced by observing others, who are called models.

Oedipal complex

According to Freud, a child’s erotically tinged desires for the other-sex parent, accompanied by feelings of hostility toward the same-sex parent.

operant conditioning

A form of learning in which voluntary responses come to be controlled by their consequences.


An individual’s unique constellation of consistent behavioral traits.

personality trait

A durable disposition to behave in a particular way in a variety of situations.

positive reinforcement

The strengthening of a response because it is followed by the arrival of a (presumably) pleasant stimulus.


According to Freud, material just beneath the surface of awareness that can be easily retrieved.


Attributing one’s own thoughts, feelings, or motives to another person.

projective tests

Personality tests that ask subjects to respond to vague, ambiguous stimuli in ways that may reveal the subjects’ needs, feelings, and personality traits.

psychodynamic theories

All the diverse theories descended from the work of Sigmund Freud that focus on unconscious mental forces.

psychological test

A standardized measure of a sample of a person’s behavior.

psychosexual stages

In Freud’s theory, developmental periods with a characteristic sexual focus that leave their mark on adult personality.


The weakening (decrease in frequency) of a response because it is followed by the arrival of a (presumably) unpleasant stimulus.


Creating false but plausible excuses to justify unacceptable behavior.

reaction formation

Behaving in a way that is exactly the opposite of one’s true feelings.


A reversion to immature patterns of behavior.


The measurement consistency of a test.


Keeping distressing thoughts and feelings buried in the unconscious.


See need for self-actualization.


A collection of beliefs about one’s basic nature, unique qualities, and typical behavior.


One’s belief about one’s ability to perform behaviors that should lead to expected outcomes.

self-report inventories

Personality scales that ask individuals to answer a series of questions about their characteristic behavior.


The uniform procedures used to administer and score a test.


According to Freud, the moral component of personality that incorporates social standards about what represents right and wrong.

test norms

Statistics that provide information about where a score on a psychological test ranks in relation to other scores on that test.

unconditioned response (UCR)

An unlearned reaction to an unconditioned stimulus that occurs without previous conditioning.

unconditioned stimulus (UCS)

A stimulus that evokes an unconditioned response without previous conditioning.


According to Freud, thoughts, memories, and desires that are well below the surface of conscious awareness but that nonetheless exert great influence on our behavior.


The ability of a test to measure what it was designed to measure.




Chapter 3

acute stressors

Threatening events that have a relatively short duration and a clear end point.

ambient stress

Chronic environmental conditions that, although not urgent, are negatively valued and place adaptive demands on people.

approach-approach conflict

A conflict in which a choice must be made between two attractive goals.

approach-avoidance conflict

A conflict in which a choice must be made about whether to pursue a single goal that has both attractive and unattractive aspects.

autonomic nervous system (ANS)

That portion of the peripheral nervous system made up of the nerves that connect to the heart, blood vessels, smooth muscles, and glands.

avoidance-avoidance conflict

A conflict in which a choice must be made between two unattractive goals.


Physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion that is attributable to work-related stress.

chronic stressors

Threatening events that have a relatively long duration and no readily apparent time limit.


The struggle that occurs when two or more incompatible motivations or behavioral impulses compete for expression.


Active efforts to master, reduce, or tolerate the demands created by stress.


Powerful, largely uncontrollable feelings, accompanied by physiological changes.

endocrine system

Glands that secrete chemicals called hormones into the bloodstream.

fight-or-flight response

A physiological reaction to threat that mobilizes an organism for attacking (fight) or fleeing (flight) an enemy.


The feelings that occur in any situation in which the pursuit of some goal is thwarted.

general adaptation syndrome

A model of the body’s stress response, consisting of three stages: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion.


A personality syndrome marked by commitment, challenge, and control that is purportedly associated with strong stress resistance.

life changes

Any noticeable alterations in one’s living circumstances that require readjustment.


A general tendency to expect good outcomes.

posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Disturbed behavior that emerges sometime after a major stressful event is over.


Expectations or demands that one behave in a certain way.

primary appraisal

An initial evaluation of whether an event is (1) irrelevant to one, (2) relevant, but not threatening, or (3) stressful.

psychosomatic diseases

Genuine physical ailments caused in part by psychological factors, especially emotional distress.

secondary appraisal

An evaluation of one’s coping resources and options for dealing with stress.

social support

Aid and succor provided by members of one’s social networks.


Any circumstances that threaten or are perceived to threaten one’s well-being and thereby tax one’s coping abilities.





