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100 Psychology Basic Terms and Definitions PDF You Must Know

by Abeera Arshad
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Psychology Basic Terms and Definitions PDF

100 Psychology Basic Terms and Definitions PDF You Must Know, Psychology, the study of the mind and behavior, is a fascinating field that offers valuable insights into human nature. Whether you’re a student embarking on a psychology course or simply interested in understanding the basics of human behavior, this blog post will introduce you to essential psychology terms and definitions that you must know. Let’s dive in and unravel the mysteries of the human mind!

Psychology: The Science of the Mind

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior. It seeks to understand individuals and groups by establishing general principles and researching specific cases. Psychologists explore a vast array of topics, including emotions, thoughts, and social interactions.

100 Psychology Basic Terms and Definitions PDF You Must Know Familiarize Yourself With

1. Psychology: The scientific study of the mind and behavior.

2. Behavior: Any observable action or reaction of a living organism.

3. Cognition: Mental processes related to acquiring, processing, and storing information.

4. Emotion: A complex psychological state that involves a distinctive set of feelings, thoughts, and physiological responses.

5. Consciousness: The state of being aware of and able to think, perceive, and understand one’s surroundings.

6. Perception: The process of organizing and interpreting sensory information to give it meaning.

7. Memory: The ability to store, retain, and retrieve information over time.

8. Learning: A relatively permanent change in behavior or knowledge due to experience.

9. Motivation: The process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviors.

10. Intelligence: The ability to learn, reason, problem-solve, and adapt to new situations.

11. Personality: A unique set of consistent behavioral traits and patterns that characterize an individual.

12. Developmental Psychology: The study of how people change and grow over time.

13. Social Psychology: The scientific study of how people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the presence of others.

14. Abnormal Psychology: The study of abnormal behavior and psychological disorders.

15. Psychotherapy: The use of psychological techniques and therapeutic relationships to treat emotional and behavioral issues.

16. Stress: A physiological and psychological response to a perceived threat or challenge.

17. Nature vs. Nurture: The debate about the relative contributions of genetic inheritance and environmental factors to human development and behavior.

18. Classical Conditioning: A type of learning in which a neutral stimulus becomes associated with a specific response through repeated pairing.

19. Operant Conditioning: A type of learning in which behavior is strengthened or weakened by consequences.

20. Cognitive Dissonance: The psychological discomfort experienced when holding conflicting beliefs or attitudes.

21. Schema: A mental framework that organizes and interprets information.

22. Socialization: The lifelong process through which individuals acquire their culture and learn the behaviors and norms of their society.

23. Attitude: A learned tendency to evaluate objects, people, or issues in a particular way.

24. Self-Efficacy: Belief in one’s ability to succeed in specific situations or accomplish a task.

25. Self-Actualization: The realization and fulfillment of one’s talents and potentialities.

26. Conformity: Adjusting one’s behavior or thinking to coincide with a group standard.

27. Obedience: Compliance with orders, requests, or instructions from authority figures.

28. Cognitive Dissonance Theory: The theory that individuals strive for consistency between their beliefs and behaviors, leading to discomfort when they conflict.

29. Defense Mechanism: Unconscious psychological strategies used to cope with anxiety and protect the ego.

30. Social Norms: Implicit or explicit rules a group has for the acceptable behaviors, values, and beliefs of its members.

31. Placebo Effect: Improvement in symptoms or health due to the belief in the effectiveness of a treatment, even if it has no therapeutic effect.

32. Antisocial Personality Disorder: A chronic mental condition characterized by persistent patterns of disregard for the rights of others.

33. Bipolar Disorder: A mood disorder marked by alternating periods of depression and mania.

34. Schizophrenia: A severe mental disorder characterized by disturbances in thought, perception, emotion, and behavior.

35. Confirmation Bias: The tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s preexisting beliefs.

36. Nature vs. Nurture Debate: The ongoing discussion about the relative importance of genetic predisposition (nature) versus environmental factors (nurture) in determining behavior.

