Theoretical Perspectives

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Chapter 4

Anal Stage

Period of psychosexual development in which the toddler's pleasure focuses on anal stimulation from holding onto and expelling feces.

Attachment Style

The way a person relates to a caregiver figure.

Behavioral Perspective

A theoretical perspective in which it is assumed that abnormality is caused by faulty learning experiences.

Biological Perspective

A theoretical perspective in which it is assumed that disturbances in emotions, behavior, and cognitive processes are caused by abnormalities in the functioning of the body.

Classical Conditioning

Learning of a connection between an originally neutral stimulus and a naturally evoking stimulus that produces an automatic reflexive reaction.

Cognitive-Behavioral Perspective

A theoretical perspective in which it is assumed that abnormality is caused by maladaptive thought processes that result in dysfunctional behavior.

Conditioned Response

An acquired response to a stimulus that was previously neutral.

Conditioned Stimulus

A previously neutral stimulus that, after repeated pairings with the unconditioned stimulus, elicits a conditioned response.

Defense Mechanism

Tactics that keep unacceptable thoughts, instincts, and feelings out of conscious awareness and thus protect the ego against anxiety.

Dream Analysis

A method used in psychoanalysis in which the client relates to the events of a dream to the clinician and free associates to these events.

Ego

Psychoanalytic Theory; the structure of personality dealing with judgment, memory, perception, and decision making.

Extinction

The cessation of behavior in the absence of reinforcement.

Family Dynamics

Pattern of interactions among the members of a family.

Family Perspective

Theoretical perspective in which it is assumed that abnormality is caused by disturbances in the pattern of interactions and relationships within the family.

Fixation

Arrested development at a particular stage of psychosexual development attributable to excessive or inadequate gratification at that stage.

Free Association

Method used in psychoanalysis in which the client speaks freely, saying whatever comes to mind.

Gene

Basic unit of heredity.

Genital Stage

Period of psychosexual development coinciding with the resurfacing of sexual energy just prior to puberty.

Humanistic Perspective

Regards people as motivated by the need to understand themselves and the world and to derive greater enrichment from their experiences by fulfilling their unique individual potential.

Id

Psychoanalytic theory; the structure of personality that contains the sexual and aggressive instincts.

Latency

Psychoanalytic theory; period of psychosexual development during which the child interacts with peers and imitates the behavior of parents and other adults of the same biological sex as the child.

Multifactorial Polygenic Threshold

Position that several genes with varying influence are involved in the transmission of a disorder or characteristic.

Negative Reinforcement

The removal of aversive conditions when certain behaviors are performed.

Neurotransmitter

A chemical substance released from a neuron into a synaptic cleft, where it drifts across the synapse and is absorbed by the receiving neuron.

Object Relations

One's unconscious representations of important people in one's life.

Operant Conditioning

A learning process in which an individual acquires behaviors through reinforcement.

Oral Stage

Period of psychosexual development in which the infant's pleasure comes from the stimulation of the mouth.

Person-Centered Theory

Humanistic Theory: focuses on the uniqueness of each individual, the importance of allowing each individual to achieve maximum fulfillment of potential, and the need for the individual to confront honestly the reality of his or her experiences in the world.

Phallic Stage

Period of psychosexual development in which the genital area of the body is the focus of the child's sexual feelings.

Positive Reinforcement

Providing reward when certain behaviors are performed.

Primary Process Thinking

Psychoanalytic theory: loosely associated, idiosyncratic, and distorted cognitive representation of the world.

Primary Reinforcers

Rewards that satisfy a biological need, making them intrinsically rewarding.

Psychodynamic Perspective

Theoretical orientation in psychology that emphasizes unconscious determinants of behavior.

Psychosexual Stages

Psychoanalytic theory: normal sequence of development through which each individual passes between infancy and adulthood.

Resistance

Unconscious blocking of anxiety-provoking thoughts or feelings.

Secondary Process Thinking

Psychoanalytic theory: kind of thinking involved in logical and rational problem solving.

Secondary Reinforcers

Rewards that derive their value from association with primary reinforcers.

Self-actualization

Humanistic theory: the maximum realization of the individual's potential for psychological growth.

Sociocultural Perspective

Theoretical perspective that emphasizes the ways that individuals are influenced by people, social institutions, and social forces in the world around them.

Superego

Psychoanalytic theory: the structure of personality that includes the conscience and the ego ideal; it incorporates societal prohibitions and exerts control over the seeking of instinctual gratification.

Systematic Desensitization

Variant of counter-conditioning that involves presenting the client with progressively more anxiety-provoking images while in a relaxed state.

Theoretical Perspective

An orientation to understanding the causes of human behavior and the treatment of abnormality.

Transference

The carrying over toward the therapist of the feelings the client had toward parents or other significant people in the client's life.

Unconditional Positive Regard

Method in client-centered therapy in which the clinician gives total acceptance of what the client says, does, and feels.

Unconditioned Response

Reflexive response occurring naturally in the presence of the unconditioned stimulus without having been learned.

Unconditioned Stimulus

Stimulus that naturally produces a response without having been learned.

Working Through

Phase of psychoanalytic treatment in which the clinician helps the client achieve a healthier resolution of issues than had occurred in the client's early childhood environment.

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