Chapter 4


Any behavior intended to hurt someone, either physically or verbally.


In behavior modification, events that typically precede a target response.

behavior modification

A systematic approach to changing behavior through the application of the principles of conditioning.

behavioral contract

A written agreement outlining a promise to adhere to the contingencies of a behavior modification program.


Generating as many ideas as possible while withholding criticism and evaluation.

catastrophic thinking

Unrealistic appraisals of stress that exaggerate the magnitude of one’s problems.


The release of emotional tension.

constructive coping

Efforts to deal with stressful events that are judged to be relatively healthful.


Active efforts to master, reduce, or tolerate the demands created by stress.

defense mechanisms

Largely unconscious reactions that protect a person from unpleasant emotions such as anxiety and guilt.

emotional intelligence

The ability to monitor, assess, express, or regulate one’s emotions; the capacity to identify, interpret, and understand others’ emotions; and the ability to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions.

Internet addiction

Spending an inordinate amount of time on the Internet and inability to control online use.

learned helplessness

Passive behavior produced by exposure to unavoidable aversive events.


A family of mental exercises in which a conscious attempt is made to focus attention in a nonanalytical way.


Making up for frustration in one area by seeking overgratification in another area.


The tendency to delay tackling tasks until the last minute.

rational-emotive therapy

An approach to therapy that focuses on altering clients’ patterns of irrational thinking to reduce maladaptive emotions and behavior.


Modifying behavior by reinforcing closer and closer approximations of a desired response.

token economy

A system for doling out symbolic reinforcers that are exchanged later for a variety of genuine reinforcers.





Chapter 5

basking in reflected glory

The tendency to enhance one’s image by publicly announcing one’s association with those who are successful.


Putting group goals ahead of personal goals and defining one’s identity in terms of the groups to which one belongs.

downward social comparison

The defensive tendency to compare oneself with someone whose troubles are more serious than one’s own.

explanatory style

The tendency to use similar causal attributions for a wide variety of events in one’s life.

external attributions

Ascribing the causes of behavior to situational demands and environmental constraints.

impression management

Usually conscious efforts to influence the way others think of one.


Putting personal goals ahead of group goals and defining one’s identity in terms of personal attributes rather than group memberships.


Efforts to make oneself likable to others.

internal attributions

Ascribing the causes of behavior to personal dispositions, traits, abilities, and feelings rather than to external events.


The tendency to regard oneself as grandiosely self-important.

possible selves

One’s conceptions about the kind of person one might become in the future.

reference group

A set of people against whom one compares oneself.


Inferences that people draw about the causes of their own behavior.


A collection of beliefs about one’s basic nature, unique qualities, and typical behavior.

self-defeating behaviors

Seemingly intentional acts that thwart a person’s self-interest.


The mismatching of self-perceptions.


One’s belief about one’s ability to perform behaviors that should lead to expected outcomes.


The tendency to maintain positive views of oneself.


One’s overall assessment of one’s worth as a person; the evaluative component of the self-concept.


The tendency to sabotage one’s performance to provide an excuse for possible failure.


The degree to which people attend to and control the impressions they make on others.


Directing and controlling one’s behavior.

self-serving bias

The tendency to attribute one’s successes to personal factors and one’s failures to situational factors.

self-verification theory

The idea that people prefer to receive feedback from others that is consistent with their own self-views.

social comparison theory

The idea that people need to compare themselves with others in order to gain insight into their own behavior.





Chapter 6


Beliefs and feelings about people, objects, and ideas.


Inferences that people draw about the causes of events, others’ behavior, and their own behavior.

bystander effect

The social phenomenon in which individuals are less likely to provide needed help when others are present than when they are alone.


The medium through which a message reaches the receiver.


Yielding to social pressure in one’s public behavior, even though one’s private beliefs have not changed.

confirmation bias

The tendency to behave toward others in ways that confirm your expectations about them.


Yielding to real or imagined social pressure.

defensive attribution

The tendency to blame victims for their misfortune, so that one feels less likely to be victimized in a similar way.


Behaving differently, usually unfairly, toward members of a group.

door-in-the-face technique

Making a very large request that is likely to be turned down to increase the chance that people will agree to a smaller request later.

elaboration likelihood model

The idea that an individual’s thoughts about a persuasive message (rather than the message itself) determine whether attitude change will occur.

foot-in-the-door technique

Getting people to agree to a small request to increase the chances that they will agree to a larger request later.

fundamental attribution error

The tendency to explain others’ behavior as a result of personal rather than situational factors.

informational influence

Pressure to conform that operates when people look to others for how to behave in ambiguous situations.

lowball technique

Getting people to commit themselves to an attractive proposition before its hidden costs are revealed.