37. Psychological Resilience: The ability to bounce back from adverse events and maintain psychological well-being.

38. PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder): A mental health condition triggered by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event.

39. Pavlovian Conditioning: Another term for classical conditioning, named after the Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov.

40. Repression: A defense mechanism where unpleasant or threatening thoughts or memories are pushed out of conscious awareness.

41. Rationalization: Creating logical or socially acceptable explanations for behaviors or feelings that are irrational.

42. Empathy: The ability to understand and share the feelings of another person.

43. Intrinsic Motivation: Engaging in an activity for its own sake because it is inherently rewarding.

44. Extrinsic Motivation: Engaging in an activity to earn external rewards or avoid punishment.

45. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: A theory that arranges human needs in a pyramid, with basic needs at the bottom and higher-order needs at the top.

46. Aggression: Behavior intended to harm or injure another person.

47. Discrimination: Unjust or prejudicial treatment based on factors such as race, age, gender, or social class.

48. Prejudice: A negative or positive attitude and beliefs about a person or group based on their perceived characteristics.

49. Self-Concept: The overall perception individuals have about their abilities, traits, and worth.

50. Psychological Disorder: A condition characterized by abnormal thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

51. Milgram Experiment: A famous psychological study on obedience to authority figures, conducted by Stanley Milgram.

52. Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment: A controversial study conducted by Philip Zimbardo on the psychological effects of perceived power, focusing on the prison environment.

53. Nature vs. Nurture: The debate about the relative contributions of genetic inheritance and environmental factors to human development and behavior.

54. Introspection: Examination of one’s conscious thoughts and feelings.

55. Social Facilitation: Improved performance in the presence of others for tasks one is good at.

56. Social Loafing: The tendency for people to exert less effort in a group setting than when individually accountable.

57. Scapegoating: Blaming a person or group for the actions or mistakes of others.

58. Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID): A controversial diagnosis where two or more distinct identities or personality states coexist within one person.

59. Panic Disorder: Recurrent, unexpected panic attacks accompanied by intense fear and discomfort.

60. Phobia: An irrational, intense, and persistent fear of specific objects, activities, or situations.

61. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): An anxiety disorder characterized by unwanted, repetitive thoughts (obsessions) and actions (compulsions).

62. Deindividuation: Loss of self-awareness and inhibitions in group situations that foster arousal and anonymity.

63. Catharsis: Emotional release or purification often achieved through art, drama, or therapy.

64. Flashbulb Memory: Exceptionally vivid and detailed memories of emotionally significant events.

65. Implicit Memory: Unconscious retention of information acquired without deliberate learning.

66. Schema Theory: A cognitive theory that explains how people organize and interpret information in their brain.

67. Hindsight Bias: The tendency to perceive events as having been more predictable after the events have occurred.

68. Social Exchange Theory: The idea that social behavior is the result of an exchange process, maximizing benefits and minimizing costs.

69. Biopsychosocial Model: A holistic approach to understanding health and illness that considers biological, psychological, and social factors.

70. Abnormal Psychology: The study of abnormal behavior and psychological disorders.

71. Id: In Freudian theory, the primitive and instinctual part of the mind that seeks immediate satisfaction of desires.

72. Ego: In Freudian theory, the part of the mind that balances the desires of the id and the realities of the external world.

73. Superego: In Freudian theory, the part of the mind that represents internalized ideals and provides standards for judgment.

74. Defense Mechanism: Unconscious strategies the mind uses to protect itself from anxiety.

75. Sigmund Freud: The founding father of psychoanalysis and one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century.

76. Erik Erikson: A developmental psychologist known for his theory of psychosocial development, describing stages of human development throughout the lifespan.

77. Jean Piaget: A pioneering Swiss psychologist known for his research on child development and his theory of cognitive development.

78. B.F. Skinner: An American psychologist and behaviorist known for his research on operant conditioning and behavior modification.

