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Flashcards in Theories Deck (72):

James-Lange Theory (Theory of Emotion)

This theory of emotion suggests that emotions occur as a result of physiological reactions to events. In other words, this theory proposes that people have a physiological response to environmental stimuli and that their interpretation of that physical response then results in an emotional experience.


Cannon-Bard Theory (Theory of Emotion)

This theory of emotion went counter the James-Lange Theory suggesting that stimulation/arousal and emotion are a combined response to a stimulating event. That is, they occur simultaneously


Stacker's Two-Factor Theory (Theory of Emotion)

The two-factor theory of emotion, states that emotion is based on two factors: physiological arousal and cognitive label. According to the theory, when an emotion is felt, a physiological arousal occurs and the person uses the immediate environment to search for emotional cues to label the physiological arousal.


Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Definition (Theory of Motivation)

Maslow stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs and that some needs take precedence over others. This five-stage model can be divided into deficiency needs and growth needs. The first four levels are often referred to as deficiency needs (D-needs), and the top level is known as growth or being needs (B-needs).


Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (Theory of Motivation)

(1) Physiological
(2) Safety
(3) Love/belonging
(4) Esteem
(5) Self-Actualization


Hertzberg’s Two-Factor Theory (Theory of Motivation)

Herzberg found 2 factors that influence employee motivation and satisfaction:

1. Motivator factors – Simply put, these are factors that lead to satisfaction and motivate employees to work harder. Examples might include enjoying your work, feeling recognised and career progression.

2. Hygiene factors – These factors can lead to dissatisfaction and a lack of motivation if they are absent. Examples include salary, company policies, benefits, relationships with managers and co-workers.


Hawthorne Effect (Motivation)

A tendency for some people to work harder and perform better when they were being observed by researchers


Expectancy Theory Definition (Theory of Motivation)

Expectancy Theory proposes that people will choose how to behave depending on the outcomes they expect as a result of their behaviour. In other words, we decide what to do based on what we expect the outcome to be. At work, it might be that we work longer hours because we expect a pay rise.


Expectancy Theory (Theory of Motivation)

Expectancy Theory is based on three elements:

1. Expectancy – the belief that your effort will result in your desired goal. This is based on your past experience, your self confidence and how difficult you think the goal is to achieve.
2. Instrumentality – the belief that you will receive a reward if you meet performance expectations.
3. Valence – the value you place on the reward


Three-Dimensional Theory of Attribution Definition (Theory of Motivation)

This theory assumes that people try to determine why we do what we do. According to Weiner, the reasons we attribute to our behaviour can influence how we behave in the future.


Three-Dimensional Theory of Attribution (Theory of Motivation)

1. Stability – how stable is the attribution? For example, if the student believes they failed the exam because they weren’t smart enough, this is a stable factor. An unstable factor is less permanent, such as being ill.

2. Locus of control – was the event caused by an internal or an external factor? For example, if the student believes it’s their own fault they failed the exam, because they are innately not smart enough (an internal cause), they may be less motivated in the future. If they believed an external factor was to blame, such as poor teaching, they may not experience such a drop in motivation.

3. Controllability – how controllable was the situation? If an individual believes they could have performed better, they may be less motivated to try again in the future than someone who believes they failed because of factors outside of their control.


Goal Setting Theory (Theory of Motivation)

Studies by Edwin Locke shows that more specific and ambitious goals lead to more performance improvement than easy or general goals. As long as the person accepts the goal, has the ability to attain it, and does not have conflicting goals, there is a positive linear relationship between goal difficulty and task performance.


Need-Achievement Theory (Theory of Motivation)

The aim of need achievement theory is to explain why certain individuals are more motivated to achieve than others. It is based on two psychological principles: the motive of an individual to achieve success and the motive of an individual to avoid failure. This theory is described as an approach-avoidance model because an individual will be motivated either (a) to take part in (approach) or (b) to withdraw from (avoid) a situation, based on the strength of the two forces in relation to each other.


Self-Dermination Theory / Internal Motivation Theory (Theory of Motivation)

According to self-determination theory, suggests that people are motivated to grow and change by innate psychological needs. People need to feel the following in order to achieve such psychological growth:

Competence: People need to gain mastery of tasks and learn different skills.
Connection or Relatedness: People need to experience a sense of belonging and attachment to other people.
Autonomy: People need to feel in control of their own behaviors and goals.


Fechner's / Weber's Law

Fechner's law states that the subjective sensation is proportional to the logarithm of the stimulus intensity. According to this law, human perceptions of sight and sound work as follows: Perceived loudness/brightness is proportional to logarithm of the actual intensity measured with an accurate nonhuman instrument.