The information or meaning that is transmitted from one person to another.

normative influence

Pressure to conform that operates when people conform to social norms for fear of negative social consequences.


A form of compliance that occurs when people follow direct commands, usually from someone in a position of authority.

person perception

The process of forming impressions of others.


The communication of arguments and information intended to change another person’s attitudes.


A negative attitude toward members of a group.

primacy effect

The fact that initial information tends to carry more weight than subsequent information.


The person to whom a message is targeted.

reciprocity principle

The rule that one should pay back in kind what one receives from others.

self-fulfilling prophecy

The process whereby expectations about a person cause the person to behave in ways that confirm the expectations.


The person who initiates, or sends, a message.


Widely held beliefs that people have certain characteristics simply because of their membership in a particular group.

superordinate goals

Requiring two groups to work together to achieve a mutual goal.





Chapter 7


Acting in one’s own best interest by expressing one’s feelings and thoughts honestly and directly.

communication apprehension

The anxiety caused by having to talk with others.


The environment in which communication takes place.

display rules

Norms that govern the appropriate display of emotions.


Adopting another’s frame of reference to understand his or her point of view.


Manipulative interactions progressing toward a predictable outcome, in which people conceal their real motivations.

interpersonal communication

An interactional process whereby one person sends a message to another.

interpersonal conflict

Disagreement among two or more people.


The study of communication through body movements.


Any stimulus that interferes with accurately expressing or understanding a message.

nonverbal communication

The transmission of meaning from one person to another through means or symbols other than words.


All vocal cues other than the content of the verbal message itself.

personal space

A zone of space surrounding a person that is felt to “belong” to that person.


A device that records fluctuations in physiological arousal as a person answers questions.


The study of people’s use of interpersonal space.


The voluntary act of verbally communicating private information about oneself to another person.





Chapter 8

actor-observer effect

The tendency to attribute one’s own behavior to situation factors and others’ behavior to personal factors.

attachment styles

Typical ways of interacting in close relationships.

close relationships

Relatively long-lasting relationships in which frequent interactions occur in a variety of settings and in which the impact of the interactions is strong.


The decision and intent to maintain a relationship in spite of the difficulties and costs that may arise.

comparison level

One’s standard of what constitutes an acceptable balance of rewards and costs in a relationship.

comparison level for alternatives

One’s estimation of the available outcomes from alternative relationships.


The assumption that all individuals and relationships are heterosexual.


Warmth, closeness, and sharing in a relationship.


Things that people contribute to a relationship that they can’t get back if the relationship ends.


The emotional state that occurs when a person has fewer interpersonal relationships than desired or when these relationships are not as satisfying as desired.

matching hypothesis

The idea that people of similar levels of physical attractiveness gravitate toward each other.

mere exposure effect

An increase in positive feelings toward a novel stimulus (such as a person) based on frequent exposure to it.


The intense feelings (both positive and negative) experienced in love relationships, including sexual desire.


Geographic, residential, and other forms of spatial closeness.

reciprocal liking

Liking those who show they like you.

relationship maintenance

The actions and activities used to sustain the desired quality of a relationship.

sexual orientation

A person’s preference for emotional and sexual relationships with individuals of the same gender, the other gender, or either gender.


Discomfort, inhibition, and excessive caution in interpersonal relations.

social exchange theory

The idea that interpersonal relationships are governed by perceptions of the rewards and costs exchanged in interactions.





Chapter 9


Living together in a sexually intimate relationship without the legal bonds of marriage.

date rape

Forced and unwanted intercourse with someone in the context of dating.


The tendency of people to marry within their own social group.

family life cycle

An orderly sequence of developmental stages that families tend to progress through.


The tendency of people to marry others who have similar personal characteristics.

intimate violence

Aggression toward those who are in close relationships to the aggressor.


The legally and socially sanctioned union of sexually intimate adults.





Chapter 10


The belief that the male is the norm.


The coexistence of both masculine and feminine personality traits in an individual.

cerebral hemispheres

The right and left halves of the cerebrum, which is the convoluted outer layer of the brain.


Yielding to real or imagined social pressure.


A style of communication characterized by the ability to express tender emotions easily and to be sensitive to the feelings of others.