79. Abraham Maslow: An American psychologist known for his theory of human motivation and the hierarchy of needs.

80. Carl Rogers: An influential humanistic psychologist known for his client-centered therapy and emphasis on unconditional positive regard.

81. John B. Watson: An American psychologist and behaviorist known for his work on classical conditioning and the Little Albert experiment.

82. Albert Bandura: A Canadian-American psychologist known for his social learning theory and the concept of self-efficacy.

83. Mary Ainsworth: A developmental psychologist known for her work on attachment theory and the “Strange Situation” experiment.

84. Lawrence Kohlberg: An American psychologist known for his theory of moral development, describing stages of moral reasoning in humans.

85. Elizabeth Loftus: A cognitive psychologist known for her research on human memory and the malleability of eyewitness testimony.

86. Stanley Schachter: An American social psychologist known for his research on emotions and the two-factor theory of emotion.

87. Solomon Asch: A social psychologist known for his studies on conformity and the Asch conformity experiments.

88. Karen Horney: A psychoanalyst known for her theories on neurotic needs and coping strategies in psychotherapy.

89. Harry Harlow: A psychologist known for his experiments with rhesus monkeys, demonstrating the importance of social and maternal contact for healthy development.

90. Philip Zimbardo: An American psychologist known for his Stanford prison experiment, studying the psychological effects of perceived power and authority.

91. Ethnocentrism: The tendency to view one’s own cultural group as superior to others and to judge other cultures based on one’s own cultural norms and values.

92. Learned Helplessness: A psychological state in which an individual believes they have no control over their circumstances, leading to feelings of helplessness and reduced motivation to escape or avoid negative situations.

93. Cognitive Disruption: The interruption or interference in thought processes, often occurring in conditions such as schizophrenia, where thoughts are fragmented and disconnected.

94. Neuroplasticity: The brain’s ability to reorganize its structure, functions, and connections in response to learning, experience, or injury.

95. Social Constructivism: A theory that emphasizes the role of social interactions and cultural context in the construction of knowledge and understanding.

96. Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: A belief or expectation that influences a person’s behavior in such a way that it causes the belief to become true, often leading to confirmation bias.

97. Somatic Symptom Disorder: A psychological disorder characterized by the presence of one or more physical symptoms that cause excessive distress or impairment, but cannot be explained by any underlying medical condition.

98. Groupthink: A psychological phenomenon in which group members tend to conform to consensus decisions, even if it leads to poor or irrational outcomes, to maintain harmony within the group.

99. Token Economy: A behavioral therapy technique that rewards desired behaviors with tokens or points, which can later be exchanged for privileges, treats, or other reinforcers.

100. Postmodernism: A philosophical and cultural movement that challenges the concepts of objective truth and universal values, emphasizing the importance of individual perspectives and experiences.

Why Understanding These Terms Matters?

Understanding these fundamental concepts is crucial because they form the basis of more advanced psychological theories and research.

Moreover, knowing these terms enhances your ability to communicate effectively about psychological phenomena and theories.

Practical Applications in Everyday Life

Knowledge of psychology can be applied in various real-life scenarios, such as understanding human behavior in social interactions, improving communication skills, and even enhancing personal relationships.

By grasping these basic terms, you can navigate social situations with a deeper understanding of human nature.

Conclusion: Embrace the World of Psychology

In conclusion, 100 Psychology Basic Terms and Definitions PDF You Must Know as we have discussed all about this and learning the fundamental terms and definitions in psychology is the first step toward unraveling the complexities of the human mind. By incorporating these terms into your vocabulary, you empower yourself with the ability to comprehend and discuss psychological concepts effectively.

So, whether you’re delving into a psychology course, preparing for a career in mental health, or simply curious about the workings of the human mind, embracing these basic terms is essential. Start your journey into the fascinating world of psychology today, armed with the knowledge you need to explore the depths of the human psyche.

Remember, the key to mastering any field is a strong foundation. So, familiarize yourself with these basic psychology terms and definitions, and watch your understanding of the human mind flourish!

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