Fechner's law states that even tho "just noticeable differences" aren't physically equal in this way, they are psychologically perceived as equal (psychologically equal).

e.g., you can't tell the difference between 20 and 21 pounds although they are physically different.


Emic and Etic (cultural perspectives)

The emic and etic perspectives have equally long pedigrees in social science. The emic or inside perspective follows in the tradition of psychological studies of folk beliefs (Wundt, 1888) and in cultural anthropologists' striving to understand culture from "the native's point of view" (Malinowski, 1922). The etic or outside per- spective follows in the tradition of behaviorist psychology (Skinner, 1938) and anthropological approaches that link cultural practices to exter- nal, antecedent factors, such as economic or ecological conditions, that may not be salient to
cultural insiders (Harris, 1979).


Zeigarnik effect

people are more likely to remember uncompleted tasks than completed tasks.


Barnum effect

tendency for people to identify with vague descriptions of themselves, e.g. horoscopes.


Rosenthal effect

(self-fulfilling prophecy) experimenters inject their bias so outcomes fulfill their


Dunning–Kruger effect

is a cognitive bias wherein people of low ability suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their cognitive ability as greater than it is.



Reactances can occur when someone is heavily pressured to accept a certain view or attitude. Reactance can cause the person to adopt or strengthen a view or attitude that is contrary to what was intended, and also increases resistance to persuasion.


Bouba/Kiki effec

non-arbitrary mapping between speech sounds and the visual shape of objects. This effect was first observed by German-American psychologist Wolfgang Köhler. (e.g., Bouba relates to a rounded object while kiki relates to an angular object)


Bystander effect

Individuals are less likely to offer help to a victim when other people are present


Cross-race effect

The tendency to more easily recognize faces of the race that one is most familiar with.


Endowment Effect

People ascribe more value to things merely because they own them.


False consensus effect

It is an attributional type of cognitive bias whereby people tend to overestimate the extent to which their opinions, beliefs, preferences, values, and habits are normal and typical of those of others


Fan Effect

Recognition times or error rate for a particular concept increases as more information about the concept is acquired.


Framing effect

This is an example of cognitive bias, in which people react to a particular choice in different ways depending on how it is presented; e.g. as a loss or as a gain.


Flynn Effect

The Flynn effect is the substantial and long-sustained increase in both fluid and crystallized intelligence test scores measured in many parts of the world from roughly 1930 to the present day.



This is a cognitive bias that describes the common human tendency to rely too heavily on the first piece of information offered (the "anchor") when making decisions


Generation effect

This is a phenomenon where information is better remembered if it is generated from one's own mind rather than simply read.


Halo Effect

The halo effect is a form of cognitive bias in which the brain allows specific positive traits to positively influence the overall evaluation of a person.


Hedonic adaptation

This is the observed tendency of humans to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes.


Kappa effect

In perceiving a sequence of consecutive stimuli, subjects tend to overestimate the elapsed time between two successive stimuli when the distance between the stimuli is sufficiently large, and to underestimate the elapsed time when the distance is sufficiently small.


Level-of-processing effect

Deeper levels of analysis produce more elaborate, longer-lasting, and stronger memory traces than shallow levels of analysis.


Martha Mitchell effect

This is the process by which a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health clinician labels the patient's accurate perception of real events as delusional and misdiagnoses accordingly.


Matthew Effect

In the sociology of science, "Matthew effect" (rich get richer) was a term coined by Robert K. Merton to describe how, among other things, eminent scientists will often get more credit than a comparatively unknown researcher, even if their work is similar; it also means that credit will usually be given to researchers who are already famous


Mere-exposure Effect

This is a psychological phenomenon by which people tend to develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them. In social psychology, this effect is sometimes called the familiarity principle.


Misinformation effect

This happens when a person's recall of episodic memories becomes less accurate because of post-event information.


Negativity bias

refers to the notion that, even when of equal intensity, things of a more negative nature (e.g. unpleasant thoughts, emotions, or social interactions; harmful/traumatic events) have a greater effect on one's psychological state and processes than do neutral or positive things.


Novelty effect

The novelty effect, in the context of human performance, is the tendency for performance to initially improve when new technology is instituted, not because of any actual improvement in learning or achievement, but in response to increased interest in the new technology.


Observer-expectancy effect

This is a form of reactivity in which a researcher's cognitive bias causes them to subconsciously influence the participants of an experiment.


Out-group homogeneity effect

This is one's perception of out-group members as more similar to one another than are in-group members, e.g. "they are alike; we are diverse".


Fundamental attribution error

The fundamental attribution error refers to a bias in explaining others' behaviors. According to this error, when we make attributions about another person's actions, we are likely to overemphasize the role of dispositional factors, while minimizing the influence of situational factors.