The state of being male or female.

gender identity

The ability to correctly classify oneself as male or female.

gender roles

Cultural expectations about what is appropriate behavior for each gender.

gender schemas

Cognitive structures that guide the processing of gender-relevant information.

gender stereotypes

Widely shared beliefs about males’ and females’ abilities, personality traits, and social behavior.

gender-role identity

A person’s identification with the traits regarded as masculine or feminine.

gender-role transcendence perspective

The idea that to be fully human, people need to move beyond gender roles as a way of organizing the world and of perceiving themselves and others.


The intense fear and intolerance of homosexuality.


Chemical substances released into the bloodstream by the endocrine glands.


A style of communication that focuses on reaching practical goals and finding solutions to problems.


A statistical technique that evaluates the results of many studies on the same question.


Discrimination against people on the basis of their sex.

social constructionism

The assertion that individuals construct their own reality based on societal expectations, conditioning, and self-socialization.

social role theory

The assertion that minor gender differences are exaggerated by the different social roles that males and females occupy.


The process by which individuals acquire the norms and roles expected of people in a particular society.






Chapter 11


The painful loss of a loved one through death.

death anxiety

Fear and apprehension about one’s own death.

death system

The collection of rituals and procedures used by a culture to handle death.


An abnormal condition marked by multiple cognitive defects that include memory impairment.


A relatively clear and stable sense of who one is and what one stands for.

infant attachment

The strong emotional bond that infants usually develop with their caregivers during the first year of their lives.


The first occurrence of menstruation.


The cessation of menstruation.

midlife crisis

A turbulent period of doubts and reappraisals of one’s life.


Formal practices of an individual and a community in response to a death.


Individual cells that receive, integrate, and transmit information.

primary sex characteristics

The structures necessary for reproduction.


The stage during which sexual functions reach maturity and that marks the beginning of adolescence.


The two-year span preceding puberty during which the changes leading to physical and sexual maturity take place.

secondary sex characteristics

The physical features that distinguish one gender from the other but are not essential for reproduction.

social clock

A person’s notion of a developmental schedule that specifies what the person should have accomplished by certain points in life.


An adolescent male’s first ejaculation.





Chapter 12

displaced workers

Individuals who are unemployed because their jobs have disappeared.

dual-earner households

Households in which both partners are employed.

glass ceiling

An invisible barrier that prevents most women and ethnic minorities from advancing to the highest levels of an occupation.

industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology

The study of human behavior in the workplace.

labor force

All people who are employed as well as those who are currently unemployed but are looking for work.


Unpaid activities one chooses to engage in because they are personally meaningful.

occupational interest inventories

Tests that measure one’s interests as they relate to various jobs or careers.

sexual harassment

The subjection of individuals to unwelcome sexually oriented behavior.


A symbol of all the members of a group.


Settling for a job that does not make full use of one’s skills, abilities, and training.


An activity that produces something of value for others.

work-family conflict

The feeling of being pulled in multiple directions by competing demands from job and family.





Chapter 13

anal intercourse

The insertion of the penis into a partner’s anus and rectum.


The principal class of male sex hormones.


People who seek emotional-sexual relationships with members of both genders.


The insertion of the penis into the vagina and (typically) pelvic thrusting.


The oral stimulation of the female genitals.

erectile difficulties

The male sexual dysfunction characterized by the persistent inability to achieve or maintain an erection adequate for intercourse.

erogenous zones

Areas of the body that are sexually sensitive or responsive.


The principal class of female sex hormones.


The oral stimulation of the penis.


The sex glands.


People whose sexual desires and erotic behaviors are directed toward the other gender.


The intense fear and intolerance of homosexuality.


People who seek emotional sexual relationships with members of the same gender.

hypoactive sexual desire

Lack of interest in sexual activity.


The release that occurs when sexual arousal reaches its peak intensity and is discharged in a series of muscular contractions that pulsate through the pelvic area.

orgasmic difficulties

Sexual disorders characterized by an ability to experience sexual arousal but persistent problems in achieving orgasm.

premature ejaculation

Impaired sexual relations because a man consistently reaches orgasm too quickly.

refractory period

A time after orgasm during which males are unable to experience another orgasm.

sensate focus

A sex-therapy exercise in which partners take turns pleasuring each other with guided verbal feedback while certain kinds of stimulation are temporarily forbidden.

sex therapy

The professional treatment of sexual dysfunctions.

sexual dysfunctions

Impairments in sexual functioning that cause subjective distress.

sexual identity

The complex of personal qualities, self-perceptions, attitudes, values, and preferences that guide one’s sexual behavior.

sexually transmitted disease (STD)

An illness that is transmitted primarily through sexual contact.


