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Glossary
Biological Approach

Autonomic nervous system: Made up of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous
systems. The sympathetic nervous system prepares the body for fight or flight. The
parasympathetic nervous system supports normal and routine body functions.

Cerebral cortex: Most highly developed part of the brain in human beings. To do…

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Negative reinforcement: When a response (or behaviour) is strengthened due to the
removal of an adverse (painful or unpleasant) stimulus.

Operant conditioning: Type of learning that occurs through either reinforcement or
punishment of a behavioural response

Positive reinforcement: When a response (or behaviour) is strengthened because it is
followed by…

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Cognitive processes: Mental processes, which we may or may not be aware of, that are
involved with thought, perception, memory and attention.

Mediational processes: Cognitive processes or mental events that take place between
stimulus and response.

Top-down approach: An approach to explaining cognitive processes that suggests they are
influenced mainly…

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Self-concept: In humanistic psychology, this had two components; self-image and the ideal
self. The ideal self is how we would like to be and may differ from how we are.

Self-efficacy: The belief that one is able to achieve certain goals or succeed at something.

Self-esteem: The evaluative dimension of…

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Oral stage: A psychosexual stage of development in Freudian theory. It occurs in the first
year of life and is centred around the mouth and oral pleasure. Fixation at this stage may
result in oral personality in adulthood.

Phallic stage: Third stage of psychosexual development in Freudian theory. Here boys…

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Model: A person being observed who can be a strong influence on another person's
behaviour.

Observational learning: Learning through observation and imitation of the behaviour of
others. Also known as social learning.

Vicarious reinforcement: Occurs in observational learning when the observer sees another
person being reinforced for behaving in a…

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