Actor-observer bias

We tend to under-value dispositional explanations and over-value situational explanations of our own behavior.


Self-serving bias

A self-serving bias refers to people's tendency to attribute their successes to internal factors but attribute their failures to external.


Hostile attribution bias

Hostile attribution bias (HAB) has been defined as an interpretive bias wherein individuals exhibit a tendency to interpret others' ambiguous behaviors as hostile, rather than benign.[8][9] For example, if a child witnesses two other children whispering and assumes they are talking about him/her, that child makes an attribution of hostile intent, even though the other children's behavior was potentially benign.


group attribution error

Refers to people's tendency to believe either (1) that the characteristics of an individual group member are reflective of the group as a whole, or (2) that a group's decision outcome must reflect the preferences of individual group members, even when external information is available suggesting otherwise.


in-group–out-group bias

This is a pattern of favoring members of one's in-group over out-group members. This can be expressed in evaluation of others, in allocation of resources, and in many other ways.


Psychological projection

A theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others.[1] For example, a person who is habitually rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude. It incorporates blame shifting.


Trait ascription bias

The tendency for people to view themselves as relatively variable in terms of personality, behavior and mood while viewing others as much more predictable in their personal traits across different situations.[1] More specifically, it is a tendency to describe one's own behaviour in terms of situational factors while preferring to describe another's behaviour by ascribing fixed dispositions to their personality.


Cultural bias

Interpreting and judging phenomena by standards inherent to one's own culture.


Groupthink / Bandwagon Effect

The tendency to do (or believe) things because many other people do (or believe) the same.


Experimenter's or expectation bias

The tendency for experimenters to believe, certify, and publish data that agree with their expectations for the outcome of an experiment, and to disbelieve, discard, or downgrade the corresponding weightings for data that appear to conflict with those expectations


Hyperbolic discounting

Discounting is the tendency for people to have a stronger preference for more immediate payoffs relative to later payoffs.


Authority bias

The tendency to attribute greater accuracy to the opinion of an authority figure (unrelated to its content) and be more influenced by that opinion


Spotlight effect

The tendency to overestimate the amount that other people notice your appearance or


Primacy effect, recency effect & serial position effect

That items near the end of a sequence are the easiest to recall, followed by the items at the beginning of a sequence; items in the middle are the least likely to be remembered


Rosenthal effect/Pygmalion Effect

Phenomenon whereby higher expectations lead to an increase in performance


Spacing effect

Phenomenon whereby learning is greater when studying is spread out over time, as opposed to studying the same amount of content in a single session.


Stroop effect

The Stroop effect is a demonstration of interference in the reaction time of a task. When the name of a color (e.g., "blue", "green", or "red") is printed in a color that is not denoted by the name (e.g., the word "red" printed in blue ink instead of red ink), naming the color of the word takes longer and is more prone to errors than when the color of the ink matches the name of the color.


Subject-expectancy effect

This is a form of reactivity that occurs in scientific experiments or medical treatments when a research subject or patient expects a given result and therefore unconsciously affects the outcome, or reports the expected result. Because this effect can significantly bias the results of experiments (especially on human subjects), double-blind methodology is used to eliminate the effect.


testing effect

The finding that long-term memory is increased when some of the learning period is devoted to retrieving the to-be-remembered information through testing with proper feedback.


Von Restorff effect

The von Restorff effect, also known as the "isolation effect", predicts that when multiple homogeneous stimuli are presented, the stimulus that differs from the rest is more likely to be remembered.


Joseph Wolpe

Systematic desensitization is what Wolpe is most famous for.[10] Systematic desensitization is when the client is exposed to the anxiety-producing stimulus at a low level, and once no anxiety is present a stronger version of the anxiety-producing stimulus is given. This continues until the individual client no longer feels any anxiety towards the stimulus. There are three main steps in using systematic desensitization, following development of a proper case formulation [11] or what Wolpe originally called, "behavior analysis". The first step is to teach the client relaxation techniques. Wolpe developed the Subjective Units of Disturbance Scale (SUDS) for assessing the level of subjective discomfort or psychological pain.


John Watson

He was an American psychologist who established the psychological school of behaviorism. Watson promoted a change in psychology through his address Psychology as the Behaviorist Views it, which was given at Columbia University in 1913.[3] Through his behaviorist approach, Watson conducted research on animal behavior, child rearing, and advertising. In addition, he conducted the controversial "Little Albert" experiment and the Kerplunk experiment.