Engorgement of blood vessels.






Chapter 14

acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)

A disorder in which the immune system is gradually weakened and eventually disabled by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

alcohol dependence

See alcoholism


A chronic, progressive disorder marked by a growing compulsion to drink and impaired control over drinking that eventually interfere with health and social behavior.


A disease characterized by gradual narrowing of the coronary arteries.

biopsychosocial model

The idea that physical illness is caused by a complex interaction of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors.

body mass index (BMI)

Weight (in kilograms) divided by height (in meters) squared (kg/m2).


Malignant cell growth, which may occur in many organ systems in the body.


The hemp plant from which marijuana, hashish, and THC are derived.

coronary heart disease

A chronic disease characterized by a reduction in blood flow from the coronary arteries, which supply the heart with blood.


A diverse group of drugs that have powerful effects on mental and emotional functioning, marked most prominently by distortions in sensory and perceptual experience.

health psychology

The subfield of psychology concerned with the relation of psychosocial factors to the promotion and maintenance of health, and with the causation, prevention, and treatment of illness.

immune response

The body’s defensive reaction to invasion by bacteria, viral agents, or other foreign substances.

narcotics (opiates)

Drugs derived from opium that are capable of relieving pain.


A collection of processes (mainly food consumption) through which an organism uses the materials (nutrients) required for survival and growth.


An excessive dose of a drug that can seriously threaten one’s life.

physical dependence

The need to continue to take a drug to avoid withdrawal illness.

psychological dependence

The need to continue to take a drug to satisfy intense mental and emotional craving for it.


Sleep-inducing drugs that tend to decrease central nervous system and behavioral activity.

set-point theory

The idea that there is a natural point of stability in body weight, thought to involve the monitoring of fat cell levels.

Settling-point theory

The idea that weight tends to drift around the level at which the constellation of factors that determine food consumption and energy expenditure achieve an equilibrium.


Drugs that tend to increase central nervous system and behavioral activity.


A progressive decrease in responsiveness to a drug with continued use.

Type A personality

A personality style marked by a competitive orientation, impatience and urgency, and anger and hostility.

Type B personality

A personality style marked by relatively relaxed, patient, easygoing, amicable behavior.






Chapter 15


A fear of going out to public places.

anorexia nervosa

An eating disorder characterized by intense fear of gaining weight, disturbed body image, refusal to maintain normal weight, and dangerous methods to lose weight.

anxiety disorders

A class of psychological disorders marked by feelings of excessive apprehension and anxiety.

bipolar disorders

Psychological disorders marked by the experience of both depressed and manic periods.

bulimia nervosa

An eating disorder characterized by habitual out-of-control overeating followed by unhealthy compensatory efforts, such as self-induced vomiting, fasting, abuse of laxatives and diuretics, and excessive exercise.

catatonic schizophrenia

A type of schizophrenia marked by striking motor disturbances, ranging from muscular rigidity to random motor activity.

concordance rate

A statistic indicating the percentage of twin pairs or other pairs of relatives that exhibit the same disorder.

conversion disorder

Psychological disorder characterized by a significant loss of physical function or by other physical symptoms (with no apparent organic basis), usually in a single organ system.


False beliefs that are maintained even though they clearly are out of touch with reality.


Distinguishing one illness from another.

disorganized schizophrenia

A type of schizophrenia characterized by a particularly severe deterioration of adaptive behavior.

dissociative amnesia

A sudden loss of memory for important personal information that is too extensive to be due to normal forgetting.

dissociative disorders

A class of psychological disorders characterized by loss of contact with portions of one’s consciousness or memory, resulting in disruptions in one’s sense of identity.

dissociative fugue

A loss of memory for one’s entire past life, along with one’s sense of personal identity.

dissociative identity disorder

Dissociative disorder involving the coexistence in one person of two or more largely complete, and usually very different, personalities. Also called multiple- personality disorder.

eating disorders

Severe disturbances in eating behavior characterized by preoccupation with weight and unhealthy efforts to control weight.


The study of the distribution of mental or physical disorders in a population.


The apparent causation and developmental history of an illness.

generalized anxiety disorder

A psychological disorder marked by a chronic high level of anxiety that is not tied to any specific threat.