Jean Piaget Stages of Development

Firstly is the issue of schemata that he conceptualized as the mental structure that represents the world. Through the learning process, children change their schemata by adapting, due to assimilation and accommodation. Assimilation adds new information to the existing schemata while adaptation modifies new information into the schemata. Ideally, there is balance between assimilation and accommodation to ensure equilibrium.

Sensorimotor stage: This represents the period from infancy and up to two years of age. At this period, movement and application of senses takes place. Additionally, mental images begin to form while images of objects remain engrained in the child’s mind.

Preoperational period: It takes place between two and seven years where symbolic thoughts develop. Reasoning is nonetheless shallow. Measurement abilities are equally low even when features of objects change.

Concrete stage: Children between the ages of seven to eleven learn to reason and perform mental problems on numbers; the children also look into problems from different perspectives and can reverse activities mentally.

Formal operation stage: It occurs from eleven years of age to adulthood. Abstract thinking takes center stage. Similarly, in this stage hypothesis formation and deduced reasoning become easier to understand.


Erick Erickson Psychosocial Development

German-born American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on psychosocial development of human beings. He may be most famous for coining the phrase identity crisis.

1. Trust vs. Minstrust (0-1.5)
2. Autonomy vs. Shame (1.5-3.0)
3. Initiative vs. Guild (3.0-5.0)
4. Industry vs. Inferiority (5.0-12.0)
5. Identity vs. Role Confusion (12-18)
6. Intimacy vs. Isolation (18-40)
7. Generativity vs. Stagnation (40-65)
8. Ego Integrity vs. Despair (65+)


Freud's Stage of Sexual Development

1. Oral Stage (0-1) - In the first stage of personality development, the libido is centered in a baby's mouth. It gets much satisfaction from putting all sorts of things in its mouth to satisfy the libido, and thus its id demands.
2. Anal Stage (1-3) - The libido now becomes focused on the anus, and the child derives great pleasure from defecating.
3. Phallic Stage (3 to 5:6) - Sensitivity now becomes concentrated in the genitals and masturbation (in both sexes) becomes a new source of pleasure. The child becomes aware of anatomical sex differences, which sets in motion the conflict between erotic attraction, resentment, rivalry, jealousy and fear which Freud called the Oedipus complex (sexual desire for mother) and the Electra complex (sexual desire for father)
4. Latency Stage (5:6 to Puberty) -No further psychosexual development takes place during this stage (latent means hidden). The libido is dormant. Energy is given to play.
5. Genital Stage (puberty to adult) - This is the last stage of Freud's psychosexual theory of personality development and begins in puberty. It is a time of adolescent sexual experimentation, the successful resolution of which is settling down in a loving one-to-one relationship with another person in our 20's.


Carl Jung

Carl Jung is recognized as one of the most influential psychiatrists of all time. He founded analytical psychology and was among the first experts in his field to explore the religious nature behind human psychology. He argued that empirical evidence was not the only way to arrive at psychological or scientific truths and that the soul plays a key role in the psyche. Key contributions of Jung include:

- The collective unconscious: A universal cultural repository of archetypes and human experiences.
- Dream analysis and the interpretation of symbols from the collective unconscious that show up in dreams.
- Extroversion and introversion: Jung was the first to identify these two personality traits, and some of his work continues to be used in the theory of personality and in personality testing.
- Psychological complexes: A cluster of behaviors, memories, and emotions grouped around a common theme. For example, a child who was deprived of food might grow into an adult smoker, nail biter, and compulsive eater, focusing on the theme of oral satiation.
- An emphasis on spirituality: Jung argued that spirituality and a sense of the connectedness of life could play a profound role in emotional health.


Zone of proximal development

The zone of proximal development, often abbreviated as ZPD, is the difference between what a learner can do without help, and what they can't do.[1] The concept was introduced, but not fully developed, by psychologist Lev Vygotsky (1896–1934) during the last ten years of his life.[2] Vygotsky stated that a child follows an adult's example and gradually develops the ability to do certain tasks without help.[3] Vygotsky and some other educators believe that the role of education is to give children experiences that are within their zones of proximal development, thereby encouraging and advancing their individual learning such as skills and strategies.


Kohlberg Stages of Moral Development

1. Obedience/Punishment (Infancy) - No difference between doing the right thing and punshishment.
2. Self-Interest (Preschool) - Interest shifts to rewards rather than punishment
3. Conformity and Interpersonal Accord -(School-age) - The "good boy/girl." Effort is made for approval and maintaining good relationships.
4. Authority and Social Order (School-age) - Orientation towards fixed rules. The purpose of morality is to maintain social order.
5. Social Contract (Teens) - Mutual benefit and reciprocity. Morally right and legally right are not always the same.
6. Universal Principles (Adults) - Morality are based on principles that transcend mutual benefit.