Sensory perceptions that occur in the absence of a real external stimulus or that represent gross distortions of perceptual input.

hypochondriasis (hypochondria)

Excessive preoccupation with health concerns and incessant worry about developing physical illnesses.


A legal status indicating that a person cannot be held responsible for his or her actions because of mental illness.

involuntary commitment

Hospitalizing people in psychiatric facilities against their will.

major depressive disorder

Psychological disorder characterized by persistent feelings of sadness and despair and a loss of interest in previous sources of pleasure.

manic-depressive disorder

See bipolar disorder.

medical model

The idea that it is useful to think of abnormal behavior as a disease.

mood disorders

A class of disorders marked by emotional disturbances that may spill over to disrupt physical, perceptual, social, and thought processes.

multiple-personality disorder

See dissociative identity disorder


Chemicals that carry signals from one neuron to another.

obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

A psychological disorder marked by persistent uncontrollable intrusions of unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and by urges to engage in senseless rituals (compulsions).

panic disorder

Recurrent attacks of overwhelming anxiety that usually occur suddenly and unexpectedly.

paranoid schizophrenia

A type of schizophrenia dominated by delusions of persecution, along with delusions of grandeur.

phobic disorders

Anxiety disorders marked by a persistent and irrational fear of an object or situation that presents no realistic danger.


The percentage of a population that exhibits a disorder during a specified time period.


A forecast about the probable course of an illness.

schizophrenic disorders

A class of disorders marked by disturbances in thought that spill over to affect perceptual, social, and emotional processes.

somatization disorder

A psychological disorder marked by a history of diverse physical complaints that appear to be psychological in origin.

somatoform disorders

A class of psychological disorders involving physical ailments that have no authentic organic basis but are due solely to psychological factors.

undifferentiated schizophrenia

A type of schizophrenia marked by idiosyncratic mixtures of schizophrenic symptoms.





Chapter 16

allegiance effect

The idea that researchers comparing different therapies tend to obtain results that favor the therapeutic approach they champion.

antianxiety drugs

Drugs that relieve tension, apprehension, and nervousness.

antidepressant drugs

Drugs that gradually elevate mood and help to bring people out of a depression.

antipsychotic drugs

Drugs used to gradually reduce psychotic symptoms, including hyperactivity, mental confusion, hallucinations, and delusions.

aversion therapy

A behavior therapy in which an aversive stimulus is paired with a stimulus that elicits an undesirable response.

behavior therapies

The application of the principles of learning to direct efforts to change clients’ maladaptive behaviors.

biomedical therapies

Physiological interventions intended to reduce symptoms associated with psychological disorders.

client-centered therapy

An insight therapy that emphasizes providing a supportive emotional climate for clients, who play a major role in determining the pace and direction of their therapy.

clinical psychologists

Psychologists who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders and everyday behavioral problems.

cognitive therapy

An insight therapy that emphasizes recognizing and changing negative thoughts and maladaptive beliefs.

counseling psychologists

Psychologists who specialize in the treatment of everyday behavioral problems.

dream analysis

A psychotherapeutic technique in which the therapist interprets the symbolic meaning of the client’s dreams.

electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

A biomedical treatment in which electric shock is used to produce a cortical seizure accompanied by convulsions.

free association

A psychotherapeutic technique in which clients spontaneously express their thoughts and feelings exactly as they occur, with as little censorship as possible.

group therapy

The simultaneous treatment of several or more clients in a group.

insight therapies

A group of psychotherapies in which verbal interactions are intended to enhance clients’ self-knowledge and thus promote healthful changes in personality and behavior.


A therapist’s attempts to explain the inner significance of the client’s thoughts, feelings, memories, and behaviors.

mood stabilizers

Drugs used to control mood swings in patients with bipolar mood disorders.


Physicians who specialize in the treatment of psychological disorders.


An insight therapy that emphasizes the recovery of unconscious conflicts, motives, and defenses through techniques such as free association, dream analysis, and transference.


The treatment of mental disorders with medication.


Largely unconscious defensive maneuvers intended to hinder the progress of therapy.

social skills training

A behavior therapy designed to improve interpersonal skills that emphasizes shaping, modeling, and behavioral rehearsal.

systematic desensitization

A behavior therapy used to reduce clients’ anxiety responses through counter conditioning.

tardive dyskinesia

A neurological disorder marked by chronic tremors and involuntary spastic movements.


A phenomenon that occurs when clients start relating to their therapist in ways that mimic critical relationships in their lives.